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Desserts, What's Cookin

Mexican bread pudding “Capirotada” Recipe

This recipe I am going to share with you is one of my favorites to make and eat during Lent. I grew up eating this and always loved it when my mom made it. Capirotada is traditionally a food Mexicans make and eat during Lent. After Ash Wednesday begins Lent. Lent is the 40-day (excluding Sundays) season that precedes Easter. On Ash Wednesday and all Fridays throughout Lent, most people fast and abstain from eating meat and a Mexican tradition is to make this bread pudding “Capirotada” Recipe…

The most popular food we eat during Lent is capirotada. Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding made with cinnamon, piloncillo, cloves, raisins, bread, and cheese. Yes, you read it right…cheese. The combination of these ingredients make my mouth water!

The tradition of making this dish for many Mexican and Mexican-American families is as a a reminder of the suffering of Christ on the cross. The ingredients in this recipe carry a rich and symbolic representation. The bread is for the Body of Christ, the syrup is his blood, the cloves are the nails on the cross, the cinnamon sticks symbolize the wooden cross, and the melted cheese stands for the Holy Shroud. My mom has been making this recipe for years and below I will share with you this quick and easy recipe for you to try and enjoy!

Ingredient List

4 Bolillo rolls or French rolls (try buying them pre toasted if available)


2 Piloncillo cones (Mexican brown sugar)

3 Cinnamon sticks

1 cup cheese (I prefer mozzarella) but anything that can be shredded

1 cup Raisins

1 cup Dried Prunes

4 tablespoons of Butter

** Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Dice your banana, shred your cheese, and have all other ingredients ready in bowls.

Mexican bread pudding “Capirotada” Recipe



Combine water (about 4 cups), cinnamon, and piloncillo in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil and let simmer for about 15 minutes. Set aside.



In your “olla” or a large casserole dish line the bottom of it with tortillas. This is so it creates a base so it will not stick.The begin the first layer of your toasted bread and lay it flat on the bottom. Do it like this:



You will then begin to layer on all the other ingredients. The bananas, peanuts, raisins, cheese, etc.




At the very end of your layers you then pour the syrup you made with the piloncillo. Drench the entire thing! Make sure it is very wet. You want the bread to be mushy.

Stick it in an oven at 350 degrees and bake for about 2 hours.

This is your result!

Mexican bread pudding “Capirotada” Recipe



Weekday Easy Dinners, What's Cookin

Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich Recipe (Banh Mi Xiu Mai)

Tired of regular boring sandwiches? I will share with you this Vietnamese meatball sandwich recipe (Banh Mi Xiu Mai). Once you learn how to make it and try it you will soon want to make it again! Here is my super easy to follow and make recipe.

Vietnamese Meatball Sandwich Recipe (Banh Mi Xiu Mai)

Vietnamese Meatball
Sandwich Recipe (Banh Mi Xiu Mai)


What you will need to make the Meatballs:
1 pound ground pork  or ground turkey

1 large egg

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ cup minced green onion

½ tablespoon fish sauce

½ tablespoon soy sauce (This is your salt)

½ tablespoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon whole black pepper

My favorite fish sauce to use…




½ cup water

½ tablespoon sugar

½ tablespoon soy sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes. (Or tomato sauce & dice up 1 large tomato)

1 tablespoons canola or olive oil

1 cloves garlic, minced

1 scallion, chopped

½ teaspoon black pepper

Light sprinkling of garlic powder

Light sprinkling of chicken bouillon


1. Combine all the meatball ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with

your hands. Yes I said it, your hands!


You can not get good meatballs

without some manual labor. Next, use your hands to form meatballs and

set aside on a plate or baking sheet.


2. Heat up a pan with light oil and begin dropping each meatball and

cook each side until brown.



