Candy Yams by Daylan Brawley

Before my Grandma developed dementia she would cook all sorts of things. These included pig intestines, collard greens, corn bread, and sweet potatoes or “candy yams”. But the one thing that stood out from the rest that I will always remember was her chocolate cake. My grandma’s chocolate cake was made for any occasion or accomplishment I would attain. It almost seemed that she literally waited for me to get on the honor roll or finish first place in the 100m dash and there it was, a freshly baked chocolate cake. Sadly due to the circumstances and the fact that we never got to document her recipe, I’ll never be able to have my grandma’s chocolate cake again. Her cooking (especially her cake) solidified my belief that it’s not the ingredients that make a certain food good, it’s the love and soul that’s put into it that truly make it memorable.

Chicken Parmesan with PAsta by Kayla Munoz

Before making this dish I had always wanted to make my own marinara sauce, since pre-made marinara sauce is always too sweet for my taste. So I decided to gather all the ingredients to make my own sauce. Chicken parmesan is one of my favorites to make and it’s really nothing to it. However, when I made my own marinara sauce I made it too spicy and hot–I felt really bad for my younger brother who had to endure. The reason why something like this is important for my family is that when my mother isn’t home I try and cook something for my younger brother. I’m just lucky that he isn’t a picky eater, then I would really be in trouble. After making the chicken parmesan and pasta, I know for next time to keep others preferences and tastes in mind and not just my own. I was only thinking of what I like and not what my younger brother likes.

Recipe for the Marinara Sauce: The chicken: was made of boneless white meat chicken breast and breaded using Italian panko breading crumbs and added mozzarella cheese while
½ clove of garlic baking.
1 serrano pepper
1 table spoon of black pepper
¼ cup of sugar
½ of white vinegar
Red pepper flakes
½ of yellow onion, chopped
½ green bell pepper, chopped
1 small can of tomato paste
1 small can crushed tomatoes with red peppers
1 can of sun dried tomatoes
¼ stick of butter
Olive oil
Pinch of rosemary leaves
Pinch of oregano
Basil leaves
Salt, for taste

Apples and Sage pork Chops by Kayla Munoz

So once again like most of my dishes they’re at the spur of the moment. The recipe that I used originally called “Apples and Sage Pork Chops”, which at the time I did not have either apples, apple juice or pork chops. I made do with what I had available at the time. I used orange juice as a replacement for apple juice and added some vegetables, like celery and carrots, hoping it would help with the tart flavor from the oranges. I made this dish for my younger brother and I, and which he did not complain about it. Thus, this dish was very much a learning experience for me. Would I make this dish again? No. My reason being is that it simply was not that good, it wasn’t horrible, but not that great. The side dishes that I did pair it with saved the day.Next time I will use a recipe and make sure I have all the ingredients page-2

Sugar Tortillas by Jose Olivia

We are all familiar with corn and flour tortillas, but as a child my grandma would make sugar tortillas for me whenever she would visit. Very recently my grandma came to visit me from Mexico and without fail, she made a batch for me to enjoy. She always loves spoiling me with them, and a visit with her is never complete without them. These tasty treats are not just clumps of sugar in the circular shape of a tortilla, but are actual tortilla that are eaten plain because they are sweet almost like pan dolce. These sugar tortillas are very special because my grandma has not shared her recipe with anyone yet, and has it written down somewhere safe. My grandma often times makes pastries and other sweets for all of my family, but the sugar tortilla is by far my favorite one since I was a child.

Candied yams by Kayla Munoz

This is a recipe that I make usually for the holidays, like Thanksgiving and Christmas. I usually make plenty to feed many people. My uncle and aunt always have holiday parties, so this is my special dessert that I contribute to the family. It’s important for me to show my family that I care about them and that I am a part of this family. Sharing a food with my family during the holidays, is really what I means to be a family. Also, I learned to make candied yams specifically for my mother. She doesn’t cook very much, so I thought I would learn to make her favorite dessert. Another reason this is special to me simply because it’s something that I learned on my own. This was actually the very first dish that I started to bring to family gatherings. I don’t have a recipe that I exactly follow, so I can’t share it with you. However, thinking about this blog and thinking about what this dish means to me actually spurns the desire for me to keep a recipe journal.

