7.28.2014

"Latin Summer" Magazine

Ceviche and Plantain Chips 

It’s finally here, the Summer magazine I’ve been working on is ready! I always get really excited when I make a magazine because I put a lot of thought and work into it and all I want is for you to see it. This issue is themed “Latin Summer.” I basically gathered some of my favorite latin recipes I love to make over the Summer. You will find things like ceviche, mojitos, cucumber water and corn tacos, all perfect for a casual dinner or a gathering over the weekend. I hope you like it as much as I do! By the way, I’m already working on Fall’s :) 

Corn Tacos with Poblano Peppers

Roasted Chicken with Salsa Verde




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7.16.2014

Basic Tomato Sauce

A long overdue post, my recipe for basic tomato sauce. A good tomato sauce recipe, it’s pretty essential to have on hand as the amount of dishes you can make with it are endless. I wait all year to make this sauce because as you know, tomatoes are sweet and juicy at this time of the year so I need to stock up not only for now but for a few months after.
This recipe calls for 8 pounds of tomatoes, and that’s not even the largest batch I’ve done. I’m completely obsess with this sauce because it’s so versatile, you can spice it up, use it in soups, pasta is the obvious of course, baked eggs, anyway, you get my point. Of course, you can make half of the recipe or If you are a fan of canning, this is a delicious excuse. Ok, less blah, blah, blah and more recipe, enjoy! 


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7.09.2014

Sweet Corn Cakes


Have you been abusing corn lately?  I have. Grilled, boiled, salads and my recent obsession, sweet corn cakes, I’ve been eating corn like it’s going out of business. How can I not? They are so sweet at this time of the year. In Honduras when it’s corn season, you’ll find so many amazing recipes. Corn is used in many “unusual” ways like “atol de elote”  which is a warm drink made out of sweet corn puree, milk and cinnamon. Oh, so perfect for those cold days. Of course, the traditional tamales are a must as well as  the sweet corn cakes. 
This versatile corn cakes, makes incredible brunch recipes. This recipe I made today is a combination of Honduran corn cakes and a dish from Mexico called huaraches which has a fried masa base with different toppings. Chorizo is a common topping on Mexican huaraches, it’s delicious but I’ve replace that for sauté mushrooms. I love the flavor combination on this dish, the beans and mushrooms against the sweetness of the corn, it’s a fantastic combo. Also, a fried egg on top of these sweet corn cakes is never a bad idea. Try this recipe, make it for a Sunday brunch along with a few cocktail, trust me, it won’t disappoint! 


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7.01.2014

Coconut Burnt Caramel Ice Cream - Dairy Free


Creamy, really creamy. Chunky and sweet with a burst of coconut. This is what I like to call an ice cream with an attitude. My favorite part is… the whole thing. The flavor of coconut mingling with the burnt taste of the caramel makes so much sense. There is not one thing  I don’t like about this ice cream, truly the perfect scoop. 

There is nothing subtle about this ice cream, the flavors are bold but not overwhelming and if you like texture in your ice cream, this is the recipe for you. On a different note, I’m excited to tell you that I’ve been working on another magazine, filled with Latin, Summery recipes! It’s looking great and I’m almost done, I can’t wait to share it with you!! In the mean time, here is this must-try recipe! 


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6.12.2014

Red Cabbage, Carrots, Celery and Toasted Cumin Salad

Crisp, light and flavorful, that is how I describe this salad. I love to make cabbage salad because I very much enjoy its crunchy texture, also, it stays crunchy even after 2 days in the fridge which makes it a great salad to make ahead of time. Very simple to put together, it’s hardly a recipe. The variations on it are endless, I sometimes add raw beets or shaved fennel instead of celery. Nuts and herbs are also a great addition. With that being said, there is something I love about the combination of these three vegetables, specially the celery. It completely brightens the salad and gives it a nice almost refreshing aftertaste. Also, the toasted cumin perfumes everything so nicely, it just leaves you wanting more. This is a good recipe to have, specially if you like to grill, this salad pairs well with both meat and fish. 


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5.29.2014

Strawberry Popsicles

I wait all year long for berries, rhubarb and all the good staff that comes with Spring. I love to go around the web and check out all the creative recipes my fellow bloggers come up with, inspired by the season like these strawberry S’mores bites, this raspberry tart or this hibiscus strawberry rhubarb iced tea. All three recipes look great.
Sometimes I feel that some recipes don’t need explanation. This strawberry popsicle recipe speaks by itself. No need to tell you how good it is or how easy it is to make. Besides, what can go wrong with fresh strawberries and orange juice, frozen on a stick?. See for yourself, it won’t disappoint! 


