(food photography is a B-I! See note below)
I was sitting down tearing up some sushi earlier today, when I get a call from mami, congratulating me. Huh? “Que cosa mami?” I’m thinking she’s calling to tell me she read my feature as “Website of the Week” in The Examiner (DC ed.) since it just hit, but, nope.
I totally forgot TODAY, HOY DIA, marks 2 decades (and some extra years) of us ARRIVING in the US! Let’s see, we left communist Cuba, went to Jamaica for 10 ten days while paperwork was settled (my grandaddy is Jamaican) and finally in Meeami! Talk about a trek for an 8.5 month pregnant mom with 2 kids in tow…sis was born just 4 weeks later…I tease her for not being a real Cubana, but she insists she was conceived in Havana, so she’s all good! I’m sooo glad we didn’t stay in Miami and went to DC instead. Can you imagine!?! I’d be a roller set wearing (with a fishnet wrap), flip-flip Cubanita strolling into Sedano’s to do my grocery shopping. LOL!
So today, I’m sharing with you my utter excitement, joy and most of all gratitude for my parents! But not for them, I’d not be sitting here writing and enjoy all the perks of living the “American Dream.” I’d be up in Cuba, in some hip-hop band as the lead singer, or swinging mangoes on the corner, or un-gainfully employed as the cute diplomat translator!!! All, without running water or a gas stove to burn. Oh, and I’d be paying about $2.50 for a can of yucky COKE.
BUT I’m not!
My Cuban behind is right here chillin’, blessed to do ALL the great things life has to offer and without limitation (well I don’t have a lear jet or a big mansion or a 200k car, but who cares!) I eat every.single.day (hard to come by in Cuba, at least 3x the way we do), I take hot showers (not everyday in Cuba), I leave my country and travel to others (you can’t leave the island without permission) and I have all of my family near me (lots of families are separated in Cuba). My parents, too, left their families behind in pursuit of happiness. I think the sadness my grandmother suffered eventually killed her. Not to mention my mom and her sister not sharing the wonderful nuances of being a young wife, mother, etc…They are the most diligent, selfless, determined and generous people/parents I know.
So tho I was born in Havana and raised here, I am a 100% Latina with the best of both worlds! Really and truly. Some of my favorite Cuban things I enjoy stateside:
- Palacio de Frutas (fresh fruit market in Miami-oh em gee!!!! straight goodness)
- cafe Bustelo
- Bacardi Rum (really from Cuba for those of you that didn’t know that), or
- Havana Club rum (the real deal)
- casino dancing (salsa for those of you that know Latin music)
- Cuban sandwich (wait, I don’t eat pork, but I KNOW that sandwich is the best!)
- Cuban cigars
- yucca con mojo (vid is to the right and up!)
- all the fine Cuban male actors in novelas
- anti-Castro story-telling
- speaking Spanglish
- being really animated when we talk (ppl think we’re fighting-lol)
- pan cubano with butter 1st thing in the morning
- our passion for life, happiness and success
- our black beans are the best in the world!
- and so is our flan!
and a few more things I grew up around… so to celebrate, I share with you a real Cuban mojito! Yes, baby! We must shout and scream and be thankful! Here’s to you and yours!
The Chef’s of the World event I did last Monday was a smash success! Although Chef Jeff Henderson of the Food Network didn’t show up (inclement weather in Atl) and I wasn’t able to do the live interview, I still had a blast! My table was off the chain and my 4-course dinner rocked. I will say it’s a challenge getting Southerners to eat “other” food! Anyway, Chef Jeff’s wife was kind enough to hook up a phone interview on Monday!! (she holds the ship down!). So look forward to an audio of our chat next week! Do you have anything you want me to ask him!! Please let me know via comments no later than Sunday 3/15 sometime before midnight, EST.
Oh I met Emmanuel Lewis (Webster, ‘member him!) that night, too. A major foodie–that guys looooves Cuban food! You know what that means!? He’s been added to my client list. We’ve parlayed about me being his personal chef! Will keep you in the loop!
Got an email yesterday from my agent in NY to let me know my book has officially been pitched to 20 major publishers! Oh GOD you are awesome and we pray for an extraordinary response from all of them! Sell, sell, sell!!! I can’t wait to share the title with you guys!! I’ll keep you posted on that, too! In the meantime, I’m making plans to go to Cuba toward the end of the year to finish up the book, you know do some home cooking, taking luscious pictures and sipping on REAL MOJITOS en La Floridita restaurant! Anyone wanna come! 🙂
Sidenote: The pictures of the mojito are test shots for the book; just to give you an idea. One was taken while there was still daylight and the other was at night…notice how there is huge shortage of ice in the 1st pic! Oh, the joys of food photography!!!!
