Chamorro Caviar

…..said to bring luck into the New Year, Black Eyed Peas is a must in the South!  Along side the many traditions, Black eyed peas is prepared and accompanied with Collard greens, which represents “green” like $.  I’m putting my own little twist on this timeless tradition, by adding limes and jalapenos, to give it a bit of a kick.  How about giving this recipe a try and ringing in the New Year with a little bit of “luck” on your side, and we all know, we could use some of that…..HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2014!

Serve with Tortilla chips

Serve with Tortilla chips

2 Tbsp. Red wine vinegar
2 fresh Limes, juiced
1 – 2 Jalapenos, chopped finely
2 – 3 whole Garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 Tbsp. Extra-virgin Olive oil
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 tsp. Black pepper
Pinch of Accent
2 ripe Avocados, cubed
1 (15 oz.) can White corn kernels, drained
1 (15 oz.) can Black-eyed peas, drained (plain, not flavored)
3 – 4 Roma tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup diced green onion
1/2 – 3/4 cup fresh Cilantro, chopped finely

Start by draining the peas and corn in a colander, allow them to sit and drain while you prepare the dressing.










To make the dressing, combine in a large mixing bowl, the red wine vinegar, lime juice, minced garlic, olive oil, jalapenos, salt, pepper, and accent.  Whisk these ingredients together to combine well.










Add the rest of the ingredients into the dressing.  Stir gently to combine well.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly.  Allow the “caviar” to marinade in the dressing several hours before serving.  Stir often.  Serve with your favorite Tortilla chips.


Chamorro Chicken Curry

CHICKEN CURRY! You either love it or hate it, right?  Wrong, because there are so many ways to prepare it, with or without coconut milk; hot, medium, mild; green, red, yellow; with tomatoes or without; Asian, India, Jamaican, Pakistani.  There are so many cultures that prepare it differently.  Mine is a simple recipe.  It’s hearty, full of flavor and so easy……


1 large Onion, sliced
1 (3 1/2 – 4 lbs.) pkg. Chicken drumstick
3 Tbsp. Vegetable oil
1 1/2 Tbsp. Salt (adjust for taste in the end)
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. Garlic powder
1 1/2 heaping Tbsp. Onion powder
1/2 heaping tsp. Black pepper

2 tsp. heaping Accent
3 – 4 heaping Tbsp. Curry Powder (I like Spice Islands brand)
9 cups Water
2 cups Baby Carrots
4 – 6 Potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 cup Coconut milk
1/2 cup Cornstarch

This is the coconut milk I like using.

This is the coconut milk I like using.

This is the brand of curry I used.  It's not as spicy as most others....

This is the brand of curry I used. It’s not as spicy as most others….











Begin by heating the oil on MEDIUM HIGH heat,  in a large 8 qt. pot.  Add the onions.  Saute them until slightly translucent.  Add the chicken pieces.  Stir to combine well with the onions.










Add all the seasonings.  Stir to combine well with the chicken pieces.










Add the water.  Stir once again to combine well with the seasonings and chicken.  Bring this to a boil.  Throughout the cooking time, remember to spoon off the fat floating on the surface of the broth.  Once a rolling boil occurs, cover and reduce heat to MEDIUM LOW and allow to cook for about 35 – 45 minutes.  Stir in between cooking time and remove the fat floating on the surface of curry.










After 15 minutes of cooking time, add the carrots and potatoes.  Stir to combine with the chicken pieces.  Cover and continue cooking for the remaining cooking time of 20 – 30 minutes more or until chicken is tender and potatoes are cooked through.  Making sure to stir often in between cooking time.  Taste and adjust seasonings accordingly, adding more if needed!










Prepare the thickening slurry by combining the coconut milk and cornstarch.  Whisk them together to form a smooth mixture.  Set this aside until the cooking time is over, or when chicken and potatoes are cooked.










Once the cooking time is up, stir the slurry once again to remove any lumps.  Slowly pour this mixture into the curry, making sure to continue stirring while pouring it in.  The curry will thicken almost immediately.  MAKE SURE to stir until well combined with the curry soup.










Allow the mixture to come up to a slight boil, and then turn the heat off.  SERVE with white steamed rice.  ENJOY!


