We have officially moved! Click to see where we are now!

We have officially moved! Click to see where we are now!
We have officially moved! Click to see where we are now!
Celebrating is about sharing, telling stories, talking. It's about eating a piece of cake that a friend made for you, having a glass of wine or savoring a cup of coffee. It's that unknown sensation that doesn't let you get up from the table after eating. It's much more than just placing silverware and plates on a table, it's creating an ambience, a style, a sensation, an unforgettable memory.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Because I love you...

Spring is here!!! Changes come and so I come to my blog. In another format, reinventing it, and implementing new ideas.

I have spent 3 weeks cooking, taking pictures and tasting food. I think I've gained some pounds.
The day I made the cosmo shoots it was 10 am and here I was trying the cosmo shoots and laughing by myself and testing the results.

The house became a total chaos at eating time. We only ate what I was doing for my blog. My mom would call me to ask what was I doing? I was cooking for my blog... so dinner could be a dessert and breakfast could be dinner. This weekend we just ate all the time: panna cotta in all dimensions and forms.

My dining room became a tabletop set where I took all the pictures. There were spoons and plates everywhere. My kitchen was a test kitchen 24 hours a day and my visits to the grocery were simultaneous and daily for a little something. In my closet, if I was going to get a pyjamas, I found tablecloths and forks and knifes. I am surrounded by cooking utensils everywhere. The fridge is filled with containers and little plastic bags labelled with sauce recipes and work in progress.

But today I am very happy, I just opened my new blog. This one will always be here as part of my work. But my new posts will be in the new one with the same address.

I love you all for being with me all the time. Your visits to my blog accompany me and push me to give the best of me: honest and spontaneous.



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Piñata Bread

This recipe was brought to me by Andy and Esteban, since they found this recipe they've been making bread almost everyday with unimaginable toppings and fillers.
I called mine piñata bread because I added so much seeds and cramberries, that every time I sliced a piece they come out like a piñata.

The recipe is by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois from the book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, extremely easy it is just a perfect recipe.
It's addictive. I ended up eating the whole bread myself without even realizing. And because it's so easy to make you will want to make bread dough for every meal.

Makes about 4 loaves of bread; can be halved or doubled easily


3 cups lukewarm water
1.5 tablespoon yeast (or two packets)
1.5 tablespoon kosher salt
6.5 cups unsifted, unbleached all-purpose flour


Mix the water, yeast, and salt together. Then add all the flour at once, stirring with a wooden spoon. Once all incorporated, let your dough rise on the counter for at least 2 hours, but as many as 5 is fine. Refrigerate your dough until you are ready to make your bread. The dough will last 2 weeks in the fridge.
When you are ready to bake the bread, sprinkle the top of the dough with flour and pull off a portion of dough the size of a grapefruit. Shape the dough into a smooth ball by pulling the top of the dough over itself and tucking it into the bottom. Let rest 20 minutes (longer if you added a bunch of nuts). Then put your pan in the oven with a boiler pan under it and heat up the oven to 450*. Wait another 20 minutes. Score the top of your bread, put it in the oven, and pour a cup of water into the broiler pan. Bake for 30 minutes and until the crust is perfectly golden. The only way to mess it up at this point is to under cook it, so be brave. Let the bread cool before slicing into it, or don't wait and enjoy the warm, warm bread.

Additional:I added mine, cranberries, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pinoli. And on top olive oil with sugar.

A lazy sunday stress free bread!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Merry Christmas

After being away from my blog for two months, I come back again. Even this post, it's about Xmas. For three months, I've been having some problems in my neck due my cervical spine, so I've been wearing a soft collar, going to therapy, doctors etc... and I stopped using my computer as much as I could. Overall, I haven't been very energetic. 

But Christmas came along and all my kids came home. And, making an effort with the help of my dear ones, enthusiastic enough with a lot of love, I made my Christmas dinner. Which I am going to share with you.

I wanted to create a magic Xmas dinner. One where we would be sitting at the table eating unexpected flavors, having fun, being happy and surrounded by loved ones...

Three days before Christmas I couldn't sleep, so between dreams and wakefulness, I started dreaming about the textures and flavors I wanted to incorporated in the menu. 

And that is how everything started.

We opened dinner with a soup of leek, pear, tarragon, and a little bit of cognac. We called it: Velouté de poireaux et poire.

The salmon. I made it with a crust of almonds, pecans, sesame seeds, cranberries and orange peel. Seasoned with ginger and soy sauce. Saumon en croûte de semences.

