Chicken Posole

Posole is a classic Mexican dish that combines hominy (alkali-treated dried corn) and chicken or pork and cooks all day. In our short cut version, we will use an electric pressure cooker, an Instant Pot, to speed up the cooking time, so you can have this delicious, healthy soup anytime you feel like it!

Follow the recipe at least once, and try it as is. I promise you won’t be disappointed. I make this soup/stew dish often when the weather gets a bit chilly for me and my family.

It’s been hot one week and cold the next here in Southern California, so I make this on particularly chilly nights to enjoy after my son and husband comes home from soccer practice. I hope you enjoy this recipe as much we do!

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2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts

salt and pepper

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 medium yellow onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 small jalapeño chile, seeds removed and finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried oregano, crumbled

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 can (25 oz./780 g) hominy, drained and rinsed

4 cups chicken broth

6 tomatillos, husks removed, rinsed and coarsely chopped

Juice of 1 big lime

Toppings: Crumbled queso fresco, chopped fresh cilantro, avocado slices, and lime wedges


1. Season the chicken breasts generously on both sides with salt and pepper.

2. Set your Instant Pot to “sauté,” and drizzle in the olive oil. Sear the chicken on both sides until golden brown, about 4 – 5 minutes per side. Transfer the chicken to a dish.

3. Add the onion to the Instant Pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic, chile, oregano, cumin, a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes.

4. Add the hominy, chicken broth and tomatillos to the pot and stir to combine. Return the chicken to the pot.

5. Cover the pot with the lid, and turn the valve to “sealing.” Set it to cook at high pressure for 20 minutes.

6. When the pressure cooking is complete, turn the valve to “venting” to manually release the steam. When the steam stops, carefully remove the lid and transfer the chicken to a large bowl.

7. Shred the chicken into bite-size pieces. Return the chicken to the pot, add the lime juice and stir to mix. Adjust seasonings as needed.

8. Ladle the soup into individual bowls. Top with queso fresco, cilantro, avocado and lime wedges, and serve immediately. Serves 6 to 8.

Choco Flan

Unmolded this☝️before chilling it completely. Notice the sunken area on the upper left.

Lesson learned: Be patient! Chill it overnight before unmolding. 😊

ChocoFlan! This is a rich, delicious chocolate cake with a beautiful layer of creamy flan sitting on top.

I first had this over a decade ago when my Cuban coworker at UCLA brought it for a potluck. It still amazes me how the layers switch when baking. You get a bit of yummy chocolate cake, a thick, creamy flan, all topped with caramelized sugar syrup…what more could you ask for?

This cake is easy to make and truly beautiful that you can bring it to any gathering and it’s sure to wow everyone lucky enough to have a slice…or two!

You’ll need a 12-cup bundt pan to make this as it rises almost to the top when baked. Most bundt pans I own have a capacity of 10 cups, so be sure to check your pan!

If you only have the 10 cup mold, set some of the cake batter aside for 2-3 cupcakes, or make a couple of small individual Choco flans in a ramekin with some of the syrup, flan, and cake mixture. The baking pan with water will also catch any overflow batter, so you should be fine.

The flan layer on this cake is thick, just the way I like it. You’ll get a good proportion of flan to chocolate cake in every bite, I promise!

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*I recently found a 6-cup bundt pan in Target made by Nordicware ( and I got 2 of course! If you have these smaller pans, you can split the caramel, flan, and cake batter between the 2 little bundt pans and have 2 Chocoflans – one to eat now and another for later, or to share!


For the Caramel:

1 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

For the Flan:

1 can (12oz) evaporated milk

1 can (14oz) condensed milk

4 oz cream cheese (half a bar)

3 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the Cake:

1 box (15.25oz) devil’s food cake mix

1/2 cup canola oil

3 eggs, separated*

1 cup water


1 12-cup bundt pan (or 2 6-cup bundt pans)



Large baking dish


Hand mixer


1. Preheat oven to 425F.

2. Spray your bundt pan/s with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Caramelized sugar:

3. Pour sugar and water in a heavy saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until deep brown, about 10-15 minutes. Keep swirling the pan when it starts to turn golden and remove from heat right before it reaches the color you want as it’ll keep cooking. You don’t want to burn this.

