Originally, I had started my cooking blog as a way to document my food journey for the fun of it, but I have realized that cooking has become a big part of my identity. Cooking has been my way to sometimes cope with a good or (sometimes) bad day. Cooking has been the number one way to please my hungry/taste-tester husband. And cooking challenges me all the time to try new cuisines, a variety of dishes from everywhere, and opening my foodie palate to so many wonderful foods.
There have been a number of food blogs that I have followed since I started my journey that I absolutely love and adore that are part of this wonderful post today. I have met a few of them in real life, there are a handful of the bloggers I have made some of their recipes seen on my blog, two are from my wedding anniversary online board and some of the bloggers are also expecting in May just like myself.
This wonderfully themed "Cuban/Filipino" virtual baby shower is hosted by one of my favorite food bloggers, Joelen, of What's Cookin' Chicago. If you didn't know, my background is Filipino and my husband's is Cuban. I have learned all of Eric's favorite Cuban dishes from his mother, and most of my Filipino favorites from my mom, too. Cookie is going to be one awesome future foodie, reaping both of our wonderful heritages.
Jessica of Sunny Side Up In San Diego who I had met back in November for the FB conference. She is such a sweetheart, one of the coolest Canon owners that I know, and the best person to have around when to share a meal and dessert with. She had made a tasty and refreshing "Faux-jito" - totally perfect for this baby shower. I make a wicked batch of mojitos but rum and pregnancy do not mix well. Plus, you have to be super impressed that Jessica made this concoction in her hotel room in Hong Kong. Unbelievable!
Apple a Day is a gorgeous food blogger that I love and adore. Sometimes I feel like we're on the same foodie wave-mind because we seem to love the same dishes. She made this awesome Filipino-inspired Mango Shake. Unbeknownest to her, I had a mango shake this past weekend at a Cuban restaurant and was already trying to figure out how to recreate it at home. This mango shake is perfect for both cultures, and she saved me time on finding a recipe. Delish and thank you!
Prevention RD who I had also met in November at the FB conference. I'm always inspired by the beautiful array of dishes that she prepares and I'm in love with her gorgeous dog, Lily. My heart just melts whenever I see pictures of that sweet bulldog. Nicole had made a traditional Cuban favorite of Arroz Con Pollo. It's a wonderful and comforting chicken and rice dish that you can never go wrong with. It's a standby dish that we love to make when entertaining large groups of people. It's perfect for this foodie fiesta shower!
Carrie's Sweet Life is a fellow expecting May mommy, who also happens to share Cookie's due date, too! She had made a Cuban-inspired Fruit Ponche that is absolutely delightful for this shower. She's been a great mommy friend to have because we are able to gripe/rejoice about our pregnancy aches and pains as the months have passed. Salud Carrie!
Cara of The Boys Made Me Do It, is from my wedding anniversary board and a fellow cooking board blogger, too. Cara and her chef husband (how awesome is that) had worked together and made these clever Cuban Lumpia Rolls. My husband loves my mom's lumpia, and it's always a dish served at our parties. I loved that they combined both cuisines into one because fusion food is always a delightful and tasty surprise!Cook, Pray, Love is a food blogger that I highly admire and adore. We share a love for exotic foods, running and wine. She had made stuffed peppadew peppers with goat cheese. These are simple to prepare for any party and fun little bites for everyone to enjoy. I would need two trays of this, one for myself and one for everyone else. Yum!
Pennies on a Platter is another sweet food blogger that I met in SF back in November. (Yes, I met alot of bloggers back in November!) I'm still sad that we didn't get to hang out before she had moved cross country to Mississippi. Nikki had made a Cuban appetizer of Papa Rellenas. These are stuffed with seasoned meat (typically a way to use up any leftover Picadillo or ground meat that you have) wrapped with potatoes and coated with breadcrumbs. Trust me, these would quickly disappear at any of our parties. They are heavenly!
Gourmet Day to Day is an food blogger that I absolutely love and adore. She's going to culinary school and doing what she loves. She had prepared this wonderful Cuban Black Bean hummus that I would snatch up in a heartbeat. It's a playful spin on hummus, but with a cuban flair to it!
Brianna of Oishi, is one of the coolest SoCal food bloggers that I'm dying to meet. We share a love for Sriracha, tasty Italian food, and so much more. She had made these mouth-watering Frita Cubana Sliders that I am putting on my food menu for next week. They are made of a mix of chorizo and ground beef and a variety of spices...definitely food pairings that I love to explore and enjoy!
Shawnda of Confections of a Foodie Bride, is a fellow food blogger that I absolutely admire. I can't help but drool whenever I see her food posts because I always wish for taste-a-vision or smell-me graphics. Shawnda had prepared these amazing Cuban pulled pork sliders that would be perfect for this awesome foodie fiesta shower. Pork is a mainstay ingredient that is typically used in the majority of Cuban dishes, and a perfect way to highlight them in a finger-friendly form. YUM!
Courtney of The Granola Chronicles, another amazingly sweet food blogger that I had met at FB in November. She hails from NorCal, and is always sharing her on-going CSA that inspires me to eat more vegetables. Courtney had prepared a trusty Cuban favorite of ours - Cuban Black Beans. Trust me, it's not a party if there are no Cuban black beans available to enjoy. Thanks girl for making sure we had some for our awesome foodie fiesta!
