Papitas (Fried Cassava and Cheese Balls)


Para la versión en español sigue hasta el final


Papitas are some of the most known fried food in Maracaibo. Next to Pastelitos, Tequeños and Mandocas, these are usually eaten for breakfast. The name Papitas translate into “Little Potatoes” even though there is not potato in it.


The origin of the name will be a pending matter, which honestly I am not very interested in search for. However, learning how to make them was something I really put an effort to do, since I craved this dish so much when I moved to the US about 8 years ago.


With a little imagination as well as trial and error. I finally made it possible for me to make this dish. Take notes of this fast and easy way to make Papitas, comment and share your results and suggestions.




  • 18 oz. Approximately frozen or fresh yucca/cassava
  • 1 lb. Panela Cheese(I bought mine at Sam’s Club). You can also use, semiduro cheese or any other latin cheese salty enough, or white cheddar cheese.
  • Vegetable oil for frying
  • Salt


This recipe makes a perfect Gluten Free choice.



In a saucepan cover the yucca/cassava with water and bring to boil until de yucca/cassava is soft enough to mash it. Remove the long fibers in the middle of the yucca/cassava, add salt and squish it like a mashed potato. Make sure you don’t have chunks of yucca in your mashed yucca. Make balls of approximately 2 inches/5cm and open a hole in the middle. Put a cube of cheese inside of approximately 1 ¼ inch/3cm, and close. Make sure the cheese in completely covered by the yucca dough.


Fry in vegetable oil at 350F until the Papitas turn into a golden color outside…


Let’s Eat!





Las Papitas son unas de las frituras mas conocidas en Maracaibo, junto con los pastelitos, tequeños y mandocas. Usualmente se comen para desayunar y al contrario de lo que su nombre indica… No tienen papa por ninguna parte.


El origen del nombre se los debo y no es algo que me llame mucho la atención averigüar, sin embargo, cuando me mudé a los Estados Unidos hace un poco más de ocho años, esta fué una de las tantas comidas que comencé a extrañar.


Con un poco de imaginación, al igual que ensayo y error, logré el resultado que esperaba. Toma nota de esta manera fácil y rápida de hacer Papitas y comenta tus resultados y/o sugerencias.




  • 18 oz. Aproximadamente de Yuca congelada o fresca
  • 1 lb. Queso de Panela (lo venden en Sam’s Club). También puedes usar queso semiduro y cuanquier queso latino que tenga suficiente sal o queso cheddar blanco
  • Aceite vegetal para freir
  • Sal


Esta es una receta perfecta libre de glutamato o “Gluten Free”.




En una olla cubre la yuca con agua y llévala al fuego hasta que la yuca ablande suficiente para aplastarla en puré. Remueve las fibras duras del centro de la yuca y condimenta el pure con sal al gusto.


Cuando el puré esté bien mezclado y no le quede grumos, comienza a hacer bolitas del tamaño que desees (en la foto puedes ver que las que hice son un poco mas pequéñas que una pelota de tennis, aproximadamente 2 pulgadas/5cm). Abre un hueco en el centro y coloca un cubo de queso de aproximadamente 1 ¼ de pulgada/3cm. La masa es fácil de manejar. Cierra la pelota de masa cubriendo bien el queso y fríe a 350F hasta que este dorada por fuera.


A Comer!

Chicha Venezolana (Venezuelan Rice Drink)

 Para la version en español siga hasta el final.

I know, I know… I was gone for too long… again! But I came with a new plan and this one involved my mom… Woo hoo!!!

Just so you know this lady is the sweetest ever and she has such a positive personality that makes me thinks this time is really going to work more consistently.

Well, this recipe is hers. It is very common to find in Venezuela a Chichero on your way out of school/university and markets. Chicheros have a little cart pull either by themselves or by some sort of attached bicycle.

For a Chicha to be the best it needs to be thick and some people (like me) love little chunks of sweet rice going through the straw with difficulty… that sound great to me, hope it sounds great to you as well.

It is a tradition to add cinnamon and condense milk on top of the chicha and ask for a “ñapa” (a little extra for free) after you finish your cup.

Ready Freddy? Here is the recipe for you to try to make your own Chicha;
1 cup of rice (preferable latin rice or a NON fancy basmati).

