I like it Spicy~Habanero Hummus

For me, hummus is one of those addicting foods that I crave. But for me, it has to be spicy with that right note of acid and salt to keep me coming back for more. Besides being a great appetizer for any occasion, it makes a great vegetarian meal. it’s quite filling and very satisfying.


2 1/2 cups chickpeas
2 habaneros, sliced
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1/3 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 tablespoons tahini paste
4 to 5 tablespoons olive oil
Salt to taste

For Indian Spiced Sauce
1/2 cup flat leaf parsely, chopped finely
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped finely
1/4 cup green onions, sliced finely
1 roma tomato, seeded, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 serrano, minced
1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Habanero Hummus


1. Combine all of the ingredients for the hummus in the food processor. Process on high until smooth. Using a rubber spatula push hummus down and process again until smooth. Taste for salt, transfer to serving dish. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes or refrigerate until ready to serve.

2. In another bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the Indian spiced sauce. Stir well to combine, taste for salt. This sauce is always better if it has a chance to sit for an hour or more. I do suggest hand chopping instead of throwing it into the processor. The hummus is served over a simple naan bread and garnished with avocado slices and more habanero.

Appetizer Chimichangas~ Antojitos

What do you do when you have a little leftover chicken, beef or grilled vegetables? I like to turn them into a fun and quick meal. Appetizer size chimichangas, which are pretty much a fried burrito, crispy on the outside and filled with all kinds of tasty! This is another great make ahead recipe for parties or game night. Just pop them into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes to re-heat.


2 cups your favorite cooked chicken ,beef picadillo or grilled veggies
1 cup refried beans
1 cup shredded jack cheese
8 to 10 six inch flour tortillas
2 cups oil for frying
2 cups your favorite salsa (Many salsa and hot sauce recipe on my blog)
4 cups shredded lettuce
1/3 cup green onions, sliced
Avocado slices

Appetizer Chimichangas


1. In a skillet, preheat the oil to medium heat for 6 to 7 minutes. Wrap the tortillas in some paper towels and place onto plate. Heat in microwave for 45 to 55 seconds.

2. Tortillas with be hot, so you want to work quickly. Fill each tortilla with beans, meat or veggies and cheese. Roll as tightly as you can and secure with two toothpicks. repeat until all filled and rolled.

3. Fry 3 at a time for a minute or two on each side or until golden and crispy. Drain onto plate lined with paper towels. Or you can keep them warm on a baking sheet in a low temperature oven.

4. Serve with shredded lettuce, salsa, green onions and avocado slices. If you have any leftover, just re-heat in a nonstick dry skillet until crispy, at medium heat. Serves up to 5 a an appetizer.

Tips~ if you want to make these ahead of time, just prepare as instructed and cool completely before storing in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Reheat in a preheated 350 degree oven on a lined baking sheet for 30 to 40 minutes.

My Mom’s Beef Picadillo w/ Potatoes Recipe

Near and dear to my heart. Mom's recipe for beef picadillo....loved it as a kid, love it even more now.
Near and dear to my heart. Mom’s recipe for beef picadillo….loved it as a kid, love it even more now.


1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
1 large or 3 small Russet potatoes, peeled and diced
½ medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 roma tomatoes, cut into quarters
1 chile serrano, roughly chopped
1teaspoon cumin
Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1/3 to 1/2 cup water
Canola oil


1. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil to medium heat, in a large frying pan. Add the potatoes, cook until most sides of the potatoes are browned and crispy. Drain onto plate lined with paper towels, set aside.

2. In that same pan, add the ground beef, season with cumin, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until browned nicely. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes. While the ground beef is cooking, add the tomatoes, Serrano pepper, water and 1 tsp. of salt to the blender, blend until smooth, set aside.

3. Add the potatoes to the ground beef, stir well to combine. Add the freshly blended tomato sauce to the beef and potato mixture, stir well. Taste for salt and cook for 10 to 15 minutes or until most of the liquid has reduced. Yields up to 6 servings.

4. serve as is or can be prepared for filling tacos, burritos, enchiladas, tostadas, and chiles rellenos.


