September 2009

I will remember the summer of 2009 as the summer that almost wasn’t. Cool temperatures (with the exception of a few dog days) and inch upon inch of rain (so that explains the terrible tomatoes!), left me feeling that summer had barely gotten off to a start when it was officially over. Well, technically it is officially over this coming weekend for Labor Day, but you get my drift.

For all of its shortcomings this summer had some really memorable moments. My youngest brother Johnny married his long time sweetheart, Paula in a lovely ceremony in Florida, followed by a marvelous reception at the Colombia Restaurant in Ybor City, where friends and family celebrated the joyous occasion. John couldn’t have beamed prouder and Paula was an absolutely radiant bride. We welcome Paula to the Martinez family with open arms and wish her and Johnny a million years of happiness!

My youngest brother Johnny married his long time sweetheart, Paula in a lovely ceremony in Florida

August also wrapped up the second season of Viva Daisy! and we quietly celebrated a successful season with a family breakfast that included a crab hash and poached eggs with a passion fruit hollandaise sauce, that was so delicious, that I didn’t get around to getting pictures of it, but I promise to do a tutorial on Boriqua Blog in the next week or so, because it is such a delicious recipe that it deserves to be documented.

CBS The Early Show invited me to do a segment on Mangoes, and boy, were they talking to the right girl! We featured a number of my recipes that include mangos including Crab and Mango Stuffed Avocado, Mango-Passion fruit Panna Cotta, and Cleriquot with Mango,   Peach, and Raspberries! Needless to say, Harry, Maggie and Russ had a great time sampling all of the dishes!

 

Further celebrations included the good friend Jimmy Johnson’s birthday, which we celebrated at Casa Daisy with a Grilled Lobster with a Coconut Milk-Habanero Lime Marinade, a Grilled Fennel, Grapefruit and Avocado Salad, and a Caprese Salad before breaking out the birthday carrot cake. If you know me (and like most other Puerto Ricans!), I don’t need an excuse to throw a party, but Jimmy’s birthday celebration turned out to be quite an evening filled with great drink, delicious food and many, many laughs. I can’t wait to do it a gain next year!

Grilled Lobster Grilled Fennel, Grapefruit-Avocado Salad
Grilled Lobster   Grilled Fennel, Grapefruit-Avocado Salad

Caprese Salad
Caprese Salad

Jimmy blows out his birthday candles…all 29 of them!
Jimmy blows out his birthday candles €¦all 29 of them!

And then there was Whitehead Island! I had the opportunity and unlimited pleasure to lead a culinary event on the island of Whitehead off the coast of Maine this summer from August 21st to the 26th, and met some of the most unbelievably enthusiastic people I have ever met. We cooked for four days in the kitchen, with culinary flights to España, Argentina, and Mexico, and foraging through the “localvore” scene from nearby organic farms on the last day, but I don’t want to give too much of it away because I will be doing a day by day on Boriqua Blog this month, so make sure that you check back there often!

I welcomed the students with a Puerto Rican feast that included Pollo Asado,   Kidney beans and White Rice, Patitas con Garbanzos (Trotters with Garbanzo Beans), and Guava and Cheese Turnovers, to give them a glimpse of the pleasure that is the Latin kitchen. They got it in no uncertain terms and were eager to enjoy the culinary class, the beautiful venue, and our afternoon mojitos, courtesy of Carolina! A gazillion thanks to Ben and Emily Swan, directors of the program at Whitehead for an incredibly rewarding and unforgettable experience!

 

Whitehead Island Lighthouse Station
Whitehead Island Lighthouse Station

The Cooking With Daisy at Whitehead Light Station Gang!
The Cooking With Daisy at Whitehead Light Station Gang!
(left to right) June Mendez, Eileen Neal, Aida Cortes, Mercedes Gonzalez, Daisy,
Maria Ragolia, Dee Gedutis, and Wayne “Doc” Gedutis

 

That brings us up to date, I think, and the month of September is shaping up beautifully. Tune in to the Early Show on CBS on September 11th, where I am scheduled to make an appearance, although I am sure that is subject to any breaking news, and make sure you stop by and see me at the Edible Garden event at the Bronx Botanical Garden on September 13th where I will be cooking and sharing recipes with you. Last year this event was absolutely awesome and the turnout terrific, so I am looking forward to seeing old friends and new! I think in the spirit of remembering my lovely stay at Whitehead Island, I will feature the recipes of the meal I met my students with upon their arrival for this month’s newsletter.

Happy New Year to our Jewish friends, and Happy Birthday to my hubby Jerry, Papi AKA The Silver Fox, and Erik my oldest son! Oh, and did I mention there are only 113 shopping days left until Christmas?

Buen Provecho!

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