Sunday, January 31, 2010

Some French Toast for Sunday

Finally a beautiful day all around. The sun is shining, the birds are eating their seeds, my parents are smiling - not to mention my children who also are smiling and my husband is totally content. I shared my happiness with my family via some delicious french toast. Continue to read and maybe, one morning you can make it too and your family will smile!

Sunday French Toast with Berry Compote and Bacon Confetti

It all starts out with the following....
Milk, maple syrup, eggs, vanilla, juice of one orange and naturally, some delicious bread like Challah (shown) or brioche or any other thickly sliced bread.

Next, mix the eggs, milk, orange juice, vanilla and maple syrup. Put it to the side and start on berry compote.

Which you will need berries (strawberries and blueberries is what I had in the frig), maple syrup and cinnamon sugar butter (regular butter works great too but, if you can get this from a gourmet store the compote will taste out of this world!)

Okay, add about 1 cup of syrup to small pot and put over low heat. When it starts to boil add the butter (2-3 tablespoons) and start to whip it in. Lower the heat to simmer and start to fry (or broil) some bacon (5-6 strips will do).

Next slice the bread pretty thick so all the sweet liquids go right into the middle areas.

Dip one to two slices into the egg mixture and put on a greased flat pan (a long griddle pan in my case) and cook for about 1-3 minutes on one side and flip over.

Meanwhile add berries to maple syrup mixture and stir to incorporate.
Then it's time to set up your plates. Sorry about no photos here -- still learning how to create and visualize my blog!!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Out of the Loop

For many days now (10 days to be exact) I have avoided writing. It's not that I haven't want to or that I didn't have anything to say -- it was just fear. Fear of opening up too much, expressing too much of my pain (or happiness) and simply, maybe fearing it wasn't good enough. Well, tonight out of the blue, I sit here and just know what to write, but please be patient with me as I'm new at this........this week has been very hard for me. I have been taking my parents to doctor appointments and bank outings. My father was recently diagnosed with Parkinson's disease and from the moment the doctor confirmed it -- "it" (the Parkinson's disease) has attacked my dad's body at full force. His legs are tighter than ever making his walking very difficult. His speech is slower and harder to understand. His focus is so off that it often annoys me (I know he can't help it and I know he doesn't do it to bother me) BUT it still does. And the very moment I lose it (which by the way is NOT always) I immediately feel sad and guilty. I have a sad cloud that circles my daily existence. However, I don't let it show because, you see, I'm an only child and I'm the leader of our household. If I let my emotions surface I will be in trouble. I will cry every time my dad looks at me or when I see him trying to get up from a chair and not be able to do it. I will cry because I know how terribly sad my dad is at seeing himself slowly lose every independent motion of his body (and mind). He has always taken care of me from the moment he laid his beautiful dark eyes on me at the hospital in Havana. And those eyes have watched me grow up into a very responsible woman. A woman who dearly loves her father.

The pain continues on another day. It takes my dad 3 hours to get ready to head into NYC where he will retrieve a cd that has matured. At first, I didn't think much of what I had to do. I thought it would be simple to drive him to the bank, help him up the stairs and be there to assist with any of the paper work. It wasn't simple though -- from the minute my dad started to speak to the women at the bank, his tears started. I wasn't sure what I should do nor did Mercedes, the bank manager. You see, all these women have known my dad --the very handsome, debonair Cuban fellow -- for over 30 years. And now he is standing there looking very frail and weak. As if this wasn't enough, he now has to deal with the ugly side of All of his savings are dwindling down to nothing and the little that he does have, he wants to try to leave for me. All the tears I want to show are SO hard to hold back BUT I do. It is now that I cry, quietly by myself.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Hello there……welcome to my blog. My name is Maria and I am your typical stay-at-home mom who likes to keep a clean house, cook delicious meals and love my family as much as possible. Somewhat typical yes, but am ordinary? Do I have an ordinary house? NO WAY! Hence, I am no ordinary woman just a woman of many titles!

Well, in this, my first blog I will start to explain my many titles…..firstly, I am a Cuban woman which right from the start alerts you that I am very stubborn, opinionated, and argumentative BUT also a very loyal, hard-working, and kind woman who loves to make people happy with my cooking. Secondly, I’m married to a wonderful man whom I’ll call, Mi Capitan (means My Captain in English – how this name started is a whole other story.) He is a great man…..a spectacular father, a very loving and virile husband, an exceptional creative art director and super patient with his family—Oh, I almost forgot…..he’s from the luscious land of Ecuador which right from the start alerts you that he’s soft spoken, calm, loves Mother Earth and is a hot-blooded macho man! Just in case you’re not getting it yet….I’m a high-strung Cuban woman and my husband is a calm Ecuadorian macho….lots of stories to follow, believe me.

Thirdly, I am mother to two beautiful children—Julian, a thoughtful, kind teenager who’s not so into school (yet!) but totally into screaming at his mic while playing Xbox games – Oh, and he takes after me…intense, opinionated and loves to argue (no quiet household here!)
Tatiana, on the other hand, takes after her father….quiet and calm – she’s a captivating pre-teen who does love school and the family computer! Oh and did I mention she’s a pre-teen? Stories to come here, too!

And fourthly (I can go on, but I might lose you, the reader, so I’ll stop at four) I am a caretaker to my parents who moved in with us almost one year ago. My parents, Fernando (aka Abuelo) and Odecta (aka Abuela) are quite a pair. Where do you think I got all the intensity and the need to be opinionated from? Well, in the blogs to come you’ll slowly understand.

I have started this blog as an outlet for me. For months now I have spent most nights with my computer on my lap reading other people’s blog. Some have the most inviting and descriptive writings of their lives and others just write about their everyday. I hope to be a combination of both. Oh, and there will be some delicious dishes photographed and explained all the time on my blog…..I want to make you and your bellies happy!