Juanita's Cocina

A labrynth of food adventures by an at-home cook, wanna-be chef, and aspiring foodie. May you be satiated.

24 March 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Juanita’s Cocina Has Moved To A New Home!

Juanita’s Cocina has moved and is now housed at http://jcocina.com

All recipes and posts from this website have been transferred to new and better digs.

Hope to see you there!

20 March 2012 ~ 49 Comments

Dill Pickle Dip

Wha?  Dill pickle dip???

Yeah, I totally went there.  But, before I move on to the recipe, there’s something I need to share with you…since we’re getting to know each other and all…

My cat, Tooter, watches TV.  I’m totally serious.

Need more proof?

I also have pictures of her watching “Revenge”, “Survivor”, and maybe a little “Real Housewives”.  (Ssssshhhhhh, she loves trash TV.  Don’t judge.  She had a hard life on the streets before she adopted us.)

She probably adopted us because she knew we’d let her veg in front of the TV all day long.  She’s content to simply sit and watch the TV, only giving us an occasional glare when we snap her picture.  Apparently, photos are *so* beneath her.

She doesn’t even require TV snacks.

But, I do.

And that’s where this dill pickle dip comes in.

This is one of those recipes that you see and immediately think, “I don’t know about all that.”  But, you have to make it because it’s a little freaky and you just gotta try it.  And then you do try it and you immediately think, “I’m ALLLLLL about that!”

This dip, which was originally printed on Foodie With Family, is best served in front of the TV.  (Cat not included…)

Dill Pickle Dip

Printable Recipe

1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, softened
1 cup finely chopped dill pickle
1 Tbs. grated onion
2-4 Tbs. pickle juice (the more you use, the thinner the dip)
1 tsp. dried dill weed
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Stir all ingredients together until mixture is smooth and evenly mixed.

Refrigerate dip for at least an hour before serving.  Serve with chips or pretzels.  Dip can also be used as a sandwich spread.

Can you say addicting?

What are you favorite foods to eat whilst sitting in front of the tube?  Do your pets watch TV with you?

And how long can you wait before you make this dip?

18 March 2012 ~ 42 Comments

#PartyLikeAMadMan With A Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

I am obsessed with “Mad Men”.  Obsessed.  And season 5 starts next week.

Merry Christmas to ME!

If you’re unfamiliar with “Mad Men”, here’s a brief synopsis from the show’s website:

Set in 1960′s New York, the sexy, stylized and provocative AMC drama Mad Men follows the lives of the ruthlessly competitive men and women of Madison Avenue advertising, an ego-driven world where key players make an art of the sell.

The show is amazing.  It is absolutely my favorite television show.  I even like it better than the “Real Housewives”.  Don’t tell Bravo.

So, when I received an invitation to participate in a Virtual Mad Men Dinner Party hosted by Smart Pop Books and Judy Gelman, the author of The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men, I knew I had to participate!

Once I received my copy in the mail (Thank you Amazon Prime!), I poured over the recipes.  You don’t need to love “Mad Men” to love the recipes for food and drinks in this book.  And the authors of the book accompany each and every recipe with a story and a reference to the show.

I chose to make Kitty’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake.  Kitty is (was?) the wife of my long-lost favorite “Mad Men” character, Sal Romano.  (We miss you Sal!)  You can read the story regarding Kitty’s cake in the cookbook, but the version housed within the amazing pages of this book is an adaptation from Roberta Ames’ “The Complete Electric Skillet-Frypan Cookbook”, circa 1960.  The 1960′s were a time of new culinary tools and techniques, which is why this particular recipe touts the usefulness of aluminum foil to line your baking pan.  Apparently, it was commonplace to see product ads within the pages of cookbooks during this time, as seen with this recipe and Reynold’s Wrap.

This cookbook reads like a novel from the 1960′s, including historical facts and culinary history directly from the time.

I’m so pleased to have the opportunity to participate in this Virtual Mad Men Dinner Party!  I hope all of you enjoy this recipe and then take a chance to browse the recipes from the other bloggers participating in this awesome event!

(P.S.~ There IS booze.)

Kitty’s Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Printable Recipe


For the topping:

5 Tbs. butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
7-8 canned pineapple slices (reserve syrup)
Maraschino cherries, for decorating
Pecan halves, for decorating (optional)

For the cake:

10 Tbs. butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup syrup from pineapple
1 tsp. vanilla

Line a 10-inch cast-iron skillet with aluminum foil, completely covering the bottom and sides and extending extra foil over edges of the pan.  Preheat oven to 350.

Make the topping:  Place butter in skillet, place skillet in oven, and melt butter.  As soon as butter is melted, remove and stir in brown sugar, carefully mixing well with a rubber spatula so as not to tear foil.

Arrange pineapple slices over butter/sugar spread.  Places cherries in center of pineapple and pecans between the slices.  (I left off the pecans)

Make the batter:  In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter, adding sugar gradually, and then add eggs and beat well.

Stir flour, baking powder, and salt together in a small bowl.  Combine buttermilk, syrup, and vanilla in a small measuring cup.  Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk/syrup mixture, beating well after each addition.

Spread batter evenly across mixture in skillet.

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.  Place a large cake plate over pan, and invert to remove.  Peel off aluminum foil, pressing back any pineapple that may be stuck to the foil.

I don’t care if it’s 1960 or 2012.  This cake is divine.

