Happiness & Food | It’s my Happiness

I’m often taken by curiosity when I meet people who don’t give any thought about cooking.  Many people see cooking as a chore and they dread having to do it.  Many people have given up all together and too many people nowadays are eating ready meals and take-outs because they feel that they haven’t got the time to cook but they are losing something very precious.  To these people cooking is difficult, it’s time consuming and the results aren’t worth it.  Little do they know that cooking too can be a great source of happiness.  When I’ve had a tough day at work it can be really therapeutic to chop vegetables and turn them into something tasty.

Happiness & Decisions

But, that’s not me. I love cooking and I get great enjoyment from finding new ingredients, combining flavors, making sauces, and accepting the accolades that come with a meal so good that it rivals any restaurant in town.  I’m a professional Chef and Certified Culinary.

The answer is obvious to me, and can become obvious to you as well. Cooking is not a chore, stop trying to cook line-by-line. They’ll just confuse you with their variables and photography that can never be duplicated. Don’t concentrate to hard on what to cook, focus on think of cooking as a standard, repeatable method. Whether you will saute, roast, steam, grill, or broil, there are steps that can be duplicated again and again no matter what the item you’re cooking is.

Inspirational Life & SuccessHealth, I’m happy because I know I’m improving my health with wholesome foods that I cook myself.  I love the farmers market and the nutrient rich fresh foods they have there. I’ve experienced more energy, more brain power, and better sleep patterns because of good food. I know how to cook fresh foods!

Family & Friends, cooking is a social skill. My family and friends are always excited when I cook because they know it will be interesting.  I attend more parties because of my cooking skills, and I can talk about food topics because I’ve been behind the stove and seen what happens when I apply heat. Being around family and friends with a good meal makes me very happy.

Money, I save money because I can cook. The meals I make at home would cost me $20-$30 a plate at my local restaurant. Plus, I save money on the BEST ingredients by purchasing at the farmers market. I’m happy because I know that cooking at home saves me empty calories, bad ingredients, and lots of money over restaurant and convenience foods. Eating Clean

Happiness and Food are really highly connected, from the pleasure of cooking and eating to the changes in brain chemistry that food can bring about. Many people are made miserable by food but if we switch that around we can use food to make ourselves happier!  It’s not just the eating, it’s the decision making, often spontaneous while I’m shopping. It’s the prep, the chopping, and the slicing. It’s the aroma. And then, finally, it’s the eating.

As a food blogger, my childhood stories are based on my childhood lifestyle – TV dinners, frozen potpies, ham & cheese sandwiches from Fiore Deli of Hoboken Fiores Deli Hoboken NJwere weeknight staples.  My mother had a few special recipes she made on the weekends and my grandparents didn’t live near us, so there were no Sunday gatherings nor sharing the family secret recipes.  Perhaps that is why when I started to cook on my own in my early teens – it became my “happy space and time” for me. Cooking takes a little effort. However, that time is built into my day and I look forward to it. The time I spend cooking for myself (the time I spend cooking for others is also pleasurable) is the time I use to think and cooking makes me happy and it’s my selfish indulgence.

Happiness & Food are really highly connected, from the pleasure of cooking and eating to the changes in brain chemistry that food can bring about. Healthy Eating | Happiness

Cooking is easy too but a lot of people are scared to do it, we’ve got a new generation now who’s parents didn’t really cook and they have no confidence that it’s something they could do. Many think that cooking is something done by professionals somewhere else.  Sadly, the ready meals and takeaways are generally really poor quality, made with the cheapest ingredients and designed to store well but rarely as nice as something made at home with a bit of care.

Healthy Plate of Happiness
Healthy Plate of Happiness

Food is a fundamental part of our lives and a great starting place for us to make everybody happy. It’s a shift from a fast empty life to a healthy happy one.  I love to cook and I love the Happiness it brings to me and others.

Chef EdieM

Food Love Language


Happiness | Buddha’s Way

Japanese Anemone
Making your own Happiness

While I was sitting in my favorite neighborhood coffee shop today at Dulce De Leche having my daily carrot/orange juice I ponder on the simple things that life has to offer, “Happiness“.

… I think about the glorious prospects that the future holds for me, wherein the world is my canvas waiting for me to color it with my imagination.  I practice every day is a new opportunity to be better than yesterday; that pursuit can increase your self-esteem and, accordingly, your happiness…

We all can be who we want to be right now, no matter what our situation looks like.  Money is not everything and we all think life needs to change dramatically for us to be the person we really want to be. Not true. The truth of the matter is you can be those things at any point in your life and time.  How?  Be yourself, being generous with your compassion, or by just listening when your friends have problems. Create a new adventure in your day-to-day by trying new things and introducing yourself to new people. You never know when your “nows” will run out, so please ask yourself, “How can I be that person I want to be in this very moment”?

Finding joy in the present moment, no matter how inadequate it may seem, makes a difference in other people’s lives. Though we all have different lists of dreams and goals, for most of us this is at the forefront: the possibility of living a meaningful life that affects other people for the better.

Happiness is a moment-to-moment choice, one that many have a hard time making. Other people will notice if you make that choice, and you will motivate them to do the same.  Motivation has a substantial impact on your health and future happiness.

I don’t think happiness is so much about what you have, in my opinion.  It’s how you put it out there for yourself, and everyone around you.

Evolve your life, make changes, and focus on your “blessings”.  Happiness is about how you interpret what’s in front of you. How proud you are of the way you live your life. How willing you are to enjoy simple pleasures, even if things aren’t perfect.

Though I haven’t always done this well, today I choose to focus on the good—both in the world and within myself. Make the difference; make your own happiness.

So I am asking you, how will you brand your own happiness today?

“Success is not the key to happiness; happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”  

Zen Moment“True Happiness Is a State of Mind”, Buddhism explained these things; physical and emotional feelings correspond or attach to an object. The problem with ordinary happiness is that it never lasts because the objects of happiness don’t last unfortunately, most of us go through life looking for things to “make us happy.” But our happy “fix” is never permanent, so we keep looking.  The happiness that is a factor of enlightenment is not dependent on objects but is a state of mind cultivated through mental discipline.

I have asked myself many times before, how can I cultivate my happiness?    We’ve said that deep happiness has no object. By all means avoid being that object and don’t make yourself an object.  Straight up!  As long as you are seeking happiness for yourself, you will fail to find anything but temporary happiness.

The Buddha taught that the stress and disappointment in life (dukkha) come from craving and grasping. But at the root of craving and grasping is ignorance. And this ignorance is of the true nature of things, including ourselves. As we practice and grow in wisdom, we become less and less self-focused and more concerned about the well-being of others.  There are no shortcuts for this; we can’t force ourselves be less selfish. Selflessness grows out of practice. The result of being less self-centered is that we are also less anxious to find happiness “fix” because that craving for a fix loses its grip.

…”If you want others to be happy practice compassion; and if you want yourself to be happy practice compassion.”… Dalai Lama

That sounds simple, but it takes practice.



Thank you, Dulce De Leche in the Heights of Jersey City my happiness was the  Broccoli Cheddar Quiche.


Everyday talk with Chef Ediem


Shout out to my Readers| Emails Q’s & A’s

Feeling the Love and Thank you for it

I’m just as guilty as anyone else of not saying “Thank You” as often as I should. But I’m really working on it. In fact, this post is probably a long time coming to you all.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart to my readers and followers on my website Chef EdieM.  Thank you for being a part of my life.  Thank you for sharing your stories with me and allowing me to share mine with you. So many people have helped me fight for the things I want in life and to make me realize that life is worth living and dreams can come true. I will not let you down and I’m going to keep fighting, keep living, and keep dreaming.

It’s been a while for me, but as always I am grateful to be back.  In the meantime, thank you all for the personal emails, cards, gifts, well wishes and support.  It means so much to me  ~feeling the Love~

Q’s and A’s from the Readers:

Q: What are your health struggles?  Internal body hemorrhage.

Q: For how long?  Almost all my life.

Q: Where, specific and how do you live with it? Brain hemorrhage (aneurysm), three so far?  Apparently, at first there was no contributing factor to my hemorrhage, although I had been under a lot of stress throughout my life with work and family issues. It’s triggered by up-sets, poor circulation, heart diseases and other factors.  First time it happened to me was in 1987, it was coiled (read the first series– My life in Boxes), most recent hemorrhages 2017 and late 2018.

When the struggle is realQ:  What it’s a brain hemorrhage?  Brain hemorrhage is often labeled according to precisely where it occurs in the brain. In general, bleeding anywhere inside of the skull is called an intracranial hemorrhage. Bleeding within the brain itself is known as an intracerebral hemorrhage. Bleeding can also occur between the covering of the brain and the brain tissue itself, referred to as a subarachnoid hemorrhage. If a blood clot occurs between the skull and the brain, it is known as either a subdural or epidural hematoma depending on whether it is below or above the tough covering (dura) of the brain. Subdural and epidural hematomas are more likely to occur as a result of trauma or after a fall and will not be addressed in detail here.  A brain hemorrhage is bleeding in or around the brain. Causes of brain hemorrhage include high blood pressure, abnormally weak or dilated (aneurysm) blood vessels that leak, drug abuse, and trauma. Many people who experience a brain hemorrhage have symptoms as though they are having a stroke, and can develop weakness on one side of their body, difficulty speaking, or a sense of numbness. Difficulty performing usual activities, including problems with walking or even falling, are not uncommon symptoms. About 13% of all strokes are hemorrhagic, or caused by bleeding into the brain.

It is important to recognize that when bleeding occurs within the brain itself, headache may not occur, as our brains don’t have the ability to sense the ongoing disturbance. However, the coverings of the brain (meninges) are extremely sensitive and if bleeding occurs there, as when an aneurysm ruptures, a sudden and severe headache is a common symptom. They account for about 13% of strokes.

Q: How long until you were back to your “normal” self? Good question, I haven’t.  I learned to adopt and live with it every day.

Q: What about Love, will you ever be in love again?  Oh my, you got me on this one @eagleeyes! I fell in love with me, myself and I.  I know it sounds lame, I don’t care.  Because I’ve grown to love myself again and with that said, love will come my way! It’s out in the Universe.

Q: What keeps your going in life and why?  Keeping the faith and always “think positive”. Where there is life there is hope. I have heard so many stories from people whose family were told to prepare for the worst and they have got better against all odds, so it does happen. Just stay strong!  I was checking out “social media” the other day and saw how many happy people got married this past week, who is traveling abroad, who brought a new home and how everyone seems to be having the best time ever.  Feeling sick and tired of the struggles are real.  It does take allot out of you and that’s when you need to take the time out for yourself.  Remember the struggles are not designed to paralyze your life, only to set you back a bit. Life is always giving you a turning points…opportunities to change how you see things, change how you go about living.  Whatever you’re struggling with, it helps to hear encouraging, inspiring words to remind you that life is less about how often we get knocked down, but how well we bounce back! What we have learned from it and how to move on.  My struggles, I live with numerous chronic illness for many years and because of this I learned early on …

…I have a profound strength to manage life while in pain.

…I may have a unique perspective on life.

…I often don’t tell people when I am struggling.

…I need to keep reminding myself and know people like me and others need to be loved unconditionally, because you cannot place conditions on them.  While most of the world and the people in it operate on performance and productivity, many people who have chronic illness cannot measure their worth in this way. Some days, they may feel they are of no value because they couldn’t do anything productive besides manage their illness. They can feel useless and insignificant to the world around them. They must learn to love themselves without expectations, and you must, too.

Keep the faith my friends and never under estimate yourself, regardless of the struggles.

Much love to all,

Chef EdieM

Chef EdieM in black dress



TruthWhat is integrity in a person?  It is the hallmark of a person who demonstrates sound moral and ethical principles  in general everyday life.


A person who has integrity lives Be Kind to Othershis or her values in relationships with honesty and trust are central to integrity. One of the fundamental values in general whether it be everyday people, employers or volunteers seek is Integrity  (Webster Dictionary).

For I see it to have integrity means to value relationships as well as acting with honesty and truthfulness. Those who possess this quality appeal to others as trustworthy and reliable, which is what everyone qualities should have.

Building Integrity in everyday life will impact trust and relationships which in return can have positive effects on the everyday life’s environment. Therefore, if you seek a superior life style around you focus on building integrity and trust.

Need to check yourself first

Be A Responsible Person for your actions as well as learning to admit to your mistakes and apologizing for it are ways you can contribute to building integrity in your everyday life.  Own up to errors or issues that were caused by your actions instead of blaming others. Not only does this make it easier, to be honest, but, it will also make others perceive you as trustworthy. Accountability will help you be more successful in life and build integrity.


Colorful Gossip

Stop the Gossip – it’s not your look!

Keep it to yourself and Do Not Gossip or assume anything about anyone. Go straight to the source and confirm the facts before talking about another person. Trust is earned when people know that their name isn’t talked down upon. It is easier said than done, but the truth is that gossip can be very toxic, hurtful and in the end damaging. If a problem in your life arises, resolve the issue with the individual in person before it creates a web of lies.


Respect Feelings
Earn the Respect

Respecting others and Effective communication skills are not only the most important transferable skill to have but, it is also necessary when building integrity.  Respect builds integrity and trust.  When that trust is built, communication is more effective. You speak more clearly and listen openly without judgment, which is beneficial when dealing with others. Respect is also communicated when you show empathy, are open-minded and friendly. When speaking with others, speak clearly, listen with respect, give your full attention and be confident.


Tip of the Day!!

Chef EdieM

zen prayers

Hummus | Roasted Red Peppers

Hummus is the ultimate healthy snack to have on hand because it’s loaded with tons of protein, fiber, and heart-healthy fat. It’s really filling, which means it will help curb your appetite between meals.  Adding roasted red peppers to the mix is a great way to fancy it up and have that smoky taste. Yum!

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus is one of my favorite due to the smokiness it gives when using that stove-top grilling method.  I usually make a large batch to have for several days, I enjoy having it with veggies, grilled pita bread, pita chips or seasoned crackers.

Roasted Pepper

First, I roasted the peppers, which makes them soft and smoky. Then I added fresh garlic and lemon juice, sea salt and a little tahini to my chick peas. The smoked paprika enhanced the natural smoky flavor of the roasted peppers, and the cayenne gave it a little kick of spice that made it all come together.   Roasted bell peppers are one of my favorite healthy snacks. My method is flame grill over the stove-top for roasting bell peppers. This method is not only safe and quick;  the amount of roasting time will vary based on the size of the pepper.

For flame grill roasting method you will need the following, oven mitts and tongs.

Instructions for Stove-top Roasting: This method is use when I only have one or two peppers to roast. It’s a bit messier, but it produces a very smoky rich flavor. When roasting directly on a gas stove-top, you may wish to cover parts of your heating element with foil to protect it from spills.

Roasting peppers stove-top

  1. Turn your gas stove-top flame to medium. Place pepper on the grate directly over the top of the gas flame. Let it roast for 10-15 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to give the pepper a quarter turn every 4-5 minutes.
  2. After 15 minutes, use tongs to gently squeeze the pepper. If the pepper is soft and easily yields to the tongs, it is ready. If the pepper still feels somewhat firm, let it continue to roast for a few more minutes until it softens.
  3. Remove pepper from the stove-top and place on cutting board to cool off. Slice the pepper vertically from top to bottom and lay the pepper open so it becomes one long strip.
  4. Pull the stem from the top of the pepper. The stem and a clump of seeds should loosen easily. Use a towel or paper towel to wipe off any loose seeds that remain inside the pepper.
  5. Flip the pepper over to reveal the skin side, peel off the charred skin. If you want a more charred flavor, you can leave a few small blackened bits on the skin.
  6. Once you’ve peeled and seeded your peppers, you’ll end up with soft, sweet, tasty pepper flesh. If you want to store the peppers short-term, put them in a sterile mason jar and cover them with olive oil. Cap the jar tightly, date it and refrigerate.


Hummus Ingredients

  • 1 cup roasted red bell peppers
  • 3 1/2 cups soaked and cooked chickpeas/garbanzo beans
  • 1/4 cup tahini paste
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed fresh garlic (or more to taste)
  • Diced roasted red peppers for presentation

Let’s make this happen…

food processor
  1. If using canned chickpeas, drain them and rinse them. If using dried chickpeas, drain and rinse them after soaking,
    then simmer them in lightly salted water on the stove-top for 60-90 minutes until soft and tender. Drain the beans and allow to cool to room temperature (please note: when using fresh chick-peas I do not peeled them before processing, because I do not have the patience for it, however I do love the texture it gives).
  2. Using your food processor add roasted peppers, chickpeas, tahini paste, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and spices.
  3. Pulse the ingredients for about 60 seconds, then process until smooth. If mixture seems too thick, add warm water a tablespoon at a time and blend until desired consistency is reached.
  4. Taste the mixture and add more salt, lemon juice, cayenne or garlic to taste.
  5. Process again to blend any additional ingredients.
  6. Pour into a serving bowl and chill thoroughly before stirring. Hummus will firm up slightly as it chills.




Chef EdieM


Dirty Rice | Signature Dish

Dirty rice is a traditional Creole dish, is a spicy, bold and flavorful rice dish made from white rice which gets a “dirty” color from being cooked with small different type of proteins such a pork, beef, veal or chicken, green bell pepper, celery, and onion, and spiced with cayenne and white pepper.  You can never go wrong with jalapeno, garlic, onion, bay leaves and lots of good Cajun spices.

Edie's Dirty Rice

If you are like me, someone who loves and is into big bold flavors then, you need to start planning your next meal. Not only is dirty rice is a classic soul food, it’s a one-pot meal that deserves a place on your dining table for weeknight meals.  It’s flavorful, with a lots of texture, one of those rice recipes that has always made an appearance in my house.


