An Awaken to Coffee

To be able to love and protect the land where we live, one needs to know the history, culture and nature where it grows… In the middle of the highest mountains covered with a great amount of vegetation and sources, exists a magical town called Malinalco, where its orchards are surrounded by a high amount of fruit trees and the fields take advantage of great indispensable products such as “coffee beans.”

Coffee is in the heart of this town where presently coffee has evolved into an inspiration for “Mexico magic.”

As a lover of coffee – there is no doubt practice makes a master. So, when I think of coffee in the imagination we go to the south east of the country – Chiapas, Mexico!

Walking through San Cristobal de las Casas, a highland town in Chiapas, as we enjoyed the sound of a marimba, I fell in love while sipping a magical coffee cup or a coffee martini.

Chiapas Amber

My inner self led me to find out about Chiapas amber with purpose so I could feel their wonderful energies.  I spent time during our trip thinking “Chiapas Amber!” Intuitively…..   It has ended up being one of the most beautiful stones I’ve worn and seen. It tends to have an Ancient Mayan Tribal vibe to it….. It is interestingly coupled with some sort of “Happy” and “Sunny” vibe. 

My bracelet given by my love is a gorgeous cognac colored and highly Protective, too!

Calabria Peppers and Don Corleone

Garbanzo beans in a Romesco- Calabria peppers sauce

“It’s not personal ~ it is only business” The Godfather.

 Don Corleone…the story of a family….the Ark of time destroying everything (except the memories) destroying  everyone – even the strongest…..Bosses of bosses. Godfathers of cinema and literature.

A Novel and a saga by Mario Puzo. Giving us an offer that we can’t refuse.

 And the mafia legacy continues….

I wish my grandmother was alive to see this, she adored this trilogy, and introduced me to the wonders of it.

                                         *****    *****     *****

What does Calabrian hot peppers taste like?

These peppers are native to the Calabria region of Italy.  It is referred to as the “toe” of the Italian “boot.” 

Calabria is a peninsula extending out of the mainland in a northeast-southwest direction from the main body of Italy and separating the Tyrrhenian and Ionian seas.

Their flavor is described as smoky, salty, and, of course, spicy. To make them into a paste, dried Calabrian peppers (peperoncino) are crushed with olive oil, and sometimes salt and vinegar. Why are Calabrian chiles so good? They fill your mouth with a wonderful warmth that accentuates the flavors of your meal. This characteristic makes Calabrian peppers the perfect layering for sauces and condiments.

The Bridge of Sighs and a spiced halibut

“Ponti dei Suspiri” ~ Bridge of Sighs

 Venice is always described as a romantic city therefore, does not surprise me this bridge is called “Bridge of Sighs.” In spite of the romantic scenario, the sighs are not out of love but of despair because in 1600 A.D. whoever crosses it is the last bridge it will ever crossed in the way to prison ~ loss of freedom ~ loss of life.

Venetians giggle when couples kiss and sigh in the “Ponti of Suspiri” ~ that is hopefully not what couples wish for.

In Venice the one and only “Harry’s Bar.”  For five decades, is the meeting place for writers, artists, royalty, and ordinary  – but very wise-Americans and Europeans that want to enjoy the delicious dishes prepared by Chef  Arrigo Cipriani.

Enjoying at “Harry’s Bar” Cipriani’s the famous and distinctive Bellini, Ernest Hemingway, Joan Crawford, Cole Porter and also Kellinka enjoyed his treasured recipes.

Halibut All ’ Arancia – Halibut in Orange sauce is one of my favorite recipes at “Harry’s Bar.”  

Adding Alepo seasoning blends Italian deliciousness with Aleppo spice.

To my readersA warm note, some wording and names are Italian. please do not highlight a “Bad Spelling.”

Drive south and reach Rome….


Al di la del bene piu precioso, ci sei tu

Al di la del sogno piu ambizioso, ci sei tu ….

Where you walk flowers bloom

When you smile all gloom turns to sunshine…

Al Di La!

I am back!

With the most inspiring message in my blog…

“What an array of ingredients, colors, textures and tastes! You really cooked up a storm, Kellinka! Lucky Bobby;-) Glad you’re back at the blog and doing your uniquely wonderful stories & memories, with added flavors of poems or music – making each cooking blog entry a funtastic mixture of delight & deliciousness!! XOXO Way to Go!” Dara.

Thank you my friend!

Lebanon meets Acapulco

Acapulco- Mexican beach potato tacos.

 I vividly remember sitting on the Condesa beach or as is called “The golden zone” waiting for Dona Onesima with her potato tacos and Buffalo Sauce tray on her head. While cooking, the smell, brought me back to my childhood in Acapulco. Yet as delicious “Buffalo sauce” is, it’s open to interpretation about what it can or can’t include. What a site was watching a child polishing his coins to a shiny state with the sauce! Yes…It shined!

Atlantic salmon in a Lebanese sauce.

Lebanese cuisine is a culinary tradition that includes an abundance of grains, vegetables and fresh fish. Using fresh ingredients, as chickpeas, Aleppo peppers, spices, garlic…  I combined it within a freshly baked Atlantic salmon.

 This magnificent cuisine brings me to “The Prophet” by Kahlil Gibran—a stoning and insightful treasure of life relations.

Dialing in the best possible topics that unifies continents as well as decades, it’s  easy to conclude, “food is love.”

“And in the autumn, when you gather the grapes from your vineyards, say in your heart, “I too am a vineyard, and my fruit shall be gathered for the wine press, and like new wine, shall be kept in vessels.

Let it be in the song a remembrance for the autumn days, and for the vineyard and the winepress.”