4 1/2 cups of water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 can of evaporated milk

1 can condense milk

1 cinnamon stick

Powder cinnamon and condense milk (optional)


Wash the rice in a sieve under the kitchen faucet until the water comes clean.

In a medium size saucepan, combine all the water, salt, cinnamon stick and rice and cook over medium-low heat until the rice is so soft that you can mash it with your fingers (do not burn yourself doing it). Make sure the rice does not stick to the pot while cooking. This may last between 2 and 2 1/2 hours.

The mushy rice should look like the one on this picture.

Take the saucepan off the fire and wait until it cools a bit. Pull the cinnamon stick out of the cooked rice and discard.

Blend the rice with the evaporated milk, condense milk and vanilla. If your blender does not fit all the ingredients at once, blend it in two or three batches using equal parts of everything.

Add crushed ice to a drinking cup and pour some chicha. Garnish with powdered cinnamon and/or condense milk (some people add powdered cocoa instead of cinnamon) ENJOY!

Chicha Venezolana

Ya lo sé… me desaparecí por mucho tiempo… Otra vez! Pero volví con un nuevo plan y esta vez involucra a mi mama… Woo hoo!!!

Solo para aclarar, esta señora es la mas dulce del mundo y tiene una personalidad muy positiva y me hace pensar que esta vez si va a funcionar consistentemente.

Bueno, esta receta es de ella. Es muy común encontrar en Venezuela un Chichero al salir del colegio/Universidad o en algún Mercado. Los Chicheros tienen un carrito que empujan ellos mismo y a veces tienen una especie de bicicleta pegada para ayudarlos a manejar.

Para que una Chicha se considere la mejor, necesita ser espesa, y a algunas personas (como yo) les encanta con pedacitos que arroz dulce que pasen con dificultad por el pitillo… No se ustedes pero para mi eso suena delicioso.

Tradicionalmente se le agrega canela en polvo y leche condensada por encima, y hasta se pide una ñapa (un poquito extra sin cargo adicional) luego de terminarte la Chicha.

Listos? Acá va la receta para que hagas tu propia Chicha;

1 taza de arroz (preferiblemente arroz latino o arroz basmati del baratico)

4 ½ tazas de agua

½ cucharadita de sal

2 cucharaditas de extracto de vainilla

1 lata de leche evaporada

1 lata de leche condensada

1 palito de canela

canela en polvo y leche condensada (opcional)


Lavar el arroz en un colador hasta que el agua salga transparente.

En una olla mediana, combiner toda el agua, sal, el palito de canela y el arroz y cocinarlo a fuego medio-bajo, hasta que el arroz se pueda aplastar con los dedos haciendolo puré (ten cuidado de no quemarte). Asegurate que el aroz no se pegue a la olla mientras lo cocinas. Esto puede tomar entre 2 y 2 ½ horas.

Baja la olla del fuego y espera a que se enfríe. Sácale el palito de canela y bótalo. Licúa el arroz con la leche evaporada, leche condensada y la vainilla. Si la licuadora no es lo suficientemente grande, licúa en dos o tres partes asegurandote de separar los ingredientes en cantidades similares.

Agrega hielo picado al vaso y sirve la Chicha. Decora con canela en polvo y/o leche condensada (algunas personas le ponen cacao en polvo en vez de canela) A DISFRUTAR!

From Old Window to Wall Art!


Para la publicación en español sigue hasta el final...

It has been a while since my last post. A lot of changes had happened in my life, and even though I still work in my projects once and a while, lately I’ve been more active and decided to come back. This time I’ll add spanish translation at the end of every post, to comply with friends requests 😉

We are in a new home now! …again, this one we like the most. As the previous two homes, this one is also a rental. So, as you may guess there are changes that can or can’t be made in a rental home. This house is amazing. Middle century exterior (original with some paint in it) and a total upgrade inside… Did I mention we are on the lake now? :O We are getting a little bit spoiled here.

Well, as you may imagine, decor taste vary depending on the space you are working with. I want this house felling to be relaxing, upscale and still colorful. The master bedroom turn is next. There are a few projects I have on mind and this was the first one I tackled.

