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3 BBQ Side-Dish Kabobs, Mother’s Day and a Creative Cooking Crew Challenge | Crunchy Plantains on a Stick

The Creative Cooking Crew’s challenge for May — what are you bringing to the BBQ? -- was announced about the same time my nephew and his wife said they would be hosting a Mother’s Day barbecue. They’d do the meats and everyone else could bring accompaniments. Perfect timing.

When you’re a cook, it doesn’t matter if it’s Mother’s Day — you still cook. And, because I enjoy cooking, the challenge and, definitely, eating, I couldn’t bring just one thing.

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Roasted Asparagus Pesto and Parmigiana with Pasta

A really simple, quick and delicious pasta dish. Continue Reading

A Latin-Inspired Birthday Lunch Was the Answer to a Super Bowl Day Conflict

As you may know, in my family, we celebrate everyone’s birthday with a group dinner generally late Sunday afternoon of the birthday week. So, a couple of weeks ago I sent out a family text announcing I would host Gram’s (the family matriarch) and Julie’s (my d-in-l) birthdays on 2/2 at 5:00. Yikes … the push back was immediate. You think I said the world was coming to an end!

Not being a fan of football (or bad fried and cheesy food-fests), I didn’t realize there was something else scheduled for that day. We compromised and I moved the festivities up to lunch so ‘those who cared’ could be home or wherever for the big kick-off. Continue Reading

Tips on Hosting Stress-Free Dinner Parties (Large and Small)

I know most people who read blogs like FOODalogue or create boards on pinterest are really into entertaining and generally on the troll for new tips to make the effort stress-free so I thought I’d tell you about 2 dinner parties I hosted recently.

Last week I hosted a dinner party to celebrate 2 family members’ birthdays. It was joyous, over-the-top loud and a wee bit chaotic. That’s what happens when four generations of family (18 people) get together. Continue Reading

A meaty, greasy, tasty Frita (Cuban burger) goes Vegan. Será posible?

“Choose one of your favorite rich, heavy, fatty animal-protein-based meals and give it a healthy VEGAN spin.” That was the challenge.  Continue Reading

I ATE • Little Havana, A Culinary Tour of Miami’s Cuban District

Miami is a mosaic of many jewels with wildly contrasting and colorful facets. There’s tropical Coconut Grove, urban Midtown, trendy South Beach, architecturally-beautiful Coral Gables, and Little Haiti to name just a few.

And, there’s Little Havana! Continue Reading

I ATE Puerto Rico • Guavate (La Ruta de Los Lechones)

I promised after the Culinary Tour ended I’d give you a glimpse of some authentic “road food” I ate while I was in Puerto Rico in February. So, here we go. Fasten your seat belt – you’re in for an adventure!

First off, we go to Guavate, better known as La Ruta de Lechones (the home of roast pig). Guavate is located about an hour-and-a-half from San Juan high in the mountains and it’s a very popular Sunday afternoon destination for locals.

People spend the day eating, drinking, taking in some sun and dancing. It’s crazy, exciting, fun and delicious! I think the following photos will give you an idea.

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