Easy Oreo Cheesecake

OREO CHEESECAKE, it’s not only easy and yummy, it’s Oreo heaven!  It’ll take you no time to whip up this classic no bake cheesecake. The best thing about this easy recipe?  You can change out the flavors, YUP! Just use other types of cookies in place of the Oreos.  Try Nutter Butter, Chips Ahoy, even Butterfinger candy, Snickers, the choices are endless.  Let’s see what you can come up with…..ENJOY! 😉

Serving Suggestion....

Serving Suggestion….

1 (9-inch) Graham Cracker Crust OR Oreo Crust
1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. Butter, softened
2 tsp. Vanilla paste OR extract
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip topping, thawed
25 Oreo cookies, crushed (you can add more if you prefer)
Mini Oreos, for garnish

Firstly, add the 25 pieces of Oreos into a ziploc bag and using your rolling pin, pound the cookies until crushed; do not pound them too much, you want to still have larger pieces of cookies.  Set this aside.










In a mixing bowl, add the softened cream cheese, butter, and vanilla paste or extract.










Using an electric mixer, beat these ingredients together until creamy.










Add the powdered sugar.  Beat together with the butter mixture until smooth and creamy.










Add the crushed Oreo cookies, reserving about 2 Tbsp. for garnishing.  Mix to combine well with the cream cheese mixture.











Now, add HALF of the tub of Cool Whip to the mixture.  Mix this until well combined.










Pour the mixture into your graham cracker or Oreo crust.  I myself prefer a graham cracker crust because I don’t want the cheesecake to be too overpowered with the flavor of Oreos; that’s just my preference, the crust is totally your choice.  Spread to smooth completely covering the crust.










Top with the other half of the Cool Whip and spread to cover the pie completely!  Sprinkle with the reserved Oreo crumbs for garnish.  Cover and refrigerate for about 3 hours or overnight.  Slice and serve.  NOTE:  Mini Oreos used for garnishing is just another option, it’ll look just fine with the crushed crumbs.  ENJOY!


Sweet Titiyas Harina with Coconut Milk

SWEET TITIYAS HARINA!  How can anything so simple be this good?  So many childhood memories are bundled up into one of these coconut flavored treats.  Give them a try and see if they bring back some of YOUR childhood memories! 😉


4 cups All-purpose flour, (plus 1 Tbsp. if sticky)
3/4 – 1 cup Sugar, depending on desired sweetness
3 tsp. Baking powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/8 cup Crisco shortening (half of 1/4 cup)
1 (14 oz.) can Coconut milk, shaken to mix up the milk

In a large bowl, combine the flour with the sugar, baking powder, and the salt.  Stir these ingredients well to combine.

titiyas3 - Copytitiyas4 - Copy










Next, cut the shortening into pieces and distribute it throughout the flour mixture.  Using a fork OR your fingers, work or cut the shortening into the flour mixture for a few minutes.  You want to achieve bits of flour that resemble pebbles.  This should take several minutes.

titiyas5 - Copytitiyas6 - Copy










This is what the flour/shortening mixture should look like when you’re done.  If you clump up some flour in your hand, it should hold.

titiyas7 - Copy










Next, add the coconut milk, a little at a time.  NOTE:  You will NOT end up using the whole can!  I still had about 1/2 cup left after mixing my dough.  Stir quickly, using your hand is best, as you do not want to overwork the dough!!

titiyas8 - Copy










Add more coconut milk and work it into the flour.  You want to achieve a dough that is somewhat wet, but not overly sticky! You do not want a crumbly or dry dough.










Once the dough is the desired consistency, as you can see in the picture; my dough is somewhat wet but still manageable.  Divide the dough into half.  Sprinkle some flour onto a counter surface or board, DO NOT mix the dough into the flour!!  You just want to coat both sides with the flour.











Using your fingertips, spread the dough out over the flour.  Then use your rolling pin to spread the dough out even more, to the desired thickness.  I usually roll my dough out a tad over 1/4-inch thick, because I prefer thicker tityas.  Use cookie cutters to cut them into fun uniform shapes.  The traditional way is to break the dough off into several golf ball-sized pieces and roll them that way, usually between 1/8 – 1/4 inches thick.  NOTE:  I DO NOT poke my titiyas with a fork!  Growing up watching my mother do this, I often thought it was a form of decoration, LOL! But it wasn’t that at all.  It was an escape for the steam built up within the dough. In my case, I like that steam, it make my titiyas softer, so I DO NOT pierce them!










On medium high heat, heat up your skillet, preferably a heavy one.  I usually place a small piece of dough to signal that the pan is ready.










