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Friday, March 16, 2012

Not uno, not dos, but TRES LECHES!

Big night last night  people...very big night. It was our weekly mall food court and frozen yogurt night with my friends. Well, only two of us made it. Sergio laughs at me when I tell him about it. It's such a Golden Girls weekly event. But things are different out here.  I mean back in the US, the last time I had a mall food court night with my friends I was 14. The fact is, if you want frozen yogurt here, you have to go to the mall and the other fact is that the mall (Westgate) is one of the nicest places to go in general for anything. So, it just works. We eat our indian food and then we travel slowly down to the 2nd level to get our Planet Yogurt. And then we sit and talk about cabbage, fertilizer, and how loud children are these days. ;-)  Actually since my friend Carly had her baby, it's a time for us to get to see the little guy and just catch up in general. Then usually one of us has just returned from some weird country and we'll hear stories about that (re. Rose and the Libyans).  LOVE MALL FOOD COURT NIGHT.

Next topic - so last Sunday, an angel named Tara, invited me (and Scott and friends) over to her house for Mexican night. Anything called Mexican night is also a huge deal..right up there Mall Food Court (MFC from here on out).  You see, Tara works as a foreign service officer for USAID. So, this means she has all access to the US commissary here AND they can order anything they want, anytime online and have it delivered to the embassy. This is HUGE.  So, for example, Tara has access to Tostitos, black beans, cheese from home, specialty supplies like ancho chillies in adobo sauce or whatever, salsa, etc. She can get all sorts of stuff that I as a commoner contractor cannot get. The other thing about Tara is she is a fellow Texan so we can sign state songs together and talk about Davey Crockett and Sam Houston. AND she knows Tex-mex. She has this Tex Mex cooking bible - it literally glows when it sits on a shelf.
She made us an AMAZING dinner of two types of enchiladas, queso dip, two types of salsas,  black bean dip, mexican rice...ooooh it was goooood. So gooooood.  I wish I would have taken photos. I was too busy eating queso dip. Tara cooked it up right. (Yes, She also cooks upright).

My contribution was dessert - and it needed to be some type of spanish sounding thing. I attempted churros, but since I didn't have a pastry bag or tip, they looked like uh cinnamon poopoo. So, I decided to make TRES LECHES cakes, which I like too much.
I sort of combined two recipes - the Alton Brown Recipe from Food Network and one from Allrecipes.com. It turned out GREAT! I was worried since I couldn't try it until it was time to serve and there was a good 10 or so people there. Here's the process:
Borrow a mixer from your neighbor Scott. Then mix the wet ingredients first.  This is half a cup butter, 1 c. sugar, 5 eggs, half tsp vanilla.

mix the dry ingredients - about 1.5 cups of flour, 1 tsp baking powder, half tsp salt.  Then slowly add the dry stuff into the wet stuff and mix well.

borrow a cake pan from your neighbor Scott. Get said pan ready. Dump batter into pan.

Said pan was too big for my mini Make-it-and-bake-it oven so it went in at an angle. True to Lenna form, improvise! I kept turning the plan every like 4 minutes to try to get it to come out somewhat flat. But it cooked up quick and held a  good 20 degree slant.  I could care less.  Took about 20 minutes.

Mix together  evaporated milk, normal milk, and condensed milk and dump all over cake once it's cooled.
The milks will fully absorb and look like this. Then put it in the fridge over night.

The next day, take whipping cream, 1tsp vanilla and sugar and mix it for a loooong time till it gets thick. This was the first time I've ever done this. I thought it would never firm up - but it eventually did. (that's what she said). The whip cream was awesome - tasted like the real deal from the spray can from home.

Then, spread on cake. And serve just like this. This is not one of those cakes you take out of the pan - which worked great for me since I can never get a cake out of a pan without tearing it up.  Gotta keep this thing cold till it's time to serve though. 

Okay, that's it for me. This post took forever.

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