Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Apple cake with Brown Sugar Icing, Sea Salt and Chopped Pecans

Nothing screams Fall like a good apple cake.  This recipe is really delicious.  Forget about the old dense apple cake that feels like a brick in your tummy.  Rather, think it now like a fluffy and light apple cake, almost like a good muffin consistency, then dressed it up with this scrumptious brown sugar icing, and to balance it all up a sprinkle of flaky french sea salt and some more chopped pecans.  The result is just amazing.


- For the Apple Cake:

2 eggs
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
3 cups of flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 pinch of salt
3 cups of chopped green apples (about 4 apples)
1 cup chopped pecans
1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar

- For the Brown Sugar Icing:

5 Tbsp. butter (softened)
1/2 brown sugar
3 Tbsp. Heavy Whip Cream
1 1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt

- Optional:

Chopped pecans
French Sea Salt (Fleur de Sel)


Preheat oven to 350ºF.  Prepare a bundt cake pan with melted butter and lightly dust with flour, or use the regular "joy of baking" cooking spray.

Beat butter and both sugar until creamy, for about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the eggs one at a time.  In the meantime, mix the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon) and stir them with a fork.  Mix the wet ingredients (oil and vanilla).  Add the dry ingredients to the batter in three steps alternating with the wet ingredients.  Mix until just incorporated.  Finally, add the apples and pecans and mix them with a spatula.

Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 40 to 45 minutes.  Let it rest for 10 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a cooling wrack.

Once the cake is almost cooled, start preparing the brown sugar icing.

Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the brown sugar and cook, stirring, until the sugar melts. It might look separated, but that's okay. Stir in the cream, and it should all come together. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour it into a mixing bowl to cool for 10 minutes.

After 10 minutes, stir in the confectioners' sugar, salt, maple extract, and vanilla. Beat well. If the mixture appears too thin, add more confectioners' sugar, if it's too thick, add a spoonful of hot water. Be aware that it sets up QUICKLY. Pour it over the cake while it's still warm. Decorate right away with chopped pecans and french sea salt, if desired.


Source:  Brown Sugar Icing - Recipe Courtesy of "Cake0rDeath"

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Sweet Pumpkin Strudel

I've made many pumpkin desserts but this one is simply amazing. Never ever tried something so light yet so scrumptious and delicious. Flaky, balanced, with great texture yet dissolves like a cloud... let me introduce you to "Sweet Pumpkin Strudels".

Just think for a moment, a flaky and buttery Phyllo dough, filled with the most delicious pumpkin and spices, rolled up, sprinkled with turbinado sugar and chopped pecans... baked and then drizzled with sweet honey and a dollop of homemade whipped cream... if your mouth is not watering by now... I would be shocked! :)

So, if you're looking for something more sophisticated yet easy to make than pumpkin pie for the holidays, this is your recipe!


1 set of sheets of frozen Phyllo dough (package comes with two set of sheets), thawed
2/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup chopped pecans
3 tablespoons turbinado sugar, or other coarse sugar
2 tablespoons honey, for serving
Whipped cream, for serving, optional

- For the Filling:
1 15-ounce can pumpkin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
tsp. salt
tsp. ground ginger
tsp. ground nutmeg


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

For the filling: Combine the pumpkin, cream cheese, brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, ginger and nutmeg in a small bowl. Mix until nearly uniform and set aside. 

Place 2 sheets of the phyllo on top of one another and brush the top sheet with some of the butter. (Keep the remaining phyllo dough covered with plastic wrap to prevent it from becoming dry and brittle.) 

Place a well-rounded tablespoon of the filling about 2 inches from the end of the dough strip.
To shape, fold the bottom edge of the Phyllo up and over the filling. Fold in the sides and roll up to encase the filling, brushing the exposed dry Phyllo with some of the butter as you roll. 

Place the rolled strudel on a baking sheet, seam-side-down. Brush the top of the Phyllo with some of the butter. Repeat with the remaining ingredients. Sprinkle the tops of the strudels with pecans and turbinado sugar. Bake until the phyllo is golden brown, about 15 minutes. 

Serve the strudels warm drizzled with the honey and topped with whipped cream if using. 


Note:  It is important not to overfill the strudels.  Otherwise, they will explode while baking (learned that one the hard way ;)

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of  Iron Chef Michael Symon - slightly adapted 

Friday, November 2, 2012

Hearty Kale (braised)

Kale is one of the super "veggies".  A totally underrated and almost not considered green because of its leafy crunch and slightly bitterness.  Many times cooked to death with lots of fat to give it a new flavor.  I have to be honest.  Kale was not a veggie that I dreamed about and I actually tended to avoid it if possible... until I got to this recipe, which by the way... allowed me to have two helpings of kale last night.  Sort of a life changing experience in my culinary world :)

The kale was cooked to perfection.  Delicious and so hearty and full of flavor. I especially enjoyed the texture. Super easy to make and so super healthy.  Give it a try, you will not regret it.  I promise!


3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 lb. kale, stemmed, leaves chopped into 3-inch pieces.
1 cup homemade chicken stock or low sodium store bought chicken broth
1 cup of water
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2-3 tsp juice of 1 lemon (I squeezed a half of a lemon for this recipe)


Heat two tablespoons of oil in Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering.  Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until softened and beginning to brown, 4 to 5 minutes.  Add garlic and pepper flakes; cook until garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute.  Add half of the greens and stir until beginning to wilt, about 1 minute.  Add remaining greens, broth, water and 1/4 teaspoon salt; quickly cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are tender, about 25 to 35 minutes.  (I personally like them with a bit of texture, so I only cooked this part for 25 minutes).

