Hawaiian Pizza

By Maria Rivera

My family loves pizza, specially my grandson Logan. Fridays are his favorite day of the week, Pizza and appetizer night. He get very exited when he sees me start measuring the ingredients for the pizza. He steps on a chair and tries to help me make the dough. When the pizza is ready for the toppings he loves to help me:-) It is his best opportunity to eat some pepperoni.

On Fridays we can't make Logan eat anything else yet. For him grandma's pepperoni and cheese pizza is the only food he wants to eat, except for the dessert.


The pizza dough I'm sharing with you today is very simple to make, the recipe is a version of the one I learned in culinary school.
 Looking at the fresh pineapples at the Supermarket I decided it was time to share my favorite pizza recipe with you. 


10 ounces bread flour

1/4 ounce dry yeast
3/4 cup purified water, at room temperature

1 tea…

Classic tomato salsa

After a few months the appetizer night turned into a family tradition. Thursday night at the dinner table the conversation is about what's going to be on the menu the next day. I usually make pizza for my grandson because other than that he only wants to eat dessert.   But I always try to see if something else might make him curious.  
 I was looking for something fresh to finish our family appetizer night and this one with a few ingredients was perfect. At least Logan ate the chips!!!šŸ˜Š



3 tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed and diced
1 small red onion, diced
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped 
the juice and zest of 1 lime  
1 small jalapeƱo, seeds removed and diced
Salt and ground black pepper to taste

In a medium bowl add all the ingredients and gently mix until combined.

Serving suggestion: 

With organic yellow corn chips.

Tomato Concasse

Tomato ConcassĆ© is the technique of peeling, seeding and chopping tomatoes for use in garnishes, sauces or salsas. 


In a small sauce pan over high heat bring the water to boil. Cut a cross in the base of the tomatoes. Place the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds.

Lift them out using a slotted spoon and plunge them into an ice water bath to stop the cooking process. Drain the tomatoes. 

The skins will have begun to peel back from the crosses. Remove the skins completely.

Cut the tomatoes in half, remove the seeds with a teaspoon, and cut the flesh in small dice.

Creole Sauce by my niece Karina

Thanks to my niece Karina who took the time from her busy life as a professional chef to share this recipe with me. 

Last week I was making my menu for my Friday night appetizers and I decided to add my recipe for potato croquettes. Looking for a sauce to serve with the croquettes, my niece's creole sauce came to mind. I pureed the sauce and it was a perfect pairing. I served the sauce in its original form with chips and pureed for my potatoes croquettes.

The sauce is simple but very good! Check out the recipe in my blog and tell me what do you think.

1 small yellow onion, small diced
1 large tomato, small diced
1 red bell pepper, small diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces of red wine

In a medium sauce pan add the oil. Turn the heat to medium, add the onion and cook for 1 minute. Add the rest of vegetables and a pinc…

Garden salad

Specially on Mondays after the weekend when you go out to eat there is nothing better than a simple #salad to make your body feel better. Serve beside roasted chicken breasts and oven baked French fries for a complete meal. 

I like to make my own dressing but when you are in hurry it is a good thing to have alternatives.  I found a good quality raspberry salad dressing in the local supermarket that goes great with this salad.


Romaine lettuce, torn  
Mini Marzano tomatoes, sliced
Red onion, sliced
1 Cucumber, seeded and sliced
1 Carrot, Julienne cut
1 small red bell pepper, Julienne cut

Homemade Seasoned croutons
Raspberry vinaigrette,  store bought

To make the croutons:

2 cups 1/2 in-diced 1 or 2 days old French bread
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 medium garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried parsley 
Salt and black ground pepper to taste

Set a medium skillet over medium-high heat f…

Potatoes and bacon croquettes

You can eat potatoes every day without getting tired because of the many ways they can be prepared. Double baked potatoes, Shepherd's pie, French fries, Mashed, Stewed and many others ways. 
 The recipe I want to share with you today is a very easy and tasty appetizer. Loaded with crispy bacon and parmesan cheese this recipe will keep your family asking for more. 


Since my daughter and I started with the idea of having appetizers and movie night on Fridays I started making some appetizers in advance and freezing then. These potato croquettes turn out really good regardless of being in the freezer for 3 or 4 days. I serve then with my niece creole sauce.


1 pound of Idaho potatoes, washed
peeled and cut in 4 pieces water to cook potatoes 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 tablespoon of butter (I used French salted butter)       1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese 1/4…

Lemon curd

This smooth and luscious lemon curd can be used as a filling between cake layers or to fill cookies, cupcakes and tarts. The fresh and fruity flavor of the lemon curd is perfect to use as a topping on a cheesecake.


It is important to use only non reactive pots and utensils to cook lemon curd, due to the chemical reaction of the acids in the lemon juice with untreated metals. Stainless pots and whisks, as well as anodized aluminum and glass are recommended. The storage container for the filling should also be non-reactive.

 I used a pot with a porcelain interior to avoid the reaction of the lemon juice and the metal. I changed my spatulas and whisk for one made out of silicon material.
  Because I couldn't find a sieve with non-reactive material I tried a technique my daughter used when she went to pastry school in order to make the curd without the nee…