What’s For Dinner?

What’s For Dinner?

I’ve been totally MIA this week from the blog, but it’s been a hectic week at work and I wanted to update my website.  Sorting through about 4 years of pictures was exhausting but worth it.  I finally put up one new project on the site and am narrowing down the pictures for the street photography project.  I actually already have the pictures I want put into a separate folder but I want to give it another look to make sure that I want to put them on the website.  Next week will be back to regularly scheduled Monday, Wednesday, and Friday posts.

Back to the point of this post.  I love food and I’m all about quick and easy recipes.  My mother makes these amazing things called pastelillos.  (All the recipe links come in handy dandy printable PDF’s.)  They’re also known as empanadas.  I showed these to my Iranian friend and he told me they’re similar to something they eat in Iran called samosa.  They’re perfect to snack on, or to eat with something for a quick and easy meal.  We had them with rice and beans on this night.

chopped meat, dinner, DSC RX100III, empanadas, food with recipe, pastelillos, Puerto Rican food, quick and easy meals, rice and beans, sofrito, Sony

I always ask my mother to write down the things she cooks because even though I consider myself a good cook, I just can’t compare to her cooking.  She always outdoes herself every time she makes something.  I can’t even pick a favorite thing that she makes because everything is just so good.  Even things I don’t really like (like gandules), she makes taste good.  I know her cheesecake is a crowd favorite.  It’s so good that when Simona and Davide came to New York for a week last year, we had them over for dinner and my mom made some of her cheesecake and they loved it so much that a few months ago (almost a full year since they’d visited here) Simona asked if I could send her my mother’s cheesecake recipe.  I might have to try and make these myself next time.  They aren’t difficult to make at all, and they’re very filling without making you have that so full you can’t move feeling.

chopped meat, dinner, DSC RX100III, empanadas, food with recipe, pastelillos, Puerto Rican food, quick and easy meals, rice and beans, sofrito, Sony

I’ve found that the secret, so to speak, to making anything taste good is sofrito.  You can add it to anything when you’re cooking.  Soups, stews, rice and beans, the meat for the pastelillos, pasta sauce.  It makes anything taste so much better.



  1. June 8, 2018 / 8:28 AM

    Oh man…now I’m hungry. I’ve been on a diet for 28 days and already lost 9kg (19.8lbs)…seeing those makes me want to take a day off and have a good binge :0) Got anything with fewer calories coming soon?

    • Tina
      June 8, 2018 / 10:49 PM

      I’m Italian and Puerto Rican. We don’t do the low calorie diet thing. 😆 In all seriousness, I do want to put some more recipes here and there on the blog. I have some meatless dishes coming up, and if I haven’t already posted it before, my recipe for baked salmon and grilled vegetables, as well. Congratulations on the diet! It takes a lot of discipline to stick to a diet and the fact that you’ve been able to stick with it to lose almost 20 pounds is admirable. I’m not on a diet so much as doing a cleanse right now. (I hate that word, lol). Even though I do love my junk food, I really like to eat healthily and I’ve been feeling kind of sluggish lately. I’m kind of doing the cabbage soup diet. (The recipe is all the way at the bottom.) I say kind of because I eat the soup for lunch but eat my regular dinner and try not to eat out as much or eat as many sweets.

      I used to be pretty good and only stick to going out to eat on weekends, but sometimes I get too tempted by the pics on Instagram and have to try something. The soup is really good and filling, but I actually make it a little differently. I add in a spoonful of sofrito and a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to give it extra flavor. I also don’t saute the vegetables before I add it to the broth. I just chop them all up and let them cook as the broth heats up and when it’s almost ready I toss in the cabbage for 10 minutes or so.

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