Two years ago I bought a pair of old windows at an antique mall. I have to make clear… I am not an expert on bargains. In fact, I am more than worse at it (I may have to improve in that area). So I paid $16 each. This is how the looked like…


The opposite side was painted white with brush strokes and everything (I forgot to take that picture). First things first, I removed the hardware. Then, I used a paint deglosser to remove a bit of the varnish on the window side I was going to paint blue. With the paint deglosser I used it as directed, however the results were not what I expected so I scraped a bit the surface and also sanded a bit more. I wanted to make sure the paint will adhere perfectly.


Next step, I turned around the windows (put some paper underneath to protect the wood and also the floor from the spray paint), clean the glass thoroughly to remove any residue. I mixed 1 part vinegar + 1 part water in a clean spray bottle. Make sure the tip of the spray bottle is set to “mist”. Spray enough water/vinegar mixture in the glass to accomplish a great Mercury Glass effect. Use a Mirror like spray paint (I used the Krylon one in silver), spray all the glass panels and make sure the borders are well covered as well. Let dry. you can keep working the following day.

Now, without touching the painted glass. Turn around the windows again and use masking tape to cover the glass the front side of the window (the side you are going to paint whatever color you want to). Cover the glass well since I did not do it and after painting I had to scrape the glass with a glass scraper, not fun at all. Then spray paint the entire window making sure every corner is covered.



As soon as the window is dry, remove all the masking tape. As I mentioned before, if the paint finds its way to the glass, it is your turn to use a glass scraper and remover it from the glass.

Remember the hardware? I wanted to keep the “Reused” feeling of the window so I cleaned it then put it back. I used a mixture of 1 part vinegar + 1 part water (sounds familiar?) I put the water/vinegar mixture in a pot and put the hardware inside. Heat the pot until the water start boiling and let boiled the hardware a couple of minutes. Let rest a bit until you can put your hands inside without burning, and using a toothbrush brush the dirt away. You can then start cleaning with a paper towel until the paper comes clean. You can boil the hardware as many times as necessary. Put the hardware back in the windows.

As every nice art piece, you need to finish it nicely. REMEMBER! Without touching the painted glass… Turn around the window one more time. This time try to lay it down on a carpet or pad, you don’t want any scuffed paint. Close to the edge of the window, place double side tape all around it. Use your favorite paper as a dust protector for your window (I always use contractor paper). Help yourself with a metal ruler and a box cutter to cut any excess paper. Add hardware for hanging you window and… Decorate!



Old windows.

Paint deglosser, sand paper or similar (you can mix material to get the best result for you)

Mirror spray paint (I used silver but you can use gold, copper or the one you like the best)

Spray paint for the front of the window (I used a satin Rust-Oleum dark blue… I can’t find the exact color’s name)

Masking tape and paper to protect your surfaces.

Spray Bottle

Water and vinegar for spraying the glass and cleaning the hardware.

double side tape

paper for the back of the window ( I used contractor paper, I bought it at the hardware store)

Metal ruler and box cutter.

Hangers (I used large D-Ring Handers, also from the hardware store)



Let me know if you have any questions related to this or other posts, I’ll be more than happy to help. Fell free to post any similar project or let me know if you have a different technique to accomplish similar results… See you in a bit!



The Ventanas Viejas a Obra de Arte.

Ha pasado bastante tiempo desde la última publicación. Muchas cosas han cambiado en mi vida e incluso así he logrado completar algunos proyectos de vez en cuando. Ultimamente he estado más activa y decidí volver al blog. De ahora en adelante habrá una traducción en español al final del post para complacer a aquellos amigos que lo han solicitado 😉

Estamos en una nueva casa! … de nuevo. Esta nos gusta mucho más. Igual que las últimas dos casas, esta es rentada. Como es de suponerse, hay cambios que pueden hacerse y hay otros que no son posibles. Esta casa es maravillosa. El estilo del exterior es de mediados de siglo (original con una pinturita) y por dentro está totalmente remodelada estilo actual… Les dije que estamos en el lago ahora? :O Nos estamos poniendo malcriados aquí.

Bueno, como pueden imaginarse, los gustos en decoración varían dependiendo del espacio en el cual estas trabajando. Con esta casa quiero que la sensación sea de relajación, lujo y aún así mucho color. Es el turno del cuarto principal. Hay algunos proyectos que tengo en mente y el siguiente es el primero que decidí completar.

