Friday, July 17, 2015

10-minute Fish Tacos

10-minute Fish Tacos


Today was supposed to be a laid-back, blog-all-day kind of day.  Instead it turn out to be the kind of day that makes you leave the comfort of your home early in the day, forget to stop at the ATM, have-no-cash-in-your-wallet-day and you are trying to live frugally anyway kind of day.  Thankfully I had made breakfast at home and I was blessed by having lunch at abuela’s house.  She is so amazing, always leaving me a plate in case I stop by.  Anyway, I got home at 8 o’clock at night, just as Daddy was coming home for his break.  Nothing had been scheduled for today nor did I prepare a meal plan, but somehow a bunch of errands filled my morning and most of the afternoon.  So nothing was prepared for me to cook, nor did I want to be in the kitchen for longer than 20 minutes.  I needed something quick and healthy.
Daddy and Gabo decided they were having canned spaghetti and ravioli (you know the chef one) and they were going to watch cartoons together.  I was not having canned anything; I wanted something fresher, and tastier.  While I was preparing their “dinner”, I remembered I have fish sticks in the freezer so I thought:  ‘UMMM, fish tacos, YUMM!’  I put the spaghettis in the microwave to heat up and got tortillas, spinach, cucumber and tartar sauce out of the fridge, and fetched the fish sticks bag in the freezer.  I warmed up the oil, yes I fried them; I thought about baking them but that would have taken too long. 
Fish stick frying?  Check.  Tortillas warming up in the skillet? Check.  I prefer fish tacos with cole slaw, but I did not have any.  I have some beautiful spinach and crunchy cucumbers; I decided to pickle them super-quick.  I julienned the spinach, I cut the cucumber with a mandolin, if you do not have a mandolin just make sure to slice the cucumber very thinly, and julienned the slices.  I sliced some onion and a little cilantro.  I added ACV and coconut oil, a touch of agave and a pinch of salt and pepper, and let it sit until I was ready to plate.
To assemble the taco, I squirt a line of tartar sauce across the tortilla, I place 1 ½ fish sticks on top of the sauce and top it all off with the pickled salad.  I accompanied it with some Blueberry Lemonade I made last night.

All I can say is YUM. 

10-minute Fish Tacos 
5 frozen fish sticks
3 corn tortillas
Handful of spinach, julienned
10 slices of cucumber, julienned
2 slices of onion cut in half
Cilantro leaves, to taste
1 ½ tsp ACV
2 tsps Coconut oil
Agave Nectar, to taste
Pinch of salt and pepper

Until next time,

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Puertorrican Cornbread

Puertorrican Cornbread

Monday was a wonderful day.  We went to visit with my grandmother who I adore to say the least.  We last saw her on Saturday, very briefly as we went just to check in and see how my grandfather is doing; he has Alzheimer’s.  It has been a very long time since he last knew who we were; we are all strangers to him by now.  So Saturday my abuela said she needed to get some medications for abuelo and she also wanted to go to Costco.  Now, this is our thing, we hang out cooking and shopping together; grocery shopping that is.  Ever since I started driving it has been my pleasure to take her grocery shopping, among other things; but mainly grocery shopping.  It has given me a connection to her, I learned to cook with her and I know most of her recipes by heart; I inherited her passion to cook from the heart for the people I love, mi familia.

While we were there I found her old cookbook Cocina Criolla by Julia Abboy de Valdejulí, she was the Julia Child of Puerto Rico back in the day. Her recipes were even used in Home-Economics class. Abuela had marked a bread pudding that she wants to try; I even suggested buying croissants since we were going to Costco.  She said she wants to do it the traditional way, with old bread; besides who am I to fight with her.  I decided I will do the same recipe using croissants and I will have her try it.

Anyhow, we are here because of cornbread.  I have for the past couple of weeks been craving cornbread; but not just any cornbread, but the sweet, almost desert like cornbread.  I browsed the book myself and there it was Valdejulí’s cornbread recipe.  With all honesty I do not remember if I have ever tried this recipe.  I decided to go with it because it is extremely easy.  It makes enough for mi familia and most importantly, I had all the ingredients on hand.  I used Amapola for the cornmeal because it is our local brand but you can use one that you prefer, same for AP Flour.  I used whole milk because I ran out of almond milk.  The original recipe calls for butter and I am guessing it should be unsalted, I substituted coconut oil.  Now, this is not a part of the ingredients but I added cinnamon, just a little amount because I love the smell and flavor and I believe it complements corn products very well.  But you can leave it out.

Cornbread- Puerto Rican Style
*This is a very small recipe, you might want to double it.*

½ cup cornmeal, I used Amapola all-purpose cornmeal
½ cup all-purpose flour, I used Washington
½ cup white sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tsps. Baking Powder
½ cup milk, I used whole milk
2 oz. butter, melted
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 large egg, beaten
¼ tsp. cinnamon (optional), recipe does not call for cinnamon.  I just love it and add it on most of the things I bake.

The process is so simple.  I liked that everything is mixed with a fork in a bowl.  No big machines required.

