March 30, 2017

I got another book in the mail not long ago! I was totally excited because the cover was so beautiful. Harvest is a how-to guide on how things grow, when to harvest them, and what to do with them. The pages are filled with stimulating and beautiful photos of seasonal produce, herbs and flowers. It’s a feast for the eyes. Writing and getting a book published is such a long process, you always have to admire and respect the authors that stay the project through. Harvest is full of how to dry herbs, flowers and citrus. After all, the book lists unexpected projects using 47 garden plants. It also includes recipes for quince paste, pomegranate margarita and hostess gifts like edible flower pressed cheeses.

Unfortunately, in a time where most chefs and restaurants are trying to find ways to reduce and eliminate food waste, this book seems like the epitome of food waste. Most of the “what to do” with the things you harvest seem like a waste. It seems like the book uses the most expensive products as tablescapes instead of ingredients: artichoke flower arrangement, apricot facial scrub, blueberry dye, persimmon wreath. It would have been helpful if they added a sidebar on what to do with these ingredients after you use them for frivolous uses. A recipe could have been added to assist the reader in maximum utilization of a beautiful (and expensive) product, rather than just using it as a floral arrangement. While creative, a waste of food.

However, just looking at the beautiful photos will inspire you to grow or exercise your green thumb in the garden. #sponsored I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

The dumpling galaxy cookbook

February 10, 2017


The Dumpling Galaxy Cookbook is a deliciously compact and affordable book that packs a wallop. With the ever prevalent “overhead” cluttered food photography on hand-thrown pottery and the classic closeup.

The book is separated into six chapters, while the first chapter contains all of your classic dumpling fillings, pork and cabbage pork and mushroom pork and pork,  I love that there is a “how to” photo showing a set of hands filling, shaping and closing the notorious XLB dumpling. The other chapters contain more non-traditional fillings, titled “faraway flavors,” and one chapter is called, “Green dumplings.” Is it because the six recipes in the chapter have some kind of green vegetable included; cabbage, spinach, chive…ect? This chapter contains the Pork and Green Chile recipe, that is more of a Southwestern dumpling than a Chinese.

There are a few more photos of how-to shape and fill different types of dumplings, which is always helpful. The book has the steps on how to make the dumpling dough depending on how you want to prep them: boiled, pan-fried or steamed. The recipes and sidebars are very clearly written, easy to follow and don’t include a lot of fluff. You don’t need any special equipment for to prep or cook the dumplings. Great photos and short chapter introductions. A great book to have for yourself and for any beginner or adventurous seasoned cook. #sponsored I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.


February 4, 2017

Don’t forget to come and check out my market to table demo at the SF Ferry Building, with the help of CUESA.

rice and beans

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 2, 2017 –12:00PM TO 12:45PM

Stop by the CUESA Classroom for a cooking demo featuring the seasonal bounty of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

EatGordaEat is the name of Illyanna Maisonet’s self-published Puerto Rican cookbook and her popups. Illyanna grew up in the Sacramento Delta, surrounded by an abundance of produce that grew wild in her backyard.

When Illyanna started documenting her grandmother’s cooking, she thought she was just putting her family’s recipes in writing for the first time. Little did she realize that the series of recipes she’d collected would turn into a little cookbook and would serve as a time capsule for a diminishing craft; cocina criolla (country cooking). Since then, she has developed recipes for Steve Sando of Rancho Gordo, been featured as a writer for Paste and Lucky Peach Magazine, and been invited as a guest speaker for La Cocina’s Voices from the Kitchen. She is currently working on a cookbook with her editor, Lesley Tellez, writer of acclaimed cookbook Eat Mexico.

All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.

SF Chronicle asks bay area cooks about holiday traditions

January 8, 2017

Many thanks to Jonathan Kauffman of the SF Chronicle for reaching out to me inquiring if I’d like to participate in their edition of bay area cooks, chefs and restauranteurs family holiday traditions. Quite a diverse addition to the holidays, don’t you think?


EatGordaEat Pop-Up | Doctor’s Lounge, San Francisco

October 17, 2016


So happy to have shared Puerto Rican food with so many people. Eternal thanks to the MANY who showed up, it was insane. Like, real strangers showed up! It was a crazy month. I’m f’ing exhausted. My sous (Lisa) and server (Blake) killed it, couldn’t have done it without them. I’m complaining today, but come this weekend I’ll be sad I’m not in the kitchen. I hope to continue and share my grandma’s recipes with the world and educate folks on Puerto Rican food, pre and post colonization.

Be sure to get those photos and #eatgordaeat out onto Instagram to receive your free cookbook!