Remove lid and increase heat to medium - high.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid has evaporated (bottom of the pot will be almost dry, and greens will begin to sizzle), 8 to 12 minutes.  remove pot from heat; stir in 2 teaspoon of lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil.  Season with remaining lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.  Serve and enjoy!

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Cooks Illustrated" - Slightly adapted.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cauliflower Mash

This is a very simple recipe, for those trying to shed some pounds it can be a great replacement for mashed potatoes.  I have to be honest, it still tastes like cauliflower but the flavor is milder, the texture is velvety and it is much lighter too.

So, here I have two versions for this recipe.  One regular one and a Paleo friendly one.  You pick whichever you desire being both of them really tasty.

Regular Cauliflower Mash:


1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 Tbsp. heavy whip cream


In a large pot bring water to boil.  Add some salt and pour in cauliflower florets.  Cook until soft for about 7-10 minutes.  It will depend on the size of your cauliflower.

Once cooked, drain and transfer to a food processor, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the butter and heavy whip cream and process until smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

PALEO Friendly Cauliflower Mash:


1 cauliflower head, cut into florets
Salt and freshly ground pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted organic butter (from grass fed cow) or Ghee
2 Tbsp. coconut milk


In a large pot bring water to boil.  Add some salt and pour in cauliflower florets.  Cook until soft for about 7-10 minutes.  It will depend on the size of your cauliflower.

Once cooked, drain and transfer to a food processor, season with salt and freshly ground pepper.  Add the butter or ghee and coconut milk and process until smooth.

Serve and enjoy!

Friday, October 19, 2012

Braised Pork Shoulder

I workout with a group of women since the beginning of the year.  It has been a blessing and also a great opportunity to build new relationships, learn about healthy eating and challenge ourselves to get fit. A few months ago I became Homewood Fit Chef, and we started offering to the women meals ready to bake to take home once a week.

The menu is based on Paleo friendly meals (a diet based on lean proteins, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, nuts and nothing processed).  It's been a fun challenge to cook things in a different way but making them still tasty.

A few weeks ago I made this meal.  Braised pork shoulder with a side of cauliflower mash.  It was a hit!  I promised a few friends to post the recipes in the blog, so today I'll be sharing the Pork Shoulder recipe and the cauliflower mash will be posted very soon.  Hope you enjoy!


2 Tbsp. coriander seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp. cumin seeds, toasted
2 Tbsp. fennel seeds, toasted
One 4-pound boneless pork picnic shoulder, sliced in half along the grain
Kosher salt
Extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
3 stalks of celery, cut into chuncks
Pinch crushed red pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed and finely chopped
2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 cups dry white wine
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
3 bay leaves
1 bundle fresh thyme
3 to 4 cups chicken stock


Using a spice grinder, grind the coriander, cumin and fennel seeds until they are a fine powder. If you don't have a spice grinder a mortar and pestle will do the trick :)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 

Sprinkle the pork shoulder with the ground spices and salt, then tie each piece so they cook evenly. 

Coat a Dutch oven with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Brown the first pork on all sides. Remove the pork from the pan and reserve. Ditch the fat in the pan and give a few drops of new oil. Repeat with the second pork and remove. Lower the heat to medium and toss in onions, celery and season them with salt and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper. Cook the onions and celery until they are soft and very aromatic, 7 to 8 minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer. 

Add the wine and reduce by half. Stir in the mustard and add the bay leaves and thyme. Return the pork to the Dutch oven and add stock to the pan until it comes halfway up the side of the pork. Add salt if needed. Bring the liquid to a boil, cover and put the Dutch oven in the preheated oven. 

After 1 hour, turn the pork over and add more liquid to the pan if the liquid level has gone down. Cover and return to the oven for 1 hour. Turn the pork back over and return to the oven without the lid and cook for 45 more minutes. The liquid should concentrate. 

Remove the pan from the oven, remove the pork and reserve for 15 minutes, tented with aluminum foil. Skim any excess fat from the pan and reduce the pan juices, if needed.Slice the pork and serve with veggies and juices. 

Source:  Recipe courtesy of Anne Burrel - Adapted

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cupcakes for breakfast?

A couple weeks ago I had the opportunity to make these delicious cupcakes for a brunch.  They were a big hit!  How couldn't they be? I mean, if you think about a soft pancake cupcake frosted with a delicious maple bacon buttercream, with some real bacon bits and maple syrup on top? You can't go wrong!

The beauty of these cupcakes is that you can make them in a breeze! and your guests will be astonished by your creation!

Come on! let's give these a try.. I promise you will not regret it!!


- For the Cupcakes: 2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1½ cups buttermilk
2 eggs
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled

- For the Frosting:
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. maple syrup
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 slices of bacon (good bacon), cooked, cooled and crumbled


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a standard muffin pan with liners and then spray the liners with non-stick spray (It is very important to spray the cupcake liners, otherwise you won't be able to get your cupcake out of the wrapper).

