Piñon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

photo 2 (3)Hi everyone. I wanted to say that I feel guilty I haven’t cooked or posted much in the last two months. And truthfully, it’s not likely to get better until the end of July. I leave for London (for real this time) in one week. ONE WEEK! I have lots to do to prepare! And then, I’ll be there a week before it’s time for me to leave on vacation to Greece. Tough life, right?

But the other reason I haven’t cooked much is that I love cooking for other people and I haven’t had much opportunity to do that. That is until a few weeks ago when I had a girls night at my apartment. It was one last big blow out with my girls before London. The eight of us (not all pictured below) had a potluck and we ate and we drank and we ate some more. In addition to piñon, we had salad, pizza, cheesecake, chips and dip, and raisin bread. Aren’t pot lucks excellent?! You get to eat all kinds of things! Continue reading


Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Fritters)

DSCN1293I love kitchen gadgets and accessories. Unfortunately, not all of my gadgets will get moved to London – you know space concerns, different outlet plugs, and such. So I want to use my gadgets before I put them in storage. The deep fryer is number one on that list. (My friends have even asked if I’ll have a deep fryer party).

Anyway, I’ve made today’s recipe before but I thought the deep fryer would take it up a notch. This recipe is a Puerto Rican recipe that is essentially seasoned ground beef, covered in potatoes, formed in to a ball, and then deep fried. Over the years, Ryan and I have made this recipe about a half a dozen times with mixed success. It always tastes good, but often the balls fall apart either while being formed or while in the oil. I thought using the deep fryer would help ensure good taste and good looks. Continue reading

Arepas 2.0

image (11)I like to look at my site statistics from time to time. My absolute favorite is seeing what Google searches people use to get to the blog. My top two favorite searches are:

1. Demon pig

2. Pig excited about funnel cake

But the most popular searches are some variation on “Puerto Rican arepas recipe.” When I was searching out recipes, I had a really difficult time finding Puerto Rican specific recipes and so I’m glad that I might be able to help others find what they’re looking for. But, it also shows me that I should get back to testing recipes so I can find a perfect recipe. So here is my second attempt. Continue reading

Arepas (Fried Dough Goodness)

Something you might not know about me is that I have two part time jobs. I’m lucky because both are great. The are fun, intellectually stimulating, and I get to run around and don’t have to sit behind a desk. I also have flexible hours so sometimes I get home really early, and sometimes I sleep in late. But, the downside of this is that I often work on the weekends resulting in a 6-day work week and a 1-day weekend. So, imagine my great surprise and delight when my bosses and lady luck smiled down on me and gave me ALL of Memorial Day weekend off. That’s three days off! IN. A. ROW. It was greatness. And it gave me a lot of time to play in the kitchen. I made a spicy carrot and beef tagine, lemon squares, strawberry sorbet, pizza, cookies, and arepas. Continue reading

Arroz con Gandules (Rice with Pigeon Beans)

image (20)Another Mariel original! Sort of. It’s really my version of a family recipe for this traditional Puerto Rican dish. My family has this dish for every holiday or special event. This past Thanksgiving, Ryan and I hosted for his family and I insisted that I had to make this dish. As I was simultaneously watching the turkey, potatoes, veggies, I had Ryan on the phone with my mom confirming that I was making the rice correctly. I was nervous, I wanted to have this staple dish and impress my in-laws. When the rice was done I opened the pot and steam flew in my face. It smelled delicious and looked right. And then, I tasted it AND IT WAS RIGHT! I literally danced in the kitchen that it tasted just like it always had throughout my childhood. Since then I’ve made this dish for my own parents (who were thoroughly impressed) and for friends. It seems sort of complex, and making rice in a pot can be daunting, but it’s actually pretty straightforward and not-very messy. It’s a great side to have for dinner after work or to wow dinner guests. Continue reading