  • 2 tbsp. Canola oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium onion, yellow
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • 2 tbsp. diced jalapeno
  • 2 tbsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ bunch scallions, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 lb. mix ground beef, ground pork, and ground veal
  • 1 lb. spicy Italian sausage
  • 1 ½ cup rice, long grain or pilaf
  • 3 cups chicken broth, low salt
  • 2 tsp. white pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tbsp oregano, dried
  • ½ tsp chili powder

      Prep onions, peppers and so on        prep dirty rice                                                 

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Heat oil in large Dutch pot over medium heat.
  2. Add aromatics, stir to blend. Keep stirring until veggies are soft and garlic is golden.
  3. Add all the proteins (beef, pork, veal and Italian sausage), breaking up with a spoon continue to cook about 10 minutes or until meat is nicely browned.
  4. Add peppers and adjust seasonings.
  5. Stir in rice and add broth and bring to a boil, turn down and lower the heat and simmer for a half hour.
  6. Remove from heat, taste adjust seasonings, stir in green onions and serve hot.

Steamed Rice

  • 1 cup long-grain rice
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • Pinch Sea Salt

How to Make Perfectly Steamed Rice

  1. Combine the rice, water, bay leaves, and salt in a medium pan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to low, cover with a tight-fitting lid, and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Remove from the heat, and keep covered for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the lid, cool for a few minutes, and then fluff the rice with a fork.


Jwi, Chef EdieM

Chef EdieM

…sending a shout out to my nephew Giovanni, who loves this dish!…

Spanish Cod Fritters | Puerto Rican Style

salad-and-fritters-e1554238554400.jpgI instantly knew why these golden nuggets of deep-fried made with love were different. They were of all things, it was made Puerto Rican Style. This past Saturday in the Heights of Jersey City, as I was stealing yet another treasonous bite of my perfected Bacalaítos before serving it to my network friends.  As I put down the plate, I knew clearly these little fritters of shredded cod, fried crisp were going to be a big hit. I must say – they were indeed!  I shaped these fritter just by dropping a spoon full into the hot oil and I resend them into a warmer.  As I popped one of the fritters in my mouth they were light and realized you couldn’t eat just one.

Bacalaítos are an immensely popular staple in Puerto Rico.  All over the island you’ll find these cod fritters sold from small roadside kiosks, and any street fair there will usually feature several stands of crispy Bacalaítos and prepared as they have been for generations.



  • 1 lb. Boned Salted Codfish (no skin – no bones)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ white pepper
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. Minced Garlic or 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 small handful size filled of fresh cilantro, minced
  • Light EVOO, for frying


Let’s make this happen…

  1.  Soak fish in cold water for three hours or overnight in refrigerator.
  2.  Drain; rinse with cold water several times.
  3.  In a saucepan, cover codfish with water, bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
  4.  Let codfish cool down, once cooled shred the fish.
  5.  In bowl,  make a batter by whisking together the flour, baking powder, salt and white pepper and water. When smooth, mix in the garlic, cilantro and shredded fish.
  6.  In a skillet, heat 1⁄4 inch of oil on medium heat. Drop the batter by spoonful into hot oil and cook until golden brown.
  7.  Drain on paper towel, serve warm.


Chef EdieM

Cheddar Broccoli Soup

A bowl of chopped broccoli in a creamy broth with tons of cheddar cheese makes a great soup.  Although it’s the pureed that is welcomed and known to all, I do prefer making and having my soup texture very  thick and chunky.

My kitchen secrets
Chef EdieM

I start by slightly blanching the broccoli before adding it to the soup and for tons of flavor I add chicken broth.

I love the thickness of the soup and to help achieve that special thickness, I like to add extra all-purpose flour to the base or a cup of grated potatoes (my preference).  I love broccoli and used plenty of it because not only do I prefer big chunks of broccoli in every bite. I also used all of the stalks to make use of the entire head and not waste any.

Like many, there’s a few optional spices like smoked paprika, mustard powder, and cayenne pepper, they do add extra depth of flavor.  I prefer extra-sharp cheddar cheese, although sharp may be used.

Heads up peeps, read the recipe at least twice before starting because while it’s a simple soup, there are a few fast-moving steps. Between the simmering, chopping and stirring kindly take the time out to read this twice.   Or, prep an hour ahead by chopping onion, broccoli, carrots, garlic and grate the cheese.


Thick Broccoli Cheese Soup


5 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 clove garlic, peeled and minced finely
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken stock
2 cups light cream fat-free milk
2 to 3 cups broccoli florets, diced including stems
1  medium carrots, trimmed, peeled, and diced
3/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
3/4 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika or regular paprika
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard powder, optional
8 ounces grated high quality extra-sharp cheddar cheese, with a small amount reserved for garnishing bowls

Let’s make this happen…

  1. In a small saucepan, add 1 tablespoon butter, the diced onion, and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent and barely browned, about 4 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and cook about 30 seconds, stirring constantly so it doesn’t burn. Remove from heat and set pan aside.
  3. In a large heavy-bottom pot add 4 tablespoons butter, flour, and cook over medium heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until flour is thickened. You are making a roux and it’s very important the mixture is thick or soup will never thicken properly later.
  4. Slowly add the chicken stock, whisking constantly.
  5. Slowly add the half-and-half, whisking constantly.
  6. Allow mixture to simmer over low heat for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
  7. While mixture is simmering, chop the broccoli and carrots. After simmering 15 to 20 minutes, add the broccoli, carrots, and the onion and garlic you previously set aside.
  8. Add the salt, pepper, optional paprika, optional dry mustard powder, and optional cayenne. Stir to combine.
  9. Allow soup to simmer over low heat for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it has reduced and thickened some. Whisk intermittently to re-incorporate the ‘skin’ that inevitably forms, this is normal.
  10. While soup summers, grate the cheese. After simmering about 20 to 25 minutes, add most of the cheese, reserving a small amount for garnishing bowls. Stir in the cheese until melted and incorporated fully, less than 1 minute.
  11. Transfer soup to bowls, garnish with reserved cheese, and serve immediately.

Note: Do not freeze leftover soup it will not do well upon thawing and soup will break.



Chef EdieM




Celery Juice | Edie’s Tip of the day

Drinking celery juice in the morning is another way to reap dietary health benefits.

Benefits of Celery Juice
Celery Juice

What are the benefits?
Celery juice contains important vitamins and minerals including magnesium, potassium, vitamin K, and vitamin C. Excellent for bone and heart health, the immune system, eliminating toxicity from the body, and it possesses anti-cancer properties. The drink is especially powerful in its ability to reduce inflammation and improve gut health, which can help heal a number of ailments including chronic pain, skin problems, and digestive issues.  Celery juice does and can help with detoxification, especially because you’ll be getting some fiber and a lot of antioxidants.

Let me add, making celery juice is actually really easy! You only need fresh celery stalks and a juicer. There are a lot of claims that drinking celery juice can help reduce bloating and help with digestion.  However, it really depends on the individual and what your digestive system is used to. Celery juice can help with digestion, but it kind of depends on what you’re used to and what state of health your gut is in when you start. I had started with 4 ounces per day and increased up to 16 ounces per day.  I personally do recommend to drink celery juice in the morning hours and if you want to venture out with different favors please add apples, mango or carrots.

Healthy daily routine
Replies to emails: Celery Juicing 
Q: Can I drink celery juice on an empty stomach?

A: It’s thought that drinking celery juice on an empty stomach helps the body absorb more of the nourishing and healing micro nutrients. Yes, do so!

Q: Will I like the taste and what does celery juice taste like?

A: Not surprisingly, it tastes like celery. I am a huge fan of the flavor, but sometimes I’ll add apples or mango for added sweetness.  Don’t forget to peel before juicing.


1. Grab two bunches of celery and cut off the base (I like to use the top of the stalks).
2. Wash them gently in a colander.
3. Feed the celery through the juicer machine.
4. Serve the juice immediately and keep any leftovers try to drink thought out the day or keep in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge.


Chef EdieM

Turmeric | Your New Diet

The secret is out and Turmeric’s wonders are from anti-inflammatory to immunity-boosting perks, this nutrient-dense spice is full of flavor and antioxidants.


If you didn’t know, turmeric is grown as a root-like plant (related to the ginger family) and has been used in India for thousands of years as both a cooking spice and medicinal herb. It’s a powerful property said to fight cell damage and potentially lower your risk of infections and disease.  As it turns out, there are endless ways to eat and drink this special spice.

Scramble it, add some color to your breakfast by mixing turmeric into your scramble or frittatas. It’s an excellent way to consume the spice because the flavor remains subtle.

Latte style, is on the rise – to brew your own cup, whisk one cup of your favorite dairy with one teaspoon of turmeric, a half teaspoon of cinnamon, a half teaspoon of ginger, and a pinch of ground white pepper in a small saucepan, then bring it to a low boil. Reduce the heat and let it simmer for about 10 minutes. Strain it through a fine-mesh sieve into your mug and top it with a dash of cinnamon.

Blend it into a smoothie, yes you heard – dash or two of ground turmeric to your favorite morning smoothie recipes before blending. You’ll reap the benefits without modifying the taste.

Cold drink, a spoonful of honey makes the medicine go down. So when you feel a cold coming on, mix one part turmeric to three parts raw honey for an immunity-boosting pick-me-up.

Spice it up, a dash of turmeric brings color and flavor to your rice pilaf or on your side mashed cauliflower dish.

Sprinkle on avocado, top your avocado toast with turmeric for an added health boost! Mash your avocado, mix in some ground turmeric and a dash of sea salt and white pepper, then spread it onto high fiber bread for a satisfying and nutritious snack.

Toss it with veggies, a mild dash of olive oil, turmeric, and any other seasonings. Roast the veggies at 400 degrees for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing it once in between.

Make it part of your daily diet


Turmeric Shots
1 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut water
Juice from 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. turmeric, ground
1 Tbsp. white pepper

Let’s make this happen:
1. Pour coconut water into a shaker cup/blender bottle.
2. Squeeze the juice from one lemon and add to shaker cup.
3. Add turmeric and black pepper.
4. Shake it all up and take your shot!
5. Store leftovers in shaker bottle in the refrigerator and pour 1-2 shots each day.

Notes:  Take the shot immediately after it’s poured to prevent excess turmeric sticking to the bottom of the shot glass and enjoy the boost.


Chef EdieM

Following the Blog, Chef EdieM

Master Chef
11/17/2011 Master Chef Audition

“I remembered as a young child watching over my mother and sisters in our Hoboken kitchen nearly every night, that’s when I realized over time I had the urge to express my own thoughts about food by changing our family recipes and recreating them by infusing them with a more modern Latin and Asian twist! Yes, my love of food began to develop. Throughout my life my passion and love for food was too strong to relegate to a hobby”.

For many years, Chef EdieM has expressed her passion for her clients, family and friends. Chef EdieM strongly believes the heart of the home is in the kitchen where everyone always seems to gather and enjoy life, sharing memories and creating new ones!

Chef EdieM has returned to Hudson County |NJ where she currently resides. Writing and sharing recipes is Chef EdieM passion.   Joint Chef EdieM on a her special inspiring journey, follow her struggles, her fears, the joy, life’s joyous and chaotic moments, her leadership, her mission that matters more; and the special gift of life, her true love!

Chef EdieM hopes to continue to have the opportunity to express her food creativity with everyone out there in their kitchen and to share her life experiences along the way with her style of food with this “A POWERFUL BLOG”.

Chef EdieM


Challenges are a part of everyday life. They make us stronger and without them life becomes somewhat meaningless because we have nothing to compare the good times to.  But, regardless of the challenges, facing up to it is key. Doing so will make you feel like you can take care of yourself, it will also make you understand the value of what you have now.  Facing up to challenges and living through them give us the experiences that make up our life.


I want to thank you all for your personal letters, cards, e-mails, texts, phone calls and your prayers. Thank you to those who stood by my side and let me be me – accepted me during my most difficult time without hesitation.


I am proud of how I dealt with my health challenges and continue to deal with them by reminding myself that life will get better no matter what!

So often we turn away from life rather than toward it. We are masters of avoidance! But if we want to be present—to enjoy life and to be more effective in it—we must orient ourselves toward facing reality. When we are guided by the reality principle, we develop a deeper capacity to deal with life more effectively. What once was difficult is now easier. What once frightened us now feels familiar. Life becomes more manageable. And there’s something even deeper that we gain. Because we can see that we have grown stronger, we have greater confidence that we can grow even stronger still. This is the basis of feeling capable, which I think is the wellspring of a satisfying life.


Chef EdieM

Customer Service | Moms & Pops Stores

Many small family owned hardware stores are under enormous pressure to hold onto customers and remain solvent as national chains like Home Depot and Loews expand their footprint in New Jersey and elsewhere, a trend some independent stores have emphasized their neighborhood roots, while others have raised prices or tweaked their inventories beyond paint supplies and off-brand sandpaper to include household staples like tapes, electric extensions. Many independent store owners and workers say they are facing a bleak future as their customers have more choices, and rising rents and operating costs further cut into their dwindling profits.

Several blocks from where I live is a popular neighbor hardware store called Novick Hardware located in the Heights of Jersey City.  This store has been there for many decades and recently purchased by new owner Mitzi.  I stopped there a few days ago, inquiring about paint applications for walls and repairs.  “When you go to her store, you’re going to get something different,” and the old fixtures are still there from back in the 80’s-90’s.  Reasonable price products and great customer service.

Mitzi was not only knowledgeable about her paint products by Benjamin Moore but her convictions on what type of paints I should be using for my kitchen renovation project.

From one business woman to another, we both spoke about the survival of moms and pops businesses.  So what’s the secret to the success of mom-and-pops? I asked Mitzi of Novick Hardware, “The most important thing is that you have to bring a unique entrepreneurial vision to what your store is.  Many utilize their own recipes of personal customer service, community involvement and other tools that keep customers coming back.”  “Those are not necessarily the reasons someone would or should choose an independent small business,” Mitzi said. “They [small business] need to figure those reasons out and build on those strengths and make sure they’re fulfilling that when the customer comes into the store.”

This in my case may be true.  Small-business owners hold steady, they like to know what’s coming next and where it’s coming from. They make calculated decisions where the outcome is clear. The result may not be huge, but it will typically keep them moving forward.

Moms and pops stores, it’s an enormous industry made up mostly of small business owners. And it’s about to undergo a huge change that will challenge their survival.  I strongly believe being knowledgeable and providing excellence customer service is the #1 factor – When your business focuses on good customer service as your marketing strategy, it positively affects your bottom line, reducing your business costs and increasing your prices.  It gives you a competitive edge, which keeps a consumer coming back spending their money with you and referring others to do the same.

Go visit Novick Hardware:  https://www.facebook.com/NovickHardware/


Chef EdieM

Chef EdieM’ Signature Pumpkin Flan

Chef Ediem Pumpkin Flan
Chef EdieM Signature Pumpkin Flan

Over twenty years ago my best friend  sister gave me her authentic Puerto Rican Caramel Flan recipe.  I decided to try and adapt it by substituting pumpkin for the cream cheese, added pumpkin pie spices and exchanged the vanilla for vanilla bean paste.  In addition, I switched one of the whole eggs for an egg yolk, and added one more just for good measure.

Amazingly switching it up over the past ten years this is my final recipe.  This creamy, delicious dessert is a staple of dessert menus across the country. The rustic flavors of pumpkin and cinnamon shine through in this moderately sweet flan, while the salted pumpkin seeds added as garnish provide the perfect crunchy contrast. The degree of sweetness is easily controlled by the amount of syrup drizzled over each portion at serving time.



  • 1 cup of pour able dulce de leche and/or piloncillo syrup
  • 1 can (14 ounces/396 grams) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 can (12 ounces/354 milliliters) evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, shelled and salted, for garnish
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 can Pumpkin Puree

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Turn your oven on to 350ºF so that it can pre-heat while you do the rest.
  2. Prepare the baking dish; distribute half of the dulce de leche or syrup among 6 to 8 (depending on size) glass custard dishes or on the bottom of a 10-inch / 25- centimeter round, oven-safe glass dish. (You’ll use the rest of the dulce or syrup at serving time.)
  3. Make the mix: Pour both cans of milk—sweetened condensed and evaporated—into a blender container. Add the pumpkin puree, the eggs, and the cinnamon. Blend for about 30 seconds. Pour this mixture into the prepared custard dishes or round baking dish.
  4. Set up the hot water bath (bain-marie): Place the filled dish into a larger metal baking pan and place in pre-heated oven. Add enough warm water to the metal pan to come within about an inch of filling it completely. The warm water should surround the glass dish in the pan.
  5. Bake your flan for about 40 minutes, until the edges are firm but the center still looks a little jiggly.
  6. Carefully remove the dish (es) of flan from the oven and from the hot water bath. Discard the water. Allow your flan to sit until it cools to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
  7. To clean up the flan, use a table knife to gently pull back or cut around the edge of the flan so that the custard is separated from the dish. Place a plate on top of the dish, and then quickly invert both dish and plate so that the flan slides out of the dish and onto the plate.
  8. If you’ve made one large flan, cut it into wedges. Serve each portion of your delicious pumpkin flan with a drizzle of the reserved dulce de leche or syrup and a sprinkle of salted pumpkin seeds.


Serving Tips:

  • I like to garnished the individual flans with roasted, salted pumpkin seeds (pepitas) which is a great contrast to the soft caramel.  The recipe may be baked in a 1 1/2 quart baking dish, an 8 or 9-inch cake pan, or in an assortment of ramekins.
  • Use dulce de leche and piloncillo syrup pouring on bottom of the baking dish (before pouring in the custard mix), the latter for drizzling at serving time.
  • Served with whipped cream or a fluffy dessert topping as well, sprinkling a few of the pumpkin seeds on top.


Thank you to my friends Betty & Miriam

Betty Lopez & Miriam Lopez
Flan Queens



Chef EdieM






Goodbye October, Hello Holiday Season!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year again, yes indeed it is! I love my October, but November is here which marks the start of the best time of the year for me, the holiday season! The second day of November and that means we are only 27 days away from Black Friday!

gratefulnessBesides shopping, waiting for “the perfect gift”, or the latest on tech ware – just let me take the time to remind everyone of only one thing. Wherever you live, there are shut-ins, and people in hospitals, and animals in animal shelters who may not have much holiday spirit either but can benefit from the kindness of a visit, or a little care, or a dropped-off meal. If you’re feeling blue about the holidays spending a few hours volunteering can lift your spirits and focus your attention away from the relentlessness of Christmas decorations and Christmas carols. It will benefit you as much as it benefits those you’re helping.

