Easy Vegan Guava & Cheese Pastries | Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso

Hello everyone and FELIZ AÑO NUEVO!

I’m so excited to take on 2018 and show you guys the content I’ve been coming up with! Get ready for a year full of outfit guides, beauty tips and make up looks that’ll keep you glowing harding than Cardi B in 2017!

All of this finessing makes me super hungry and I’ve been missing Miami like crazy lately. Mainly because NYC has been colder than a freezer and I…just…can’t.

I was inspired to whip up my favorite Cuban treat, pastelitos de guayaba y queso (guava and cheese pastries) and after perusing Pinterest I discovered Jamie from A Sassy Spoon! She’s a food blogger from Miami with Cuban roots and delicious Latino inspired recipes that I’m dying to try out! Her Pastelito de Guayaba + Queso recipe was really simple to follow, and she linked a video of another amazing Cubana blogger Marta Darby  demonstrating the process. There was no reason not to do it at this point!

Vegan Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso | Vegan Guava & Cheese Pastries

I figured I could change a few things to make this treat vegan. Yup, that’s right, I’m trying to do the vegan thing. I’m lactose intolerant and all the Netflix food documentaries I’ve seen about the American meat industry has made me say “Why not?”. I don’t think I’ll be missing out on much since most of my friends are already vegan and they seem to be making things work. Like mi amiga Colombiana Jessica who runs Vegan Turned On, a food blog that shows how easy it is to veganize typical Latino dishes, like this Arroz con Pollo recipe that i’m definitely trying out this week 😋

Vegan Pastelitos de Guayaba y Queso | Vegan Guava & Cheese Pastries

Substituting the cream cheese and egg wash for “cream cheese” style spread and maple syrup was a crazy experiment, but the end result was AMAZING! The puff pastry was chewy rather than flaky on top and the vegan cream cheese was the perfect replacement. Next time, I would add a thinner wash of maple syrup and stuff more “cream cheese”!

Ingredients:

Guava Paste cut into 18 thin rectangular slices

Daiya Vegan Cream Cheese Style Spread

Pepperidge Farm Puff Pastry (CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS IS VEGAN?!)

Maple Syrup

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. After thawing the puff pastry for 40 minutes, fold out one of the sheets on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.
  3. You’re going to be making 9 pastries in total, so place 2 slices of guava paste for each 1/3 of a 1/3 fold. If you’re confused by this, check out Marta Darby’s video on how to assemble Here.
  4. Put a spoonful of “cream cheese” on top of the guava paste.
  5. Place the other pastry sheet on top and cut into 9 squares. Cut 3 small lines into each square.
  6. Wash a thin layer of maple syrup on top.
  7. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes and then buen provecho! You just got breakfast, snacks and dessert all in one recipe!

If you try out the recipe, don’t forget to tag me @TheMelDez so I can check out your creations!

Also, don’t forget to follow these Jefa’s in action ! They’ll give you mega food FOMO 😉

https://veganturnedon.com/

https://www.instagram.com/veganturnedon/

https://asassyspoon.com/

https://www.instagram.com/asassyspoon/

https://www.mybigfatcubanfamily.com/

https://www.instagram.com/mybigfatcubanfamily/

Advertisements

I’ll Drink To That: Coquito For The Holidays

My holiday parties are never complete without a cup of chilled coquito in everyone’s hand. For those of you who don’t know, coquito (meaning Little Coconut) is a Puerto Rican alcoholic beverage that mainly consists of coconut milk, spices and rum. It is THE holiday cocktail that you will see at every Puerto Rican party, and it’s popularity reaches new heights each year.

img_9779

This year, it seemed that the holiday parties started the day after Halloween and pictures of coquito were flying around Instagram with some vendors making multiple flavor variations such as pistachio, nutella, and strawberry!

Everyone has their own unique coquito recipe handed down by their Abuelos or Padres. I personally received mine from my mother and it has been a crowd pleaser since 2015! My boyfriend and his Ecuadorian family never tried coquito before, and once they took a sip of mine they have called me Coquito ever since and they go CRAZY when I mention that I’m bringing a bottle to the party. Nuera of the year, or what? 😉

img_9791

Without any further ado, here is my coquito recipe! Make it the night before a party, let it chill in the freezer overnight and enjoy it with some cinnamon sprinked on top.

