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Breads, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks

Sprouted Lentil Turmeric Tortillas

April 18, 2017
Super healthy homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas are as beautiful as they are delicious made with 2 nutrient powerhouses + they make amazing tacos.

{This #SpringCleanse post is sponsored by}

Occasionally I’ll dip my toe into homemade tortilla making. I’ve generally gone with flour—for some reason those seem more forgiving—but after tons of inspiration all over Instagram I decided to finally bite the bullet, buy a tortilla press and make real, honest-to-goodness homemade corn tortillas.

These egg yolk-yellow tortillas get their color from the nutrient powerhouse turmeric and have sprouted lentils mixed into the dough. The combination is incredibly delicious (especially with these roasted sweet potato and sprouted lentil tacos) but also are amazingly good for you.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Lentils are incredibly high in protein—like pound-for-pound as much as a steak—and sprouted lentils are full of antioxidants and are excellent for digestive health. Plus they fill you up without filling you out which is great if, like me, you’ll have to appear in public in a swimsuit in the near future.

Granted homemade tortillas aren’t something you’re going to make on a whim, but when the urge strikes aren’t you going to want a vibrant recipe to turn to?

I sprouted my own lentils for this recipe. They are a sintch to do, cost basically nothing, and you can use them in salads, sandwiches, mixed into rice bowls, basically anywhere you want to add amazing texture and an earthy sweet bite. I explained all the details about how to sprout them over on the taco post.

sweet potato and lentil tacos recipe

As for the tortillas, they’re not rocket science but they do take patience and time. The first couple may turn out disastrous, but don’t give up hope, pretty soon you’ll get into a rhythm and fly through the dough in no time.

sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

The most important aspect is getting the moisture level right. Too wet and they will stick and tear, too dry and they will be well….dry, hard, yucky. It is something you have to feel to know. I think a ratio of about 1 part maseca to 1 part water is about right.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Then roll the dough into balls about the size of a ping-pong ball.

Sprouted lentil and turmeric tortillas recipe

Flatten the dough ball with a tortilla press lined with plastic wrap. Peel the tortilla off the plastic wrap and cook in a hot, dry comal or cast iron skillet until both sides are toasted. Fill with your favorite taco filling (I love the sweet potato filling with these tortillas—grilled fish is also good).

Let inspire you to clean up your act this spring and enter the #SpringCleanse Canadian Lentil Sweepstakes! All the details are below.

Sprouted Lentil Turmeric Tortillas
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Super healthy homemade sprouted lentil turmeric tortillas are as beautiful as they are delicious made with 2 nutrient powerhouses + they make amazing tacos. Tortilla Recipe adapted from Yes, More Please! Check out their beautiful sight for instructions on how to make all kinds of corn tortilla flavors.
Serves: 12-15 tortillas
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 cup maseca corn flour
  • ½ cup sprouted lentils
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric powder
  1. Dissolve the salt into the warm water.
  2. Combine maseca, sprouted lentils, and turmeric in a large bowl. Add salt water and mix to incorporate. Knead dough with your hands 2-3 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at least 20-30 minutes.
  3. Roll a ping pong-sized ball of dough in your hands and check the moisture. It shouldn't be sticky, but it shouldn't crack either. Adjust with more water or maseca as needed and let it rest another 10-15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat a comal or cast iron skillet over medium heat. The pan should be hot to the touch but not smoking.
  5. Line a tortilla press with plastic wrap, place a ping pong-sized ball in the middle and press into a circle. Keep the remaining dough covered as you work so it doesn't dry out.
  6. Lift one hand under the plastic wrap and let the tortilla fall into the other hand. Flip onto the hot comal and leave it to cook until it is dry and toasted on the bottom, about 2 minutes. Don't try to move it beforehand.
  7. Flip the tortilla with a metal spatula or palette knife. Cook until toasted on the other side, about 2 more minutes. Then remove to a clean kitchen towel or tortilla warmer to keep warm.

#SpringCleanse Canadian Lentils Sweepstakes

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of The opinions and text are all mine.

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

April 3, 2017
Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Rolls from @holajalapeno

This Easter post was sponsored by Nestle La Lechera, all thoughts and opinions however, are my own. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support this blog!

I love that Easter has always been an all day affair. So many of our holiday celebrations are saved for the evening hours but Easter is a crack-of-dawn, rise-and-shine, no-time-to-waste kind of party.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Rolls with Coconut Frosting Recipe

As a kid Armando’s family would be up before dawn, freshly polished in their starched and ironed best to attend the sunrise service his father delivered at a local park. How his mother was able to not only have all five children in ironed clothing but have also prepared a full on, multi-course meal, which was served afterward, is beyond me.