4. Using heavy oven gloves, immediately pour into prepared pan/s. Set aside.


5. Pour all flan ingredients into a blender and pulse until well mixed.

6. Pour over caramel layer.

7. Place the bundt pan/s in a large baking dish. Fill baking dish with water halfway up the bundt pan. We are steam baking this, baine marie style!

8. Now carefully place the entire set up in the middle rack of your preheated oven. Close the oven and set your timer to 20 minutes.

9. In the meantime, prepare your Cake layer:

10. In a bowl, beat together devil’s food cake mix, oil, egg yolks, and water until blended. Set aside.

11. Grab another bowl that it is clean, dry, no traces of oil or grease, or any speck of egg yolks. Wash and clean your beaters and dry them, too. Then beat egg whites in the bowl using clean beaters until soft peaks form. Carefully fold in 1/3 into the cake mixture until mixed. Fold in another 1/3, mix and then add in the last 1/3. Fold in until no more traces of the egg white can be seen.

*If you are crunched for time, you can also just place ALL the cake ingredients in a bowl and beat for about 2 minutes on medium to high speed. The cake won’t be as light, but I’m quite sure no one will notice!*

12. Carefully remove the pan from the oven after 20 minutes.

13. Slowly pour the cake mixture over the flan. Cover with foil, lower the oven temperature to 350F, and bake for 55 minutes more, or until cake is fully baked. Check if cake is done by inserting a skewer in the middle of the cake, it should come out clean.

14. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill overnight before unmolding.

15. Place a plate on top of the bundt pan and carefully invert the whole thing. You would hear/feel the cake drop onto the plate. Carefully remove the bundt pan and serve the cake!

*You might want to fill the bundt pan with water now to facilitate removing the caramel that is stuck on the bottom. It will dissolve on it’s own, no need to scrub, but it will need time, like a day or two!*

Electric Lunchbox #91: Taco Soup

Taco Soup!

Perfect for the cold weather we are having right now…not that it compares to the snow storms experienced in Texas and other states. But still, everyone needs a good recipe for a delicious warm soup, right?

This is another Brentwood recipe, one that we tasted at a potluck more than once and got the recipe to make it ourselves at home whenever we craved it. It’s got everything to make it hearty and filling yet it’s not too heavy. A perfect balance of flavor and healthy ingredients.

I like my taco soup with all the fixings…sour cream, cheese, green onions, chopped onions, tortilla chips…but it’s also delicious as is.

Hope you try this ELB version, stay warm and safe my friends!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1/4 cup canned Pinto beans, drained

1/4 cup canned kidney beans, drained

1/4 cup canned corn, drained

1 cup canned diced tomatoes, with liquid

1 tablespoon canned green chili

1 tablespoon taco mix powder

1 tablespoon ranch mix powder

4 oz can chicken meat, drained

1 cup water

1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

2 ELB cups water for the base

*Sour cream, grated cheese, chopped green onions, tortilla chips, to serve


1. In the big ELB bowl, place pinto beans,

2. Kidney beans,

3. Corn,

4. Tomatoes,

5. Green chili,

6. Taco powder

7. Ranch powder,

8. Water,

9. Chicken,

10. Water,

11. Cornstarch,

12. Mix everything together. Place in the ELB base. Add 2 ELB cups of water to the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 40 minutes.

13. Carefully open the ELB, and stir the soup. Taste and adjust seasoning to taste.

14. Serve hot with all the fixings! Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #85: Bodega Beans

I read an article about Bodega Beans a few weeks ago. Have you heard of it? It sounded quite delicious to me that I was planning to make it even before I was done reading the article.

Apparently it is a recipe for when you want a cheap but healthy meal with readily accessible ingredients. And nowadays, who doesn’t want that? It can be a wonderful side dish, if anything!

According to the article, the most basic “recipe” is to sauté garlic and onions in a little olive oil, add a can of drained beans and any seasoning you like, drizzle with more olive oil and you’re done! A sprinkle of cheese is optional, then serve with rice or bread.

