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Playing With My Food

2013-April-11
By Martie Hevia | Blue Beach Song™

Cooking is one of those creative things that I have always loved doing. I thank my grandparents for that. They were amazing culinary artists, disguised as everyday home cooks, who taught me to trust my palate and create my own recipes.


Caramel Coconut Cake


Learning to cook with my grandparents was like jamming with great jazz musicians – they encouraged playing with my food, improvising, and taking risks. Whenever I tried to take notes and jot down measurements, my grandparents would insist that I put pen and paper away, and simply observe, taste, and smell.

Cooking was not a science to them, it was an art form. It was not a chore, it was fun. It was the embodiment of tradition and culture, and, in a way, the essence of family and love. You have to feel it, taste it, trust yourself, enjoy it, and share it.


Spanish Tortilla


Although most of the dishes that I learned to cook with my grandparents were based in northern Spanish cuisine and family recipes, the lesson was really about being creative in the kitchen, cooking with love, and respecting the art form.

Over the years, I have developed my own recipes, most of which I never write down, they are simply inspired impromptu culinary creations with whatever I find in the kitchen or in the garden at that particular moment. That is part of the fun, the inspired creativity, and the challenge of cooking.

Perhaps these photos of my culinary creations will inspire your own creativity.

¡Que aproveche! Enjoy! Bon Appétit!


Caramel Pecan Apple Coffee Cake



Toffee Custard Cake



Apple Stuffed Pancakes with Raisins



Cinnamon Sugar Cookies



Coconut Custard Cake



Valentine’s Dinner – Garlic Encrusted Lobster with Asparagus, Peas & Mushrooms



Cuban Roasted Pork



Rosemary Garlic Turkey



Marinading Rosemary Garlic Turkey



Cuban Citrus Chicken



Rosemary Garlic Lamb



Marinading Lemon Herb Salmon



Lemon Herb Salmon on Creamy Cucumber Spinach Salad



Italian Eggplant Soup



Chicken Barley Soup



Blackberry Feta Spring Salad



Cuban Yucca with Mojito



Chinese Fried Rice Toppings (Sans Rice)



Pork Chow Mein



Saucy Spaghetti with Italian Sausage, Mushrooms & Peppers



St. Patty’s Corned Beef & Cabbage




Martie Hevia (c) 2013 – All Rights Reserved

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Hungry permalink
    2013-April-11 7:34 AM

    I am hungry already after reading “Playing with my Food”.
    A big part of cooking and dining is the time spent with family and friends and this article brought me back to my grandmother’s kitchen where I was “helping” her bake cookies, coffee cake, and pastries. Okay, maybe it was more like helping her eat those tasty baked goods, but all the same I enjoyed the trip back to grandma’ s kitchen.

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