July 2009

What is that they say about “when it rains it pours”? Well. That has been what June has been all about: rain! Not that I’m complaining, mind you… My herb and chile garden are doing stupendously and my blueberry bush is loaded with those dusky little blue jewels, but it was getting so that I was wondering if we were ever going to see the sun again.

All the rain aside, we had a lot of fun in June. I was a judge at the 1st Annual Paella Parade at the Water Taxi Beach at Pier 17, which raised money for Action Against Hunger and NYC College of Technology Culinary Scholarships. The weather was beautiful, the paellas gorgeous and the wine (courtesy of Coto de Rioja) abundant and delicious.

1st Annual Paella Parade1st Annual Paella Parade

I was also lucky enough to attend the Big Apple BBQ Block Party, which took over Madison Garden Park. The great thing about this event other than the obvious is when you walk out from the train station your nostrils are assaulted with the smell of burning wood and cooking meat, and if that doesn’t immediately place me in my Tia Gabriela’s house in Arecibo, nothing will. Tia is legendary for cooking pork on an open fire, smoking meat, and throwing the most fantabulous parties on earth…and this is not an exaggeration! Bobby who? I know a 70 year old woman who can dance circles around him in front of an open fire!

Big Apple BBQ Block PartyBig Apple BBQ Block Party

All well and good, I’d say, because all of these events took second place to my June priority, which of course was the delivery of my manuscript for my new book, which comes out in the Spring of 2010. My dear friends at Atria Books, who are publishing the new tome, allowed me to visit them during their Bookseller’s Meeting, cook up a few recipes from the book, and serve them after a days’ hard work. Rumor has it that their guests were very well pleased!

My publisher Judith Curr, Moi, and my fabulous editor Johanna Castillo
My publisher Judith Curr, Moi, and my fabulous editor Johanna Castillo

Chris Styler, my right hand man, and Johanna

Chris Styler, my right hand man, and Johanna

Business aside, my own little Angela had a rite of passage…her junior high school graduation and her junior high prom (who knew?!). She’s growing into such a beautiful young woman, and I can tell you her parents are bursting with pride!

Angela for prom

Angela for prom

I wrapped up June with a trip to Miami for the Go Red for Corazon, an event that promotes heart health for Latinas, my second consecutive year doing the event, and it was truly wonderful seeing old friends and making new ones!

Go Red for Corazon

June was chock full of fun, but you all know I am pumped about July because….wait for it…Viva Daisy! launches it’s second season on July 11th at 9:30 on the Food Network. It’s true, it’s true! We’re back with all new episodes, and we’re counting on you to let the fine folk at FNTV how you feel about the show. I will be preparing and enjoying the authentic food of Latin America, and sharing all of my recipes and techniques with you, so make sure you all tune in…and tell your friends! Food Network has advised me that this will be the indicator on whether or not the show is picked up for regular viewing, so don’t think your voice doesn’t count…it’s the only thing that does!!

And last but certainly not least, I know that Fourth of July weekend is a big barbeque/grilling weekend, but I think I’ll lighten it up a little, and serve a Snapper with a delicious Grapefruit- Avocado Salsa, and maybe cool things off with a Soursop-Mango Blush Batida. What say you, …sounds yummy, right?

Have a great holiday everybody, keep safe, and make sure to tune in on July 11th for our big launch on Food Network!

Happy Fourth of July!


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