When you see Pasteles you know it’s Christmas in Puerto Rico

Christmas is the best of Puerto Rican culture.  There is nothing, NOTHING, like a Christmas party in Puerto Rico.  Our Christmas fiestas are epic, beginning early in December and really not ending until mid-January.  Growing up in Fort Lauderdale we had a conflict of loyalties at Christmas.  Leading up to the 25th of December was everything…

Turkish Street Food…Borek!

I’m crazy about middle eastern and mediterranean flatbread.  I’m even happier when they’ve been stuffed with a surprise or two.  Eight or nine years ago, on one of our vacations in Greece, we took a quick side trip to Turkey.  From our island of Lesvos it’s only a short ferry ride away.  Not to segue…

Salty, Fried Plantain Chips Beach Food Puerto Rican Style

  Doesn’t it seem as though the prettiest or most fun beaches always have the most delicious food close by? Beach food. Pick-up food. And it’s almost always hideously bad for you. But something about being in the hot sun, maybe under a thatched shack…a fruity rum drink or a cold beer in your hand…

Fried and Green, Tomatoes that is

The person who thought to slice up a rock hard green tomato, dust it with a seasoned coat of cornmeal and deep fry it in fat is nothing short of genius.  You don’t often see green tomatoes at the grocery store.  You have to go to a specialty or outdoor market.  But they’re out there….

Bible Fast Food

I have a great recipe for those who can’t eat anymore rich, holiday food.  And I am one of those people.  I CANNOT choke down another butter cookie and, believe me, I’m your carb-girl so if anyone could it would be me.  But I can’t.  I just can’t.  Take away the beef tenderloin, the hot…

Smashed and Gravy

Mashed potatoes and gravy are an integral part of the Thanksgiving feast.  A fluffy mountain of potatoes with a golden river of rich gravy slowly inching its way down the sides is a most beautiful thing to behold…especially if said plate is sitting in front of me!  I’ve mentioned before I’m completely enraptured with carbs and…

Give Thanks for Sides

It’s the beginning of November, folks, and time to start thinking of Thanksgiving sides. I’m pretty traditional with what I serve these days. Many years ago I went through a very long phase of serving anything but the standard fare. One year was an Italian Thanksgiving, the next Puerto Rican and following that Italian. That…

There’s No Stoppin’, There’s No Toppin’ My Dad!

I’m preparing one of my father’s favorite meals for Father’s Day.  Swiss Chard with Cannellini Beans.  I picked the chard with great care; only the crispest and brightest leaves made it into MY basket.  My mind wandered to Dad as I chopped, peeled and washed.  At 90 years old he still is pretty great!  And…

Another Perfect Appetizer…Guineitos Verdes en Escabeche

Green Bananas.  These little darling’s are so darned good I’ve had people eat them as a side!  Made in advance they are perfect for poolside, picnics, parties you name it.  They’re so easy and as luck would have it cheap.  Make them one day in advance of serving.  I know they’re kind of ugly but,…

Country Mouse Goes to the City!

I’m back, everyone, back from a glorious and desperately needed vacation!  We had such a rough start that I was almost beginning to feel that God just wanted us to stay home!  We were to scheduled to leave on a Friday almost at the same time James’ flight was leaving to take him back to…