Archive for the 'Newsletters' Category

March 2011

What Lion? What Lamb?? March is Soup Season!!!

I don’t know about you, but when the crazy weather of March arrives, you can park me right in front of a steamy, fragrant bowl of soup, and you can color me happy!! That is our March newsletter’s theme this month: SOUP, SOUP, GLORIOUS SOUP! I love it with chicken, with beef, with chickpeas and bacalao. I love it with lentils, and pasta, and rice, and….well, you get the picture. In my home nothing says comfort and love like a big bowl of slurpy, satisfying soup!

When I was a little girl, one of my favorite books was Maurice Sendak’s “Chicken Soup with Rice”. I never tired of reading it, in fact, I actually committed it to memory! Such has been my love affair with soup, so, here we go, sipping once, sipping twice…!

I could never start a conversation about soup without talking about my Abuela’s chicken soup. That recipe has undergone numerous revisions, but my current favorite is one that I enjoyed while visiting Mexico with my family. It is a dizzyingly delicious soup with an aromatic, enriched broth, tender chicken, vibrant veggies, and some surprise garnishes that will leave you wanting for more. I don’t want to give the secret away, so make sure you watch the video of Daisy’s Latin Cooking 101. You’ll never look at chicken soup the same again! You might even add some favorites of your own. Let the wind blow, you’re armed to the teeth with your Chicken Soup!

When Mami and Papi visit, I always leave a pot of soup simmering on the stove while I pick them up at the airport, so they’ll have a bowl of something comfy when they arrive at my house. Papi’s favorite is Split Pea Soup, and the thicker, the better. In fact Papi always says that he likes his split pea soup better on the second day, so I make sure to make enough for leftovers. I plunck a big smoked ham hock in the simmering soup, and that adds a smoky sweetness to the split peas that is nothing short of rapturous. I’m here to tell you that when that soup is ready, all you have to add is your spoon!

Next on the lineup of our soup parade is my Lentil and Dominican Longaniza Soup. I often marvel at how some of the humblest ingredients can often be coaxed into the most deliciously amazing dishes…think bacalao (salt cod), beans, a perfectly poached egg, a pot of gently simmered lentils. I start mine out by browning a ring of longaniza (if you can’t find longaniza, try another sausage ring, as long as it is highly seasoned), cut into smallish pieces, and then caramelizing the aromatics (onion, carrots, celery, bay leaf, and thyme), adding beef broth, and adding my own little spin at the end. Honey, it will be like taking little sips of heaven!

So there you have it! There are soups that can be served as a first course, or hearty enough to be the main attraction; the choice is yours to make! Make sure you stop by Boriquablog.com to see our fun cooking lesson videos, and make sure you leave a comment or two! I always love hearing from you, and enjoy your tips and suggestions! See you in April!

Buen Provecho!!

January 2011

Tabula Rasa

Isn’t the feeling you get after the New Year the best one in the world? Everyone has the promise of new chances and starting over, of dreams fulfilled, and sparks of new ideas…all backed by the courage that a new year promises. Sign me up!

That said, I’ve decided to revamp Boriqua Blog a little bit. As some of you might have noticed, I’ve taken to posting instructional videos on You Tube through Facebook (and if you haven’t noticed, you better jump on that bandwagon!!). The feedback has been so positive, that I’ve decided to do monthly themes this year, and while I’m fond of saying that the road to hell is paved with good intentions, what I’ve planned is that every month will be dedicated to a “theme” and every week I will blog about and post a video pertaining to a recipe or technique related to that theme. Let me give you a “for instance”.