La Tortilla Factory Chorizo and Eggs

August 6, 2016

brown person picking figs

They  gave us whole bags of tortillas from Santa Rosa-based La Tortilla Factory at the IFBC cocktail party. But, after my first food blogger’s conference, I was itching to get back out to the farm and reconnect. In just a matter of a few weeks, all of the pears that were dangling from sagging tree branches were now gone, lest the few that had fallen to the ground and given the air a perfume of fermentation. What had ripened in that short time were the Brown Turkey figs. The purple coloring on the figs had started to creep upward and consume the green, ribbons of sugary syrup oozing out of cracks. The last few days in the Sacramento valley had ceased to punish us with triple degree weather. The delta breeze began to stir curtains and pour into open and screened windows, cooling the nights down to the point where I grabbed a light quilt from my closet. The mornings felt calm and the sky was tinged with brass, reminding you that autumn is just around the corner, but not before another heatwave. It felt like autumn just long enough to actify the gatherer within me and set me off onto the farm to pick figs. But, not before coffee and breakfast.

At the IFBC, there was a swag table where we could fill up our gratuitous bags adorned with a silkscreened ear of corn on the front. Confectionaries, whole grain granolas, dried figs, t-shirts, goat cheese, cans of Blue Diamond almonds, tortillas. Whole bags of La Tortilla Factory tortillas. La Tortilla 50/50 (have corn, half flour) Factory. I placed them on the cast iron placa until erratic charred spots formed, tore a piece off and pinched my chorizo and eggs into the torn piece of tortilla. The 50/50 were better than expected, with the texture and robust flavor of corn, but with the pliability of flour tortillas. Unfortunately, it took longer to cook than it took for me to eat and throw back a hot cup of cafe con leche. And I’d like to say I consumed my breakfast quickly so I could get out onto the farm sooner, but we both know that would be inaccurate.

la tortilla factory

This recipe contains the following term: Paysanne.

Chorizo, Eggs and Papas

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 45 minutes

Serving Size: 4 servings


  • 1# Ground Pork (with some fat)
  • 1/4 cup garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2TB onion, roughly chopped
  • 2TB unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 1TB paprika (not smoked)
  • 1TB ground ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground oregano
  • Salt and Pepper
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 Medium Russet Potatoes, sliced paysanne
  • Splash of milk (optional)


  1. To make chorizo | In a bowl, mix the vinegar, onion, garlic, and all the spices.
  2. Place ground pork into a food processor and pulse three times. Add aromatic mixture into the ground pork and pulse until it resembles meat paste; should be 2-3 more pulses.
  3. You can use immediately, but letting it rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour in a plastic covered bowl is recommended.
  4. To cook chorizo, eggs and potatoes | Place eggs and a splash of milk into a bowl, and whip with a fork until whites and yolks are combined. Set aside.
  5. Against all the things you've heard about consistent sizing when it comes to chopping, roughly chop your potatoes into irregular sizes. Slice the potatoes in half lengthwise, cut those pieces, skin facing up, into half lengthwise (should now have eight long wedges). Place two wedges side by side, skin facing up and slice into paysanne. Try to have some pieces thin and some a little thicker than thin.
  6. In a 10'' cast-iron skillet, over med-high heat, heat an inch of canola oil. Place one of your slices of potato in the skillet to see if the oil is hot enough; bubbles with form around the potato, it will sizzle, the potato will fry. Dump all of the potatoes into the hot oil, season with salt and pepper, ensuring that most make contact with the bottom of the pan to gain their crust; 3-5 mins. Flip potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. When the thicker potatoes are fork tender, remove from pan with slotted spoon and set aside. Remove oil from pan.
  7. In the same pan, add your chorizo; cook for 5 mins. When chorizo meat starts to separate from fat, add your potatoes and make sure chorizo coats the potatoes. Add your eggs. Cook until eggs have solidified; 3-5 mins.
  8. Try not to disturb mixture too much at this point because you want to keep the potatoes in large pieces.
  9. Remove pan from flame and set aside, while keeping it in the cast-iron skillet. Serve with tortillas.


The reason why I mention using Pumpkin Pie Spice is because it's an economical shortcut. If you don't use ground cinnamon, ground cloves, ground ginger and ground nutmeg all that often, it could lose its pungency by the time you get around to using it next. And you invested at least $10 in purchasing all of those spices.

I use Trader Joe's Pumpkin Pie Spice which contains cinnamon, clove, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and lemon peel. It's superior.

The insanity behind the irregular cutting of the potatoes lends itself in the texture. Some of the potatoes will turn into crispy bits and some will remain thoroughly cooked, but tender.