Thursday, April 30th, 2020:

Sofrito Lovers,

Lexi, from LexiTelevision on YouTube, is an all around entertainer, influencer, artist, and amazing cook! 

Do you need make up tips?  Lexi has got you! 

Do you like good Gospel Music?  Lexi will sing the house down! 

Do you need some cheering up?  Lexi will have you rolling!

Do you want to learn how to make some good spaghetti? Then, you came to the right place.

Lexi's Ghetto Spaghetti recipe is really delicious and the DIY video is hilarious to watch!  This crisis has thrust many of us into the kitchen and original, interesting, and delicious recipes are becoming a necessity!  Check out the video below and subscribe to Lexi's channel for laughs, recipes, music, and fun!

Stay home, cook, order in, and taste for yourself!  ¡Buen provecho!

Thursday, April 23rd, 2020:

Sofrito Lovers,

SPAM can be polarizing!  Some people consider it God's gift to the taste buds and others think it's the most disgusting concoction ever created!  If you grew up working class, then probably ate SPAM for dinner a few times.

When I was a kid, my Mami would fry SPAM slices and pair it with white rice and stewed pink beans- it was so GOOD!  It's truly a versatile and flexible protein and can be easily adapted to whatever cuisine it comes across!

In Puerto Rico, it's still common for Public Schools to serve students Jamonilla Guisada con Arroz (Stewed SPAM with white rice) for lunch.  It's cooked the same way in the Dominican Republic and is chopped up and made into pastelitos de jamonilla (fried SPAM patties).

In Hawaii, SPAM is used in to make Musubi, a SPAM sushi, which is amazing!  I could wax on forever, but I won't!  SPAM is awesome and you should be open-minded and try this amazing recipe from Greg's Kitchen for SPAM fried rice! I'm sure you'll love it!  Try it out!

Stay home, cook, or order out and taste for yourself!  ¡Buen Provecho!

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2020:
Our Tips for meal Planning During Self-Isolation

Sofrito Lovers,

Meal planning is a good idea right now. With some of us losing income and the dwindling resources around us, meal planning in advance and being creative with the little we have is a brilliant, and in some cases, that only way we can survive. 

Food insecurity has always been a serious issue and given our current pandemic crisis its multiplied tenfold.

Check out the article below, maybe some of the information will help you get through this insanity a little smoother.

Stay healthy, stay safe, and order in and taste for yourself!  ¡Buen Provecho!

Our Tips for Meal Planning During Self-Isolation

This period of coronavirus quarantine is forcing more of us to cook more of our own meals than ever; here are our best strategies for making it work with ease.

Published: April 8, 2020

I've never been a meal planner. My normal life of eating is too unpredictable, a consequence of my job. My cooking happens in fits and starts as I bounce back and forth between recipe testing and writing and editing, which means on some nights I come home from work with an abundance of test-kitchen leftovers to put on the dinner table, and on others I arrive late and empty-handed, left to desperately raid the tinned sardine stash to hold off my hunger until morning. The daily variables I contend with make it difficult to consistently plan meals well.

That was fine when things were "normal." In a vibrant city like New York, there's always food within reach, whether a coffee shop pastry for a breakfast on the run, lunch from a restaurant near the office, or delivery just a finger-tap or phone call away.

But life isn't normal right now. I'm at home, quarantined like the rest of us as we wait out the coronavirus pandemic. So is my wife, as is our two-and-a-half-year-old son, who we're suddenly caring for full-time on top of our full-time jobs. I haven't walked out my front door in more than a week, and even that was just a quick dash for an essential errand.

These days are challenging, but they're also consistent in at least one respect: We need to get food on the table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day, without fail. Only once before in my life, when I worked on farms, did we cook every meal ourselves, and that was a very different situation—living on a farm that grows a wide variety of crops is a lot like living in a market. There's almost always plenty at hand to whip up a quick meal.

The only way to make things work now is to plan effectively. And I know that's something many of you are dealing with, too, because it's a lot of what people are asking me about on social media. One frequent request is help with meal planning, more specifically a recipe schedule that folks at home can use to provide mealtime structure and efficiently use up ingredients.

It's a great idea, in theory, but my experience is that it doesn't pan out as well in practice. There are too many variables to make any kind of fixed meal plan that's universally useful to people. Family sizes vary, dietary needs and preferences vary, appetites vary, home storage spaces vary, and, frankly, in parts of the country right now, reliable availability of many ingredients is spotty. A recipe-driven approach is a one-size-fits-all solution to an every-situation-is-different set of circumstances. It's tough to plan meals out in detail when everything is so uncertain.

