Sunday, March 20, 2011

Recipe: Rajas con queso

Another one of my favorite, easy recipes is 'Rajas con queso.' the English translation is 'strips with cheese,' typically this is a vegetarian dish that I veganized.


6 Poblano peppers
1/2 Medium onion
1/2 Bag of Daiya cheese (mozzarella)
1 Packet of vegan seasoning
1/4 Cup water


Remove the stem and seeds from the poblano peppers after washing. Then cut into strips. Slice the onion into strips too.

In a medium pot, add 1 tbsp of oil then add the onions and the pepper. Stir the ingredients, then add salt and seasoning. I use culantro and achiote seasoning from the Goya brand, you can find it in the 'ethnic' aisle, a Mexican store or online. After I stir ingredients to make sure seasoning gets distributed throughout I add about 1/4 cup of water. Cover the pot and let it simmer while coming back to it to stir. Once the pepper strips look tender, add the mock cheese and stir immediately. Daiya cheese melts fast. Once your done with your dish you can serve with rice and beans or in tacos.

Buen provecho!

Tip: for spicy poblano peppers choose those that have a curled stem.

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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Raising Heaven

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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday Project: water coloring

Today Cielo had her friend Maude over and together they painted beautiful pictures with water colors.

Cielo is in an abstract phase ;)

Friday, March 11, 2011

Soy Picadillo con Elote

This is a very typical dish we make in northern Tamaulipas and one that I learned from my mom. This really is one of those comfort foods that you want to prepare on a cold, rainy day.

For the perfect picadillo, I buy the lightlife brand of ground soy.

This is one of the super easy recipes that I make often and my daughter and baby daddy love. You'll see in the ingredient list that this is a working mom's recipe.

1 package of lightlife ground soy
1 can of organic corn
2 cups of organic tomato sauce
1/2 large onion
2 packets of culantro and achiote
2 cups of water

Dice the onions. Then fry them in oil in a deep pan. Once the onions are tender add the ground soy and sprinkle the culantro and achiote powder. Mix ingredients until powder is distributed throughout picadillo. Next add tomato sauce and water while mixing contents. Add salt and pepper to your taste. Last, add the drained corn and let it simmer in medium heat for about 15-20 minutes or when the red sauce looks cooked (like a rusty red).

You can serve this meal with beans, Mexican rice and shredded cabbage salad. Don't forget the tortillas.

This is about 6-8 servings.

Buen provecho!

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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Check it out: Art in a box

Just read about this on the blog MORE WAYS TO WASTE TIME.

The Compound Gallery in Oakland has a CSA type of service called "Art in a box" where you pay a monthly subscription to receive a piece of fine art in a box.

It's a service available for pick up and shipping.

Wish I could afford it, if you can... subscribe today.

tempeh tacos?

This is just plain offensive. And I'm not talking about the tempeh... if it not a folded tortilla with a filling please don't call it a taco.

Sunday Project: Umbrella

Today Cielo and I worked on our Sunday project, we made a colorful umbrella. Got the idea to work on something umbrella related because it's a rainy day and she loves her umbrellas. So much she took one to pre-school this week for share day.

For this umbrella I pre cut an umbrella shape out of a grocery paper bag and little squares of tissue. Cielo cut some of the orange squares for the umbrella handle. All we did was crumble the pieces of tissue paper and glue them to the kraft paper.

This activity brightens up any rainy day.

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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Estrella's Quinceañera

A month ago, my bestie Esther tagged me on a Facebook post that listed Bitch magazine's list of 100 YA feminist books. Being an avid YA reader, I looked through the list and realized I have not read enough YA books O_O which means that I need to expand my horizons and read beyond YA sci fi and fantasy. I specially need to be reading xicana/latina YA lit. Sadly I've only read 3 books on the list, which makes me wonder WTF have I been reading. lolz.

Esther told me about some controversy involved with the list, oh I remember, there were some people who complained about three books on list in the comments section and Bitch pulled off these books from the list because of violence in their stories. OMEGA QUADRANT. If you are interested in reading about the controversy just click here.