I’m working on revamping and redesigning this blog for Spring. Just looking to do some out the box, funky, fly and fresh stuff! Wanna keep it sexy and really focus on kick butt food and orgasmic pictures. I have a few themes in mind and already know of two new elements I’ll be adding. BUT I want your input!! Is there anything you’d like me to cover, feature, discuss more of, etc… I’d love your input! It’s all about keeping you engaged and coming back.. maybe I’ll start throwing candy through the screen or something 🙂 I will tell you that a lots more to come from the Celeb Chef area… and definitely more cocktail indulgences…imagine that!
Okay amigos! Enjoy the ultra sexy and smooth mojito! Pass along… (ooh that just gave me an idea!)
**WILL YOU TELL A FRIEND ABOUT FLANBOYANT EATS NEXT TIME YOU BLOG!? I WANT TO KNOW YOUR FRIENDS! :)**
I have a surprise for you if you do!
Malta Drink Is Way Sweet But So Damn GOOD!
Yo Quiero Pollo Asadao (Braised Chicken)
Cooking For Grammy Winner Paquito D’Rivera
Eat well, love unapologetically, pray with true intention, and take care of yourself.
Follow the sexy & delicious fun on
A REAL CUBAN MOJITO
- 3 oz. rum. Cruzan rum is great
- 3-4 oz. simple syrup*
- 1/2 lemon, 1/2 lime, quartered or cubed
- 6 mint leaves
- splash of club soda
- 1 stick of sugar cane
martini shaker, add rum, simple syrup and ice. Muddle mint leaves using mortar and pestle. Add mint leaves. Squeeze lemon into mix. Shake well. Pour into cocktail or tall glass. Top with club soda and garnish with pretty mint leaves and sugar cane. Use lemon and lime cubes to garnish and for added citrus. Serves 1.
For simple syrup:
Equal parts water and sugar. Bring to boil until sugar has dissolved and water is clear. Chill before using.
0 thoughts on “It’s OUR Anniversary! Toast & Cheers w/ The Most Authentic Mojito”
Hiya Chica! Woo Hoo!!! I am sending some Tokyo vibes (good one’s) that the books gets picked up! I must say… I miss latin food PERIOD, and it is hard to come by here… UGH, I should just make my own but I am too lazy.
I love that you mentioned cane sugar, sugar cane lol oppsy daisy! I used to knaw on those in Okinawa, and the drink La Cuban Chic Couture of all drinks looks fabulous. Cruzan rum is the BEST. Heck, your the best!
We’re so lucky to have you in the US to grace us with your humor, orgasmic pictures and good food! 🙂 Best of luck with the book & I look forward to the blog updates!
Mmmmhhh, mojito! Happy anniversary, then!
Hiya kidlet! Just so you know, my 16-year-old was almost born at Gitmo. I actually had orders-in-hand in 1992 for 3 years there … which were then yanked out from under me and I was sent to the Middle East. You and I wuz almost neighbors!
Ok, fine, I’ll blog about you, ya’ twisted my arm … 😉
Congrats, Bren and family on your anniversary! That is so awesome! Hugs and happiness! 🙂
This looks so refreshing Bren! I love mojitos and I pretty much make mine the same way (I am surprised I was actually doing it right) – minus the awesome sugar cane stick – which I love – had for the first (and only) time in Jamaica!
Have a great anniversary weekend!
Congratulations!! This is pretty much how I make my mojitos minus the sugar cane stick. Where would you find those?
GirlJapan: i’m soo tickled we met. i too chew/suck on sugar cane. straight goodness! we make a drink called guarapo out of it. nothing but sugar! imagine that.
Sharon: yup, you’re righ! such a better place! 🙂 lol
Rosa: thanks lovie!
Dave: i heart you. imma start calling you a cuban ex-pat!
Grear news Bren. I really want to see more recipes. I know you have to save them for the book, but that would be great. Glad the event was a success.
What an exciting post! You have so much going on. Congrats on your anniversary! We have family friends that immigrated from Cuba when they were young, and it’s always amazing to me how much they appreciate the little things about this country, even though they’ve lived here for most of their lives.
Cheers Bren, and happy anniversary. I’d love one of your mojitos. Good luck with the book. Do you take your own pictures because they are beautiful. I can’t even tell which was taken in the evening but I suppose it’s the second one as it has too many shadows.
Congratulations! Just love reading your blog, and can’t wait to hear more about your book (hoping you get TONS of positive responses on it!)… and your interview. I’ll take one of those mojitos… love them!
OMG i’m gonna make a majito now! They r NOT all created equal i can tell u. I’ve had good and bad ones. You inspire me to try new things.
I LOVE the 1st pic, the 2nd one looks dingy and doesn’t pop. You have a bright personality as should your book cover to cover. Yet i like the ice in the 2nd pic, just add ice as they say! I’m very excited abt the book either way it goes! Hmmm…maybe u should be on the cover? What do you think? That would sell even better. U r cute & stylish right? Just sayin’…
website of the week news…CONGRATS…HELLO!!! Finally the rest of the world is catching on to what WE already knew. 🙂
Some site/blog ideas? Why not post more of your interview here? Food and music unless u want to keep it just food. But if u don’t then also post your fashion updates/news here too. This blog is interactive and multifaceted which i love. It is that way bcz u don’t JUST talk abt food yet we never LOOSE the point that food is the focus. It’s what bring us all together. As always…great work and happy abt u being here in ATL little Cubano girl!
