Even though my mother is my biggest inf luence when it comes to cooking, she is a die-hard traditionalist, whereas I like to deviate. When I started cooking, my mother let me take over the making of Thanksgiving stuffing. Now I like to add chorizo, because chorizo and dates make a great match.
Squash has great flavor, and it's also a beautiful color. I love this soup.
I make different flavors of hummus, but besides the classic, black bean is my favorite. It's well worth the little amount of time it takes to make your own hummus. The ready-made version is never as flavorful.
I serve sangria all the time when I entertain. It's refreshing, delicious, and it looks really pretty in a big jug.
Pernil is my favorite thing in the world. My grandmother made it. My mom made it. And now I make it. Make sure you get a pork shoulder with the skin on and bone in. When you slice into the roast, you see the gorgeous olives and garlic in every slice. I call for a 6-to-8-pound roast, but make any size pernil you want; I like to have leftovers for sandwiches.
Being that my mom is Puerto Rican, guava puree is just something we always had around; my mom threw it into various dishes, but she never made a vinaigrette with it. This sweet dressing contrasts with the slightly bitter taste of raw kale.