Sweet and Spicy Pepitas Brittle

Wow, this month is quickly flying by! With birthday celebrations, yup recently had a birthday, holiday dinners and planning for my Christmas Eve dinner, time has just slipped away and my little blog has taken a direct hit. There’s just so much to juggle but I wanted to share¬† with you this super easy sweet and spicy pepitas brittle recipe I made. Pepitas are raw pumpkin seeds and they add a nice chewiness to this crunchy brittle. You can easily whip this up in 15 minutes and send your guests off with a sweet and spicy treat this Christmas.

pepitas-brittle

I found a peanut brittle recipe online and switched up ingredients for a more chewy brittle using seeds and nuts. When making brittle, make sure you prep all ingredients and have a candy thermometer on hand. It’s very easy to burn candy as temperature can climb quickly so you want to keep an eye on it, I’ve burned plenty of candy recipes before! Also stoves, altitudes, saucepans vary so if your candy reaches a nice caramel color and temperature hasn’t reached 300 you’ll want to remove from heat quickly. Once you add the nuts and butter the temperature will go down again so you don’t necessarily need it to come up to 300 if your candy is darkening quickly. Candy will continue to cook in pan once you remove from heat.

I plan to leave small bags for guests in case they want to take some home because I have way too much to prep for but you can fill a small bag and give away as a party favor. All in all, a sweet and spicy treat everyone can enjoy.

Merry Christmas and may your days be filled with love and happiness!

 

Spicy Almond and Pepitas Brittle

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin seeds pepitas
  • 1/2 cup almond slivers
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • pinch of sea salt

Instructions

  • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and grease well.
  • In copper pot or heavy bottom sauce pan, add sugar, light corn syrup and water and stir until well mixed. Cook on medium heat, stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
  • When temperature reaches 290 degrees (use a candy thermometer) add the pepitas, almonds, butter and salt. Candy will bubble but stir until well mixed.
  • When temperature reaches 300 remove from heat, stir in baking soda, cayenne pepper, and cinnamon well mixed. Candy will bubble again.
  • Immediately pour onto lined cookie sheet. Spread evenly and sprinkle a pinch of sea salt on top. Let cool then crack brittle into pieces.

 

Camarones Enchilados or Spicy Shrimp Recipe

Whip up this spicy shrimp and rice bowl tonight for a satisfying meal you can prepare in less than 20 minutes! You have probably seen this dish on almost every Spanish or Portuguese restaurant menu. Camarones enchilados or spicy shrimp, are hearty, flavorful and the perfect comfort food. Once you see how easy it is to make it may just become part of your go-to menu item during the week.

camarones enchilados spicy shrimp

You can make this dish as spicy as you like. I used jalapenos in this dish but Thai chilies will go well, as well as serranos, or cayenne peppers. It’s really a matter of how much heat you can tolerate and pepper flavor. Jalapenos are mild enough so the flavor of the shrimp, pepper and onions aren’t overpowered.

camarones enchilados spicy shrimp

One way to save a lot more time is by purchasing your shrimp de-veined. If you can get them to remove the shells then even better!

camarones enchilados spicy shrimp

Camarones Enchilados or Spicy Shrimp

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time30 mins
Servings: 2
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1 lb shrimp deveined
  • 1 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 green pepper julienne
  • 1 jalapeno pepper sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 cup of rice
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Prepare the rice per directions on the package. While rice is cooking prep the rest of the ingredients.
  • Remove shell from shrimp and clean well. If shrimp is not deveined make sure to remove vein.
  • On medium heat, heat up oil in a large saute pan then add the onions. Onions can be left as rings or you can cut them into half rings. Stir occasionally and cook until soft. Add the green peppers, the jalapenos and the garlic and stir until peppers are soft.
  • Add the tomato sauce then add the salt and pepper to taste. Let the sauce come to a boil.
  • Add the shrimp and cook for about 4-5 minutes. While shrimp is cooking, if the sauce is too thick add 1/2 cup of water and continue cooking.
  • Remove shrimp from heat so as to not overcook. Serve the shrimp over rice.

 

Spicy Kale and Egg Whites Scramble

I’ve been on a healthy kick lately and made this spicy kale and egg whites scramble. To my surprise it was very filling even without bread! I’ve been detoxing now for a couple of weeks trying to get rid of some Summer fat! I usually eat healthy but kind of let loose this Summer and ate up anything and everything I wanted. Ice cream, ribs, burgers, you name it and with cookouts and foodie events its tough staying on the healthy track. The trip I took to NOLA didn’t help much either, it was a weekend gorge fest! Anyhow, my detox is primarily a vegetarian, no carb diet. No sugar, no alcohol, no meat and no bueno! Not fun at all but I’m trying to make it interesting, only a couple of weeks to go! This spicy kale and egg whites scramble is light and delicious and has plenty of much needed nutrients!

kale-scramble

I topped it with my own homemade fatalii peppers Bajan style pepper sauce. So good you’ll want to have it every morning!

spicy-kate-eggs2

spicy-kale-eggs

Spicy Kale and Egg White Scramble

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time4 mins
Total Time14 mins
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • Kale washed & chopped
  • 1/2 medium onion sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt and pepper
  • Bajan pepper sauce

Instructions

  • In saute pan on medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions. Cooks until onions are translucent.
  • Add the garlic, stir then add the kale. Stir until the kale turns soft then immediately add the eggs.
  • Season with salt and pepper and top with Bajan pepper sauce.