Once the pan is heated up, add 2 – 3 pieces of the titiyas pieces.   Cook them, turning often, to brown evenly on both sides.  NOTE:  The thicker the pieces, the longer it’ll take to cook.  Adjust your heat accordingly so you may have to reduce it to MEDIUM OR MEDIUM LOW!  Once they are ready, spread them with butter to melt over the hot titiyas.  SERVE!  Place leftover into an airtight bag or container.


Stuffed Endive with Maple Glaze


Endive is a member of the chicory family, which includes radicchio, escarole, frisee and curly endive and come in two different color, red and yellowish white. It has a crisp texture and a sweet, nutty flavor with a pleasantly mild bitterness — great served raw or cooked

A friend posted a picture of some stuffed Endive that she had prepared for the holidays, they looked so yummy, and so going by what I could see and my personal taste, this is what I came up with. Boy is it a HOME RUN!  The added blue cheese crumbles really make them taste amazing, but then when you drizzle on the maple glaze, it’s definitely a party in your mouth!  It’s such an easy recipe, serve them up at your next gathering! 😉

Serving Suggestion....

Serving Suggestion….

1 cup fresh Strawberries, diced
1/2 cup dried Cranberries (I used Craisins)
1/2 – 3/4 cup candied Pecans*, chopped coarsely
1/2 cup crumbled Blue cheese, add more if you’d like
1/2 cup Ken’s Balsamic with Honey dressing (pictured below)
2 – 3 Tbsp. PURE Maple syrup, to taste
Endive leaves, washed, separated, and dried

Combine the strawberries, cranberries, pecans and blue cheese crumbles in a bowl and gently combine well.  Spoon mixture into each Endive leaf and place onto a serving dish.  You can cover them at this point and refrigerate until ready to serve.  To make the dressing, add the dressing with the maple syrup and stir well to combine.  Drizzle the glaze over each stuffed leaf, serve immediately.

*Here’s the link to make the Candied Pecans:










This is the dressing that I used.

This is the dressing that I used.

The “BEST” Cranberry Salad

The very first time I ever tasted this “fluff” as I call it; because of the way it looks; was when my good friend Karen Watson prepared it for a gathering.  I fell in love with it instantly and asked her to share her recipe, which come to find out was her sweet mother’s recipe.  It has been a holiday “must have” ever since.   It is the BEST cranberry salad I’ve ever had!  Thank you for sharing it with me Karen.


1 (12 oz.) pkg. FRESH whole Cranberries
1 1/2 cups miniature Marshmallows
3/4 cup Sugar
1 (20 oz.) can CRUSHED pineapples, drained and squeezed well
1/2 cup Walnuts, finely chopped
1 (8 oz.) tub Cool Whip®, thawed

Wash and drain the cranberries.  Using a food processor, chop the cranberries into small bits, as pictured below. You may have to process them in 2 or 3 increments.











Pour them into a large mixing bowl and then add the sugar, pineapples, and the nuts. Stir to combine well.  Add in the marshmallows.










Stir this to combine well.  Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight.  The following day, stir the mixture together again; fold in the Cool Whip® and combine well. Top with candied cranberries for garnish.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.


Candied Pecans

CANDIED PECANS! One word, YUM!  Although you can eat them as a yummy snack, all laced with butter and a sweetened crunchy coating, I actually prepared these for a STUFFED ENDIVE appetizer that’s to die for……they’re easy to prepare and so quick, well somewhat quick, lol!


2 cups Pecans, already toasted
4 Tbsp. REAL Butter
1 Tbsp. light Corn syrup
4 Tbsp. Brown sugar
1/4 tsp. Salt
1 Tbsp. Maple syrup OR 1 tsp. Maple extract

In a large deep skillet, start by melting the butter and corn syrup over MEDIUM HIGH heat.











Add the toasted pecans and toss into the butter, coating all sides.











Add the packed brown sugar and stir to combine and melt.  Reduce heat to MEDIUM.











Add in the salt.  Now, this is where you can get creative with the flavor,  by adding some spices such as cinnamon; but in my case, since I was adding it to my STUFFED ENDIVE appetizer, I used Maple syrup.  Stir to combine all the ingredients well with the pecans.  Continue to stir.











Continue to cook the pecans until the sugar has melted and it starts to thicken slightly.











Remove from the heat and pour it onto a waxed paper line baking sheet, spread and allow to cool completely.  Once the pecans have completely cooled, store them in an airtight container until ready for use or snacking.