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; set aside. In a separate medium bowl whisk together the buttermilk and eggs, then stir in the melted and cooled butter. Add the milk mixture to the dry ingredients and whisk together until just moistened and combined. Like when you make regular pancakes.  Divide the batter between the muffin cups and bake until puffed and firm to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for about 5 minutes and then remove cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the frosting, use the whisk attachment of a stand mixer to whip the butter on  medium-high speed for about 5 minutes, scraping the bowl as needed. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the powdered sugar a little at a time, waiting until it’s mostly incorporated before adding more. Once all of the powdered sugar has been added, scrape the sides of the bowl and increase the speed to medium-high and whip until fluffy, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the maple syrup and the vanilla and whip for another minute or so to incorporate. Add the bacon and mix to combine. Frost the cupcakes.  If you decide to pipe the icing, it is important to use a big tip (I highly recommend to NOT use a close star tip) since the bacon crumbles will clog the tip and you'll have a real mess within seconds.  You can always add the frosting with a spatula if you will. Top with additional crumbled bacon and some maple syrup, if desired.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of Michelle from "Brown Eyed Baker" - Adapted

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Honey Roasted Butternut Squash

The air is getting cooler, nicer temperatures, beautiful clean and blue skies... it's time to start our Fall season meals!

I made this recipe a few days ago for a group of women I work out with.  I've got so many good reviews that I knew I had to post the recipe quickly!

So, here we go!


1 large butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed and diced
1 garlic head
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 tablespoon of honey
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 slices of bacon, chopped
5 sage leaves


Preheat oven to 400ºF.  Make a cut on top of the garlic head (like a big slice), season with a generous pinch of salt, fresh ground black pepper and enough olive oil to cover the top, then wrap it in aluminum foil.  Place the butternut squash and garlic head (wrapped) on a sheet pan in one layer.  Toss with the olive oil, honey, salt and pepper and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash begins to brown, turning once during baking.

Sprinkle the bacon and sage leaves evenly over the butternut squash and continue to bake for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the squash looks caramelized.  Unwrap the garlic head (it will be hot!) and squeeze the garlic cloves on top of the squash.  Mix and re-season if necessary. Enjoy!

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of Ina Garten - Adapted

Friday, September 14, 2012

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

I came to this recipe long time ago when I made the cupcakes in the picture above.  As I mentioned in my prior post I made a giant cookie cake and wanted to add something really special that would just turn the volume up of the cookie.  So, it was then when I remembered this luscious frosting! I have to warn you... if you try it with a spoon... you may just want to finish the whole bowl!


2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ cup light brown sugar, packed
2 1/3 cups confectioners’ sugar
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
½ tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract


Beat together the butter and brown sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until creamy. Mix in the confectioners’ sugar until smooth. Beat in the flour and salt. Mix in the milk and vanilla extract until smooth and well blended.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Annie's Eats"

Monday, September 10, 2012

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake

This past weekend a dear friend of mine asked me to make a cookie cake for his sweet little boy's birthday.  I've never made one before, but I was excited for the challenge.  I researched for several recipes and finally I found one that seemed just perfect for the occasion with a few teaks.  The result... a delicious gooey melt in your mouth concoction! This is the real deal!


2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 12oz. package of bittersweet chocolate chips
1 12 oz. package of white chocolate chips
1 cup of chocolate chunks


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Line a 14-inch, light colored, round pizza pan with parchment paper and grease the parchment paper.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs, beating well after the addition of each.
In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt and mix with a whisk. Add to the butter mixture, mixing to incorporate, and add the vanilla extract. Fold in the chocolate chips and chunks. Spread across the bottom of the prepared pan and bake until the edges are golden and the cookie is set but the center is still slightly soft, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once the cookie is completely cool down.  Put a wire rack on top and flip it over.  Remove the parchment paper and clean the grease out of the pizza pan.  Repeat the procedure now with the pizza pan on top and transfer the cookie back to the pan.  Decorate as desired.

(*) This recipe originally had walnuts and macadamia nuts, so feel free to mix and match if desired.  I decorated the cookie with a "Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough  Frosting".  I'll be posting that recipe this week :)

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "Emeril Lagasse" - Adapted.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pisco Sour Cupcakes

Pisco Sour is one of our Chilean flavors that identifies us world widely  and since the challenge for this month is "Chilean treats" I decided to tweak an American classic (cupcakes) and bring our delicious Pisco Sour flavor to the party. 

Actually, the flavor is quite tasty.  Just simply imagine a soft yellow cake infused with Pisco sour and topped with an airy and smooth Pisco sour flavored buttercream... the result is simple delicious!!


- For the Cupcakes:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1½ tspn. baking powder
¼ tspn. salt
½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, at room temperature
Zest and juice of 1½ limes
2 Tbsp. Pisco
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup buttermilk

- To Brush the Cupcakes:
1 to 2 Tbsp. Pisco Sour

- For the Pisco Sour Buttercream:
1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
2¾ cups powdered sugar
3 Tbsp. Pisco Sour
2 Tbsp. Milk or Heavy whip cream
Pinch of coarse salt


Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a standard muffin tin with paper liners and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt and set aside.

In an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the butter and sugar together until pale, light, and fluffy (about 5 minutes).  Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the eggs one at at time, mixing thoroughly after each addition and scraping the sides of the bowl then add the lime zest, lime juice, vanilla extract and Pisco. Mix until combined. 

