Sunday, July 31, 2011


There are many things i miss about Venezuela however these little guys are on the top of my list. When i go to Venezuela i look forward sitting down in a bakery or cafe with a nice cup of coffee and a plate full of them. I grew up having these, there is a joke within my circle of friends that when you go to a really big wedding you know when the party is over when they bring out these hot scrumptious little treats. It used to be that some wedding in Venezuela would end around 5-6 A.M. Tequenos are more popular around breakfast or brunch time. ENJOY!

Remember this recipe will make a lot is meant to be for a group of people!

8 cups of all purpose flour
1 cup vegetable oil
1 egg
1 tsp of salt
1tsp of sugar
2 cups of white cheese ( do not use mozarella) it can be found in refrigerator is called queso blanco.


1) Combine the flour,oil,egg, salt and sugar in a bowl.
2) while kneeding ( on a lightly floured board) add a tablespoon or 2 of water.
3) It will be messy however keep kneading and you will see the dough will take shape.
4) keep kneading until it does not stick to your hands.
5) if you need to add more flour to your board until it does not stick to your hands.
6) Let the dough rest for about 1-3 hours.
7) while the dough is resting cut the cheese into strips they should be around 1/2 by 1/2 inch please don't make them too long or they will be difficult to use in the dough.
8) Once the dough is ready shape into balls slightly larger than your fist.
9) Roll them out until they are 1/4-0.125 inch thick.
10) cut the rolled out dough into strips that are 3/4" wide.
11) Wrap the cheese fingers with the dough strips.
12)Make sure all the cheese is covered with the dough otherwise the cheese will leak when you fry them.
13) Once they are wrapped dust them with flour and fry them in a deep fryer do not overcrowd at least 2-3 minutes until golden brown, place on paper towels to remove excess oil. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011


I am extremely biased having a strong connection with Spain that is why i believe this hot chocolate is the best of all hot chocolates i have ever tried. If you go to Madrid, Barcelona into a PANADERIA ( bread shop) feel free to ask for hot chocolate and if you are lucky enough get it with churros or along side a nice crusty ham and cheese sandwich it will be an outstanding breakfast or why not? a good afternoon snack. Spaniards have really late dinners. I came up with this version and also the White hot chocolate which has become a favorite. ENJOY!

4 cups of whole milk ( or you can use 2 cups of half and half and 2 cups of whole milk)
1 can condensed milk ( add another half can if you wanted sweeter)
1 teaspoon GOOD vanilla extract
1 teaspoon corn starch

8 ounces of good semi sweet or unsweetened dark chocolate ( i like ghirardelli or Lindt try use one that has at least 70 percent cacao content).
whip cream for topping (optional).

Same as above just use good white chocolate.
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
sprinkle with a little cinnamon ( optional)

dilute the corn start in 2-3 tablespoons of water set aside. Heat the milk on medium stirring constantly with a whisk add the vanilla extract and the condensed milk. Add the corn starch and keep stirring break the chocolate and add to milk content a little at a time until completely dissolved ( if using unsweetened chocolate check for sweetness) when the hot chocolate is nice and thick SERVE HOT.  ( serves 4-6 people).

NOTE: you can save remainder for another night keep refrigerate for up to 2 days.

Monday, July 25, 2011


This recipe  reminds me of Churros. I remember growing up going to NONA'S house. She is an Italian friend of ours who is now almost 95 years old. She had these in a big Jar in the kitchen and would bring them out so we could have them with coffee. They are my next favorite thing after Churros. I believe there are a lot of recipes out there some people call them Crullers others European doughnuts I don't know where the recipe originated from  some think it is German because of the potato but who knows they are just delicious.

1 potato, peeled and cut in 1 inch chunks
1 large egg
2 tablespoons of milk
1 1/4 cups of sugar
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/2 teaspoon of orange zest
1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/2 teaspoon of ground nutmeg
2 quarts of vegetable oil


Place potato in a pot, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the potato is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain the potato then mash until smooth. Let cool completely, around 25-30 minutes.

Transfer 1/2 cup mashed potato to a medium bowl ( save the other half for another badge if you like). Beat the egg , milk 1/2 cup of sugar, and vanilla, orange zest until combined, Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture add the potato mixture. Stir to form a moist and sticky dough. On a heavily floured surface, roll the dough into a 18 by 14 inch rectangle about 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough in half lengthwise, then cut each half crosswise until 1 1/2 inch wide strips. Make any shape you want, either twist it or leave it as it is. Transfer them to a flour baking sheet. Refrigerate until you are ready to fry. They can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.

