Cuban Food Poster - Winners

Seriously, people. I read every single one of your comments and I swear that your love for Cuban food shows right through. Thank you all for participating and sharing your favorite foods and your stories behind them. 

I'm grateful that you are enjoying my poster. Thank you for that. I love mine. And I figured you'd love it, too. 


I wish I could choose all of you, but that's why I can't be trusted with these kinds of decisions. Which is why I go over to and plug the number of (legit) entries into the True Random Number Generator, which then gives me well, random numbers.

The winners of the Cuban Food Posters are (drum roll, please)...

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Congratulations! Please send me an email with HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG! in the subject line (so I don't accidentally delete it) and be sure to include your mailing address and I will ship out your posters ASAP.

For those of you who were so patiently waiting and did not win, you still have the option to head on over to my Etsy shop and buy the poster for yourself, or for your Mami, or for your Tia Cuca. She loves this kind of stuff.

Here's the link: Marta Darby Designs

Marta darby designs logo


I have two sizes of posters: 16" x 20" and 20" by 30". And also a 16" x 20" wrapped canvas. 


Thank you again for participating in my giveaway. I'd so love to see this poster in every single Cuban kitchen. 

Marta Darby Designs is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

I'm super excited to share this with you today.

So, you know that I have that fabulous Cuban Food Poster that I designed last year. I've had such a great response from you that I decided to go ahead and create an Etsy shop (I know. Who am I?) to make it easier for you to buy as many as you want.

For those of you who don't know, Etsy is THE place to shop online for some of the coolest handmade, homegrown, fabulously designed stuff on the web. 

And look! Here I am!

Marta darby designs logo

And because of this auspicious occasion, I've listed my 16 x 20 Cuban Food Poster (which, I know you've totally been wanting) at a discounted price just in time for Christmas.

It's only $21.00 this week. Just in time for you to get one for every single person in your big, fat, Cuban family to open on NocheBuena. 


Here's the link: marta darby designs

I've got lots of other fun things in the works, but right now I'm really excited to get this party started with this fun poster. 

"Cuban Food is its own reward." ~Marta Darby

Thank you all for your support. Buen Provecho and Happy Shopping!

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art - The Winners

Reading through all of your responses to my last post and Cuban poster giveaway, I was blown away by your tender and loving descriptions of the Cuban food we've all been raised on. 


Remember that time I made a giant vat of picadillo?

This is the language that we speak, isn't it? The language of sofrito and abuelas and cumin and salsa. That was my inspiration when I created my very own Cuban poster - the Comida Cubana Subway Art Poster. I'm so delighted by your overwhelming response to this project.

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art

You are all such an inspiration to me. Also, as we say in "good Cuban," "Me dejaron con la boca cuadrada." (Loosely translated,"You made me so hungry!")

Thank you all for entering my giveaway and congratulations to the 3 winners of the 16" x 20" posters. 

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Please send me an email with the subject line: HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG! Send me your mailing address so that I can get these cool Cuban posters to you. 

I'm sad that all of you couldn't win, however, if you're still intrested in acquiring the poster, here's the info.

The 16" x 20" Comida Cubana Subway Art Cuban Poster is only $24.00 (USD) plus $7.00 shipping and handling. Just click on the BUY NOW button below. Gracias! 

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art

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Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art - A Giveaway

My kitchen is, along with the rest of my house, freakishly small cozy and cottage-like. There's barely enough room for one person to turn around in. Having two people in there trying to get a hot meal on the table necessitates some intricate choreography.

Marta's-kitchen with Cuban Poster

I'm truly not complaining. I am glad it's not very big. If it were, I know the messes I make while cooking would be proportional to the space I have, so I'm grateful I have my little kitchen.

I haven't quite yet mastered the art of 'cleaning up as you go.' I must have skipped that particular life skill class, but that's not important right now.

I (boldly) chose to paint my freakishly small cozy and cottage-like kitchen a Tiffany blue, which has a lovely Caribbean feel to it and my accents are black, red, and white. And I had the cabinet doors removed because being easily distracted I like to see what is where at all times. 

Anyway, I wanted to put up my own Comida Cubana Cuban Poster in subway art style in the kitchen, but lack of wall space made it quite impossible. What to do?

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art

I came to the realization, kind of in a slow-motion-hey-wait-a-minute moment, that I could just have the same Cuban poster printed a little smaller. In fact, a 16 x 20 size would be ideal for that one corner. (By the way, mine is not framed, although it is very suitable for framing. It is "plaqued." A process that mounts it flush to a stiff wooden backing and covers it with a UV coating, hence the use of the name "plaque." Ask your local frame shop if they offer this.) 

