Food for Friends

Here's the recipe… make sure you read the whole thing first!
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Chocolate Martini


Ok, just because this one KICKS ASS!


1 1/2 shots Godiva® chocolate liqueur
1 1/2 shots creme de cacao
1/2 shot vodka
2 1/2 shots half-and-half


Mix all ingredients in a shaker with ice, shake and pour into a chilled cocktail glass.  For added fun, frost the rim of the cocktail glass with a powdered cocoa and sugar mix, or swirl the inside of the glass with chocolate syrup.

Rosca de Reyes – King’s Cake


Rosca de Reyes is one of the most beautiful traditions in Mexico for the Holidays, celebrated on January 6th, the day of the Three Kings or Holy Wisemen. It is shared by family and friends for supper accompanied by a delicious cup of Mexican Hot Chocolate (Ibarra or La Abuelita). The tradition is that when you cut your piece and eat it, you have to watch and see if you get the little baby Jesus figurine (No, I’ve never heard of anybody choking on it…). The lucky people to get the figurine in their slice have to throw a party on February 2nd -St. Brigits or Candelaria- and serve tamales for all those involved in the cutting of the Rosca.


  • 30g or 4 envelopes of dried yeast
  • 5 cups of flour
  • 200g of butter
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 yolks
  • 1 can of sweet condensed milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp of rose water or a few drops of orange flavoring
  • 1 cup of candied fruit, chopped (cherries, figs, orange peel, etc).
  • 2-3 plastic baby Jesus figurines
  • 1 beaten egg for glazing


  • Various candied fruits and sugar


Preheat oven to 200 C or 390 F

Mix the yeast in about 1/4 of a cup of warm water and add 2 tbsp. of flour. Let rest until foamy and doubled in size.

Sift the rest of the flour on a table, make a pit in the middle and add half of the butter, the eggs, the yolks, the sweet condensed milk, salkt, flavoring and the yeast mix.

Slowly mix all the ingredients with fingertips and knead lightly until a paste is formed. Knead thoroughly and throw against the table top, as you incorporate the rest of the butter until the dough is soft and pliable. Form into a ball.

Rub a bit of oil around the dough and place in a large oiled bowl. Let rest in a warm spot loosely covered with some plastic wrap until about doubled in size. Punch the dough down, and roll into a thin long sheet on a floured surface, about 7 by 25 inches.

Distribute the fruit and the plastic figurines evenly throughout the sheet of dough, roll carefully length-wise. Place on a lightly greased and floured cookie sheet and shape it into a round or oval ring, pinching the seams and making sure it seals properly. Let the ring rest until it has about doubled its size again. Before putting into the oven, glaze with the beaten egg, decorate with the candied fruit and sprinkle with sugar.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until the ring takes a slight golden color.

Perfect Pastry I


This is a very rich and versatile recipe that can be used for sweet and savory pies, quiches and empanadas. For best results and a flaky result, use frozen butter and a food processor, but being quick and using just cold butter works well with a pastry cutter.


  • 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 sticks of butter (16 oz) frozen or very cold cut into small squares
  • 1/2 cup of ice cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar
  • 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon of milk for varnishing the crust


In a food processor with the blade insert put the flour, butter, salt sugar and eggs, pulse until it looks like coarse meal (the butter will clump with the flour in little balls). Then add the water little by little as you pulse some more until the dough starts coming together.

Apple Pie


This recipe is highly customizable, it’s more a set of general guidelines than a recipe, so play with it until you find something you like.

Preheat oven to 400 F


  • 1 batch of Perfect Pastry recipe
  • 4 Granny Smith apples
  • 4 Gala or Fuji apples
  • Brown sugar to taste (about 1/2 cup usually works)
  • Cinnamon to taste (about 1 tbsp. should be good)
  • Ground Allspice to taste (about 1/3 tbsp.)
  • 3 tbsp. of Corn Starch to thicken sauce
  • A little bit of Lemon Juice
  • 2 tbsp. of butter cut in small pieces


Peel the apples and slice them in thin wedges. Too thin will cook too fast, thick slices may not cook enough. Place apple slices in a medium bowl, squeeze the lemon juice on the apples to prevent them from turning brown and sprinkle with sugar, cinnamon, allspice and 2 tbsp. of the corn starch. Mix well. Set aside.

Roll half of the dough and line a 9-inch pie pan with it. Roll the top crust and have it ready to set in place when you fill the pan with the apples. If you are doing a lattice crust, follow the lattice directions and have the strips ready.

Fill the pie pan with the apples, including any juices that may have settled at the bottom of the bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining corn starch and dot the butter throughout the top. Place the top crust on, or the lattice, making sure you “glue” the edges well with egg wash, lightly varnish the top with more of the egg wash. Cut steam slits on top if it’s a solid crust, sprinkle with sugar if you want.

Place in the center rack of the oven and bake until the top is light gold and the apple juices are bubbling. Varies from oven to oven, but it should be about 30 minutes.


-It’s important to learn to “read” the pie. Cooking times vary depending on the apples, the pie dish, the oven, and lots of other things. Usually apples are done after a few minutes of bubbling, which is obvious in the lattice version of it, but not so much with a solid crust. You can insert a toothpick through a little hole and see if the apples are soft.

-If the crust is browning too fast and the apples are not catching up, loosely place a piece of tinfoil on top of the pie and this will prevent it from drying up and burning.


Add one of the following to the apple mix: chopped walnuts, chopped pecans, almond slivers, chopped crystallized ginger, raisins or dried cranberries.

You can also make this pie with firm pears with similar results.

Serve warm or cold… a scoop of vanilla ice cream makes it magnificent!

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Here are the recipes finally. This is something I have been wanting to do for a long time and never got around to it. Some of you know that I love cooking and experimenting in the kitchen. There is a certain alchemy that has to happen in order to have the ingredients turn into delicious creations. There is no real secret behind it, just lots of fresh ingredients, time and patience to try things out and some creativity.

Not everything I make turns out perfect on the first try. Most of the time, even when I follow recipes carefully, there are some adjustments that have to be made in order to make it exactly the way I like it. In some cases recipes have failed miserably and a last-minute plan B has been tackled, and in other cases I had to toss the first batch of something and repeat the steps until it works out.

I hope these recipes bring a lot of magic to your meals, just as they have brought magic to mine. They have all been thoroughly tested and I will never post something I have not made myself. Some adjustments may have to be made for dietary preferences or limitations. Feel free to email me or drop me a note if you have any questions.