ENTERTAINING: Mozzarella Cheese Sticks and Other All-Time Favorites


 by Mary Canovas

Fried Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

An all-time favorite with the family or guests. Our recipe gives you a really crispy and flavorful Cheese Stick. These are easy to make and much less expensive than the store-bought frozen kind. You can prepare them ahead of time (up to 3 months) and have them in your freezer, ready to fry at a moment´s notice. It is important to follow all the steps carefully. Watch our full video tutorial in Spanish.

239 gr – mozzarella cheese, 120 gr – 1/2 cup all-purpose flour, 1 large egg, 120 gr – 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs well mixed with 1 teaspoon parsley, 1 tspn garlic powder, 1 tspn oregano (if possible use homemade bread crumbs or panko)

1. Cut the cheese into 8 3 1/2/x 1/2×1/2″ sticks.
2. Dredge the mozzarella sticks lightly in flour, shaking off the excess.
3. One by one, dip in the beaten egg, coating completely, and then roll in seasoned bread crumbs to coat.
4. Put the sticks on a plate and freeze for 15 minutes. 5. Fry the mozzarella sticks in a deep fryer o skillet with 3” of oil until golden brown, about 1 minute. Heat must be high and the oil hot before putting sticks in. 6. Drain on paper towels and serve with hot marinara sauce


Chocolate Rice Krispie Treats

Many of us remember these homemade concoctions from when we were little. Others have never tried this highly addictive, economical and easy-to-make treat. They´ve been around since 1939 invented by (guess who?) Kellogg´s cereals. The original was made with regular Rice Krispies cereal – our version is even more delectable – the chocolate version – and all you have to do is make it with Choco Rice Krispies.

Try to use only the Kellogg´s brand since it holds up perfectly for this sweet. You can mold this treat into balls, figures or whatever you may imagine. You can also top it off with frosting or add bits of chocolate or raisins and nuts into the mixture when you´re making it.
The recipe is easy. It makes a lot. So, if you want to, you can make half (just divide all ingredients by 2) for a smaller crowd. (Here in Spain they sell marshmallows or “nubes” in bags of approximately 150 gr. This makes them perfect for half the recipe. )
*Very important tip: BEFORE YOU START, LIGHTLY BUTTER EVERYTHING – saucepan, spoons, spatulas, serving dish and your hands. This stuff is really sticky as those who have ever eaten roasted marshmallows well know.
3 tablespoons – 1/4 cup butter
290 gr (10 oz) regular marshmallows
6 cups Kellogg’s Chocolate Rice Krispies cereal
Preparation: In a large saucepan, melt butter over low heat. Add the marshmallows and stir constantly until the marshmallows have completely melted. Remove from heat. Stir in the Kellogg’s Rice Krispies cereal coating them well with the melted marshmallow mixture. Using a buttered spatula, press the mixture evenly into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch pan which has been buttered or sprayed with non-stick spray or lined with wax paper. Once cooled cut into squares or hearts. You can also top them with frosting…

Watch our full Krispie Treat video tutorial in Spanish.

Banana Pancakes

There´s a saying: “Everybody loves pancakes.” Banana pancakes are just as easy to make as regular pancakes. We´ll show you two different ways to serve them: Classic American style or Elegant Dessert. The Classic is made with lots of butter and maple syrup and is great for a hearty breakfast. It has been shown that maple syrup, which comes from the sap of the maple tree, has many nutrients which are beneficial for our health. It is also a powerful natural sweetener. Our Elegant Dessert version should be served with chocolate syrup and whipped cream on top and makes a very special treat, especially for chocolate lovers

Here are some celebrity stories about everyone´s (well almost everyone´s) favorite breakfast food.

Brad Pitt has been quoted as saying that one of the things that inspired him to have a large family was a childhood memory. One of his friends had a large family with many brothers and Brad used to go to visit them very often. Brad remembered the bustle and fun of the entire troupe at breakfast time with both parents making pancakes for the whole family.

We all know Will Smith, star of the television series Prince of Bel Air and all those mega-movie hits. According to his wife, he loves to cook and despite having a professional chef at home, Will often gets in the kitchen to make banana pancakes or fried chicken for the whole family.

Two other devotees are David Spade, star of the Boston Legal TV show and many films like Stargate and Olivia Wilde, of Dr. House TV fame. When Olivia was just starting out in acting, she entered a pancake eating contest. And she won: after eating 36 pancakes in one sitting!


• 2 small ripe bananas mashed • 1 sliced banana • 1 cup to 1 ¼ cup (125 – 185 g) flour***. • 2 tablespoons sugar • 2 ½ teaspoons Royal baking powder • salt 1/4 tsp • 1 egg, beaten • 1 cup (240 ml) of milk • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (not olive oil) or melted butter • (optional) 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg.
(Toppings: Whipped cream, walnut, chocolate syrup, maple syrup or caramel, banana slices.)
Preparation: (*** As always depending on the quality of the flour and egg size. If you see that the batter turns out a little thick, add a little milk, if too runny, add a little flour)


Directions: Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the lightly beaten egg, milk, mashed bananas and melted butter, beat until just smooth. Don´t over-mix the batter. • Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly grease skillet • Depending on the size you want, pour a spoonful or more onto the hot skillet. • Cook on one side until bubbles cover surface. • Flip and cook until the bottom is golden brown. Tip: Touch them with your finger in the middle to make sure they have completely cooked.

Classic American Style:  With butter and maple syrup. Put a pat of butter between each pancake and top. Pour maple syrup over the pancakes. Add some sliced bananas and walnuts on top.

Elegant Dessert Pancakes: With chocolate or caramel and cream. Drizzle pancakes with syrup and top off with whipped cream. Add some bananas and walnuts as a garnish. See our full video tutorial for banana pancakes in Spanish.

Powdered or Confectioner´s Sugar

So many recipes call for Powdered Sugar and it is way too expensive to buy at the supermarket, especially when you know how to make it at home, quickly and economically.

All you have to do is put regular sugar (not brown only white) in your blender, about a half cup at a time and blend away until you get really, really fine sugar powder. Scrape the sides so that all the sugar gets processed. The trick is to make sure the sugar is processed to the fine powdered state. You can also do this with a small electric coffee grinder. You´ll never buy another bag of powdered sugar again. This one is easy but if you´re still not sure you can see our Powdered Sugar video tutorial.


Homemade Buttermilk

I guess we can all find some recipe which we would love to make but one of the ingredients (buttermilk) just can´t be found in Spain (or Europe, Japan, etc.). Remember what incredibly light buttermilk pancakes or biscuits and traditional Southern Fried Chicken were like? That´s right they´re not the same without the buttermilk. So this is the recipe for homemade buttermilk. It´s easy, inexpensive and can even be frozen. Use regular milk, no non-fat for this.

• 4 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice or white vinegar
• 1 cup milk
Directions: Place the lemon juice or vinegar in a measuring cup, and add enough milk to make 1 cup total liquid. Stir to combine and let stand for 10 to 15 minutes (The mixture will begin to curdle). If you use uperized ( that milk in bricks that lasts forever), it will take more time. Be patient, eventually it will become buttermilk. Use as needed or cover and refrigerate. Best used before one week. It can also be frozen but not for drinking purposes – only for baking. Stir well after defrosting.

Have great fun at the Carnival too!