Our family always attended the neighborhood Easter egg hunt that was held in a friend’s sprawling backyard complete with a tall human dressed as the Easter bunny, way too many jellybean filled plastic eggs, and lots and lots of chocolate. All the neighbors would bring an egg dish or donuts or fruit salad and we’d sit in the middle of the street on a collection of folding tables enjoying our meal.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

The Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls remind me of that time. They are a morning treat that are special enough to honor the joy of the holiday and seem appropriate for spring with piles of flaky coconut on top.

How to Make the Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

The dough is really pretty simple; you combine all the ingredients (minus the butter) in the bowl of a stand mixer and combine. There’s no need to worry about proofing the yeast first, it will do it all on its own as it rises.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosing

The dough should be very soft and sticky. It is better to add flour as you are rolling out the dough than while it is first coming together in the mixer. This is a good rule of thumb for any dough—the wetter, the better.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosing

Once the dough has risen, evenly spread the cream cheese, Nestle La Lechera dulce de leche, and walnuts on top. I found it easiest to use my fingers to spread the cream cheese—use the tools God gave you, amigos.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Roll the dough around the filling in a tight cylinder starting at the long end. Use a dough cutter or sharp knife to cut into 15 even pieces.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Place in a greased baking dish or a couple different dishes. I didn’t have one big enough to hold them all so I separated them into three. I like to place them snug together to keep them soft on the inside. Then let them rest again for about another hour.

Cream Cheese Dulce De Leche Rolls with Coconut Frosting

After they have baked and cooled spread with frosting and top with coconut. You can make the dough, roll, and cut them the night before. Cover and refrigerate, then bake the next morning. Make sure to give them about an hour to come to room temperature before you stick them in the oven.

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting

Cream Cheese Dulce de Leche Sweet Rolls with Coconut Frosting
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The ultimate dulce de leche sweet rolls: Fluffy homemade rolls filled with cream cheese, walnuts, and dulce de leche, topped with whipped coconut frosting.
Serves: 15 rolls
For the Sweet Rolls:
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm whole milk (about 105°F)
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2¼ teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • 1¼ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 (13.4 ounce) can Nestle La Lechera Dulce de Leche
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
For the Frosting:
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ cup full-fat coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon coconut extract (optional)
  • 1 cup coconut flakes
  1. Combine flour, warm milk, sugar, eggs, yeast, salt, and cardamom in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the bread hook attachment. Start on low and mix until the dough comes together. Increase the speed to medium and start adding the butter 1 cube at a time, letting the first one blend in before adding the next. Once all the butter is added, continue kneading for about 5 more minutes.
  2. Grease a large bowl and scrape dough into the bowl, the dough should be sticky and soft, use a little flour on your hands to keep the dough from sticking. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1-2 hours.
  3. Grease a 10x14-inch baking dish or two 7x11-inch baking dishes and set aside.
  4. Generously flour a clean work surface and place dough on top. Flour the top of the dough and the rolling pin and roll the dough into a 12x15-inch rectangle. Evenly spread the cream cheese all over the dough.
  5. Transfer the dulce de leche to a heatproof container and heat for about 30-45 seconds in the microwave or until it is a pourable consistency.
  6. Evenly drizzle the dulce de leche over the cream cheese then sprinkle the walnuts, if using, on top.
  7. Starting at the long end of the dough, tightly roll it up trying to make it evenly thick as possible. Cut into 15 equal rolls and place them in the prepared baking dish(s).
  8. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise another hour. At this point you can also put them in the refrigerator and bake them the next day.
  9. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the middle. Bake rolls until puffed, golden, and baked through, about 40 minutes. Let cool on wire racks.
To Make the Frosting:
  1. Combine butter, powdered sugar, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium until smooth. Scrape down the sides and add the coconut milk and extract (if using). Beat until smooth. Frosting should be soft, but not runny. If it is too loose add more powdered sugar, ¼ cup at a time, until it has reached the right consistency.
  2. Spread frosting over the rolls, sprinkle with coconut and serve.
If your milk is cold from the refrigerator, heat it for about 30 seconds in the microwave to reach the correct temperature.