Manchamanteles literally translate as “tablecloth stainers”. The vibrant red colors from the dried chiles and tomatoes would definitely leave some permanent stains on a white tablecloth….or shirt. The origins for this recipe come from Puebla, where they are famous for their Mexican Molé. Many people recognize this sauce as another variation of a molé sauce and some argue that it’s not that at all. This recipe for Manchamanteles was adapted from Zarela, who I have been a long time admirer and let’s not get on the subject of her chef son Aaron Sanchez…oh boy! Lol! Yes, I am a big fan of both.

The ingredients that make this dish stand out are the sweet fruits used to prepare the sauce. Fruits that include pineapple, plantains, apples, raisins and apricots. I have always loved the flavors of pineapple and chiles, especially tacos al pastor, so I knew I would enjoy this recipe as well. Instead of raisins, I decided to add craisins because of there sweet/tart flavor.  Most often, the recipe is prepared with chicken, pork or a combination of the two. I ladled the sauce over chicken that had been poached and then seared until brown. I am looking forward to the leftovers tonight!

Manchamanteles with Chicken


For Chicken
5 pound whole chicken, cut into pieces (you want at least 6 or more pieces)
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
1 large white onion, cut in half
1 whole bulb of garlic, divided in half
1 tablespoon peppercorns
4 bay leaves
3 chile de arbol or 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
Salt to taste

For Manchamanteles Sauce
6 chile ancho peppers
3 pasilla peppers
*Remove the stems and seeds from dried peppers and tear them into smaller pieces
Olive oil
*Reserved half of onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeños, diced
1 green plantain, peeled and diced
Salt and pepper to taste
1/8 cup blanched almonds
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin seeds
2 teaspoons oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground clove
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
28 ounce can of whole, peeled tomatoes
4 cups chicken stock
1 full cup of fresh pineapple, diced, plus more for garnish
1/3 cup green apple, diced
1/3 cup dried apricots, diced fine
1/3 cup craisins or raisins, roughly chopped

Garnish Options
Toasted sesame seeds

Fresh pineapple, diced

Fried plantain chips or tostones
*Serve with warm tortillas and a side of rice

Manchamanteles with Chicken


1.  First you want to make your chicken stock. In a large pot, add chicken, carrots, celery, half the onion, half the bulb of garlic, bay leaves, peppercorns and chile de arbol. Cover with water and add 2 teaspoons of salt .Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and continue cooking for 45 to 55 minutes. Skim the top as needed and turn now and then. Remove the chicken pieces and strain the stock, set aside.

2. In a medium pot, add 5 cups of water and bring to a simmer. At the same time, in a skillet, heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil to medium heat. Add the dried chile pieces and cook just until they become aromatic, turning as needed. Never leave the peppers unattended because they can burn easily and become bitter. When peppers are aromatic and slightly soft, add to pot of simmering water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and transfer to blender. Add 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock and blend on high until smooth. Strain the adobo through a wire mesh strainer and set aside.

3. In a large pot, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil to medium heat. Add the reserved onions, garlic, jalapeño and plantain. Season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Add in the almonds, cumin, oregano, clove, cinnamon, tomatoes and 1 cup stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, taste for salt and cook for 20 minutes. Transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Be extra careful when blending hot liquids. Make sure lid is tightly secured and hold down with kitchen towels as you blend. If you have time, let it cool before blending.

4.  Add tomato sauce back into pot, along with adobo sauce and remaining 1 1/2 cups of chicken stock. Cook at a low simmer for 15 minutes. Add in the pineapple, apricots, craisins or raisins and green apple and cook for another 25 to 30 minutes. While the sauce is simmering, brown the reserved chicken pieces in a little olive oil. This will help develop even more flavor.

5.  Now you have three options here: You can add the browned chicken to sauce, you can shred the chicken and add to sauce or you can ladle the sauce over chicken when you get ready to plate. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds, diced pineapple and fried plantains. Serve with warm tortillas. Yields up to 6 servings.

Tips and Notes~ I would highly suggest making this sauce one or two days ahead of time. The flavors are just that much more delicious after is has time to merry! I would have like to have included the fried plantains in the picture, but I only had one and added all to the sauce….next time!