For instance, last week I posted a video on the ease of making that perennial favorite, Empanadas, Now, once you have the basic technique for empanandas, there is nothing you can’t fill it with, whether meat, seafood or vegetables, everything tastes better when wrapped in a crispy, slightly chewy casing of delicious fried dough (okay, you could bake it but then you wouldn’t have those yummy bubbles in the
empanada shell!). Where I come from, empanadas (or pastelillos, as we call them in Puerto Rico), fall under the category of “Frituras”, or yummy fried things. The obvious next choice in that category, for me at least are alcapurrias, a mouthwatering fritter made of a batter (or masa) of root vegetables, notably yucca and yautia, which is seasoned with spices and colored with achiote oil, filled with either picadillo or crabmeat, and deep fried to a mind altering deliciousness. You get the picture, right? Every week, for the month of January, I will feature a different fritura, post a video print the recipe, and discuss at length. Are you with me? The following month will feature a different “theme” which should be relevant to the season at the very least, whether in ingredient or “feel” (soup in March, anyone?).

So I will be diverting slightly from the previous format of the newsletter, from now on, until I get some feedback from you, fair readers, as to which version you prefer. I think this will be a bit more interactive, as I can confer with you via comments on Boriqua Blog, as well as take your suggestions and ideas, as opposed to just posting three recipes each month, and having it at that. Now that I have a MacBook, I’m even toying with the idea of video chat seminars once a month…any takers? Of course, I’d need to have a large enough response to that, to justify taking the time out to do it. The future lies in your hands!

Didn’t I start this newsletter out by saying that we love a clean slate?

December 2010

What a ride 2010 has been! Two books released, seven countries visited, countless demos, classes and appearances… I have barely had time to catch my breath, and BOOM!, the holidays are upon me again!! I’d say, “Where in the world did the time go?”, but the truth of the matter is that I managed to cram a whole lot of everything into this year! Yes, 2010 will certainly be one to remember!

Lets take a look at some of the highlights from this past year. Early 2010 brought us to the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Miami, as my buddy Paula Deen calls it, “Spring Break for Chefs” for three days of food, fun and hilarity. There was Burger Bashing and Bubble Q’ing, and hoards of foodies from all over, and it’s where we launched my second book, “Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night (Atria 2010) and shared good times with my friends!

Daisy Dec 2010Daisy Dec 2010Daisy Dec 2010
We returned home to take of on a whirlwind book tour that started on the TODAY Show, and took us to San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, and Puerto Rico among other places. We were met everywhere with friendly fans filled with enthusiasm and excitement for the brand new tome.

Daisy Dec 2010 Daisy Dec 2010

Daisy Dec 2010 Daisy Dec 2010

There was no shortage of classes, demos and great food, and you were all there to share it with me. We laughed, we cried, we shared stories, and boy oh boy, we ate! We went back to Whitehead Lighthouse Station for our annual cooking class, and rocked some serious tamales while taming some lovely lobsters Daisy-style!

Daisy Dec 2010 Daisy Dec 2010

Daisy Dec 2010Daisy Dec 2010

Daisy Dec 2010
Team Whitehead!

We even took to the high seas on the Celebrity Equinox, the first (and most fabulous!) cruise ship I have ever been on, to give them a taste of all things “Daisy”. When not giving cooking classes and demos, Carolina and I had a chance to do some sight seeing, and sample some local fare for ourselves! It was an unbelievable trip of a lifetime!

Daisy Dec 2010 Daisy Dec 2010

Daisy Dec 2010Daisy Dec 2010

We had just enough time to barely cool our heels after our adventures in Barcelona, Nice, Naples, Ajaccio, Dubrovnik, and Rome, when it was time to pack our bags again and set out for a wine tour in Santiago, Chile and Mendoza, Argentina. Tough gig, I know, but Caro and I decided to bite the bullet and take one for the team! It was nothing short of amazing!!

Daisy Dec 2010Daisy Dec 2010

Daisy Dec 2010 Daisy Dec 2010
It is good to be back home, nevertheless, because truth be told there’s no place like home for the holidays, and I am crazy busy getting things in order for the big festivities. Here at Casa Daisy we are making holiday cookies for unexpected (and expected) guests to take with them, bottling Choquito (“Daisy’s Holiday Cooking” (Atria 2010), and making a list and checking it twice. Black Friday and Cyber Monday have come and gone, and I’ve conquered a large part of my holiday shopping, so it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas around here ;-)!

Daisy Dec 2010
Daisy’s Holiday Cooking” launch at Williams Sonoma Columbus Circle!