One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Knowing that this recipe worked for you is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Sweets

Three Kings Bread {Rosca de Reyes}

January 2, 2017
Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Thanks to La Lechera for sponsoring this holiday post. All ideas and opinions are my own.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Rosca de Reyes or Three Kings Bread is a brioche-like buttery bread eaten in Mexico, Spain, and in many parts of Latin America on January 6 or Three Kings Day, a day which commemorates the biblical story of the arrival of the Three Kings or Wise Men.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

I was fifteen the first time I had Rosca de Reyes. I was studying abroad and living in a small coastal village in the south of Spain. It had been a difficult Christmas season away from my family and adapting to new holiday traditions. Even at fifteen I was confused by the lack of gift giving on Christmas morning, those were reserved for January 6, the day the Reyes Magos or Wise Men brought gifts to Jesus. Instead of stockings children left their shoes at the foot of their beds on January 5th, in hopes they’d find them filled with gifts in the morning. After the unwrapping of gifts the day was filled with a beautiful mid-day meal with a colorful, candied-fruit studded Rosca de Reyes as the grand finale.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

In Mexico glorious, shiny Rosca de Reyes fill bakeries and markets from Christmas onward and are enjoyed with cups of steaming hot chocolate for dipping. A small porcelain or plastic baby is hidden inside the bread and whoever finds it gets the honor of throwing the season’s next celebration, Día de la Candelaria, or Candlemas on February 2 with tamales and atole and botanas or little Mexican party snacks. I couldn’t find any babies to stick in my bread but I found some foil-wrapped bubble gum coins instead (a dried bean or any foil-wrapped candies are also traditional).

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

This is my first year making the bread at home and it was fun for Armando and I to share our different Rosca de Reyes memories with the kids—my solitary Spanish experience and his eating Rosca de Reyes with neighbors and family every holiday.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

How To Make It

This recipe turns the traditional round loaf of bread into a luxurious, grand dessert, topped with rings of homemade candied citrus and filled with fluffy whipped cream sweetened with creamy La Lechera Sweetened Condensed Milk. Filling the bread is simple; you just slice the entire loaf in half as if you were making a sandwich.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Evenly spread the sweet cream on the bottom half.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Then gently place the top back on.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

The dough is flavored with more fresh citrus zest of lemon and orange and speckled throughout with anise seed. It is beautiful interpretation of a bread fit for kings.

Three Kings Bread Recipe {Rosca de Reyes} from @holajalapeno

Did you love this recipe? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!

Candied Citrus Three Kings Bread with Sweetened Whipped Cream Recipe {Rosca de Reyes}
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Homemade candied citrus and sweetened whipped cream turn this traditional bread eaten on Dia de los Reyes (January 6th) into a grand dessert.
Serves: 12-14
  • For the Bread:
  • ⅔ cup warm water (between 100˚-110˚F)
  • 1 packet (1/4 oz. or 2¼ teaspoons) active-dry yeast
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • Zest of 2 large Navel oranges
  • Zest of 1 large lemon
  • 1 teaspoon anise seed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • A small figurine, dried bean or coin wrapped in wax paper
  • 1 large egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
  • For the Candied Citrus:
  • 1 mandarin orange
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • For the Sweetened Whipped Cream:
  • 1 ½ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ⅓ cup NESTLÉ LA LECHERA Sweetened Condensed Milk
  1. STIR the water and yeast and let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place.
  2. COMBINE flour, sugar, orange zest, lemon zest, anise seed and salt in large mixer bowl. Add eggs, butter, yeast mixture and vanilla extract. Mix together with dough hook or by hand until a soft, smooth dough is formed.
  3. PLACE dough on lightly floured surface; knead gently for about 5 minutes. Shape into a ball. Place in large greased bowl; turn over. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Let rise in warm place for about 2 hours or until doubled in size. (THIS IS WHEN THE CANDIED CITRUS SHOULD BE MADE)
  4. PUNCH dough down. Form the wreath by rolling dough into a disk, and then use your hand to make a hole in the center. Place on large, parchment lined baking sheet (may need to use it upside down) and continue to shape the wreath. Lift up one area and insert the figurine, bean or coin that has been wrapped in wax paper by pushing it up through the bottom. Smooth out lumps or tears from surface of dough. Cover with greased plastic wrap. Allow to rise in warm place for another 45 minutes until almost doubled in size.
  5. PREHEAT oven to 350º F.
  6. BRUSH wreath with egg wash. Decorate it with candied citrus.
  7. BAKE for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes; remove to wire rack to cool completely. (AT THIS POINT PREPARE THE WHIPPED CREAM)
  8. WHEN completely cooled, use a bread knife and carefully slice through the wreath horizontally. Spread whipped cream evenly on bottom piece of wreath. Top gently with top half. Best served immediately after adding whipped cream.
  10. SLICE mandarin, lime and orange thinly (should have about 18 slices). Carefully remove any seeds.
  11. PREPARE a large bowl with ice and water.
  12. BRING a medium saucepan of water to boil. Add sliced citrus and boil for 90 seconds. Remove slices from saucepan and place in ice water for 3 minutes. Drain.
  13. PLACE sugar and water in a medium skillet. Bring to a simmer over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Add citrus slices in a single layer and reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer, turning occasionally, for 1 hour or until skin is translucent. Remove slices and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  15. BEAT cream in a chilled bowl until stiff peaks form. Fold in sweetened condensed milk.
To encourage your dough to rise, heat your oven to warm and turn off. Then place your covered dough inside.
Any citrus can be candied. Experiment with oranges or grapefruit for a flavor variation.
Bread can be made one day ahead and tightly wrapped in plastic. Add whipped cream immediately before serving.