Another extremely important part of the holiday season is the recognition that not everybody can celebrate the way they wish they could. I am grateful I grew up unprivileged and with a family who did not had the means to have enough money to put food on the table and presents under the tree. Because of my childhood, I have grown to love unconditionally, being able to accept the little things in life and live to always be humble no matter what; also to acknowledge the return of being grateful for what life has to offer! The holiday season should also be about giving back. While it might not seem like much, even donating one toy or a can of food can make all the difference for a family who doesn’t have it. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Invite someone you know is struggling to Thanksgiving dinner. Do at least one thing for somebody who needs it. The holiday season is so much fun for some, but for others it is lonely and financially burdening.

Lost of Love

Let’s learn to practice mindfulness, as the days get shorter and the year draws to a close, now is a great time to start or renew a meditation practice. The benefits to your brain, mood, and health are indisputable. And the calming influence of meditation is especially useful at a time of year when everyone is on overdrive. Even five minutes a day, or a few moments while sitting at your desk has benefits. You’re best off starting with a very small commitment that can easily become part of your daily routine.

Do me a favorite – be tolerant of those who do love the holidays. You don’t have to love the holidays, but you do have to recognize that many of the people you care about and/or work with do love them. It can be very tempting for a holiday abstainer to go around, or take to social media, loudly denigrating holiday time as crass, commercial, and generally overblown.

Resist that temptation. Just as you have the right to feel like a Grinch, others have the right to enjoy the holiday season to the fullest without someone else trying to spoil it. So give your friends, family, and co-workers heartfelt your heartfelt good wishes. Those sentiments are appropriate at every time of year.

…keep in mind, body and soul!…
“The Root of Joy is Gratefulness”


Chef EdieM

Food Truck | Jimmy’s Steak & Grill


One of the most common issues people have when eating from a food truck, is the fact that in most cases, there is nowhere for them to sit down while they eat the meal they just purchased. The debate over whether to stand or sit while eating is more than one of comfort and etiquette. And although you may prefer to eat while sitting down, it may just be healthier for you to eat while standing up.

Needless to say, very often I tend to eat on the run. With the help of my good friends I recently learned one of many best kept secret treasures in New York is lunch from Jimmy’s Steak & Grill Food Truck cart on the NE corner of 60th St. & Madison Avenue owner Jimmy Gonzales and partner Abel Bamos. Yes, you heard me right – Food Truck!

Jimmy Gonzalez and Abel Bamos

There aren’t a lot of options in that area — apart from $15 and up lunches at fancy restaurants — which is one reason there is always a long line at Jimmy’s Steak & Grill Food Truck cart. The other reason is his food.  Jimmy’s Steak & Grill has great grilled chicken, steaks, lamb, shrimp and gyros.  Today, I went for the Daily Special, Lamb over Rice and Salad, which cost $6.

All proteins are “real”  – not the thin sandwich type meats you get in some places – and it had that great grilled flavor and never has fat around the edges, lean quality meat.


Jimmy’s Steak & Grill also offers many specials with chicken instead of steak , the prices are just right, all the ingredients used were high-quality, and the charcoal grilling raises the bar to a whole other level – depending on whether you get a sandwich or platter.  That could account for the long lines at lunchtime.  I am giving Jimmy’s Steak & Grill 4 stars for cleanliness and great food.

Jimmy’s Steak & Grill is another old-school vendor who loves to cook.  https://www.facebook.com/pg/Jimmys-STEAK-GRILL-146508229269165/about/?ref=page_internal



Chef EdieM


The World in 2017

Plant Trump

I would like to extend an extremely warm “Thank You” to Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief, The Economist for this wonderful article. Shall we read…

Planet Trump – With Donald Trump as America’s 45th president, 2017 will mark the beginning 
of a new and darker global order, warns Zanny Minton Beddoes

For liberals 2016 has been a grim year. A wave of populist anger has swept through the West, leading Britons to vote for a divorce from the European Union and Americans to elect as their 45th president a property magnate with no previous government experience who ran the most divisive and ugly campaign in modern American history. Within a few short months voters on both sides of the Atlantic delivered a powerful repudiation of their political establishment; shifted the fault lines of Western politics from left v right to open v closed; and voiced a collective roar of disapproval of globalization, now shorthand for a rigged system that benefits only self-serving elite. These are body blows to the liberal world order. Just how serious they are will become clear in 2017.

Most important will be what kind of president Donald Trump turns out to be. Take his words before and during the campaign at face value and the outlook is bleak. Mr. Trump is a long–standing economic nationalist, a man who believes free trade has destroyed America’s economy, who has cast doubt on America’s commitments to its allies, and called for building a wall with Mexico and for restrictions on Muslim immigrants.

Although it seems unlikely that President Trump will try to enact this entire illiberal agenda, some of it will survive. His voters seemed to give Candidate Trump a lot of leeway, less interested in policy detail than the broad thrust of his message. The best outcome once he is in office would be for him to focus on his economic plans minus the protectionism. Big tax cuts coupled with a surge of spending from infrastructure to defense would bust America’s budget in the long term. But in the short run they would inject adrenalin into the economy. This might, just, be enough to keep the protectionism minimal, perhaps limited to a few token anti-dumping tariffs. The result would be a recipe similar to that of Ronald Reagan, a man whom much of the world viewed with alarm when he stormed to victory in 1980.

Even in this best case a Trump presidency would take its toll on the open world order. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), the biggest trade deal in years, is dead.

Commitments made at the Paris climate-change accord look unlikely to be honored. The Iran nuclear agreement could well wither. And the best case, on closer inspection, seems unlikely. The Gipper was a born optimist who believed in America as the shining city on a hill, Mr. Trump’s appeal is rooted in anger and division. With Republicans in control of both chambers of Congress, his supporters will at a minimum expect barriers to go up, illegal immigrants to be deported and strict conservatives to be appointed to the Supreme Court. America will turn in on itself.

In the wider world, meanwhile, authoritarians will be ascendant, and keen to exploit America’s introversion. In China Xi Jinping, already the most powerful Chinese leader at least since Deng Xiaoping, will use the Communist Party’s five-yearly Congress to consolidate his autocratic clout. He will lose little time in trying to fill the geostrategic air-pocket left in Asia by the failure of TPP. In Russia Vladimir Putin will bask in Mr Trump’s attention, but will disguise his vulnerability at home with foreign aggressions. Don’t expect any end to his attempts to destabilize Ukraine and the rest of Russia’s “near abroad”.

Boosted by Mr Trump’s victory, Europe’s populist backlash will gather strength in 2017. Far-right parties will surge in both the Dutch and French elections and could, for the first time in the post-war era, take seats in Germany’s parliament. In what will feel like one long disgruntled election season, European politics will be dominated by scaremongering, about the dangers of migrants, the evils of trade deals and the nefariousness of the European Union.

More terrorist attacks, which seem all too plausible, would darken the mood yet further. So would financial shocks: a fiscal crisis in Portugal and a flare-up of Italy’s chronic banking woes both seem likely. In such a febrile environment the Brexit negotiations will be slow, complicated and cantankerous.

Tunnels End With Light
This adds up to a dark year. Liberals should be worried. But the gloom will not last forever. Populist and isolationist policies eventually discredit themselves, because their consequences are disastrous. In a cruel irony, Latin America—the region recently most associated with a backlash against liberal, open economics—is once again shifting in a more liberal direction. Having tasted the disappointments that populism brings, Latin Americans are understandably sick of it.

The danger that this angry bout of Western nativism will intensify is also offset by deeper forces. Technology is forging global connections, whatever the backlash against migration or trade. Students study at foreign universities via online courses; small businesses export via online markets; people chat and share news on global social-media platforms. Younger voters raised amid these digital opportunities are keener on globalization than their parents are; they voted against Brexit and Mr. Trump.
The question is not whether the world will turn back towards openness, but how soon—and how much damage will be done in the meantime. The answer to that question depends above all on one man: Donald J. Trump.

Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief, The Economist

The World in 2017

The End Of The World Is Coming, But Not From Nibiru

Nibiru is not coming to visit Saturday Credit Shutterstock
Nibiru is not coming to visit Saturday. Credit: Shutterstock

You may have heard by now that the end of the world will begin on Saturday, September 23. How exactly it will go down depends on which bizarre prophetic YouTube video you’re watching on the subject. Most involve some combination of Christian numerology, a story about a five-headed dragon and a pregnant lady and a fictional planet named Nibiru that will come out of hiding this weekend just before smashing into the Earth.  Just to be clear, there is no hidden planet in the inner solar system and new worlds don’t appear instantaneously on any given weekend. Even if Nibiru were somehow lurking about out of view of countless telescopes, its presence would be otherwise detected because an object of that mass would perturb the orbits of the other planets, as NASA explains.

I get that things are seeming a little apocalyptic right now with the catastrophic storms, floods, earthquakes and wildfires of recent weeks. But consider that the history of our planet and one other planet we’ve visited (with robots) suggests that existential, potentially life-extinguishing events happen in super slow motion rather than just popping up one Saturday in September with a planetary chest bump that initiates our immediate annihilation.

On the cosmic time scale, the end of times for Earth is a reality that has already been set in motion: eventually our sun will expand to become a super-giant and either boil, burn or engulf all life on our planet. But the whole process is going to take billions of years.

By that time, the planet may well be dead anyway because the magnetic dynamo in Earth’s core that generates a protective magnetic field to shield us from the fatal radiation of space may given out, leaving us as dead and desolate-looking as Mars.

That end times scenario is also likely eons into the future, though. What about more near term threats we hear about, like climate change? A new mathematical model out just this week warns that carbon levels in the world’s oceans could rise to a point as soon as the year 2100 that it triggers a mass extinction event.

That apocalyptic scenario also doesn’t play out over the course of just a few weeks or months as the Nibiru predictions do. It would probably be a slow die-off that would take thousands and thousands of years, perhaps giving rise to new dominant species.

Humans are currently setup to be the species most likely to be able to adapt to these changes, although an ecological collapse could certainly lead to famine, food and water shortages, violent conflicts and plenty of other human suffering and nastiness.

These are the real nearer-term problems that we can and should work to prevent right now, rather than worrying about the apocalypse, be it the one that won’t happen Saturday or the slow end of days that’s already happening.

To get more on the latest in science, tech and innovation, follow Eric Mark on Forbes, Twitter @ericcmack



Chef EdieM


Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with Grilled Chicken

Creamy Lem-Pepper Orzo GrilledChicken I am super excited about my Creamy Lemon-Pepper Orzo with seasoned grill chicken. If you love risotto as much as I do, but want something quick, this easy and simple orzo takes only half the time. Not only is it yummy, rich cheese and cream are switched out for tangy Greek yogurt and goat cheese for equally satisfying creaminess (and keeping it healthy). This dish is a true classic year round. You can use any type of protein making this dish, and I like to use chicken tights or chicken sausages.


  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 1 cup whole-wheat or other whole-grain orzo
  • 1 cup frozen petite peas
  • 2 ounces finely crumbled goat cheese
  • 4 tbs chopped fresh herbs, basil & tarragon
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Zest & juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 teaspoons EVOO
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • Lemon & Pepper Seasoning (Perfect Pinch by McCormick)

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Bring a pot of water to a boil; prepare a grill or grill pan for medium heat.
  2. Whisk together the yogurt, garlic, lemon juice, 2 teaspoons of the oil and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper seasoning in a medium bowl until well combined.
  3. Rub the chicken thighs with the remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle salt, pepper and Lemon & Pepper seasoning. Season-Chicken-Thighs
  4. Grill until nicely marked and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes per side. Transfer to a cutting board and let stand for at least 5 minutes.
  5. Add the orzo to the boiling water and cook according to the package directions for al dente, stirring in the peas during the last-minute of cooking. Drain the orzo and peas, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
  6. Stir the orzo and peas into the yogurt mixture, along with the goat cheese, 3 tablespoons of the herbs and at least 3/4 cup of the cooking liquid, until well combined. Transfer to a platter.
  7. Thinly slice the chicken and arrange on top of the orzo. Sprinkle with the lemon zest and the remaining 1 tablespoon herbs.


Chardonnay – White Burgundy | Chablis – this unoaked example of chardonnay will give you the highest acidity, best for super lemony dishes!

Sauvignon Blanc – best with a grilled lemon chicken dish

Riesling – if you want to go down this route, make sure you’re picking a completely dry example of Riesling, nothing sweet!

fork knive glass


Chef EdieM

Tables Settings and Ideas

Perfect Table Setting
Sage | Black & Cream Table

Wedding season has long been consumed by the business of extras, but this season some couples are doing away with the glitz and glitter and buying into the personal touches.

On the surface, weddings are a bonanza for dressmakers, for photographers promising to freeze-frame love, florists arranging memorable bouquets and bakers offering four-tier cakes that will inevitably be smeared in the faces of newlyweds.

Chefs, DJs, makeup artists, designers and venue operators alike pour their resources and time into advertising wedding services because they know it rakes in the cash.

But instead of getting tangled in the extras, some couples are deciding to strip it down to the essentials.

Summer wedding season is officially in full swing. RSVP cards have likely been returned, and brides-to-be are in home-stretch mode. But with the end in sight, there are still a few important summer wedding mistakes to avoid.

It’s not the flowers or the centerpieces or the favors. It’s not even the bridesmaid’s outfits or the lighting. All of those things are important (especially the lighting – more to come on that topic soon), but they won’t do any good if the basics don’t look amazing first. When you walk into a ceremony or reception, the tables, linens and the chairs have the most impact on the overall look because they occupy the most visual space. This means you can use the linens and the chairs to quickly and easily achieve the feel that you’re going for. Think about the kind of impression you’d like to make with your wedding decor. Are you going for bright and fun? Swanky and modern? Elegant and refined? Vintage and organic? Chances are the tables, linens and chairs can go a long way in creating that look right off the bat.

Also, I want to point out two important notes. I’m not sure you can have one of these items look great but not the other – they kind of go hand in hand. Beautiful linens can get covered up by unattractive chairs, and pretty chairs probably won’t do much for plain linens. So keep that in mind as you navigate your decor decisions. Also, as you think about your linen choices, keep in mind that white linens aren’t a terrible thing. Much the opposite in fact. If white linens add to the bright, fresh look that you’re going for then they’ll be perfect. But don’t choose white linens simply by default.

Ideas for a Beautiful Wedding Table Setting

Using unique wedding table decoration ideas. Your wedding reception table settings and designs matter! If you’re looking for wedding tablescape ideas, I have put together a list of unique ideas to give your reception a romantic, distinct ambiance.

rustic style farm table setting
Rustic Farm Table
White n Simple Plates
Elegant White & Black Table

Consider using high rectangular tables instead of traditional round tables. The first step to a unique wedding table setup starts with your table! Using high rectangular tables instead of the traditional round tables adds some dimension and a splash of modern glamour.

consider high table 2
Consider High Top Table

Deconstructed flower arrangements displayed at different heights on tables make great unique touches. What’s a wedding tablescape without a centerpiece? Bouquets of flowers are very traditional, so instead of the norm, try a deconstructed flower arrangement. For added dimension, display the arrangements at different heights.


Don’t be afraid of mixing patterns and textures – In this tablescape, a mirror charger with art deco-style china was used, wire ball accessories, contemporary square wine glasses and silverware, crystal beaded napkin rings and a lot of clear, oversized round vases. The patterns and textures, though different, tie together beautifully and enhance the chic-ness of the high rectangular table.  Mirrors paired with candles (and other sources of light) increase the romantic ambiance at any table—especially during the evening—which is perfect for a wedding reception. Scattering tea lights around the table and each guest will feel special with his or her own twinkling light, and since the table centerpieces incorporate mirrors, the scattered tea lights will add even more romantic energy.

tea lights

Table Settings : Setting a table is not as difficult as it seems. The basic rule is: Utensils are placed in the order of use; that is, from the outside in. A second rule, with only a few exceptions, is: Forks go to the left of the plate, and knives and spoons go to the right. And finally, only set the table with utensils you will use. No soup; no soup spoon.

Basic Table Setting

basic table setting

For a basic table setting, here are two great tips to help you–or your kids–remember the order of plates and utensils:

  1. Picture the word “FORKS.” The order, left to right, is: F for Fork, O for the Plate (the shape!), K for Knives and S for Spoons. (Okay, you have to forget the R, but you get the idea!)
  2. Holding your hands in front of you, touch the tips of your thumbs to the tips of your forefingers to make a lowercase ‘b’ with your left hand and a lowercase ‘d’ with your right hand. This reminds you that “bread and butter” go to the left of the place setting and “drinks” go on the right. Emily Post could have used that trick–she was often confused about which bread and butter belonged to her–and sometimes she used her neighbor’s! In which case, when it was called to her attention, she would say to the dismayed lady or gentleman, “Oh, I am always mixing them up. Here, please take mine!”

Some other things to know:

  • Knife blades always face the plate
  • The napkin goes to the left of the fork, or on the plate
  • The bread and butter knife are optional

Informal Place Setting

informal place setting

When an informal three-course dinner is served, the typical place setting includes these utensils and dishes:

Our illustration shows how a table would be set for the following menu:

  • Soup course
  • Salad or first course
  • Entree
  • Dessert

(a) Dinner Plate: This is the “hub of the wheel” and is usually the first thing to be set on the table. In our illustration, the dinner plate would be placed where the napkin is, with the napkin on top of the plate.

(b) Two Forks: The forks are placed to the left of the plate. The dinner fork, the larger of the two forks, is used for the main course; the smaller fork is used for a salad or an appetizer. The forks are arranged according to when you need to use them, following an “outside-in” order. If the small fork is needed for an appetizer or a salad served before the main course, then it is placed on the left (outside) of the dinner fork; if the salad is served after the main course, then the small fork is placed to the right (inside) of the dinner fork, next to the plate.

(c) Napkin: The napkin is folded or put in a napkin ring and placed either to the left of the forks or on the center of the dinner plate. Sometimes, a folded napkin is placed under the forks.

(d) Dinner Knife: The dinner knife is set immediately to the right of the plate, cutting edge facing inward. (If the main course is meat, a steak knife can take the place of the dinner knife.) At an informal meal, the dinner knife may be used for all courses, but a dirty knife should never be placed on the table, place mat or tablecloth.

