Wednesday, November 19, 2008

A Latina Thanksgiving Dinner

I often like to take dishes and put a latin spin on them.

My mom's turkey stuffing, which is delectable and I try to make it the same way, includes chayote and sazon. This Thanksgiving I found some fantastic recipes to help spread this idea and I'd like to share those with you:

Adobo Turkey with Red-Chile Gravy via Epicurious

Pumpkin-Coconut Pie via Latina

Turkey with Southwest Stuffing (*Not my mom's recipe, I'm keeping that a secret)

Some more ideas:

Caribbean Thanksgiving Menu

Coquito - Rum Eggnog

Pumpkin Flan

Mofongo Stuffing

Adobo Dry Rub & Sofrito with Culantro for the turkey

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Clichés are Like so Cliché

I was always taught that the use of clichés signifies both bad writing and a lazy mind and that's what I always put forward to my students and tutorees.

Lifehacker notes 30 Cliches You Should Basically Avoid (Going Forward) and I would like to point out once again, this nifty cliche finderto help you become aware of clichés.

What are your most hated clichés or which do you use all the time?

Monday, November 17, 2008

GUNMETAL BLACK Reading NYC - 11/20

Daniel Serrano dropped me a note to say he will be reading from his novel, GUNMETAL BLACK this Thursday Nov. 20th after work at 7:00 PM, at Camaradas El Barrio. It's at First Ave and 115th Street in Spanish Harlem, a short walk from the 6 train. You'll love it.

They have great beer, sangria and yummy food. After his reading stick around and get blown away by some Boricua Roots Music by Yerbabuena as they get their bomba/plena swerve on.

What people are saying about GUNMETAL BLACK:

“Absolutely sensational!” -Teri Woods, New York Times bestselling author of True to the Game

“Debut novelist Serrano adds a Latino flavor to the genre with this intricate, Spanish-slang-laced story about a Puerto Rican parolee’s journey from jail cell to Chicago’s rough streets as he encounters betrayal, police corruption, casual sex, and stunning violence. The tense plot will grip readers, who will clamor for Serrano’s next work.” -Library Journal

“This book is the truth…unpredictable, with non-stop of the most satisfying books I’ve ever read. Daniel wrote about the drugs, the sex and senseless violence in an honest and new way.”-Felicia “Snoop” Pearson, author of Grace After Midnight, HBO’s The Wire

“...vivid...expertly set up...a dose of unsentimental romance…puts Serrano in the same class as young noir-meisters Charlie Huston and Jason Starr.” –Publishers Weekly

“Action-and romance-packed.”-Carlos Rodriguez Martorell, NY Daily News

“Danny Serrano, a hot new crime-lit author…[of an] action-packed thriller winning raves and comparisons to Carlitos Way.”- Deborah Fields, NY Post

“Gritty and urgent from the first word until the last. Wow!” -Victor McGlothin, author of Ms. Etta’s Fast House

“A complex yet simple, edgy yet smooth, 3D work of art that reads like a classic movie. Daniel Serrano, the craft master, truly has a way with words!” -Pynk, author of Erotic City

“Violent images of Chicago’s inner city add to the book’s authenticity. Gunmetal Black is a sobering dose of life, friendship, loyalty and betrayal that will leave readers hanging on every word.” -Tony Austin, Upscale Magazine

“[R]eaders are immersed in a world as gritty and intense as it is entertaining and unpredictable.” –Laura Thompson, McNaughton Paperback Newsletter

“Pick up this suspenseful crime novel to find out where Eddie’s destiny leads him!”-Right On!

“I loved it! Great characters. Eddie is involved in all this crime but he makes time for romance. I was rooting for him all the way…and I’m urging all my listeners to run out and buy this book!” –Kimberly Kaye, radio personality (WFKX/KIX 96)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

NYC Great Books, Great Cause (books 50% off)


Come to the 22nd Annual Book Fair November, 21-23

The Goddard Riverside New York Book Fair is an annual event, taking place on
the weekend before Thanksgiving. All the books, CDs, calendars, cards, videos
and other gift items sold at the New York Book Fair are generously donated by
publishing houses, editors, literary agents and other members of the book

2007 was our most successful Book Fair ever--the net total from author
dinners, auction, raffle, ticket and book sales came to over $800,000!

year will be the Goddard Riverside 22nd Annual New York Book Fair.


Saturday, November 22, 2008, from 10am to 6pm

Sunday, November 23, 2008 from 11am to 5pm

Where: 593 Columbus Avenue @ 88th Street

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Hard to Believe Thanksgiving is Almost Here Already

Gee, where does the time go? It really does seem to fly by the older you get or perhaps it's just the busier you are, the more you wish you had more time.

I'm already being asked to bring pumpkin pie to my mom's for our Thanksgiving feast and getting inquiries into what I want Santa to bring me. It's both sweet and anxiety-causing. I long for the days when Christmas started after Thanksgiving and not after Halloween. I do understand how much planning helps especially in terms of getting good deals but I've never been one to stock on the gifts throughout the year. Mostly when I do that I just end forgetting all about the stuff hidden somewhere in the outer reaches of my exploding closet.

