Latino Fusion with: Darlene the Gourmet Diva

Hosted by Darlene Lopez
Group active since Sat, Jun 18, 2011

From the island of Manhattan, NY, I bring you tons of recipes and great ideas for your everyday cooking and even the fanciest of events!

I hope that all leveled cooks join to share or borrow recipes! YOU CAN SHARE MY RECIPES AS LONG AS YOU GIVE ME CREDIT! These are my true genuine recipes! I have been building my treasure chest for decades!

I have been PASSIONATE about cooking since the early age of 8. But nothing beats my passion for Oregano and Vanilla Extract from the island of the Dominican Republic.

I remember watching my mom mashing fresh garlic, and crushing dry oregano leaves, leaves that my Aunt Tety sent back from my mother's country: The Dominican Republic.

The tropically sun dried oregano leaves usually made their way to this side of the globe in the middle of souvenirs and clothing wrapped in a wrinkled plastic bag with my mother's name:"Reyna," written on masking tape in blue ink;the same masking tape that sealed the bag of oregano tight enough to avoid spillage or its extra pungent fragrant from overbearing anything else you brought back from the Island. Yes it was just that serious!

What have I learned: THERE IS TRULY A HUGE DIFFERENCE!

You can purchase oregano from the Dominican Republic or other Caribbean islands on line or at most major city bodegas. In NYC just ask any latino store or supermarket if they carry oregano from the Dominican Republic.

It usually comes in either a glass jar or a plastic bag. I infuse Oregano from the Dominican Republic in ALL of my cooking! If you can't get Dominican oregano, then use regular oregano.

Both my marinade and dry rub recipes call for my DR oregano. Yummy!

Just like mami crushed the oregano and garlic in the mill every evening to prepare for us what today is known as ORGANIC marinade, we also always had both dark and white pure vanilla extract that made its way to the US via family and friends that frequented the native island of my mother's. We added DR vanilla to all of our deserts, cakes, puddings,cookies, all pastries! It is nothing to take lightly! I will be sharing all several desert recipes many of which call for Dominican Pure Vanilla Extract. If you can't purchase it just use real vanilla in my recipes and not flavor.

I hope I manifest my passion for cooking and that I share how Latino flavor can be tweaked in your everyday eating!

Please share Caribbean, Latino inspired fusion recipes with my group.

Start by preparing both my Dry Rub and All Purpose Marinade and store it for use with all of your meals.

This is a perfect group for ALL level cooks!

I will also assist with huge event planning. Just come to the groups so we can brainstorm and make the party fancy, delicious, and semi-homemade! I promise I will have people talking about your event from the decor to the appetizers through the desserts! Did I mention that my group will also include amazing fancy-like cocktails! remember a true DIVA MUST ROCK in the kitchen!

PS:Please pardon if my passion comes off as over-confidence! I dare call myself a True Diva! You too can be a fantastic chef!Join me Darlene the Gourmet Diva as I share my most DELICIOUS simple to follow recipes even though there is nothing simple about these flavors! Impress everyone! It will be our little secret: I won't tell if you won't tell!

Darlene Lopez
Jun 18, 2011

Let's See How Many of us can Make The Same Dinner Menu for New Year's Eve:

Imagine if you and all your friends made the same meal for dinner for your families on the same day? Why don't we all do that this New Year's? We have 5 months to create a Universal all American New Year's Eve. menu that we can all have at the same time every year as a nation! Let's aim to collectively brainstorm and share or try each other's recipes so that we can vote on what we believe would represent our nation and is worthy enough to be called the last supper of the year! What do you think?