 Kahlil Gibran – 1883-1931

Beauty of a Pearl

Why do oysters make pearls?

Pearl oysters live on the sandy bottom of tropical seas. They filter the water to extract food. Any foreign matter like bits of sand that invade their bodies can cause irritation. As a defense mechanism, oysters will coat a grain of sand with nacre which is also called beautiful “mother pearl,” It is a calcium substance that the oyster discharged to line its shell. After several years of coating, pearls are formed.

Depending the pigments of the nacre, the color is what results. Their beauty is always present either white, pink, black, yellow or blue.

The most well – known pearl producer is the country of Japan, where women dive as deep of 40 feet to gather the oysters.

To oyster – eating either in a white bearnaise sauce – “Rockefeller”, spicy Madrazo or raw… Enjoy them! wearing a beautiful pearl.

It is not Japan where these memories come to me… It is a province city of Mexico called Cuernavaca. When walking through the main city town through callejones (small streets), I share wonderful meals at “Harris” – a fantastic and fun place where the Madrazo and Rockefeller oysters were served.

Dia de los muertos – Day of the dead

Halloween in USA ~ Dia de los muertos (Day of the dead) in Latin America.

Dating back to Pre-Columbian Aztec culture, is a celebration of life. From marigolds to sugar sculls the traditional Mexican holiday is full of symbols.

November 1 and November 2, it is an important part of the culture of Mexico to create an altar celebrating life for the souls to arrive. An altar is surrounded by every favorites of who has died. In case the souls are thirsty, tequila is almost always included! Often, a bottle of the deceased’s favorite type of tequila, mescal, or pulque is shared among the family in order to honor the dearly departed and celebrate their life. These beliefs have helped the living cope with the loss of their loved one.

The marigolds, “flowers of the death”– is to be believed that the scent of these orange blooms help attract souls to the altar. The altar sometimes includes a soft and sweet bread “Pan de muerto” designed with a circle and limbs to mimic the shape of a skull. Yes, indeed…It is just a number of foods that are placed for hungry souls to partake in.

Rather than grieve their dead, ancient Mexicans celebrated the lives of the deceased and honored their memories. Probably, one of the most recognizable symbols of the “Day of the Dead” are the highly decorated skulls made with sugar, merengue, and water symbolizing the sweetness of life.

Garcia Lorca Spanish Poet.

“Si muero, dejad el balcon abierto”

“If I die – leave the balcony open”

Halloween in the USA / Scary alien stuffed chicken with fruits.

Pan de Muerto

View Post

Veni; Vidi; Vici

Crostata with berries


Crostata is an Italian tart. It is one of the most classic Italian desserts. It uses a shortcrust dough (pasta frolla) made with flour, cornmeal, butter, sugar, baking powder and lemon zest. It’s then filled with berries (most traditionally).

Many regions and towns in Italy have their own desserts that vary from region to region. But a crostata is one of those desserts that is known and made throughout all of Italy. There are many different ways to make pasta frolla, either with or without the corn meal. Making it without the cornmeal becomes flaky.

For many years I consider myself a frustrated baker. This recipe, dreaming of an Italian crostata became one of my adventures.

“Veni Vidi Vici” Julius Caesar statement is still present ~ Latin meaning “I came; I saw; I conquered” While opinion is still divided on what kind of a ruler Caesar really was, there cannot be any denying of his contributions, both to Rome and the Roman Empire to modern civilization.

Yes, I do feel I conquered the Italian crostata.

Tea or Sake

Over tea and cold sake, this is a historical dish in Japan and the presentation image was transformed by the ways of the Hawaiian people.

An ever – changing raw fish appetizer has been modified by an imitation crab which accompanied by sauces and garnishes to help this dish stay fresh. The cooked Pollock provides a creative outlet – finding ways to compliment such delicate flavors that inspire the Asian – American togetherness.

 I like to highlight the seasonal vegetables, sticky rice and mildly acidic sauce making the magic.

Tea “Drink a cup of tea and forget the cares of the world.” Tea tells stories, punctuates journeys and is a muse to poets. The history of tea is inextricably intertwined with the history of humanity. The Japanese tea ceremony “Cha no yu” (hot water tea) became a social gesture in the 16th century. Today this refine pleasure is shared among friends.

Sake -The most ceremonious beverage in Japan was through centuries only enjoyed in temples.

Presently, in America, “Sake Day” is to be enjoyed October first. Arigato!

Ole – Mole

The history of Mole

While most people think mole as a Mexican chocolate with spicy variation of hot peppers sauce, the word is actually derived from moler “to crush” and is used in Latin American and Caribbean cultures to refer to any sauce made from Molcajete – ground ingredients.

The term mole stems from the Nahuatl world molli, which means “sauce” or “concoction.” Mole comes from a family of sauces prepared throughout the Oaxaca and Puebla regions of Mexico and is characterized by a complex, layered flavor derived from intricate blends of dried chiles, cocoa, spices, nuts and dried fruits.

I have altered the basic recipe toward the Puebla style version due to the lack of some ingredients, which are included in the sauce of the iconic “Mole Poblano.” By omitting a few… made it “interesting and delicious.”

“The flower wars” as Puebla was called in the 15th century, is a Pre-Columbian era planned city.

“Walking through the streets of Puebla “Flower wars” is a fascinating experience to see all the magnificent architecture; among them, are the churches where following by cantinas people takes a tequila shot served in gorgeous Talavera pottery and afterward –  walks to the church for praying. This is sometimes a repetitive scene.

We may enjoy the spicy-sweet,

  Bitterness of same,

  The simple, happy

  Capsaicin of the brain.”

A special “Thank you” to Kathy Shapiro for joining the cooking “Ole – mole” fun!