 

Easy Sparkling Wine Cocktail Recipe

To many in the US, Labor Day weekend usually marks the end of Summer, but that’s no reason to stop enjoying outdoor grilling, burgers and icy cocktails! For me, Summer ends when it stops being hot out so when you’re out there sweating over a grill or just sweating from eating spicy foods cool off with this easy sparkling wine cocktail recipe.

lillet-wine

If you’re going to keep it spicy in your kitchen or outdoors you should pair your food with a cocktail that is refreshing and goes well with spicy foods. There are plenty of wines out there and I do plan to write about a few grape varieties you should check out but one drink you can try now is this sparkling Lillet cocktail, it’s so easy to make. Lillet is a French aperitif wine that’s sweet and aromatic. It usually goes for around $22 for 750ml bottle and can be found in most wine shops.

lillet-spritzer

It’s on the sweet side for me so I’ve added seltzer to tame the sweetness and to add some fizz. This sparkling wine cocktail recipe is the perfect accompaniment to spicy foods. It’s fruity, crisp, light with citrus notes to keep you cool when the rest of you is burning! Serve it at your next cookout with ribs, burgers or whatever spicy feast you prepare.

Sparkling Lillet Cocktail

Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 6 oz Lillet
  • 2-3 oz seltzer
  • lemon wedge

Instructions

  • Fill about 1/2 wine goblet with ice, pour in Lillet then seltzer. Squeeze in lemon juice and stir

Cool and Refreshing Natural Spicy Soda

I gave up soda years ago but I still want a cool, fizzy drink everyone once in a while. To satisfy that craving I make my own soda mixing natural juices with seltzer so I can control the sweetness. It’s a lot easier than you think and much more healthy with none of the added chemicals or preservatives!

hibiscus-soda2

What’s great is you can adjust the amount of syrup you want based on how sweet you like it. Also, the flavor combinations are endless! This ginger hibiscus spicy soda doesn’t burn as you might think but does give the drink a nice kick that will perk you right up. I also made lime ice cubes for a little added tartness.

hibiscus-soda

Making simple syrup is easy, just equal parts sugar and water and heating it up until sugar is dissolved and mixture is clear. Just think of all the natural flavors you can add. Get a little creative too and make a mojito soda by infusing mint leaves and limes when making the syrup or ginger and basil! It’s a wonderful alternative to the sugary stuff that’s out there now!

Spicy Ginger Hibiscus Natural Soda

Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Drinks
Author: Maria

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1/2 c water
  • handful of dried hibiscus flowers
  • 1 inch piece of fresh ginger smashed
  • 2-3 slices of serrano chile
  • seltzer water

Instructions

  • In a saucepan on medium heat add sugar and water and stir. Add the hibiscus flowers, ginger and serrano chiles and continue stirring until all the sugar dissolves. Bring to a boil then remove from stove and let mixture cool off.
  • Strain mixture so you are left with just the syrup. In a tall glass, add ice, 2 ounces of syrup and top with seltzer.

 

Store the remaining syrup in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.

Breakfast Under Five Minutes – Coconut Almond Oatmeal

Looking for a quick breakfast to make during the week? This is it! You will not see oatmeal quite the same again. This coconut almond oatmeal breakfast is creamy, spiced up, flavorful, delivers a nice crunch and you can make it in under five minutes. It will also keep you full for hours!

coconut_oatmeal

My intention was to make a black rice coconut risotto as part of Bon Appetit’s foodies cleanse but did not have over half of the ingredients. As a home cook you just have to learn to improvise in the kitchen and make things work! It’s what leads to great recipes sometimes, just remember to write it down!! Nothing’s worse that making something great and then not being able to make it happen again. I know this is just oatmeal but I’m talking about all recipes in general. Start with the basics and then tweak and experiment until you have something special of your own.

Coconut Almond Oatmeal with a Twist

1/2 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
3/4 cup milk
1/4 cup water
1/4 tsp almond extract
1 tbsp almonds, chopped
1/8 tsp cinnamon
few dashes of nutmeg
1 dash of merken
drizzle of maple syrup

1. Add the first five ingredients to a small saucepan and stir. Set heat to medium and let mixture come to a boil. Continue to stir for another minute and remove from heat.

2. Stir in the chopped almonds and top with cinnamon, nutmeg, merken and a drizzle of maple syrup.