In fact, I’m already feeling so festive, that when I was invited to the TODAY Show on NBC, I came bearing gifts! We were scheduled to make Caribbean Spring Rolls and Tuna Picadillo Cucumber Cups from DHC and we did, but I brought along some home-made Dulce de Leche for the crew and anchors, along with some Coquito and Choquito (Al Roker said “Choquito” sounds like a Latin superhero!!). It was a blast, as always!

Daisy Dec 2010
Daisy, and the TODAY crew!

So, to give you a hand with your holiday entertaining, I’m going to give you the recipes for the Caribbean Spring Rolls, the Tuna Picadillo Cucumber Cups, and Mushroom Croquettes to help you along with your holiday entertaining and keep the season a little less stressful-and because it’s the season for giving, I’m throwing in Coquito and Choquito, because that’s how I roll!

Happy holidays to all, and my sincerest wishes for a Happy, Healthy New Year!

November 2010

The Fall is well under swing, with the season’s first frost having made an early appearance this year. The season has been chock full of travel, good food, great wine and wonderful friends. Carolina and I have visited Chile, Argentina and Napa Valley (you can read all about our exploits on Boriqua Blog), and my mind is buzzing with ideas for new recipes, entertaining ideas, and further hunger for travel! It’s amazing how efficient I’ve become on quick, last minute packing!

Of course the really big news is the release of my third book “Daisy’s Holiday CookingAtria 2010. If anyone would have told me I could put a book together from start to finish in 8 months, I’d have told them they were one taco short of a combination plate, yet here it is! The book is beautiful photographed by the charming and talented Frances Janisch, and it is a menu driven book to make your holiday entertaining a simple snap with tons of do ahead tips. Everything a host or hostess needs to greet their guests at the door with a smile and every hair in place!

Inside, you’ll find delicious Latin recipes like Ruby Grapefruit Ceviche, Spaghetti with Chipotle-Pork Meatballs, Rosca de Reyes, and Flourless Chocolate-Chile Cake that are wonderful for your autumn entertaining and winter holidays, but just as easily served for a festive get together at anytime of the year. If you’re not the “hosting” type, and find yourself fitting better into the “guest” mold, consider picking one (or two, or three!) up for your favorite host/hostess as a token of appreciation next time you get an invite…they also make great holiday gifts for all your “foodie” friends!

Sweet Plantains

Sweet Plantain “Canoes” with Shrimp Diablo

Achiote Rubbed Turkey with Manchamanteles Sauce and Longaniza-Cornbread Stuffing

While you’re busy making plans for your Thanksgiving dinner, remember the most important aspect of the season, and that is to take a moment and give thanks for all the blessings bestowed upon you this past year. I thank God for my health, the health of my family, my parents, and my friends…for the opportunity to share what I love with a most receptive audience, and make a living doing it…for the support everyone gives me, and on and on. I truly have too many blessings to list, and for that I am grateful, as well. I’m happy to share the recipe for the Achiote Rubbed Turkey and the Manchamanteles with you, this month, for your Thanksgiving celebration…you can thank me later! 😉

Happy Thanksgiving!

September 2010

Can it be possible that Summer 2010 is officially over (although it seems someone forgot to inform Mother Nature and the weatherman)! Looking back on what I can remember as being one of the warmest summers in my lifetime, I can honestly say that I managed to pack in a trunk full of great memories, not to mention my weight in delicious food. Here are some highlights:

We visited the oh-so-fabulous Maggie Jimenez on her show Que Sabor! In Miami, where we managed to cook up a storm of three recipes, all using “tomato” as an ingredient. Needless to say, Maggie has a charming and generous hostess, and I look forward to having our paths cross many times in the future. We made Egg Stuffed Baked Tomatoes, Chorros a la Chalaca, and Tomato Compote – three recipes, one word: DELICIOUS!!

Chorros a la Chalaca
Chorros a la Chalaca


Daisy and Maggie on the set of Maggie’s show, Que Sabor!

