Sunday, July 3, 2011

Yo no hablo español.

So today I was talking to my boyfriend “A”, still need to see if he’s ok with me saying his name online, anywho, I was talking to him about dinner he had tonight.  He had Ropa Vieja.  My first response was “Uh, what?”.  Then after a good giggle he spelled it out for me.  The picture on Wikipedia is not what he had, so I went in search of other pictures.  This is what I found.







Ok, so it seems the 5th picture (one above) is closer to what he had.  He said everything was together, so I am assuming it was layered.  I don’t like all the pepper and it seems onions as well on it.  Nor do I like steak much, but I am willing to try it for my guy.  I kind of prefer the Wikipedia picture ( 2nd one up) to the others for some reason.  It looks more like “comfort food” to me.

Well I asked my boyfriend to honestly tell me if I should look into getting a Cuban cookbook.  He has told me before in the past that he didn’t expect me to cook Cuban food for him because, well, I’m not Cuban.  But he’s lived in a Cuban household all his life and has ate I’d say 85-90% of his meals being Cuban meals.  So I told him to be honest and tell me if he’d like me to cook Cuban meals from him.  He got quiet for a moment and then said yes.  LOL!  So after a laugh between us both I asked him where I could find a good Cuban cookbook.  He told me about this cookbook that I am guessing his mom has or he’s seen it in another household, I’ll have to ask him to clarify that.  The cookbook is called “Cocina al Minuto”, and from what I’ve read it is the Betty Crocker of Cuban cookbooks.


No, really, I’m serious, the Betty Crocker of Cuban cookbooks.  I’ve read several reviews where women who were at a loss on how to cook for their families bought this cookbook and were able to make good meals for their families.  Other people bought it because their mothers used it and they wanted to have the meals they remember their mothers making.  And others got it to replace old and falling apart copies for mothers and aunts who have original copies of the cookbook.  This is the real deal ladies and gentlemen.  So of course I want this book since my boyfriend is slowly letting me know that our household will have Cuban influences.  Which is alright with me, just find it interesting how he wants to do that where before he said he didn’t care.  I’m happy he wants to do that.  I mean he wants any of our daughters that we potentially may have to have a Quinceañera.  Do I look like I’m joking here people?  No, I’m not.  Of course we are going to have spoiled daughters because I still want them to have a Sweet Sixteen as well.  I asked my mom how I could do that since both say the girl has grown into a young woman.  My mom said we could say at 15 she’s a young lady and at 16 she’s a young woman.  Works for me.  LOL!  But I got off topic, back to the cookbook.

So yeah, this book is everything I could ask for in a Cuban cookbook.  Great tasting Cuban recipes made from what I’ve gathered to be easy to find ingredients.  There is only one problem.  Remember the title of this post?  Yeah…the book is in Spanish and I currently lack the Spanish speaking skill.  *deep sobbing cry*  What’s a girl to do?!?  Well, finally get off my duff and learn some Spanish I suppose.  I need to learn so I can finally meet my potential mother-in-law as well as teach potential future kids Spanish.  So no better time than the present to do it.  And another bonus to the cookbook is that it seems a lot of items in it will be gluten free.  A lot of rice, a lot of beans, a lot of meat…I can deal.

So from further research it seems this cookbook is based off of a show by the same name.  The theme music is so relaxing to listen to for some reason.  And the host of the show and author of the cookbook is a sweet motherly looking woman by the name of Nitza Villapol, the Cuban Julia Child.  And if you guys know me I’m a fan of Julia Child, Betty Crocker, and I am thinking I will be a fan of Nitza Villapol.  Ok, so Betty doesn’t really exist, but you know what I mean.

I found two clips of Nitza’s cooking show.  Have a look.

Cocina al Minuto Nitza Villapol Boniatillo By... by burronazul

This seems to be a plantain dessert she is making.  I’ll admit, it does not look too tastey with the coloring of the video, but I won’t judge it by the color.  I’m sure it tasted…delicious???

This one looked like a dinner dish.  Ok, I admit, it doesn’t look to good in black in white either, but I have hope.  LOL!  These meals were made to help Cuban families during hard times during wartime and when rations where implemented.  So to help them make do with what they had she made easy recipes.  Upon research there are some good looking recipes I may have to tweak for gluten free.  I tried gluten again today to see how I react.  Nothing so far, but I am going to still stick to gluten free as much as possible.

Nitza also wrote another book in her day called Cocina Criolla.


It seems this was another great cookbook for those entering into Cuban cooking for the first time.  They say it’s a great gift to Cuban American newlywed wives and people just going out on their own for the first time.  So I may try to get this book as well.  The things I won’t do for my guy.  I just need to quiz him on this cookbook a little more before I make the investment and search out some free recipes online first.  I don’t want a cookbook filled with recipes I will never use, so best to ask to make sure.  But just looking at the cover above and watching the clips has already made me crave tying on an apron and creating a Cuban culinary delight.

And that’s all that was really on my mind today.  Still stressing over other things in life, but throwing myself into silly research helps me forget for a while.  I’m also doing Camp Nanowrimo this month and next, so it will keep my busy as well.  And well, that’s about it.  Just wanted to post my findings about Cuban cooking and share my excitement and fear in trying it out.  I think I really may try to find a free recipe and try it out.  I’ll let you know what I find and try.  Smile

If' you’ve read this far, first of all, thank you, and second of all…I think you deserve a prize.  Smile  A doll.  I think we need a doll in this post.


I got a Punky Brewster doll for Christmas one year as a child.  I still have her, but she’s a little rough for wear.  She needs a good cleaning and will be as good as new.  Her hair is that awful stuff that would bend and snap with one brushing, so I will have to see what I can do about it.  If you click this link you will be taken to a YouTube video for the Punky Brewster doll staring Soleil Moon Frye and Andrea Barber (Full House’s Kimmy Gibbler).

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen, a full post full of random info and a doll.  Smile  I hope you have enjoyed this epic post of epicness and I will post again soon.  Be good until then and bye for now.

Loves ya,

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