Jen’s Pastelitos and Picadillo, rich Cuban pastries with a savory meat filling and a sweet crust. Mmmmmmm.

Shortly after my husband and I started dating, his mom wanted to take me to Union City, New Jersey, lovingly referred to as Little Cuba. It’s such a cool little town. The streets are lined with dress shops, linen men’s shirts, and cafeterias and cafes where you can get rice and beans, Cuban sandwiches, little cups of espresso, and glorious fruity shakes. But my favorite is Chica’s Bakery, where I was introduced to the pastelito. They are rich little pastries with a savory meat filling (or fruit and cheese), and the top is crusted in sweetness. I was in love. His family ordered them for all the holidays, and they were the first thing to disappear, with good reason!

My husband and I moved to upstate New York a few years later. We weren’t too far up, still a stretch commute into Manhattan, but up there. I remember calling my mother-in-law when I was pregnant with our youngest, begging her to drive up with pastelitos. She did! I had to figure out how to make them myself! I experimented in my kitchen until I came up with pastelitos that we absolutely adore. I’ve been making them for years now.

These have been my little one’s favorite food since she was tiny. She decided that today was the day I was going to teach her how to make them, so you can see in the photos that they’re doable the first time out! 🙂

The recipe below is for my decadent holiday pastelitos. It makes enough filling for two recipes. I give a variation for a lighter version for everyday weeknight dinners at the end. I hope you love them, too! If you do, come find me again! 🙂


Continue reading “Jen’s Pastelitos and Picadillo, rich Cuban pastries with a savory meat filling and a sweet crust. Mmmmmmm.”

Ree Drummond’s recipe for Meatball Tortilla Soup and Cookbook Reviw: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!

61cy1s5K5ILI love Pioneer Woman’s new book, The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives Well, I love all of her books. This one has the most wonderful Meatball Tortilla Soup in it. My youngest daughter had a second bowl right away, then asked me to make another pot of it for her thermos for school lunches. Yeah, we all thought it was *that* good. A huge thank you to Ree Drummond for letting me share the recipe with you! I added in the underlines where I drew lines in my book, showing which ingredients are grouped together when they’re thrown into the pool. You don’t write in your books?! But it makes cooking more relaxing. Turn that radio up!

558301ac-678c-41d1-929f-dce8e98a61bf_2.1c60b07c2924f77bbcff004dd8ed4e96If you love the aesthetics of the cover, she’s got a cookbook stand at Walmart (I think it was around $20), that coordinates with it. Dark wood covered in flowers with a lacey, turquoise metal bar to hold your book. Turquoise, orange, and floral are all of my favorites, so I don’t think I’ll be able to resist much longer.

My review of the book with my pics and thoughts on the dishes I tried is below the recipe. I’ve attached my reviews of her other books below that so you can see the pics and get a feel for what each book promises. Now, back to that delicious soup! Continue reading “Ree Drummond’s recipe for Meatball Tortilla Soup and Cookbook Reviw: The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!”