Reduce the mixer low speed and add the dry ingredients in three batches, alternating with the buttermilk in two batches. Mix only until just incorporated, using a rubber spatula to give it one last mix by hand.

Divide the batter between the muffin cups. Bake for 20 minutes or until just slightly golden and a cake tester (toothpick) comes out clean, rotating the pan at the halfway point.

Allow cupcakes to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack. Brush the tops of the cupcakes with the 1 to 2 tablespoons of Pisco Sour. Set the cupcakes aside to cool completely before frosting them.

To make the buttercream, whip the butter on medium-high speed of an electric mixer using the whisk attachment for 5 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium-low, and gradually add the powdered sugar (sifted), mixing and scraping the sides of the bowl until all is incorporated. Give it a mix on medium speed for about 30 seconds. Add the Pisco sour, milk and salt and continue to mix on medium-high speed until incorporated and fluffy. If the frosting appears a bit too soft, add some additional sugar, one spoonful at a time until desired consistency is reached. Frost cupcakes and garnish, if desired, with a small lime wedge.

For more delicious Chilean treats made by amazing Chilean bloggers, visit "BRBC"

Monday, August 27, 2012

Texas Style Oven Roasted Brisket

Brisket is such a flavorful cut of meat when it's done right.  Prepare for a shoe leather kind of meat if you roast it the wrong way :)  After several recipes, I decided to try this one, since it packs a lot of flavor with a few ingredients and the result is just delicious!


2 Tbsp. chili powder
2 Tbsp. salt
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
1 Tbsp. onion powder
1 Tbsp. ground black pepper
1 Tbsp. sugar
2 tsp. dry mustard
1 bay leaf, crushed
4 pounds beef brisket, trimmed
1 1/2 cups beef stock or red wine


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 

Make a dry rub by combining chili powder, salt, garlic and onion powders, black pepper, sugar, dry mustard, and bay leaf. Season the raw brisket on both sides with the rub. Place in a roasting pan and roast, uncovered, for 1 hour.

Add beef stock or red wine and enough water to yield about 1/2 inch of liquid in the roasting pan. Lower oven to 300 degrees F, cover pan tightly and continue cooking for 3 hours, or until fork-tender.
Trim the fat and slice meat thinly across the grain. Top with juice from the pan.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Food Network"

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Pasta alla Vodka

A few weeks ago while I was watching a cooking show, my boys saw this dish and asked me to make it for dinner.  Since I had all the ingredients in my pantry I didn't hesitate to give this recipe a try.  It was easy, tasty and delicious!


1 lb. pasta (recipe called for Penne, but you can use any tubular pasta of your choice)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 whole medium onion, chopped finely
3 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup vodka
One 14-ounce can tomato puree or tomato sauce 1 cup heavy cream 1 generous pinch red pepper flakes, plus more if needed
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Grated Parmesan, for serving
Fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (optional)


Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Saute the garlic and onions in 2 tablespoons butter and the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat until soft. Pour in the vodka, being careful if your stove has an open flame (remove the pan from the heat before adding). Cook and reduce for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the tomato puree. Stir the mixture until it's thoroughly combined, then reduce the heat to low. Pour in the heavy cream. Stir to combine, then turn heat to the lowest simmer possible. Sprinkle in the red pepper flakes and add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, stir in the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Pour the drained pasta into the sauce and toss to combine. Sprinkle on the Parmesan, then sprinkle on more red pepper flakes and basil, if desired.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Ree Drummond - The Pioneer Woman" - Slightly adapted.

Friday, May 18, 2012

UPDATE - Actualización

I am so excited to report that my mom is back at home!  Thanks so much for all your love and prayers on her behalf.  The past two days have been a roller coaster of emotions with ups and downs. Her heart test was good enough to let her go home (under special care instructions) which was a great praise to the Lord, but at the same time, through this test the doctors discovered that she has fluids in her lungs and some kind of lung disease associated with her heart disease. They ran a CT scan this morning and will give her results in two weeks. By then, we will know how advance it is and what to expect for the days to come.

Please continue to intercede for her.  Her heart is only irrigating blood to 85% of her body and as I told you before "it looks" very tired.  Please also pray that she can keep losing weight in order to help with this problem and somehow "help her heart" to have an easier job.

The Lord has blessed us so much these days and blessed my mother in such a sweet way too.  Thanks for taking the time to read the updates and continue to pray for this "sweet old lady" that is 5,000 miles away.  It means more than you know to each of us!



"Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge: - Psalm 62:8


¡Estoy feliz de contarles que mi mamá está de vuelta en casa! Muchas gracias por todo su amor y oraciones por ella. Estos últimos dos días han sido como una montaña rusa de emociones con altos y bajos. Su examen al corazón salió lo suficientemente bueno como para dejarla ir a la casa (con instrucciones de cuidado especiales) lo cual fue una tremenda respuesta del Señor, pero al mismo tiempo, por medio de este examen los doctores descubrieron que tiene líquido en sus pulmones y algún tipo de enfermedad asociada a su insuficiencia cardiaca avanzada. Le hicieron un scanner a los pulmones esta mañana y le darán los resultados dentro de dos semanas. Ahí recién sabremos que tan avanzada está y que esperar para los días que vengan más adelante.