Breads, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Side Dishes

Fluffy Apple Chili Biscuits {Dairy Free}

November 24, 2016
Apple Chili Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

¡Happy Thanksgiving Mis Amigos!

I hope you are having a wonderful day doing whatever makes this day special for you. I am continually amazed and grateful to have you all in my life as readers and makers of my recipes. I feel especially honored that you take the time to leave me comments and share your personal stories. It is incredible to me that I can have this platform to do what I love and that you actually love it too. I am a grateful woman indeed. Thank you. Now let’s make some apple chili biscuits!

Chili Apple Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

As for us, we are currently lazing around in our pjs, watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, and getting ready to head to the beach for our first ever Thanksgiving Day beach walk. It is quite a change from last year’s North Dakota Thanksgiving but you won’t find me complaining. Before we head out I wanted to leave you with this easy biscuit recipe, just in case you needed one more thing to make today (wink, wink).

Apple Chili Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

Apple Chili biscuits bake up nice and fluffy with the slight spice of chili and sweet grated apple.

We are going to have them with cider-glazed Cornish game hens and the rest of the fixings for dinner tonight but I think they would be pretty dang delicious with sausage gravy for breakfast.

Apple Chili Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

How to make dairy-free biscuits

A few quick details about making these biscuits; I use extra-virgin coconut oil instead of butter to make them dairy-free. Freeze the coconut oil until it is hard and then use the large holes of a box grater to grate the oil into small pieces. This technique also works with butter if you didn’t want to make them dairy free.

Secondly, when you cut the biscuits out with the round cutter, make sure you don’t twist the cutter, this seals the dough together making it hard for them to rise. Just push the cutter straight down then bring it back up.

And lastly, I use self-rising flour for biscuits but if you don’t have any you can use the same amount of all-purpose flour plus 2 teaspoons baking powder and 1 teaspoon salt.

Apple Chili Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and long lazy weekend! xoxo, Kate

Apple Chili Biscuits Recipe {Dairy Free}

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 14 (3-inch) biscuits

Fluffy, dairy-free biscuits speckled with chili and fresh grated apple. They go great with turkey for Thanksgiving or with gravy for breakfast.


  • 2 1/2 cups self-rising flour
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 cup cold extra-virgin coconut oil
  • 1 cup grated fresh apple (about 1 medium apple)
  • 3/4 cup cold soy milk


  1. Heat oven to 450°F.
  2. Combine flour, sugar, and chili powder in a medium bowl. Grate cold coconut oil on the large holes of a box grater into the flour mixture. Add grated apple and toss the two into the flour mixture to coat.
  3. Pour milk over mixture and stir into the flour. Gather dough together and place on a lightly dusted counter.
  4. Knead dough into a ball then flatten into a disk. Roll out into a 1/2-inch thick circle. Cut into biscuits using whatever size cutter you'd like (I used a 3-inch cutter). When you cut the biscuits, push the cutter down without twisting, this will let them rise higher in the oven.
  5. Place biscuits in a cast iron skillet or on a lined baking sheet. You don't need to space them apart. Re-roll remaining dough and repeat until all dough is used.
  6. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the bottoms are browned and the biscuits are cooked through.

Breads, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto

October 10, 2016
Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto is the traditional Day of the Dead bread flavored with sweet pumpkin, cozy spices, and a sprinkling of sugar.

Pan de Muerto is the traditional yeasted, slightly sweet bread made around this time every year for Dia de los Muertos. You’ve seen me make many variations over the years but I’ve fallen especially hard for pumpkin spice this year and it upped and slipped its way into my pan de muerto too.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

What is Pan de Muerto?

