Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sopapillas from Nita

 BAD Henchman apparently don't care what time it is - they'll break in at all hours to leave clues for my two hard working detectives - including the middle of the night apparently!  NJ and the Bean stumbled out of bed this morning (ugggh 6:30 came too early for this Mama!) and on their way to breakfast noticed that the flag was up on the mailbox.  It was the perfect incentive for them to polish off breakfast and get ready for school quickly in order to give us plenty of time to check it out.  (Thanks for that BAD)  You'll notice that this letter didn't come to us from MOMG, it had a return address from BAD!  The kids were excited

Our resident reader got down to it 

The letter read as follows:

Noah and Mikayla,

Do you know what one of my favorite things about going from state to state is?  Tasting all their different special foods.  The state I’m currently hiding in is famous for a dish called sopapillas.  Here’s what I’ve learned…

Sopapillas are a popular Hispanic Dish.  They are a deep fried pastry that can be served as a dessert covered in honey or syrup (my favorite), or even as a main dish stuffed with meat, cheese and peppers.  Sopapillas are thought to have originated in Albuquerque more than 200 years ago.  The name is thought to come from the Spanish word “sopaipa” which means sweetened fried dough, or maybe from the word “Xopaipa” which means bread soaked in oil.  In this state, sopapillas are made from tortilla-like dough which is fried until it is puffy and a small air pocket appears within the pastry.  They are popular across the state and are served in almost every restaurant featuring cuisine from the area.

I thought that since you’ll never figure out where I’m hiding and then have the chance to come here to capture me and try them yourself, I’d send you the recipe.  I bet if you ask your Mom you can whip up a batch together.  Make sure you think of me enjoying the real thing without you when you try them.  HA HA HA HA HA!


PS- I also sent your Mom a recipe for another local favorite – Frito Pie.  Enjoy your dinner tonight.

It contained the following:

Which read: 
3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Large Tbsp shortening
Oil for deep-frying

1.       Heat oil over medium heat
2.      Combine all dry ingredients and mix well.
3.      Add shortening and with hands, mix well.  Ingredients will form pea size balls.
4.      Add water a little at a time. Continue combining by hand until ingredients are all blended and you have reached a smooth dough consistency.  (If dough is too wet and sticky, add pinches of flour until it is easy to manage.)
5.      Separate tough into 2-3 inch balls and roll out.  You can cut into triangle shapes or fry whole.  Fry until golden brown.

I told the kiddos, if they finished the Frito Pie Nita had suggested for tonight's dinner we'd try our hand at making the sopapillas to see if we were inspired at all.  (Side Note, they were DELIGHTED that it was Nita that contacted him.  Especially the Bean does NOT like Nita and has been telling everyone how she plans on catching her.

Meantime, in another part of the castle....  Well, back in the kitchen after we got NJ off to school, the Bean and decided some Kid Kitchening was in order.  We decided to create our own inspired recipe and take them as a treat to Grant.  Enter a box of chocolate cake mix and remaining Christmas candy.  (I was so excited to be back playing in the kitchen this morning)

She of course insisted that we use her new tools

We started with one of my favorite easy recipes - cake mix cookies!  Take ANY box of cake mix, 2 eggs and a 1/3 of a cup of oil and voila - cookie dough!  Kristina, you have my endless gratitude for this one :)

We then hauled out the candy cane kisses and the mint truffle kisses

After some thought, I decided to stuff the bad boy

I thought baking them in my mini muffin tin would cause the chocolate to melt but not spread and ooze.

Ta da!

While they cooled, we started on another recipe.  The other morning (during break I had too much fun making breakfast each morning) I suddenly remembered that I had a waffle stick maker!  (This inspired banana waffle sticks topped with whipped cream, chocolate sauce and sprinkles, by the way.)  Anyway, we're always looking for yummy easy breakfasts during the week.  So the Bean and I whipped up a batch of regular waffles and turned them into sticks.  Those went into the freezer and we'll be able to snag a few any morning that someone wants waffles now.  Score!

I got the cookies unmolded and of course the Bean had to taste test.  Both kids.  This is the candy cane

And this is the mint truffle - her choice (and Grant's later we found out)

After Kid Kitchen, we went and grabbed her buddy R and headed to the library for story time

This makes me smile.  They are so much fun together.  After the library we dropped off the cookies to a thankful Grant, made a quick stop at the bank (during the drive the entire time they giggled about 'types' of pizza - everything from shoe pizza to eyeball pizza.  20 minutes and I don't think they repeated themselves.) and home for a lunch of pizza crackers and some play time.

I made the Frito Pie like Nita suggested for dinner.  I wonder how that Nita knew I made chili the other night and was wanting a way to use the leftovers.  Wow, she really is sneaky!  If you've never had it before (I don't follow a recipe so no link, sorry) this is a big hit around here.  Crush up some fritos, top with chili, crush up a little more fritos and top with cheese and onions (optional).  There weren't too many leftovers here tonight and both kiddos finished in less than 30 minutes.  This may be because...

We were going to make sopapillas! 

Noah read the recipe for us

I let them each do their own once we got the dough made

And then I handled the deep fryer

yum!  So, don't judge these too harshly, I've been concerned about my baking powder for a few days now, and this proved it.  They didn't poof up nearly as much as I wanted them too, but no one cared.  They tasted awesome.  (And I threw away the baking powder)  They've already requested the few that were left for breakfast tomorrow.  

Everyone dug in, but no one thought this brought us any closer to figuring out exactly where Nita may be....

I'm back in NJ's class tomorrow, both kiddos have school and I have a scout meeting tomorrow night.  Both kiddos are hoping for another clue tomorrow, so we'll see!  I'm just wishing we were in the same place as Nita right now for the weather alone.  So until then...

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