Por favor continuen orando por ella. Su corazón sólo está irrigando sangre a un 85% de su cuerpo y como les comenté anteriormente su corazón se ve "muy cansado" Por favor también oren para que pueda seguir bajando de peso de manera que esto ayude con su problema y de alguna forma "le ayude" a su corazón a tener un trabajo más fácil.
El Señor nos ha bendecido tanto estos días y ha bendecido a mi madre en una forma muy dulce también. Gracias por tomarse el tiempo de leer estas actualizaciones y continuar orando por esta "viejita linda" que está a 5,000 millas de distancia de mí. Esto significa mucho más de lo que ustedes imaginan para cada uno de nosotros en este lado del hemisferio.

Con amor,


"Esperad en él en todo tiempo, oh pueblos; derramad delante de él vuestro corazón; Dios es nuestro refugio." - Salmos 62:8

Monday, May 14, 2012

Trading a recipe for a prayer request

I've used this site mainly to post food recipes and my experience creating new dishes.  Today, I have a special request.

As you read in my last post, my mother lives in Vina del Mar, Chile.  I live in Birmingham, Alabama.  Yesterday, I got an email from my brother.  On Mother's Day, my mom had a severe stroke and heart problems.  She's been hospitalized and her condition was critical.

Today, I found out that she is doing better, slowly improving.  It seems like her stroke will not leave her any residuals... praise the Lord for that!  but her heart is still weak.  Please lift her up in prayer.  We need your prayers more than you can imagine!


He usado este sitio principalmente para publicar recetas y mi experiencia creando nuevos platos.  Hoy, les tengo una petición muy especial.

Como pudieron leer en mi publicación anterior, mi madre vive en Viña del Mar, Chile.  Yo vivo en Birmingham, Alabama.  Ayer recibí un correo de mi hermano.  En el día de la Madre, mi mamá tuvo un infarto cerebral severo y problemas cardiacos.  Ella está hospitalizada y su condición de salud era crítica.

Hoy, logré averiguar que está un poco mejor, lentamente mejorando.  Al parecer el infarto cerebral no dejó secuela... ¡bendito sea Dios por ello!, pero su corazón aún está débil.  Les pido que por favor oren por ella.  ¡Necesitamos sus oraciones mucho más de lo que imaginan!

¡Muchas gracias!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Strawberry - Nutella Cake, a perfect dessert to celebrate your Mother!

Mother's Day is just around the corner.  If you need some inspiration to celebrate your mom with a delicious dessert, this is the perfect recipe for you!

Strawberry season came a little bit earlier this year because of our mild winter, which means we started our favorite strawberry recipes earlier too!

I chose this recipe because of two reasons.  My mom loves strawberries and Chantilly cream.  I have lots of memories of my childhood, when my mommy was just enjoying a delicious "pastel" from the next door bakery with a cup of tea and  for every especial celebration she would request a cake with lots of cream on it!

My mom is five thousands miles away... this holiday makes me long even more for those days when I would surprise her in the morning once she woke up with a present or a crazy concoction. I miss her big hug and kiss.  Despite she is far away, I am so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with her love, and that my boys get to talk to her daily.  She is a hard worker lady. A woman of faith and devotion to the Lord. I am honored to be her child.  Te amo, mami!!!  Te mando amor, amor, amor!! :) Happy Mother's Day, 2012!


- For the cake:
2 1/4 cups cake flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups whole milk or buttermilk
4 large egg whites
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 stick (8 Tbsp.) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

- For the filling:
1 cup Nutella
1 cup fresh sliced strawberries
1 Tbsp. powder sugar
Simple syrup to moisten the cake
Chantilly cream

- For the Frosting (Chantilly cream):
1 quart heavy whip cream, cold (4 cups)
1 1/4 cup powder sugar


- For the cake:  Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 9x2" round cake pans and line the bottom of each pan with a round of buttered parchment or wax paper.  Put the pans on a baking sheet.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. Then, whisk together the milk and egg whites in a medium bowl.

Put the sugar and lemon zest in a mixer bowl or another large bowl and rub them together with your fingers until the sugar is moist and fragrant. Add the butter and, working with the paddle or whisk attachment, or with a hand mixer, beat at medium speed for a full 3 minutes, until the butter and sugar are very light. Beat in the extract, then add one third of the flour mixture, still beating on medium speed. Beat in half of the milk-egg mixture, then beat in half of the remaining dry ingredients until incorporated. Add the rest of the milk and eggs, beating until the batter is homogeneous, then add the last of the dry ingredients. Finally, give the batter a good 2-minute beating to ensure that it is thoroughly mixed and well aerated. Pour the batter between the two pans and smooth the tops with a rubber spatula.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the cakes are well risen and springy to the touch. Transfer the cakes to cooling racks and cool for about 5 minutes, then run a knife around the sides of the cakes, unmold them and peel off the paper liners.  Invert and cool to room temperature right side up.

- For the filling:   Mix the sliced strawberries with the powder sugar and let it macerate in the fridge.

- For the frosting:  Add the heavy cream to the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Whip on medium-high speed until soft peaks form. Add the powdered sugar and continue to whip until thoroughly combined and stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over-beat!