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art 2

Then I thought that maybe those of you who would want to display this type of Cuban poster in your kitchens may have the same that-20x30-size-is-too-big-for-my-kitchen problem. I apologize that it took me so long to realize this. 

As my mom would say, "Las cosas del palacio van despacio." (Loosely translated, "you sure took a long time to figure this out for yourself.")

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art 3

Feeling contrite and generous all at once, I've decided to host my own giveaway today. 

If you've been putting off buying this Cuban poster because the 20 x 30 size is a little too big for your kitchen, today's your lucky day. (Well, it's someone's lucky day...)

Cuban Poster - Comida Cubana Subway Art 16 x 20

I'll be giving away three of these 16 x 20 Comida Cubana Subway Art Cuban posters this weekend. 

To enter this giveaway, please leave a comment on this post and answer this question:

  • What's your favorite Cuban food? 

How easy is that? I'll pick all 3 winners on Monday, July 21st, 2014 at 8pm PST


However, if you're impatient (like me) and just want to order your own or send some out as gifts, here's a link for you to do just that. Gracias! 

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Cuban Poster: Comida Cubana Subway Art

Words + Cuban Food = Comida Cubana on a subway style Cuban poster! 

I know. The whole thing kind of blows your mind, right?

I've designed a beautiful Cuban poster in a "subway art" style in 2 popular sizes. 

Cuban poster: Cuban food subway art

(Note: The red water mark at the bottom is not on the finished Cuban poster.) 

I have 2 poster sizes available. 

• Large - 20" x 30" Comida Cubana Subway Art Poster $38.00 + tax, shipping and handling.

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• Small - 16" x 20" Comida Cubana Subway Art Poster $24.00 + tax, shipping and handling.

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A Cuban Poster & Your Own Custom Subway Art!

I have often described myself as a Lover of Words. Just as often, I self-describe as a Lover of Cuban Food. Also, I'm a Serial List Maker.

Just recently, all those worlds collided in my creative brain and the resulting explosion was this Cuban poster...

Cuban poster: Comida cubana subway art

Words + Cuban Food = Comida Cubana to create a subway style Cuban poster! I know. The whole thing kind of blows your mind, right? The finished poster is 20" x 30" and it's quite suitable for framing. (Note: The red water mark at the bottom is not on the finished poster.)

And, yes, I made it myself. *insert self-congratulations here*

I'm selling this beauty for just $38 + shipping & handling.

If you're interested in a more unique one-of-a-kind gift, consider a custom subway art piece, like the following.

I made this one for my husband, Eric. These are his very favorite surf spots in California. Pretty sweet, no? I just casually asked him "So, Honey... what are your favorite surf spots?" and I made this piece with the information he gave me. It hangs at the top of the stairs in our home and he totally loves me for it. (Win!)

Surf spots subway art

A friend and her husband recently celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary and I created this one based on words and places that are meaningful to the two of them. I especially love the map coordinates at the top which signified a place where they used to meet when they were courting. Don't you love it?

Anniversary subway art

This is a gift from one sister to another. It doesn't make much sense to me, but really, that's the point. I'm particularly curious about the stealing rhubarb line, but that's not important right now. She also mentioned to me that their mom had a thing for owls, so I created one and included it in the finished piece. They both fell in love with it.

Sisters subway art

If you'd like a custom subway art poster created by me, especially for you, with your own special words, I charge $87. plus shipping & handling.

It works like this:

1) The Design. You come up with about 12 -15 personal words or phrases that represent that special thing, event, anniversary, relationship, etc.

For example:

  • Your favorite places to vacation.
  • The things you love to do together.
  • The pet names you have for each other.
  • The addresses of all the places you've lived in your life.
  • Your family's favorite things.
  • Special places you visit regularly.
  • All the birthdays and anniversaries in your family. (Numbers add an especially compelling look and feel to the design.)
  • The possibilities are endless!

2) Payment. I prefer to be paid via Paypal. It's the best and most secure way for both of us. There's a "notes" box in the payment form where you can type in your special words for the art.

3) The Comp. I will come up with a creative way of putting those words together  - it's kind of like a puzzle - and email you a comp. Comp is design talk for "a preview of what the finished thing will look like."