Upon first glance pan de muerto may seem a little intimidating but if you’ve made any sort of yeasted bread before than this is no different. The shaping of the “skull” and “bones” on top is really the hardest part (aside from waiting for it to rise) and that takes little more than rolling the dough into ball and snake shapes which is something you’ve been doing since preschool so I know you’ve got this.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

How Do You Make It?

For step-by-step pictures on how to shape the loaves go to my Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto recipe which breaks it down in photos plus features a very adorable 3-year-old Hiro. Just make sure you read the recipe all the way through once or twice because it does involve about 4 hours of rising so you want to make sure you give yourself enough time to make the bread all the way through.

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

I made this Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto recipe for the big Dia de los Muertos fiesta that I threw with Beard and Bonnet and Salt and Wind which if you are thinking of throwing a get together to celebrate Day of the Dead you should definitely check out. There are decorating ideas, ideas for making your own altar, a complete menu, and lots of photo inspiration.

Pan de Muerto Recipes From Years Past

Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto

Mini Pan de Muertos with Tropical Fruit

Orange Anise Pan de Muerto

 First and last photos courtesy of Beard and Bonnet

Pumpkin Spice Pan de Muerto Recipe

Prep Time: 4 hours

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Total Time: 4 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 3 loaves


  • 2/3 cup milk (I used almond milk but any type of milk works)
  • 1 (7-gram) package (2 1/4 teaspoons) active dried yeast
  • 4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 2 large eggs, plus 1 more for egg wash
  • 3 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon orange flower water
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Pour milk into a glass measuring cup and heat in the microwave to between 105°F-115°F (about 20 seconds). Or you could heat gently in a small pan over low on the stove. Use a thermometer to be accurate.
  2. Pour milk into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Sprinkle yeast and 1/4 cup flour over the top and whisk to combine. Let sit about 10-15 minutes until creamy and slightly puffed.
  3. Add oil, 3/4 cup of the sugar, and pumpkin and stir on low to combine. Add the 2 eggs, one at a time, until completely incorporated. Add pumpkin pie spice, flower water, salt and remaining flour and mix on low until a dough forms, about 1 minute.
  4. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead dough on medium for 8 minutes.
  5. Grease a large bowl and transfer dough to the greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place until doubles in size, about 1-2 hours.
  6. Transfer dough to a clean surface and cut into 3 equal pieces. Take each piece and cut off a hunk of dough about the size of a lemon from each (about 1/4 of the dough). Form the larger pieces of dough into round loaves. You can use a little flour if you need to prevent sticking but try to use as little as possible.
  7. With the smaller lemon-sized pieces of dough you will cut each one in half. Take one half of each and roll that into a ball (you should have 3 walnut-sized balls). Place those balls on top of the larger round loaves you already formed. Press gently to adhere.
  8. With the remaining dough pieces you will cut each one in half and roll them into long snake-like shapes. Cut each snake in half and place each half on the round loaves around the ball on top shooting out diagonally, like a skull and bones. Press to adhere.
  9. Place loaves on a parchment covered baking sheet. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise until doubled, about 1-2 hours.
  10. Heat oven to 350°F. If the skull and bones on top of the loaves have shifted, rearrange them on top of the loaves. Beat remaining egg with a tablespoon of water and brush egg wash over the loaves. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of sugar over the top of each loaf and bake in the middle rack on the oven until golden and hollow sounding when tapped, about 50 minutes.

Breads, Breakfast, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread

July 21, 2016
Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

We’ve now been here a little over two weeks and have more or less moved in. A few boxes remain unpacked and will probably stay that way.

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

Hiro has learned to ride a bike and Louisa is mastering the art of the jump rope. She will turn eight years old next week and I feel a great sense of gratitude that we are once again throwing her birthday parties on her home turf. I know it’s a bit cliché but I remember that cold and foggy San Francisco afternoon when she was born like yesterday and now she strides into eight like nobody’s business. It makes me not want to celebrate her birthday at all as if that would stop time, but celebrate we will, once again with our friends who have missed the past seven celebrations.

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

The new house is starting to feel more like home, but baking some banana bread never hurts the effort. I made this recipe for the first time a few months ago when I had some ricotta cheese lingering in the refrigerator. I took my favorite banana bread recipe and adjusted it here and there to make up for the moisture and fat from the cheese.

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

I love the way the ricotta adds a richness without being overpowering. The banana flavor still rings true and prominent but the cheese adds a tenderness and delicate soft texture that makes this bread extra special. This is the bread for brown bananas. The riper they are the more banana flavor there will be. If I have some bananas that are too ripe to eat on the counter I will peel them and slice them then lay the slices in a single layer on a large plate or tray and freeze them. Once frozen, they can be scooped up and placed in a Ziplock until you are ready to bake bread. I always write how many bananas are in the bag on the outside because you know I won’t remember.