Ingrdients:

1 can Condensed Milk

1 can Evaporated Milk

1 can Coconut Milk

1 can Coconut Cream

1 cup of Spiced Water (Water infused with Cloves, Cinnamon, and Allspice)

1 cup of Rum (Or more, it’s up to you and your preferences 😉 )

The best part about this creamy, rum infused cocktail is the memories you’ll make drinking it with loved ones durante la navidad.

If you try out my coquito recipe let me know what you think!

Bendiciones y mucho amor,

Melanie.

Sundays in Brooklyn

After a full weeks worth of work and then a nights worth of drinking the stress away, Sunday is when I go into full on hibernation mode. Typically I sleep in, cuddle with my fur baby, and lock myself in the apartment all day. On the occasion that I actually want to do something other than be a potato my boyfriend and I have a traditional outing planned in Brooklyn that never disappoints. Check out my guide to a day filled with eating, drinking and exploring in Brooklyn, New York!

img_7881
Coat:Fashion Nova, Shirt:Forever 21, Pants:Gap, Boots:Target

Eat: The first thing on the list is brunch at Harefield Road. This full time bar, part time brunch spot offers the best deal in the city that not only satisfies your poached eggs fascination but your wallet as well. Their $14 brunch includes a coffee or tea and a Mimosa or Bloody Mary and let me tell you I have tried almost everything on the menu and never have I encountered a miss. Everything is delicious and fresh, and they’re happy to customize plates so vegans are welcome!I take everyone I know here for brunch, it just can’t be beat.

img_7795img_7809

Drink: Walk off that big brunch and enjoy the graffiti art that’s quintessential Williamsburg. When you start feeling thirsty, head over to Barcade. This mecca is where childhood dreams and adult fun combine to create a memorable experience…until you had one too many beers and forgot where you left your phone! Play old school games like Pac Man and Donkey Kong while sipping on a smooth one. Come for the games, stay for the local beers on tap.

Do: Head south to Dumbo and stroll through the Brooklyn Flea. Local food joints and vintage connoisseurs gather to offer the community an eclectic market of goods. Here is where I’ve found vintage art pieces and old Playboys that have made my house their home. The day is not complete until I’ve had a Cafe au Lait donut from the Dough stand. They are pillowy mounds of sweetness in your mouth, you shall not be disappointed!

img_7838img_7842img_7832

After all the eating, drinking and walking around I love to spend the rest of my Sunday at home watching movies and eating popcorn before a new week of possibilities begins. 

I’d love to try out some new places, so let me know your favorite spots around Brooklyn! 

PS. I have a 25% off discount code for you from Fashion Nova! Yaaaas girl, go get you some new threads for the winter, gogogo!  https://share.fashionnova.com/x/g41mTi 

Hasta Luego,

Melanie.

Cook With Me: Tostones con Salsa

Hola mis amores! Ever since I was a little girl, my family always had tostones on the dinner table. There were some variables, like my Dad’s would be saltier and my Mom’s would be crunchier. After I moved to New York, I had no one to make these for me so I was left without tostones for years ! Imaginate una vida sin tostones, it was crazy!

img_7085

Recently, I had a craving for them so I scoured the internet and made phone calls back home to find the perfect recipe. Mi gente, what I bring you today is the BEST way to make flavorful tostones that are both chewy and crunchy. And while these bad boys are delicious by themselves I’m also going to be sharing 2 easy salsas that you can make to accompany them. So preparate, because your family and friends are going to ask you for more once they’ve had the first batch!

img_7137

What you’ll need/Lo que necesitas

Tostones

  • 2 Green Plantains
  • Corn Oil or Grapeseed Oil to fry the plantains
  • Water
  • Salt

Salsa Rosada

  • Ketchup
  • Mayo
  • Lemon

Garlic & Oil Sauce

  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • Olive Oil
  • Lemon
  • Salt

Directions:

  1. Peel the skin off of the plantain.
  2. Cut it in half, then cut those halves in half. For smaller, bite sized tostones you can cut the halves in half once more.
  3. Soak the plantains in salty water for 20 minutes. Your water should taste like the sea. This is not only going to give them flavor, but also make tostones come out juicier.
  4. Start heating up the oil. Pour enough oil in a deep pot to cover the plantains. I don’t like to use a skillet because the oil IS going to pop at you and that WILL hurt. I learned from experience…
  5. Once the plantains are done soaking, dry them up with a paper towel and place them in the hot oil. Once they start turning golden, take them out to flatten with a pilon (or if you don’t have one, then use anything with a flat surface like the bottom of a cup or a plate.)
  6. Return the flattened plantains to the hot oil and fry till they turn a golden brown. Don’t leave them in for too long or they’ll end up being super dry and crunchy.
  7. Place them on top of a paper napkin to absorb all the excess oil. And VOILA! Your tostones are ready 🙂
img_7124
Love…
img_7126
At first bite!

