Spinach, Pineapple and Lemon Agua Fresca

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There are all kinds of agua fresca throughout Latin America.  It is simply just water, fruit and sugar blended up and as the name states: it is very refreshing (agua fresca=fresh water) and very delicious if I may say.  Standard flavors for agua fresca include strawberry, cantaloupe, mango and watermelon. Continue reading

Pumpkin Empanadas

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Why is there this misconception that pumpkin is only a fall time favorite?  It is always time for pumpkin.  And pumpkin empanadas, or turnovers, of course.  Oh they are sooo good.  Buttery, flaky and soft on the inside.  I especially love how fragrant they are.  Be ready to have a kitchen filled with aroma of pure deliciousness. Continue reading

Café de Olla

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Coffee is coffee.  Wrong!  This old school method is very different from that of the tried and true coffee maker.  When drinking coffee is meant to be relished this is the way to do it.  This is definitely not an I’m-late-and-running-out-the door kind of coffee.  It is an I-have-nothing-but-time-on-my-hands-let-me-sieze-the-opportunity-to-slowly-enjoy-my-coffee coffee.  The rich, sweet, spiced aroma leaps out of the mug and entices you to sit down.  It grabs you by the hand and gently reminds you to savor the moment.  Enjoy it.  Continue reading

Veggie Caldo

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Caldo is common among many Latin American countries.  It is one of the simplest things to make and one of the most satisfying.  Although most caldos use meat as the main source of protein this caldo uses beans as a base.  It is a rustic soup often identified by its hunks of meat and large pieces of vegetables.  It can be a bit messy to eat when the ingredients do not even fit on the spoon.  I never understood why everything had to be so big so I cut the vegetables a bit smaller, making this soup very easy to eat. Continue reading

Spicy Eggplant Guisado

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Guisado is a cooking catchall term used to describe a stir-fry of sorts.  It consists of a bunch of ingredients thrown into a pan with spices.  Basically when your dish doesn’t fit into any other category and it involves an open flame-guess what!  You just made a guisado. Continue reading

Warm and Fuzzy Comfort Food: Lentil Soup

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It is raining.  So naturally soup is in order.  Warm, comforting soup.  Something earthy, spicy, chunky.  Lentil soup is perfect for a cold, rainy night.  The chile flakes offer some heat while the onions and carrots give it a touch of sweetness.  Add cumin and garlic to the mix and you have the perfect soup to dish up.  Ideal when it is raining.  Just curl up on the couch with a bowl full of lentil soup and watch the rain cascade down.  Did I mention it’s raining? Continue reading

Zucchini Pupusas and Curtido

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As someone who was born and raised in Southern California I know a thing or two about pupusas.  This Salvadorian classic is the gateway of Salvadorian food for most.  Pupusas consist of a thick corn tortilla stuffed with various fillings, including veggies, beans, cheese and meat, then lightly sautéed on a griddle or hot pan.  Of course it is served next to, what I consider its co-star, curtido- fragrant, pickled cabbage slaw that is nicely used to help cut through the salty, fried goodness that is pupusaland. Continue reading

Orange-Infused Camote Enmielado (Candied Sweet Potato)

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If you ever visit Mexico you will notice the vendors lining the streets and sidewalks selling snacks to passersby.  Some vendors offer some sort of candied vegetable or fruit (sweet potatoes, pumpkin, banana, etc.).  It is more of a snack than a full fledged dessert; just something to munch on while you walk through the streets.  Most of the time it is a sugary sweet treat, swimming in syrup.  The kind that drips down you arms and you eat hunched over so not to stain your clothes with the gooey caramelized syrup. Continue reading