We also had a wonderful Cooking Demo at the ever-popular Don Coqui Restaurant, where I had the pleasure of cooking with SALSA sensation Tito Nieves! That was an experience that I will never forget, and while I loved meeting and cooking with Tito, my favorite part of the evening was getting to meet and greet all of the fans!


Chef Stephanie of Don Coqui and Daisy cooking for demo

And then, of course, there was our Culinary Adventure on Whitehead Light Station in Maine, which turned out to be a raving success. We hosted a couple of repeat students, but were happy to greet some new additions, and I can honestly say that the class went by altogether too quickly, while making some seriously delicious food!

Team Tamale!
Team Tamale!


Our first class together : Pork Tamales, Ropa Vieja and Wrinkled Potatoes with Spicy Ancho Chile Mojo!

Our second class: Peruvian Roast Chicken, Arroz Chaufa and Napa Slaw
Our second class: Peruvian Roast Chicken, Arroz Chaufa and Napa Slaw

 

As much fun and good food as we managed to cram into those five days on the island, none was more fun than our traditional Lobster Bake on the rocks. Michelle, our trusty manager enlisted the help of Angela and June to gather seaweed for the steaming, and we made the sides for our crustacean feast al fresco!

In keeping with the spirit and the fun we had cooking on Whitehead, this month’s recipes are Peruvian Roast Chicken, Arroz Chaufa, and Napa Cabbage Slaw
That should keep your taste buds working overtime, no doubt, and while I should be glad to be back home, Carolina and I find ourselves packing our bags and heading out to..EUROPE!! We’ll be traveling to Barcelona, Naples, Nice, Dubrovnik and Rome!! I can’t wait to tell you all about it in next month’s newsletter, but until then, along with the Whitehead Light Station Culinary Class of 2010, I want to wish you all

BUEN PROVECHO!!

 

June 2010

If it’s June, everything must be coming up roses, and they sure were the central attraction this past weekend when I catered a High Tea for Brooklyn’s own Narrow Botanical Garden, a volunteer run community botanical garden run by my buddies Jimmy Johnson and Ritchie Haugland. What does one serve at a Brooklyn High Tea? Well, tea, of course, but with the sweltering temperatures we experienced in Brooklyn this past week, Sparkling Pink Limeade, was more like it., so I made a batch of my Mexican Sparkling Limeade from Daisy:Morning Noon and Night, and stirred in a cup of raspberry puree (minus the seeds!), and viola! Delicious, refreshing and pretty to look at as well!

Yummy Sparkling Raspberry Limeade

Guests were treated to an assortment of finger sandwiches, which included Truffled Egg Salad on Pate Choux, Roast Beef, Cabrales Cheese and Caramelized Onion on tiny Potato Rolls, and even a Black and White Fig with Triple Crème Goat Cheese, Arugula and Candies Almonds on Baguette (my muse got carried away with me!). We even trew in some Cucumber Sandwiches with Maitre D Hotel butter, as well as that New York Staple: Smoked Salmon and Chive Cream Cheese with Red Onion and Capers on Pumpernickel party bread.  Everyone came up for seconds and even, thirds, so I am confident that they were well pleased.

Jimmy and Ritchie gave tours of the gardens after everyone finished their refreshments, through the rose gardens, the active beehives, and the Koi pond. They saved the best for last, though, and proudly showed off their brand new vegetable garden which boasted a rainbow of Swiss chard, a cornucopia of different tomatoes, and a Citrus Basil that I definitely be using to make Mojitos with! Definitely an awesome way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

Jimmy lectures
The Narrows Botanical Hives
The Koi pond
Ritchie boasts his vegetable garden

Another really fun event I attended was the 2nd Annual Paella Parade at the NY Water Taxi Beach at South Street Seaport. I was part o a judging panel that was to taste paellas from 10 different NYC restaurants competing for the Prettiest Paella, the Most Creative Paella, the Best Use of Ingredients Paella, and lastly, the crowd was allowed to choose the Crowd Pleaser Paella. I loosened a notch on my belt, and prepared to take one for the team!

