Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chicken Fricassee

Good evening, everyone! This morning, Thomas's mom asked me to cook dinner for tonight, and she gave me her chicken fricassee recipe. If you've never had chicken fricassee in a Cuban household, it's basically chicken drumsticks and potatoes cooked for about two to three hours over low heat. The chicken gets a moist and tender, and the potatoes just melt away in your mouth. Mmmm...I just had dinner, but my mouth is watering just thinking about it. Here's the recipe she gave me:

Chicken Fricassee
serves 4-6
time: the longer, the better.

Ingredients:
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1/2 small red bell pepper
  • 1/2 small green bell pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp "Complete Seasoning" from Publix or local grocery store
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • A splash of white wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 6 medium red potatoes, quartered 
  • 1/2 cup water, or as needed

  1. In a large pot, heat up olive oil, and place in the chicken. Brown the chicken. Meanwhile, in a food processor, chop the garlic, onion, red and green bell pepper until it looks like a salsa. Coat the chicken with it and add salt to your taste. Mix that all together, and let the chicken continue to cook on med-high heat. 
  2. Once the juices start forming at the bottom, lower the heat to medium. Add in the complete seasoning, oregano, and cumin. Mix that in very well. Make sure the chicken is coated evenly with the spices. Add in the tomato paste and the vinegar, and stir for about a minute, until the paste is dissolved. Cover the pot, and let it cook for about five minutes on medium heat.
  3. While the chicken is cooking, go ahead and cut up your potatoes. After about five minutes, add in the potatoes, and add the water. Stir up the potatoes and the chicken. Cover the pot, and let it cook on low heat for at least another half hour, but no longer than three hours. It all depends on how hungry you are. Stir about every ten minutes. Enjoy!
 Sorry for not taking any pictures. It smelled so good that we started eating as soon as everyone got home! :)

xoxo,

Esther

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Long time no see

Hello! If you're a commoner around this blog, you're probably wondering, "What is taking her so long?!" Well, if you must know, I've been busy. Between getting more hours at work, spending time with the love of my life, being admitted to the hospital (again), learning how to eat healthier, and attempting to sew my first article of clothing, time just slipped through my fingers. I know, I know, I should have planned the get sick next month, right? Good news is I'm a lot better now thanks to antibiotics, but I'm not quite back to my "normal" state. Gettin' there though...

Anywho, Thomas came to visit this past weekend, and I enjoyed every minute I spent with him. On Saturday evening, we went out on a date. We went to Footworks and got him some new running shoes; then, we ate dinner at Panera (yum), and we watched "21 Jump Street." Afterward, we spent a few minutes at It Sugar buying candy. It was my first time in there, and I seriously felt like a little kid. I finally understood the saying, "I'm like a kid in a candy store." There were so many delicious treats that I just couldn't make up my mind, so I got a little bit of everything I like (mostly Jelly Belly and chocolate malt balls). While we were there, we could not help but notice the biggest gummy bear we'd ever seen. It weighed at least twenty pounds! Here are a few pics.


I could barely carry it from how heavy it was!
The next day, we all went to Islamorada Fish Company for a late lunch/early dinner, and the food was amazing, but the scenery was what sold me. It was such a beautiful day! The weather was great; there was even a stork trying to give away a baby to some couple. He kept himself propped on the rooftop, looking for the new parents-to-be.

Thomas' seven layer chocolate cake.

My key lime pie...sooooo goooood!

At this point, the stork had already given away the baby. :)


Well, that's all for now, folks. I've got a few baking adventures coming next week, so stay tuned!

xoxo,

Esther

Friday, March 23, 2012

Vanilla Cupcakes (with a secret ingredient)

Hi! Hello! Good morning! I've been up since 3:30 am, and I am wired. I am ready to start jumping up and down, run up the walls, and walk upside down on the ceiling. But...everyone's asleep still, and I have to be quiet, so here I am, in my bed, all jittery, and finally posting up some belated pictures of my Secret Ingredient Vanilla Cupcakes. Here's a hint to the secret ingredient: the first letter is 'n' and the last letter is 'g.' It totally makes the cupcakes POP with flavor!




2 sticks butter
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
self-rising flour
all-purpose four
1tsp secret ingredient (okay, it's nutmeg, happy?)


Warmly yours,

Esther

P.S. I promise to work on my decorating skills. :)

P.S. P.S. This post was written a while back. Check out my new post to see why it's taken me so long to write. :)

Friday, March 9, 2012

I'm it?

Hello world! My fellow blogger, Jenna, from "It's Just Called Spicy" recently tagged me. Yes, tagged, like the game we all played during recess in first grade (way back when there was recess). "TAG! You're IT!" Oh, so many memories of running after my crush. His name was Christopher. Then, first grade ended, and my new crush was one of the Backstreet Boys, and I'm sure, at some point, all of them. Anyway, here I go.

