Recipe: Puerto Rican Red Beans

June 17, 2013

When I try something for the first time and really love it, I know that I’m going to attempt to make the dish from scratch in the next few days. This has happened to me with cakes, rice, meat and vegetable dishes.

With so many tools out there for us fellow foodies to use, there’s a plethora of resources for us to find inspiration after the first bite. My favorite of them all?

Anyway, I especially found this magical website useful when I tried to make a dish last weekend: Puerto Rican red beans. I originally tried these at my best friend’s house a while ago when her mom made the dish (the family is from Puerto Rico). I instantly fell in love with the flavorful beans and the complexity of the dish as a whole.

I asked my friend’s mom for the recipe but wasn’t able to write it down at the time. Luckily, living in Miami will allow you to meet lots of Puerto Ricans! I asked a co-worker who’s Puerto Rican for the recipe and, while I didn’t put it down on paper, I took note of the key ingredients: sofrito and recaito from Goya and cooking ham.

Now, the original dish I tried at my friend’s house used butternut squash, homemade sofrito (usually a mix of garlic, onions, peppers and tomatoes)and no cooking ham. But I decided to mash up these two recipes and make my own version.

I searched “Puerto Rican red beans” on Yummly and on Google and found a ton of variations until the point that I tired myself out looking for the perfect recipe. Although both search engines really helped me decide what I wanted to and didn’t want to use in my dish, I decided to fuse my friend’s mom’s recipe, my co-worker’s recipe, the variations I saw online and a little of my own twist.

The beans turned out exquisite! While not exactly how I tried them at my friend’s house, they were very close to the original flavor but unique enough that I was extremely proud of my creation. I even gave some to try to my friend’s mom and my co-worker and they both gave me a seal of approval!

While I don’t have the exact recipe that I made last weekend, here is a list of ingredients and some rough instructions for you to follow, if you want to try this absolutely delicious dish! I mean, come on, why wouldn’t you want to try these?!


Continue Reading…


June 3, 2013

Simply put, creativity can make something simple into something extraordinary. And, when creativity manifests deep within a foodie, you better hold on tight.

The idea to come up with a bacon-wrapped taco or even an oreo-stuffed chocolate chip cookie is mind-boggling to me (in a good way!). That’s why I’ve dedicated this blog post to something I like to call: frankenfoods. You know, the types of food that are delicious mutations of several concepts all wrapped up into one tasty concoction.
I imagine there are hundreds upon hundreds of these frankenfoods all over the world but, for the sake of brevity and your viewing pleasure, I’ve narrowed down the list to four examples.

1. The Cronut

So flaky, so good!

So flaky, so good!

Continue Reading…

Kale is the New Black

May 22, 2013

For me, kale is like the edgy, new kid in the class. Everywhere I look, I find a recipe with this trendy superfood. Kale stew, kale crostini, fried kale, kale chips, steamed kale… The list goes on and on!

A bag of kale chips I mysteriously found in my pantry one day...

A bag of kale chips I mysteriously found in my pantry one day…

Continue Reading…

Restaurant Review: Mancini Modern Italian

May 16, 2013

I went to Mancini Modern Italian in Fort Lauderdale not too long ago and was blown away by the food! Check out my review of the restaurant on or read the article below. Let me know what you think!


When you visit an Italian restaurant, it is often the case that the same, cookie-cutter menu is in place – pastas, pizzas and a few “original” antipasti. The opposite is true of Mancini Modern Italian in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Restaurateur Jack Mancini has done it again with this contemporary Italian spot.

Located on East Las Olas Boulevard, Mancini Modern Italian is warm and inviting, with a chic décor and illuminated indoor-outdoor bar area. As far as the food, when creating a dish, fresh and local ingredients constantly inspire executive Chef Claudio Sandri.

Sandri worked alongside celebrity chef Roberto Donna for more than eight years at the acclaimed Galileo restaurant in Washington D.C. before working at the previous Mancini restaurant in Las Olas. Did I mention he and chef Donna were on an episode of Food Network’s “Iron Chef” and the duo reigned supreme against esteemed chef Masaharu Morimoto? Impressive. Very impressive.

When explaining the vision for Mancini Modern Italian, chef Sandri says:

“Although the restaurant specializes in authentic Italian cuisine, we’re trying to take another road and see how to change it a little bit – whether it’s the plating, the presentation or something else,” he said.

