Tuesday, April 19, 2011

It's Springtime in Miami!!!

Spring is nature's way of saying, "Let's Party!" ~ Robin William

Spring has definitely arrived in Miami. The weather is absolutely perfect - not too hot or too cool. Although its becoming hotter everyday! This is the time to enjoy the outdoors before the summer's unbearable heat casts down on us. All of our plants have awakened and have been revived from the unusual winter we had this year. Our flowers are blooming recklessly and our garden is filled with beautiful bursts of colors!

All photos from this post were shot in our garden. Enjoy!

Pictured above: a caterpillar in a cocoon. Unfortunately, we missed it when it opened.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Caramelized Cuban Plantains

Growing up in a Cuban household consists of eating rice, beans and fried plantains almost every night. Although very yummy, these eating habits could easily rack up the pounds. However, we occasionally indulge in childhood favorites, such as "platanitos maduros" or fried rice plantains. Instead of deep frying the plantains, we pan fry them in a little bit of sugar. This method saves us a few calories, yet we still get to enjoy this sweet side dish. We hope you introduce this Cuban tradition to your family!

Ripe plantains
Sugar Kitchen

Cutting board
Large non-stick pan
Parchment paper

Buy the ripest plantains in the store. The darker, the better. If they are not as dark as the one in our photo, allow a few days to ripen.

Peel the plantain and slice into 1 inch thick slices. Pour the sugar onto a plate. Heat the non-stick pan over medium-high heat.

Once the pan is hot, dip the plantain slices into the sugar until they are evenly coated. Place the plantains on the pan and cook for about 2-3 minutes on each side until the sugar caramelizes. The plantain should become soft and golden brown.

Place the cooked plantain on parchment paper and allow to cool. This will prevent the plantains from sticking to your plate.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Robby's Baptism

One tiny hand to guide and hold,

One tiny life to shape and mold;
each child, a gift from God above,
a symbol of His strength and love.

Mrs. P's cousin's baby Robby was recently baptized and we had the honor of making a cake and cupcakes for this precious celebration! We were also asked to adorn the table with flower centerpieces. The christening took place at the Plymouth Congregational Church in Coconut Grove, FL where the baby's parents were married. After the ceremony, a lunch was held at Perricone's Marketplace in Brickell.

We made four dozen vanilla butter cream cupcakes with baby blue and white crosses made out of fondant. The centerpieces were made with small round vases filled with white hydrangeas, Gerber daisies and curly willow.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bitesize Turkeyballs

This healthy alternative to beef meatballs are packed with flavor but none of the fat. These moist turkeyballs are so tasty, you will forget they are actually good for you! Serve them with pasta, vegetables or on top of a fresh salad. You will be hooked!

3/4 Italian bread crumbs
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tablespoon of dried oregano
1 large egg
1/2 cup chopped parsley
Salt and pepper
1 pound of ground turkey
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 cup of chicken broth

Kitchen Essentials:
Cutting board
Measuring cups and spoons
Wooden spoon
Medium bowl
Large non-stick pan
Baking dish

Finely chop the onion, garlic and parsley. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Whisk the bread crumbs, onion, garlic, egg, parsley, dried oregano, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the turkey and mix with a spoon until combined.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Take a tablespoon of the mixture and create bitesize balls. Add the meatballs to the oil and cook on each side until the crust is golden brown. Don't cook them too long because they will continue to cook in the oven. This will keep them moist.

In the meantime, add the chicken broth to the baking dish and add the semi-cooked meatballs. Cook in the oven for about 20 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the size of the meatballs.
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