1.  Combine the cornmeal, all-purpose flour, white sugar, salt and baking powder in one bowl.  In this step I also added the cinnamon.  I just mixed them with a fork until well mixed.


2.  Add the vanilla extract to the milk.  Add milk and vanilla to flour mixture, little by little.

 3. Add the butter.  For this recipe I used coconut oil.
4. Add the beaten egg.  Mix it until incorporated
5. Pour the corn bread batter in a lightly greased and floured pan.  I floured it with cornmeal.
Now, the cornbread baked and sat on the kitchen counter, awaiting Daddy’s return.  I was not able to try it because I needed the picture of how it looked when it came out of the oven, and the picture of it sliced.  So I waited… to try it.
So, Daddy finally came home and took the picture of the finished bread.  I sliced it and it smelled so good.  It is delicious, a little dry for my taste so I will probably add a little more coconut oil next time and it is very dense, I like it more airy but in all fairness I might have overbeat it with all the excitement.  I will try it again today and update the results.


Since I am going to abuela’s house I will bake it there so she can help and give me pointers as to how to make this better.  Afterwards we will sit down to a cup of good Puertorrican coffee and talk about the bread.  Life can’t get better than this.


Hoping you enjoy this recipe with someone you love, and may help create connections between generations.

Until next time,


Vanilla Orange Pancakes


This morning I got up early to my dogs barking like crazy at 6 in the morning.  I went to check and it turns out my puppy, Pepper, had gotten out of the backyard and was running up and down the street.  Afterwards, I could not go back to sleep; I got dressed and went to abuela’s house for coffee and breakfast.  I took her to the supermarket.  Did her hair and came home.

Daddy and Gabo had woken up already and were watching TEC the Tractor when I walked into the room and asked what they wanted for breakfast.  Gabo’s eyes lit up and he said “Pancakes”.  It has been a while since I have made pancakes, although recently I took to making Belgian Waffles, pancakes I seldom make.  Only for special Sundays, mostly because I am trying to limit the amount of gluten my son consumes.

I went to the kitchen to make pancakes for my Gabo and Daddy.  I opened the cupboard and took out the pancake mix, and I saw a bag of ground flax seeds, I grabbed the vanilla extract and behind was the orange extract and I remember I had lemons in the fridge.  I also grabbed the cinnamon, just because I add it to everything.

Orange Vanilla Pancakes

1½ cup Krusteaz Pancake Mix

1 cup whole milk

2 tsps. vanilla extract

1 tbsp. ground flax seeds

1 tsp orange extract

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp. coconut oil


The recipe in the bag calls for just pancake mix and water.  I believe that if cannot make it from scratch, make store-bought mixes and make them better.  I substituted milk for the water and added all the other ingredients in a bowl and mixed with a fork until they came together.

I had a pre-heated pan and sprayed it with non-stick spray and pour 1/3 cup of the batter per pancake, we like them medium sized. I cooked them until they are a deep golden color and flipped them.

This recipe yielded 6 pancakes.  Daddy had 4, Gabo had 2 and I had 1. It was delicious, even they noticed something was different and they gobbled them down.  Gabo asked if we were having pancakes again for breakfast tomorrow.

Until next time,


Saturday, July 4, 2015

My oil pulling journey

Back in March I went through a terrible cold that ended with a really bad ear infection.  I was officially sick for about a month.  Chicken soup and vitamin C helped for the cold, but I was stuck with the earache.  I went to see my primary care physician a couple times for the pain, and every time he prescribed a different drop.  I do not have health insurance so I got slammed with the full price of the drops which range from $30-$60 every single time, plus the additional medication that he prescribed at each visit.

About two weeks with the pain I went to my local health food supermarket to get ear candles, because I read how amazing they were to clean the ear canal but also to relieve pressure and ease the pain during an ear infection.  I did the ear candling thing every other day for a week and it helped relief the pain, but it always came back.  I tried every over the counter ear drop I could get and the helped temporarily, none actually cured the infection.  I was desperate, specially at night when the pain was excruciating and did not allow me to sleep.

By April I was on Pinterest looking for home remedies for earaches and I came across oil pulling.  I read up on the therapy and decided to try it.  I had just extracted some coconut oil that week and I went for it.  Now, you need to be prepared to understand that you are putting oil inside your mouth and you will keep it there for 20 minutes.  CRAZY!!!  I almost passed out, I used raw coconut oil and it is like putting a tablespoonful of solid shortening in your mouth and chewing on it.  Once I got over the gag reflex and entertained myself playing with my phone's games twenty minutes of chewing and swishing had gone by.  I ran into the bathroom to spit it out and I brushed my teeth.  Went to bed and slept through the night.  Next morning I was not awakened by the throbbing pain.  It was very mild and it did not stop me from going about my day.

After that experience including my gag reflex trying to betray me a couple of times.  I decided to keep looking for information on oil pulling and it has become an integral part of my dental care.  My teeth are looking whiter and my gums no longer bleed and that is saying a lot. 

So, what exactly is oil pulling?