(e) Spoons: Spoons go to the right of the knife. In our illustration, soup is being served first, so the soup spoon goes to the far (outside) right of the dinner knife; the teaspoon or dessert spoon, which will be used last, goes to the left (inside) of the soup spoon, next to the dinner knife.

(f) Glasses: Drinking glasses of any kind — water, wine, juice, iced tea — are placed at the top right of the dinner plate, above the knives and spoons.

Other dishes and utensils are optional, depending on what is being served, but may include:

(g) Salad Plate: This is placed to the left of the forks. If salad is to be eaten with the meal, you can forgo the salad plate and serve it directly on the dinner plate. However, if the entree contains gravy or anything runny, it is better to serve the salad on a separate plate to keep things neater.

(h) Bread Plate with Butter Knife: If used, the bread plate goes above the forks, with the butter knife placed diagonally across the edge of the plate, handle on the right side and blade facing down.

(i) Dessert Spoon and Fork: These can be placed either horizontally above the dinner plate (the spoon on top with its handle facing to the right; the fork below with its handle facing left); or beside the plate. If placed beside the plate, the fork goes on the left side, closest to the plate (because it will be the last fork used) and the spoon goes on the right side of the plate, to the right of the dinner knife and to the left of the soup spoon.

(j) Coffee Cup and Saucer: Our illustration shows a table setting that would be common in a restaurant serving a large number of people at once, with coffee being served during the meal. The coffee cup and saucer are placed above and to the right of the knife and spoons. At home, most people serve coffee after the meal. In that case the cups and saucers are brought to the table and placed above and to the right of the knives and spoons.

The Formal Place Setting

formal place setting

The placement of utensils is guided by the menu, the idea being that you use utensils in an “outside in” order. For the illustrated place setting here, the order of the menu is:

  • Appetizer: Shellfish
  • First Course: Soup or fruit
  • Fish Course
  • Entrée
  • Salad

(a) Service Plate: This large plate, also called a charger, serves as an underplate for the plate holding the first course, which will be brought to the table. When the first course is cleared, the service plate remains in place for any other courses, such as a soup course, until the plate holding the entrée is served, at which point the two plates are exchanged. The charger may serve as the underplate for several courses which precede the entrée.

(b) Butter Plate: The small butter plate is placed above the forks at the left of the place setting.

(c) Dinner Fork: The largest of the forks, also called the place fork, is placed on the left of the plate. Other smaller forks for other courses are arranged to the left or right of the dinner fork, according to when they will be used.

(d) Fish Fork: If there is a fish course, this small fork is placed to the left of the dinner fork because it is the first fork used.

(e) Salad Fork: If the salad is served after the entrée, the small salad fork is placed to the right of the dinner fork, next to the plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the forks would be arranged (left to right): salad fork, fish fork, dinner fork.

(f) Dinner Knife: The large dinner knife is placed to the right of the dinner plate.

(g) Fish Knife: The specially shaped fish knife goes to the right of the dinner knife.

(h) Salad Knife (Note: there is no salad knife in the illustration): If used, according to the above menu, it would be placed to the left of the dinner knife, next to the dinner plate. If the salad is to be served first, and fish second, then the knives would be arranged (left to right): dinner knife, fish knife, salad knife.

(i) Soup Spoon or Fruit Spoon: If soup or fruit is served as a first course, then the accompanying spoon goes to the right of the knives.

(j) Oyster Fork: If shellfish are to be served, the oyster fork goes to the right of the spoons. Note: It is the only fork ever placed on the right of the plate.

(k) Butter Knife: The small spreader is paced diagonally on top of the butter plate, handle on the right and blade down.

(l) Glasses: These are placed on the right, above the knives and spoons. They can number up to five and are placed in the order they will be used. When there are more than three glasses, they can be arranged with smaller glasses in front. The water goblet (la) is placed directly above the knives. Just to the right are placed a red (lc) or white (ld) wine glass. A sherry glass or champagne flute (le), to accompany a first course or for an opening toast, go to the right of the wine glasses. Glasses used for a particular course are removed at the end of the course.

(m) Napkin: The napkin is placed on top of the charger (if one is used) or in the space for the plate. It can also go to the left of the forks, or under the forks if space is tight.



The buffet setting includes only the essentials. Typically there is no plate or charger placed on the table, as the plate is usually picked up at the buffet table for the guests to serve themselves. Alternatively, having no silverware on the table is common, as utensils are also commonly placed at the end of the buffet table line.


  • Napkin – The napkin is folded and placed on top of the plate before service begins. Napkins can also be placed at the buffet table near the utensils.
  • Menu card – The menu card can either be placed on top of the napkin or inserted into the folds of the napkin for a more formal display.


  • Salad fork – Salad is the second course that is served, so the salad fork is placed at the outer left edge of the table setting. The salad fork is usually smaller than the dinner fork.
  • Dinner fork – The dinner fork is placed to the immediate left of the charger or service plate. The dinner fork is typically the largest fork.


  • Soup spoon – Soup is typically the first course so the soup spoon is placed on the outer right edge of the table setting.
  • Dinner knife – The dinner knife is placed to the immediate right of the service plate, corresponding with the placement of the dinner fork.


  • Water glass – This glass is the largest of the glasses.
  • Wine glass – A single wine glass is all that’s needed for the buffet table setting.

Now that you’ve completed the guide, you are now ready to host your next event with confidence! Follow the table setting rules I’ve laid out in this guide, and use the place setting templates to ensure that you will provide your guests with the best experience.

Now that I have that out of way let’s keep this in mind table manners have evolved over centuries to make the practice of eating with others pleasant and sociable. With so many table manners to keep track, keep these basic, but oh-so-important, table manners in mind as you eat:


  1. Chew with your mouth closed.
  2. Keep your smartphone off the table and set to silent or vibrate. Wait to check calls and texts until you are finished with the meal and away from the table.
  3. Don’t use your utensils like a shovel or stab your food.
  4. Don’t pick your teeth at the table.
  5. Remember to use your napkin.
  6. Wait until you’re done chewing to sip or swallow a drink. (Choking is clearly an exception.)
  7. Cut only one piece of food at a time.
  8. Avoid slouching and don’t place your elbows on the table while eating (though it is okay to prop your elbows on the table while conversing between courses, and always has been, even in Emily’s day).
  9. Instead of reaching across the table for something, ask for it to be passed to you.
  10. Take part in the dinner conversation.



Chef Edie M

Asian Style Chicken Lettuce Wraps

These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps are one of my many favorite dinners.  Those who knows me and knows me well, I am always on the lookout for easy and fast dinners. This recipe is one that took me years of trial and error, and lots of fun taste-testing, to get it just right.  I’ve made a few versions in the past, but finally this is the best one because of its simplicity.  These Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps make the perfect easy dinner, but they’d also make an easy appetizer as well. I hope you love them as much as I do, enjoy!

chicken lettuce wraps

Ground Chicken – finely diced chicken breasts are a great substitute for ground chicken
Peanut Oil – if you don’t have peanut oil or if anyone has a peanut allergy. Use Olive Oil or Avocado Oil
Soy Sauce – if you have a soy allergy you can substitute coconut amino(s) for the soy sauce
Peanut Butter – if you have a peanut (nuts) allergy; seed butter could work here

Let’s make this happen…


¼ cup Hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 lb ground chicken
1 large carrot, peeled and finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
4 scallions, whites and greens, chopped
1 large head of Japanese or Bibb Lettuce, leaves separated



1. In a small bowl, combine the hoisin, soy sauce and ⅓ cup water.
2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil and the chicken and cook, breaking up the chicken as it cooks, until browned, about 5 minutes.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil.
4. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the garlic and the scallion whites and cook an additional minute.
5. Stir in the hoisin and continue to cook until the sauce thickens, another 1-2 minutes.

Be creative with your wraps!


Serve | Place some of the mixture in a lettuce leaf and top with some of the scallion greens.

Pear | Pinot Grigio: King Estate ‘Signature Collection’ Pinot Gris ~ $16 and/or Riesling: Red Tail Ridge Dry Riesling $17

Enjoy, Chef Edie M

The Death of a Sibling | Grieving

I am drowning in grief and experiencing emotional pain …shock, numbness, sadness, despair, loneliness, isolation, forgetfulness, anger, guilt, regret, depression, anxiety, crying, headaches, weakness, aches, pains, yearning, worry, frustration, detachment, isolation, questioning my faith…

When a person is estranged by a family member, they generally experience a range of immediate grief, loss and trauma responses. Responses such as crying and alongside emotional responses such as disbelief, denial and anger. People often ruminate over the estrangement event or the events that led up to the estrangement. Over time, most acute emotions and bodily responses seem to decrease in intensity, and generalized feelings of hurt, betrayal and disappointment might emerge. Even when the estrangement has continued for years or decades, many people suggest the pain persists or re-occurs at particular times. Some will call it “Triggers” which can sometimes cause a person to re-live and re-experience the initial grief, loss and trauma responses, while other times they can be managed.

…being estranged by a family member is one of the most painful events across the lifespan. I should know this and it is intensified by ten folds, its unexpectedness, its ambiguous nature, the powerlessness it creates, and social disapproval…

At first, when a person is estranged by another, they generally do not expect it to happen. Trauma is increased when it is enacted by humans rather than an act of nature and this is even more so when that human is a family member. We are biologically attached to family and socially acculturated into idea of family togetherness. We do not expect an estrangement nor do we?

Estrangement is ambiguous. It has lacks transparency, and it cannot be readily understood. It is not certain if the family member will ever return, so there is no finality or closure to the event. People who have been estranged by a loved one often describe feelings of incredible powerlessness. When someone has been cut off or like me I chose to be cut off; they cannot tell their side of the story nor ask questions or apologize. Without interaction the estranged person is often left wondering and ruminating about the truth, with no means of discovering it.

In the end, the pain of estrangement is often exacerbated because it is disenfranchised or poorly recognized by society. Many people who have been estranged feel an internalized guilt and shame about the situation, and this can affect the way that they interact socially. They might reduce or modify social interactions to avoid people finding out about their estrangement. This can be exacerbated by very real instances of social disapproval, misunderstanding and judgment, ranging from insensitive comments to actual exclusion from particular events.

If you have been through a personal loss you’ve probably experienced it firsthand. When your little sister, who was your bestie, is suddenly fighting you about everything, it can feel like your world is crumbling. Suddenly you’re trying to cope with the death and your support system is no longer supported, but a source of additional stress. You are grieving the death, while feeling like you are losing your family as well.

Let me be clear about one thing, what’s the number one source of conflict? Anyone want to take a guess? No, it’s not only money or material things! Its emotions and distance. As hard as it is for many of us to admit, countless families who never imagine there would be conflict over emotions are suddenly overwhelmed by disagreement and power struggles that are left behind, which leads to distance.

There are many other sources of strain and conflict that can also arise for families. There is no way I could cover them all here. There are many reasons that death can bring out the worst in people. But one important thing to know is that when we are under the stress and crisis of a death, our brains actually work differently. There are parts of our brain that think rationally and there are parts of our brain that think more on impulse and emotion (is it safe to say stupidly). When we are in a heightened state due to a death it is harder to think with that rational part of the brain. We default to using the emotional parts of our brains – parts of our brain that struggle with reasoning, memory, and long-term thinking.

Lost of LoveLosing and containing your control, one thing that is important to remember about death and grief is that it typically means a total loss of control. We all want so desperately to be able to control and change what has happened, but with death control is lost. This change, loss of control, and loss of stability can be terrifying. During this time certain family members will be seeking any way they can to regain a sense of control, and believe me it does happens to every family. This may take shape in immediately trying to plan the funeral without getting anyone else’s input, yep sad but true. It may mean immediately sorting through belongings or trying to take charge of finances. Understanding if desire for control is a factor in behavior can be important in how others in the family respond. Helping another family member to have a sense of control, while communicating how their actions are making others feel, can be helpful. If control seems to be a driving factor, other family members may be able to help guide this person’s energy into things that would be useful and that may cause less family strife.

missing you

I needed to take timeout and took a few steps. Grief makes us all do crazy, sometimes crappy, things that we often regret. It is important to cut people (and ourselves) some slack. People do all sorts of awful stuff when they grieve, so view these things as poor choices due to an impossible time in life. It doesn’t override the many years of wonderful things you know about the person. Try to remember that this may be the exception in their behavior, not the rule. Just like you need to be gentle and forgiving with yourself, you need to be gentle and forgiving with others. My search of mediation has helped me with my process of grieving and has helped me manage my inner conflicts because I could not do it on my own.

My sister Carmen R.I.P. 07/04/17

Ethics | Relationships | Dating

Things I need to know. How many of you out there have had, or heard, horror stories from dating? Or, you may even be the one responsible for them! Yeah, I can’t believe I just said that ~ but it’s true!

I am asking you, because these past several weeks my personal life became unraveled because I lost control of my being. Lost control what I believe in….”dating” can be fun and yet it can have some hinder agendas’…

I, for one, am aghast at some of the things I encounter personally and know what’s out there: a date who spends the entire evening texting a friend; or a date that are, “Social Media Whores” who needs to reprise themselves constantly with a twice daily dose of selfies; and those dates who expects “payback” after three dinner dates; another who only calls at 3am – when they’re already outside your apartment; And of course, a million of those who don’t call when they say they would.

So, you all think you’re a decent person! Maybe and you probably are. So what about the people you dated? But if everyone is so good and ethical, where the hell do all these atrocities come from??!!! Why do generally good people treat their partners, however lengthy or temporary, with a completely different (or absent) set of ethical standards? Where are YOUR ethics when it comes to dating? I’m so confused!

My blog is meant to establish some bi-lateral standards of ethical dating, yes people Bi-lateral to include both men and women, in gay, straight or combination of relationships. Dating is a collaborative effort, and there should be a common set of standards within which we agree and operate. Would you do business with someone without signing terms and conditions? So why would you go out with someone without an agreement on ethical dating standards?

We all spend so much of our life dating, that it only makes sense for us to be more strategic about the process. All relationships go through that wonderful honeymoon phase, but what happens after good graces have faded? And it does! Many relationships may continue down that path of happiness and bliss, however, some couples’ bliss turns sour (worst than grapes) as they get to know each other on a more personal level. Trust me, been there!

Everyone has feelings!!! And everyone has hopes, dreams, ambitions, and passions. There is something deeper within all of us that totally begs for respect and honor no matter who we are. Being accountable for being honest with ourselves and one another about our contributions to both the problems and the solutions…it requires a deeper level of transparency . . . accountability starts with self, agreed?! . . .

Interacting through words and behaviors in a way that honors the other and respects difference, we are all human and respect is an honoring of the dignity and equality of all persons. It involves communicating with each other and behaving towards one another in ways that demonstrate the value of the other person.

We all have opinions, don’t we? I do, I believe there are dangerous warning signs of relationship issues such as having a hot tempered person can be admirable when they are is defending your honor, but a relationship with a person who has a short fuse can be dangerous. Abusive relationships are never worth staying in, however, unfortunately many women do not recognize – or ignore – the early warning signs in a relationship.

If your partner wants to know of your whereabouts at all times, their jealousy might be something in danger of spiraling out of control. It’s sweet when your partner is thinking about and wanting to be with you, however, it is unacceptable for your partner to expect you to punch a time clock all the time. Be wary of such possessive behavior, and don’t be afraid to ask others of their opinions. If your friends have not met your partner yet even though you’ve been dating for several months, this is another warning sign. Abusive relationships often start with a fair bit of antisocial behavior.

Can you figure out the “ending warning signs in your relationship”? I thought I did, but do you know sometimes, a warning sign you notice in a relationship has nothing to do with abuse or neediness, but rather quite the opposite as your significant other begins to “phase out” of the couple, wanting to move on to other things. While a lot of breakups are mutual and drama-free, there are some that get very ugly before reaching a conclusion. It happened to me not so long ago and it is important to show respect for each other when you are dating, however, when things get difficult, many couples forget this level of courtesy for one another.

Withdrawal and avoidance from activities you once enjoyed can be a first red flag. If your partner is simply unwilling to spend time with you like he once did, then you may begin to suspect he has either moved on or is seeing someone else. This can be a hurtful assumption, so be sure to have a basis for your accusation before making it, but know avoidance can definitely be the beginning of the end.

In general your partner do not want to spend a lot of time talking about their emotions, and when a relationship is turning sour, you will find they are making such a minimal effort it is as if they have already left. They may put off conversations or do their best to prevent them because in their minds they may already be planning a breakup.

If your partner is putting you down, this can be another sign of a waning relationship. Responding negatively toward you is a hurtful tactic sometimes used to push a significant other away when they are no longer wanted. It may, in your partner’s mind, be easier for your partner to hold you at a distance through causing the blame to fall on her/his shoulders than it is for her/him to outright say what she/he is feeling.

Many have difficulty expressing their feelings, and being cruel is one solution. Treating your passions as stupid, making fun of the way you look, or not allowing you to complete a thought out loud are just a few of the “put downs” that may take place if you are dating a disinterested person who no longer has any regard for your feelings.

Lastly, a couple may find that their biggest red flag in a relationship is due to a severe escalation in their amount of arguments. Suddenly they fight about anything and everything, making it difficult to function as a couple. Fortunately, most couples do not resort to verbal or physical abuse, but many breakups occur due to too much arguing. Couples drift, and this can cause their life ambitions to take off on divided paths, forcing them to leave a once valuable relationship behind. If your partner is being argumentative, try your best to open up the lines of communication. However, be prepared for a potentially disappointing response.

Warning signs in relationships are not always obvious, but when it is time for something to end, you will probably know it. Unfortunately many women act as if they do not know until things have escalated to such a point that leaving is a much more emotionally painful experience than what was probably necessary.

My advice to you, you have value and love to give, and it is a shame to waste it on someone who is just going to throw it away. Never stay in an abusive situation, regardless. Your life is too valuable, and somewhere out there is a decent person for you who will treat you right.

