Life

Handmade Towel Set for Kids

I don't like bath rugs, I find them a bit unhygienic.  Instead we use "floor towels", or whatever the name is. We wash them every time we do laundry, and they seem to last at least a couple of years, if not more (we rotate them). Because Nadia's bathroom is small, our standard-size ones don't fit, so ...

Healthy Lunch Ideas for School

We're back to school! Notice I say "we", because as every parent knows, school is as much work for the parents as it is for the kids. Parents everywhere figuratively pull their hair out each morning trying to come up with ideas that appeal to their sprogs, foods that are relatively easy to prepare, and preferably ...

Coconut rice pudding brûlée

We humans do not always fit into neat patterns of nationality, ethnicity, tribe or language, so why should our food? Migration, conquest and colonial rule, refugees and population displacement, travel and exploration and modern-day tourism mean that the lines between nationality and gastronomy can be blurred. Dominican gastronomy is the product of all that and more. The ...

Translating Dominican Staples into English

As part of our tireless quest to bring Dominican cooking and traditions to as international an audience as possible, we do face the occasional challenge. The language barrier, for one. Most of our terminology is straightforward enough – arroz is rice, habichuelas are beans, café is coffee, and so forth. But what happens when the food ...

My Dominican Food - Visual Artist Iris Pérez

As part of our long-running series My Dominican Food, interviews with interesting people from the arts and culture, and their impressions of Dominican cuisine, Aunt Ilana brings us the words of Dominican artist Iris Perez. AI - What is your favourite Dominican dish to eat and why? IP – The combination of rice, guandules guisados (pigeon pea ...

Organics revisited - Interview with Jake Kheel

Originally from the US, Jake Kheel has lived and worked in the Dominican Republic since 2005, although he first visited as a student in 1994. He is the environmental director of the Puntacana Ecological Foundation, which runs several projects, including an organic farm. The vegetables and fruit grown on the farm are fertilized with worm ...

My Dominican food: Karel Kalaf - Musician

We continue our "My Dominican Food" series of interviews with Dominicans by birth and adoption from various artistic disciplines. This time our guest is Dominican musician Karel Kalaf. What is your favourite dish (to eat)? Well, like many Dominicans I’ve always been a rice fanatic. I like it in every way: White, brown, moro de habichuelas, with ...

Lindsay de Féliz

This time we feature an interview with a ‘dominicana-por-adopción,’ Lindsay de Féliz. Originally from the UK, she has lived in the country for over ten years. She writes a popular blog about life in the Dominican Republic and has just published her first book, What About Your Saucepans? – a riveting account of her experiences in the country. DC ...

Puntacana 2013 carnival

Like every year since I moved to Puntacana, I have been photographing the carnival, now in its 6th incarnation (we missed the first as we were out of the country). While this parade is not as large as the one in Santo Domingo, its compact size means that we get to see the best troupes in ...

Miguel Gomez

For our fourth mini-interview with Dominicans from the artistic and cultural world we bring you a humorous interview with  talented Dominican photojournalist Miguel Gomez. Q - What’s your favourite dish? MG – It doesn’t matter what the weather is like or what I last ate, a mangú with fried white cheese is always welcome. Q - What’s your favourite ...

My 12 favorite recipes of 2012

And so it ends... the year, that is. We had recipes, stories, trips, more recipes and stories. To end it, I decided to pick my 12 favorite recipes of the year, and invite you to try them, if you perchance missed them. Strawberry and yogurt popsicles Pastelón de arroz (Rice and pork casserole) Paleta morir soñando de chinola (Milk ...

My Dominican food: Chiqui Vicioso - Writer

For our third mini-interview with Dominicans from the artistic and cultural world we bring you the words of famed Dominican writer Chiqui Vicioso, one of the luminaries of Dominican literature. What is your favourite Dominican dish? CV – It’s very difficult to answer that question because I love practically every Dominican dish and don’t really have a favourite ...

My Dominican food: German Perez - Musician and visual artist

For the second in our series of mini-interviews with Dominicans from the artistic and cultural world, we travelled virtually to the second-largest Dominican city in the world, New York City, home to an estimated one million Dominicans. We are proud to publish this interview with one of them, a wonderful visual artist and musician, German Pérez, ...

My Dominican food: Raquel Paiewonsky

When looking back on our childhood, more often than not food will feature in some shape or form. Everyone has a story to tell, nostalgic or just plain funny. We thought it would be fun to ask several well-known Dominicans, mainly from the cultural and artistic arenas, to share their food-related memories, their favourite Dominican foods and - ...

Something's cooking!

Something is always cooking in Aunt Clara's Kitchen, but if you have been here for a while you may have noticed a new thing or two. Some much more obvious than others. Not only have we made some significant changes to the structure and concept of this blog, there are also some other changes coming ...

A culinary tour of the Dominican Republic

The occasional visitor could be forgiven for thinking that because the Dominican Republic is a small country we have no regional cuisines. Up to a point, this is not far from the truth, but to any Dominican it is obvious that each region is best known for certain dishes. Follow us in a culinary tour. The northwestern region of the ...