Heat the oil in a dutch oven or fryer over medium heat until the temperature reaches 350 degrees. Very carefully lower 6 strips at a time into the hot oil ( do not overcrowd) maintaining temperature between 325-350 degrees, until they are crisp and brown on both sides around 4-5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon transfer the torrejas to a plate lined with paper towels and let them drain for 3-4 minutes. Toss them while they are still warm with with the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, transfer to a serving plate. Repeat the process. ENJOY!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


My grandmother made this dish growing up. I have to admit this recipe was taught to my grandmother from an Italian friend of hers, is a spin from the Greek pasticio. I remember when i first arrived to the United States  i heard the word lasagna therefore never knowing what it was until i tried it and immediately Pasticio came to my mind, americans have their version with ricotta cheese. In my house it's made with a rich Bechamel sauce that has cream cheese in it and all sorts of other meats BELIEVE me you will love it. ENJOY!


  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound of ham
  • 1 pound pepperoni
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
  • 2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 12 lasagna noodles
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese or more if needed
Bechamel sauce;
3 cups of scalding milk
package of light cream cheese
7 tablespoons of butter or margarine
2 tablespoons of flour
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 teaspoon of oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Over low heat melt butter and  gradually add flour stir with a whisk cook for 2 to 3 minutes but don't let it get brown. add milk and cream cheese cook over medium hear stirring constantly until its thick and creamy. add spices and allow to cool slightly.


  1. In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water.
  3. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  4. To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. spread with half the Bechamel sauce. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices, ham and pepperoni. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
  5. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Friday, July 22, 2011


This dish is great to have with a nice steak barbecue. In Venezuela is eaten alongside black beans and meat something we call PABELLON. I find that is absolutely delicious just eaten by itself. ENJOY. It Serves 4.

2 very ripe Plantains (black skinned)
2 teasp Butter
¼ teasp Ground Allspice
4 tbsp finely Grated Cheese or thin slices of Mozarella cheese.
1 teasp Brown Sugar.


1. Preheat the oven to 220C, 425F, Gas Mark 8 and grease a baking sheet.

2. Cut the plantains in half lengthways, place cut sides up ion the baking sheet then sprinkle with the allspice and sugar.

3. Dot with small knobs of butter, sprinkle the grated cheese over the top and bake for 35-44 minutes until the golden brown and tender. Best eaten HOT.


Plantains are a staple side dish for breakfast in Venezuela. I remember growing up we used to have it for breakfast with eggs, ham, and the tostones. I have found that there are a lot of recipes out there for this dish however this is the way we make them.


  • 2 green plantains
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt
  • 6 mashed garlic cloves with olive oil ( make a paste)


  1. Heat the oil to 375 degrees.
  2. While the oil is heating up, peel the green plantains and then cut them into 3/4 inch slices.
  3. Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a light golden color and semi-soft.
  4. Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.
  5. Tip: Maintain the oil’s temperature.
  6. When the plantain slices are cool enough to handle (about 1 minute), smash them into flat rounds on small amount of the garlic paste.
  7. Fry the rounds in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They will turn crisp and golden brown.
  8. Remove the tostones with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle with salt while they are still warm ( to taste) ENJOY!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


This dessert has been a tradition in my family ever since i can remember. We have it every Christmas and I guarantee you it will become a favorite of yours as well. ENJOY.

  • 2 cups sugar
  • a 4-inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves ( optional but it adds a little kick).
  • 3 1/2 pounds firm papayas (lechoza), peeled, seeded, and cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick strips

In a heavy 3-quart saucepan spread 2/3 cup of the sugar, add the cinnamon stick, and top the sugar with half the papaya strips. Sprinkle 2/3 cup of the remaining sugar on top, add the remaining papaya strips, and top the strips with the remaining 2/3 cup sugar. Cook the mixture, covered, over moderately low heat, shaking the pan occasionally (do not stir), for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved completely. Simmer the papaya strips, uncovered, for 10 minutes, or until they begin to appear translucent. Let the mixture cool and chill it, covered, overnight. The papaya in cinnamon syrup keeps, covered and chilled, for 1 month.

