I am a huge fan of Mexican food. The more I learn about Mexican cuisine, I find there are
endless opportunities to eat healthy and hearty meals.
This is something I made up years ago trying to cut out meat in my diet.
It can be a dip, filling for burritos/enchiladas or eat it with rice.
Extremely versatile recipe.  Also cheap and mostly from the pantry.

1 15 oz can of black beans or red beans with the liquid from the can.
1 8oz can of tomato sauce
2 cups of frozen corn
1 chipotle pepper from can + 1 tbsp of sauce
1/2 med. onion chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
cilantro for garnish
1 tbsp oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp of oregano
1 tsp of cumin
1 chili powder
salt and pepper to taste.

In a med sauce pan heat oil and add onion and saute till tender.
Add garlic and oregano, cumin and chili powder, stir and saute till well incorporated.
add chipotle, beans, tomato sauce, and bay leaf.
Stir and let in come up to simmer.
Add Frozen corn and simmer for 10 minutes.
Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Your choice of chips, rice, tortillas.
Also top it with cheese, sour cream.

*If you want to add more heat, try adding chopped jalapenos to the recipe.

Traditional Jamaican Breakfast.
Ackee and Saltfish.

We were lucky enough for Karen our fabulous massage therapist friend, to make us Ackee and saltfish during our trip to our cabin in Maine.
She brought all the ingredients from Brooklyn all the way to Maine for this fabulous breakfast.

For those who are not familiar with this dish, please refer to the link above.

Slicing the saltfish on the bias after its been soaked in water over night and rinsed.

Ackee, its hard to find but they are available in some Korean deli's and Caribbean stores in Brooklyn. Or, on line.


1 med package of saltfish
1 can of Ackee drained.
3 Tbsp of vegetable oil.
1/2 onion diced
1 tomato diced
1 red or orange pepper diced
1 habanero pepper diced.
(Careful dicing this, it is one of the spiciest pepper in the world)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Soak the saltfish over night in water.
Rinse twice to get the salt flavor out.
Squeeze as much water out as possible.
Slice the fish against the grain.
Heat the oil and add onion, pepper and habanero till tender.
Add saltfish and saute for 3 to 5 minuets.
Gently fold in Ackee till heated through.
Add tomatoes and salt and pepper to taste.

Serve with biscuits.

Mango Salsa

OK, my husband can't eat tomatoes or onion.
I know there are a lot of people out there with the same issue.
Here is easiest recipe for Mango salsa without onions or tomatoes.
No cooking involved. Only chopping.

1 Mango cubed. Not too ripe.
1 Med. cucumber cubed, seeded and peeled.
2 Cloves of garlic finely chopped.
1/2 Inch ginger finely chopped or grated.
1 Jalapeno finely chopped. (seeded if you want it to be mild)
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime.
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients and serve.
Great with just chips or
excellent topping for chicken, pork, or stuffing for any type of burritos.



Often served as a birthday cake in Mexico.  Flan on top of chocolate cake with caramel sauce.
Baking this cake is easy with an impressive result.


Box of your favorite chocolate cake (I used Duncan Hines) or your own recipe.
1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce 

  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated 
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extract 
For the flan: In a blender, combine the evaporated milk, condensed milk, cream cheese, eggs and vanilla. Blend on high for 30 seconds. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Make the cake batter.
Coat a Bundt pan with a little butter or spray oil, then coat the bottom with 1/4 cup cajeta or caramel sauce.
Pour in the cake batter on top of the caramel sauce.
Pour flan mixture on top of the cake batter.

Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil tightly.
Place the cake pan in the a large roasting pan with water.  This technique is called bain-marie
Place the cake in the middle rack and bake for 1 hour.  To check if the cake is done poke the cake
with a toothpick.  If it comes out clean the cake is done.
Cool the cake on a rack for atleast 1 hour.  Place in the refreferator for atleast 2 hours.  (This will set the flan).
Take it out of the refrigerator let stand for about 30 minutes.
Invert the cake on a platter.

Easy Pizza
Pocket less pita.  Extremely versatile bread.  I use it often as a pizza dough.  This is healthy and easy.  Make your own by adding any toppings of your choice.

This one is with frozen spinach, artichoke ,feta cheese, shaved parmesan cheese and olive oil.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
1 whole wheat pocket less pita bread.
1/2 cup fz. spinach thawed.  (Squeeze all the water out)
1/2 cup of artichoke thawed.
Enough feta cheese and Parmesan to cover the pizza.
Drizzle of olive oil.
Salt and pepper to taste.

Add all the ingredients and bake for 10 to 15 minutes.


Japanese Hot Pot

Its that time of year.  This is a great cold weather dish that should warm you up.
All Asian's have there own version of hot pot dish.
I like this one for light and more delicate flavors of all the vegetables.

This is Kombu.  Dried seaweed.

  • Ingredients
  • 8 pieces dried shiitake mushrooms soaked and sliced.
  • 2 cloves of garlic chopped.
  • 1/2 inch of ginger diced
  • 1 shallot sliced.
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4cup mirin
  • 2 TBSP of sugar.
  • 2 (6-inch) pieces kombu
  • 1 yellow squash sliced.
  • 1/2 package of tofu diced.
  • 3 stalks of green onions diced
  • 1 cup of Asian chives diced.
  • 4 ounces daikon, peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 medium carrot (about 4 ounces), peeled, halved lengthwise, and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 ounces napa cabbage, sliced
  • 1 package of enoki mushrooms
  • 1 pound (2 blocks) frozen, precooked udon noodles, or 8 ounces dried
Soak shiitake mushrooms in water for atleast 5 hours.  Save the water from soaking.  It will be used as a stock.
Place the kombu in the bottom of the pot, add the liquid from the shiitake mushroom.
Add all the ingredients in a pot except for the noodles.  Close the lid and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the noodles close the lid and simmer for additional 10 minutes.

Ready to eat.  There is really nothing to serve with.  Everything is in the pot.

Chicken Liver Pate

This is how you impress people.  Making real pate from scratch.  The easy version.


1 1/2 stick of butter.  (Don't be shocked, Jacques Pepin uses 2 1/2 sticks of butter)
1 pound of chicken liver.
1 shallot sliced.
2 cloves of garlic chopped.
3 to 4 stalks of fresh thyme.
2 small or 1 large bay leaf.
Splash of dry sherry, white wine, cognac, bourbon or dry vermouth.  ( All I had was dry vermouth)
1/4 cup of chopped parsley.  (Optional)
Salt and pepper to taste.

Melt 1 stick of butter in pan in med/low heat.
Don't want to burn the butter.
add thyme and bay leaf saute for 3 to 5 minutes.

Add garlic and shallots.  Saute till shallots are soft.

Add chicken liver cooked till pink inside.
about 5 to 10 minutes.

Fish out the bay leaf and thyme.
Add to blender or food processor.
Add splash of dry vermouth.

Blend smooth.

Pour into a ramekin.  Let cool to room temperature.  pour melted clarified butter.  (The other 1/2 stick of butter) on top of the pate.
Chill in the fridge for at least 1 hr.

Serve as a topping for your favorite bread or crackers.

*It should last 2 weeks in the refrigerator if not used.