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Seven Sweet and Spectacular Strawberry Recipes

28 Jun

This reblog comes as strawberry season is in full swing and includes a way to save strawberries on the edge…See also my latest blog post on Edible Long Island

Hot, Cheap & Easy

As strawberry season is in full swing, I’ve collected for you some spectacularly simple recipes that take advantage of the season (and help salvage berries that have passed their prime!). This has been updated from six to seven!

We like mini-muffins because you get so many you can share them around! Strawberry-Blueberry Mini-Muffins (click on image for recipe)

Summer fruit! Berry Crisp – sweet and crunchy! (click image for recipe)

We're jammin'. we're jammin', hope you like jammin' too Strawberry Rhubarb Jam with no pectin and no preserving. A Hot, Cheap & Easy Top Five (click on image for recipe)

Strawberry Shortcake...a crowd pleaser! Strawberry Shortcake…a crowd pleaser! (click on image for recipe)

A Red White and Blue Berry Shortcake (with real whipped cream and simple white cake recipes)A Red White and Blue Berry Shortcake (with real whipped cream and simple white cake recipes)

Saving Sad Strawberries - by Roasting! Delicious jammy results Saving Sad Strawberries – by Roasting! Delicious jammy results (click on image for recipe)

And of course, the most refreshing sangrías include sliced strawberries!

Two of the three sangría recipes include strawberries! Two of the three sangría recipes include strawberries! (click on image for recipes)

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Arroz con Habichuelas Rosadas (Puerto Rican Rice and Beans – authentic/how to fake them)

11 Jun

This has been trending lately….authentic rice and beans and how to fake them when you don’t have the right ingredients!

Hot, Cheap & Easy

Oh the sweet taste of victory!

My victory? My victory garden!

My little baby peppers

I managed to coax a couple of ajies (Capsicum chinense or sweet cooking peppers) from seeds that I saved from a pepper from my mom’s cousin’s kitchen garden in Mayaguez, to go with the recao (Eryngium foetidum or sawtooth coriander) that I grew from a seed packet from Puerto Rico. Next year I will be much more aggressive about how early I plant all my peppers, but for this year, the teeny-tiny-ness of my harvest does not diminish the absolute joy of it.

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Finally! Long Island Wine in a Box

6 Jun

Alleluyah! A local solution to those summer activities where you can’t have glass bottles or glassware of any kind (think the pool, the hot tub, the camp site or the boat)!

The tasting room in East Hampton (see me in the window?)

The tasting room in East Hampton (see me in the window?)

I try to keep my food and beverages as local as I can (as local as my own backyard garden when possible), so it’s been a small frustration that on Long Island camping trips I have had to resort to boxed plonk from far-flung regions instead of drinking the local stuff. Ask and ye shall receive; I was very happy to learn that Lieb Cellars here on Long Island is now boxing their Bridge Lane blends.

I stopped by the East Hampton tasting room on my way to beach camping in Montauk last week, and was very pleased to walk out with a box of very tasty red and some bonus stemless govino shatterproof reusable glasses. Read about how it went with the Bridge Lane Red Blend here, in my latest blog post for Edible Long Island!

Thanks to Laura and Ron at the tasting room for helping me set up this shot!

Thanks to Laura and Ron at the tasting room for helping me set up this shot!

P.S. This is not a paid endorsement nor did I receive any free stuff. It’s a true delight piece!

A Camping Week Come-a-Cropper…And What We Cooked

29 May

On the eve of another risky Spring camping trip by the beach, I am digging out winning camp recipes (and tempering my enthusiasm by remembering the cold, wet, rainy, WINDY time we had last year. Don’t ask me why I love camping, but I do, I do, I DO!!!!

Hot, Cheap & Easy

Some camping trips are divine: perfect weather, happy children, equipment fully-functional, bugs bugging someone else, and The Great Outdoors is, well, great.

The Montauk Lighthouse.

Then there are the camping trips that are more, shall we say, character-building.

A tick-free hiker is a happy hiker!

We’ve just come back from a trip that was a bit of a mixed bag. We were on the beach at the East End of Long Island in Spring, which can be a hit-or-miss deal. You might have sun and breeze. Or you might have 30 mph winds, cold temperatures, and chilling rain. We mostly had the latter, but in the end, managed to pull out one spectacular beach day, the requisite s’mores, several yummy, grilled meals, and a couple of tick-free hikes. And anyone who has ever camped by a body of water will understand the sheer joy of spending a week living outdoors…

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Top Reasons to Go to a Local Wine Dinner

27 May

Edible Long Island magazine just featured this post on their blog. It’s about a wonderful wine dinner I recently attended, but really it’s about why a splurge on a local wine dinner is really worthwhile!
Top Reasons to Go to a Local Wine Dinner


Ursula Massoud of Paumanok Vineyards

Sweet and Savory Churrasco (Skirt Steak, Grilled)

25 May

Note to readers on reblog: This is the MOST REQUESTED recipe amongst our friends — I have heard loving daughters tell their dads that Natalia’s dad’s steak is better than their dad’s steak. I have had to learn how to do it so that my own son won’t disown me in favor of his grandfather.  I highly recommend it for your weekend grilling…makes you a hero! (and it is totally easy)

Hot, Cheap & Easy

You may ask whether I am cooking at all lately, seeing as I have been posting more of my dad, Pedro’s recipes than my own.

