Chutney and Cheddar Egg Sandwich

Earlier this year, I started saying no. No to promoting food-related gadgets, because I live in a New York small apartment with limited storage. No to promoting food samples, because the pay isn’t great and the contests aren’t worth my time. No to writing reviews for below-average cookbooks, because the pay isn’t great. No to freelance design, because I design full-time during the weekday. No to doing more social media, because it’s time consuming. No to special theme Saturday brunches requiring me to discard the one day a week of sleeping in without an alarm clock. And, no to developing an editorial calendar for this food blog. I’m doing nothing with my extra time, and it feels good to be too selfish.

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Ecuadorian-Inspired Chicken Stew

African-American Southern dishes are my soul and Latin-American cuisine is my heart. I grew up with the guacamole, tortilla chips, salt-rimmed margaritas, rice and beans, refried beans, tacos, tamales and more. However, as I learn more about authentic Latin-American food, my excitement is similar to a kid discovering an adult menu of larger and more flavorful dishes and ingredients.

When Bren of FlanboyantEats.com invited me to share a recipe representing a Latin-American country in her annual Hispanic Heritage Month series, I was cautious. Demonstrating another culture’s gastronomic pleasures—especially when I love Latin-american cuisine—is intimidating. Since there was leftover hominy corn from another recipe, I chose Ecuador because of its pozole stews. Learning more about Ecuadorian cuisine, achiote paste aroused my curiosity.

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Philly Root Beer & Pretzel Float by Nicole Taylor

Looking to escape your corner of the world, for a historic city whose bells toll the sound of freedom? Philadelphia is not just famous for the Liberty Bell and being America’s first capital. It’s also an historic culinary bastion for African-American chefs becoming successful entrepreneurs. After all, Philly is where George Washington’s favorite slave, Hercules, escaped as Washington was preparing to return to Mt. Vernon. And, despite Washington’s best efforts to recapture him, the city of Brotherly Love never returned Hercules.
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Pineapple and Duck Prosciutto Pizza

A whole pineapple was thoughtlessly purchased without a clue of what to do with it. Although, it’s a bit complicated to chop up, it’s a juicy snack or a nice garnish for a rum drink. Chunks of it always sweeten a mean, green stir-fry. When it’s pureed, it sweetens most dessert (try it in Hummingbird Cake with Mascarpone Frosting). After some thought, I decided to challenge myself by making a savory pineapple pizza.

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Pecan Bars

Potato Chips, fruity and hard candies, twirly sugar sticks, chewy caramels, salty pretzels and raw nuts were not my childhood friends. Among the most offending taste were raw nuts. The taste of peanuts are what I image wood to taste like, but I love peanut butter. And, I will never understand people’s obsession with salted sunflower seeds as they spit speckled shells onto subway train floors. Then there’s the pecans. They’re a different nut.

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