- To assemble the cake: place one cake layer on a cake platter and poke it with a fork.  Brush some of the simple syrup and spread a layer of Nutella (you can be as generous as you want).  Then, arrange the prepared strawberries in a single layer overlapping each other.  Cover this layer with the whipped cream frosting over the top.   Poke some holes on the second cake layer, brush it with the simple syrup and cover your cake base.  Frost the top and sides of the assembled cake. Smooth it and proceed to decorate as desired.  Refrigerate and enjoy!

(Note:  I personally love homemade cakes, but you can substitute the cake recipe for a regular white cake mix from a box if you wish)

For more delicious treats made by fabulous Chilean bloggers, please visit this link.

Source:  Cake layers - recipe courtesy of "Baking from My home to yours" by Dorie Greenspan.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Spinach Salad with warm bacon dressing

Summer is almost here and salads are a great hit.  Here I am sharing today, one of our favorites!  Easy to make and only takes a few minutes before you enjoy a healthier lunch :)


8 ounces young spinach
2 large eggs, boiled and sliced thin
8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1 tspn. agave or honey
1/2 tspn. Dijon mustard
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
4 large white mushrooms, sliced
3 ounces red onion (one small), very thinly sliced


Remove the stems from spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat.  Crumble the bacon and set aside.

Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, agave and mustard.  Season with a small pinch each of salt and pepper.

Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss.  Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine.  Divide the spinach between 4 plates or bowls and evenly divide de egg among them.  Season with pepper, as desired.  Serve immediately.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of Alton Brown - Slightly adapted.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Thai infused Chicken - Zucchini Linguini

This is a great recipe, especially if you're trying to get ready for swimsuits season!  The use of zucchini noodles, make this dish healthier and even easier to prepare.


4 zucchini squash, cut into spaghetti strips
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 1/2 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 Tbsp. Essence, or creole seasoning
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 Tbsp. finely chopped green bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 Tbsp. finely chopped habanero pepper (optional)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 can of coconut milk
1 can of diced tomatoes
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
2-3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro


- To prepare the zucchini noodles:  Wash and trim the tops and ends of the zucchini noodles.  With the help of a mandolin or a julienne peeler/slicer, cut the squashes into noodles.  Set aside.

- To prepare the chicken and broth:  Set a 12-inch saute pan over medium high heat.  Add the butter and olive oil to the pan.  Once the butter has melted, season the chicken with half tablespoon of Essence and 1/2 teaspoon of salt and add the chicken to the pan.  Sear the chicken until well browned on both sides, about 2 minutes.  Remove from the pan and set aside.

Add the onions, mushrooms, bell pepper and hot pepper (if using) to the pan and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add the coconut milk, rest of the Essence, remaining 1 teaspoon of salt, and the chicken and bring to a boil.  Cook the sauce until the coconut milk is reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Add the tomatoes and cook, tossing to incorporate for 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the zucchini noodles, tossing gently until they are tender but still keeping a nice texture (about 2 minutes).  Add some of the Parmesan, mix and serve.  Once plated, sprinkle the cilantro and left over Parmesan cheese on top.


Monday, April 30, 2012

Sticky Lemon Rolls with Lemon Cream Cheese Glaze

Cinnamon rolls are an excellent canvas to try other flavors, and I found this recipe that was just delightful!  The rolls were gooey, light and with a vibrant lemon flavor.  I really recommend this recipe. You'll get all the "wows", "yumms" and "squeals of joy" once you make them :)


- 3 large lemons, at room temperature. (For dough, filling, glaze, and garnish)

- For the dough:
1 envelope (0.25 ounces, or 2 1/4 teaspoons) active yeast
3/4 cup milk, warmed to about 100°F
1 stick unsalted butter, very soft, plus 3 tablespoons more for roll assembly
1/4 cup white sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs

- For the sticky lemon filling:
1 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

- For the lemon cream cheese glaze:
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar


Prepare the lemons:  Zest and juice the lemons. Divide the zest into three equal parts. One part will be used in the dough, a second part in the filling, and the final part will be sprinkled on top of the baked rolls for appearance and flavor.

Divide the juice into two equal parts, and set aside. Half of the lemon juice will be used in the lemon-sugar filling for the rolls. The other half will be used in the glaze.

To make the dough:  In the bowl of a stand mixer sprinkle the yeast over the warmed milk and let it sit for a few minutes or until foamy. With the mixer paddle, stir the softened butter, sugar, vanilla, and one cup of the flour into this milk and yeast mixture. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and one part (1/3) of the lemon zest. Stir in the eggs and enough of the remaining flour to make a soft yet sticky dough. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes, or until the dough is elastic and pliable.

Lightly grease the top of the dough with vegetable oil, and turn the dough over so it is coated in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and a towel and let the dough rise until nearly doubled — about one hour.

- To make the filling:  In a small bowl, mix 1 cup sugar with the nutmeg and ginger, then work in the second part of the lemon zest (1/3) with the tips of your fingers until the sugar resembles soft sand. Slowly pour in one part (1/2) of the lemon juice, stirring. Stop when the sugar and lemon juice form a thick, clumpy mixture like wet sand. (You may use all of the reserved half of the lemon juice; you may stop before completely adding that half of the lemon juice, depending on how much juice you got from your lemons.)