My fabulous helper was Andy, my older son's girlfriend. She's already part of the family. My blondie daughter-in-law spent the whole day making all the apple delicatessen: apple cake, apple tart, and a special apple tart with amaranth and coconut flour for a special gluten-free guest.

Molecular honey caviar made for the appetizer. We had it over brie cheese brochettes. Another plate was sashimi with sake granita, this recipe I saw in Donna Hay. I added a seaweed topping that looks like caviar.

These are inspired by the Venezuelan Hallacas that are famous during Chistmas. I didn't have the time or the energy to make the Hallacas I usually make. 

So that night between dreams and wakefulness, these Hallacas dumplings came along. They are kosher and organic. We called them: Boulettes de Noël Vénézuéliens. We loved them for their size: they were a perfect food sample.

For fun, I incorporated two blind tastings into the menu (totally unexpected). One was a tequila lime jelly shot covered with crystals of lemon peel and sugar. And the other one was Mochi, the Japanese rice cake ice cream filled with lychee. 

We laughed so much just at the idea of a blind tasting. I think this is something I will do more often. The perfect way to break the ice or just to immediately change the mood.  

The dessert table was my Christmas wonderland decorated with small and tiny Xmas trees. We had the apple tart, a berry tart, and the famous Buche de Noël.

Some family moments...

The Christmas menu in French that Laura made. Big enough with 14 dishes to please and pamper everyone. Vegan, vegetarian, meat lover, pescetarian, kosher and gluten free.

The kings and queens getting ready for the family picture...

Santa came along and brought the total chaos of opening Christmas presents....

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year!!!  Remember, the best is yet to come.
Live with passion + dream big + eat slow + cook with love.  And then the magic comes along...
Thank you so much for being here.


Saturday, October 20, 2012

Hippie Chic

When I saw this bowl I knew I had to get It. Made in Turkey but It reminds me at Missoni knitwear. I can't go out without buying a little something for the kitchen or the table. That is my thing, I have table top items everywhere. I use them on a daily bases. I am the one who thinks that everything has to be used almost immediately, I am the same with shoes.

What I've been cooking lately is quinoa with veggies.

I add carrots, zucchini, broccoli, red onion, orange zest and cranberries.

I am in the mood of Hippie Chic style: food + home + life.         
It is the freedom to mix and match with no rules. Eat mother nature's gifts, a fresh mix of vegetables, fruits, grains, seeds and nuts. Everything spontaneous, natural and stress free.

I bought these beauties and decided to make a Hippie Chic salad with them.

For my Hippie Chic salad I made a light vinaigrette with dijon and walnut oil.

I love quinoa!
Originated in the Andes region of South America, specially from Bolivia and Peru. The Incas called the mother of all grains.
This is super grain of the century.
Commonly referred to used as a grain but what we eat is the seed of the plant.
Has the most protein of any grain and contain all amino acids. High in fiber and nutrients.
Is gluten free, cholesterol free and easy to digest.

For my quinoa bowl:
1 cup of quinoa, follow the packets recipe.
I tend to add a little less water than is said.

I sauté in olive oil:
1 red onion - finely chop
2 garlic cloves - mince 
2 carrots - finely chop
1 zucchini - finely chop
1 steam of broccoli - cut into  very small florets
1/4 cup cranberries
1 orange zest

Combine the crunchiness veggies with the cooked quinoa.

Additional: sometimes I add toasted pin nuts, almonds.
raisins, lemon juice, mint, cilantro.... any thing you like...

Sunday, October 7, 2012

It was in Venezuela where I had my first kiss

The day arrived with big hope and much enthusiasm, presidential elections in Venezuela.
How can I forget my dear Venezuela? I had my three kids in Venezuela, my first job in Venezuela, and my first kiss in Venezuela. Even though I have lived there in three different times, each time I saw a vibrant city, happy people, magnificent nature, and wonderful weather all around.

Today I am making Venezuelan arepas. They are a round bread made of pre-cooked corn meal.

You can fill them with almost anything: cheeses, meats, fish, chicken, vegetables, sauces, creams. 

The dough is usually made with water, though I sometimes make it with vegetables juices and add more nutritious things like toasted sesame seeds, oats, flaxseeds and spelt flour. 

This is the pre-cooked white corn meal a packet seen in all Venezuelan households.

These are my colorful arepas: for the yellow I added turmeric, for the blue, cabbage with baking soda, and for the red, beet.

