Mikeylito’s All Purpose Mexican Mix


  • 88 grams (½ cup) black beans, unsoaked, rinsed, soaked
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup broth, preferably beef or vegetable
  • 1 cup (235ml) water
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 package McCormack Taco Seasoning Mix (Strength: Your choice)
  • 1 package Ben’s Original Ready Rice, Long Grain & Wild Rice (or your choice)
  • 1 11oz (311g) can, Green Giant Steam Crisp Mexicorn, drained


  1. Add beans, salt, broth, and water to the Instant Pot.
  2. Pressure cook on high for 30 minutes.
    It will take about 8 minutes for the Instant Pot to pressurize before cooking begins.
  3. Let the beans rest in the pot for 20 minutes so the steam can dissipate naturally.
    This means you don’t push any buttons — we recommend setting another timer so you’ll remember to remove the lid after 20 minutes.
  4. While the beans are resting, brown the ground beef.
  5. While the beef is browning, mix Taco Seasoning Mix in 3/4 cup water (or broth).
  6. When beef is browned, pour Taco Seasoning Mix into pan with beef.
    Bring to boil.
    Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  7. While beef mixture is simmering, microwave Ready Rice for 90 seconds.
    Set aside.
  8. When beef mixture has simmered for 5 minutes, mix in:
    • Ben’s Original Ready Rice, from microwave
    • Green Giant Mexicorn
  9. When the Instant Pot has de-pressurized, add the black beans from the Instant Pot.

You’re done!

With this mix, you can make nachos, tacos, burritos, bowls, whatever you like!

Holiday Egg Nog


  • 12 large eggs
  • one 12-oz container of Domino Quick Dissolve Superfine Sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 half-gallon of Maple Hill Creamery Organic Whole Milk, divided
  • 2 tablespoons of McCormick Extra Rich Pure Vanilla Extract (a/k/a “Small Batch”)
  • 1 teaspoon of McCormick Gourmet Organic Ground Nutmeg
  • 1 pint heavy (whipping) cream
  • Additional nutmeg, optional


  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk together eggs, sugar and salt.
  2. Gradually add 4 cups milk.
  3. Cook and stir over low heat until a thermometer reads 160°-165°, 30-35 minutes.
    Do not allow to boil.
  4. Immediately transfer to a large bowl.
  5. Stir in vanilla, nutmeg and remaining milk. 
  6. Place bowl in an ice-water bath, stirring until milk mixture is cool.
    (If mixture separates, process in a blender until smooth.) 
  7. Refrigerate, covered, until cold, at least 3 hours.
  8. To serve, beat cream until soft peaks form.
  9. Whisk gently into cooled milk mixture.
  10. If desired, sprinkle with additional nutmeg before serving.


  • Eggnog may be stored, covered, in the refrigerator for several days.
    Whisk it before serving.
  • If you’re entertaining the 21-and-over crowd, spike this easy eggnog recipe with bourbon or dark rum.

Crockpot Cashew Chicken


  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thigh tenders or chicken breast tenders
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp ketchup
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup cashews


  1. Combine flour and pepper in a large Ziploc bag.
  2. Add chicken.
  3. Shake to coat with flour mixture.
  4. Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.
  5. Brown chicken about 2 minutes on each side.
  6. Place chicken in the slow cooker.
  7. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, ketchup, sugar, garlic, ginger, and pepper flakes in small bowl; pour over chicken.
  8. Cook on LOW for 3 to 4 hours.
  9. Add cashews and stir.

Serving Suggestion

Serve over rice.

If you like sauce and want to have some to pour over the chicken and the rice, double the sauce ingredients

Quick Macaroni & Cheese (Air Fryer)


  • 112 grams elbow macaroni
  • 2 liters water (2 quarts)
  • 225 grams Cracker Barrel chunk cheese (8 ounces)
  • 15 grams butter (1 tablespoon)
  • 9 grams flour (1 tablespoon)
  • 250ml milk (1 cup)


  1. Pre-heat air fryer to 400°F (205°C).
  2. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
  3. Prepare elbow macaroni according to package directions, approx. 7 minutes.
  4. Drain macaroni. Set aside covered.
  5. Melt butter in a saucepan.
  6. Stir flour into melted butter.
  7. Gradually add milk to butter and flour stirring as sauce thickens.
  8. Once sauce thickens, gradually whisk cheese into white sauce; save some for topping.
  9. Once cheese melts into the sauce and is smooth, pour into baking dish.
  10. Top casserole with remaining cheese and, optionally (panko) bread crumbs.
  11. Bake casserole at 400°F (205°C) for 30 minutes.

Serving Suggestion

Serve the casserole with a breaded pork chop which can be baked at the same time as the macaroni and cheese casserole, turning once midway through baking time.

A Controversial Condiment

On 11 April 2018, the H.J. Heinz Company, known for its 57 sauces, proposed another one in a public message on Twitter.

I’ll save you from doing the math.
511,880 respondents answered YES, which led to this.

Update: 25 September 2018

Apparently, it’s happening.
Although I haven’t seen it in stores, I have started to see adverts for it.
I made some homemade with Hellmann’s Mayonesa and Hellmann’s Ketchup.
Very tasty.
How it compares to the Kraft Heinz product remains to be seen.


In Search Of Raktajino

It all got started with a discussion about Deep Space Nine.

My brother and I were talking about the regular presentations of the various Star Trek series on BBC America. Yet, very seldom do you see any episodes of Deep Space Nine on that channel. However, I subscribe to Netflix and Verizon Fios recently added access to Netflix to its services; so I set up my brother on my Netflix account and showed him how to access DS9 and that should have been that.

However, it’s been a while since I’ve watched DS9 myself and it got me thinking about Raktajino. or simply put, Klingon coffee. While not as rabid a Trekkie (or is it Trekker‽) as some, I have my moments when I get engaged with a topic and won’t let it go. So it was with raktajino.

Like the deconstruction of the Klingon language, you just know some enterprising person had come up with a recipe for Klingon coffee as well. So, I called upon my trusted friend, Google Assistant, to direct me to a recipe.

Mikeylito: Hey, Google! Recipe for raktajino.
Assistant: Here are some results from the web.

There were recipes for an alcoholic beverage which I’m anxious to try and a couple of convoluted non-alcoholic ones which are spicy equivalents to a Dunkin Donuts Dunkaccino.

One correspondent, pen name Siderite, has an entire blog post, The Quest for Raktajino, where he explores the chemistry of creating a recipe. Another young lady, pen name MommaTrek, has another blog post, also titled The Quest for Raktajino, that has the two predominant recipes found on the web for this coffee/cocoa hybrid.

Oddly enough, the most bland description of raktajino comes from “The Star Trek Cookbook” (ISBN:0671000225). In it, the authors, Ethan Philips (a/k/a “Neelix”) and William J. Birnes, describe the beverage essentially as an aged java mixed with “dark French roast or Italian espresso beans that you grind yourself.” What?

After all this investigation, I have devised my own recipes for the non-alcoholic variety and they are presented elsewhere on this site but are basically similar versions of the coffee and cocoa combination. They are dubbed Raktajino Dark and Raktajino Light. They are works-in-progress. The recipes may be updated depending on how adventurous I get in the future.

And so it goes.

Beverage: None