3. In a small saucepan over high heat, heat the oil and add 1

tablespoon of finely diced onions and garlic. Cook until browned then;

4. Add the water and diced tomato, and 1 can of tomato sauce . Stir and bring to boil then

add your meatballs to the sauce and let it cook for 5-8 minutes until

sauce thickens.


5. To make a sandwich, cut your French baguette length wise to create

an opening place in an oven and heat until slightly toasted. Optional for

some is to add mayonnaise to the bread I do not put any on mine, but

you can if it thrills ya! Place the meatballs into your bread and spoon

some tomato sauce atop the meatballs to make it nice and juicy! That

is the way I like it! Finish with some pickled carrots and a few sprigs of


Enjoy! It is super messy so grab like 20 napkins!!




Food Remodeling, Health & Fitness, Smoothies and Juices

The Difference Between a Cold Press Juicer and a Centrifugal Juicer

Ever wonder what the difference between a cold press juicer and a centrifugal juicer is? Or maybe you didn’t even know there were different type of juicers out there, well there is! Not all juicers are created equal. If you are new to the world of juicing I hope to shed some light and let you know that in the world of juicers, the first thing that you need to know is that juicers fall into two main categories: centrifugal juicers and cold press or also known as masticating juicers. Juicing has become a fashionable and “In” thing to do and with great reason…it is great for you!

Whichever type of juicer you chose to buy the important thing is to use it and juice. Some juicing is better than no juicing, so what is the difference between a cold press juicer and centrifugal juicer?

Centrifugal juicers are more common, and in general, more affordable. They typically have an upright design in which food is pushed into a rapidly spinning mesh chamber with sharp teeth. The teeth shred the food into a pulp, and pulls the juice out of the pulp and through the mesh filter, where it is funneled out of the juicer.  Centrifugal juicers work best with soft and hard fruits and vegetables, but not quite as well with leafy greens like kale or spinach two vegetables I love to juice and are very healthy for you.


Centrifugal juicers are a great starter juicer as they require very little investment with most good-quality models ranging in price from $100 to $199.

Popular centrifugal juicers include Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer which was the first juicer I bought and wrote a review on it here.  This one from Breville,  is in my opinion the best centrifugal juicer on the market.





Cold Press/Masticating juicers typically have a horizontal design in which a spiral tube called an auger that lays horizontally.

cold press juicer

The pieces of fruits and vegetables are pushed into the top of the auger, and they are crushed and squeezed by the spiral tube.

Juice drains out of the underside of the tube, while the pulp is squeezed out at the end of the tube.  I like to give my dogs the left over pulp as a treat, they love it!








Because of the slower crushing and squeezing action, cold press juicers can process leafy greens like spinach and kale. The most important thing in my opinion is that the juice that they produce will last much longer than juice made in a centrifugal juicer, which should be consumed right away as it starts losing nutrients nearly immediately. When I made my fist juice using a cold press juicer I immediately noticed the difference. These juicers produce the type of juice quality in those cold pressed juices selling for like $8 a serving with minimal foam and separation. The difference is very noticeable. Since the juice you can make using a cold press machine is ‘Living Juice’, retaining its nutritional integrity 48-72 hours after extraction, I usually make a juice to use for the next 2 mornings. Cold pressed juicers are tested and proven to extract the highest yield of nutrients and enzymes than any centrifugal juicer in the market.



The quality remains the same and you will notice there is no juice separation. Cold press juicers are pricier than centrifugal models; starting at around $230 for most models. Some of the brands to look for are Champion, Omega, and Green Star. I personally have tried 3 different juicers; the Jack Lalanne, a Breville and now I own this one: An Omega 8006. ( thanks future hubby for the birthday gift! 😉 )

So Which Is Better?

With both juicing machines you are going to be able to extract juice from fruits and vegetables.

When purchasing a juicer it is important to pick one which caters to your lifestyle and needs.