Imagine creating a recipe-specific shopping list, trekking to the supermarket with mask and gloves, and loading up your cart until nearly overflowing, only to realize that the whole plan has just gone to crap because the supermarket is out of all-purpose flour—a linchpin ingredient in your carefully crafted recipe map. Suddenly you have to think on your feet, come up with an alternate plan, find flexibility in the rigid structure you'd hoped to follow.

Which is why I ask, "Why not just start with that flexibility?" That's what I've been doing, and it's been working great. In a sense, instead of the more traditional meaning of "meal-planning," what I'm proposing is something more along the lines of "adaptive meal-planning." A way of cooking that allows you to make food no matter what unexpected complications arise.

The key to success is to be able to think outside any specific recipe by understanding why a recipe works. In case it wasn't clear before, this is precisely why we've stressed the underlying techniques of cooking so heavily at Serious Eats. With that knowledge, you can become the master of your own kitchen, whipping up meals no matter what you have on hand, using ingredients strategically with a minimum of waste, and feeding comforting and nutritious food to your family in the midst of all this madness.

My colleagues and I have been leaning on a variety of our own strategies to make this approach work in our homes. A lot of them are rooted in our experiences as former restaurant cooks, where large quantities of food have to be ordered, partially prepped and cooked in advance, then finished at the last minute when the customers come in. And as any restaurant cook knows, as rigid as a menu may be, there are countless moments every day when flexible and creative thinking kick in—when a customer has strict dietary restrictions, when a critical ingredient fails to be delivered, or when you just want to change the menu up or create a special dish to keep things interesting.

Check out the rest of the article here!

Thursday, April 16th, 2020:
Foods That Boost the Immune System & What to Avoid, According to an Expert.

Sofrito Lovers,

In this time of crisis boosting your immune system with delicious fruits, veggies, and good carbs has become a priority.  If you need some extra nutrition information and guidance then read the article below, originally posted on, and let it guide your choices at the supermarket, fruit stands, and open air markets.

This virus doesn't discriminate and has proven to be pure chaos-taking the healthy and immunodeficient alike. It's time to take the bull by the horns and prioritize immune boost foods and practices.  We just don't know what could happen.  Hedge your bets, eat right, make good choices and stay home.

Order in and taste for yourself! ¡Buen provecho!

Foods That Boost the Immune System & What to Avoid, According to an Expert What you eat can keep you from getting sick.

By David Watsky April 7, 2020,

Having a healthy and high-functioning immune system has always been an attractive proposition, but the concept has been greatly underscored with more pointed consequences in 2020. You can’t open your browser without hearing how important a healthy immune system is in warding off serious complications from COVID-19. And you can’t shake a stick without hitting five miracle cures that claim to deliver one.

From super-charged vitamin powders to tonics, elixirs, and specially formulated supplement capsules, the immune-boosting business is a big one. But how much is helping and how much is just marketing muscle?

Dr. Joan Ifland is a nutrition counselor and food addiction expert who has some thoughts on the subject. As someone who works directly with nutrition and its direct impact on our health, Dr. Ifland suggests a broader, more holistic approach to keeping your immune system humming and suggests we forget the notion of a magic bullet solution.

David Watsky: Given the circumstances surrounding COVID-19, and more generally, what should people know about their immune system, what keeps it strong, and what may compromise it?

Dr. Joan Ifland: The most helpful tip for keeping your immune system strong is to avoid processed foods. Processed foods lack nourishment and can take the place of nourishing foods that would support the immune system. Processed foods can also cause a stress reaction by stimulating stress pathways in the brain which in turn stimulate the adrenal glands to release adrenaline and cortisol. High levels of adrenaline and cortisol put the body into stressful ‘flight or fight’ status, which means blood is being diverted from the immune system to the arms and legs.  The body prioritizes surviving the perceived immediate danger over fighting off an infection.

If an episode of stress happens once or twice in a long while, it’s not a big deal. But when it happens frequently and the immune system is habitually deprived of nutrients, then the immune system weakens and cannot fight off viruses as effectively. When this happens, instead of having a mild case of the flu where symptoms are contained by your vigorous immune system, you could end up in the hospital because the virus has overwhelmed a weak immune system. When a powerful virus like COVID-19 is on the loose, we all want our immune systems to be in top condition.

DW: What are some of the best foods for boosting your immune system?

Dr. Ifland: Plants that still look like they did at the moment of harvest. Examples include a beet that’s still round and not made into beet sugar, a kernel of grain still in the shape of kernel and not ground into a flour, or leafy greens [that] are still leafy and not ground up into powder inside a capsule.