Keeping Love and Passion Alive. Just saying! Tell her you love her and tell her she’s beautiful and buy her flowers (you don’t need a special occasion) surprise her! Take her out on a date and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money! Cook for her; make it a romantic dinner, complete with candles, flowers and a nice bottle of wine. Have interests of your own!!! That’s right people! Don’t get it twisted but keep it real and do make time for her. Encourage her to follow her heart’s desire; do find a common hobby or interest. Listen with your ears and your heart. Let her know you’re paying attention. And by all means, ask her what she would like to make your relationship better. Be open to what she has to say. Follow up your words with actions, important!!! Give her space (we all need to it); and finally people, please communicate, listen with respect. Repeat what you heard her say. Validate her points. Validate her.

Chef EdieM

Puerto Rican Pasteles

Pasteles have a long history, but they are still extremely popular in modern-day Latin American cuisine. They are very common at festivals, family gatherings and parties. This is a very labor-intensive dish; the very same reason why most people buy their “pasteles” from someone who has the experience and the patience to make these, like myself. Puerto Rican pasteles are much more labor intensive than any other due to the masa mixture which consists of a combination of grated green banana, green plantain, taro, and calabazas (tropical pumpkins), and is seasoned with liquid from the meat mixture, milk, and annatto oil (annatto seeds infused with olive oil). The meat is prepared as a stew and usually contains the combination of pork shoulder, potatoes, chickpeas, olives, and capers seasoned with bay leaves, recaito, tomato sauce, sofrito, fresh garlic, and annatto oil. The pork shoulder can also be replaced with chicken.

Assembling a typical pasteles involves a large sheet of parchment paper, a strip of banana leaf that has been heated over an open flame to make it supple, and a little annatto oil on the leaf. The masa (dough) is then placed on banana leaf and stuffed with meat mixture. The paper is then folded and tied with kitchen string to form packets.

Once made, pasteles can either be cooked in boiling water or frozen for later use. Because they are so labor intensive, large Puerto Rican families often make anywhere from 50-200 or more at a time, especially around the months of November throughout January, “the holiday seasons”. They are usually served with rice and pigeon peas (arroz con gandules), roasted pork, and other holiday foods on the side.

Let’s make this happen…

12 green bananas
4 plantains
2-3 lbs. yucca
1-2 lbs. white yautía
1 large calabazas
¾ cups milk
1 ½ tsp. salt
2 tbs sofrito
2 tbs annatto oil

3-4 lbs. of shoulder pork, skinned and diced into small tiny pieces
3 small Idaho potato, diced into small pieces
1 ½ cup cooked chickpeas or garbanzo beans
½ cup sliced Spanish stuffed olives
½ cup of sofrito
3-4 bay leaves
2 cans of tomato sauce
1 tbs olive oil
Salt and pepper

2 batches of parchment paper to roll pastels
Banana leaves – cut into rectangles of 10” x 8” approximately
Cotton kitchen soft twine (pasteles string)

Let’s make this happen…


1. Peel all vegetables, diced into small pieces and shred them using a food processor or the old fashion way you can use a hand grated (which will take you all night).
2. Add the sofrito, salt, annatto oil and milk to the masa mixture. Mix it all well to create a homogenous smooth mixture. The annatto oil will provide a bright orange color to the mixture.
3. Add salt to taste, or Sazon Goya con cilantro y achiote, Sazon Goya con ajo y cebolla (Goya seasonings).

1. In large stew pot fill half-way with water; add salt and add pork. Bring to boil, reduce heat and cook for an hour.
2. Rise to medium heat, add the rest of ingredients and cook for another ½ hour.
3. Once everything is cooked, add the olives.

1. Place a piece of banana leaf on top of the parchment paper (it’s similar to butcher’s paper).
2. Take a little bit of the sauce of the mixture and wet the banana leaf.
3. Take a large spoonful of masa in the center of the banana leaf. Using the spoon, form a well in the center of the mixture;
4. Place about 2 tablespoons of the mixture in the well. Carefully fold the leaf over, in order to cover the filling with masa on all sides.
5. Fold the paper like a letter and fold in the sides to create a compact package. Set aside and continue making/packing them. Repeat this procedure until all the masa mixture has been used. You can now freeze or cook them when you are ready.

Let’s tie them…
1. Take two packs placing them on top of each other (facing two large ends together) and start binding them together with cooking string. Don’t tie to tight (during cooking they will expand).


1. In a large pot of water add 2-3 doubles sets of pasteles into water; bring to boil for about 45 minutes or until the masa is cooked; (if pasteles are frozen, place them directly from the freezer onto the boiling water and boil for about 1 hour).
2. Drain them well when you take them out of the water (place them onto a plate and let sit for a minute or two) cut sting and unwrap.
3. Serve over rice, side with pork and salad or just enjoy alone.

BTW: Pasteles can stay in the freezer for up to three months if well sealed and wrapped!!


Celery Stalk Healthy Benefits | Wasabi Bloody Mary


Apples walk away with most health accolades, and spinach leads the healthy veggie brigade. Compared to them, celery is somewhat unsung, but once you read it’s incredible–and nearly endless–list of health benefits, you will quickly join its growing list of lovers.

  • Celery is a great choice if you are watching your weight. One large stalk contains only 10 calories! So, add celery to your shopping list and enjoy it in your salads, soups and stir-fries.
  • Celery reduces inflammation. If you are suffering from joint pains, lung infections, asthma, or acne, eating more celery will bring much-needed relief.
  • It helps you calm down: Celery for stress-relief? Oh yes! The minerals in celery, especially magnesium, and the essential oil in it, soothe the nervous system. If you enjoy a celery-based snack in the evening, you will sleep better.
  • It regulates the body’s alkaline balance, thus protecting you from problems such as acidity.
  • Celery aids digestion: some say celery tastes like “crunchy water,” and that is the reason it is so good for your digestive system. The high water content of celery, combined with the insoluble fiber in it, makes it a great tool for easy passage of stool. Note: because celery has diuretic and cleansing properties, those with diarrhea should avoid eating it.
  • It contains “good” salts. Yes, celery does contain sodium, but it is not the same thing as table salt. The salt in celery is organic, natural and essential for your health.
  • It cares for your eyes. One large stalk of celery can deliver up to 10 percent of your daily need for Vitamin A, a group of nutrients that protects the eyes and prevents age-related degeneration of vision.
  • Celery reduces “bad” cholesterol: There is a component in celery called butylphthalide. It gives the vegetable its flavor and scent. Guess what: this component also reduces bad cholesterol! A Chicago University research shows that just two stalks of celery a day can reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) by up to 7 points!
  • It lowers blood pressure: An active compound called phthalides in celery has been proven to boost circulatory health. Raw, whole celery reduces high blood pressure.
  • It can amp up your sex life: and this is not just hearsay. Dr. Alan R. Hirsch, Director of the Smeel and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation, says two pheromones in celery–androstenone and androstenol–boost your arousal levels. They are released when you chew on a celery stalk.
  • Celery can combat cancer: Two studies at the University of Illinois show that a powerful flavonoid in celery, called luteolin, inhibits the growth of cancer cells, especially in the pancreas. Another study suggests that the regular intake of celery could significantly delay the formation of breast cancer cells.

Useful Tips: Choose celery with upright stalks that snap when bent. The leaves should be fresh and crisp. When selecting celery, remember this rule of thumb: The darker the color, the stronger the flavor. Freshly chopped celery retains its nutrients much better than if you chop and store it even for a few hours. Steamed celery not only retains its flavor, but also most of its nutrients–up to 99 percent of them, in fact!

Sake Bloody Mary
Sake Bloody Mary

Making new traditions for the past two years with my sister, Felicia. Day trips at the beach are among the most honored family traditions with my sister. Excitement, with very little stress, and over all fun times at the beach. Our day starts at our favorite spot Pop’s Garage on the boardwalk in Asbury Park down at the Jersey Shore. Felicia will have her Mimosa and I the Bloody Mary. By the way Asbury Park is a great place to shop, dine, stroll the boardwalk or enjoy the beach and surf. The city has a wonderful downtown mixed with restaurants, clubs with a mix of art galleries, antique and retail shops. After several hours in the sun, we head out to McLoone’s Asbury Grille for our afternoon drinks and lunch with it’s fine casual menu in a relaxed atmosphere with both indoor and outdoor seating. Great!!


Bloody Mary | Two of my favorites

Wasabi Bloody Mary

  • 1 Celery Stalk


Homemade Sake Bloody MarySake & Shōchū Bloody Mary

  • 3 cups tomato juice or V8
  • 1 1/2 cups Shōchū
  • 3 tablespoons Sake
  • 2 tablespoons Teriyaki sauce
  • 2 tablespoons pickled Ginger brine
  • 2 tablespoons Mso paste
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice from 1 lime
  • 2 teaspoons Wasabi powder, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons Togarashi (red chili peppers Japanese condiment)
  • 6 lime wedges from 1 lime
  • 1/4 cup Kosher salt
  • 12 pieces pickled ginger
  1. In a large pitcher, combine tomato juice, sochu, sake, teriyaki sauce, ginger brine, miso paste, lime juice, wasabi powder, and 1 tablespoon togarashi. Stir well until miso paste is fully dissolved.
  2. On a small plate, combine salt and 1 tablespoon togarashi. Run a lime wedge around the rim of 6 tall beer or Collins glasses and coat edge with salt-togarashi mixture. Place a lime wedge on the edge of each glass and fill with ice.
  3. Pour cocktail into glasses and garnish with a cocktail skewer threaded with 2 pieces of pickled ginger.



Chef EdieM

Smile, because your beautiful

God’s Perfect Plan | Saving Your Life

‘Me too’: Millions of women share sexual assault stories as new ‘Him though’ hashtag urges men to take responsibility

‘How many women will it take to say #MeToo before men talk about #HimThough?’

The tales of the “Harvey Weinstein” is now a thread that has tangled its way through Hollywood, connecting women, mostly actresses, in a depressingly common way.

Women in general all seem to have a Harvey story, each one a little different but with essentially the same nauseating pattern and theme. Women were bullied, cajoled, manipulated, and worse, and then punished. My hope is that Hollywood makes itself an example and decides to enact real change, change that would allow women of all ages and ethnicities the freedom to tell their stories—to write them and direct them and trust that people care.


I wrote and posted this article almost a year ago (07/19/15). Due to the strong contents and thoughtful thinking of other’s feelings I pulled it off immediately; being scared of rejection, unheard and misunderstood. In recent weeks (back two years ago), I had given it some serious thoughts and realized in order to help others I need to help myself first.

…dedicated to all Adult Victims of Child Abuse…

To my friend Rose Discroll, who has given me the courage, confident and inner strength to express myself freely and to love myself again.

If you’re an adult who experienced sexual abuse as a child, know that you’re not alone. In the U.S. alone, 44% of sexual assault victims are under the age of 14, and 93% know their perpetrator. No matter what, the abuse was not your fault. It’s never too late to start healing from this experience.

Exposing Truth, those that have faith vary in their intensity of belief. Some are so convinced of the goodness of what they have faith in that, no matter what happens to cast doubt on their beliefs, they are determined to hold onto their faith for as long as they live. For them there is no alternative, they have faith that what they believe to be true is, if truth exists at all, true. Others have a faith that may be weakened by the conflicting beliefs of friends, or by the influence of unexpected events.

You cannot have faith in something or someone simply because there is nothing better to believe in. Faith cannot be based on negative choices, but must be based on a real, strong, and sometimes total; desire that what you believe should be true actually is true. You must want what you have faith in to be true. Since nothing can be fully proved or disproved, unless truth has been somehow revealed, that which people have faith in is, for them, that which is true…

This past 18 months my life has taken many twists and turns that I cannot keep up with; there are chapters in my life that are closing and opening both at the same time; people are coming into and out of life so fast that I can’t even catch a break. This past month has been the hardest for me, my family and dear friends who know me could relate to all my endures of many years seeking the truth and the answers that were never available to me; the admission of guilt from another that I long awaited for which will never happen; and the final resting of confirmation of shame. But today, as I rested and watched a film called Simon Birch, about a young boy with a stunted growth is convinced that God has a great purpose for him and heroic aspiration decides to seek out his destiny with the help of his best friend, but soon begins to doubt his faith after his long journey. I began to realize the story line was so much related to me. Do I have a purpose for God and what is it? When will I know or has it happen already. The movie interprets what is our faith in life, the truth and what you strongly believe in.

For 50 years of my life I have kept a hidden secret in fear that I thought I was responsible for and that I would suffer dearly with my life. Some changes and current events in my life in the past 18 months I’ve come to realize the only way I can help myself is to speak the truth. I am a survivor of childhood abuse. My story is my own and not my siblings (for they have their own story to tell).

Why now? Many reasons which I truly believe God has a plan. Maybe from the very first day it all started. I don’t know, but whatever it is, it has taken me on a journey doubting my Faith and why I was left behind by God (so I thought). I need to share this because the world has to realize that children are born totally innocent. Children are not property; they are not objects. The damage done to them is not imagined by the child and it is not and well ever be forgotten by the child. Even if the child blocks it out, the damage is there, lurking and festering and causing all sorts of problems and struggle for the person that it happened to.

It is not okay because it happened “in the past”, it is not excusable. The abusers are the ones who are accountable for that damage; the guilt and shame belong to them and the only way for an adult child who grew up with abuse to overcome the belief system that manifested because of that mistreatment is to realize that first of all, it really happened no matter how many times or years gone by. Those two things set me on the right road to emotional healing.

And I needed to talk about it. I needed to be heard, but not by the abusers.

Is there a place to hide?
Is there a place to hide?

Being a survivor of childhood abuse had left an experience an array of overwhelming and intense feelings of fear, guilt, and shame which I had suffered for the past 50 years. It made me a lonely woman for many years, not trusting in anyone and very little hope Faith in God. My head was never the same, I was careless, and cold hearted and strayed away from my other siblings for years. I just didn’t care about anyone or anything!

My abuser was known to tell me that it was my own fault at that time and almost twenty-one years ago my abuser said it never ever happened and I just made it all up while he laid in death bed. Typical shifting the blame away from him, where it belongs and placing it on me; along with this, my abuser made many threats to me into not speaking up; convincing me that he will bring harm and even death to my other siblings if I ever spoke about it.

“Child abuse damages a person for life and that damage is in no way diminished by the ignorance of the perpetrator. It is only with the uncovering of the complete truth as it affects all those involved that a genuinely viable solution can be found to the dangers of child abuse”.

When I was “in the fog” for many years which means not understanding exactly why some of the details about these situations were wrong, but having this “feeling” or suspicion that they were wrong, I could never put all these “facts” together and therefore I was never able to see the real truth. When I first started this blog I was afraid to share too much, I thought it would turn people off. Don’t get me wrong, the opening of my blog does mention there would be allot of interesting blogs but I was afraid that I would be seen as a “another victim story”, that I would be seen as someone who was “stuck in the past” and unable to “get over it” and that I was somehow deficient in putting the past behind me, even though I already knew that the way that I recovered was by facing the past, realizing the lies verses the truth and changing my false belief system, I was still scared of rejection and of being unheard and misunderstood. I was afraid that I was “wrong” even though this truth was what set me free.

I was also afraid that people would write comments sticking up for the abusers. I lived in a world for such a long time where the abusers were protected and the victims were to blame, that it took a long time to sort it all out. I could not go against that deeply ingrained teaching especially when it came to my parents. I still feared the same consequences that I feared when I was a child. I was pretty confused. It isn’t that we don’t live in that same world now but the difference is that I no longer believe that abusers should be protected and I no longer discount myself. I do not acknowledge that false system anymore. There is no excuse for devaluing a child; there is no excuse for mistreatment, there is no excuse for abuse. I don’t want to live in that insanity anymore.

The final outcome: Presently I am face to face once again with my abuser, after many years since we last spoke I was told I need to make amends with him and try to forgive him for his sins because he has terminal cancer! I have Faith in God, and pray everyday that my abuser will tell me to forgive him, I highly doubt it!

I have written this passage on one of my pass blogs, I just wanted to re-share again, I feel no matter what happened in the past I need to keep strong and focus.

“Peace and Mind”, more often than not, being an older woman I’ve faced my insecurities and fears head on, and have dealt with them to the best of my abilities. I have had enough life experiences to know what matters and what doesn’t. Consequently, I am above the petty nonsense. I have figured out what makes me look and feel good in the inside and out, and knows enough about relationships to not bother with feminine trivialities. I am self-confidence that could only come from experience and the knowledge whatever life has given me.

I realized that what I had been missing all of these years was a meaningful relationship with people. I re-connected with my family again; I made more time for my friends. Life was and is great. People notice this; they can see when you are happy on the inside because it shines through on the outside, this all comes from having inner strength and you can only achieve this by going within yourself and adopting strong values”.

Please, don’t be afraid to share your thoughts and feelings, because someone out there is going through the same thing.

If you are an adult dealing with the effects of childhood sexual abuse, please remember that you are not responsible for the abuse and that you are not alone. You can overcome the effects the abuse may have on your life. Please call the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800.656.HOPE) or visit the Online Hotline. It’s never too late to get help.

Chef EdieM

Chef EdieM

Latest Update: 10/19/17 No acknowledgements; no apologizes

This moment is about you and your need to talk, your listener can wait until you are ready for some answers. Telling others about your abuse is a difficult but courageous task. It can be as much empowering to you as it seems frightening. Best of all, telling a safe person allows you to get your experience out into the open and not still bottled up inside of you. Silence is a dangerous thing, it is a stumbling block in the healing process. With courage and hard work, you too can remove all the stumbling blocks on the path of healing and reclaim your life.

Herring |Toast |Salted Cucumber |Horseradish

Herring is one of the best sources of vitamin D as well as other vitamins, proteins and minerals. Vitamin D plays a prominent role in the body’s absorption of phosphorus and calcium and in the formation of bones.

Herring & Toast

Like crisp bread and potatoes, numerous studies show that those who frequently eat fish are healthier. Herring, like salmon and other fatty fish, contains valuable Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids that promote a healthy heart, regulate blood pressure, reduce blood clotting and strengthen the immune system.  Maybe you are a big fan of Herring or maybe you’re not. But don’t judge because you never had it prepared right, however if you don’t appreciate Herring you miss a fish that’s good for you, Omega 3 source, Vitamin D, Vitamin D12 and  besides being good for your health and all that for a very cheap price.

