All posts filed under: blog

Empanadas-The Flavors of Family

On New Year’s Eve I taught Grace how to make the empanadas my Puerto Rican abuela used to make for me.  This is a special treat that takes a lot of time, love, and patience.  Grace likes to help me in the kitchen, so I thought the time had arrived for her to learn one of my favorite family recipes. Dishes that remind us of our loved ones are like a thread that ties the generations together.  The aromas and flavors of family dishes evoke childhood memories filled with the same love and “sabor” that they were made with.  I have many memories of my abuela in the kitchen preparing a buffet of Spanish food:arroz con gondules (Puerto Rican rice with pigeon peas), sorullos (deep fried corn sticks), platanos maduros (sweet plantains). She made everything with love and would sit back and smile when she would see everyone savoring her food. I remember her hands always smelled of Spanish herbs and garlic when she hugged me or rubbed my head, and there was such a …

What I’m Loving Now

The Power Bowl from Quench Juicery in Warren  Feel like spooning your smoothie?  Get an acai bowl!  You can mix in all kinds of healthy ingredients, but the acai is what gives the bowl it’s signature name.  What the heck is acai?  It’s a South American berry that’s loaded with nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and unsaturated fats. Recently, I tried The Power Bowl from Quench Juicery in Warren, RI-basically I had dessert for breakfast!  Usually I opt for one of their protein smoothies, but I was in the mood to mix things up.  The bowl was bursting with flavor: bananas, coconut, nutty granola, almond butter, and honey.  In the future, I would go lighter on the coconut and honey, to reduce the amount of sugar.  I like the variety that acai bowls bring to the table and the berry itself tastes like a mix between a grape and a blueberry.  Want a DIY version?  They sell frozen acai berries at Whole Foods.  And you can find pureed berry packets at Trader Joes. Pacemaker As we …

Harvesting the Flavors of Fall

You know what’s exciting?  When you start to build confidence in the kitchen.  It feels so good to practice new recipes in the kitchen and then actually start to create your own concoctions based on what you learn from others. Thanks to experimenting with different recipes, and learning from all sorts of resources (Pinterest, cooking magazines, books and TV shows) I’m starting to go off book and make my own recipes.  After all that’s how my grandma and mother always cooked.  Whenever I would ask my abuela for recipes, she couldn’t exactly tell me how she created her magical arroz con pollo dishes.  She just put it together based on years of trying things out in the kitchen and following her instincts. These days I’m always looking for ways to make healthy whole food dishes that can also be used for lunch or snacks the next day. Sheet pan cooking may be one of my favorite ways to whip up delicious meals in a pinch, and also blend tons of flavors together.  Throw in your …

Fall Flavor Inspiration!

It’s so easy to get stuck in a cooking rut ( which I do towards the end of a season).  That’s when spending a little extra time on meal prep can help add variety and inspiration to your dishes.  Mixing it up is where it’s at when it comes to sticking to a healthy lifestyle.  I especially like adding seasonal veggies and fruits to dishes. Our bodies tend to crave what’s in season, which is why it makes sense to reach for the flavors of fall right now to help satisfy your appetite.  Here’s a quick reference list of veggies and fruits to add to your shopping cart. Apples Squash: Butternut and Acorn Brussel Sprouts Pumpkin Sweet Potato Kale Eggplant Pomegranate Figs This upcoming weekend when you have some downtime, take a half-hour and collect some ideas from Pinterest, Cooking Magazines, and even look through that stack of Cook Books you probably have high up in a cabinet somewhere.  Re-inspire your meals for the next few weeks, and find yourself getting excited about cooking savory, …

Creating Space

Let’s face it we’re living in a digital world, where everything revolves around our devices, and there’s no end in sight.  Our phones and email have the potential to own us if we let them.  And the over stimulation we’re accustomed to is starting to feel like the norm.  It’s affecting our brains, our ability to communicate and truly connect, and it’s wreaking havoc on our nervous systems. Ironically, as I was scrolling through Facebook I came upon a post by Thic Nhat Hanh, a Tibetan monk, that struck me, “Every home, no matter how small, can have a breathing room. We may have a room for everything else— a bathroom, a bedroom, a living room— but most of us don’t have a room for our own breathing and peace of mind…you can make a breathing space or a breathing corner. Your breathing room is a sacred place.” This idea of creating space from the noisy digital world and all of the daily stressors we face, inspired me.  And so I embarked on the task …