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5.20.2014

Maple and Apricot Frozen Yogurt


Yes, I went there, I pulled my ice cream maker out of the shadows and put it to work. The truth is, after this long and cruel Winter, I didn't think I would be eating anything out of an ice cream maker any time soon but, who can resist the temptation of frozen yogurt? Better yet, who can resist the temptation of apricot frozen yogurt, sweetened with maple syrup? I clearly couldn't and I'm here to tempt you. 


Creamy and refreshing, this recipe promises to cool you off during the coming Summer days. I might be thinking way ahead but hey, how is a scoop of frozen yogurt a problem these days?. Frozen yogurt is really simple to make and you can adjust this recipe to experiment with different fruits and take advantage of what Spring has to offer. 

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5.06.2014

Homemade Conchas


This “pan dulce” (sweet bread) is called “conchas” in Mexico or “semitas” in Honduras, I won't be surprised to find more names out there for it. Growing up, this was a classic treat to go with our coffee,  I remember a little bakery by my house that use to sell this fresh, out of the oven. The line of customers trying to get a few pieces was endless. 


I haven’t found a good concha around here but that’s ok because I have a good recipe. They are not hard to make but they do take their time to rise properly so, patience is on the ingredient list. They are not as sweet as they may seem. In a way, conchas remind me of a brioche although less buttery. The sweet part comes from the topping which is a mixture of flour, sugar and vegetable shortening or butter. By the way, this topping makes a fantastic base for a crisp, I have experimented with a few fruits already, it comes out really good. I'm working on a recipe with this topping, I'm hoping to post it soon, in the meantime enjoy this one! 


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4.30.2014

Condensed Milk Iced Coffee


I'm excited about this recipe, yes, an iced coffee recipe. Here is the story, I used to work in a Spanish specialty store where they sold a coffee called Cafe Bombon. It's essentially a shot of a strong espresso or coffee sweetened with condensed milk. I’m not sure which area of Spain it’s from but this coffee is such a treat, you must order it if you come across it. 


Ever since I discovered Cafe Bombon, my iced coffee have never been the same. I use strong espresso and while it’s still hot, I add the condensed milk which melts right in, I then add cardamom seeds for an extra layer of flavor, once it’s cool, whole milk is added. It’s really creamy and the cardamom perfumes the coffee beautifully, It is by far my favorite iced coffee. 


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4.21.2014

Shortbread Cookies


Don’t you love a good treat to go with your afternoon cup of coffee or tea? Well, if you’re still in search for that perfect treat, I have good news, I’m sharing this must-try recipe: Shortbread cookies. I actually made this batch for our Easter brunch, I made them the day before but it can be done a few days ahead or even weeks since they freeze well. They are great for gatherings, the perfect end to a good meal.


These cookies are buttery and crumbly with just the right amount of sweetness. They have lots of lemon zest which brightens them up. This is a great basic shortbread recipe that can be flavored with so many things like lavender, spices such as cardamon (which I do a lot). You can also dip them in chocolate, because let’s face it,  chocolate makes everything that much better, don’t you agree? 


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4.16.2014

Chocolate Swirl Meringues


Planning Luca’s birthday party has been keeping me very busy these past few weeks. Thankfully it’s over. The reason for this is, I take on the task of making everything myself, from designing the invitations to making the piñata and of course, making the food and sweets all from scratch. I love to do all of these, don't get me wrong, it’s just tiring. 


For the food, I made falafel sandwiches. I know, very unusual for a birthday party but they were quite a hit. I also made a few salads and simple sandwiches, chicken and tuna. His cake was THIS chocolate cake which is his favorite. I also made other treats, including these chocolate swirl meringues. I can't begin to tell you how good these were. They are light and airy with a chewy center and a crisp exterior. They simply melt in your mouth. The chocolate was just an extra bonus to this sweet treat, they made all the kids very happy. 


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4.10.2014

Pickled Cauliflower and Jalapeño


A quick update to post this pickled cauliflower and jalapeño recipe. I love to use this technique to preserve my favorite seasonal vegetables. I'm actually kind of late for this post which I did a while ago but, I figured, it’s never too late to share a good recipe. It’s really easy to put together and the end result is amazing, crunchy and slightly spicy cauliflower. Of course, the intensity of the heat can be elevated by adding more jalapeños. For this recipe, I only used one and I also added a few spices and lemon zest for a citrus note. Enjoy this recipe and next week I'm coming back with a chocolate swirl meringues I made for my son’s birthday and also, a piñata tutorial. Yes, you read well, I said piñata!! 


