Tag Archives: Tapas

If you could only eat ONE thing…

We all love playing this game: “If you could only eat ONE thing FOREVER, what would it be?” How many times have you played that?! I love the dramatic tone of this age-old question. I have a constant battle between sushi and pizza!

This came up while making homemade pizza this past week. It was so good! Pizza is something that both kids and adults love so much…sushi? maybe in Japan. Here are some tips for great homemade pizza. Try it this week and don’t forget to get some great RED wine to go along with it!

  1. Buy Fresh Dough! Almost all pizza shops sell it. Otherwise, grab some at Trader Joe’s or check with your baker in the supermarket. It usually costs $3 or less for enough to make a large pie or 2 small ones.
  2. It’s in the Sauce: Sauce matters. Many argue that it’s more important than cheese. I love Pomi brand, straight from Italy and very high quality. A local Italian shop is worth the find for this and other delicacies.
  3. Keep it Simple: This part is easy. Pick a few fresh ingredients that you love, be it traditional pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage or something fancier.
  4. Top with Fresh Basil: Basil and tomatoes were meant to be together. Make sure to buy FRESH basil and put it on the pizza just a couple of minutes before it’s ready (otherwise it will sadly wilt and burn).
  5. Share with Friends: This is a quick and fun meal you can make with friends. Don’t fret about having things ready when they arrive. Put them to work – rolling dough, chopping ingredients or pouring wine. They’ll love it.

Quickie Recipe for Homemade Pizza:

  • Allow fresh dough to settle at room temperature for about 35-40 minutes (easier to roll)
  • Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees
  • Roll fresh dough with rolling-pin or round object (i.e. pint glass) onto pizza stone, crisper or baking sheet. To prevent sticking, dust rolling-pin or object lightly with flour.
  • Spread layer of tomato sauce over rolled out dough. We love Pomi Marinara sauce, but you can make your own or use a favorite jar of pasta sauce to save time.
  • Add favorite toppings
  • Place pizza in the pre-heated oven. It should take anywhere from 15-20 minutes depending on your oven and your preference for crispness. Set your timer!! Check at 10 minutes and then add time as necessary until you get to know your oven and it’s power.

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Abuelo Martin’s Famous Sangria (not for the faint of heart)!

Abuelo Martin's Famous Sangria Recipe.

Abuelo Martin's Famous Sangria Recipe

For months now, I’ve been asking my Abuelo (grandpa) for his famous sangria recipe. Of course, I once had it and lost it. Finally, it’s back and I’m happy to share this family secret with you.

Abuelo Martin’s famous Sangria has been the hit of my parties for years! This recipe is famous for a couple of reasons: 1) It’s delicious and 2) It’s strong! Add a tapas theme to your party and you’ll be the most popular kid in school.  Now onto the recipe:


½ liter of brandy
•    1 bottle (750ml) of wine (red or white)
•    1 bottle (750ml) of triple sec
•    1 bottle (750ml) of port wine
•    1 liter of 7-up or Diet 7-up
•    2 liters of Orange Juice
•    ¾ lb brown sugar
•    1 orange (quartered with skin)
•    1 apple (quartered with skin)

•    Optional: 1 can of guavas (quartered)*Guava recommended if making white wine sangria

Instructions (Easy)

You will need a large bowl for mixing/serving. Pour all liquid ingredients into large bowl, mixing with wooden spoon along the way. Add brown sugar as you go. Mix well. Add fruit. Mix. Cool in refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can also make the night before an event (for ideal flavor).

Serve in a wine or highball glass with sangria-soaked fruit atop!

Serves 50.

Choosing Red vs. White Sangria

Choosing to make a red vs. white sangria is a matter of preference (and season sometimes). I tend to prefer red sangria, but on exceptionally hot summer days (maybe in Miami), I’ll occasionally go for the luscious white version (guava and all). Serving guava in white sangria became quite famous at Victor’s Cafe in New York City (Cuban food). My grandfather worked with the sommelier there and compared sangria notes with him before finalizing his own delectable concoction. My advice is to make a batch of red and white for your next party. That way, you won’t go wrong. By the way, finding fresh or canned guava is not always as easy as when you’re in Miami. If your in other parts of the country, try your Latin markets or the ethnic food section of the supermarket and keep your fingers crossed for the delicious ingredient.


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Filed under Alcohol, Drinks, Mixed drinks, Party drinks, Sangria, Tapas