Hace dos años compré un par de ventanas en un mall de antigüedades. Debo aclarar  que no soy experta en gangas. De hecho, soy la peor (debería mejorar en el area). Bueno, pagué $16 cada una. Y así es como se veían… (foto)

El lado opuesto estaba pintado de blanco con marcas de brocha y todo incluido. (se me olvidó tomar esa foto). Primero, removí las manillas y la cerradura. Luego, usé un removedor de barniz para remover un poco de el barniz viejo en el lado del frente de la ventana, el que va pintado del color que quieran ustedes. Con el removedor de pintura que usé como decían las indicaciones, no me fié muy bien, me tocó usar una espátula y hasta papel de lija. Hay que estar seguro que la pintura va a adherirse a la superficie. (foto)

Próximo paso, Dale vuelta a la ventana (pon papel por debajo para proteger la madera y el piso de la pintura) limpia el vidrio removiendo cualquier residuo. Yo mezclé 1 medidas de vinagre con 1 medida de agua y la metí en una botella limpia de spray. Hay que asegurarse que la boquilla de la botella esté en la parte de “rocío”. Rocía el vidrio con la mezcla suficientemente para que de el efecto de vidrio mercury. Usa una pintura de efecto espejo en spray (yo usé Krylon en plata), pinta todos los páneles de vidrio asegurándote de cubrir  los bordes de igual manera. Deja secar, puedes seguir trabajo al día siguiente.

Ahora,  Sin tocar el vidrio pintado. Voltea las ventanas de nuevo, usa cinta de enmascarar para cubrir el vidrio del lado del frente (el lado que vas a pintar del color que quieras). Cubre bien el vidrio, yo no lo hice y me tocó raspar el vidrio con un rascavidrios, Nada emocionante. Luego pinta la ventana completa con la pintura en spray, asegúrate que todas las esquinas estén cubiertas. (foto)

En cuanto la ventana esté seca, remueve la cinta de enmascarar. Como mencioné anteriormente, si el vidrio se llena de pintura, es tu turno de usar el rascavidrios para remover la pintura del vidrio.

Recuerdan las manillas y la cerradura? Yo quise seguir con el tema de la “reutilización” de la ventana, entonces los limpié y los volví a colocar. Usé una mezcla de 1 parte de agua y 1 parte de vinagre (les suena familiar?) Puse la mezcla de agua y vinagre en una olla y coloqué las manillas y la cerradura adentro, las puse a hervir por unos minutitos. cuando el agua este a una temperatura tolerable usa un cepillo de dientes para cepillar y remover el sucio, luego con una toalla de papel continúa limpiando hasta que el papel salga limpio. puedes repetir el proceso las veces que sea necesario. Pon las manillas y la cerradura en la ventada seca de nuevo. Hay que RECORDAR! Sin tocar el vidrio pintado… Dale vuelta a la ventana una vez más. Esta vez trata de colocarla sobre una alfombra o una superficie suave, no quieres que se pele la pintura. Cerca de los bordes de la ventana, coloca cinta adhesiva (la que tiene pega de ambos lados). Usa tu papel favorito como guarda polvo (yo siempre uso papel de construcción). Usa una regla de metal y un cortador de caja or exacto para cortar el excedente de papel. Coloca el gancho para colgar tu ventana y… Decora! (foto)


Ventanas viejas.

Removedor de pintura, papel de lija o algo similar (puedes mezclar materiales hasta lograr el resultado deseado)

Pintura de spray efecto espejo (yo usé color plata pero se puede usar dorada, cobre o cual sea mejor)

Pintura en spray para el frente de la ventana (yo usé una satinada de Rust-Oleum azul oscuro… No encuentro el nombre exacto del color)

Cinta de enmascarar y papel para proteger las superficies.

botella de spray

Agua y vinagre para rociar el vidrio y para limpiar las manillas y la cerradura.

Cinta adhesiva de ambos lados.

papel para el guarda polvo de la ventana (yo usé papel de construcción que compré en la ferretería)

Regla de metal y cortador de cajas o exacto.