For the orange I added carrot, the green, spinach, and the white I did with water and added the additional spelt flour, flaxseed, sesame seeds, and oatmeal.

There are particular things that I miss. The aroma of coffee every morning, the smell of freshly baked bread from the bakeries. Dawn with the view of the mountain El Avila, the friendly and joyful Venezuelan people, and, of course, las areperas. They are everywhere and some are open 24 hours a day.

Arepas filled with carne mechada (shredded beef), avocado and chicken, black beans and cheese, and tomatoes with veggies.

This my version of "Reina Pepiada." It is made with avocado, chicken and mayonnaise. This arepa was made with the beet dough and garnish with micro purple radish.

In a very personal sense, I always remember the good times with families and friends in Venezuela. All those memories are linked through food:

Eating at the big table at my grandparents home, my grandfather David going to the market Sunday morning and coming back with huge boxes of fresh food ready to be shared with everyone. 

Las cachapas at my abuela Theo's, the welcoming big Sunday soup (hervidos) de mi tia Marisol, el pan de jamón, and the smell of hallacas on Christmas.

The gourmet dinners with written menus at my Dad's and Orietta's, having a fresh juice with my Tita.

Fresh fish (pargito frito) at the beach, tequeños at the piñatas, cachitos from the bakery.

Early Sundays buying flowers and having breakfast to catch up with my friend Maria Ines. 

The Shabbat at Jacob's mom's. 

The chicken brassery with yuca for lazy days.

The nanny, Luz Marina, helping me make scrumptious meals. 

My mom's super healthy meals, way before people used to even talk about organic. 

My grandmother Dolores cooking for me special food because I didn't like anything.... 

And today I have my heart set on a peaceful, secure, and happy Venezuela to come..

All my love to Venezuela!

Thursday, September 13, 2012


We arrived to Aghios Nikolaos and walked around the charming village, until lunch time. I had two names of places where to eat, having in mind I am always looking for where the locals eat fresh and without any tourist pretentiousness. I decided to go Stavrakakis taverna so I got a taxi and drove about 4 miles to Exo Lakonia a little village. We arrived to the place up the hill, a small house with a beautiful bongaville facade and few tables at the front and the inside. At the front door was a wall menu all in Greek. So we just asked to bring all the vegetarian dishes to try them all.

Fishing boats arrive daily with fresh fish at the village.

With local people from the neighborhood at Stavrakakis taverna in Exo Lakonia, Panagia. I wanted to take a picture of them and they asked me to be in the picture too. 

The art of making the authentic Greek coffee by the real Manolis Stavrakakis.

Organic home produced family tavern, we had all vegetarian meal, everything super fresh and with a home made taste.

Zucchini blossoms stuffed with rice, this dolmades were beautifully made and very delicious. This something I have to do  at home.
The wine ring you see next to it was something you couldn't stop eating. 

For dessert we had figs and kumquats in syrup with a homemade liqueur serve from that green bottle, I didn't know what it was but it was like a kind of Ouzo, Tsikoudia or Raki. A perfect and digestive after the meal.

A home made meal, that was exactly what I wanted. Just to fell I was eating at a someone else's home. Totally local food.

An now at home nostalgic for the fabulous Greek trip, I have been eating inspired in all my greek memories.
I bought these two wonderful books which now I adore, "Vefa's Kitchen" by Vefa Alexiadou an authority on Greek food, called the bible of authentic Greek cooking and "Food from Many Greek kitchen" by Tessa Kiros, a beautiful book with inspiring pictures: a celebration of colors and capturing moments.

And from Tessa Kiros comes this recipe of wine rings made with wine and olive oil.
This is the third time I made them, they are addictive like the ones I tried in crete. Once you try it you can't stop eating them.

Love having it with a strong coffee!


2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup of sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves (I used all spice instead)
6 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup white wine (I added 2 more spoons)
Additional ( I added 1 spoon of fennel seeds) next time I will try adding sesame seeds instead.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl stir with a wooden spoon, add the wine and olive oil and combine.
Continue mixing with your hands until you get a soft an uniform dough.
Knead well for few minutes and divide the dough into oval balls (makes about 20).
Let it rest uncovered for about 5 minutes .
By hand roll each out into a rope about 10 inches long, join the ends and pat one end over the other to close.
On a lined baking sheet, bake for about 20 to 25 minutes until crisp and golden.

Quick & easy to make! keep them in a tin to last.  

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Obsessed with the C

Adding a lemon zest for a vibre flavor and for the C.