This year with economy being what it is I'm hearing a lot of buzz about giving books as gifts. Personally, I've always given books as gifts, especially for the little ones and I've always enjoyed getting too, from the loaded gift cards I've received from my sister and coworkers to the beautiful Jack in the Beanstalk book I got from my aunt in nursery school.

A couple of brilliant book bloggers have joined forces to promote holiday book gift-giving and launched

A couple of youngsters of my list are getting The Twilight Saga Collection By Stephenie Meyer, which I'm currently reading myself. I decided to the vampire series a try after becoming so fixated with True Blood and I can truly say I'm glad I'm reading it and not the Charlaine Harris books, which might interfere with the show's story lines or so I'm told. Twilight has completely sucked me in and just in time too since the movie version is due out on Dec. 12th.

Last Tuesday, I even ran into Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward in the film. It was sort of funny while we were standing in front of the theater waiting to enter to see The Lion King, he emerged from an SUV and the young girls next to us went bizerk. I thought it was Justin Timberlake so I got all excited to and then when I saw him, I had no idea who he was, just goes to show how out of it I am. The next day when I saw pictures of him from the night before I was thoroughly pleased to have seen in the flesh. I can't wait to see the film.

Since, I haven't posted in ages, it seems like I might be posting once a week now, I have tons of tidbits to share:

- Does anyone have the ability to 'taste' anesthesia and other chemicals that have been injected into their bodies? I had a bit of anesthesia recently and then a flu shot last week and both times I was able to taste the chemical residue and even smell when I took a deep breath afterwards. Very weird!

- There was a great article on Latino Literary Venues posted today in the Daily News and the also have a review of Sistah Souljah's follow up to The Coldest Winter Ever, Midnight.

- The Independent Booksellers of NYC have a great new blog to check out:

- The Bronx Museum of the Arts launched a first-Wednesday-of-the-month book signing, and though not focusing on Latino titles, it kicked off last week with Bronx-based authors Américo Casiano Jr. and Marta Moreno-Vega.

- You can now buy skins for your Sony Readers at proporta via

- Sprint launched an ultra shiny, web2.0 site for widgets and apps:, totally dope!

- Woo hoo! Libreria Lectorum Opens Online Store. This will make my mom really happy, she loved this store.

- Search Books on Cellphones via Google blog post

- Who knew you could make pernil in a slow cooker?

- Essay on the deep communion of reading books v. the Web via LAT

- The third annual NYC Latin American Cultural Week is taking place November 5th-21st. For more information: and Pinta 08, the NYC Modern and Contemporary Latin American art fair, takes place November 13-16th. For more Information:

- Amazon picked their top 100 books for the year, PW also picks their best books of the year.

- There's a new educational film kit available from Teaching Tolerance called Viva La Causa.

- Obama campaign parallels Hispanic political novel written in 2006

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Proud to be an American Today

Like Michelle Obama, I've had many moments were I felt ashamed for my country, many of them occurred while in classrooms of all levels from elementary through college. Lessons that taught me of injustice, ignorance, hatred and all sorts of evil that has transpired on our land but today - today is not one of those days.

Last night, I had an amazing night and the extraordinary thing is - that across America from coast to coast, I am just one of many who had an extraordinary experience.

My day started off with a pit stop to vote in East Harlem. Once I was on the right line, I had only three people in front of me. Work consisted of the usual except that I had one earphone plugged into the news as did many of my coworkers and continually checked for projection polls.

After work, it was my boyfriend's son's birthday, so we headed over to The Lion King, and while I detest musicals I must say I was more than pleasantly surprised. The opening scene left me with goose bumps. Almost everything, the sets, the special effects, the costumes, the scenery, the singing and dancing was phenomenal. I was bored by the story having seen the movie with almost every child I ever babysat through college, but at the same time I found it so apropos to be there with my boyfriend (a black father) and his son on this historic special night.

After the show, we went out to eat and it was there at the restaurant that we saw at 11:04pm the words flashing on every plasma screen "Obama elected president of the United States." I kept saying "it doesn't say "projected"" trying to confirm that it was actual and once it hit me - that the unbelievable had happened we all started whooping and clapping. Even the foreigners sitting next to us congratulated us.

Afterwards, we decided to take a detour through 125th street and the scene was incredible. I’ve lived in East Harlem all my life, going to political protests and rallies and what not but last night was so spontaneous and incredible – Everyone took to the streets, with cameras, video recorders, banging on cooking pots, chanting “Obama,” cars were honking horns nonstop, Columbia students came from the West, people all of all colors, all ages, on bikes, on foot, alone or in mobs, dancing & screaming, playing musical instruments…It was truly an incredible scene.

At Adam Clayton Powell Blvd. they shut down the street and the crowd was humongous! That’s where we decided to turn the car around and go back to the West side Hwy. On the way home, we listened as McCain congratulated Obama and his supporters booed. Then we listened to Obama and made it home to watch him finish on TV.

As I sat there feeling tremendously elated and unified with so many others and electrified, stinging with the beauty and eloquence of Obama and his words, his humility and his depth, I felt chills and then consequently burst into tears. Yes, we did. We did it, so many thought it was impossibility but it became reality and I was there to witness it!

Our future has never shined brighter.
Web Analytics