Cold press juicers do have some design elements which require you to be more thorough when preparing to juice. Cold press juicers have a smaller feeding chute than a centrifugal juicer which means you need to be more patient when making the juice as it will take longer. So if you are on the run every morning this may not be the best for you and you may be better off with a centrifugal.

As an estimate in time, if all fruits and vegetables were prepared and ready for juicing:

Cold Press Juicer – Approximately 9-10 minutes

Centrifugal –  5 minutes

Clean Up Time

Cold Press Juicer – 2 minutes

Centrifugal – 7 minutes

Juicing is for the serious. The ones who want to make a difference in their health. Opt for buying fruits and vegetables that are organic unless you will be removing the peel. It really takes discipline to continue to juice and make it a habit. I promise you if you do you will notice a difference in your energy levels, skin clarity and your digestion. I gave up coffee nearly 2 years ago and now only drink it on occassion. My skin used to have many breakouts, but I can say it is pretty clear now. My digestion has improved and  do not have an poo problems! 🙂 And my dogs even enjoy the juice!  Just Juice It!

centrifugal vs cold press juicer

Soups & Stews, What's Cookin

Albondigas Soup (Mexican Meatball Soup) Recipe

One of my favorite childhood foods was when my mom would make Albondigas soup a Mexican meatball soup and it has been about that long since I have had it. So today I decided as the weather got a little chilly and crisp here in NYC to make my moms Albondigas soup the Mexican meatball soup) recipe. Albondigas Soup

Here is the easy step-by-step recipe to follow.

** Keep in mind I just add enough spices as I want not exactly this measurement. Experiment & have fun!
1/2 lb lean ground beef or turkey ( I used turkey)
1 egg, beaten
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup of uncooked rice
1/2 cup cilantro leaf, chopped
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin

Albondigas Soup

One large deep pot albondigas recipe
8 cups chicken broth(low sodium) or if you use Knorr use water and add Knorr to it until it taste right.
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 (16 ounce) can diced tomatoes (with no salt added added)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 cup cilantro
1 large zucchini, sliced
2-3 Carrots peeled and sliced


1. Make the meatballs first: Combine everything and mix thoroughly.


2. Form meatballs and roll between your palms and set aside your meatballs (Otherwise, meatballs will fall apart in the soup).
Albondigas Soup Recipe

3. In a pot add olive oil and your diced onion and cook until brown

4. Combine water, chicken broth, onion, celery, tomatoes and their liquid, cumin, oregano and cilantro leaves in a large pot.

5. While you wait to bring the soup to a boil, prepare your veggies. I like using carrots and zucchini, but you can add potato and canned corn to it also. My dogs Buzz & Bella love it when I am slicing up carrots. They are just hoping one falls! So they always help when momma is cooking .

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Albondigas Soup Recipe

6. Bring to broil, and drop meatballs in the soup (Make sure the soup is slightly boiling, the meatballs need to be cooked quickly).

7. Return to boil and cook another 10 minutes the add your zucchini. You could add 1 cup of uncooked rice to it so it cooks together (Optional)

Albondigas Soup recipe

8. Return to boil and cook another 10 minutes the add your zucchini. You could add 1 cup of uncooked rice to it so it cooks together (Optional)

9.After 20-25 minutes of boiling your meatballs should be floating on the top of the soup and your veggies should be soft, but not mushy.

Lastly serve in a bowl and enjoy!

Albondigas Soup Recipe

Health & Fitness, What's Cookin

What Is The Best Detox

What is the best detox? Is there such thing as the “best” detox? You may have recently decided you may needed to detox possibly after reading my Should I Detox article Or maybe you have been eating too much crap? Way to many things that come in fancy wrappers, color bubbly stuff and things you cannot pronounce? Alright you sick, mean, unappreciative B*&^$#@(d I will help ya out. A detox can be very beneficial. In this post I talk about a few detox that work and that I have personally used. What is the best detox

Although there are many types of detox diets, most eliminate foods that contain potentially harmful substances and allow foods that support the body’s natural ability to rid itself of toxins, such as dark, leafy green vegetables. In a detox solid food intake is reduced, ranging from small meals made up of mainly soup puree and vegetables to full-fledge juice fast. I may not know what is the best detox, but your body will!