3) Your One-of-a-Kind Subway Art by Marta Original. I'll ship the finished 20" x 30" custom poster, suitable for framing in a mailing tube to the address of your choice in the U.S. only. (Sorry, rest of the world.)So, what are you waiting for?

Comida Cubana Subway Style Cuban Poster by Marta - $38.00 (+shipping & handling)

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Custom One-of-a-Kind Subway Art by Marta - With the words of YOUR CHOICE. - $87.00 (+shipping & handling)

JUST ADDED! 7/24/2014. A new, smaller Comida Cubana 16"x20"  size Cuban poster. Doesn't it look cool in my kitchen? $24.00 (+shipping & handling). Order below.


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Papa Rellena Recipe with Pictures


Like every other Cuban mother out there, I am constantly aware of my charges. That is, I’m constantly trying to stay one step ahead of my family. I’m always anticipating their needs and their wants and their ‘antojos.”

Please understand that I’m not trying to brag here. This is just how our own Cuban mother groomed my sisters and me. I know you know what I’m talking about. It goes something like this: Mami is making a big dinner of Masitas de Puerco, pero Papi prefiere bistec, so Mami will not only make the Masitas (and they will turn out perfectly delicious, of course, but that’s not important right now) but Papi will definitely also get his bistec, too, made to his specifications. It's the way it's always been. It's how it will always be. Cuban mothers are GIVERS.

I’m really not as pro as my mom was in the food-distribution wars. I know what my family will want; I just stretch it out and work to make sure to put it into the rotation.

For example: I made picadillo on Monday, and boiled the potatoes while the picadillo was cooking so that I could make Papas Rellenas for Tuesday with the leftover picadillo. Are you following? I’m constantly multi-tasking and trying to second-guess what my family will be enjoying next.

Here's how I plan my Cuban menu for the week:

  • Monday - Picadillo - The picadillo becomes the filling for Tuesday’s Papas Rellenas,
  • Tuesday - I'll serve those Papas Rellenas as a companion to Crockpot Lechon
  • On Wednesday the pork goes into some Fried Rice with Pork,
  • Thursday you'll still have leftover Pork but only enough to go into Cuban sandwiches.

It's all about planning....

All that to say this: My family will be eating well this week and and they will praise me with great praise and I’ll demurely brush it aside with “It was nothing…”  When really all it took was some preparation and forethought. And bada-boom! It’s Papas Rellenas. And that’s what I call Cuban multi-tasking!

What about Friday? I know you're asking about Friday. Friday my grateful husband takes me out and lets someone else do the cooking - it's called..... A Date.

That is all.

Papa rellena
Papa rellena

Papas Rellenas

  • About 6 baking potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • Garlic Powder
  • Parsley for garnish
  • 2 Tbsp. Warm milk ( maybe slightly more - warm a little milk in a small cup for this part)
  • PICADILLO (leftover from the stuff you made last night.)
  • 2 eggs, beaten with 1 Tbsp. Water
  • 1-2 cups Corn Flake Crumbs
  • Oil for frying

(originally posted on Babalú Blog. May 2008.)

1) Boil potatoes until they are fully cooked.

2) Drain.

3) Mash the potatoes – by hand along with the salt , garlic powder and warm milk. DO NOT ADD ANY BUTTER.

4) Let cool just until you can handle them with lightly greased hands.

5) Grab a handful of the mashed potatoes and make a little bowl (about the size of half a large golf ball), making an indentation in it.


6) Do that again. Stuff the indentations with picadillo and bring the two halves together and smooth the outside. You should have a cute little picadillo-stuffed potato at this point.


7) You can make these whatever size you like, actually. Repeat until you’re out of potatoes or picadillo.

8) Beat the eggs with water until they are a little fluffy.

Corn flake crumbs
Corn flake crumbs

9) Dip the papa rellena into the beaten egg, then roll in the corn flake crumbs mixture until lightly covered.

10) Dip a second time in the egg mixture and again in the bread crumbs.

11) Cover the rellenas and refrigerate for at least 3 or 4 hours or overnight before the next part!!!

Take them out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature before frying.

12) Fill a large frying pan with enough oil to cover half a ball.

13)Fry each ball at least 2 minutes per side, turning once – or at least til they’re golden brown. (color is everything!)

Tres rellenas
Tres rellenas

You can serve them hot or cold, as appetizers or as a main dish. Amy Kikita likes hers with grilled onions served over the warm potato. You can also spice up the bread crumb mixture if you like.

God, I love Cuban food! (yes, that was a prayer. =D)