NOTE: It can be eaten by itself on a dish with a tablespoon of cream cheese TRUST ME is outstanding. I find some people will eat it as a side dish to pork and it even works as a side dish to the turkey burgers.


I have never been a fan of turkey burgers, I always find they can either be too soggy or dry. I was in barbecue party at my brother's house and he is one of those people who finds healthier ways to eat comfort foods. I took my burger thinking it was your regular beef burger and boy was it delicious. I asked him what did you put in these puppies and he said MUSHROOMS it keep them nice and moist. I am now hooked. ENJOY!

 This recipe makes about 12 burgers. In the winter i use a skillet however they are perfectly delicious on the grill during the summer.


  • 3 pounds ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
  • 1cup diced button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup finely diced onion
  • 2 egg whites, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon herb de provence ( or you can use fresh parsley if you don't have it)
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper.


  1. In a large bowl, mix ground turkey,Italian bread crumbs, onion, egg whites, herb De Provence, garlic, salt, and pepper. Form into 12 patties.
  2. Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium heat or grill, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011


I was born and raise in Venezuela but i have to admit i love love this cookie from Peru. They are done throughout South America and i believe very popular around Christmas time. This recipe will be a nice addition to your afternoon tea party. ENJOY.

  • 12 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons cognac
  • 2 1/2 cups cornstarch 
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • Dulce de Leche ( see my dulce de leche recipe).
  • Grated coconut

To make cookie dough:
Cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in the remaining ingredients except the dulce de leche and coconut until well blended. Knead on a floured work surface until the dough is smooth and let rest for 15 minutes. Make the cookies:
Roll the dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut into 2-inch rounds. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a preheated 300°F oven for 20 minutes. When cool, spread some dulce de leche on the bottom of half the cookies and press another cookie on top, allowing some of the dulce de leche to squeeze from the sides. Roll the sides in the coconut until the sides are covered.
Makes about 12 delicious cookies!



I always wonder why people go out and get dulce de leche when is so easy to prepare. I have a simple recipe that works every time.

1 14 oz can condensed milk
1 teaspoon ( good vanilla extract).


Add the condensed milk to a baking dish. Bake at 450 degrees in a water bath for 40-45. Remove from the water bath and add the vanilla extract. Let cool at room temperature. Voila you have dulce de leche.



Chicken Makhani is one of my favorite Indian dishes. It is an outstanding dish that I have to share with you. Thank you allrecipes. Please serve with basmati rice and Naan bread. Enjoy.


  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium high heat. Saute shallot and onion until soft and translucent. Stir in butter, lemon juice, ginger-garlic paste, 1 teaspoon garam masala, chili powder, cumin and bay leaf. Cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in half-and-half and yogurt. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt pepper. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Cook chicken until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Reduce heat, and season with 1 teaspoon garam masala and cayenne. Stir in a few spoonfuls of sauce, and simmer until liquid has reduced, and chicken is no longer pink. Stir cooked chicken into sauce.
  3. Mix together cornstarch and water, then stir into the sauce. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.

Monday, July 11, 2011


This recipe is "awesome" it's not only delicious but very easy to make. The slow cooker assures you will have tender pork but it will also be loaded with flavor, please make with my arepas. I guarantee this recipe will be a favorite of your family. I know children love it.

1 pork tenderloin ( 1 pound).
1 cup of ketchup
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar.
2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar.
1 tablespoon plus 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard.
1/2 teaspoon pepper.

Arepas ( see my arepa recipe).

Cut the tenderloin in half, place in crock pot ( slow cooker). Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, vinegar, worcestershire sauce, mustard and pepper, pour over pork.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 hours or until meat is tender. Remove meat and shred with two forks. Return to the slow cooker; heat through. Serve on Arepas.



This is our bread. In Venezuela you will see this patty on every table specially around breakfast time. I grew up having these with ham and cheese, Hamburger meat, with scrambled eggs and a little butter, you name it and these little patties can be stuffed with anything you heart desires. My favorite is stuffed with pulled pork. I will have a recipe on my blog later on. A Crock pot pulled pork recipe. I remember growing up as a child these would have to be grilled then put in the oven, these days you can buy an Arepa maker just about anywhere online.

