Unmasking the “True” identity of Cinnamon

  There is nothing that gets the Holidays started like the warm spicy smell of cinnamon. The Pumpkin Lattes, Gingerbread cookies and let’s not forget Eggnog or Coquito (in my case!) make our taste buds dance the merengue. We love to trim our homes with Holiday decorations that smell of cinnamon to really put us…

Celebrating A Puerto Rican Holiday Tradition, Pasteles!

The History of Pasteles Pаѕtеlеѕ are a traditional Puerto Riсаn rесiре, Thеу are a traditional holiday fооd, аnd nо Bоriсuаn Chriѕtmаѕ tаblе is соmрlеtе without them. The Taino tribe is believed to have created Pasteles, whose origins may be around Vеnеzuеlа. When Christopher Cоlumbuѕ саmе the Americans he came into contact with the Tainos.   The African slaves also…

CURRY: A Misunderstood Culinary Concept.

The word ‘Curry’ iѕ асtuаllу dеrivеd from Wеѕtеrn culture to rеfеr tо a vаriеtу of diѕhеѕ thаt оriginаtеd in Sоuth Aѕiаn соuntriеѕ. The nаmе was аdорtеd from thе Tаmil wоrd, Kаri, whiсh mеаnѕ “ѕаuсе or relish fоr rice.” Curriеѕ contain a complex mix of ѕрiсеѕ, frеѕh hеrbѕ аnd сhiliеѕ and thе рrороrtiоnѕ оf thеѕе ingredients…

Latina Inventor wins HSN American Dream Contest! 

We have been celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month and today I am going wrap it up with an interview with Latina Inventor, Hipatia Lopez. She is the creator of the Empanada Fork. If you are someone who loves cooking with kitchen gadgets then you are going to love this utensil. The Empanada Fork is used to…

A Quiet “Monsoon” of Spices is Forming over South Jersey

If you love Indian food, then you need to check out Monsoon restaurant, now with a second location in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. The first location is in Mount Laurel, New Jersey. It seems to be getting much attention with its North Indian Cuisine. The restaurant is elegant with subtle hints of Indian décor. The…

No Party is a Party without Arroz con Gandules! 

One common factor in Puerto Rican culture is that we love to party and along with the festivities comes a grand display of traditional dishes that are a celebratory must-have.  One dish in particular is  a pot of Arroz con Gandules (rice with pigeon peas).   If you do not find a pot of Arroz con…

The Essence of Puerto Rican Cooking, Sofrito

I discovered my love for cooking at the age of 10. Instead of watching Saturday morning cartoons, I would look forward to Julia Child’s cooking show on the public network, “The French Chef”. My mother and I would go to the market, after watching the show, and buy all the ingredients we needed to replicate…

Turmeric: The Golden Spice!

Turmeric is a rhizomatous member of the ginger family that naturally grows in Southeast Asia. Its characteristic long, golden-colored taproot is the source of the dried spice known around the world as turmeric. It is also the primary seasoning in curry. When not used in their natural state, the rhizomes are boiled and dried in…

Ginger: The All-Curing Medicine!

If there is any spice you should keep in your refrigerator, it’s Ginger! It is used in almost every cuisine around the world, both savory and sweet. Known as Zingiber officinale, it is the universal all-curing medicine. Ginger can be used fresh and grated or dry and grounded. Studies have shown that ginger is 10,000…

Cilantro or Coriander?

I bet you didn’t know that Coriander and Cilantro come from the same plant, Coriandrum Sativum. Coriander is the seed that is harvest (late in the hot summer) from the plant. It has a mild citrus and nutty flavor. Cilantro is the fresh leaf of the herb. Some people say it has a soapy flavor….

It’s National Coffee Day!

It’s National Coffee Day! How do you like your coffee? My favorite is café con leche with a little tab of butter. Ok, well maybe two tabs of butter but this is one cup of java you want to try. It is newly coined the “Bulletproof” coffee and said to give your brain function that extra jolt…

Pride and Presentation

One of the most important things I have learned while on this culinary journey is the significance of Plating Presentation. People eat with their eyes and then their mouths. My mother taught me to make the food look beautiful so that people want to eat it. I always remember this very important tip when I…