Oil pulling is an ancient remedy native to India.  I is the action of swishing coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes.  There is not a lot of scientific information on it but some studies suggest that when accompanied by daily brushing and flossing it can help improve your oral health as well as you overall health.  It is based on the Ayurveda method of oil gushing and it dates back thousands of years.

I read a couple of websites before starting it and tweaked the steps a little to fit myself. 

6 easy steps for oil pulling

Do it on an empty stomach.  It is recommended that you do your oil pulling in the morning, first thing, before you brush your teeth or consume anything.  Not even water.  Now I read of a couple of people that do it twice a day; so do it at the time of day that better suits your schedule ( I am doing it as I write this post), preferably on an empty stomach.
Swish the oil for 15-20 minutes.  Do it while you are doing something else, I usually do it while I am answering emails or taking a shower, your imagination is the limit on this one.  There are lots of ways for twenty minutes to go by really fast.  Do not swish for longer than that, bacteria in the oil might be reabsorbed by the body after twenty minutes.
Spit it in the trash.  Remember that the coconut oil tends to re-harden when it gets to room temperature.  Let us avoid plumber drama with clogged pipes and just spit it out in the trash bin.  Besides I do not think you want your bathroom sink or you toilet covered in all the bacteria that was just pulled from your mouth.  YUCK!!!
Brush, floss and rinse.   I believe this step is pretty clear.  Just as you normally do.  Brush with your favorite toothpaste, I use one with TF and Co-Q10, use your favorite floss and rinse with water or mouthwash is up to you.
Sanitize the toothbrush.  Now I have to be honest.  I am the brush in a hurry and put the toothbrush back in its cup because we are running very late kind of mom; but after I read about all the bacteria that stays in the brush and that will be the same brush I use twice a day every day… I almost died.  So unless you have an unlimited budget to have a disposable toothbrush or you have the machine, boil some water and white vinegar (I use the teapot) and pour it over your toothbrush head and let it dry.
Remember to do it daily.

Oil Pulling's claim to health is that it can help treat and possibly cure conditions and diseases such as, diabetes mellitus, acne, Chron's Disease, cavities, gum disease, skin issues, metabolic issues, hormonal issues and the list goes on and on.  oil pulling can be done with a variety of oils and essential oils.  Oils like olive oil, sesame, coconut oil, MCT oil, safflower oil, among many others.  Each with amazing qualities for this technique, from anti-cavity- to anti-inflammatory to antipyretic.  Oils can also be boosted with the essential oil of your choosing, as per your condition or disease; in the ratio of 3:1 drops of essential oils to coconut oil.

Next post I will tell you about oil pulling with essential oils and then oil pulling with other oils.

Until next time,



1. Fife, Bruce. "Oil Pulling for a Brighter Smile and Better Health." N.p., n.d. Web.
    15 June 2015.

2. "Coconut Oil Pulling." Wellness Mama. Web. 13 June 2015.

Important disclaimer:  The recommendations in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are my sole opinion and are based on my experience with the oil pulling therapy.  It is meant to be informative; it is not intended, however, in any way to diagnose, treat, cure and you should talk to your dentist or primary care physician before undergoing this an other alternative therapies.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Sorry for the absence


I have been missing for a while there.  Some of you already know about my abuelo and our battle with Alzheimer's Disease.  Between lending a hand to my abuela, helping her with him and around the house, and taking my son to his speech and occupational therapies, taking care of the house and trying to make some extra money I am, in a word, EXHAUSTED!!!  So you can imagine that when I finally make it to the house, the last ting on my mind is having to sit in the computer. 

Nonetheless, I miss writing.  And I am constantly writing post ideas in my notebook and I have written a couple of drafts that will be coming your way pretty soon.  Things have been very chaotic around here lately; but I finally have an office space.  Well, not quite.  I have a desk and the computer in on it, and I have a chair so I can sit down to write, and it is located in the dungeon of the house.  That is the one room where everything is stashed away and when we close the door we tend to forget it exists...hence the dungeon.  That is where my office is.  Still trying to really turn the space into a home office.

Another reason to celebrate is that I have been freelancing.  Writing has always been a therapy for me and now it is also helping me pay the bills, which is awesome.  How often do you get to do something you like and make money while doing it.   I am very thrilled because I can add freelance writer next to stay-at-home-mom in the occupation line of any application.  So, if you need some documents translation, or transcribing, rewriting papers for school, work or anything in between I am your girl.

During this absence I have also been struggling with going back to school, which I will be doing, God willing,  this fall to finish my bachelor's in Education and hopefully next school year I will be opening my own daycare center.  This last one is near and dear to my heart because I always wanted to homeschool and I could not, and one day I realized that I could put all this passion I have for teaching and turn it into a business that will give children the tools to thrive during their fist years and help them transition into primary school.

Now I am working on obtaining my CDA Credential.  I am so excited, I ordered the book this morning, and I will be blogging on that as well as uploading the other posts I have already started.

Also I am thinking of changing the name of this blog, looking for a more catchy name.  Still not sure.

Until next time,