It’s moist.  Sweet, but not TOO sweet…

This cake will transport you to another time and another place.  A place where there is cake…

I encourage you to follow all of the delicious contributions from The Unofficial Mad Men Cookbook: Inside the Kitchens, Bars, and Restaurants of Mad Men tonight on Facebook and Twitter starting at 8 p.m. est.  Make sure you also check out the official blog and website associated with the cookbook.

And don’t forget to pick up your copy of the book.

But, more importantly, have some pineapple upside-down cake.  But, I get the cherry…

18 March 2012 ~ 17 Comments

Apple-Infused Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage for #Green #SundaySupper

It’s Sunday y’all.  You know what that means?


In case you’re new to my blog or new to #SundaySupper, #SundaySupper is the creation of my friend Isabel at Family Foodie.  Isabel believes, and I wholeheartedly agree, that the family supper table is an important place to connect.  It’s a place to share both food and love with one another.  Every Sunday, a group of food bloggers (and anyone else who wants to participate) gathers together to share what we’re making and eating around our family tables.

#SundaySupper has turned green this week.  No, not like Al Gore!  We’re celebrating St. Patrick’s Day!

I’m not Irish.  But, you’ll still find me celebrating the luck o’ the Irish with the best of ‘em.  I decided to make a more traditional St. Paddy’s Day supper by serving up some fabulous corned beef brisket and cabbage.

It’s getting warmer here in Texas, which means we don’t like heating up the house with all day oven-use.  Raise your hand if you know what that’s like!  So, I was excited when I found this crockpot version of the traditional dish!  No oven=no hot house!

I was also intrigued by the use of apple juice in this recipe from Sandra Lee.  I just so happened to have some extra juice in the house, and I was excited to see what the apple would do to the flavors in the meat and veggies.

And oh. mah. gaw.  This was INSANE.  Tender, with a hint of sweetness on the veggies, and just absolutely delicious!

Yummy, yummy, yummy…on a scale of 1-3 yummies!

Crockpot Corned Beef and Cabbage

Printable Recipe

3 pounds corned beef brisket with spice packet
3 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into chunks
1 small head of green cabbage, cored and chopped
2 cups apple juice
1 cup water

Put the carrots and onions in the bottom of a slow cooker.

Top with the brisket.  Arrange the cabbage around the brisket in the crockpot.

Pour the seasoning packet from the brisket across the top of the meat.  Pour the apple juice and water around the brisket, so as not to disturb the spices.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or until the meat is tender.

Remove the meat and veggies to a platter and serve.

Insert St. Patrick’s Day swoon here…

I hope your #SundaySupper is full of love, sharing and maybe a little corned beef brisket.


You don’t have to stop with corned beef brisket though.  Many of my other foodie friends are participating in today’s #SundaySupper and they’ve got some delicious courses for you to try!

How about Whole Wheat Soda Bread from Pam at the Meltaways!

And Crystal at Make Dinner Easy is serving up some Chili Lime Chicken!

Jeff from the Catholic Foodie is plating up some amazing Beer-Brazed Rabbit!

Renee  from Magnolia Days is green all the way through with her French Green Lentil Salad!

Sue from Sue’s Nutrition Buzz is offering up some Avocado Ginger Chickpea Wontons with Mint Yogurt Dip!  YUM!

And we have TWO desserts for you today!

First, Carla at Chocolate Moosey is giving us some luck with Irish Cream Cupcakes!

And our hostess with the mostest, Isabel at Family Foodie, is serving a Green Velvet Cake!


You see?  There’s no reason for you not to share many yummy things around your family table today!

I hope you enjoy our Gone-Green #SundaySupper as much as we’ve enjoyed sharing it with you!

17 March 2012 ~ 12 Comments

What’s Been Happenin’ In The Cocina ~ 3/17/12

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, y’all!

I hope you’re wearing green!  If you’re not, here ya’ go:  *pinch*  (I tried not to get ya’ too hard!)

It’s officially the last weekend of Spring Break.  Which means I officially go back to work in a few days and my cook-cation is over.  But, it also officially means that the end of the school year is nigh.  Not that I’m counting days or anything.

Lots of wonderful things have been happening in the Cocina this week.  And not all of them are food!

First, my dear friend Lacy over at NY City Eats showered me with an amazing award!

Thank you, Lacy!  And if y’all haven’t checked out Lacy’s blog yet, please do so.  She is full of sweetness and light and yummy food!  And she’s one of my absolute favorite bloggers.  Plus, she lives in the big city, and I get to live vicariously through all of her wonderful foodie experiences.

Of course, there’s also been some cookin’ in the Cocina.  So, just in case ya’ missed anything, here’s what I’ve been makin’, bakin’, and eatin’…

Spring Chicken Wings for #SundaySupper

Creamy Baked Chicken Taquitos

Chocolate Chip Lava Cookies

Braised Short Ribs for A Daring Cook’s Challenge

Cranberry Pistachio Cookies

Salt-Brined Fried Chicken


There’s also been some wonderful things going on with a few of my other favorite blogs!  Here’s some things I’ve pinned this week and that I can’t wait to dive into!

Lemon Buttermilk Cookies from Shannon at A Periodic Table.  Cuteness and yummy all in one cookie!

Feta-Stuffed Greek Burgers from Lacy at NY City Eats!  Just WOW!

Irish Smoked Salmon and Dubliner Cheese Muffins from Mike at The Culinary Lens!  Perfect for St. Patrick’s day…or just any ol’ day where you’re craving comfort in a muffin!


So, there ya’ have it.  My food.  The food of others.  And an award!

What a great week!

May your weekend be full of green things, booze, and NOT full of pinching!