Quesadillas by Jesus Cerillo

Sometimes when I’m in the mood for a snack I make a sandwich, other times a quesadilla! Simple to make delicious and highly modifiable. This became one of my favorite snacks early on in life when I was about seven years old. My big sister would make quesadillas. At the time we lived in Juarez Mexico. I remember a distinct smell from the stove. the blue flames, the black iron skillet and my grandmother’s kitchen is what I think about when I eat a quesadilla. This snack makes me feel nostalgic for the days when I would have to hit the tv sometimes to watch el chavo del ocho on tv or play super nintendo with my cousins. My big sister seemed to know that we were much to busy to go sit and eat so she would humor our business sometimes and bring us snacks and occasionally watched as we played mario kart. Quesadillas remind me of my big sister and how she would always treat me so lovingly.

Entomatadas by Jesus Cerrillo

Growing up I always thought this was a common meal because I had it fairly often. The entomatada is like an enchilada except it is not spicy but instead it tastes more like tomatoes. This meal is made by soaking a tortilla in tomato paste and then filling it with chicken onions and cheese. This meal is my favorite. Second only to mole, but mole is for celebrations. Growing up, my mother would make us entomatadas almost twice a week. Now that I am older, and no longer live with my parents, I do not get entomatadas as often. Mostly because when I make them, they aren’t quite the same so I don’t make them often. However when I visit my parents, my mother always makes me some entomatadas. They make me feel like I never left. Entomatadas take me back to a time when I had no real responsibilities. Back to the days when I would spend my time riding my bike outside with my friends and race. To me, entomatadas mean, “welcome home mi hijo!”

Huevos Rancheros by Jesus Cerrillo

In my family, huevos rancheros was usually a good omen of things to come. My mother was in a good mood and the world was good! This dish I actually learned to make myself and it is pretty easy. It consists of soaking a tortilla in some hot olive oil and breaking an egg on a skillet and making it over easy. A simple meal but non the less, this meal was the first cooked meal I had ever made. My mother taught me how to make it better too, by adding pico de gallo and pepper. A simple meal but with great taste. To me, when my mother made huevos rancheros it was always a good morning. This is the first meal I ever cooked for a significant other as well so in a way it has turned from a form of good omen, to a ritual of acceptance of an intimate other. It may sound silly but that is the significance that I put

Mole by Jesus Cerrillo

In my family, mole is a special dish. It signifies a special occasion. Every year, at least once a year per person, my mother would make a delicious plate of mole. This dish is meant to celebrate the day of our births. Wether it be myself, my sisters or my father. It is a meal that brings us together, a meal analogous to the birthday cake. Only difference is that mole goes a lot better with a tortilla and rice than any cake I have ever had. After the mole we would open gifts and break a pinata if the birthday was for a child. Once we opened the gifts we would sing “las mananitas” and sometimes even cut a cake! I remember I would always get my face stuffed in it. I always knew it was going to happen but it became tradition so I just let it happen. Afterwards we would eat more mole! To my family and myself, mole always signifies a special, happy, and fun occasion. Now a days, I look forward to mole more than getting a gift!

Chicken Salad Sandvich by Beverly Luna

Chicken Salad sandwiches are very popular in my family. When we plan parties usually the main food dish I chicken salad sandwiches. This is usually for baby showers, kid’s birthday parties, or small get together. My mom use to host Tupperware and Home Interior parties and chicken salad sandwiches were the snacks. I love my mom’s chicken salad sandwiches they are the bomb. There are many way to making the sandwiches different recipes add different items. My moms are pretty easy she never adds nuts because someone may be allergic. She adds pieces of boiled eggs, pickles, celery, mayo, shredded chicken and sometimes pieces of grapes. Let’s not forget the bread she uses Butterkrust White Bread. The picture shows crescents but I love the plain white bread it just makespage-0 the whole entire sandwich taste really good. I know this is more of a American meal but this sandwich is part of my Hispanic family.