 First Note: you can get the arepa flour in the international section of your supermarket. I will suggest "GOYA MASAREPA" however there are other kinds, just make sure is precooked is basically precooked corn meal flour.

2 Cups of Arepa Flour
1tsp salt
2 Cups warm water

1) In a bowl combine the arepa flour, salt, water, when dough is mixed , let it stand for 5 minutes.
2) form dough into patties 4-5 inches across and 1/2 inch thick.
3) Use a griddle or an arepa maker.
4) if using the arepa maker follow the instructions however if using the griddle put small amount of butter on medium heat. Cook arepas until browned on each side.
5) Transfer to 400 degree oven and continue cooking for about 10-15 minutes until nice and firm.


Sunday, July 10, 2011


I have never been a fan of bread puddings, I find they are either too soggy or dry. About 2 years ago i saw one on TV that just called my attention and it involved one of my favorite breakfast breads, the Croissant. I always prefer a good croissant over a biscuit especially if the croissant is with ham and cheese. I saw this pudding and it made sense to me; the croissant is nice and buttery and it will be tasty and moist so i gave it a try adding a few ingredients of my own and doing my own little thing with the them. The original recipe calls for too much half and half so i changed it to make it a little bit more figure friendly( a little bit, not much otherwise it does not make sense to make it  remember you only make it every now and then, so enjoy.)  The results were outstanding. I am asked for this recipe over and over again. I hope you like it.


3 Whole eggs
5 Egg Yolks
2 Cups of half and half
3 cups of whole Milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla
2 cans of condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 cup of raisins ( or dried cranberries would work as well).
6-12 Croissants depending on their size.
1/4 cup of Brandy ( optional but gives it a little kick) if you don't have brandy use clear rum.
1 cup of warm Butterscotch. ( optional)
Whip cream ( optional)

Soak the raisins or cranberries in the 1/4 cup of rum or brandy let them sit for at least and hour ( better overnight).
Combine wet ingredients, cut the croissants in half then layer them with raisins, pour the wet contents on top of croissants. Press the croissants so they will absorb the liquid let it soak for 5-10 minutes.

Cover the pan with foil put in hot water bath and bake at 325 degrees for 45 minutes. Then take out uncover and put back for 15 minutes. Broil the last 1 minute.  Serve hot-warm.

Note: When you serve you can add either whipped cream or the hot butterscotch but i like it just the way it is. There are times that I use toasted slivered almonds as a topping.


Thursday, July 7, 2011


I came up with this recipe few years back. My grandmother used to cook it on top of the stove for about 2-3 hours. It's a very delicious recipe that I decided to change up a bit. She adds a cup of white wine to her recipe i decided well Why don't I add BEER? and I did. The rest is history is another favorite. I used my crock pot to finish cooking the chicken.

2 tablespoons olive oil 
1 teaspoon chopped fresh garlic
1 tablespoon Paprika
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons , Rosemary  finely crushed( use fresh if possible, cut the 1/2 teaspoon if using dry).
1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon Black pepper

1/2 teaspoon Garlic powder

10 bone-in chicken thighs ( skin removed)

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, halved
1 can dark beer( light beer would work too will be a lighter taste)
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 red pepper sliced
1 green pepper sliced
1 red onion sliced

1) Season the chicken with salt, pepper and place aside.
2) Take a skillet and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil, brown the chicken on both sides 2 minutes or so on each side then remove and set aside. ( do not overcrowd with chicken otherwise it will steam not brown).
3) Add the peppers, the onion and garlic to the skillet until nice and caramelized remove from skillet.
4) Add the potatoes to the skillet along with the paprika, garlic powder, black pepper, salt, the sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of rosemary brown the potatoes, ( 2 minutes) then add  1/2 can of beer. Remember you are not cooking it all the way you just want create flavors. While you are doing this try to scrub bottom of pan as much as possible to remove the scrapings try not to break the potatoes.
4) Transfer the potatoes to the crock pot, place the chicken on top of the potatoes and the peppers and onions on top of the chicken along with juices from the skillet.
5) add the cup of chicken broth the rest of rosemary, the beer and tablespoon of Worcestershire.
6) cook on high for about 1 to 1 1/2 hour chicken will be falling of the bone.
7) Taste for seasonings

( the alcohol will evaporate leaving the nice depth of flavor from the beer).

