The Cuban Table - A Winner

Do you know what I love most about running a comment giveaway on my site? Well...your comments. Seriously, I love hearing about who the best cook in your house is and about your favorite foods to cook. 

That, and I have some cool things to give away. I wish all of you could win because this is such a beautiful cookbook.

Or as we say in "good Cuban," Ana Sofia Peláez and Ellen Silverman, "You ATE it!"*

NOTE: *This particular Cuban phrase loses everything in translation. "Te la comiste" means that you did an amazing job. See? Everything sounds better in Spanish.

Congratulations to the winner:

Screen Shot 2014-10-31 at 11.23.59 AM

Beatriz Navia, you won! Please send me an email with "HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG!" in the subject line. Include your mailing address so I can send you your very own copy of The Cuban Table. You are so going to love it!.

For the rest of you, you MUST get a copy of this cookbook. It's available on Amazon. Here's the link: The Cuban Table by Ana Sofia Peláez and Ellen Silverman

Thank you to Ellen Silverman Photography and Hungry Sofia. Congratulations on a beautiful project.

Buen Provecho!

Cooking on a Budget - Pastelitos de Guayaba

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, you know that I have perfected the simplest recipe for making pastelitos de guayaba (Cuban guava pastries) at home.

Porto's, which is the closest Cuban bakery to us is still miles and miles and a half day's road trip away. So, when the craving for pastelitos hits, I just make my own. It happens a lot more often than I'd care to admit, but that's not important right now.

The pastelito recipe is in my cookbook, of course, which, if you don't already have it, you should get it, because you're being supportive and everything. (Was that the weirdest, clunkiest sentence ever? Yes, it totally was.)

Marta darby cookbook

Me and my cookbook. Photo Credit -

Anyway, my good friend, Carlos de la Vega who is one of the co-creators of the show "Wassup En LA?" and is a whiz with graphics and video has recently been a bit obsessed (in a good way) with making my pastelitos at home. 

My big fat cuban family cookbook

'Wassup En LA?' co-creators Rudopho Zalez and Carlos de la Vega crushing on their copies of "My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook."

So much so, that he has created a most awesome video sharing the ease and magic of how to make your own DIY pastelitos de guayaba a la Marta. Also, here's the recipe:

Marta's Homemade Pastelitos de Guayaba

Pastelitos de guayaba

This is the first in what promises to be a really fun cooking series, "Cooking on a Budget. How to make Pastelitos de Guayaba."

Cooking on a Budget Carlos de la Vega

Please notice my Naturally Curly Self at about the 1:18 mark. (Thanks for the shout out, Carlos!)

You didn't really believe homemade pastelitos were this impossibly easy, did you?

There's probably other things you don't know about Cuban Cooking. Don't worry. I'm here to help.

Click on the image for the link to My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook. Buen Provecho!

My big fat Cuban family cookbook

My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook for Christmas

If you'd like to own your very own copy of My Big, Fat, Cuban Family Cookbook; A celebration of Cuban-American life around our family table or (even better!) would like to give it as a gift, my publisher, Blurb Books is offering a very nice promotion right now.


25% off with the promo code: BLURBGIFT-1 at checkout.*
Here's the link: MBFCF Cookbook

What are you waiting for? Merry Christmas to YOU!

Mbfcf cookbook

Or, if you prefer...Feliz Navidad!

*Offer valid through December 15, 2013 -11:59 pm PST

Authentic Cuban Cuisine - A Winner

Thank you all for sharing the magnificence of the cooks in your family.  I particularly like the quote:

“What is patriotism but the love of the food one ate as a child?”

It seems particularly appropriate based on your answers. The food that was made and served with such love in our childhoods has taken a place of honor and importance in our memories. Again, thank you for sharing that and trusting me with your memories.

Cuban cookbook

Just so you know, I read each and every answer. You made me smile (and made me a little hungry, but that's not important right now) as I read who it was in your family that made the delicious dish of your choice. I also laughed out loud at Maggie's memory of her mother being really great at making reservations. That was hysterical!

Now, without further ado, the winner of the Authentic Cuban Cuisine Cookbook is..........(drum roll, please)...........


Melanie Perez-Lopez said...

My mother-in-law made a wonderful ropa vieja. I never understood the name, but loved the food!


Congratulations, Melanie! You're so going to love it! 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 your snail mail address so that I can send out the cookbook ASAP.

For the rest of you, here's my conversation with the author, Martha Abreau Cortina, about where you can get your own copy. I'll also add a link to my sidebar. Do it. It's a wonderful addition to any Cuban cookbook collection.

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She says, “It's available in, Books-A-Million stores and online; Barnes & Noble. Some book stores might not have them at the stores, but they will order it on request because it is in their catalogs. The more cutomers that request it in Barnes & Noble, the better chance they will have it at their stores soon. Thanks!”

Thank you again for sharing your memories with me and for playing along. I love giving things away, mostly because of your overwhelmingly positive responses. Thank you to Martha and to Pelican Publishing Company for making this giveaway possible.