I didn't have fresh basil so used an emergency cube. When I have a lot herbs and I know I am not going to used them immediately to preserve them I freeze them in ice cubes trays with olive oil. I have mint, parsley, cilantro, tarragon and basil all just in case.

The salmon was ready to be bake with a crust of whole grains.I found it at the whole food market, a frozen mix with cranberries, almonds, quinoa, barley and wheat berries. In this case I also bought it for an emergency fast meal. I seasoned the wild salmon with teriyaki sauce, added the crust and of course, lemon peel. Fast and ready to bake!

This is an other pasta which I love with olive oil, garlic, baby heirloom tomatoes, parmigiano Reggianno, fresh arugula and lemon zest.

A breakfast cake with olive oil, yogurt, lemon juice and peel.
You can really feel the flavor of yogurt and the olive oil. I adore the topping, lemon and lime zest with brown sugar. Total deligh with a cup of tea.

Back to basic and simplicity. Every thing with lemon, after having all kinds of tea for a chest congestion that lasted several weeks my desire for lemon continues. Pasta with lemon zest, salmon with lemon peel and even a cake with lemon. I have to tell you about this pasta. 
Made while we were locked at home with the shutters down due to the not welcome home guest, Isaac. Thankfully, Isaac was just a storm with heavy rain and wind here in Florida.

A basic pasta

750g chopped tomatoes (I used Pomi Italian tomatoes comes in a box packaged BPA free) 
1 onion chopped
3 tbs butter
1 lemon zest
Parmigiano Reggiano
fresh basil(I used a cube of frozen olive oil with basil)

In a saucepan medium heat sautéed the chopped onion with butter until onions are tender add the tomatoes and cook slow until the sauce is reduced.(I added to the sauce the basil cube) and continue cook until it melts in the sauce. 
Cook the pasta al dente. 
Serve, adding as a topping to your taste capers, lemon peel and the parmesan cheese. 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

My savage tart

As if it came from the woods, just a selection of mushrooms: Shiitake, Oyster, Enoki, Trumpet, White Beech... what ever you like. I also used Portobello mushrooms as part of the ingredients for the filling.

Line the shell with parchment papper and fill with dried beans or ceramic weight, to prevent shrinking or bubbling while baking. 

Ready to go to the oven, I arranged the mushrooms on the top, they were too beautiful to be hiding on the filling and I wanted to keep a organized wildness in the concept. 

Bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and puffy.

I served it with a green salad and a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

Since I wanted something wild on my table and naive at the same time, here comes my savage tart.

Ingredients for the filling:
A variaty mix of mushrooms
2 Portobello mushrooms diced
1 small onion finely chopped
1 leek finely sliced
3/4 cup of heavy cream
1/2 cup of Gruyere cheese grated
5 eggs
Olive oil (for sauté)
a pinch of salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg

Ingredients for pastry:
1 1/4 cups of all purpose flour sifted
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter chilled and cut into small cubes
pinch of salt
2 tablespoon of water

To make the dough: In a bowl combine the flour, salt and butter with your fingertips until mixture resembles breadcrumbs, add the water little by little and mix until the dough starts to come together into a ball. 

Flatten the ball into a disk, wrap in plastic and chill for 30 minutes.

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured suface and line onto the pan pinching the base all over with a fork, and chill again for 15 minutes before baking.

Line the tart with parchment papper and fill with dried beans or weights, bake for about 20 minutes until the dough feels firm. Remove parchment paper and baking weights and return tart crust to the oven for about 10 minutes

For the filling:
In three separate batches keep the same large pan at low heat with a little olive oil, sauté the onion and leek until caramelized. Remove from pan and put to the side. Follow with a few drops of olive oil sauté the selection of mushrooms being careful turning them around without breaking them and toss with some of the caramelized onion and leek while cooking them (I want them to have flavour and to keep the shape intact, so they could be tasty and look nice at the top. Season with salt and pepper, remove from pan and continue to sauté the Portobello mushrooms with a little olive oil, remove from pan (I don't want them to be mushy so I drain them). Meanwhile, leave it on a colander so they could release the juices and squeeze all the moisture out before adding it to the mixture.

For the mixture:
In a bowl, whisk the eggs, cream, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. 
Add the caramelized onion and leek with the Portobello mushrooms.
Pour the mixture onto the tart crust and bake for about 25 minutes until golden brown and puffy.   

Great for a picnic! 

For a sumptuous breakfast, a chic brunch, making a hip lunch, and dinner al fresco...