Tag Archives: Food Finds

Farmers Market Finds: January 19th, 2014

farmers market finds celery

It has been a while since I last visited the Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra farmers market at la Placita Roosevelt in Hato Rey.  Today the stands were full of delicious greens, root vegetables, plantains and citrus.

This time around, I shopped most of my goods at a stand from some young farmers from Orocovis, a small mountain town right in the middle of the island.  They had a delicious stock of reasonably priced greens.  From their table, I picked out the impressive celery bunch in the top picture, a salad/stir fry mix that included rainbow chard and tatsoi among other greens, kale and arugula. Read More…

Seattle Trip Report 2013: Seafood and Sips

2013 Seattle Trip Report: View from the Space Needle

Has a full month really gone by already?  Four weeks ago, I was eating, mingling, and seeing my way through Seattle, WA.    I am missing the delightful company of my fellow food bloggers, the comfortable fall temperatures, and yes, the seafood.  Seattle and the Pacific Northwest are brimming with fresh, delicious seafood caught locally and mostly sustainably. Read More…

Pumpkin Stuffed with Beans and Ham (Habichuelas Guisadas en Calabaza)

 Pumpkin Stuffed with Beans and Ham

It’s fall, aka pumpkin season!  I had so much fun a few years ago when I made the Pumpkin Stuffed with Cosas Ricas, and wanted to reinvent that dish, but with Puerto Rican flavors.  Rice and beans are staples in the island, and since beans are often stewed with pieces of pumpkin, I thought of flipping the equation: beans cooked inside a pumpkin. The pumpkin imparts not only a little sweetness, but also adds body to the sauce or caldito.  I am not the biggest fan of beans, but E is and I hadn’t made any since we came back from our trip to Seattle.  The timing was perfect for putting together this pumpkin stuffed with beans and ham.

Local inspiration at the farmers’ market

Today I was lucky  to find a gorgeous pumpkin at the farmers’ market at la Placita Roosevelt.  Coming in at six pounds, it was the perfect size to stuff and roast inside my five-quart Dutch oven. This type of pumpkin is called “taína dorada” (golden taína – native Puerto Rican).  `Taina Dorada’ is a relatively new variety of pumpkin bred to produce a tastier, smaller fruit.  Read More…

Blood Sausage Empanadas – Pastelillos de Morcilla

 Empanadas de Morcilla

Feliz día de Reyes!  Happy Epiphany day!  Today is technically the last day of the Puerto Rican holiday season.  My family is gathering at my sister’s place to celebrate.  This year we are forgoing the traditional Christmas menu of roast pork, rice with pigeon peas, and guineos en escabeche, so I dropped by my friendly neighborhood lechonera yesterday to pick up the “last” bit of lechón and morcillas, also known as blood sausage or black pudding.
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French Fridays with Dorie: Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Ice Cream

Meyer Lemon Olive Oil Ice Cream with Almond Meringue Cookies

Summer is here.  Ninety-degree plus temperatures have arrived, along with dust from the Saharan air layers that cross the Atlantic.  Whereas by this time last year I was lamenting the non-stop rain, it would be a more than welcome these days.  The grass is browning, the potted parsley wilting, my car is still filthy, and we find ourselves turning the A/C on most nights.  With this heat, it seems fitting to enjoy a cold treat like this week’s French Fridays with Dorie recipe, (Meyer lemon) olive oil ice cream. Read More…

Farmers’ Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (03JUN12)

I went to the farmers’ market yesterday, as I do most firsts and third Sundays of the month.  We made it home with our usual bounty of greens from Siembra Tres Vidas, arugula and tatsoi, plus bok choi from Fernando and Nancy’s stand.  This week we got to try a little piquant green that caught my eye just as we were moving on to the next stand.

Mustard greens!

Farmers' market mustard greens

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Farmers’ Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (March 18th)

It has been some time since I have highlighted new produce from my visits to the organic farmers’ market at the Placita Roosevelt in Hato Rey, a San Juan neighborhood.  Amidst the usual mixed greens, radishes, and herbs laid a different treat I couldn’t resist buying.

Nasturtium from Placita Roosevelt

Edible flowers! Read More…

2011 New York Trip Report (Part 1)

In New York freedom looks like too many choices

New York Trip Report - Midtown New York Skyline

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Farmers’ Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (June 5th)

Behold the coolest thing I’ve ever bought at the Cooperativa Orgánica Made Tierra farmers’ market at Placita Roosevelt.

A banana flower!