11 things about me:
  1. I play guitar. Not as often as I'd like, but enough to keep the creativity flowing.
  2. I am obsessed with "Desperate Housewives," and this feels like THE longest Lenten season ever since I gave up Netflix for Lent, and I was smack in the middle of Season 6. I am suffering. A lot.
  3. Gerber daisies are my favorite. Pink or yellow...hint, hint.
  4. I love to bake, in case you haven't noticed. :)
  5. Sometimes, I wish I could be Irish. Even though, I really don't like the taste of beer, so I think I'd be better off staying half-Italian.
  6. I like gnomes.
  7. I've always felt like I was meant to live on the West Coast. I swear, my biological clock is totally in sync with Cali's time difference. It's no wonder I can never fall asleep until after midnight.
  8. I have the best boyfriend in the world, and I am forever thankful to God for bringing him into my life.
  9. I'm attempting to teach myself to sew. Trial and error, my friends. Trial and error. 
  10. I own an albino Pooh Bear. And yes, I still like to cuddle with him every now and then. Hey, don't judge. Christ said that unless I become like a child, I will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Pooh Bear brings out the child in me, and I'm totally okay with that because I want to go to Heaven when the time comes.
  11. My middle name is Immaculada, which means immaculate, like the Immaculate Heart of Mary. Yeah, I know, my mom's pretty cool for picking that out.
Jenna's 11 questions:

1. What's your favorite food? 
  •  Seedless grapes. Preferably green.
2. What were/are going to be your wedding colors?

  • My wedding colors are undetermined, but there will definitely be either coral, hot pink, or turquoise in the mix. 
 
3. What is the one thing you miss from your childhood? 
4. What is the biggest dream you have for the future?
  • My biggest dream, other than becoming a great wife and an awesome mother, is to manage my own successful business...hopefully, a bakery.
5. Favorite Sport & Team? 
  • You mean people actually like other teams? Darn, I thought every single person was bleeding GARNET & GOLD!
6. What are you doing right this second besides blogging? 
  • I'm currently halfway through Seriously...I'm Kidding by Ellen DeGeneres. I strongly suggest reading it if you want to cry...of laughter.
7.What is your life "motto"?
  • "What's a motto? Nothing. What's a motto with you?" -Hakuna Matata, Lion King. I couldn't help myself. Actually, I don't really have a "motto." I just like to keep an open mind and let the world introduce me to new experiences and learn from history.
8. Do you like country music? If so, what's your favorite song?
  • I love country music! My favorite song is probably "Just To See You Smile" by Tim McGraw. 


9. Know any funny jokes?
  • Um...not off the top of head.
10. How did you get started blogging? 
  • Honestly, I started blogging about a year and a half ago on a different page, but that was more of a personal blog, and it didn't last too long. Then last year, a lovely acquaintance, Victoria from Marie Tea started her blog, and her writing just inspired me to start Itali Marie. Granted, her blog is AMAZING, and she has a gift for words, but it did inspire me to keep this blog afloat. One year later, here I am, still writing my little heart out and baking more than ever before.
11. Top two favorite movies of all time?
  • "Tangled" and "Dirty Dancing"
Thank you, Jenna, for tagging me! I had a blast answering your questions. Who knew "blog tag" could be so entertaining?!
Til next time!
xoxo,

Esther

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Birthdays

"Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than you." -Dr. Seuss

This past week was full of birthdays! Last Sunday, we celebrated my father-in-law's 43rd birthday (we've been counting backwards since he turned the big 5-0). We spent the whole day out and about, eating, shopping, spending time with family, and watching movies! Oh, and making ourselves diabetic while we were at it, too. Here are some pics of the different desserts.

Mini Cupcakes from Tiny Delights. So yummy. Almost as good as mine. Seriously...I'm kidding!

Birthday Boy cupcake from Publix. He loved it! Right next to that you can see a glimpse of my chocolate covered strawberries. They were yummy, too. And I have a picture of them. It just doesn't want to upload. Sad times.

Then came Wednesday! Most of my day was spent in the kitchen...again. I don't mind the kitchen. :)

Wednesday, I made cake pops for my mother-in-law's co-worker's birthday. Vanilla & Chocolate cake pops..yum! Here are a few pics of them.


Pink: Vanilla; Purple: Chocolate

Nina! Well, she's not a cake pop, but I'm sure she'd love to eat one. Too bad she can't. :)

Happy birthday, JB! I hope you enjoyed the cake pops!


If you or anyone you know would like for me to bake some cupcakes or cake pops, and you live in the Miami area, leave me a comment with your email address! I would love to bake for you! :)

Happy Wednesday, everyone!

xoxo,

Esther

P.S. I'm sorry I didn't post this last Saturday. Between the house getting renovated and getting overly exhausted at work, I just didn't have the time. Life just got a little bit ahead of myself, but I'll try and post more often. Alright, I'm off to bake some of my favorite vanilla cupcakes for a friend's 21st birthday!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hey guys! I was baking all day yesterday for someone's special birthday, and I made a ton of cake pops. I took a bunch of pictures...which you'll have to wait a little longer for them because I have yet to upload them. I promise they will be up by Saturday!

Well, it's officially March 1st (two months gone already?! eeeek!), and I wanted to share this really fun and cute "photo-a-day" idea I found through Pinterest. I hope you enjoy it!

March Photo-A-Day



'Til Saturday!

Essie