I'm going to try to read the books on this list and I don't know what my goal will be but I'm not sure that I can read all 100 books in a year. I can however check off one book from the list this month: Estrella's Quinceañera.

This novela about Star's 15 (quince) hit very close to home, not because of the quince drama but because of the mother-daughter dynamics that are too common in the Mexican culture. Star's mom started thinking about her daugther's 15 from the day she was born, my mom thought about it and talked about it for a long time and guess what? I have a three year old and I've began to think about it. Not only do I think about it but I'm planning a mini version for her 5añera. (Thanks Myra for the great idea) This will be the trial version. I'm thinking that for her actual 15 I need to starting saving now. We will have to organize a second one for her in Mexico so the family can come, I'm getting padrinos for that one fo sho.

The book made me think of the intense beliefs and the beautiful culture of hermandad y solidaridad we have and that the Televisa telenovelas are very apropos or maybe that's where we learn our behaviors.

Intense beliefs when it comes to the uptight and rigid standards set on daughters and not sons by mothers who themselves did not live up to those standards. Like when I found out a few years ago that my grandmother had eloped... why did we make a big deal when my sister eloped? Or when I moved back home after college and my parents didn't let me come home too late. Because I was a young lady with "buenas costumbres" (good customs). Yeah, right. I moved out. Mexican daughters have a hard time leaving home specially when it comes to going to college outside of the city you live in.

Beautiful culture when it shows how we all unite to make a celebration happen, how we support family or how we rally around causes.

Another thing I could relate to in the book, were the race dynamics between white and brown. Those who resist the white-washing of our culture and those who want to be white (highspanics)/accepted by white society. Fortunately there was acceptance and respect at the end of the story but how much of it is there in reality?

I think about race a lot not just because I'm a woman of color but because I'm raising a mestiza that looks white... and I often wonder how her struggles will be different than mine.

All in all this is simple story that exposes a little bit about our culture to the YA readers. It shows a glimpse of the challenges we all face in a coming of age story and I recommend it.

Verde que te quiero verde: Salad Greens

Verde esta nuestro huerto, full of life and fresh as a cucumber. Today Nathan harvested some of greens, kale, chard, arugula and cilantro. Beautiful!

Arroz con Leche

There are so many ways to prepare arroz con leche, here's mine...


3 cups of rice
5 cups of water
6 cups of soy milk
3 small cinnamon sticks or 1 large
3 tablespoons of coconut butter
1 cup of sugar
cinnamon powder


In a medium pot, mix water and soymilk and pour over rice. Cook on medium heat until the rice is tender. While rice is cooking you need to stir often so rice doesn't stick. Once rice is tender add coconut butter and stir. Then stir in the sugar.

This serves 8+ portions. Serve single portions with a dash of cinnamon and raisins.

I don't like mine to watery so I use one cup less of water/soymilk, but watery is the way most people like it. This is a very common dessert in Mexico and there is even an old children's song for it... the children's song says "arroz con leche" but it has nothing to do with making it, its about finding a young lady that knows how to cook, sew and clean so you can marry her. You know your typical Mexican view of women, although I like to think folks are evolving.

Knit Love?

I found this cross stitch pattern I made a few years ago on my google docs today, I want to share it with you. This is a quick and easy craft project.

You can get it here.

Raising Sky

This week in the life and fashion of Cielo our biggest highlight is that she still refuses to wear jeans and will only wear tights.

And her favorite white shoes mysteriously disappeared and Nathan has been trying to figure out of I hid them... Alas, I did not. I wish I would of that but we just lost them.

Here's a free form haiku for the lost white shoes, may they RIP:

White shoes run
Fall spell winter's eve
Sad child cries

The pic above is of Cielo's outfit yesterday- these are the third pair of pants I cut into shorts this week.

Gifted sweater, hand me down pants, H&M tights and pink chucks.


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