photo by Jenny MacBeth

Mexican Pork Mole


Do the Lambada if you like Mexican food. I love everything about the culture. – The dances, music, arts, and especially, the food. I tried my hand at a pork mole. Mole simply means sauce; a number of sauces.

Put on Santana, grab a Dos Equis and let’s get started…

You’ll Need:

1 Pork Tenderloin roast (cubed and unseasoned)

2 cups of onion, diced

2 Tablespoons of chili powder

1 Tablespoon of ground cumin

1 Tablespoon of cinnamon

1/2 cup of Dos Equis (drink the rest)

2 (14 oz.) cans of diced tomatoes

2 (4.5 oz.) cans of green chillies (fresh is best, but this will do)

1/2 cup of dark chocolate morsels

Splash of lime juice (fresh is best)

Cilantro, diced (garnish)

photo by Jenny MacBethIn a large pot, over medium heat spray in some olive oil. I use a Misto, or you can use PAM cooking spray. Brown your pork evenly for 10 minutes. Remove from the pot and set aside.

photo by Jenny MacBeth In the same pot, add in your chopped onion and cook until slightly tender. Add in your chili powder, cumin and cinnamon. Let the ingredients do the Rumba for about a minute or two. Join in the dance by stirring often.

photo by Jenny MacBethTime for the Salsa. Add in your diced tomatoes, beer, dark chocolate and chilies. Once those simmer for a minute or two, bring it to a slow grind over medium-low heat. Let the pork join the party and simmer until hot and tender.

photo by Jenny MacBethServe it over rice, or by itself. Finish it with a squirt of lime and sprinkle with cilantro to garnish. The next time I make this, I will use fresh chillies.

What’s your favorite Mexican Mole? Please share with us because this girl likes to eat.

Cha Cha!


photo by Jenny MacBeth

Ranchero Chicken Muffins


The foundation of my recipe was inspired by They always have cool ideas, and I love this recipe. I used Tablespoon’s Mini Tex-Mex Chicken and Cheese Pies as a foundation, but of course, I made my own version.

You’ll need

Featured by

ranchero chicken muffins featured by Bisquick

2 (13 oz.) cans of Chicken, drained

1 1/2 cups of shredded Low-Fat Monterey Jack Cheese

1 (4.5 oz.) can of Green Chilies

1/4 cup of low-fat Hidden Valley’s Buttermilk Ranch Dressing

1/4 cup of cilantro

1 green onion, finely chopped

1/2 of lime juice, freshly squeezed

For the batter

1/2 cup milk

2 eggs

1/2 cup of Bisquick

photo by Jenny MacBethLet’s get started…

Preheat the oven to 375.

Using your hands mix together the chicken, cheese, chilies, ranch dressing, cilantro, onion and lime juice.

In another bowl, whisk together the batter.

photo by Jenny MacBethI used a silicone muffin pan. LOVE it! If you use a tin pan, you’ll need to use cooking spray.

Pour a tablespoon of the batter into each muffin cup. Then place about two tablespoons of the chicken mixture in each cup. Then spoon over the mixture two tablespoons of the batter as demonstrated above.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick is clean when inserted.

photo by Jenny MacBethServe it with salsa, sour cream, or ranch dressing for dipping.

I’m also making a Tuna Melt version with homemade potato chips using Old Bay seasoning. Yummy!

These yummy muffins freeze and reheat well. – Great for grab and go lunches.

Let me know what you think because this girl likes to eat.


Indian Cooking Class 1 – Khichari

My friend Margaret and I attended a free Indian cooking class at Northland Public Library. I highly recommend it.

The Indian cook, Ann Manchella, prepared Kichidi (that’s the way she spells it. Most common is Khichari), a rice dish widely known in India as a comfort food. Ann demonstrated the preparation of the dish and served us tasty samples. – Reward without the effort. The only thing that would have stepped up this class is some Indian beer <wink>.

Here is the recipe and a few photos from the evening.

split moong, photo by Jenny MacBethSplit moong dal. This can be used in place of split red lentils. Either work well.

kichidi photo by Jenny MacBethDone!

sauces photo by Jenny MacBethAnn and her team (husband), served the dish with plain yogurt and two spicy sauces. Love the spices in Indian food. I must get this.

The audience moaned when they were eating it.

We are headed back where Ann will make Puri, an unleavened Indian bread, to accompany Aloo Sabji, a potato curry; which I absolutely love.