I have lots more very cool stuff to give away this summer, so stay tuned. I may even have to start calling this The Summer of the Fabulous MBFCF Giveaways®.   ;-)



Authentic Cuban Cuisine - A Cookbook Giveaway

As you know, I am an unabashed Lover of All Things Cuban. Particularly Cuban food.

And if there's something I might just love more than Cuban food, it's Cuban Cookbooks.

I have quite a nice collection, too. I often refer to all of them when I'm making a dish my own. I use them almost like text books, laying them all out on the table and making notes, like:

  • I would skip this ingredient.
  • Must try this!!!
  • I would add _______ here before cooking.
  • I think the sofrito would be better with red peppers added.
  • This might be tastier with lard instead of butter. (It doesn't happen, often, but it happens.)

And on it goes, until I practice and play and eventually create a Cuban dish that tastes just like I want it to.

I recently received a beautiful Cuban cookbook so that I could review it.

Cuban cookbook

It's called Authentic Cuban Cuisine and the author, Martha Abreau Cortina grew up watching her mother cook. The recipes featured in her book were collected from her mother, aunts, and friends. A graduate of the University of Miami, she has been teaching in the Miami-Dade County Public School system for more than twenty-five years. She lives in Miramar, Florida

I dove into it as you would dive into a cool swimming pool on a hot summer's day. I read it cover to cover and when I went to add my notations, they were mostly “Must try this!!!” notes. Win!

The recipes are all old-Cuban-school delicious. Every single one makes you think, “This sounds just like the ___________ (*fill in the blank*) my grandmother/mom/aunt/neighbor/madrina used to make.”

I'm so happy to have this book in my collection and of course, I'm excited to share it with you, too.

So, let's do a giveaway!

For a chance to win this gorgeous Cuban cookbook, Authentic Cuban Cuisine by Martha Abreau Cortina, please leave a comment on this post and answer the following:

My grandmother/mom/aunt/neighbor/madrina makes the best ______________.  *fill in the blank

I'll choose a winner on Sunday, July 10th at 5 pm. Until then, good luck and...

Buen Provecho!

[Disclaimer: The cookbook was sent to me for my review, the opinion that it is a wonderful addition to any cookbook collection is my own.] =D

The Winner of Sabor!

Well done, people! Reading all your answers about your favorite breakfast foods has made me HUNGRY.

The added benefit to reading through all of them is that now I have lots of ideas for mixing it up for breakfast. And although I can only choose one winner, I think the entire exercise of having you share your favorites was a total WIN.

Of course, I wish I could give away a cookbook to everyone who entered, but sadly, I don't have that kind of power. I will however keep doing fun giveaways, because, well....I can. =D

As usual, I plugged in the number of entries into the True Random Number Generator on and came up with a winner.

So, congratulations to the winner of the Sabor! Cookbook:


Vivianna said...

            Stuffed torrejas, oh my! They look delish...

I love to eat scrambled eggs con chorizo, pan cubano con mantequilla y cafe con leche. This is a treat when we go visit my parents, who live in the outskirts of Union City, NJ... lots of my peeps there (cubaniches =)

Shoot me an email with your snail mail address and write HEY, MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG in the subject line and I will get this beautiful book to you ASAP.



By the way, I just heard from my friend, Ana Quincoces Rodriguez (the author of Sabor!) and she's co-authoring another cookbook. (Epic win!)

If you decide to make My Big, Fat, Cuban Torrejas, would you please send me a photo and tell me how you liked them?

My favorite breakfast? (Not that I get to have it often enough, but that's not important right now.) Toasted, buttered Pan Cubano with Café con Leche.  For me, it just doesn't get any better than that.

3 Things


Okay, three things...

  • I am amazed and grateful and a little overwhelmed at the generous outpouring of kindness and good wishes from all of you.
  • I am sad that I can't give something away to every single person.
  • I am excited to send stuff to three of you. =)

I made a list of all your names in order of comment and plugged that into List Randomizer. I hit the "randomize" button three times to give me three winners. (Yes, I suppose I could have just taken the first three names, but then I would have missed out on all the excitement of randomizing. In fact, I'm kind of a dork when I do these drawings. It's like a little ritual. I type all the names in and I wish you all good luck, and I press the button and then announce, "We have our first winner!" maybe that was all kind of an overshare?)  ;-)

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all of you for playing with me. You're the reason I love doing this so much.

Drum roll please.....

1) This beautiful MBFCF mug goes to (this totally cracked me up, but that's not important right now):


Amy Arnaz said...
I hope I win the mug!

xoxo Amy Arnaz


2) The MBFCF BBQ Apron goes to:



3) The MBFCF Cookbook goes to:


Elizabeth said...

look at how you're loved! You are amazing! That's not a real cover? Shut up!


To the winners: Shoot me an email that says HEY MARTA! I WON STUFF ON YOUR BLOG! in the subject line (so I don't accidentally delete you) along with your snail mail address so I can get your goodies out to you. And again, congratulations! I hope you enjoy your gifts!

Love you all.

Thank you for making all the hours I spend here worthwhile.