Monthly Archives: October 2011

Spanish Rice


I grew up eating this rice and my family still makes this rice at least a couple of times a week. Needless to say, its a staple in the Medina household and it will never away!

It’s so delicious yet simple and my friends have always asked for the recipe.

This is one of those recipes that I know is going to show up on this blog regularly, so here it is!

The Medina Family’s Recipe for Spanish Rice


a small cut of onion (less than 1/4 of the onion)

2 tbs canola oil (or if you want it to be really good use lard)

1 c long grain rice (Mahatma brand is my favorite)

3/4 – 1 c tomato sauce** (you can used the canned kind or make your own, which is sooo much better….see below for recipe)

2 1/2 c chicken broth (or water with 1 cube chicken bouillon)

Yes, its really that simple.

Tomato sauce recipe:

2 small or 1 large tomato

2 cloves of garlic

a small cut of onion (about 1/2 the size of your palm)

1/4 c water

Cut up tomato and onion into smaller pieces. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Ok, back to making the rice.

Place a skillet on med-high heat. Heat oil and add onion and rice.

Stir often until rice turns to a golden brown color.

Add the tomato sauce to the pan and stir into the rice.

Then add the chicken broth, allow to come to a soft boil.

Cover, reduce to low heat, and simmer until done (about 20 minutes), stirring occasionally.

….y listo!! You’ll love this as a side with tacos, tostadas, enchiladas, chiles rellenos, chile verde, grilled chicken, and anything other type of mexican food. Believe me, no restaurant or boxed spanish rices will ever compare.

Buen provecho!!



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Chocolate Chip Madeleines

My little brother, Landon, is a freshman in college up in San Francisco and since I know firsthand how exciting it is to receive a package in the mail while living in the dorms, I’m putting together a little care package for him. Last time I sent him one, I made nutella filled madeleines, which were divine, but this time I thought I’d send a slight variation on that: CHOCOLATE CHIP MADELEINES. Yum. I’m not sure why that kid loves madeleines so much ….oh wait, I do – they’re buttery deliciousness in a cute package. What’s not to love?!

Speaking of things to love – take a look at this face.

My new kitchen buddy, Moby the schnoodle

I’ve been looking for a dog for the past couple of months, but last Friday I finally met my match. He’s a 6 week old schnauzer-poodle mix and he looks like a teddy bear. He already follows me everywhere and has a habit of falling asleep at my feet – even if I’m just washing dishes.  I’m in love!

Ok back to food. I bet you want the recipe to these delicious chocolate chip madeleines.

Chocolate Chip Madeleines (slightly adapted from Epicurious )

10 tbs unsalted butter

2 tbs locally produced honey

3 large eggs

2/3 c sugar

1 c all purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

pinch of salt

1/4 to 1/3 c mini chocolate chips (depending on your preference)

In a small saucepan, melt butter and honey.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, beat eggs and sugar for 6-8 minutes, until the volume increases 3-fold.

See the little fluff ball at my feet? I love this puppy.

Once all that air is incorporated, carefully fold in flour, baking powder, and salt.

When the flour is mixed in well, carefully add the butter honey mixture; mix well. Add chocolate chips.

Cover and let sit in the fridge for at least one hour.

Scoop batter into greased madeleine pan and bake for 13 minutes at 375 degrees F.

Enjoy with a cup a coffee or black tea! Delish!

I wish I got care packages like these when I was in college! Landon is going to be one happy student.

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Chicken with Artichoke-Mushroom Wine Sauce

Last night I was trying to figure out what to make for dinner. You see, around here, we eat chicken a lot and usually we eat it one of 4 ways (chicken tacos, chicken tostadas, grilled chicken with spanish rice, and chicken stir fry). As much as I LOVE tacos and tostadas, I really needed something different. So I looked in our fridge and pantry not know what I was going to make and whipped up this accidental deliciousness.

Want the recipe?

Chicken with Artichoke-Mushroom Wine Sauce 

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tbs butter

2 tbs olive oil

12 oz artichoke hearts (I used the frozen kind from TJ’s, which have less sodium than the canned version)

1 1/2 c sliced cremini mushrooms

2 tbs olive oil

1/3 c dry white wine (use a wine that you actually like to drink too!)

1/2 c chicken stock

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1 tbs unbleached flour

1 c heirloom grape tomatoes, halved   (I used one normal tomato because that’s what I had on hand but grape or cherry tomatoes would be wonderful in this dish)

1. Wash chicken breasts. Cut them through the middle as if you’re butterflying them, but continue until you get 2 ‘breasts’ out of one. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder.

2.Heat butter and 2 tbs olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat.

3. Place chicken breasts in heated skillet. *The key here is to let the chicken breasts sit in the pan for 3-5 minutes on each side without moving it around the pan. This helps the chicken get a gorgeous golden brown color and prevents the chicken from sticking to the pan.

4. Once the chicken is golden brown on each side and cooked through, remove and place  breasts on a plate. Set aside.

5. Add 2 tbs olive oil to the pan and throw in your sliced mushrooms.

6. After about 4 minutes, add sliced garlic cloves and saute for 1 minute. Then add the artichokes, saute for 2 more minutes.

7. Deglaze the pan using  white wine. This picks up all the yummy brown bits on the bottom of the pan so you can have extra deliciousness in your sauce. Let the wine come to a boil; let boil about 3 minutes.

8. Add chicken stock, let cook for about a minute.

9. Add flour, mix well, and cook another minute.

10. Add the chicken to the pan and the tomatoes (we just want them to heat through without losing their shape). Turn off heat.

Look at all those melding flavors

11. Serve with rice, pasta, israeli couscous, or quinoa. Enjoy!

Mmmm delish!  I’ll definitely be making this dish again soon and you should too!

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Gorgeous pumpkins at Banducci Farms

Earlier this week my mom and I took my cousin and her 3 adorable little boys to the local pumpkin patch. I haven’t seen the boys since before I left for Chile to teach English in March and since they’re all so young I wanted to make sure that I could break the ice with them if they didn’t remember me (They didn’t…I’ve either been in Chile or Santa Barbara their whole lives). How can you ‘break the ice’ with 3-year-old twins and a 17 month old? Make snickerdoodles!  They instantly warmed up to me and I even got cinnamon-sugar filled hugs!

Check these tasty little guys out!

You better believe these disappeared in minutes

Snickerdoodles (slightly adapted from allrecipes)

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup shortening
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tbs sugar
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
We want these cookies to be nice and puffy, so we need to cream the butter, shortening, and sugar. I used to think creaming the fat (let’s face it butter + shortening = fat) with sugar was a waste of time, but skipping this step is asking for flat cookies. Why? Because creaming incorporates air into batter and makes a perfectly puffy cookie. We like perfect puffy cookies.
Ok so after you do that creaming action, add the eggs and vanilla.
At this point, I put the hand mixer away and whip out the wooden spoon to mix the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt into the creamed butter-sugar-egg-vanilla mixture.  In a separate bowl or plastic bag, mix together the sugar and cinnamon. Using a small cookie scoop, drop balls of dough into the cinnamon sugar mixture to coat and place the coated cookie dough balls on your cookie sheet (don’t forget the parchment paper!).
Bake for exactly 8 minutes and immediately transfer the parchment sheet over to a wire rack to cool.

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I’ve always love hanging out in the kitchen, especially with my little Mexican grandmother (like 4′ 9″ little). That woman can cook! Well, she had me helping out in the kitchen since I was 5 years old or so and now you can’t keep me out of it! So here I am, trying to share my love of cooking with the world.

Buen provecho!

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