Note: if you like you can use nice crusty bread to eat along side of it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

CREME CARAMEL! ( Dulce de Leche)

Hello Everyone, now who has not had a home made Creme Caramel? some people call it custard others call it FLAN. This recipe is especially a good one because it calls for YES, HERE IT GOES BOOZE! now people don't get excited it just has enough for people to say Hmmmm WHAT IS THAT? but obviously you wont tell them you will say I ADDED A PERSONAL TOUCH, or how i like to say jokingly with everything i make I MADE IT WITH LOTS OF LOVE!

1(14-ounce can fat free sweetened condensed milk.
1/2 cup of sugar
1/4 cup of water
cooking spray
2 cups skim milk or 2% reduced-fat milk
3 large eggs
2 large egg whites
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon brandy or rum ( optional and i prefer brandy).
1/4 cup toasted coconut for topping ( optional)

1) Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2) Pour condensed milk into a 1 quart baking dish, cover and place in bottom of broiler pan. Add water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 425 for 45 minutes or until milk is thick and caramel colored. Remove dish from pan; uncover and cool to room temperature.
3) Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
4) Combine sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small, heavy saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Continue cooking 5 minutes or until golden, stirring constantly. Immediately pour into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray, tipping quickly until caramelized sugar coats bottom of pan.
5) Spoon condensed milk into a large bowl. Add the milk, eggs, egg whites, vanilla extract( use good vanilla makes a whole lot of difference) the Brandy if you decide to use it; stir with whisk until well blended. Strain the milk mixture through a fine sieve into prepared pan, and discard solids.
6) Place cake pan in bottom of broiler pan; add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325 for 40 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven and cool the custard to room temperature in water bath ( this will make sure the custard does not crack). Remove cake pan from water bath, and cover and chill for at least 3 hours or overnight. Loosen edges of custard with a knife or rubber spatula. Place a plate upside down, on top of cake, invert custard onto plate. Drizzle any remaining caramelized syrup over custard. Decorate with toasted coconut ( if you like) Serves 8.

Note: I know is not a fast recipe but is well worth it, make it on the weekend. ENJOY!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011


I have to say i am not a big fan of drinks with little umbrellas in it! I just find them too sweet and sometimes not enough alcohol in them. I prefer your regular martini. I decided to plan a trip to Honolulu and while i was working on what I was going to do there, sites to see, excursions to plan a friend told me about this drink. I have to admit with hesitation i tried it and AND boy am I a convert. This drink is packed with good rum and just enough sweetness to think you are having a non alcoholic drink, but don't let the sweetness FOOL YOU! it definitely packs a punch. I try to make it every now and then and just brings back memories wanting to be back in Hawaii. I hope you guys enjoy it.

1 1/4 oz. Bacardi white rum ( i suggest Bacardi but you can use your favorite rum).
1oz. Coco Lopes Cream of Coconut.
6oz. pineapple juice, plus a splash
1oz. strawberry puree ( you can puree frozen strawberries if you dont have fresh ones).
1wedge pineapple, to garnish
1 cherry to garnish( optional)

1) Blend the rum, Coco lopes and pineapple juice with ice
2) Pour the strawberry puree into a glass( a tall, stemmed glass).
3) Pour the cocunut blend on top, causing the strawberry to flow upward ( this creates the lava-flow effect).
4) Garnish with the wedge of pineapple and cherry

Enjoy and drink responsibly!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


This is a recipe  goes back to my family for 90 years. My grandmother always makes it, her recipe is long but so worth the effort. She uses real coconuts. I remember as a child watching her take the cocunuts and bang them to the ground with a machete until they cracked open then she would take the meat out and shred it. I came up with this easier version it's sooooooooooo good i think you will make it over and over again.

I suggest to make it easier on yourself that you use a rice cooker and follow the instructions for long grain rice, cut the cooking time by 5 minutes the grains of rice must be undercooked.

1 1/2 cups cold unsalted cooked rice
4 cups whole milk
1 cup well-stirred canned unsweetened coconut milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 can condensed milk ( add more if you like it a little sweeter but remember you will use sweetened coconut).
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sweetened shredded coconut
1 cinnamon stick
4 Allspice ( use whole not ground)
Prepare rice in rice cooker or as you would normally do. Remember to leave a little undercooked. Transfer to a heavy saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring frequently ( use a wooden spoon).
Add the 3 cups of whole milk, the coconut milk, the salt, the condensed milk, cinnamon stick and the allspice cook for about 40 minutes or so. Stir in vanilla and Shredded coconut the last 5 minutes. Serve hot-warm.
Note: Do you want a healthier version? use skim milk and fat free condensed milk.
optional: Use toasted coconut as a topping when you serve it.