Let’s make this happen,

A potent combination of fresh Herring, pungent horseradish and refreshing cucumber that’s a smashing start to any meal, here is what is needed to make it happen.  30 minutes to 1 hour preparation time | Serves 4


½ Cucumbers, peeled, thinly sliced on a mandoline

4 tbsp Grated fresh horseradish

2 Heaped tablespoon crème fraîche

2 tsp English mustard powder

4 fresh Herring fillets

Salt | Freshly ground black pepper

1 Tsp butter

To serve:

4 Slices soda bread, toasted, buttered

1 Red onion, thinly sliced

1 Lemon

Preparation Method:

  1. For the salted cucumber and horseradish, place the cucumber slices into a colander and sprinkle with plenty of salt. Mix well and leave the contents to drain over the sink for half an hour.
  1. Rinse the salt off the cucumber with cold water, then leave to drain. Gently wring out any excess moisture from the cucumber with your hands, then set aside.
  1. In a clean bowl, mix the horseradish with the crème fraîche and mustard powder, making sure the mustard powder is well combined with no lumps. Set aside.
  1. Season the Herring fillets on their skin side with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  1. Heat the butter in a frying pan until it is foaming. Add the fillets skin-side down. Place a heat-proof plate onto the cooking fillets, as this will make sure they stay flat and cook evenly. Cook for 4-5 minutes, or until nearly cooked through, then turn the fillets and cook for 30 seconds, or until just cooked through.
  1. To serve, place a small handful of the cucumber onto the toast. Place the cooked Herring fillets onto the cucumber. Place a dollop of the horseradish sauce on top and garnish with a little of the sliced red onion and a squeeze of lemon.

Chef  EdieM

Why Do Restaurants Fail | The Common Mistakes


It is a fairly commonly known fact that the majority of restaurants that open will fail within three years or sooner.  However, some restaurants hype up their openings and then fail disastrously, which can be a lot more publicly humiliating. Restaurant failure is common among all types of restaurants, whether they are fast food joints, fine dining establishments, or everything in between. Most restaurants don’t fail because of just one problem. It usually a combination of problems that finally reach a head and the business can’t be saved.

Many people have the intention opening a restaurant and thinking they will hire a manager to run the front of the house and hire a chef to run the back of the house.  You feel everything will be taken care of and being there is not important.  Wrong, if you want to own a restaurant, but do not work in it, well then don’t expect to get paid!!  Restaurants can’t support that extra cost very long.  Besides weak management occurs when you hire someone who you think will be a great manager, since they have experience and excellent references. Then a few months down the road not only don’t they manage the restaurant, they alienate staff, drink away the profits and/or steal money. Who’s to blame? You!  Don’t ever trust anyone completely with your restaurant, money, and staff.  It’s your business reputation and you need to take care of your own business.

I’ve said it over and over again that a bad location is one of the biggest problem and reason a restaurant fails. It has poor visibility, no parking, no foot traffic, just a few of the problems associated with a bad location. Trust that’s not a good thing!

While I have your attention, lack of capital and negative perception of value is a huge problem when opening a restaurant.   Depending on the type of restaurant you want to open you will need at least $50K – $100K to start.   I’ve talked with many restaurant owners who have fallen into this trap.  Learn to be frugal with open credit and stop taking money you cannot pay back. Use your money as a savings and spent only in case of necessity.  The restaurant that runs out of working capital before it can start running to make a profit is doomed to failure.  So with that said, please by all means have enough cash in reserve for the first year to make sure that you have enough capital for all the uncertainties you‘re going to face in the initial period of operation. This is very important because in the first year you cannot predict the course of your financial operations.

One important issue concerning money is Taxes; both state and federal taxes come with hefty penalties, fees and other assorted fines when paid late. It can also cause the state or other local government to shut down a restaurant completely if taxes aren’t paid.

This is something that gets me upset, “The bad partnership relation”.  I’ve experience it, seen it with other associates and friends.  If you share ownership of the restaurant with a partner (s) especially if you are with your business partner in close friendship, kinship or had a romantic link.  You will share financial risks which can be very stressful.  Unfortunately, many restaurants fail because of the inability of partners to resolve their disputes.   Business partners must collaborate to resolve such issues. They need to objectively review the facts and analyze the situation. You should determine your common ground and value of the relationship for the sake of the business.  You must clearly recognize each party’s contributions to the restaurant business.  Functional roles should be clarify and distinct from equity ownership. It is increasingly important to separate these two concepts as the business grows.  The best solution is to formalize roles and duties or simply draw up a contract.

The restaurant business is tough, everyone in it knows it. Everyone looking to get in it ignores it. The cold fact of the matter is that opening up a restaurant may be one of the worst investments you could make with your money. That’s a horrible, sobering statement coming from someone like me, but it’s the truth.   Ugh! Why the hell would anyone want to get into this business with a failure rate like that?   Risk and reward my friend, risk and reward.

Take a look at the external issues that contributed to the failure and tackle those you can control, you can’t control the economy; you can control the people you hire.  Don’t blame other people – failure is an event, never a person, recognizes that failure is going to happen – if it doesn’t, it probably means you are not setting high enough standards or not taking enough risks.

Sorry, I failed!

Chef EdieM

Sweet Braided Loaves

“This recipe was handed down from my grandmother to my mother; my mother had told me stories that her mother made Sweet Braided Loaves during the winter months into early spring, because of cost efficiency and the loaves would last for days on. The Sweet Braided Loaves would be served with soups and stews. Back in the 50’s and 60’s living in “alphabet city”, known in Manhattan, NY that Sweet Braided Loaves were the common bread served with any dish. Throughout the years I made it for my son during the Easter Holiday changing the recipe from time to time.”

Read more: https://chefediem.wordpress.com











Garnish:  2 Tablespoon sliced Almonds, 1 egg, lightly beaten

Let’s make this happen…

  1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 3 cups flour; beat until smooth.  Stir in enough remaining flour to form soft an dough.  Stir in raisins.
  2. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough into six portions.  Shape each into a 12-in. rope. Place three ropes on a greased baking sheet and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under.  Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  4. Brush with egg; sprinkle with almonds. Bake at 350° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool on wire racks.
  5. Yield: 2 loaves (12 slices each).


Sweet Bread

Chef EdieM

Comfort Food | Chicken Pot Pie

Wake up America – Comfort Food is calling you!  During these cold winter days and nights all I do is think about comfort food, how about you?  Comfort food is traditional food which often provides a nostalgic or sentimental feeling, and is often characterized by a high carbohydrate level and simple preparation.  After a long hard day, we automatically start looking forward to dinner. We know that however rough our day was there’s something to look forward to. We seek out these comfort foods in diners, at our stoves and in the company of friends or even alone. Look, in truth, there is no bad comfort food or is there? Help me on this one, if it gives you comfort, it’s good, right?  But does that mean we don’t have our own ideas about which comfort foods are the best? I mean, obviously you already know the answer to that. Needless to say, I do enjoy my comfort foods.

This past weekend (the 2015 Oscar’s) I had made several dishes and posted them onto my social media page. What a turnout I must say it was for me!  Thank you, thank you to all my supporters and friends because the winning dish unanimously, was the Chicken Pot Pie.  This goes out to Ms. Nelly Nelly, enjoy!

Chicken Pot Pie

This was the dish that my son and I shared for many years during cold winter nights when we both lived down by the Jersey Shores.  You know, I think there’s nothing that my son loves to eat than a homemade meal.  Let’s get started on this rich, delicious and beautiful dish.  This is simple and easy.

  • 2-4 pounds of clean, diced chicken breasts and thighs,  bones and skin removed, washed under cold water and patted dry
  • 2 ½ Kosher Salt (my preference, Olde Thompson Himalayan Pink Salt)
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour,
  • ¼ teaspoon Baking Powder (my preference, Rumford reduced sodium and aluminum free)
  • ¼ cup Canola Oil
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons ice water
  • ½ cup fresh diced potatoes (steamed)
  • ½ cup fresh medium-diced carrots (steamed)
  • ½ cup fresh string beans (steamed)
  • ¼ cup yellow onions, chopped (steamed)
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley leaves
  • 4 cups chicken stock, (from cooking the chicken)

Let’s make this happen…

  1. In a 4 quart stockpot, place the diced chicken breast and thighs in 4 cups of water. Add salt and pepper. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer the chicken over medium heat until it is very tender, 50 minutes to an hour.  Cool to room temperature. Set aside for later.
  2. Sift together the flour, the remaining 1 teaspoon salt, and the baking powder. Place in food processor.  Add the shortening and pulse until the shortening is completely incorporated.  Add the ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until the mixture holds together into a ball.
  3. Divide the ball of dough in two, with one ball larger than the other. Roll out the smaller ball about 1/4/ inch thick and cut into strips.
  4. Lay half of the chicken in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. Distribute half of the vegetables over the chicken.  Top with strips of unbaked dough. Top with the remaining of vegetables. Pour the broth into the casserole until reaches the top of the chicken.
  5. Dust top with minced fresh parsley leaves.
  6. Roll out the larger ball of dough about ¼ inch thick and place over the Chicken Pot Pie.
  7. Preheat the oven to 350F and place on a baking sheet to make it easier to transfer to and from the oven. Bake for 1 hour, until the crust begins to brown and the pie is bubbly.  Serve warm.

Chef EdieM Chicken Pot Pie

Pairing Wine:  Chardonnay

Chef EdieM


My Life in Boxes


These are series of short stories of my life, before and after my AVM surgery and recovery. Stories, from what I could remember for many years from notes to letters to myself; written on old Christmas wrapping paper used as scrap paper; paper towels, napkins and I even wrote on my clothing. I was strongly advised to write things down so I won’t forget. I’ve written notes during pre-op and post-op, part of my life story over twenty-eight years’ worth.  Silently I had put my life away in boxes for years, I never read nor looked at any my notes. I couldn’t, not until now.  old script

I am a mother, a sister, an aunt, a lover, an activist – violence against children. I am a woman who adores life, who loves to cooks and going on cooking auditions, always intrigued with the unknown, enjoys writing, have a passion for the arts, and helping those less unfortunate as much as possible. I had endured sexual abuse since the age five and it continued into my mid to late teens. I can be raw at times, however still keeping it real.  I have a serious cleaning disorder, I brush my teeth in the shower, I swear, I spit like man and I dislike rude people. I am not different than the average person, so what makes me stand out from the rest of the population, I am a survivor of a right temporal Arteriovenous Malformation (AVM) on my cerebellum. I had a Craniotomy 27 years ago.


PART 1:  The AVM

During my pregnancy and going on my third trimester my AVM became full blown during an outing at a public art show in Manhattan, NY. My surgery took place at New York Presbyterian/Columbia. During my “AVM recovery” I had to learn to live all over again-literately!!! I had an abnormal tangle of blood vessels in the brain that can cause devastating effects and it began to bleed. Most likely the AVM had existed in my brain for many years, perhaps for most of my life. I was fortunate to have received superb health care from doctors at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia and from Dr. Robert A. Solomon, Clinic neurosurgeon affiliated with The New York-Presbyterian/Columbia – Neurological Surgery and University Hospital.

In the late summer of 1987 the AVM in my brain began to bleed, causing symptoms for the first time. I began experiencing headaches that, in retrospect, were more severe than ordinary headaches. I had a pounding sensation in the right side of head. I went to my doctor, and he thought I had a cold. I slept allot because I couldn’t take muscle relaxants for the pain due to my pregnancy, but it got worse.

Then, mid-September of 1987, Sunday; the internal bleeding increased and my symptoms escalated. “It was Art Show day, which I was really looking forward to. “I woke up with my head hurting really badly. As usually, my pregnancy didn’t allow me to take any medication only Tylenol; I drove myself into the city and while driving into the Holland Tunnel my head was pounding. I threw up in the car. I managed to clean up and parked the car in the village. Avoiding being negative, I remember saying to myself, “it’s the pregnancy don’t panic”. I met up with my friends, we walked for an hour, I drank allot of water because of the heat, then suddenly I felt really sick, I thought if I ate something it would go away. But it didn’t. While I was walking back to the vehicle I felt a pop on my right side than a burst of bright tiny dots appeared, than total silent was creeping on me. I decide to go home and rest. The following day, I called out sick from work, called my doctor explained all that transpired, I was advised to go to the emergency at a New Jersey Hospital. The hospital physicians ordered an MRI, which revealed that I was experiencing serious bleeding in the brain. The AVM, only one to two centimeters in diameter, was large enough to be life-threatening. I was then advised to abort my pregnancy and immediately needed to have surgery. Being confused scared and without knowledge of the AVM I immediately contacted a reliable sort, my sister–in-law, Marion Marin who strongly suggested New York-Presbyterian/Columbia.Immediately, calls were made and within days I was transferred to New York-Presbyterian/Columbia.

Doctors at New York-Presbyterian/Columbia stabilized me but decided that surgery on the AVM should be postponed after the cesarean section delivery. The risk of coma or death as a complication of surgery is much higher of brain the team wisely chose not to operate immediately after the hemorrhage occurred.

After spending three weeks in the hospital, I was able to go home. My doctor told me he was handing my case over to Dr. Solomon, a neurosurgeon who eventually would perform my surgery. I left with warm memories of New York-Presbyterian/Columbia.

I faced difficult adjustments in my day-to-day life. It was critical that no sudden movement cause the AVM to begin bleeding again. “When I was released from the hospital, they gave me information about what I could and couldn’t do,” “I wasn’t allowed to do anything that would cause my brain to be active. I couldn’t lift, couldn’t paint, or work out. It was torture. It was horrible.

On November 18, 1987, I was ready for surgery. Dr. Solomon, who directs the endovascular neurosurgery program at the New York-Presbyterian/Columbia, operated on me. Then, over a period of nine prolonged and difficult hours Dr. Solomon performed a Craniotomy procedure to remove the malformation.

Dr. Solomon told me that I wouldn’t have to worry about the AVM for now and that I should know since I already had suffered an AVM that I may suffer another in my lifetime, regardless the outcome. When I left the hospital it was kind of a shock; I was out in the real world where everyone wasn’t as nice. During this period I was working with a major trading firm down by the World Trade Center area and I lost my job after the surgery.

I personally felt left to battle the demons of the world by myself; my life as I knew it turned upside down. I was seen differently by people; couldn’t work and constantly being discriminated because of my seizures episodes caused by the surgery; memory loss, rudeness was the new for me! Rejections, loss of friends, and sadly some family members turned away from me because they could deal with me. I lost my faith and questioned it many times. I suffered serious disability- loss of memory, I had to learn to read and write; almost instantly become a single parent and surrounded by domestic abuse didn’t help; and finally I moved hundreds of miles away to fix my untamed life.

I learned over the years of recovery that it was up to me to grow, adapt to new beginnings and be able to look out of the box. Which I did, years later I briefly studied Paralegal while working for a law firm; I worked for the Government | Army and then decided to become a Surgical Technician. In the next few weeks will be taking my state board exam for my license and I will continue my education, enjoying my family and friends, cooking, writing, volunteering and eyeing a possible future in the field of nutrition, health. “I am so blessed to have my life back after 27 years.” life is good again not perfect but good!

Chef EdieM

Old Scripts Letters

Ensalada de Bacalao | Cod Fish Salad with Mojito

Puerto Rican Codfish Salad | Ensalada de Bacalao

Ensalada de Bacalao (Codfish Salad)

2 lbs, dry/salted bacalao, desalted
4 white potatoes, boiled and cubed
1 large red onion, peeled and sliced into rings
3 tomatoes, sliced
½ green bell pepper, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
3 hard boiled eggs, shelled cooled and sliced
4 Fresh garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 avocados, sliced
1 small jar of red pimientos, sliced
½ cup Spanish olives ½ cup olive oil 1 tbsp of white vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Rinse codfish under warm running water to rinse off excess salt. Then add to a pot of boiling water, let it boil for about ½ hour. Drain the water, add fresh water and boil again for 20 minutes. Drain and let it cool.
  2. Shred or pull apart into bite size pieces using your fingers. Set aside to let drain and cool again.
  3. Clean, peel and dice potatoes into large cubes. Boil the potatoes for only 20 minutes. Let potatoes, sit and cool.
  4. Boil the eggs.
  5. Place the fish in the salad bowl as the first layer. Add the other ingredients except for the olive oil, vinegar & hard boiled eggs. Make other layers with the codfish and all the ingredients until all is used up., salt, and pepper. Combine vinegar & olive and drizzle over the salad. Gently toss until all ingredients are well coated with the dressing. Add sliced boiled eggs, & garnish with red pimientos.

Serves 6

Pairing: Ice Cold Mojito

Mojito Ingredients: Original recipe makes 1 cocktail Change Servings

10 Fresh mint leaves

½ Lime cut into 4 wedges

2 tablespoons white sugar, or to taste

1 cup ice cubes

1 ½ Ounces White Bacardi Rum

1/2 cup Club Soda

Let’s make this happen…

  1. Place mint leaves and 1 lime wedge into a sturdy glass. Use a muddler to crush the mint and lime to release the mint oils and lime juice.
  2. Add 2 more lime wedges and the sugar, and muddle again to release the lime juice. Do not strain the mixture.
  3. Fill the glass almost to the top with ice.
  4. Pour the rum over the ice, and fill the glass with carbonated water. Stir, taste, and add more sugar if desired.
  5. Garnish with the remaining lime wedge.

Note: If you’re going to muddle the mint leaves in the glass, add a little sugar to it too. The sugar is an abrasive and will grind up the leaves very well

Mojito Drinks



Enjoy Chef EdieM

Coconut Flan (Flan de Coco)

Let’s make this happen….

• ¾ cup white sugar
• 1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
• 1 (12 fluid ounce) can coconut milk (Goya)
• 8 eggs
• 1/2 cup fresh shredded coconut
• 4 oz Philadelphia original cream cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Place 1 cup of the sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook gently, without stirring, but shaking occasionally until the sugar has melted. Continue cooking until the sugar has completely melted and turned golden brown; then add 2 tablespoons of sweetened condensed milk. Pour into a large, glass baking dish. Spread the caramel evenly over the bottom of the dish, then set aside to cool for 15 minutes before proceeding.