Here are a few of the most popular detox diets that I have tried and our popular amongst fellow detoxers.
The Master Cleanse – Also called the lemonade diet, a fast that involves drinking only lemonade, grade B maple syrup, and cayenne pepper.

To me this is the most challenging one and also not very convenient if you have to continue with day to day activity. Lugging around your “juice” that looks like pee may not be too fun.

Juice fasting – A type of fast that calls for consuming only fresh vegetable and fruit juices, such as beet juice and wheatgrass juice, and water.

Smoothie and Shake fasting – Involves drinking pureed or blended vegetable and fruit smoothies, especially green smoothies.
Commercial cleanse programs – Specially designed protein powders, vitamins, nutrients for detoxification. You buy these at local health markets of vitamin shops.

Raw Food Detox Diet – Based on the raw food diet. Involves only eating food that is raw or hasn’t been heated above 118 degrees.

My “Detox” Plan

I am doing a HYBRID of the Master Cleanse+ Raw Vegetables+ Puree soups. To me this is my favorite detox diet that works. I find that the morning routine suggested in master cleanse helps get my digestion a kickstart and the drinking of lemon water but I add raw veggies and pure nothing added organic vegetable What is the best detox
What is the best detox

I avoid meats, anything processed and no sugars… that includes fruits….they have tons of hidden sugars. Anything processed is basically anything that comes in a box, is microwaveable, comes in a colorful wrapper and does not rot or turn bad in less than 7 days. In addition, I also recommend you take probiotics during any of these detox cleanses. There are many probiotics to chose from. Head to your local shop and ask the sales rep there for one they recommend.

One week of cleansing your body from Cheetos, soda, bacon, burger,cookies, fried chicken, etc will not change things for you. To see ultimate benefits you must adopt this healthier way of eating as a lifestyle. Today there are many options for organic and healthy food. Many times the cost difference isn’t much.So think twice next time you are out grocery shopping when selecting between two choices of products. Opt for the healthier one even if it is a few cents more. My secret to staying YOUNG and HEALTHY is maintaining a eating plan of natural things. If it was once living on earth and grown here organically then you can be sure it is good for you to eat. Food is fuel to the body. Whatever you fuel it with will showcase in you!. So keeping it simple and whether there is such thing as the best detox diet maintain a diet of “Lots of fruits, veggies, fish, and whole grains” and you will be well on your way to staying young and healthy!

Food Remodeling, Health & Fitness, My Thoughts

Should I Detox

Should I detox? Is a question many of us ask. I have asked that same question myself “Should I detox?” and although I do not claim to be a medical or health expert to claim it is good or not good for you. I will simply tell you I do it and I have been detoxing for the past 6 years. I like to do it at least two times a year. If I could I would do it quarterly. Some people are pretty hardcore and detox every other week! That is too much for me and I can’t handle that. But 2-4 times a year is something I can handle and like to do. So I am currently undergoing my annual cleansing. Many of you asked what I was doing. So here is not only what I am doing, because more important than that is the WHY and WHAT works for YOU.

Undergoing a Detox or a cleansing is not something for the weak minded or if you are considering it but if you are someone who is easily exhausted and have low blood pressure or may have a syndrome not recognized yet by a doctor, then I highly urge you to contact your doctor first before beginning any type of detox.

Secondly, you have to know WHY you would want to do a detox to know why detoxing is good for you.
Are you looking for a quick way to loose weight?
Do you feel yucky? Feel bloated and have been constipated?
Are you curious what all the hoopla is?

Well I do not claim to be an expert. I like many of you hit the internet to learn about this and also through my own experimentation and knowledge I have picked up by actual medical professionals that through the years have taught me more about this subject.