Jen of Beantown Baker, is another food blogger that I love. She is always making plenty of droolworthy desserts despite her crazy engineering career (which I can sympathize since my husband is an engineer as well). She had prepared these perfect for brunch/breakfast/anytime of the day Cuban Sandwich Egg Benedicts. Egg Benedicts are one of my favorite breakfast foods but I haven't been able to enjoy since the hollandaise sauce is made with raw eggs...thankfully this recipe isn't. Oh joyful, come to mama!
Melissa of I Was Born to Cook, is another food blogger that I absolutely love to meet and chat the entire day with. She was an instant shoulder to talk to when times were rough in the beginning stages of my pregnancy. I can't thank her enough for just listening to my gripes of charting, getting pregnant, and being a mommy. Melissa had prepared Cuban pork chops smothered in onions. Oh my goodness, anything smothered with caramelized onions is a winner with me. Swoon!A Taste of Home Cooking, is another food blogger that inspires me. She has these awesome recipe swaps that she hosts that I was part of when I could handle eating. I promise to come back to the recipe swapping when I'm not so busy with the preparations of Cookie and when my energy and appetite is normal again. She had made a Cuban favorite of ours (we have lots of Cuban favorites!) - Cuban Sandwiches. You can never go wrong with a Cuban sandwich!
Cathy of Cathy's Kitchen Journey, is another food blogger that I adore. She is always posting tips and ways to save money that this bargain loving future mama loves. Cathy had prepared Filipino grilled chicken using one of my family's favorite secret ingredients - lemon-lime soda! Definitely a crowd-pleaser with my family.Branny Boils Over, is a food blogger that I highly admire and adore. She recently added back meat back into her diet and what's even better is that she prepared Eric's favorite Cuban dish, Ropa Vieja. It looks absolutely amazing and it is dish that I look forward to sharing with Cookie when the time arrives. Simply gorgeous!
Jey of Cooking, is another food blogger that I adore. We've made dishes from each other blogs - she's made my awesome fish tacos, and I've made her Caramel Appledoodles. I was delighted to see that she had prepared Mojito cookies...so fitting for my little cookie right? Mojitos in cookie form, absolutely brilliant idea...and I'll have a plate of those for myself with a large glass of milk. Yum!
My Baking Heart, is a sweet Texan food blogger that I had met in SF back in November. (It's a long list of bloggers that I had met, right?) She and Momma G were an absolute delight, and are the sweetest mom and daughter duo that I had ever seen. Jessica unbeknownest had made a childhood favorite breakfast of mine, Champorado. It's as if my mom had told her my favorite dish! It brought me to happy tears that she had made this classic favorite of mine, I need to make this STAT! It's a chocolate rice porridge that is absolutely indulgent and addicting!
Cate's World Kitchen, is yet another food blogger that I had met at FB in November. I always look towards her blog for inspiration for my Meatless Mondays posts, and I highly admire her love of running. Plus, she has the cutest little precious daughter ever, Ellie - I swear she's a mini-Cate. Cate had prepared these delicious Filipino inspired Cupcakes with Mango Buttercream. I go absolutely crazy for everything and anything mango. Sinful!
Macaroni and Cheesecake, is a food blogger that I absolutely love. We were assigned as secret cooking sisters on our cooking forum, and we have bonded and connected in so many ways. We both have a love for Bobby Flay, inspire each other to make some tasty desserts and yummy dishes, and always support each other's blogs. Stephanie had made these indulgent Tres Leche Cupcakes. I always have a soft spot for Tres Leches because it's so moist and delicious, these are absolutely perfect for the virtual baby shower.
Because Chocolate Can't Get you Pregnant, is my bestie from wedding anniversary board. We actually share the same wedding date, and we have shared numerous meals together, she's a constant in my life via text/email/twitter/words with friends, and is an occasional houseguest whenever she is working at her LA office. I usually cook for her whenever she stays the night, so it was a switch for her to participate in a foodie shower. Becky had prepared an easy to prepare Mojito cake, quite perfect for team green. Another tasty Cuban inspired concoction that we would love to enjoy!
Delicious Meliscious, is another expecting May Mommy and fellow food blogger that I absolutely love and adore. She has been another great mommy friend to be pregnant with, she's has been very helpful and told me that yes I'm crazy for registering for a diaper genie/baby bullet and other wasteful baby items. She has prepared my most favorite Cuban treat Pastelitos de guayaba y queso (Cuban pastries with guava and cheese). I could eat these by the dozen and very similar to pop tarts, but 1 million times better. They are flaky treats filled with yummy goodness of the guava and cheese. Absolutely addicting.
What's Cookin' Chicago, the hostess with the mostess. I had met the lovely Joelen back in November when I went to FB conference. I had been following her blog for as long as I can remember and we always told each other that we would meet someday. I think of her like a big sister (Ate - it means big sister in Tagalog). Joelen had prepared a tasty concoction of Filipino and Cuban inspired beef and potato empanadas. They are similar to meat pies, but 1 million times better. They are the savory version of what Pastelitos are, another crowd pleaser for this awesome foodie fiesta.
Joelen's blog for the full round up as well. I know that it was a challenge to step outside your comfort zone and cook something Filipino or Cuban inspired. But you all did an outstanding job, and I truly wish that we were all together to enjoy the wonderful spread of delicious foods. I would be in a little food coma right about now after eating all these yummy foods, and cookie would be reaping all the benefits of it all, too. 9 more weeks to go until Cookie arrives, and is already feeling the foodie love from my awesome food blogging community. Truly amazing,
Take your guess, is cookie a boy or girl? Let's wait and see come May 9th or so!