The winners included Yerba Buena/ Toloache for the Prettiest Paella, Tapeo 29 took the Most Creative as well as Crowd Pleaser. I’m happy to share my recipe for my Three Bean Paella, which although it has few ingredients is not lacking in flavor at all. Nothing says “PARTAY” like paella!

I’m also looking forward to head out to Philly where I’ll be doing a book signing at the Central City Williams Sonoma in June 24th, so if you’re out that way, make sure you stop by and say hi! I have a feeling Philly is never going to be the same again!

Well, that’s how I’m starting out the summer-pretty good start, right? I’m looking forward to traveling around a lot, so I may get a chance to meet many of you-I can’t wait!

See you in July!

April 2010

Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night!!!

Whew!! What a month it’s been!! I was barely home from the South Beach Food and Wine Festival where my new book, Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night, Bringing Your Family Together with Everyday Latin Dishes, was launched when it was time to leave New York City, for the start of my book tour – and what a tour it has been! The tour has taken us from the beautiful City by the Bay, where we did a live demo at the Ferry Terminal  Market and were hosted to a phenomenal evening at Destino Restaurant, where the chef’s entire menu was from the book, and we even visited my friends, Spencer and Janelle at “The View From the Bay” on ABC!

The Rainbow Tunnel in San Francisco


Dinner and Book signing at Destino Restaurant


Janelle and Spencer on “The View From The Bay”

Everywhere we’ve gone, the book has been received with too many compliments to post, and I can say without pause, that I am thrilled to the gills! Imagine being able to share your joy and passion with people all over the United States and getting instant positive feedback! I am livin’ da dream, baby!!

In the City of Angels Carolina and I were treated like royalty by the fine folks at Williams-Sonoma where I also did a demo and had a book signing. I met up with some old friends and managed to make a few new ones, as well. My Author Host, Rick Mangicaro was a really cool dude, who plays guitar for the Joe Walsh!! How awesome is that!!?


The Super Fabulous Staff at Williams Sonoma Los Angeles


Daisy and Rick in Malibu

We went to Dallas where we were treated with proper Texas hospitality at Chef Central where I taught a class-tasting and very warmly received, while everyone sang the books praises (thank you Lord!), and while sometimes I felt a little overwhelmed by it all, I couldn’t help but wear a wide, wide smile for days and days!


Chef Central

My tour brought me back home to New York for a minute, where taught a class at Don Coqui Restaurant in New Rochelle, the likes of which I have never taught before! Along with Chef Stephanie, the Executive Chef, I was behind the stove with 60 students, who were all eager to roll up their sleeves and participate in making the evening’s meal!

The dinner At Don Coqui was truly a night to remember, with the wonderful blessing of meeting up with old friends and making many new (don’t you love that!?), topped with delicious food, and much camaraderie. Many thanks to Jimmy Rodriguez and Chef Stephanie (or Chefanie, as I like to call her!) for opening their doors and  being so incredibly generous.

There has been SO much more – from our trip to Chicago, where we met up with some of our friends from the Maine Gang, to our signing at Borders in NYC where we ran into the rest of them! Chef Mark Mendez at the gorgeous Carnevale Restaurant made the restaurants “specials” from recipes from the book, while I signed books downstairs!

In short, waaaaaay too many events to post in one newsletter, especially on the night before I leave for Puerto Rico for the SABOREA Festival, so I’ll have to blog them up over at Boriqua  Blog, so make sure you drop by to stay tuned to all the revelry – and remember, North or South, East or West, it’s Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night!

February 2010

Cumin-Scented Fried Potatoes, Rack of lamb with Dos Chiles, Mussels a la Chalaca and Tierrita Dulce

Ahhhh, February-the month dedicated to el amor! That said, it is also the time of year when most of us are rueful about all those resolutions we made a month ago. I am happy to report that I have upheld my resolutions (so far!!), and after “a chockfull of busy” January, I am looking forward to a warm and fuzzy Valentine’s Day, not to mention the anticipation of the launch of my new book Daisy: Morning, Noon and Night (Atria) at the South Beach Food and Wine Festival February 25-28 2010!!!