- Assemble the rolls:  Lightly grease a 13x9-inch baking dish with baking spray or butter. On a floured surface pat the dough out into a large yet still thick rectangle — about 10x15 inches. Spread the dough evenly with 3 tablespoons of very soft unsalted butter, then spread the lemon-sugar mixture over top. Roll the dough up tightly, starting from the top long end. Stretch and pull the dough taut as you roll, to keep the lemon sugar firm inside. Cut the long dough roll into 12 even rolls. Pinch the bottom of each roll closed to help keep the lemon sugar inside, and place each one, open and cut side up, in the prepared baking dish.

Cover the rolls with a towel and let them rise for an hour or until puffy and nearly doubled. (You can also refrigerate the rolls at this point. Cover the pan tightly with plastic wrap or a towel, and place it in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours. When you are ready to bake the rolls, remove the pan from the fridge, and let them rise for an hour before proceeding with baking.)

Heat the oven to 350°F. Place the risen rolls in the oven and bake for 35 minutes or until a thermometer inserted into a center roll reads 190°F.

- To make the glaze:  While the rolls are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small food processor (or with a mixer, or a sturdy whisk), whip the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the remaining part lemon juice and blend until well combined. Add the powdered sugar and blend until smooth and creamy.

- To finish the rolls: When the rolls are done, smear them with the cream cheese glaze, and sprinkle the final part (1/3) of the lemon zest over top to garnish. Let cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, but do serve while still warm.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "The Kitchn" -  Slightly adapted.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Sword Fish with Lemon - Mint Sauce

This is one of our new favorites.  For the longest time we were looking for a recipe that would highlight the succulent flavor of a sword fish steak but also would have some brightness and full flavor.  After testing several rounds of recipes and options, tweaking here and there, we found the one!

Sword Fish (Pez espada), is very common in Chile, at least it was while I was a child.  My parents used to have a fish and shellfish market downtown Vina del Mar.  Maybe that's a good reason while I just fell in love with the fruit of our beautiful Pacific Ocean!

I remember having this fish as a steak (fried in butter), oven roasted with tomatoes and onions, made as a "caldillo" (fish hearty soup), even as a cebiche, but never grilled. So, I was immediately captivated by this new recipe.  

I hope you like it as much as we did!  Just as a side note... it is a figure friendly option too!


1/2 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh mint leaves
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil leaves
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 (5 to 6-ounces each) swordfish steaks


Prepare the grill (medium-high heat). Whisk the oil, mint, lemon juice, basil, and garlic in a medium bowl to blend. Season the lemon and olive oil mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.

Brush the swordfish steaks with 2 tablespoons of the lemon and olive oil mixture. Grill the steaks until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side (depending on thickness of steaks). Transfer the steaks to plates. Spoon the remaining sauce over and serve. 


Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Giada De Laurentiis" - Food Network

Friday, April 27, 2012

I am back...

I am back... and I survived!  What a beginning of the year...  2012 brought us a couple of surgeries, a few rounds of strep throat, ear infections and even mouth, hands and foot disease, but we survived!!! We can finally say that we started our year on March.  We are all recovered and back to life!

I've missed being around this cyber world and share some of our most favorite recipes.  Life just got on the way and health issues were the main reason.  I have many new recipes to share, so stay tuned! I promise we're back for good!

Here is a little sneak peak of tomorrow's post...

Sword Fish Steak with Lemon-Mint Sauce... delicious!!

Until tomorrow then,


Monday, January 16, 2012

Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich


If you're looking for a delicious sandwich for those cold days lunch or dinner.  Here I have a recipe that you would certainly enjoy.  A little twist to one of the fave classics.  Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich.

I saw the recipe originally on one of the Throwdown episodes and decided to give it a try.  I was not mistaken.  This is delicious! It looks like a long prep but I promise, if you plan ahead, or even make the mushrooms, onions and peppers in advance, you'll be enjoying this jewel in a very short time!


2 to 2 1/2 pound strip loin, trimmed
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Soft hoagie rolls, split 3/4 open
Provolone Sauce, recipe follows
Sauteed Mushrooms, recipe follows
Caramelized Onions, recipe follows
Sauteed Peppers, recipe follows


Place steak in freezer for 30 to 45 minutes; this makes it easier to slice the meat. Remove the meat from the freezer and slice very thinly.

Heat griddle or grill pan over high heat. Brush steak slices with oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 45 to 60 seconds per side.

Place several slices of the meat on the bottom half of the roll, spoon some of the cheese sauce over the meat, and top with the mushrooms, onions, and peppers.

- For the Provolone Sauce:

1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, heated
1 cup grated aged provolone cheese
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Slowly whisk in the warm milk, and cook, whisking constantly until thickened, about 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the mixture from the heat and whisk in the provolone and Parmesan until combined; season with the salt and pepper.

- For the Sauteed Mushrooms:

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms (cremini and shiitake), coarsely chopped
3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan over high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and pepper.

- For the Caramelized Onions:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 tablespoons canola oil
3 large Spanish onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat butter and oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, and cook slowly until golden brown and caramelized, stirring occasionally, approximately 30 to 40 minutes.

- For the Sauteed Peppers:

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 poblano peppers, thinly sliced
2 Cubano peppers, thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in medium saute pan over high heat. Add the peppers and cook until soft. Season with salt and pepper.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "Food Network" - Throwdown - Bobby Flay

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Chocolate Truffle Tart

This is such a decadent and delicious dessert.  If you're a chocolate lover, you would definitely love this recipe.  Easy to make and with great and smooth texture.  Give it a try, you will not regret it!


