Wednesday, June 30, 2010


These potato balls are also known as PAPAS RELLANAS in Cuba. I have discovered a recipe for these potato balls ... let me share with you how to make it... It is very easy to make... and you can serve this as a side dish or an hor d'oeuvres


2 large ( russet ) potatoes
500 grams picadillo ( seasoned ground beef )
1 cup breadcrumbs
4 eggs
salt and pepper
vegetable oil


500 grams ground beef
1 large onion ( chopped )
2 - 3 cloves of garlic ( minced )
1 small can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup dry white wine
6 pcs. olives ( with stuffed pimientos ) diced
salt and pepper to taste

In a large frying pan brown the groud beef. onions and garlic.
Turn the heat down to medium.
While it is simmering --- put the diced olives with pimientos and add to the meat mixture.
Adjust the seasonings to your taste.


** boil potatoes with little salt in the cooking pot. Cook until soft. Drain well , mash them and set aside to cool.

** Separate the egg yolks and the egg whites in two bowls. Mix the egg yolks with the mashed potatoes and whisk the egg whites for a minute.

** Take 1/4 of the mashed potato mixture and shape it into balls. Dent the middle of the ball and put a tablespoon of the picadillo mixture. Then reseal it.

** Reshape the ball again and dip it in the egg white mixture and breadcrumbs until it is well coated. For a crunchier texture .. you can dip it again in the egg white mixture and breadcrumbs. Refrigerate the balls for at least 4 hours.

** To fry --- pour enough oil on the frying pan enough to cover the balls. Deep fry the balls. It is best to freeze the balls before deep frying them. Cook on each side until they are golden brown. Drain the potato balls on paper towels... DO NOT STACK THEM.


Monday, June 28, 2010

PORTO'S Bakery & Cafe- QUE SABROSO !!

Porto's is a bakery and a deli all in one. Porto's have 2 locations. One in Glendale and another one in Burbank. I was able to go with my classmates to the one in Glendale. They were all raving about the pastries of Porto's. One of my classmates was asking me to try their " MEDIA NOCHE " sandwiches. These are traditional Cuban sandwiches. They are filled with ham, melted Swiss cheese, and a tangy mustard. These sandwiches are usually served with fried banana chips on the side which perfectly compliments the dish.

However, because of its great tasting pastries and food, the lines at Porto's are always endless, but don't get put off----- the pastries alone are worth the wait.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

CITYCENTER- The beginning of a new Vegas

If you were to go to any great city, most have at least one great place or area that people from around the world come to visit, that the city is renowned for. When they're empty, they're beautiful architecturally.

But when they are full, they are enlivened with people sitting, eating at cafes outdoors, walking around shopping in and out of stores or just walking around a fountain whatever they might be doing, there  is a sense of energy that is garnered from that experience.... and that alone makes it a wonderful experience.

One of the best things about Las Vegas is that there is something for everyone to enjoy no matter what your interests are. It doesn't matter if you are a Vegas regular, or you have never been there, there is always something new to check out and probably something you haven't tried out yet.

In Vegas, neon is definitely an art form, so head downtown and check out the Neon Museum. It has a self-guided tour of 10 fully restored neon signs, all located downtown. What I heard from the locals of Las Vegas is that if you're downtown on the first Friday of the month, the city's arts district hosts a festival covering more than 20 city blocks where you can make the rounds of all the galleries and shops.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The ART of Dale Chihuly

While in Las Vegas over the weekend I was able to go and visit the art exhibit of Dale Chiuly. His glass sculptures are awesome !! If you are planning to visit Las Vegas. Why not drop by his exhibit and see his wonderful glass sculptures! I was able to view his works at the Bellagio on the Las Vegas Strip. An encounter with Dale Chihuly's works is always a reminder that glass is not just something to see through or drink out of.

Two Celebrations in ONE DAY !

It was a double celebration --- We were celebrating the birthday of a good friend, Joyce and the victory of the Lakers over the Boston Celtics. The venue was at a restaurant/sports bar in Woodland Hills called THE RACK. This was my first time to go to a SPORTS BAR in Los Angeles. I did not know what to expect!

Since it was also the finals for the Lakers that day--- we were advised to be at the restaurant very early ( we all met at 5:30pm ) --By the time we got to THE RACK --- the place was getting to be very rowdy. It was very tense that afternoon.. People were outside the restaurant trying to get in.... the manager of the place kept trying to control the inflow of the crowd trying to get a seat in the bar... He was asking people who did not have ANY reservations to LEAVE...There were a lot of teenagers were dressed in the yellow and purple jerseys ( color of the Lakers ).

We were lucky day that day...  Peter, Joyce's husband , was able to reserve a table for all of us.  As I entered the restaurant I noticed so many television sets strategically placed all over the place.. Waiters running around serving the hungry crowd, getting additional orders etc.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

JAZZ CONCERT at the park featuring Oleta Adams

The Valley Cultural Center opened its 31st season of the concerts in the park featuring Oleta Adams as its finale number. She sang her signature song " GET THERE " as her last song that evening. These concerts are free and they usually begin at 4:00pm when the weather cools down. It ends at 8:00pm. Since the opening of the Concerts at the Park coincided with the Art Faire,  Lulu, Ernie and I were there at 11:00am to set up his little booth.

People would go there with their beach chairs, snacks and even lay their beach blankets and sit on the ground. If you do not want to get hassled into bringing food --- there are lots of food that will be available at the concert grounds.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A different kind of ART

I went to the TOTALLY ARTISTIC ART FAIRE at the Warner Center Park in Woodland Hills yesterday... It was also the art exhibit of Ernie G. Kamatoy, a very good friend of mine, showcasing his artwork ( again ) after a long absence from the ART SCENE.

There were at least 40 booths --- each with a different kind of art... This was indeed another experience for me... seeing " one-of-a-kind masterpieces " of young budding artists here in California.  I was very fortunate to have talked to some of these artists and they gladly shared their tips on their works. The youngest artist was Emma Mae, a 9 year old girl, who has been painting since she was 5 years old.

Monday, June 7, 2010


A multi-talented advertising and contemporary/abstract artist, Ernie Kamatoy draws on more than thirty years as an Executive Art Director and Creative Director in advertising to develop works of striking color, compelling originality and vibrant energy.