I’ve actually seen a hardcopy of the actual book, and I am so over the moon about it that I can barely contain myself. The recipes are very user friendly and delicious, and whenever I use specialty ingredients, I always provide suitable, easily available substitutions. I am sure that you will love this new addition to your cookbook library! If that weren’t awesome enough, the book is being released in Spanish later in the Spring!! Just in time for Mother’s Day!!

I would be remiss, if I didn’t take a moment to mention an event that touched the entire world deeply, and that, of course is the disastrous earthquake that shattered Haiti early in the morning on January 12, 2010. As a New Yorker, I can tell you that the last time I felt that desperate and desolate was for 9/11, and so I was very grateful when dear friend, fellow chef and cookbook author Ramin Ganeshram approached me about doing a fundraiser called Food 4 Haiti which would be held in the Saugatuck Church in Westport, CT. Ramin organized a bake sale, signed cookbooks from Ted Allen, Cat Cora, Rachael Ray, to mention a few, and book sale, as well as a silent auction that included items like a dinner party by Iron Chef Sous Chef Lorilynn Bauer, beautiful jewelry by designer Carrie Land, and tasting menus in various local restaurants. My contribution was a dinner for 4, hosted by me at one of my fave restaurants Don Coqui in New Rochelle, New York. I can tell you that the staff at the Saugatuck Nursery School and their volunteers supported Ramin’s effort in making the event a huge success (and the donations keep coming in, God bless you all!!), and at last count we had raised close to $10,000.00 What a wonderful community! I did mention warm and fuzzy-right? Thank you dearly, Ramin!

When the kids were younger, I used to get up extra early on Valentine’s Day and set a beautiful breakfast table, decorated with candy hearts, streamers, balloons, and little Valentine’s Day gifts at their place settings. Heart shaped French toast, pancakes, and sausage patties had pride of place on the table alongside the cranberry juice completing the festive theme. The boys would go to school asking they’re friends what they had received for Valentine’s Day, thinking this was the way everyone celebrated the day. Needless to say, they learned it was my own personal neurosis, soon enough! LOL!!

Today, there isn’t much of an audience here for breakfast, and at dinnertime, it is often just Jerry, Angela and I, but I still try to set a pretty table and make a special dinner for the three of us. For our Valentine’s menu this month, I am going to give you a preview of the new book and share a new recipe with you, so our new looks like this:

Chorros a la Chalaca

Rack of lamb with Dos Chiles with Cumin Fried Potatoes

Tierrita Dulce

That should make for a beautiful table this February 14th, and maybe even get you a little something extra – earrings, anyone?

(The empty place setting is mine, or course! Heehee!)

Don’t forget that February 5th is National Wear Red Day promoting Women’s heart health, so break out those Valentine’s Day sweaters out a week early and represent!

And for all my peeps in Miami-I’ll be looking for you all at South Beach!! We are going to rock that festival six ways to Sunday!!! See you there!!!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

January 2010

Happy New Year and welcome to a brand new decade! I, for one am very excited to greet the New Year with optimism and hope, and look forward to our pending culinary adventures that await us this year, like the Saborea Festival in Puerto Rico, and the South Beach Food and Wine Festival in Miami next month. Team Daisy is also feverishly working for the release of my new book, “Daisy: Morning, Noon, and Night” (Atria) which will be launched at the SOBE Festival as well!

Here in New York City, we celebrated a White Christmas and New Year, and if that is any indication, we are looking at a challenging winter, but I say, bring it on! January is going to be a month of cozy sancochos, crispy empanadas, and freshly baked desserts that fill my home (and yours!) with the fragrance of comfort. This is what I call “in the kitchen” weather, and if you know me, that’s my favorite place in the house, where I receive all of my inspiration.

For this reason, this month’s recipes will include Biche de Pescado, an Equadorian fish stew that is heartbreakingly delicious, laced with a touch of coconut milk and peanut butter. I am going to pair this with Sweet Plantain and Raisin Empanadas, and wrap the menu up with Chilean Sandwich Cookies, and trust me, if this meal doesn’t have you out of you chair and dancing in the kitchen, you need to get yourself to and Emergency Room STAT!!