The accompanying sauces are very easy to make.

Salsa Rosada:

  1. Mix equal parts Mayo and Ketchup
  2. Add a squirt of lemon juice.
  3. Mix it up and dip your tostones for a sweet and tangy kick.

Garlic & Oil Sauce:

  1. Dice up the cloves into chiquitito pieces.
  2. Place it in 4 tablespoons of olive oil.
  3. Add a squirt of lemon juice and a pinch of salt.
  4. VOILA ONCE MORE! You have a sophisticated sauce to pour on top of your tostones that will impress your guests and their tastebuds.

img_7122

I hope you’ll enjoy these as much as my boyfriend and I have. I made tostones 3 nights in a row because he was addicted and couldn’t get enough! That’s what you get when you introduce some Puerto Rican spice to an Ecuadorian 😉

Hasta luego mi gente!

Have A Drink: Peachy Rosé Sangria

IMG_5290

The BBQ grills are firing up, parks are being filled with hammocks and tents, and the sound of reggae hits are filling the air. Summer has arrived and we are more than eager to fulfill our Vitamin D deficit by soaking up all that the warm weather has to offer.

I think the most important things we need to remember to bring with us on hot sunny days are:

  1. Sunscreen
  2. A cold drink

Los parques están llenos de hamacas y parrillas de barbacoa, y el sonido de los éxitos de reggae están llenando el aire. El verano ha llegado y estamos más que dispuestos a cumplir con nuestro déficit de vitamina D absorbiendo todo lo que el Verano tiene para ofrecer.

Creo que las cosas más importantes que necesitamos recordar para los días calurosos son:

  1. Protector solar
  2. Una bebida fría

IMG_5320

A week before the Fourth of July, I had just bought my first Rosé of the season when I passed by my local fruit and vegetable store. Looking at the beautiful rainbow of ripe fruit, just waiting for me to take them home, an idea crossed my mind to create a sangria. And not just any sangria, but a Rosé sangria! I felt so fancy with just the thought of it, so I grabbed a few juicy selections and went off to concoct what happened to be the most delicious and prettiest sangria this side of the Hudson.

The super simple recipe is:

1 cup of diced peaches

1/2 cup of diced strawberries

1/2 of diced raspberries

1/2 cup of sugar

1 bottle of Rosé (I recommend to use a dry variety)

Dice up the fruit and mix the strawberries with the sugar in a large container. Leave the syrupy mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes. Then add the peaches, raspberries and wine. Leave in fridge for 3 hours. What comes out will be a deliciously sweet sangria, and you can enjoy the fruit as an alcoholic fruit salad 😉

Una semana antes del 4 de julio, acababa de comprar mi primer Rosé de la temporada cuando pasé por mi tienda local de frutas y verduras. Mirando el hermoso arco iris de frutas maduras, esperando que me las llevara a casa, una idea cruzó mi mente para crear una sangría. Y no sólo cualquier sangría, sino una sangría con vino Rosé! Me sentí tan elegante con sólo pensar en ello, así que cogí unas selecciones jugosas y invente la sangría más deliciosa y más bonita este lado del Hudson.

La receta súper simple es:

1 taza de duraznos cortados en cuadritos

1/2 taza de fresas en cubitos

1/2 de frambuesas en cubitos

1/2 taza de azúcar

1 botella de vino Rosé (recomiendo usar una variedad seca)

Corte la fruta y mezcle las fresas con el azúcar en un recipiente grande. Deja la mezcla melosa en la nevera para 30 minutos. A continuación, añadir los duraznos, frambuesas y el vino. Deja en la nevera para 3 horas. Lo que sale será una sangría deliciosamente dulce, y se puede disfrutar de la fruta como una ensalada de frutas alcohólicas;) 

IMG_5330

Let me know if you tried this out and how you liked it, and don’t forget to take pics and tag me on Instagram @themeldez !

Déjame saber si has probado esto y cómo te ha gustado, y no te olvides de tomar fotos y me etiqueta en Instagram @themeldez!