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

One last thing, the bread is best with whole milk ricotta. If all you can find is low-fat or part-skim that’ll work but the flavor won’t be as rich. Also, I lined the loaf pan with waxed paper which makes it a snap to pull out of the pan (you can also use parchment paper, I just didn’t have any) but sliding a knife around the outside and popping it out of an un-lined pan works well too.

Soft Ricotta Banana Bread Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 55 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Yield: 10-12 Servings


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk ricotta
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


  1. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack on the bottom. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Pour melted butter into a large bowl. Add bananas and mash into a pulp. Add egg and beat until smooth. Add sugar, ricotta, and vanilla and stir to incorporate.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and stir just until all flour is incorporated, don't overmix. Scrape batter into prepared pan and place on the bottom rack of the oven.
  4. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 55-65 minutes. Remove to a cooling rack and let sit at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.

Breads, Recipes

10 Recipes To Try Today–Easter Edition

March 26, 2016
10 Recipes To Try Today--Easter Edition

Happy Easter!

¡Feliz Día de Pascua! or like I enthusiastically said on live TV last week ¡Feliz Pascuale! Which means absolutely nothing and I’m an idiot. I apologize to all my Spanish-speaking friends.

I hope you enjoy the day and have had a nice long weekend. Louisa and Armando have tomorrow off too, so we’ll get another day to recover from too many jelly beans and Cadbury eggs.

Maybe you’re ready to go, maybe you are doing something more cas’ and have no idea what to make to celebrate the day, as Louisa explained, where God sent Jesus to take all our Easter candy (we’re still working on explaining Easter to the kids #parentfail).

Here’s 10 recipes to rock your Easter brunch! xoxoxo, Kate

Strawberry Chamomile Paloma from Half Baked Harvest

Eggs in Purgatory from Jeanie and Lulu’s Kitchen

Roasted Broccoli and Bacon Quiche from Hungry Girl Por Vida

Baked Blueberry Lemon French Toast from Damn Delicious

Burrata Breakfast Pizza from How Sweet Eats

Beet-Citrus Salad from An Edible Mosaic

Purple Slaw with Turmeric Orange Vinaigrette from Brooklyn Supper

Chocolate Cinnamon Roll Wreath from Girl Versus Dough

Double Chocolate Cookies with Cadbury Eggs from Apt. 2B Baking Co.

Carrot Cake Donuts from Heather Christo

Breads, Comida Latina, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto

October 22, 2015

For the first ten years or so of our togetherness The Professor and I didn’t do much for Día de los Muertos. We were young and carefree, childless, and mortgageless. We were in that stage of our lives when death was more of an abstract idea than this blurry line between the concrete and the confusing. Over the years we’ve lost relatives and struggled with illness in the family and this one day of the year, Day of the Dead, when we get to embrace those loved ones who have passed, has gained more and more significance and has become one of the most celebrated days of the year in our home.

Anise Pan de Muerto

Día de los Muertos is when we celebrate with the dead—if not in reality than surely in our hearts. That means we get to eat their favorite foods, drink their favorite drinks, dance and sing their favorite songs, tell our most treasured stories and ensure their lives live on in the memories of their grandchildren and great grandchildren and others for generations to come.

Bread for the Dead

One of my favorite parts of the celebration is making Pan de Muerto or Bread for the Dead. The traditional loaf is a buttery brioche flavored with orange flower water and topped with two crossed links of dough meant to symbolize crossbones. If you want to make that version you can find the recipe here or I also have a tropical fruit version you might want to try. This year I wanted to honor my grandmother, a tried-and-true chocolate lover, with a pan de muerto filled with cocoa and studded with chocolate chips.

If you have any experience with yeasted dough, this one is not much different but it does have a fairly long rising time, so let’s get started!

Ingredients for Pan

The first step is to mix the warm milk, a little bit of the flour, and the yeast together, then let that mixture sit for 30 minutes. This wakes up the yeast and makes a very quick starter dough.

Yeast for Pan

Then you add the remaining ingredients (except the chocolate chips) and mix to make a smooth, springy dough.

Flour mixture for Pan

Remove the dough to a clean surface, flatten, and sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top. (I used semisweet chips but you could use bittersweet or even white chocolate chips if you’d like.) Fold the dough over to enclose the chips and then knead the chips into the dough until well distributed, about 2 minutes.

Folding chocolate chips

Form the dough into a ball and place in a large greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.