Unprocessed foods do not result in glucose highs and crashes, so they don’t trigger the release of extra adrenaline needed to correct a blood glucose low. Remember, we want to keep adrenaline and cortisol low to prevent creating a stress reaction in which blood flow is diverted to arms and legs and away from our immune systems.

Unprocessed foods are also non-inflammatory. This means that cells that line the gut are flat and hold their bond with one another. Highly processed foods are inflammatory which means that cells swell up and lose their bond. Partially digested foods can leak out. The immune system recognizes these partially digested foods as foreign invaders and goes after them. This can actually wear down the immune system and create another gateway for the virus to develop.

DW: What about other ingredients, spices, herbs, or natural supplements to take to help boost your immune system?

Dr. Ifland: The role of processed foods in immune dysfunction is huge compared to the effectiveness of add-ins. One danger of relying on additions to food rather than healthy food itself, is that the practice can lead to justification for using processed foods. The thought going through the head may be, ‘Well I took that supplement, so now I can eat whatever I want and be safe.’  This just isn’t the case.

DW: Any products on the market specifically made to help boost your immune system you recommend?

Dr. Ifland: It’s very tempting to name a few specific superfoods but this can be a set-up for giving into the temptation for addictive processed foods such as sugary caffeinated drinks, sweets, sweetened dairy, or baked goods.

DW: Any easy non-dietary lifestyle adjustments to help keep your immune system strong? 

Dr. Joan Ifland: Stress is detrimental to immune function. As we’ve mentioned, stress diverts blood to arms and legs to fight or flee. Every other system is deprived of blood and nutrients when this happens, including the immune system. It may sound contradictory to monitor COVID-19 developments which could be stressful while urging people to stay calm at the same time. It is definitely possible to take preventive measures in a calm, self-assured manner rather than in a panic.

There are so many fun ways to create calm. By practicing these while you’re at home avoiding contact with groups of people, you might find the time to create new calming habits that could keep you healthier even after the Covid-19 threat is over. Walking, stretching, dance, music, singing, jigsaw puzzles, reading, creating art, doing crafts, coloring, meditating, and visiting with upbeat people are all calming.

DW: Anything on the market or things you don’t think are great or are a waste of money? I’ve heard different things about the effectiveness of taking vitamin C pills or Emergency-C type supplements for instance).

Dr. Ifland: Taking supplements when not needed can be harmful. It’s important to be tested for nutritional deficiencies and go from there.

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

Tuesday, April 14th, 2020:
NYC Restaurants Now Selling Groceries!

Sofrito Lovers,

The only way we will survive these unstable and, downright, scary times is by being flexible, adaptable, and creative- let's throw charitable in there as well!

Some restaurants are taking this to heart and are becoming a new type of community resource.  Check out the article below, written by my foodie crush Robert Sietsema, and find out if any of your local eateries are delivering produce, groceries, and other resources to your home.

If  you don't need this resource, then pass it along to people who might!  The staff and other workers at these eateries will definitely appreciate the economic support.  Let's keep our wonderful servers and kitchen staff employed!  I deeply appreciate these essential workers!

Stay home, enjoy some delicious delivery, and stay safe!  ¡Buen Provecho!

A Guide to NYC Restaurants Now Selling Groceries

Restaurants are delivering produce and other goods to make up income during the novel coronavirus shutdown

by Robert Sietsema and Serena Dai Updated Apr 13, 2020, 11:43am EDT

One of the more interesting aspects of the current crisis is the morphing of restaurants into institutions that do so much more, selling seasoning mixes, delivering cocktails and bottles of wine — and using their foodstuff sources to become de facto grocery stores. Yes, sometimes the groceries closely resemble the ones they once used to make our meals, but they have also sometimes used their connections with wholesalers and farmers to offer a wider variety of high quality products. Some restaurants are delivering produce and other groceries, including in weekly installments, while others offer contactless pickup for locals living in the neighborhood. The selection at these restaurants are largely more limited than local grocery stores, but for those struggling to get delivery times from bigger players, it’s both a possible alternative and a way to support a beloved local restaurant.

Here’s a guide to some of the restaurants now offering produce and other groceries. Warning: Demand is high right now for grocery delivery across the city, so lengthier delivery times and changes to the offerings may occur. For more information on how to get groceries now, see Eater’s bigger guide on current options.

Check out the rest of this article here!

Thursday, April 9th, 2020:
NYC Restaurant Spices and Seasonings to Buy for Home Cooking!

Sofrito Lovers,

This quarantine has many of us chained to the kitchen- I miss dining in!  If you need some new ideas and flavors for your recipes then check out the article posted below!

According to, some restaurants are selling patrons their special spice blends and jars of their sauces online.  So if you miss some of your favorite flavors, then check out the list below!  It may not be the same as dine-in, but it's socially responsible and pretty innovative!