Truth is, I have been cooking as much as usual, but sticking to my go-to recipes like Spinach Pasta, Pollo Guisado (Stewed Chicken), and the like. I am prepping  for when my semester begins, taking my Leandro-free vacation time to catch up on many things and stocking the freezer!

Churrasco Churrasco

But during the holidays we were on family vacation in Puerto Rico and between the holiday dishes like Perníl (Roast Pork Shoulder) and Better Than Perfect Latin White Rice and the rare opportunity for me to have the time to really watch him go…well I did  a lot of looming over his shoulder thrusting measuring implements at him and observing and taking notes (which is what we should all be doing around our favorite…

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Five Delicious Asparagus Recipes – done in no time flat!

16 May

Note to readers: This is a reblog in honor of the asparagus season here on Long Island. It has begun and I am ECSTATIC!

Hot, Cheap & Easy

Asparagus is in season in these parts and that means a drive out to the North Fork of Long Island for asparagus, as much of it as I can afford and think we can eat in a few days. Leandro and I love it and usually just break off the bottoms, smear in olive oil and put under the broiler for ten minutes. We sprinkle them with salt and eat them with our fingers.

But sometimes, sometimes, we get a bit more fancy. Just a bit. Not complicated, because we don’t do a lot of complicated stuff, but just dressed up enough to make it special. Here are five terrific recipes for this springtime delight!

Savory Asian Asparagus Steak Bites! (Click on image for the recipe) Savory Asian Asparagus Steak Bites! (Click on image for the recipe) Frittata with Asparagus (duck or hen eggs) Click image for recipe! Frittata with Asparagus (duck or hen eggs) Click image for recipe! Leek and Asparagus with eggs (Click image for recipe!) Leek and Asparagus with eggs (Click image for recipe!) Zippy roasted ped pepper dipping sauce and roasted asparagus (Click image for recipe) Zippy roasted red pepper…

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Arroz con pollo clásico (Puerto Rican Chicken and Rice, traditional and epic)

8 May

Note on reblog: This is one of the most-searched-for recipes on my blog, so I am reminding regular readers that it is here!

Hot, Cheap & Easy


Piled high in a platter and garnished with roasted red pepper and peas, this is a Puerto Rican classic!

Puerto Rican food is not as widely known as some other Caribbean cuisines (think Cuba and Jamaica), but when it comes to arroz con pollo — chicken and rice — you know what I am talking about. And I know I should have blogged this one for you a long time ago. Here, finally, is the one you’ve been waiting for.

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Egg Salad: Classic Comfort in No-Time-Flat

18 Apr

What to do with all those hard-boiled Easter eggs

Hot, Cheap & Easy

I’ve been on a bit of an egg kick lately. While eggs can do marvellous food-science type things if separated and whipped just so and folded in just right at just the right temperature, right now I am celebrating their simplicity.


When was the last time you had a light and easy egg salad? This version is creamy and light and a bit tangy, thanks to the yogurt and the mustard. I took it to a friend’s for a playdate, where it met with success! It makes a good addition to any party buffet table too.
Egg Salad (makes four generous sandwiches or four big scoops to top green salad)

Eight fresh eggs*

3 Tbs mayonnaise

1 Tbs non-fat or low-fat plain yogurt

1 Tbs your favorite mustard

Pinch of salt/pinch of cayenne pepper/sprinkle of parsley/grating of pepper, if desired

Place eggs in a pot with…

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Natural Easter Egg Dye: It Really Worked!

10 Apr

Note to readers on reblog: As you get ready to color eggs for Easter (or your preferred pagan Spring holidays), try natural coloring…we had so much fun with this last year that we will be doing it again this year!

Hot, Cheap & Easy

Thanks to two bloggers working together, Leandro and I were inspired to try our hand at natural Easter egg dyes and it was so, so, much fun!

Boil, boil, toil and trouble Boil, boil, toil and trouble

The road to this adventure was winding

Out, out, damn spot (cutting beets) Out, out, damn spot (cutting beets)

My friend, Ashley, posted a “fun Easter craft” on the Hot, Cheap & Easy Facebook page recently. It linked to Lisa Leake’s  100 Days of Real Food   a terrific blog about her adventures, discoveries and triumphs eliminating processed food from her family’s diet. The original post was Natural Easter Egg Dyes  and the guest blogger was Christina Le Beau whose blog, Spoonfed, covers her quest to raise children who are literate about food. Women after my own heart.

Ready, steady, go - note the glorious colors already on the Restoration Farm Eggs Ready, steady, go – note the glorious colors already on the Restoration Farm Eggs

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