I did make it and it was absolutely delicious! I added a few spices to it but feel free to use any that you like or have!

After making it a few times on the stove, I made it in the ELB for you guys! You can prepare rice in the small nesting bowl and you’re all set for a yummy meal!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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I like to add crispy bacon to my bodega beans as my son doesn’t like beans but loves bacon…so beans with bacon is acceptable to him. 😊

Just place the bacon strips in a clean skillet, let the oil render out and brown till crisp. Crumble when cool.


Bacon, browned and drained, optional but highly recommended

1 tablespoon minced onions

2 tablespoons chopped carrots

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Cumin, paprika, sazon todo, as desired

1 tablespoon chopped celery

1 can beans, rinsed and drained (garbanzo, pinto, red bean, black bean, any will do)

2 tablespoons olive oil or 1 tablespoon each bacon grease and olive oil, more as needed

Parmesan cheese, optional

Avocado slices, optional

Chopped cilantro, optional

Chili pepper flakes, optional


1. Place onions in the big ELB bowl.

2. Add some carrots,

3. Salt, pepper, garlic powder and any other seasoning you like. I love adding a couple of shakes of cumin.

4. Chopped celery,

5. The can of drained beans,

6. Crumbled cooked bacon,

7. Mix everything together. Add the olive oil or bacon grease and olive oil mix. Cover the bowl with foil and place in the ELB base.

* you can place 2 ELB cups of rice, rinsed and drained with 2 ELB cups water to the little nesting bowl to round out your meal!*

8. Add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

9. Carefully open the ELB and mix the contents. Serve hot with rice, bread, cheese, chopped cilantro, and/or avocado if desired. Sprinkle with chili pepper flakes if you want a little spice.

10. Enjoy!

Electric Lunchbox #76: Pumpkin Flan Cake

Fall. Pumpkin. Flan. Cake.

I’m still on my pumpkins recipes! And don’t forget my love for flan. This recipe is a combo of both, a play on the classic Choco Flan cake, autumn/fall style!

It did turn out really good, I must say. I made sure the flan layer is thicker, and this time I used a ready made “cajeta” for the caramel, just because it was staring at me when I opened the pantry looking for condensed milk.

The cake starts with a yellow cake mix, doctored with pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice. Ta-da! Pumpkin Spice Cake!

Another interesting thing about this recipe is that you place the cake layer over the cajeta, and the flan layer last. In the process of baking/steaming, the flan and cake reverses, and you’ll end up with a cake topped with a flan topped with cajeta. How awesome is that?

Like all my recipes, I hope you’ll like this! it is not too sweet, super tasty and perfect with a hot cup of coffee or tea!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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2 tablespoons caramel topping (I used Cajeta)


1 cup yellow cake mix

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons canola oil

1 large egg

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree


1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup whole milk

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 ELB cups water in base

1. Grease the large ELB bowl. Pour the caramel topping in the bowl and set aside.

2. Cake: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until combined. Pour into big bowl with caramel.

3. Flan: Mix all ingredients in a small bowl until well mixed. Pour over the cake batter.

4. Cover bowl with foil and set on the ELB base. Pour 3 ELB cups water in the base. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about an hour.

5. Carefully open the ELB and check the cake for doneness by piercing with a skewer. It should come out clean. Add more water and steam a little more if needed.

6. Cool cake completely on a wire rack. Chill at least a couple of hours, or until cold.

7. Run a knife along the edges, and invert onto a serving dish. Add more cajeta before serving, if desired.

8. Enjoy!!

Lime Pickled Onions

A very easy to make, yummy pickle recipe that only requires 3 ingredients!

I use this in my sandwich, as a side to add flavor to my meals, straight from the jar, and of course, with any Mexican/South American food.

The color is just stunning!


1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup lime juice, from about 6 limes

1 1/2 teaspoons salt, adjust to taste

Thinly sliced onions

Here’s how to make it:

1. Place the sliced onions in a bowl. Pour boiling water over, enough to cover the onions. After about 10 – 15 seconds, pour into a colander to drain.

