Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Anniversary Dulce de Leche Bars

I will start by saying that if you don't like cooking or baking or you think you can't bake or cook, it doesn't matter. This recipe will make everybody think that you are one AWESOME cook! 

Dulce de leche is so good! It is the Latin-American version of caramel and it is so much better; but then again I am biassed because I love my hispanic flavors. Dulce de leche is made with sweetened milk, hence the name; on the other hand, caramel is made from sugar. It is great on toast, waffles, pancakes, crepes, or just as a midnight snack replacing peanut butter (just not as healthy :)

This bars came together in no time. Mix store bought sugar cookie dough, oatmeal, brown sugar, and vanilla. Bake once. Spread dulce de leche from a can (or something fresh from the store if you are in Latin-America). Cover with second half of sugar cookie dough, oatmeal, brown sugar, and vanilla. Bake again. Cool down. Refrigerate (the longest part of the process!) EAT!!!!! 

Happy 2 year anniversary to my lovely husband and Happy birthday to my friend Valerie! 

Dulce de Leche Bars


2 rolls of refrigerated sugar cookie dough
1 1/2 cup quick oats or old fashioned oats
1 cup brown sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1-2 cans dulce de leche*
9x13 baking pan


1. Heat oven 350 degrees. Grease baking pan.
2. Stir or knead 1 roll of sugar cookie dough, 1/2 cup of sugar, 3/4 cups oats, 1 tsp vanilla. Press mixture evenly on the baking pan until you have an even crust. Bake for 14 min. (The crust will continue to bake on the step 4).
3. While crust is in the oven, soften dulce de leche in a small saucepan until it is soft enough to spread easily on crust. Spread on crust that you baked on step 2.
4. Stir or knead the rest of the cookie ingredients: 1 roll sugar cookie dough, 1/2 cup sugar, 3/4 cups oats, 1 tsp vanilla. Crumble this mixture evenly over the dulce de leche. Bake for 20-25 min or until somewhat golden brown. Bars will continue to cook once you take them out of the oven.
5. Let them cool for 30 min. Then refrigerate for 1 hour. 
6. Cut in squares of your desired size and ENJOY! 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Quinoa Black Bean Salad

Quinoa (the name comes from the Spanish spelling of the Quechua name kinwa) originated in the Andes region of Ecuador, Bolivia, Colombia and Peru. It has been around for over 3,000 years, but most of us didn't know about it until it recently became a superfood. It contains essential amino acids and good quantities of calcium, phosphate, manganese, folate and protein.

Quinoa is generally cooked the same way as rice, except it has a much faster cooking time, and it can be used in many dishes. You can use it in salads, casseroles, hot breakfast cereal, stir fries, or just eat it instead of rice in any meal. Don't let the name discourage you or intimidate you. Give this salad a try and you will realize how easy to make quinoa is :)

Quinoa Black Bean Salad
Adapted from EatLiveRun

Serves 6-8



1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 red onion, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1 cup chicken broth, vegetable broth, or water
2 ears fresh corn, kernels chopped off (no cooking) or 1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 avocado, diced
cilantro to taste, I used half a bunch


Juice of 1-2 limes
1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp cumin or to taste
salt to taste


First cook quinoa: rinse 1/2 cup quinoa. Bring quinoa to a boil with the broth or water (I like broth because it makes a tastier quinoa). Reduce heat and simmer for 13-15 minutes or until all the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let cool while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Place all the other ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. If you are not eating all of it right away, I suggest you leave out the avocado and add it before eating.

In a small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients. Add quinoa to salad, then pour the dressing over the mix. Toss well and enjoy! 

Salad keeps for up to 5 days refrigerated in a sealed container.