- For the crust:
1 large egg yolk
2 Tbsp. heavy cream
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa
1/4 tsp. salt
10 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and chilled

- For the filling:
2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 pound bittersweet chocolate, chopped
12 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces and softened
2 Tbsp. cognac


- For the crust:  Whisk together egg yolk, cream, and vanilla in small bowl.  Process flour, sugar, cocoa, and salt in food processor until combined. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal, about 20 pulses.  With processor running, add egg mixture and process until dough comes together, about 12 seconds.  Turn dough out onto counter and flatten into 6-inch disk. Wrap disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour before rolling.

Remove disk of dough from refrigerator and roll out on lightly floured counter or between 2 lightly floured large sheets of parchment paper or plastic wrap to 15-inch circle.  Transfer dough to 11-inch tart pan with removable bottom.  Working around circumference, ease dough into pan by gently lifting edge of dough with one hand while pressing dough into pan bottom with other hand.  Press dough against fluted sides of the pan, patching breaks or cracks if necessary.  Run rolling pin over top of tart pan to remove excess dough.  Set dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet or large plate and freeze for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375ºF.  Set chilled dough-lined tart pan on baking sheet.  Line the pan with double layer of aluminum foil and fill with pie weights (or beans).  Bake until tart dough dries out and blisters, about 25 minutes.  Carefully remove pie weights and foil and continue to bake for additional 5 minutes.  Transfer baking sheet with tart shell to wire rack and let cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

- For the filling:  Meanwhile, bring cream to simmer in saucepan over medium-high heat.  Pour hot cream over chocolate in medium bowl and set aside one minute.  Using whisk, slowly stir chocolate and cream until smooth, being careful to avoid aerating mixture.  Slowly stir in butter until combined.  Stir in cognac.

Pour filling into cooled tart shell.  Use offset spatula to spread filling to sides of shell and smooth top.  Refrigerate until firm, at least 2 hours.  Cut int thin wedges and serve.

Source:  Recipe courtesy of "All-time best Holiday recipes - America's Test Kitchen". Slightly adapted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Pot Roast - French Style

Are you thinking about soul and comforting foods? Here is a good recipe you would enjoy for sure!  The depth of flavors were amazing.  The meat so tender and succulent at the same time.  Serve it with a buttery mashed potatoes and you're set for a delightful dinner!


1 (4-5 pound) boneless chuck eye roast (or cut of your preference)
2 tsp. kosher salt
1 bottle (750 ml) medium-bodied red wine
10 sprigs fresh parsley plus 2 Tbsp. minced parsley leaves
2 sprigs fresh thyme
2 bay leaves
Salt & Pepper
4 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1 onion, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. all purpose flour
2 cups beef broth
4 carrots, peeled and cut on bias into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 cups frozen pearl onions
3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 cup water plus 1/4 cup cold water
10 ounces white mushrooms, trimmed and halved if small and quartered if large
1 Tbsp. unflavored gelatin


Sprinkle the meat with kosher salt, place on wire rack set inside rimmed baking sheet, and let sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Meanwhile, bring wine to simmer in large saucepan over medium-high heat.  Cook until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.  Using kitchen twine, tie parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs, and bay leaves into bundle.

Pat beef dry with paper towels and season generously with pepper.  Tie 3 pieces kitchen twine around each piece of meat.

Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 300ºF.  Cook bacon in large Dutch oven over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp, 6 to 8 minutes.  Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate and reserve.  Pour off all but 2 Tbsp. fat; return Dutch oven to medium-high heat and heat until fat begins to smoke.  Add beef and brown on all sides, 8 to 10 minutes total.  Transfer beef to large plate; set aside.

Reduce heat to medium; add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2 to 4 minutes.  Add garlic, flour, and bacon; cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.  Add reduced wine, broth, and herb bundle, scraping bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits.  Return roast and any accumulated juices to pot; increase heat to high and bring liquid to simmer, then place large sheet of aluminum foil over pot and cover with lid. Set pot in oven and cook, using tongs to turn beef every hour, until fork slips easily in and out of meat, 2 1/2 to 3 hours, adding carrots after 2 hours.

While meet cooks, bring pearl onions, butter, sugar and 1/2 cup water to boil in large skillet over medium-high heat.  Reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until onions are tender 5 to 8 minutes.  Uncover, return heat to medium-high, and cook until all liquid evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and 1/4 tsp. salt; cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are glazed, 8 to 12 minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Place remaining 1/4 cup cold water in small bowl and sprinkle gelatin on top.

Transfer beef to carving board; tent with foil to keep warm.  Allow braising liquid to settle, about 5 minutes, then skim fat off surface.  Remove herb bundle and stir in onion-mushroom mixture.  Bring liquid to simmer over medium-high heat and cook until mixture is slightly thickened and reduced to 3 1/4 cups, 20 to 30 minutes.  Season sauce with table salt and pepper to taste.  Add softened gelatin and stir until completely dissolved.

Remove twine from meat and discard.  Using chef/carving knife, cut meat against grain into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Transfer to platter; arrange vegetables around meat, pour sauce on top, and sprinkle with minced parsley.  Serve.

Source:  Recipe Courtesy of "All-Time Best Holiday Recipes - America's Test Kitchen:. Slightly adapted.