Banana flower

This is what a banana tree actually looks like before it actually turns into one. How awesome are the little bunches? I got this from Aurora and Javier of Hacienda Niña Grande in Ciales.  They have the most beautiful tropical flowers in their stand. I already ‘knew’ them from the Mercado Agrícola Natural that takes place every Saturday morning in Old San Juan’s old marketplace (now part of the Museo de San Juan), so it was a pleasant surprise to see them at this other market. Check out the market’s website – it’s both written in both Spanish and English for the benefit of visitors to OSJ and the expat community. Read More…

Farmers Market Finds – Placita Roosevelt (May 1st)

It has been a while since we had a rainy Sunday – the kind that makes you wonder if leaving the house is a good idea.  I don’t mind it too much, but found myself dragging to get out of the house with DH to make it to the Cooperativa Organica Madre Tierra farmers’ market at Placita Roosevelt early enough for local produce.  I credit this in no small way to finding an e-mail reminder from Daniella over at Siembra Tres Vidas detailing some of the items they were to have at their table.

Here are a few of the show-stopping farmers market finds that I just had to get on this visit.  In addition to these, we also got red leaf lettuce, spinach, and a bag of homemade granola.

Rainbow Chard (STV)

Rainbow Chard

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Food Finds – Farmers’ Market at Placita Roosevelt

Every first and third Sunday of the month, farmers and food producers that comprise the Madre Tierra Organic Coop set up their tables early in the morning at Hato Rey’s Placita de Roosevelt, a ten minute drive from the Old San Juan area. I usually visit to get my ‘regular’ greens (red and curly leaf lettuces, arugula), cilantro (the only herb that refuses to grow in my balcony) plus any other items that might seem interesting to try.  This was a week of firsts for us; I had never seen or purchased spinach sprouts and we also made it early enough to get some beautiful heirloom tomatoes. Those usually fly off the stands.  I love visiting the market.  Everyone is incredibly knowledgeable, friendly, and goes out of his/her way to make you feel like a regular, even if you skip a week or two. Read More…



Tengo en mi escritorio una botella de coquito
que me mira como diciendo ‘anda tomate un poquito!’


We are approaching the end of the work week, and slowly but surely sweets, gifts, and decorations have cut down a little of the office productivity.  Tomorrow I’ll be bringing the aftermath of weeks of experimenting, in the shape of tins and bags of cookies to share with my friends.  Marisol, my cubicle neighbor, gave us bottles of coquito.  It’s sitting in my desk right now, and I’m trying really hard to be good and not even smell it.   You’ll see why in a minute. 

Coquito is a Puerto Rican coconut flavored eggnog-type drink that can probably be found at every household during the November-January holidays.  While I don’t make it myself, I would know who to ask for some!  Coquito recipes are very varied – some may include eggs, some might be alcohol-free, but most of them include coconut milk or cream to impart that signature taste.

If you are intrigued, here are some places where you could find recipes:

  • Karma Free Cooking has two alcohol and egg free versions, original and super creamy.
  • Here is a version with tempered egg yolks, for food safety purposes
  • An easier, no frills version without eggs

Milka Joghurt

There is an unspoken rule in my company that anyone that goes or comes from the Swiss operation to Puerto Rico must bring back chocolates. Over the last few years, I’ve gotten ahold of some really great, not available in the US versions of Toblerone, Lindt, Nestlé and other brands I didn’t even know about. We recently received the visit of one of our counterparts and he gallantly brought us ladies an assortment of Toblerone that should still be well hidden in my boss’ office. In addition, another co-worker I interact frequently with sent me a set of five 100 gram bars of Milka Joghurt.


Milka Joghurt, as the name implies, is an Alpine milk chocolate bar with a yogurt filling manufactured by Kraft Foods Deutschland. Yogurt filling was something very foreign to me; my experience with yogurt-y snacks was limited to yogurt covered pretzels (which I love) and other items with a similar coating. When you turn around to see the ingredients list for these snacks, it is obvious the ‘yogurt’ is a glorified – albeit delicious – candy shell. This chocolate bar starts with a very sweet milk chocolate, and then gives way to a very tangy plain yogurt center. The ingredients list includes powdered nonfat yogurt (2.9%) pretty high in the order after all the obvious milk chocolate components. The sweetness of the chocolate would have been cloying by itself, but is balanced by the sourness of the yogurt. Not surprisingly, it is the only candy bar I have seen with an expiration date. It seems I have until December 9, 2010 to consume my candy bars.

Balls and Pie


I realize that food blogs are a dime a dozen these days.  Our needs for food and communication, coupled with the occasional desire to brag and the improvement in information sharing technologies have led to countless websites… just desserts, vegetarian, travel, pizza, sites that consolidate food blogs, food from every corner of the world, booze, food made with booze, people who cook their ways around cookbooks after that first person did it.  This list isn’t even the frost on the tip of the iceberg.


My friend, however, has found a niche that to date has not been covered in this cornucopia of culinary information – at least not in this joint form.  Today I present you Balls and Pie.  This is a website related to all kinds of food topics, especially if they are in ball or pie form.  If there’s anything that will set it apart from other food blogs, it is the wit that he, along with his brother Balls and his charming wife, will bring to the subject. I also can attest to his impeccable taste and joi de vivre when it comes to food.  We have to plan a very overdue visit to Cleveland soon.

(This so takes me back to the days of Geocities/Studentweb!  I had to say it…)

Food Finds – San Gimignano

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