Here is Ann’s recipe…


1/3 cup of split red lentils, or split moong dal

1 cup basmati or other long-grain rice or brown rice

3 tablespoons of ghee or oil (ghee is easy to make. Click link for recipe)

1/3 cup of unsalted cashews

3 teaspoons of cumin seeds

1 tablespoon of fresh hot green chili, minced

2 tablespoons of minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons of turmeric

1 teaspoon of yellow asafetida powder

3 cups of mixed vegetables: Chopped green beans, carrots, cauliflower, spinach (Ann says that you can use whatever veges you like)

5-6 cups of water (if needed)

1 1/2 teaspoons of salt

1 tablespoon of butter

1 cup of tomatoes, chopped

1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves

1 bunch of curry leaves


  1. Boil water and add lentils or dal. After they are half-cooked, add rice and vegetables.
  2. In a separate saucepan, heat the ghee over medium heat. When the ghee is hot, put asafetida followed by cumin seeds. Then add curry leaves, chilies and ginger. Add cashews and saute till they turn slight brown. Add tomatoes and spinach and cook them till the water from the tomatoes is gone.
  3. Stir in the lentils and rice to they curry (once lentils and rice is 90% cooked). If the Kichidi dries out too much, add up to 1 cup warm water.
  4. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot with yogurt, Lime Pickle and Bedekar Mango Chili sauces (pictured above).

All this was free, so click to register for upcoming programs or by calling the adult services reference desk at 412-366-8100, ext.113.

Thanks Ann! I really enjoyed your class.



Dark Chocolate Chili Cupcakes

Happy April Fools! Who’s going to try one of my cupcakes?

We are meeting friends for dinner tonight. Since it is April Fools, I wanted to bake them some yummy cupcakes, but make two of those, not so yummy. My friend Paula recommended that I use chili powder. I have a great recipe for dark chocolate and chili pepper sauce for pasta, so I didn’t think that chili powder would do the trick.

I was already planning on making dark chocolate something, since our friends both love it. And, since Paula inspired me to use spice as my trick, I found a recipe.

First, I need to tell you that I’m not much of a baker. It may taste yummy, but my artistic ability to make baked goods, look like works of art, are not so good. My decorating skills look more like a Jackson Pollock painting. So, even though I followed this recipe exactly from The Cake Mistress, it doesn’t look like hers. Sigh.

I will say, especially since I’m posting this, it tastes scrumptious. However, I think I will try a different version next time. I’ll explain what I’ll do different throughout the post.

Let’s get started…

infused-water-chili-pepper, photo by Jenny MacBethI couldn’t find baby chillies, so I used two small chili peppers. I like it spicy. The Cake Mistress calls for two baby chillies sliced and seeds removed, or use dried chili flakes. I opted for the fresh chillies by adding to 1/4 cup of hot water for about 10 minutes, but since I take photos of my food and preparation, my chillies were soaking for about an hour. This takes time. but don’t worry, you only get a hint of spice in the finished cupcake. Next time, I’m going to skip this step and add crushed chili flakes to the batter. I also wouldn’t mind trying Jalapeno jelly.

Kitchen Aid, photo by Jenny MacBethI love my Kitchen Aid. It’s the best for whipping up batter. I tossed in 3 eggs, 1 cup of butter, and 1 cup of sugar, then mix until light and fluffy. The Cake Mistress says to use caster sugar. Of course, I couldn’t find it. I just used regular sugar.

Add in 1/2 cup of milk, 1 1/2 cups of flour, and 1 teaspoon of vanilla.

mixer, photo by Jenny MacBethAdd half a bag of Nestle special dark chocolate chips, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder, and 1/2 of the chilli-infused water and combine. This is where I would add the Jalapeno jelly for next time.

Beat with an electric mixer for 2 minutes, until light and creamy.

cupcake tray, photo by Jenny MacBethPut mixture in your cupcake pans with liners. If you are planning an April Fools prank, make sure you remember which ones are meant for the joke. I added tons of salt to two – Shhh! <insert evil laugh here>

Bake for 20 minutes at 350, or until firm to the touch. Allow to cool for a few minutes and then transfer to the counter. Finish cooling fully before icing.

chocolate-butter, photo by Jenny MacBethIn the meantime, start your topping. Combine the other half of the dark chocolate and 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. As the mixture begins to melt, reduce heat to low, stirring constantly, until melted.

melted-chocolate, photo by Glen GreenRemove from heat, and whip in 1/3 cup of heavy cream, and remaining chilli water. I guess this is where I went wrong. The Cake Mistress said to let it rest for 10 minutes until the mixture was velvety.  It took a good 30 minutes to thicken up, and it still wasn’t thick enough to make her cute swirly topping. Nonetheless, I added the dark chocolate sauce to the cooled cupcakes.

guinness goes best with these cupcakes, photo by Jenny MacBeth Since I couldn’t find baby chillies, I added crushed chili flakes for garnish.

I put the cupcakes in the refrigerator and the icing harden to perfection. My cupcakes have a crunchy layer.


Secret ingredient: Pair this cupcake with a Guinness. Oh so yummy!

Please share your ideas because this girl likes to eat.