Post proofing

Now its time for cutting and forming. First remove a little less than a quarter of the dough.

Cutting the dough

Take the larger piece of dough and form into a ball. Try not to use any extra flour if possible so the dough doesn’t dry out and stays dark in color. Place the ball on a parchment-lined baking sheet and brush it with beaten egg.

Brushing with egg

Cut the remaining dough in half, then cut a nickel-sized piece off each half. Form the larger pieces of dough into bone shapes and criss cross the bones over the top. Brushing each with egg as you go.

laying the bones

Combine the two nickel-sized pieces of dough and form into a skull shape.

Shaping the dough

Arrange the skull where the two bones intersect on the top of the loaf. Brush with egg and sprinkle the whole loaf with 1 tablespoon granulated sugar.

Ready for the oven

Cover with a clean towel and let rise another 30 minutes to an hour. Bake at 350°F until the loaf sounds hallow when you tap on the sides and bottom, about 40 minutes. It is traditional to bake the bread on the days leading up to Day of the Dead which is November 1st but everyone should wait until November 2nd when you can share it with the visiting spirits of your loved ones.

¡Saludos Cariñosos!

Chocolate Anise Pan de Muerto Recipe


Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 large loaf (about 10-12 servings)

The prep and cooking times are not that long, but the bread does need about 3 hours to rise, so plan ahead.


  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups bread flour, divided
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (1 package) dried yeast
  • 1 teaspoon anise seeds
  • 4 tablespoons softened butter
  • 5 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs, divided
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup chocolate chips


  1. Heat milk until just warm (105°F-115°F). Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add 1/4 cup of flour and yeast and mix to combine. Let sit 30 minutes.
  2. Place anise seeds in a dry frying pan and toast over medium heat until fragrant, about 3-4 minutes. Remove from pan and cool.
  3. Add butter and 4 tablespoons of the sugar to the yeast mixture and beat until smooth. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, letting the first one incorporate completely before adding the next.
  4. Add remaining flour, cocoa, anise seeds, and salt. Switch to the dough hook attachment and knead on medium speed for 8 minutes.
  5. Remove dough to a clean work surface and flatten. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and fold dough over to enclose them. Knead dough to incorporate chocolate chips, about 2 minutes, then form into a ball. Try not to use any extra flour if possible.
  6. Grease a large bowl, place dough in bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
  7. Heat oven to 350°F and arrange a rack in the lower third of the oven. Remove dough to a clean work surface and cut off 1/4 of the dough. Form the larger piece of dough into a ball and place on a baking sheet covered in parchment paper.
  8. Cut the smaller piece of dough in half then remove a little bit from each half for the skull. Roll the remaining pieces into bone shapes keeping the ends a bit bigger than the middle.
  9. Beat the remaining egg and brush the large round with egg wash. Criss-cross the 'bones' over the top and brush those with egg as well, pressing gently to attach. Place the 'skull' on the very top of the loaf where the bones cross and brush with egg wash. Sprinkle loaf with remaining tablespoon of sugar. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rise 30 minutes.
  10. Bake until bread sounds hollow when you tap on the side and is firm to the touch, about 40 minutes. Remove to a wire rack and let cool at least 30 minutes before slicing.

Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Dairy Free, Recipes, Snacks, Sweets

Zucchini Avocado Bread

August 15, 2015

There was a squabble the other night over what to have for dessert. We had made grilled chicken for dinner, so naturally the kids wanted s’mores (as they do anytime there are open flames around) and The Professor and I wanted brownies (with vanilla ice cream for me, thankyouverymuch).

Zucchini Bread with Avocado

Sides were immediately chosen, parents against kids, with no one budging an inch. The Professor announced that whoever could answer two questions of the opposing team’s choosing could get their desired dessert.

kids prepping

We went first. “Louisa, what is the name of the first Latina Supreme Court Justice?” I realize this may seem a little far reaching for a child of 7 but we had just been discussing this mere seconds before the dessert debate broke out so it was more a challenge to the child’s memory. She couldn’t remember. “Lupina?” Hiro offered. No.

Hiro helping prep

Second question: “Who was the President of the United States that we read about at the museum today?” “Oh, oh, oh, Abraham Lincoln!!!” Right. Score: 1-0.

Avocado Zucchini Bread

Now it was the kid’s turn. Louisa asks, “Who was the first President of the United States?” Ahhhh, I see brownies in my future, “George Washington”.  1-1.

zucchini bread

Then Hiro breaks out with, “Who was the first dinosaur?” Whaaaaaa???? Shit. The Professor says the first dinosaur name that pops into his head, “Tyrannosaurus Rex?” “No!” Hiro says confidently, “T-Rex.” Okay, even though that’s the same thing we admit we have no idea who the first dinosaur was. He also asked who was the first blue president, I’m assuming he meant something else. He accepted Barack Obama as an answer.

