Saturday, February 2, 2008

Mexican with the Texans

Tonight we're going out with another transplanted Texas couple (she's a 2L at Northwestern) who greatly miss the glories of Tex-Mex. Arturo's Tacos is in our neighborhood and one of the better Mexican places we've found up North. It has the added bonus of a liquor license (unlike many of the tasty places in Pilsen) so we can order margaritas to go with the $1.80 tacos. After dinner we're coming back to our place for tres leches cake. Mmmmmmm.

I haven't made this cake since the dinner party back in November 2006 when my cat turned psychotic (and has never fully recovered). The recipe is almost embarassingly simple, but absolutely delicious. I will share the secret with you all, but feel free to pretend you slaved for hours in the kitchen while making it.

Tres Leches Cake

1 box yellow cake mix (with "pudding in the mix")

Topping mixture:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 pint heavy whipping cream
1/2 c. rum (or to taste)

Finishing touches:
whipped topping (I use the "extra creamy" version)
caramel, strawberries, sweetened coconut, etc. to garnish

1. Bake cake as directed (err on the side of it being "well done")
2. Poke holes with fork all over warm cake
3. Pour topping mixture over entire cake
4. Let soak in the fridge
5. Top with whipped topping and whatever else you like.

I've made it with and without the rum- both versions are tasty. It'll look like the cake is going to be drowning in liquid, but it won't as long as you've poked enough holes all the way through. The first time I only used half the topping because it seemed like so much, but have faith in the sponginess.

I made a beautiful design out of the strawberries on the top of the cake so that I wouldn't be tempted to sneak bites of it all day. And it's a good thing- I've opened the fridge at least 10 times trying to figure out how I can take a bite that no one will notice. I have no self control.


  1. Man I love Tex-Mex. Oddly, I really LOVE Chipotle . .. . and it disturbs me greatly that it's a subsidiary of McDonald's because it's so much better than McDonald's. I love a place that can make everything on their menu out of basically 10 ingredients.

  2. That sounds delicious. I might have to try it! I like Tex Mex too. I hope it was a nice taste of home.

  3. Yum, I love Tres Leches. Of course living it Texas its obvious that I have hot sauce running through my veins. Have fun tonight!

  4. Oh, I hate you for that post. It's currently 11:33pm, and I'm starving, but I've already brushed my teeth. Not only am I not up for cooking tres leches, but I'm not even going to attack the ice cream bars in my freezer. Plus now I want a margarita, and I can't have one of those for at least a month. $()*& pregnancy.

  5. Oh I hope you had much fun tonight, especially with the margaritas! I'm trying your Tres Leches (not Tree Leeches, apparently) recipe tomorrow while Jas is watching the football game. Thanks for the idea!

  6. my baby wants some of that...badly

  7. LL-a warning about your cat.

    I had a similar experience a few years back with a cat I LOVED. One day he freaked out at the sound of an outdoor cat fight and literally came after my husband and I, teeth bared and claws out, hissing, etc.
    Did I mention he was a very large cat? I had to hide in the closet until he calmed down. I saw then the wild and dangerous animal cats can be under certain circumstances.

    After the first incident, we tried to brush it off as a freak incident, but it happened again (same stimulus of cat yowls). We took him to the vet who said that (without 2Gs worth of tests) his diagnosis was a brain tumor of some kind. We had no option but to put the cat to sleep because we had actually become afraid of him. Note that other than those few incidents, he was sweet loving and seeming to have no clue he was a Jeckyl/Hyde kitty. 'Twas very sad.

    I'm only relaying this because you have a baby, and if your cat has another episode, Landon could be in the path of the claws. A vet trip might be in order.

    But not today...
    Happy Snowstorm!

  8. Do you have a Pepe's near you? OMG!!! I love them. Everytime I'm home, I make time to go out and eat at Pepe's. It's not Tex-Mex, it's more like authentic Mexican (at least, according to all the Mexicans I grew up with). Oh, if nothing else, before you leave Chicago, go to Pepe's for me and have the beef enchilada suiza dinner!! *sigh*
    oh, and what's the background about your cat freaking out? biomom3 up there freaked me out a bit...mostly because my cats always get wound-up whenever the neighbor's cat comes up on our porch, teasing my cats--they start fighting with each other because they're so ticked that they can't get outside to beat up the neighbor cat trespassing. It's called something like displaced aggression, and it's really common in animals, although her cat may have been a little different.
    But I have three cats (had 4 prior to September) since college and they never ever attacked either of my kids, provoked or otherwise.

  9. or I could just read the link to your cat's mental breakdown... ;)

    um, she probably just got territorial about your friend being in your bedroom since that's WAY more important to her than areas where she eats or socializes. Especially if the friend was someone she didn't know well. My cat George used to dig up my plants everytime I brought Justin into my apartment for the first 6 months we were dating.