Taco bowl

2. Place the onions in a glass jar and add the lime juice and salt. Stir well. Let sit for 30 minutes before serving. Store in a covered glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks (doesn’t last that long in my home though!).


3. Serve as a side in any way you like. It is so good that I’m sure you’ll love it as much as I did!

Chicken Enchilada

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Electric Lunchbox #58: Pumpkin Flan


Another recipe for flan? You bet!

This time it’s pumpkin flavored …because, well…PUmPkIN! 🎃 It’s kind of the fall season here in Southern California, according to the calendar, despite what the upper 100+ temperature is trying to tell you – and fall equals pumpkin to a lot of us!

This recipe makes a thick flan enough to serve 4-6 people.

Let me tell you what though, canned pumpkin has been hard to find recently, at least where I live. I had to go to 4 stores to find a can and they now cost me $4 each (they are usually about $1-$2 each). If there is a shortage of pumpkin, I just want to make sure I get this recipe right before I ran out!

Flan de calabaza is a staple in latin countries. You should try this recipe at least once and see how you like it! I know I love flan and that goes for every variation of it! The bonus dose of vitamins from the pumpkin might just convince you to keep making this! 😊

My husband isn’t a fan of the caramel layer so I minimized the amount to just enough to coat the flan. Feel free to double the amounts of the sugar and water to get more caramel yumminess with your flan.

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon water


1 tablespoon sugar

3/4 teaspoon pumpkin spice (or 1/4 teaspoon each of cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and a dash of cloves)

1/2 cup condensed milk

1/2 cup evaporated milk

2 eggs

2 oz cream cheese, at room temperature

1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree

Pinch of salt

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


1. Mix together caramel ingredients in the big bowl of the ELB. Heat over low heat until caramelized, swirling constantly to avoid burning. It’ll take about 5-7 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Place all the flan ingredients in a blender and blend thoroughly. Make sure the cream cheese is dissolved in the mixture.

3. Pour flan mixture over caramel and cover with foil.

4. Set on the ELB base and pour 3 ELB cups of water to the base.

5. Cover and let steam until it shuts off, about 1 hour.

6. Carefully open the ELB and check the flan. It should look set, not jiggly.

7. Cool completely on a wire rack and refrigerate until cold, overnight if possible as it gives the flan a chance to really set and the flavors to meld.

8. Run a knife along the sides of the bowl to release the flan. Invert onto a serving dish.

9. Serve cold. Enjoy!

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Electric Lunchbox #51: Arroz ala Poblana

This is a delicious side for any fried or grilled meat or fish! I even eat it just like this some days. It is so good! I had tasted this dish once and knew I had to get the recipe.

Been making this on the stovetop/rice cooker regularly but decided a smaller portion in the ELB would perfect. So here it is after a few tries!

This rice dish is full of flavor, has crunchy, sweet corn, and creamy, salty cheese bits. Cilantro adds another layer of fresh, herby flavor that rounds everything perfectly!

I hope you try this dish! It’s one of my favorites prepared in the ELB!

*NOTE that this recipe uses regular sized measuring cups, NOT the tiny ELB cup, unless specified.*

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1 poblano chili

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup long grain rice

1/2 onion, diced

1/2 cup chicken broth

Pinch of salt, if needed

1/2 cup corn kernels

1/4 cup queso fresco, crumbled – mix after cooking rice

Parsley or cilantro to serve


1. Cut the poblano pepper in half, remove seeds, and roast. I do this on the stovetop until it’s charred all over. Cool for a few few minutes then place in a plastic bag to sweat and make it easier to peel. Peel carefully and dice.

Roasting the Poblano pepper on the stovetop.
Let it char the skin!

2. Place poblano in the big bowl of the ELB, add in the oil, rice, onion, chicken broth, salt, and corn kernels.

3. Set on the ELB base, add 3 ELB cups of water to the base, cover and let steam until done, about 55 minutes.

4. Carefully remove the cover, stir everything together, top with queso fresco and chopped cilantro. Serve hot!

5. Enjoy!!

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