Why I am doing a cleanse?
Because I understand the importance of regular bowl movements. (a.k.a pooping, dropping kids off at the pond, taking the browns to the superbowl, etc) and mentally training your body to eat when you need the food, to break my “habits” of needing certain foods, and just because I figure if it doesn’t kill me and many people say it is healthy to do, then do Just Do It.

I often hear people, especially girls, be “proud” to announce “Oh, I do not poop very much, only once a day…” as if it makes them more girly or pretty to say you do not poop. Well I have news for ya sister, it is actually terrible! And a big sign that you are messed up!

As I learned through some naturalistic medical experts a healthy person should be pooping at least 2-3 times a day. Getting rid of stools and urine is your body’s main method of getting rid of toxic substances. Regular bowel movements are needed to prevent toxins that are released from the bloodstream into the intestines from being reabsorbed into the body. Getting fiber from food is important. Just think, if there is a subway at 72nd and another one tries to come in…. there is major backup. One has to go so it makes space for the other. Your digestion is kind of like that.

And I also learned about the different types of dookies….. such as…
1. The Shooting Bullets
2. The Submarine
3. The Little Snakes
4. The Messy All Over
5. The One That Makes You Hurt, Scratch and Tear

None of those are good. “your poop should come out smooth like a soft serve smoothie”. Which is why detoxing is good for you.

Why does are digestion start messing up? All the processed crap we eat! America is infamous for food that is “man-made” and filled with all kinds of hormones & pesticides all which end up finding a home in your little body.

How To Get Rid Of It?
I will share on my next blog. In the meantime ask questions and connect with me on FACEBOOK.

Buzz & Bella, Health & Fitness, What's Cookin

Homemade Organic Dog Food Recipes

If you are a dog owner learning how to make dog food will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever give your beloved dogs. I will share with you one of my favorite organic dog food recipes homemade here, but first let me tell you how it all began. A few years ago my boyfriend and I bought our first dog together a cute Boston Terrier. We fell in love with him so much that we ended up getting our second Boston Terrier a few weeks later. Organic Dog Food Recipe

Our lives have never been the same and I mean that in a positive way. So when our puppies started having digestive issues and refused to eat their store bought food, like any parent we rushed them to veterinarian office and had them checked up. The only thing our vet could recommend is buying this expensive “vet recommended” dry kibble that was like $80 a bag and lasted only 3 weeks. This new “special” food only worked for a few days. We soon noticed our dogs having the same issues of diarrhea and not wanting to eat their food. My boyfriend and I were pretty stuck and worried. We were not sure what to do and what could help them. I have always been an advocate of healthy eating and have spent more than 10 years without touching any fast food and inspecting the ingredient list on virtually everything I eat…so why not treat my dogs the same way? My boyfriend and I started to look into what dog food was made of and comprised of and we were both pretty disgusted! 2 of the 100 ingredients were actually things I would want to feed my puppies so my boyfriend got the idea of making our own dog food so we did and since then all is history! Our puppies LOVE eating their organic dog food, we save money and they are very healthy, active and may I add very cute! So to all my dog owner friends out there I am sharing with you my very own organic dog food recipe you can easily make at home. Your dog will love you for it!

2-3 Whole Organic Chickens

1 Bag or 10 Loose Organic Carrots

5 Medium Size Sweet Potatoes

1 Bag of Frozen Organic Peas or green beans

3 Cups of Organic Brown Rice

Necessary equipment: A real good chopper! I love the Ninja. You can pick one up at Wal-Mart for $20

Step One
In a large pot fill with water and add your whole chickens. Bring water to boil and cover with a lid. Let it cook for 2 to 3 hours until chicken is very tender and disenagrates to the touch.