Congrats Bren, all the best, happy cookin’ and pass a Mojito already!
Courtney: well you can surely see more recipes by being a tester! YOu were so kind to do 3 already! want more??
Culinarywannabe: isn’t it amazing how we do appreciate the littlest of things? I have cousins that used to guard ball point pens with their lives!
Ivy: My photog Dave took the pictures but I’m doing all the styling.. fun stuff but very very tedious! Thanks so much for loving them!
Patsyk: You are so sweet! I’ve already told how great it’s been meeting you on Twitter! Passing you a mojito!
Miehsa: I have nothing to say other than you get the commentator of the year award! You absolutely rock!
Peter: Here’s a super duper luscious mojito for you!
Hey Bren — You know I loved this post with your Cuban narrative and references to Miami. I’m off to the Calle Ocho festival tomorrow for lots of salsa and cuchifritos! Much happiness to you and your family — and I’m so excited about your book!
Yo – complete congrats on this. AND I love me some Chef Jeff – not only is he cute, but his story is SUPER amazing!
I’m loving these photos…for real!
a great anniversary to celebrate!
i’m looking forward to being able to travel to your homeland w/o fear of being heavily fined or jailed. that’s my wish on your celebration day!
Congratulations! Great Mojito.
The mojito looks wonderful. Cheers and congratulations on the anniversary! I think it is 18 years for me coming from former Soviet Union this year.
Happy Ani, Chica! And congrats on the book! They better pick it up! Look at that sexy Cuban Rum. Nothin’ but the best from you!
I love mojitos and would love mine garnished with sugar cane! Congratulations on all the good stuff happening here!
Happy Anniversary Bren! I think im gonna like your mojito’s version since I like my drink to be on a sweet side. *wink*
Congratulations to you and your family! I’m so glad you’re here. 🙂
Tasting the mojito. What a grand story Bren of your journey here. Cuba’s loss and our gain! Best of luck with the book – and thanks for visiting me. Will be back.
Congratulations Bren, have a wonderful anniversary! 😀
Just got the info on our blog today from Coco Cooks. Love. it!!!! Your flavor is contagious. And the food pics are orgasmic. Many congrats!
Bren, your mojito looks delicious! Wanted to try one once in Jamaica, but they run out of rum (!)
Congratulations on your anniversary!!!
Sorry, for not stopping by so often again, but since we came back from our honeymoon, I have plenty of work to make up…. I haven’t even open yet my Google reader, there is probably thousands of post to go through.
Have a good day my friend!
Congratulations to you Bren. I hope you had a blast on your anniversary! I so love coming to your blog..it makes me hungry everytime!!
Happy happy anniversary! Yeah yeah yeah. And I could SO go for one of those Mojitos! Not sure where to find the sugar cane sticks… Where do you get them?
I really don’t know what to congratulate you for first! I will just say a big CONGRATULATIONS for everything you have done, accomplished and will do in the future. You are one of the most dynamic persons I know and you deserve all the good things in life you have right now. Congratulations again and keep up with the amazing job you do.
Besos y muchos abrazos! 🙂
JoanNova: i loooove that you come back so often. I love more that you know our culture so well and really do appreciate it. How was calle Ocho!
Darius: Chef Jeff is all that! Talking to him was great! Super cool kat.
WANF: you should come with me when I go!!! I’ll need help!
Natasha: Mojitos are my favorite drink!! And congrats to you, too!
WoRC: You two are great!
Shari: So you know about garnishing with sugar cane too! yay u!
Farina: I loove it sweet, too, but have to be careful otherwise it will kill that great minty taste
Melissa: Gracias amiga! Ur too sweet
Claudia: Thanks Claudia! YEs, come back! Lots of fun over here!
Lorraine: Thanks love!
Duo Dishes: So tickled to have you find me! I’ll be over! Ooh, you use orgasmic, too!
Coffee*Vanilla: I know girl, it’s crazy! Wait, Jamaica ran out of rum? huh?
Michelle: I did nothing other than be thankful I’m not still in Cuba!! Love it from afar! 🙂
Nicole: have one all day long, when ever u want! Sugar cane can be purchased at Whole Foods! Let me know if you do!
Ben: I just love your energy and enthusiasm for me! You’re too kind. God is good so I just con’t to push on and do the best I can do! I looove it all! Gracias amor por el carino!
Many congrats all around and keep the good news coming! And mojitos–keep those coming, too! Never saw it w/yuca–I’ll have to try that out
Happy anniversary and congrats on all the great news.
I LOVE mojitos. I am on a mission to find the best ones in Rome. ha
I am so happy and thrilled about all the exciting things you are celebrating and will be celebrating. Much continued success to you my friend!