PuntaCana 2012 carnival

Like each year for the last 4 years I spent a March afternoon photographing the PuntaCana carnival and marveling at the ingenuity and creativity of its participants. Beautiful women, fierce masks, dames of questionable gender, people of all ages, colors and several nationalities meet for this impressive parade. While I was making pictures (thanks to the PuntaCana ...

Happy Valentine's Day

Today in the Dominican Republic we celebrate "Love and Friendship Day", which I really like because it acknowledges the importance of friendship in our lives. It is less about diamonds than about telling various people that we love all the ways in which we do. So, thanks for following us and being our virtual friend. Have ...

Tisana de limón y menta (Lime and mint infusion)

This delicious and bone-warming tisana de limón y menta (Dominican medicinal lime and mint tisane) is used to alleviate cold and flu symptoms. And it was made with scrumped limes. Have you ever heard the word "scrumping" before? No? You're not alone. As it happens, neither have most of the world's non-British English speakers, as far as I ...

holiday special

You bring the food! Are you looking for traditional Dominican Christmas recipes? Find them in our Holiday Special. We have revised, re-written and added new photos to these recipes to make things much easier for you. During these weeks we will also bring you new dishes that are non-traditional but full of Dominican flavors so you can ...

The Mighty Coconut

The coco palm has become almost synonymous with paradise. Along with a deserted white beach, its image stands out on countless postcards and holiday brochures. I don’t know about you, but every time I catch sight of one I know I am where I want to be. The Coconut originated in the islands of the Indian ...

Ann and Ted Kheel Polytechnic in Verón

Giving is more than a duty, it’s a privilege. Last week the Ann and Ted Kheel Polytechnic in Verón honoured us by accepting our donation to its library. The polytechnic is the only high school in the small town of Verón. It was built by the PuntaCana Foundation and is supported by the foundation and private ...

Ideas for healthy school snacks

Kids love snacks! Your child’s lunchbox does not have to include chips, candy, cookies or sodas – these are full of ‘empty calories’. They have little nutritional quality and have lots of ingredients that are actually harmful to your child’s health – sugar, salt, fat, artificial colors and additives. You don’t have to ban these snacks altogether, ...

A delicious trip north

A few months back I shared with you our adventures crossing our country from corner to corner: North by Northwest - From PuntaCana to Montecristi. This week we arrived after undertaking the same trip again. So, what's with us and the trips to Montecristi? Well, I was born in Montecristi. It's where our family tree has its ...

Dominican men – Can they cook?

Do Dominican men fail the kitchen test, or are they no worse than men from other countries? While I wait for your replies to pour in, let me tell you about my experience. I have been married for 10 years to a divine Dominican man called Pedro. He is absolutely perfect in every way, but - ...

Casabe – Keeping an ancient tradition alive

A crispy flat bread made from cassava (yuca) flour - was at the centre of the Taíno diet. When the Spanish first arrived on the island, they soon found that casabe had advantages over their traditional European bread, in that it does not go stale or mouldy. For this reason, it is said that the ...

PuntaCana Carnival 2011

Like every year since I live here I grab my camera and go nuts at the carnival. It is an awesomely-fun event to photograph. Every year it gets better, and this year it was no exception. These are some of my favorite pictures. Aunt Clara

7 comidas con nombres graciosos o raros

The Brits have their "spotted dicks" and the Danes their "burning love" (which frankly sound like the same, er... "socially"-transmitted disease), but Dominicans put up a good fight when it comes to a nation that finds the oddest names for the most delicious dishes. Here we bring you some of them, going from the poetic to ...

Malagueta (allspice)

I once found yuca (cassava) in a visit to Denmark and decided to treat our family to the delicious arepitas de yuca. But lo and behold, the joy was short-lived because I could not find aniseed anywhere in the small town we were visiting. Despite my husband’s encouragement, and his insisting that he could not ...

Ginger - jengibre

La ruta del jengibre – the ginger trail - is one of several ecological and agricultural community tourism initiatives dotted across the Dominican Republic. The idea is to create a tourist attraction based on a local economic activity – in this case the organic ginger crop in the outstanding setting of the Las Galeras/El Rincon area ...

PuntaCana to Montecristi

I couldn't pass on this opportunity to use the title of my favorite Hitchcock movie. This is a road trip that not many Dominicans have made, and for me one that -metaphorically speaking - started in reverse 40 years ago. A two-way 1000 km-journey between the two farthest points in the country. Driving through the cane fields, ...

sopita

Not long ago I came across a thread in one of our favorite forums* in which people discussed Dominican cooking. A friend of ours commented that most Dominican cooks used seasonings and calditos (bouillon/stock cubes) in their food. Is that really so? As a child from a family of diabetic, hypertensive, picky eaters this was not ...

helpheart

Almost nine and half years ago, I decided that instead of writing down the Dominican recipes some of my friends requested over and over again I'd just put them online, then just send them to my site. I love cooking, but I hate typing (although I am pretty good at it. Typing, that is). All of ...