Gancho para colgar la ventana (yo usé un gancho grande de anillo en D)


Si tienen preguntas acerca de esta u otra publicación, háganmela saber, con gusto les responderé. Siéntanse libres de publicar cualquier proyecto similar o dejarme saber si hay alguna técnica diferente que te gusta usar y que logra resultados similares… Nos vemos en un ratito!



Happy Stairs (Removable Wallpaper)


Para la publicación en español, sigue hasta el final.

Hi there! I’ve been thinking for a long time how to give some life to the entryway. No matter what time of the day it is, the entrance will look dark of just boring. I wanted to give some color to it but there is not much space to add an entry table or something similar. The choices I have will be limited to the stairs and the wall where the stairs are. Just to remind you, I live in a rental home so whatever choice I take it shouldn’t be permanent.

And then… I checked different choices to decorate stairs. The best thing one could do when feeling stuck it is to go and look for ideas! COLOR! That is what I wanted, happy, colorful stairs. I decide to go with removable and INEXPENSIVE wallpaper. After researching online for removable wallpaper well… it is too expensive for a home that is not mine 😦 but WAIT! I found two pins on pinterest about removable wallpaper made out of fabric TA-DA!

Note for Renters: you can remove this wallpaper using just water. Easy to do!

So here you go, to add some interest to your stairs (or walls) you will need:

Fabric of your choice. I used three different prints and one yard of each one (I used cotton Calico prints that I found at Hobby Lobby)

Iron and Ironing table



Measure tape


Utility Knife (or Rotary cutter and rotary cutter mat plus ruler)



Old credit card


The stairs I wallpapered had 15 steps each 5 3/4′ tall by 33 1/2′ wide (minus one step in an angle that was 39′ wide)

To make the starch for this quantity you will need to boil 2 cups of water, then in 1/4 cup of cold water add 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and mix until it is completely dissolved. When the 2 cups of water are boiling, add the water and cornstarch mixture whisking at all times until it have the consistency of gravy.

I tried two ways of putting the fabric (the first one took more time and, honestly, I didn’t think it was worth the work unless the surface you will be doing it is not perfectly square) anyway I’ll let you know both ways.

First I used the pushpins to fix the fabric over the space where I would place it (to level the fabric print the better I could). Then I move the fabric up so I could apply the starch with the brush as if you were painting. With an old credit card I started placing the fabric.

NOTE: If you press the fabric too hard with the card, you may end up stretching the fabric and messing how the print will look at the end. Be gentle!

I used the rotary cutter to cut off the excess on the longest edges, for the small ones I used either the utility knife or scissors.

After you have all the cuts done, apply a layer of starch over the fabric to protect it and fix it better to the surface.



Great right?

After the third step I decided to measure ever single step (very well) to make sure they where the same size and then… I started the second option I used to finish this project.

First I cut the pieces using a cutting mat, ruler and rotary cutter (like cutting pieces for a quilt). I placed the fabric on the step to have it centered. I add a layer of starch to the surface and using and old credit card to place it on the right spot. Then add the layer of starch on top (easier right?)





Very important:

1. Iron the fabric as needed, this will give a better quality to your work.

2. Measure, measure, measure.

The layer of starch will take some time to dry. Try placing the same print in their spots giving some time to the other ones to dry a bit. I first started placing the steps in order (1,2, and 3) and my knees were getting starched. Everything was better when I place it 4,7,10,13, and so on. When I came back to place 5,8,11,14. The previous step wasn’t as wet as before.


It took me 3 hours including gathering together the materials and tools and ironing and making mistakes. I bet you can make a better timing 😉

Questions anyone?

I wish you to enjoy this tutorial 🙂

Take care!



Escaleras Alegres (Papel Tapiz Removible)

Hola! He estado pensando, ya por un tiempo, cómo darle vida a la entrada de la casa?. No importa que hora sea, la entrada de la casa se ve oscura y aburrida. Quise darle un poco de color, pero no hay mucho espacio para una mesa o algo similar. Las opciones que tengo están limitadas a las escaleras y la pared de las escaleras. Solo como recordatorio, Vivo en una casa rentada, así que cualquier opción que escoja, no puede ser permanente.