My family and I sent 2009 off by celebrating with a dinner that I conjured up in my comfy kitchen, starting the meal off with a champagne toast to love, health and joy for the New Year.

 

The rest of the menu consisted of a Jumbo Shrimp Salad with a Deconstructed Guacamole, a Truffled Lobster Risotto, and Herb Crusted Roast Rack of Lamb with Veggie “Spaghetti” (for pictures, visit my Facebook page), but the real highlight of the evening was our dessert course, because I got to christen my new fondue pot, where I made a Chocolate Rum Fondue where dipped pineapple, ladyfingers, strawberries, raspberries and marshmallows. I also provided some chopped salted peanuts, shredded coconut, and toffee bits for garnish. Needless to saw, it was the hit of our send-off dinner!

While popular in the 1960’s, fondue is happily making a comeback, and I have jumped on that bandwagon to promote the movement. In fact, I actually made gifts of fondue sets this Christmas to two of my very good friends, and have gotten rave reviews about them! Whether sweet or savory, fondue is great ways to include your guests in the making of the meal, not to mention promote great dining conversation!

So whether it’s a slowly simmered stew or a fabulous fondue, I hope that 2010 is full of delicious meals shared with family and friends, and enjoyed with continued good health. I look forward to seeing and meeting many of you this year at the different festivals and during my book tour, and wish you a very Happy New Year!

December 2009

It’s that time of year, again (does it come faster and faster every year?), when we have the hustle of the holidays upon us, seemingly don’t have a single second to catch our breath, and hopefully look back on the year with a sense of accomplishment and contentment. This year, with so many of us feeling the crunch of these particularly challenging times, it is especially important to take inventory of all that we truly have to be thankful for, and open up our hearts to all we can count amongst our blessings.
When I was a little girl, and still living in Abuela’s house, I remember a Christmas when my Uncle Sal dressed up as Santa on Christmas Eve and climbed the stairs to our apartment on the top floor. I remember Mami had bought me a brand new “big girl” bathrobe, and fixed my hair into the banana curls she usually made on special “dress up” occasions, so I knew this was a really big deal. I also remember being a little terrified when Santa finally came through the door, with his “Ho! Ho! Ho!’s” , and his sack full of presents for my sister and I. It was all I could do to muster up all the courage I had to walk over and give Santa a kiss on the cheek!
When it came to my turn, as a mom, to have Christmas for my children, I knew I wanted to create memories for them that would last a lifetime, and so I looked to my inner child to remind me what it was that made the memories that I had so lasting and so special. I can tell you that when it comes to Christmas, I am the biggest kid in the house! I tried to make traditions of our own to last my family a lifetime of memories, starting out with our annual drive to the Christmas tree farm up in Connecticut, and the tailgate party we have after we chop down our tree and yell, “AAAMMMMMBBBEEEEEEERRRR!” (that’s a very inside story!!), to our Tree Trimming Party with family and friends, and our traditional Christmas Eve party, the heartbreakingly beautiful church services, and always – always, family and friends.
Angie saws down the tree for the guest room!
Angie saws down the tree for the guest room!
Angela and David decorate the tree
Angela and David decorate the tree
Noche Buena! Bring on the Pernil, Arroz con Gandules, and Pasteles!
Noche Buena! Bring on the Pernil, Arroz con Gandules, and Pasteles!
Christmas morning breakfast
Christmas morning breakfast
For many of us, it has been a difficult year. We’ve had to tighten up our purse strings, make many adjustments, and learn how to do without. Many of us have suffered losses that are irreplaceable, and will have to count on our memories to get us through our trials ahead. Aside from our faith, and confidence in our resolve and resiliency, the one thing we can count on, thankfully, is the love of our family and friends. We look to the New Year with hope, and pray that we open ourselves to all the joy it will bring.
Thank you all for sharing 2009 with me, for all of your continued support, and all of your enthusiasm for Viva Daisy! I wish you all the blessings of the Season, and a New Year filled with health, happiness, and prosperity, but most of all, I wish you wonderful memories of family and friends!
Happy Holidays!


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