While on the topic of the not-so-standard Italian restaurant, Mancini Modern Italian offers hand-pulled mozzarella, freshly made tableside, served alongside a thick fig and balsamic vinegar jam.

Freshly-made mozzarella right before your eyes!

Freshly made mozzarella right before your eyes!

Continue Reading…


May 14, 2013

Although I’m currently on a diet, I’ve been browsing many cookbooks so I end up hungry and craving everything I can’t eat. I browse online and even search on Amazon for my favorite chefs to see what yummy new books and recipes they have.

As far as recipe gathering for me, I used to just Google whatever recipe popped into my mind (or search through Yummly!) but I’m now only satisfied if I have the book in front of me where the recipe actually comes from. My obsession piqued when I bought one of my favorite chef’s cookbook, Rachel Khoo’s Little Paris Kitchen. I was so in love with it that, last night, I searched for Parisian café music on Spotify and browsed through the entire book for an hour and a half!

Continue Reading…

My Top Three Picks from the 2013 SOBEWFF’s Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village Weekend

May 6, 2013

Well helloooooo! I’ve been interning at a PR agency for the past couple months so I’ve been crazy busy! But I realized I never wrote about my experience at the 2013 South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF). I wrote a post about some cool free events from SOBEWFF, but never recapped my time at festival.

Like I’ve said in previous entries, I worked as a press and media associate in the festival last year and had a great time. But this year, I was so stoked to actually go as a guest to both days of the Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village and enjoy all the celebrity demonstrations and yummy food!

So what were my favorite parts of the SOBEWFF this year? Here are my top three memories of the Whole Foods Grand Tasting Village:

3) Steak sandwiches and freshly brewed IPA from the Florida International University’s Chaplin School of Hospitality & Tourism Management Continue Reading…

My 2013 South Beach Wine and Food Festival Fabulous (and Inexpensive!) Event List

February 22, 2013

I am unbelievably excited to be attending the South Beach Wine and Food Festival (SOBEWFF) this year! I’m going to the Whole Foods Market Grand Tasting Village on Saturday and Sunday and I hear this event is one of the highlights of the festival. I worked a couple of events last year as a press and media associate and I absolutely loved it.

For those that do not have tickets and still want to be a part of the fun, here are a couple of events that are free… Yes, you read right, FREE! Continue Reading…

My review of OCEAN2000 for!

February 7, 2013

I was recently invited to the reopening of OCEAN2000, a newly revamped restaurant in South Florida. You can check out the article I wrote for in this link! Or, if you prefer, the simple version of the post (text only, without many pictures) is listed below.


South Florida style surf-and-turf can be found at OCEAN2000

The main dining area inside OCEAN2000

The main dining area inside OCEAN2000

The OCEAN2000 restaurant at the Pelican Grand Beach Resort in Fort Lauderdale can officially be called seafood heaven for foodies everywhere. But don’t be upset meat eaters; you’ll definitely find delicious dishes here, as well. Its reopening brings dishes to life with fresh flavors and a local twist. Continue Reading…

Taste the Food, Experience the Culture!

January 8, 2013

This past summer, I was lucky enough to study abroad in Spain and visit many places in Europe and Africa. I became obsessed with authentic Spanish cuisine so I wrote this entry for the blog I kept while I was living and studying in Spain. Hope you fall in love with la comida Española like I did!


I admit it, I’m a foodie. So naturally, I’m always fascinated by the different flavors I taste when I’m abroad. During my time in Spain this summer, this was no different. Continue Reading…

I Ate a Piece of NYC

November 13, 2012

Ah, New York City. One of my favorite cities in the world, if not my all-time favorite, NYC holds a beloved spot in my heart for two reasons:

  1. It is the home of NBCUniversal, my dream work place.
  2. The food is ridiculously delicious.

In regards to the grub you can find in the City, I’m always bewildered at the different types of establishments that I find in the Village, SOHO and even Midtown. Anything from bakeries, Indian food, specialty delicatessens… You name it, you can definitely find it in Manhattan.

In my recent trip to NYC last month, the city was more or less the same- busy, crazy cab drivers hogging up the street and smoke coming up from the sewers (I’ve always thought this was weird). I had very limited time to actually venture and explore the city since I was spending my days with friends I hadn’t seen in a while. However, I did manage to do something that I hadn’t done before – eat a hotdog from a street vendor.

Continue Reading…