Every now and then I will post a recipe that i love so much i just need to pass it along. I grew up eating these cookies, some people called them Palm trees others ANGEL WINGS, Elephant ears etc etc there are other names I am sure. This recipe is by one of my favorite chefs ANNE BURRELL from the FOOD NETWORK CHANNEL. I hope you guys enjoy them as much as I. Thank you Anne.


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1/2 (17.3-ounce) package (1 sheet) frozen puff pastry, thawed


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Combine the sugar, cinnamon, and orange zest in a bowl. Sprinkle 1/2 the sugar mix on a clean work surface. Lay the puff pastry on top of the sugar and sprinkle the remaining sugar mix on top of the pastry.

Using a rolling pin, roll the sugar into the dough, and roll the dough into an even rectangle, about 1/8-inch thick.

Working from the short ends of the rectangle, roll up each end of the dough to meet in the middle. Lay the rolls on top of each other and gently press to secure. Wrap the dough in plastic and let sit in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Cut the dough into slices that are 1/4-inch thick. Lay the slices on 2 parchment paper or silpat-lined sheet trays and bake in the preheated oven for 12 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for another 6 to 7 minutes. When done, the cookies should be golden brown.

Remove from the oven, and cool on a rack before serving.

Saturday, July 2, 2011


I am a big pasta eater ( does not show on my body weight though) name it and i eat it. I like pesto with fetuccine, I like macaroni and cheese well who doesn't and most importantly my grandmother's Spaghetti with meat sauce. I know all of you are asking yourselves, how can you make a healthier version? well I do, is all about the meats you use. I grew up eating this sauce my grandmother uses Veal, Ground Beef and Ground Pork and i have to say is to die for however it can get really expensive and just time consuming can you believe it has to simmer for about 5-6 hours? with that sauce you have to buy at least 10 lbs of tomatoes, boil them, remove the skins, then the seeds  who has the time? specially when you come home from work wanting to eat anything that is in sight! I came up with this recipe, once more the flavor is just as good but you cut the cooking time by adding a few store bought items and you maintain the quality by YES ( I know some of you guessed it) using your favorite wine that adds the flavor like is been cooking for hours.

The Recipe is as follows:

2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 teaspoon of dry basil
1 teaspoon of dry oregano
2 Onions finely chopped
8 garlic cloves chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
4 Carrots finely chopped
4 tomatoes finely chopped ( remove the seeds)
1 lb ground Turkey
1lb ground Chicken
1 teaspoon of salt
1teaspoon of pepper

1 cup of white wine
1 tablespoon of fresh basil for topping

1 cup of milk ( the milk is used to make the sauce stick to the pasta and richer you can use skim if you like)
1 jar of Bertolli Portobello mushroom sauce with merlot ( or use your favorite pasta sauce but please use a good one by adding this you cut the cooking time by about 5 hours believe it or not.)
Parmesan Cheese ( Pecorino or Reggiano cheese) use as much or as little as you like.

In a dutch oven cooker of pan of your choice add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil wait until is hot, then add the 2 onions with a pinch of salt, cook them until they are translucent add the carrots and the tomatoes saute them for about 5 minutes then add the 8 cloves of garlic and stir for one minute then add meats until they are completely brown add the teaspoon of salt and pepper keep stirring
once this is done add the tomato paste and the jar of pasta sauce, fill the jar with water and add to the sauce along with the dry basil and oregano and the cup of wine bring to a boil then to a  low heat  for about 1 hour  Taste it for seasonings, add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the milk the last 15 minutes of cooking time.

Start boiling the water for your favorite pasta ( I like penne) you can use whichever pasta you enjoy follow package instructions.

Serving suggestions:  1) you can either add the whole sauce to the pasta stir until well combined and serve on a plate ( this is if you have lots of guests they can serve themselves) 
2) take a plate put pasta then pour sauce on top then Parmesan cheese and top with the fresh basil, with this suggestion you can freeze the remaining sauce for about a month.

Note: if you want the richer version just use ground beef and pork is up to you.