Entonces, Estudié diferentes opciones para decorar las escaleras. Lo mejor que se puede hacer cuando falta la creatividad es buscar nuevas ideas! COLOR! Eso es lo que estaba buscando, escaleras alegres y coloridas. Decidí utilizar una papel tapiz económico. Luego de buscar paper tapiz removible en el internet, buehh… Es demasiado costoso para una casa que no es mía 😦 pero ESPEREN! Encontré dos pins en Pinterest, acerca de como hacer papel tapiz removible con tela TA-DA!

Nota para arrendatarios: Puedes remover este papel utilizando solo agua. Fácil verdad?

Bueno, aquí va. Para agregar un toque interesante a tus escaleras (o paredes) vas a necesitar:

Tela de tu preferencia. yo utilicé tres tipos de estampados y una yarda de de cada uno (90cm). Utilicé algodón Calico que encontré en Hobby Lobby.

Plancha y mesa de planchar


Fécula de maíz

Cinta métrica


Cortador de cajas/exacto, o cortadora rotativa, superficie para cortadora rotativa y regla para cortar.



Tarjeta de crédito vieja.


Las escaleras que empapelé tienen 15 escalones, cada uno de 5 3/4 pulgadas de alto y 33 1/2 pulgadas de ancho (excepto un escalón que esta en ángulo y tenía 39 pulgadas de ancho) Para hacer el engrudo para esta cantidad, vas a necesitar hervir 2 tazas de agua, luego en 1/4 de taza de agua fría, agrega 3 cucharadas de fécula de maíz y mezcla hasta que esté completamente disuelta. Cuando las dos tazas de agua estén hirviendo, agrega la mezcla de fécula de maíz y agua fría batiendo constantemente hasta que espese.

Traté dos formas de colocar la tela (la primera  toma más tiempo, honestamente no creo que valga la pena a menos que la superficie no tenga ángulos y medidas perfectas) En fin, Aquí les dejo las dos maneras de montar la tela. Primero usé las tachuelas para colocar la tela en el espacio donde se iba a pegar (hay que considerar que el estampado esté nivelado/centrado de la mejor manera). Luego, subí la tela para poner el engrudo en la superficie, cuando ya tenía suficiente engrudo, coloqué la tela y con ayuda de una tarjeta de crédito vieja se va pegando la tela tratando de sacar las burbujas, si se hace alguna.

NOTA: Si presionas la tela muy fuerte con la tarjeta, puede que la tela se estire deformando el estampado y vas a terminar con un desastre. Trabaja con cuidado!

Yo utilicé un cortador rotativo para cortar el excedente de la tela en los lados más largos, para los lugares mas pequeños o las esquinas, utilicé exacto o tijeras. Luego que tengas todo cortado, aplica una capa de engrudo por encima de la tela para pegarla bien a la superficie y protegerla.


Excelente cierto?

Luego del tercer escalón decidí medir cada escalón por separado (muy bien) para asegurarme que tenían la misma medida y luego… Comencé con la segunda opción hasta terminar el proyecto. Primero corté la tela usando un cortador rotativo junto con su superficie de corte y la regla (como lo que se usa para cortar los quilt/acolchados). Coloqué la tela en los escalones hasta tenerla bien centrada. Coloqué una capa de engrudo en la superficie y utilizando la tarjeta de crédito la pegué en el lugar donde iba. Luego agregué la capa de engrudo por encima (fácil verdad?)


Muy importante:

  1. Plancha la tela las veces que sea necesario, el resultado será de mejor calidad.
  2. 2. Mide, mide, mide.
  3. La capa de engrudo va a tomar un tiempo en secar. Trata de colocar primero un estampado en los escalones que corresponden, dándole un tiempo para que se seque cuando vayas a colocar el que le sigue. Yo primero intenté pegar la tela en el orden de los escalones (1, 2, 3) y las rodillas se me estaban llenando de engrudo. Todo mejoró cuando coloqué 4,7,10,13, y así sucesivamente. Cuando volví para colocar 5,8,11,14, los escalones con la tela ya no estaban tan húmedos como al comienzo.


Me tomó tres horas terminar el proyecto, incluyendo el tiempo que tomó buscar los materiales, prepararlos, planchar y meter la pata. