Pico de Gallo

Pico de Gallo or salsa fresca as some may call it, is an all time favorite at home. We prepare it almost every week to accompany our chili con carne and nachos night. This simple recipe, but full of flavors and colors can be served as a snack with tortilla chips for your guest to enjoy while you serve the main dish. If you don’t already have a favorite way of preparing this salsa, then this recipe is for you. WARNING!!! Fresh homemade salsa is 100 times better then store bought and can be highly addictive!

If you need a good guacamole recipe to go with this salsa check out this recipe: Guacamole Recipe.

Cherry Thimbles Cookies

These are a remarkable variation of the thumbprint cookies, and our all time favorite polvorones. They taste like mini cherry pies, buttery crust and sweet center.  I found these cherry thimbles cookie recipe in a vintage magazine and in 2001 and since then they have been part of our family cookie tradition. I know cherry season wont' be until June, but these taste just as great with maraschino cherries so why wait. I guarantee they will not last long on the platter you serve them. ENJOY!

Cornmeal Pudding, Arepa de Harina de Maíz

Receta en español

One of the most requested recipes via email is the Dominican cornmeal arepa. Translated it is cornmeal cake, but I say it is better described as a cornmeal pudding. My inspiration to learn how to prepare this recipe were the arepa stands on the road to Jarabacoa. In 2002, after buying these arepas several times, I knew I could bake a better tasting one at home.

This is a very common and vintage recipe. If I'm not mistaken, a similar basic recipe could be found in the back of some cornmeal package bags. I hope that you can easily make this arepa de maíz dominicana, and share your results with me.

Friendship and Love Heart Cookies, Galletas Decoradas

En Español

Last week I shared a picture on Facebook of a few cookies that I was decorating. Here's the final product. These are a classic at home for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day. I hope these romantic cookies inspire you to bake, decorate and looooove way beyond this past holiday.

Due to lots of rain and humidity, I could not do little rose buds in advance to decorate these cookies like I wanted to. What I ended up making were these simple but cute flowers with the tip #26, #18, and in the center I placed a gold nonpareil. For the leaves I used tip # 67.

The result was a very flirty and romantic cookie. I placed some cookies in a mini wooden trunk hand painted by my daughter Crystal. This makes a nice gift for family and friends, right?

Valentine ain't over for me, the year has 365 days and they are all days for celebrating love and friendship. I hope this post will provide you with inspiration for making cookies and to continuously fall in love with your partner, your family, your work and above all, God.

Esta receta en español: AQUÍ.

For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.~ 1 John 3:11

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Carne Salada, Salted Pork

En Español

Carne salada (carne frita) could be made either with beef or pork meat seasoned with salt, garlic, oregano and sour orange or lemon juice. The longer the meat is left to marinate, the better. This dish is one of the popular antojitos (cravings) of many Dominicans that live outside their country.

In some street meat markets you will find seasoned meat hanging under the sun to allow to dry and to help the meat last longer without any need of refrigeration. This allows enough time for customers to buy it before it goes bad. I skip this step because of many reasons one of them being hygiene. I prefer to use fresh meat and cook it myself at home. No sun is needed to make great tasting salted pork.

Something of Dominicana
Monumento de la Muñeca sin Rostro, diseñada por Radhamé Carela del Higüerito, Moca.

The following recipe is how I cook carne frita at home, it is not too salty, but you could use more salt if you want. I have served mine with fried batatas (boniato).

Batatas Fritas, Fried Boniato

From January 26 to February 27 Dominican Republic celebrates its patriotic month by commemorating our Founding Fathers and the symbols that identify us as Dominican in the world. It's a month to celebrate our independence and to remember, learn and keep us from repeating the mistakes of the past. Unfortunately it may seem we need Juan Pablo Duarte, Matias Ramon Mella and Francisco del Rosario Sanchez to come back and liberate us from the slavery of certain celebrations that I believe should have nothing to do with our folklore and a few other things which I prefer not to write about for now.

I do appreciate the immense heart of this country that automatically grants Dominican citizenship to those born abroad if your parents are Dominicans. So for a few years now I’ve officially been an American Dominican with cédula and all! At times I feel I do not fit in with must customs here, but while I am here in what I can I hope to help make it a better place.

On another note, there is so much to celebrate in this country: an almost always perfect weather, beautiful coastlines, enchanting forests, beautiful green mountains and the secluded rivers in the mountains that are fascinating. To all Dominicans, celebrate this country by bringing out the best of you and of course with our food and delicious desserts. If you are interested in learning how to cook Domnican food I recommend you my eBook.

Today I’ve cooked something easy, sweet potato or boniato fries that are as popular as the tostones, both are favored side dish fritters for Dominicans. In frying stalls and restaurants these batatas fritas are served as an accompaniment to fried meats, sausages or fish. I love them, and lately I have been preparing them often because I find they are less greasy than fries. Since it's batata season, this tuber can be found everywhere in the local markets at a very comfortable price, only five pesos a pound (about .13 USD cents a pound). So take advantage and prepare these sweet potato fries or any of the recipes with this ingredient that I have shared in this blog. Look for  the links of those recipes below. 


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