3. Once the caramel has hardened, shred coconut over caramel.

4. Pour the condensed milk, coconut milk, cream cheese and eggs into a blender. Blend for 3-5 minutes until smooth. Pour into baking dish over the caramel.

5. Pour 2 cups of cold water into larger deep baking pan, then place glass baking dish into the larger baking pan. You want to prevent the burning of the caramel and helps keeps the flan from sinking. Bake in preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until set. When done, remove from oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the dish to separate the flan from the sides. Refrigerate overnight. Place flat dish over baking pan, flip and enjoy!

Latin Fusion for any Party

Latin Fusion for any Party

I’ve complied all the fixing you’ll need for a very special Latin Fusion Party!  Invite your family and friends over and impress them with a Bistro-Chic Style

Latin Fusion Dinner Party

Arroz con Leche/ Spanish Rice Pudding

Arroz con Gandules/Spainish Rice

Pasteles/Latin Savory Cakes

Pernil/ Roast  Garlic Pork

Yucca con Mojo/Yuca with Garlic Sauce

Pumpkin & Spanish Flan

Clam Soup with Garlic & Shrimp

Deep Fried Peppers Stuffed with Cod

Mini Meatball Sliders

Ginger Holiday Martini

whole roasted pork
Roast Pork


Growing up and being Latina….
I was completely unaware that I was an American Latino until maybe the fourth or fifth grade. I realized it more and more during my lunch time, and while some of my classmates carried brown paper bags with them to the cafeteria, others got in line for the free lunch or ate at the corner deli shop. As for me, I had to walk home every day with my sisters back and forth for my lunch.

First, we were strapped for money (coming from large family of seven at the time) so I needed to go home and also the food was great especially the left-overs (e.g.) arroz con frijoles (rice and beans) and if there were no leftovers it was Jamón y queso y pan con mayonesa (ham and cheese sandwiches with mayo).

As my journey through school continued, my parents couldn’t help me with my homework the way other parents could because my parents lacked education. I was totally on my own when it came to my education. I lacked talent on building friendships during school yet strictly paid attention in class to avoid the risk of being a failure. I also had to translate for my parents, not like English to Spanish, but translate what was being said so they can comprehend the English language and as a young confused girl, this was the worst thing you could ask me to do since I had no idea what was going on!

I was bullied in school and in the neighborhood, because the way I looked, having pale skin, reddish blonde hair and green eyes – features people don’t typically identify as Latina. I was constantly asked and questioned, “Where are you really from?”, or “Can you speak Spanish, right”? Or constantly questioned why I looked different from my other siblings whom had dark skin and dark hair.

Indeed it was painful and rough for me growing up and did I mention it affected me socially, too. I couldn’t do a lot of things my friends could, such as sleepover or movies. Strict Latino up bringing parents or just punishment.

In the end “Yes, I am Latina,” proud of it and it was different and difficult then, but much, much better now.

Jumbo Shrimp Stuffed with Cilantro & Hot Chile

stuffed shrimp
Stuffed Jumbo Shrimp with Cilantro & Chile

What you will need to make the awesome dish!

  • 8 – 10 jumbo shrimp, in the shell (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • fresh thyme, leaves stripped
  • Juice of 2 limes (about 1/4 cup)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, plus additional for seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large jalapeno, with seeds
  • 2 scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro leaves


Let’s make this happen

  1. Prepare an outdoor grill with a medium-high fire. Without removing the shells, slit about 3/4 of the way through the shrimp down the ridged back and devein that runs down the center.
  2. Rinse with lemon water (gives it that fresh taste) and pat dry shrimp. Whisk thyme leaves, lime juice, 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and black pepper, to taste, in a shallow bowl.
  3. Lay the shrimp cut side down in the lime mixture, cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. In a food processor, pulse the garlic, jalapeno, scallions, remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to make a coarse paste. Add the cilantro ( I like allot of it, but than again that’s me) and pulse just enough to incorporate into the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the opening in the shrimp and close the shrimp.
  5. Grill the shrimp shell side down (to keep filling from falling out) for 3 minutes. Turn to the other shell side, cover, and grill another 2 minutes or until the shrimp turn pink and are slightly firm to the touch. Sprinkle with salt and serve.


Bon Appetit from Chef EdieM ~ Have a Corona on me, with a side salad of mango’s and greens mix.

Puerto Rican Rice & Pigeon Peas | Arroz Con Gandules

Arroz con Gandules

Rice and beans are a delicious staple in Latino community. If you have ever tasted Spanish rice and enjoyed it, than you will love this recipe. It’s a simple recipe that the whole family will enjoy. Make this flavorful dish at home with these easy steps.


1 medium chopped onion
½ cup sofrito
1 small can tomato sauce
1 medium can pigeon peas
1 tablespoon Manzanillo olives
1 teaspoon capers
1 cup of chicken broth
EVOL (extra virgin olive oil)
4 cups of extra long grain white rice
** 2 for 1 (2 cups of water for each cup of rice)
Garlic powder |salt |pepper to taste

Let’s make this happen:
1. In a saucepan add a bit of EVOL let heat.
2. Stir fry onions till tender.
3. Add sofrito for about 2 to 3 minutes.
4. Add tomato sauce, rinse and drain beans, the raw rice and chicken broth and stir well.
5. Add enough water to cover the rice, (2 for 1) or about 1 1/2 inch above rice line.
6. Let boil (uncovered) on medium high heat until water evaporates.
7. Lower heat to low and cover with aluminum foil and cook for about 35 to 45 minutes. Serve.

Tip: Using a sheet of aluminum foil to cover your rice pot before putting on the lid helps & is a secret so all the rice cooks quickly.

Serving Per Recipe: 6-8
Chef EdieM

Philippine Festival | Jersey City, NJ

The Philippine Festival Saturday, September 25, 2014 – 11am to 6pm down Newark Avenue in Historic Downtown Jersey City! http://jcdowntown.org/

A festival is usually an event ordinarily staged by a community, centering on and celebrating some unique aspect of that community and its traditions, festivals often serve to meet specific purposes, especially in regard to commemoration. Festivals that focus on cultural or specifically ethnic topics also seek to inform members of their traditions and the involvement of community elders sharing stories and experience provides a means for unity among families.
Food is so vital to many festivals that often highlight the output of producers from a certain region. I spent my Saturday by eating, walking and celebrating Jersey City’s own Philippine Festival which was in the heart of downtown. It had all the traditional food, dancing, martial art demonstrations, kids’ activities, craft vendors and more!
Hundreds of people had attended this year’s Philippine Festival to see the many vendors, shops, art and music; it was FUN FOR THE ENTIRE FAMILY!

OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner

Snatch up vintage threads from OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner. Kimvee offers a wide variety of unique vintage clothing, jewelry and accessories.

http://omvintage.etsy.com http://www.ohmyvintage.com http://ohmyvintage.blogspot.com http://twitter.com/ohmyvintage

OH MY VINTAGE, Kimvee owner

OH MY VINTAGE has extensive collection of vintage goodies that are hand selected, affordable and will go well with anything in your wardrobe.



Cool down with home-made Buon Antipasto by Frank and Ira (originally from the Bronx).  BuonAntipasto@aol.com or on Facebook: BuonAntipasto  Buon Antipasto by Frank and Ira

Chow down some homemade “Pulled Chicken Adobo” by Manila Girl for only $5  Facebook.com/manilagirlnycwww.manilagirlinc.com   @manilagirlinc #manilagirlnyc   Facebook.com/manilagirlnyc





Downtown Jersey City had a many events going on that day and unfortunately I could not attend all of them by the two I did was extremely enjoyable.

Philippine Festival, Downtown Jersey City, NJ 1734 1735 1736 1737 1738



Chef EdieM





Can’t wait for your arrival…

We haven’t met yet, but I want you to know that I think you’re going to be awesome, so I’m making great plans for you!

I don’t want to appear presumptuous, but just so you know, I’m intending to enjoy every single day and hope that you’ll be kind enough to appreciate my positive attitude.
I plan to endure any challenging moments with grace and dignity, and beg forgiveness in advance for all the mistakes I’ll doubtless make.

I’m grateful for the opportunities you will afford me and value the people who will accompany my journey. I hope that together we discover wisdom, and that love and happiness abound, please let me be a kinder, gentler, more patient and accepting version of myself, and help me to empower other souls to discover their beauty.  Let us learn whatever lessons we need to make the world a better place, and give us courage to take steps in the right direction.

I hope you will be a year that people remember fondly, as one that lit the imagination, inspired gallant action, promoted peace and integrity, and is associated with many happy memories.

Well, I’m looking forward to greeting you, but meanwhile I must bid farewell to 2012 in  just two short  months and there is so much to do in little time.

Enjoy your arrival to celebrations around the globe, and I’ll be waiting as the clock strikes 12 in the longitude of my abode.


With much Blessings, Love, and Smiles in anticipation!

How to Help the Homeless This Holiday Season

Give back to your community this holiday season by taking the time to help people in need Contact local homeless shelters, food banks and soup kitchens to find out what they need most.  Helpful tips and using caution.

  • Help a homeless family transition from a shelter to their own apartment by giving them pots and pans and other everyday necessities that they’ll need to get started.
  • Hire a homeless person to help you with chores around your house. Ask a shelter to recommend someone who is willing to work for pay.
  • Volunteer your time to read or play with children living at a shelter.

Important Steps:

  • Provide warm coats, blankets and clothes for people in need.
  • Purchase gifts made by residents in a shelter so they’ll receive the proceeds.
  • Help wrap gifts that have been donated to the shelter so residents can have the fun of unwrapping a holiday surprise.
  • Buy canned goods and other nonperishable items and deliver them to a soup kitchen or food bank.
  • Teach a homeless person new skills to help him or her get a job.
  • Purchase nonprescription medicines such as allergy and cold pills, adhesive bandages and aspirin for residents.
  • Donate paper goods such as toilet paper and paper towels to the shelter.
  • Help shelter residents get into the holiday spirit by providing a Christmas tree, menorah and other decorations to liven up the place.
  • Bring cookies and punch to a shelter for an impromptu holiday party.
  • Hand out food vouchers to people on the street so they can get something to eat.
  • Order an extra meal to go when you eat out, or bring your leftovers home, and offer the food to someone hungry who is living on the street.

Deadlines are Approaching.  

Thank you and warm wishes to everyone,

Chef EdieM


Halloween | Fun Party Pops


is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.

HalloweenTraditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

Halloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”). The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.



Halloween is one of my favorite fun past time, prep is super fun when you invite your little goblins to help decorate adorable cookies on sticks.

Halloween Fun Party Pops

What’s needed:

1 roll Pillsbury refrigerated sugar cookies
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
16 flat wooden sticks with round ends

White Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsweetened baking cocoa
1 to 2 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
A of assorted candies (gumdrops, candy corn and licorice)

Let’s make this happen…

1. In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in flour until well blended. Reshape into log; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze cookie dough 1 hour.
2. Heat oven to 350°F. Cut frozen dough into 16 (1/2-inch) slices; roll each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheets, arrange balls in circle, 3 inches apart and 2 inches from edges. Securely insert a stick into each ball with end pointing toward center of cookie sheet.
3. Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
4. In small bowl, stir white frosting ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
5. In another small bowl, stir together all chocolate frosting ingredients except assorted candies until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
6. Frost half of cookies with white frosting; frost remaining cookies with chocolate frosting. Arrange candies on frosted cookies to create jack-o’-lanterns, cats, owls or ghosts.

• In a large bowl, break up cookie dough. Stir or knead in flour until well blended. Reshape into log; wrap in plastic wrap. Freeze cookie dough 1 hour.
• Heat oven to 350°F. Cut frozen dough into 16 (1/2-inch) slices; roll each into ball. On ungreased cookie sheets, arrange balls in circle, 3 inches apart and 2 inches from edges. Securely insert a stick into each ball with end pointing toward center of cookie sheet.
• Bake 10 to 14 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 2 minutes; remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 15 minutes.
• In small bowl, stir white frosting ingredients until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
• In another small bowl, stir together all chocolate frosting ingredients except assorted candies until smooth. If necessary, add additional milk 1 drop at a time for desired consistency.
• Frost half of cookies with white frosting; frost remaining cookies with chocolate frosting. Arrange candies on frosted cookies to create jack-o’-lanterns, cats, owls or ghosts.
Note:  To make Black Cat Cookie Pops, for each cookie, slice a large black gumdrop into 3 round pieces. Use small end for head; use largest piece for body. Cut ears and tail from third piece. Frost cookie with orange frosting. Arrange gumdrop pieces on frosted cookie to form cat.

Happy Halloween!

Enjoy Chef EdieM

Garlic Dipping Sauce | Mojito

This Garlic Dipping Sauce | Mojito is the recommended garlic dipping sauce to serve with tostones (twice fried green plantains) or aranita (shredded green plantain fritters). You can make the Mojito in advance, up to about 3 days, and keep it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature about an hour before serving. Garlic







1 cup olive oil, warmed

1 whole head of garlic peeled, crushed and finely chopped

1 small onion, finely diced

3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped

Juice of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lime

Salt to taste


Let’s make this happen…

  1. Blend all the ingredients together in a nonreactive bowl. (A nonreactive bowl is one made of material that does not react chemically to the citrus acids.)
  2. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat 2-1/2 to 3 minutes or until a thermometer reads 200°. Carefully add onion; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in garlic; remove from heat.
  3. Transfer mixture to a medium mixing bowl.
  4. Cool for about 20 minutes.
  5. When room temperature, add zest and juice of limes and lemon.
  6. Mix until well combined.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until serving.

Tip: Use a blender or food processor to mix the ingredients.


Enjoy Chef EdieM

Restaurant Review – Europa South

Europa South | Corner of 35 South, Point Pleasant Beach, NJ 08742

I cannot understand why this restaurant has 4 stars, when clearly it’s very underwhelming. I have to say after many meals at Newark restaurants the sangria at Europa South was watery lacking in taste. I have had many dinners at Iberia in Newark and the Barge in Perth Amboy and the paella at Europa South pales in comparison.  Plus at the Newark restaurants you are greeted with a salad as part of the meal. Europa South is a solid choice on the shore for this type of interpretive Spanish/Portuguese food but by no means the real deal.  Shadowy with all the original dark wood accents, chairs, tables and lamps, Europa South is that traditional, restaurant with a menu walking the fine line between Spanish/Portuguese dishes but at times not so successfully.

how-to-respond-to-a-bad-reviewDuring my Labor Day Weekend, I and several friends arrived at Europa South around 9:30ish on a Saturday.  We met up with another friend and her date; they were having the garlic shrimp appetizers. The shrimps were very small and slightly overcooked, but had good flavor, not great.

As we waited at the bar I noticed there were about four empty tables and not a waitress, hostess nor management was insight to greet us or suggest any seating accommodations to us.

However, I did noticed the available two empty bar stools next to where my friends were sitting. I was told by the bartender, “the customer sitting there was outside smoking”, I waiting for 15 minutes than decided to sit down until his return. I was entertaining myself with the live performance; my friends placed their drink orders. The bartender “RFB” (Rude Frustrated Bartender) was not attentive at the main bar and every time when one of my friends ordered a drink and walk away to dance the “RFB” would approach me with her slow, spacey voice, yelling why the tab wasn’t paid before their departure onto the dance floor. Really!

Completely unprofessional and not to mention just plain rude; as I was trying to explain to her, everyone was dancing she turned her back on me and walked off. At one point the “RFB” went off the charts and basically ignored anything that was said to her. I motioned with my hands as to say “so what are you doing?” and much to my surprise, she made the same motion back to me! Unbelivable! My friend put the “RFB” on check, “did you forget that you have my credit card and running a tab”. Awkward!!

Closing time: Half hour prior our departure my girlfriend’s boyfriend orders a round of coffee and Flan for the group. Talk about being nasty, the “RFB” began hammering me and forgetting her place in bartending, heard my comment, “…well the Flan is good…service sucks”, mangling the drink glasses, the “RFB” stated, “I was never given any indication that anyone was in any way displeased with my performance.”

“After those scathing comments, and speaking with the night manager regarding how we were being treated by his “RFB”, he clearly stated he was standing by her, when I asked about the incident, his responds was he could not comment. At that point I figured it was time to exit.

For her part, the “RFB” feels that both her comments and conduct were justified in her actions.  “Despite the fact that I said, “You should get a real job” was sort of ‘friendly and attentive,’ of me to say such was ‘well executed,’

My Final thoughts: Now, naming names is obviously not all that uncommon for a restaurant review, good or bad. What makes this situation odd is the rarity of not naming names, I could have placed both their names onto my website, but that will possibly preclude further work in the service industry. “With her slow, spacey voice, she seemed to forget her primary objective was to serve customers quickly and with respect.”

The staff is obviously immature and apparently hasn’t had any “customer service” training. This place has the most unfriendly bartenders and management of any kind. They never smile never carry on a conversation at all.

They will come around and take the chair from you and tell you that you can’t sit here because, “the person sitting there is outside taking a cigarette break for 20 minutes and I need to wait”.  They would rather have the underage college kids walking up and buying beers and not leaving a tip than to have adults who tip sit at the bar.

New staff needed badly!!!!!   You have a nice place with a decent menu but you need to hire some mature, conscientious, customer oriented staff or at the very least, tell the current staff that they are being paid to “serve” the customer which includes timeliness and respect.  The service was absolutely disappointing. The waiters had extremely good mood…so good that they were dancing, they were yelling each other and they generally made fuss annoying the customers. In addition they could hardly notice us when we wanted something (water, more drinks, the bill etc.).

My friends spend several hundreds of dollars within 2.5 hours but the price is not comparable to the food and service – too much money for poor service. In conclusion the whole experience was not good, a first for me “Nightmare”  I would never go again to this place for any reason and I don’t recommend this restaurant, not even to my worst enemy. OK, so it’s not Newark, head to the Ironbound for the real thing… It’s a haul but well worth it.


Chef Edie M

Couples Preferences | Dinner Conversation & Sex

Summer is just around the corner and you know what that means … dinner parties…time to party! And when you’re kicking up your heels ladies at all of the warm weather cocktail parties you’ll attend this season,  please do remember … don’t forget to dust off your cocktail party etiquette.