Check out the list below-which will be updated regularly-and see if one of your favorite spots will sell you their secret sauce!  Who Knows?  Improve upon it and create your own sauce/spice blend empire!  Some good things can come from this quarantine, think about it!

Stay home, order in, and taste for yourself!  ¡Buen Provecho!

NYC Restaurant Spices and Seasonings to Buy for Home Cooking
Chile oil, gochujang, salsa verde, and Momofuku’s ssam sauce are all on the menu.

by Luke Fortney@lucasfortney Apr 9, 2020, 2:24pm EDT

New York City restaurants may not be offering dine-in service right now, but there’s still a way to get a taste of neighborhood favorites in home kitchens. In recent weeks, some restaurants have started to sell spice blends, seasonings, and sauces as a way to increase sales and continue to pay staff during the economic downturn. Many of these seasonings were previously only available in tabletop shakers or as ingredients on a menu, but now they’re available via online delivery and weekday pick-up. For those looking to send their loved ones a gift right now, also consider our restaurant merch list and gift delivery guide.

Below, a list of some restaurants selling spices and seasonings blends in New York City right now. This article will be updated regularly, so if there’s something in your cabinet that we’ve missed, let us know at

Fish Cheeks: Cheeky Noho Thai restaurant Fish Cheeks sold out of its zabb seasoning spice blend before it even promoted its sale. The spicy, limey seasoning made from lemongrass, lime leaves, and Thai chiles normally appears on the restaurant’s popular wings, and is now available for use in home kitchens.

Frankie’s 457: New York hitmaker the Frankies Spuntino Group sells the organic extra virgin olive oil used at Frankie’s 457 by the liter and half-liter. It’s ripe, bright, fruity, and peppery, according to the olive oil’s description.

Colonia Verde: Fort Greene Latin American restaurant and wine bar Colonia Verde is now selling wholesale family meals and pantry staples. In addition to steaks, soups, and Mexican Chocolate, the restaurant is also selling eight-ounce jars of its salsa verde and chipotle crema.

Hunky Dory: Crown Heights neighborhood cocktail bar and cafe Hunky Dory has $35 snack packs with Hunky Hot Sauce, za’atar seasoning, and the spice blend used to season its fried chicken and french fries.

Junzi Kitchen: Northern Chinese fast-casual restaurant Junzi Kitchen is selling its house-made small-batch chile oil, made from Tianjin peppers, Sichuan peppercorns, and cayenne.

MáLà Project: Always-packed East Village dry pot spot MáLà Project has several sauces on deck for delivery, including spicy beef, spicy mushroom, soy pork, and five spice tofu flavors. The restaurant’s online store also has dry wheat and glass noodles available for sale in bulk.

Momofuku: David Chang sells the umami-rich ssam sauce used at Momofuku restaurants across the city, a Korean gochujang sauce made with chile paste, miso, soy sauce, and rice vinegar.

Mr. Bing: Beijing-style street food vendor Mr. Bing is selling chile oil, which “looks very spicy but is actually not,” according to the restaurant’s website. The sauce is available in two sizes: a one ounce jar for single use and a heaping 64-ounce container.

Insa: Korean restaurant and karaoke bar Insa has half pints of its ssamjang and gochujang sauces available for same-day pickup, made from fermented soy beans and Korean chile peppers.

Disclosure: David Chang is producing shows for Hulu in partnership with Vox Media Studios, part of Eater’s parent company, Vox Media. No Eater staff member is involved in the production of those shows, and this does not impact coverage on Eater.

Friday, April 3rd, 2020:
Dominican Mangu (A Traditional Dominican Breakfast Recipe)

Sofrito Lovers,

Are you over pancakes and sausage?  Have you come to hate your typical cereal choices? Do you need a new breakfast recipe?  If you do, then the post below is for you!

Mangu y los Tres Golpes (Mashed boiled plantains with the three hits) is an amazing breakfast alternative!  All you need to do is boil some green plantains, fry up some white cheese and salami, and make some eggs (usually fried as well). 

Does it sound good?  It's probably out of your comfort zone, but this Dominican breakfast staple is truly amazing and worth a try!  This is considered a Dominican power breakfast- a truly working class breakfast!  Full of carbs and protein, it'll give you a boost of energy that will  Carry you through your day.  I will admit, that all teh fried protein isn't the healthiest, but once in a while it's really a treat!

Check out the post below and follow Chef Zee-the Dominican Goddess of La Cocina- as she walks you through this incredible Dominican breakfast staple.  Also, check out her amazing YouTube channel-you'll be an expert Dominican Chef in no time!

Go cook for yourself!  ¡Buen Provecho!