Step Two

Take your chickens out and place in a colander. While in the colander using two forks or any type of utensil continue to shredded the chicken and remove all bones. ( I recommend you wait an hour to let the chicken cool before doing this step)

Organic Dog Food Recipes Homemade

Step Three

While your chicken is being cooked or cooled wash your veggies and chop up your carrots and sweet potatoes. Cook your brown rice and begin to boil your peas and or green beans.



Organic Dog Food Recipes Homemade

Organic Dog Food Recipes Homemade


Step Four

Mixing! Grab two large containers of your choice and begin proportioning your ingredients. I like to make each batch with a 60/30/10 ratio. I like to put 60% chicken, 30% vegetables and 10% brown rice. The brown rice acts as a filler so make sure not to add too much of it.


They are both ready to eat! That is the before….
This is the after….


Clean plate! Nothing at all left & healthy puppies!

I keep one batch to feed both my puppies and the other batch I freeze and then bring it out when I need it.

Food Remodeling, Health & Fitness, Side Dishes & Salsas, Weekday Easy Dinners, What's Cookin

Just Like Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl Recipe

I remember the first time I stepped inside a Chipotle I nearly walked in with my head down dragging my feet in shame. How can a California girl who grew up on home made Mexican food, who is surrounded by numerous taco shops & delicious Mexican food come to such an establishment…and actually enjoy it!?? Well I had to eventually love it since I moved from San Diego and called the NYC my home. No authentic Mexican around here, so I settled for Chipotle. It isn’t as bad as you may think in fact I really do truly enjoy it. I like it so much that I have created a Chipotle burrito bowl night at my home for dinner. In this post I will share with you my Just Like Chipotle’s Burrito Bowl Recipe…(minus the bacon in the beans and minus the extra 500 calories your butt will thank you for)

Brown or White Rice (Brown is healthier) IMG_20130516_185506
Black Beans
Chicken Breast
Yellow Onions
Purple Onions

Step One

Clean black beans and let them soak in water for 30minutes.
For every cup of black beans you make, add 2 cups of water fill pot with water
Add 1 tablespoon of salt (not a mountain full just a little)
Bring to boil and then cover with lid and turn heat to low. let it cook for 2 hours.
** I usually make these ahead of time or on a day you have errands to do at home just let them cook.

Step Two
Make yourself some rice or use leftover rice.

Step Three
Make the Pico de Gallo
Click HERE to check out my step-by-step recipe on how to make Pico de Gallo

Step Four
Make the famous Corn Salsa from Chipotle. Click Here for a step by step guide.

Step Five
Dice your chicken breast and add a little salt and pepper and place in a non stick pan to grill. Check chicken and make sure it is cooked thoroughly.

Step Six
The fun begins! Start with add rice ( I serve myself very little since I kinda like my fit body right now…no need for extra carbs for me ) and add black beans on top. These beans are very healthy and are packed with fiber & iron.

Add your grilled chicken.

Add your Corn Salsa
Add Pico de Gallo
Dice up some lettuce just like at Chipotle and wah-lah! Done!

Health & Fitness, Side Dishes & Salsas, What's Cookin

Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa Recipe

I always ask them for a double scoop when I am at Chipotle this awesome corn salsa is too good not to get to heaping spoonfuls of it! Here is my very easy step-by-step guide on how to make corn salsa just like the one at Chipotle Mexican Grill. Here is y Just Like Chipotle’s Corn Salsa Recipe Chipotles-Corn-and-Roasted-Poblano-Salsa-1-of-2


Canned Corn
Purple Onion
Salt & Pepper

Just Like Chipotle's Corn Salsa Recipe

Step One
Drain and poor canned corn into your bowl

Step Two
Thinly dice the purple onion. How much to add is up to you and your liking. Add to bowl.

Step three
Wash and finely chop cilantro. Add to bowl.
Just Like Chipotle's Corn Salsa Recipe

Step Four
Add pepper to the bowl of all ingredients, mix and Enjoy!Leave me a comment if you liked it or have an alternative recipe.