Squash Blossom

I don’t remember all of the remaining questions but this went on for three more rounds before we realized we didn’t know who the 25th President of the United States was (William McKinley) and they won. I still ate my brownie.

kids prepping the bread

The kids had s’mores. I think they just wanted to make sure they were getting something that was guaranteed not to have zucchini in it (the brownies did, and they were delicious, I used this recipe if you want to give them a try).

zucchini in the garden

Admittedly I’ve been sticking zucchini in anything and everything due to our gargantuan squash bushes teeming with zucchini and yellow squash. I’ve also been making loaf after loaf of zucchini bread which led to the creation of this recipe whose secret lies in the mashed avocado used in place of the fat. I’ve been playing around with avocados in baking and have found the texture to be a bit chewier than a normal sweet bread but they give an added richness that lends an almost silky mouthfeel. Try to use Haas avocados for the best results, they are the creamiest, sweetest variety.

Zucchini Avocado Bread DF

If you are scrambling (like I am) to use up all the zucchini here are some of my other favorite summer squash recipes:

What are some of your favs?


Zucchini Avocado Bread Recipe


Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Yield: 1 loaf

Bread can be also baked in three mini loaf pans. Reduce baking time to 30-40 minutes. Any type of summer squash can be used here, I've had excellent results with yellow or green squash. Bread can be cooled then wrapped tightly and frozen for up to 3 months or stored at room temperature for up to 3 days.


  • 1/2 cup ripe avocado flesh (about 1 large avocado)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon packed lemon zest (about 1 large lemon)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded zucchini (about 1/2 medium zucchini)


  1. Heat oven to 350°F and line a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper. Spray the parchment with baking spray and set aside.
  2. Combine avocado and eggs in a large bowl and mash with a potato masher until smooth. Whisk in brown sugar and lemon zest.
  3. In a separate medium bowl combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Whisk until incorporated. Dump flour mixture into avocado mixture, add zucchini, and stir with a rubber spatula until moist throughout. Mixture will be very thick.
  4. Scrape into the prepared baking pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean about 50-60 minutes.


Breads, Breakfast, Comida Latina, Recipes, Side Dishes

Pico de Gallo Scones

May 12, 2015

Hi! Hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day weekend. Mine was filled with the most beautiful of gifts. Louisa performed in her first ever dance recital and although she wasn’t the most graceful swan you ever did see, she danced with such poise and passion that I could barely contain the tears….at the rehearsal…. or the performance—I was a hot mess.

Pico de Gallo Scones hj

It was like God peeling open my eyes and heart and saying “Look what you made!” and it was one of those rare occasions when I could actually see it. No Mother’s Day gift could compare.

Afterwards we had a big ‘ol barbecue back at our place, which at the time of planning sounded like a wonderful idea, but Sunday ended up cold, rainy, and fairly miserable. Instead of sundresses in the grass, The Professor put the grill in the garage and everyone drank sangria in the warm house.

Pico scones

We grilled short ribs and Cuban chicken. I made my favorite guacamole and there was roasted veggies, tamarind agua fresca, fresh pineapple, and these savory pico de gallo scones. Barbecues aren’t just for Father’s Day ya’ know.

I used the basic flavors of my favorite chunky salsa for these scones—red onion, jalapeños, lime zest, and instead of fresh tomatoes that would make the dough too wet I used sun dried instead.

chopped veggies

The onions and chiles get sauteed in a little butter…because, well, butter, then everything gets mixed with the flour, rubber spatula style.

dry ingredients

As soon as the dough is shaggy mess, dump out onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead it into a ball. Use just enough flour so it is not sticking to everything, but not so much that you’re thinking to yourself, “this is easy!” You should be slightly annoyed.

scone dough

Lightly flour a rolling pin and roll to about 3/4-inch thick. Then cut into 12 wedges, but don’t pull them apart. The finished scones will be slightly doughy in the middle (this is a good thing, I promise you) and crunchy on the edges. If you like it crunchy all over, you can separate the triangles and line them up on the baking sheet that way.

rolled scones

Let the scones cool down for a few minutes and then dig in. These are best eaten warm, straight from the oven, but if you want to make them ahead you can put the unbaked, pre cut scones in the freezer and bake from frozen when you are ready.

Find the recipe and all the details over on the Cacique Blog!