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3.24.2014

Tres Leches Cake

Tres leches is a cake I never get tired of. How could I? It has everything I look for, on a comfort dessert. As you may know, this cake is very popular in Latin America, it’s a cake you will often find in birthday parties or any celebration really. It must be made in advance, letting it rest preferably overnight, to give the cake time to really soak up the tres leches (three milks). 
This recipe is the most basic and simple.There are lots of different ways to make this cake, anything from fruit fillings to 4 leches (the addition of dulce de leche). The 4 leches is quite interesting, basically you make two or three layers, pour some tres leches mixture on a layer then, spread some dulce de leche. Repeat the process then pour the remaining milk mixture all over the cake. 
I love 4 leches but it’s on the sweeter side which is why you can only have a little piece but, oh boy, what a little piece of heaven that is. There are different toppings too, some people like whipped cream, some like meringue (in Central America, most people use meringue for tres leches). Finally, it’s all topped with whatever fruit you like or simply sprinkled with cinnamon. Here is my recipe, use it, abuse it, add your own twist, enjoy! 

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3.13.2014

Raw Salad: Beet, Fennel, Carrots And Cilantro With Citrus Dressing + An Illustration

A good salad makes me happy but this salad is beyond good, it has made it into my all-time favorite top five salads. I know I sound dramatic but I can't help it, it’s that good. With simple ingredients and a quick preparation, this salad is far from boring. It has a sweetness to it from the carrots and beets and the fennel balances it all out nicely. 
The cilantro is a fresh addition, I like to add a lot of cilantro because I want this beautiful herb to shine and be a part of the salad, not hide it. Another brightening element, lots of lemon zest. See, I'm all about brightness and color today, maybe Is it because Spring is finally peeking through this harsh Winter? I really hope so, I never wanted Spring so bad. Here is the recipe, I know you are going to love it! 

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3.05.2014

Homemade Horchata - Dairy-Free


One of my all-time favorite drinks: Homemade horchata. Horchata recipes varies from region to region. In Honduras, we make horchata mainly from “toasted morro or jicaro seeds” (which are really hard to find here) and some rice. Morro seeds gives the horchata a  nutty flavor, next time you go to a restaurant and get horchata, ask if your horchata has morro seeds, sometimes restaurants (specially Central Americans) get them by bulk. Since I didn't find morro seeds, I only used rice and I also used almond milk, not accustomed but it helps with texture. Another common ingredient in Honduran horchata is lime zest. It adds a fresh touch to this already refreshing drink. 


Also popular, cocoa powder is used for a chocolate aftertaste. Not my favorite way but it’s out there in case you want to experiment with your own version. Some people like to use whole milk to give horchata a thicker texture, I don't do that unless I am running out of horchata then I just mix in some milk :). Best way to serve it is really cold over lots of ice with grated cinnamon and more lime zest. 



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2.28.2014

Turmeric Tea With Almond Milk


I present to you my new obsession, turmeric tea. I’ve been a long-time fan of turmeric, not only do I love what it adds to my food (stews in particular) but turmeric is really, really, really good for you due to its health benefits including anti-inflammatory properties. Also, it has been suggested that turmeric may help prevent several types of cancer. 


At first, I thought turmeric would be too overwhelming on a tea, but that is not the case at all. Mixed with almond milk, it kind of reminded me of white chocolate for some reason, even my son fell for it. I also infused other spices like cardamom, nutmeg and cinnamon for flavor which added a nice touch.
Whether it’s for its health benefits or taste, turmeric is a great addition to your diet.


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2.17.2014

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Have you ever made flour tortillas? If you haven’t, I got the recipe for you. Like most homemade things, flour tortillas are hard to beat. The “lifeless” packed stuff you find in the supermarkets doesn’t even come close to it. There are many ways you can eat flour tortillas, besides burritos of course, it is a flat bread so you can eat them with anything you would with a flat bread. I even eat them with hummus. 
Besides the fact that homemade tortillas are way tastier than store-bought, they are not really hard to make. The ingredients you need are most likely in your pantry. You will find a lot of recipes that call for lard, that’s actually pretty common in Latin America, I’ve even seen it done with pork fat, that is what makes the tortillas “tender”. I don’t use lard at all, I find that vegetable oil does the trick just fine but feel free to experiment! 

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