Let's party!!!!
Let’s party!!!!

A party is where people go to have fun and enjoy themselves spending time with friends or family, as well as good conversation and great food always gets the party going in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are things that shouldn’t be discussed at the dinner party table or is it?  Dinner parties are always great, but you have to consider the many taboo topics that have been banned by all of society. They aren’t illegal topics and you may get away with bringing them up depending on who you are with, but in most cases, you should just leave these topics to another type of gathering so you thought!

Sex, whether discussing your own sexual relationship, that of one of the dinner party guests, or that of anyone else, This is just not a conversation that should be brought up at the dinner table during any dinner party. This is a raunchy subject for any dinner and can quickly sour anyone’s mood, especially if they are offensive in this sort of conversation. I think that by far most important part of a great dinner party is a relaxed, hospitable host, one who’s game for whatever the evening holds, ready to enjoy the people around the table, literally. Whether you’re spreading a feast or a simple dish and are feeling stressed or utterly at peace, your guests are here to spend time with you in your own household. Great dinner party warmth begins and ends with the spirit of the host.

Well, if I may say I’ve had some interesting discussions over a dinner party recently.  Conversations among the guests were fluent and easy going, I listened and yet as I nodded my head to agreement many times-not realizing that I was not really part taking in any conversations.  Boring right!

That’s when I decided to spice things up a bit . . 

“Would you have an extra partner in your bedroom to help out with your relationship”?

To my surprise  the participants, whose average age was 40’s plus, responded to the question and added about their sexual self-esteem and their relationships.

“The most taboo elements of society are also the most misunderstood, and sex is no exception”.

A hard fact sexual compatibility in relationships is hugely important especially in an open extramarital affair — possibly even more important than we give it credit for, because we are terrible at crediting the right things. Obviously relationships come in all stripes, but generally speaking, one of the primary factors that distinguishes romantic love from platonic love is whether or not you and your loved one touch each other on the junk.

Communication is important.  Mutual generosity is important. Men’s inner emotional lives are important. Women’s sexual boundaries are important. And vice versa on all counts, of course. But when talking about sex, female trauma is not subordinate to male frustration. Men not “getting” enough sex from their partners  (as though partners couldn’t possibly want sex, or be justified in not wanting it) has been our oversimplified narrative for generations.  Prioritizing men’s sexual issues over women’s is not a revolutionary.  Exploiting one couple’s very specific emotional trauma and dysfunction in order to support sweeping, regressive generalizations about the sexual function of entire genders is utterly fucked up.

If you read any sex advice at all, you’ve probably been told that the hottest, safest, and most mutually fulfilling sex requires honest and open dialogue. But some things are easier said than, done. Some of us grew up learning that sex was very bad and would definitely kill us, which doesn’t exactly make it easy to talk about.  Some people, especially women, get the message that what matters is pleasing your partner, and that speaking up for what you want somehow detracts from that. Some are just shy. And even those lucky enough to have experienced a sex-positive upbringing can use some specific pointers from time to time.

Getting comfortable with communicating about sex may translate to benefits in the bedroom — especially if the lines of communication are open during the act.

How people talk about sex is an important topic.  Communication is also key to having enjoyable sexual encounters.  By all means, is Venus closer to Mars or Mars to Venus whatever it takes to make the relationship to work, than yes!  Most married couples often find themselves in a love triangle, no matter how happy they can be in their marriage there is the third person standing by.  

So you are in love with another and feel confused about certain issues in your life.    All seems fine in your relationship but the the third person is at your side too.

“A mistake for sure!”

The third leg is the awkward one, the leg that has to be removed to balance out the table.  The heart is open to one person and the third person becomes the painful one.  Hearts break there is no lying about that, remember you can’t have that third person.

Before the third one came along all was just perfect in your relationship, but things are gradually changing.  You are committed but can’t fix the problem so easily, the thing is your current partner doesn’t fulfill your every need and the other person fills the void that your partner doesn’t fill in your heart.  You find pleasure in the third person’s company, it makes you feel great while your spouse is happy with you, sex and your relationship but fails to understand what is going on in your life.

The situation becomes problematic, and in time it can destroy the relationship. Usually it is two women and a man involved, and coping with the third person is mind blowing.  You are committed but can’t fix the problem so easily, the thing is your current partner doesn’t fulfill your every need and the other person fills the void that your partner doesn’t fill in your heart, this is my opinion.

“Sometimes it can feel right to you when making such decisions but the problem can worsen.  Will he or she become closer”?

People grow and change all the time accepting these changes in a marriage that is difficult.  I’m not an expert here, I believe that disappointed marriages can make these faults, married women or men want to have different partners and having your wife or husband to go through these changes can have many effects in a marriage.

“Would you tolerate these changes?  I couldn’t, but than that’s me”!

I was speaking with a couple who has been married well over 30 plus years, they both stated the following.

“There are three of you, the husband wife and the other person who disturbs your marriageThe other problem is to the third person who is often left out of the triangle.  Issues arise the third person is not going to find the love he wants in a relationship, he is just wasting his time, and would only dream of something he can’t have with this woman.  Loving another man’s wife is an experience he may never have again and he has over come the fear of meeting someone with these little moments.  

The third person in my opinion shouldn’t get involved in a couple’s relationship.  It is painful, fearful, and not fair to the couple.  Something one can only dream of but won’t get further than that.  One person has to move out of this relationship and that is the person who got in last the third one.

The husband trusts his wife and he knows she won’t cheat on him with the third person, when he sees the changes in her he can feel a bit insecure about certain behaviors noticed.  If he knows she is cheating he could try to look away from the problem.  Instead he would love her more and still put her on a pedestal.  Not every man would see the situation in the same way.  

Accepting such issues can be more of a problem to deal with than an acceptance.  Recommit may or may not work in a love triangle, whereby, in certain circumstances the husband agrees for the wife to be with another”.

The good,the bad and the beautiful!
The good,the bad and the beautiful!

Threesomes, both men and women can find themselves fantasizing on what it would be like to have an extra person in the bedroom.   Sure, it sounds fun and exciting, plus a great way to add some spice into your sex life, but could it actually be damaging to your relationship?

As to my  closing remarks, these are my opinions…..Let’s  be open minded here, are threesomes great for some relationships?   They will either bring you closer or show you all the reasons why you shouldn’t be together.  They are great eye openers!  Threesomes can be a source of fun and spice up a relationship that may be getting a bit boring.

However, I’ve heard some mixed opinions I wouldn’t say there is a right or wrong answer.   Some say it’s awesome and everyone should experience it at least once in their lifetime,  and others say it has caused their relationships and some good friendships to go down the drain.  I personally never have done it, yet!   It’s not my cup of tea!   But here’s a question for you –

Are you willing to share your lover/spouse with another person and take the risk of losing love?

Chef EdieM

Life and Sorrows


“There are things that we don’t want to happen but have to accept, things we don’t want to know but have to learn, and people we can’t live without but have to let go.”



If future generations are to remember us more with gratitude than sorrow, we must achieve more than just the miracles of technology. We must also leave them a glimpse of the world as it was created, not just as it looked when we got through with it.  Lyndon B. Johnson

“Your dexterous wit will haunt us long, wounding our grief with yesterday, your laughter is a broken song; and death has found you, kind and gay. We may forget those transient things, that made your charm and our delight, but loyal love has deathless wings, that rise and triumph out of the night. So, in the days to come, your name shall be as music that ascends, when honor turns a heart from shame…O heart of hearts! O friends of friends!”  Siegfried Sassoon

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don’t resist them – that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like. So, with each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it, can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes to us. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.  Anonymous


 Chef EdieM

Essence | Life | You

Time Clocks 

Time | We only have so many hours in a day, days in a week, and so on. Once they’re gone, there is simply no way to get them back. Scary isn’t it. So we schedule and plan according to time. We make appointments and arrangements. We calculate travel time, meeting time, mealtime, bed time and wake up time. We use a schedule because the last thing we want to do is waste time. We even try to schedule some down time and vacation time.

What does all this scheduling say about the value of time? Well let’s see we even buy it and sell it as if it was the same as any other commodity, but it’s not. We can change how we use it and who we spend it with, but once we run out there is no way to get more. So we use our clocks and our watches to keep track of this precious and limited commodity. On the surface, it all seems very reasonable, especially from a productivity standpoint. However, the trouble is, time is more than productivity. Time is not just something we exchange for money and I think it is absolutely vital that we fully comprehend that.

Time is the essence of life | There are plenty of things you can get by without, but time is not one of them. You can live at a week without food and maybe days without water. But you cannot live for one second without time, and that’s the true no matter who you are or where you are.  No amount of influence, power or money can change the fact that, when your time is up, you are done.

Time is not limited to the productive side of life because everything in life requires some of our precious time. Relationships are built from time. Every experience represents a certain amount of time. Amazingly, we spend about a third of our total time allotment sleeping. Our humanity is all about how we spend our time.

Is time management according to the clock beneficial to our quality of life or does it have an adverse effect? These are great questions to ponder because we have all been convinced that the clock is our friend, even though it doesn’t always seem that way. It is true that the most financially productive people on the planet are generally strong proponents of time management. The results they produce seem to speak for themselves, don’t they?

What about all the other aspects of their lives? Things like their family life, recreational activities, health and fitness levels, and sense of enjoyment and satisfaction. Well, for the most part we don’t know about those things. We just know that they have made a lot of money. 

So obviously, time management has its place in a balanced life.  We would never want to assume that being financially successful means neglecting other important areas of life. Many times, the exact opposite is true. The skills that lead to a successful mindset can be applied across the board. A truly successful life includes all those other aspects.

I think it is healthy to allow room in our lives for a more casual view of time. We all have natural rhythms and cycles, and living by the clock can cause us to lose touch with this part of life.

  • Is it better to eat when we are hungry or when the clock says it’s time?  Sure, we can condition ourselves to be hungry at certain times, but is that really the healthiest way to live?
  • Do we know how much sleep is actually best for us personally, or does the clock control our sleeping patterns?  Eight hours may work for the majority, but what does that have to do with your needs as an individual?

Summer has more hours of daylight and this affects everything around us; it is a time of increased activity. The amount of daylight has an undeniable influence on the natural world.

Is it practical to think that we can completely break free of the clock and let nature take over? Probably not, but is there something we can do to get more in touch with our place in the natural rhythm of life? If you can make room for it, why not try this. One day a week try to avoid letting the clock run your life. On that day, don’t set the alarm or wear a watch, and don’t make a schedule. Wake up when you feel like it, eat when you get hungry, and let your day unfold at its own pace.

Try to spend extra time in meaningful conversation and contemplation. Avoid the temptation to crowd your day with activities. Instead, relax and let go. The rhythm of life will make itself felt if you choose to allow it.

Essence | Life | You
Essence | Life | You

Who are you
Although I’m trying really hard to resist, but who are you?

No, it’s not a trick question and I am not asking you for a date nor your marital status, or you life history.  “I don’t give a shit about the trick question,” because it’s not the whole truth.   People, I’m asking how well you actually know yourself as a person. In other words, who are you underneath all the trappings and titles, make-up, life’s mask?

Who Are You
Who Are You

“Ok”, now I have your attention. What do you see when you look at your very inner core?

Why most people are not in touch with their true self and some are? From a very young age we are asked: “What do you want to be when you grow up?” I think the true question and emphasis should be more on “WHO” you want to be when you grow up. Come on, people am I right or what?

How can we align our life with our true self if we don’t really know who we are?   How can we harmonize our environment with our deepest values and passions if we have never discovered our innermost true self?  Our ability to find meaning and purpose in this journey we call life hinges on how well we actually know ourselves. Discovering our true self can open the door to a life that feel fulfilling and exciting.

Discover yourself

  • Values, these are the things that matter most to you on the deepest levels. What are your personal values and your priorities and your beliefs?
  • Strengths, what natural abilities do you possess and which ones do you want to cultivate and develop? It becomes your personal assets.
  • Passions, what are you passionate about? What is it that gets you excited or demands your undivided attention? Making sure that your passions align with your values and standards is vital when trying to create internal harmony.
  • Identify your tendencies; your tendencies often become habits, either good or bad. Knowing your habitual tendencies can help you to analyze areas that need some improvement. It can also help you identify which tendencies most contribute to your strengths and successes.
  • Acknowledge your limitations; you will never be the very best at everything. It’s better to know which skills or activities are beyond your ability for now. That way you can delegate those things to others while you focus your energy where it’s the most effective.
  • Set your goals, goals need to be specific, measurable, achievable, and realistic. Clarity is a key ingredient when it comes to setting your goals. Clarity leads to action, lack of clarity leads to confusion and inaction.
  • Establish your direction, once you understand your values, strengths, passions, tendencies, limitations and goals – you need to have a destination to move toward, a direction.

“Take the time to know yourself; you are a beautiful inside and out, you are unique ”.

Chef EdieM

Roast Pork | Pernil Asado

Roast Pork | Pernil Asado This traditional Puerto Rican roast pork recipe results in a tender and succulent, melt in your mouth entree for the dinner table.  Pernil Asado is pork leg, pork shoulder or Loin, marinated in a sauce made with beautiful spices and beer, onion, garlic, scallions, achiote and cumin, then slow roasted in the oven for hours. A few minutes at the end of the slow roasting time crisps up the skin and you will have a hard time deciding if you like the tender meat or the crackling skin better!



 1 (10 to 12 pounds) pork leg or shoulder with bone-in (I prefer without bone)

1 large white onion, diced

8 scallions, chopped

10 cloves garlic, crushed

3 tablespoons ground cumin

1 tablespoon achiote powder

1 ½ teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons white vinegar

6 cups dark beer

Kosher salt |freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 Let’s make this happen:

  1.  Place pork in a large roasting pan that fits in the fridge and your oven.
  2. To make the marinade: Place all ingredients in the blender or food processor. Process until well combined.   
  3.  Make deep incisions on both sides of pork and rub the marinade all over the pork. Cover pan with plastic wrap and let marinate for 24 hours in the fridge.   
  4.  Pour the beer and ground achiote over the pork leg and let it marinate for another 24 hours, turning the pork every 8 hours. When ready to cook, remove from refrigerator and let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.   
  5.  Place the oven rack in the lowest position and preheat the oven to 325F. Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and roast for about 5 to 7 hours or until tender. To keep the pork from drying out you will need to bathe the pork with the pan sauces, using a soup ladle, about every 20 minutes.   
  6.  When the pork is tender remove foil from pan and let broil about 5 to 7 minutes or until skin is crisp and crackling.

 Serve with:  Puerto Rican Rice and Pigeon Peas (Arroz Con Gandules) and or salad; read blog for recipes.


Chef EdieM

Plantains | Plátano

Welcome! Peter & Lauren:


My loving son, Peter-Michael gave his girlfriend, Lauren a promise ring this past winter.  Soon in the future there will be a wedding.  I am very excited and looking forward for an extended beautiful family.  Welcome to the family Lauren, I can’t wait!


A plantain to the untrained eye could easily be mistaken for a banana. It looks and smells like a banana, but if you ever bite into a raw plantain (plátano in Spanish), you’ll know it’s not.

Spanish green bananas
Used to make Tostones

Plantains are bigger than bananas, harder to peel (especially when green), and cannot be eaten raw. They must be cooked for consumption. So, why are they so popular in Latin cuisine? Plantains are very versatile. They are always ready for cooking no matter what stage of ripeness – green, yellow or black, and plantains are used in different dishes from appetizers to desserts.

Stages of Ripeness
A plantain is a fruit, but considered a vegetable. When green, they are bland and starchy, much like a yucca root or potato. Medium ripe plantains are yellow or yellow dappled with black, and they are slightly sweet. When the skins have turned almost black, the plantains are fully ripe, aromatic and sweet.

How to Peel a Plantain
Peeling a plantain can be tricky. Ripe plantains peel easily, like a banana. Green plantains are very difficult to peel.   Before you begin peeling a plantain, bring it to room temperature. If you’ve store your plantains in the refrigerator, the cold temperature can make it twice as hard to peel.

Tip bit: Soak the plantains using warm to hot water for a few minutes to help remove the skin.   Use a sharp knife cut both ends and slit the skin from tip to tip.  Peel under warm running water and wear gloves to keep your hands from becoming stained.  Place the peeled fruit in salted water to keep it from discoloring before cooking.

Buying Plantains:  Plantains are widely available throughout the U.S. and can usually be found in the produce section of your local supermarket. At the grocery store, look for firm plantains. Avoid shriveled, squishy, or moldy fruit. You can ripen plantains by storing them at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Turn them daily. It will take seven to ten days for green plantains to fully ripen. If you aren’t ready to use them when they’ve reach the desired stage of ripeness, you can peel and freeze them for up to three months.

I like to buy a bunch of plantains while they are green. This way, I can enjoy them over several days and at each delicious stage of ripeness. When still green, I prepare tostones or plantain chips seasoned with salt and pepper.  They go well as a side dish with rice and beans.

Plantains are a staple in the Latin diet. They are prepared many different ways, but tostones is the quickest and easiest. It’s a perfect recipe for beginners. You can serve the tostones immediately while they’re warm as a side dish or as a snack with garlic dip.


tostones-with-avocado-ranch-2Tostones or Plantain Chips

Prep Time: 5 minutes | Cook Time: 6 minutes

Total Time: 11 minutes

Ingredients:  2 green plantains, Oil for frying, Salt to taste

Preparation:  Heat the oil to 375 degrees.



Let’s make this happen…

1.  While the oil is heating up, peel the green plantains and then cut them into 3/4 inch slices.  Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a light golden color and semi-soft.

2.  Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels.

Tip: Maintain the oil’s temperature.

3.  When the plantain slices are cool enough to handle (about 1 minute), smash them into flat rounds.

4.  Fry the rounds in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They will turn crisp and golden brown.  Remove the tostones with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Salt to taste.

Serves: 3-4 people


Garlic Dipping Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes |Total Time: 15 minutes


  • 1 cup olive oil, warmed
  • 1 head of garlic peeled, crushed and finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons cilantro, finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • salt to taste

Let’s make this happen…

1.  Use a blender or food processor to mix the ingredients; Blend all the ingredients together in a bowl.



Chef EdieM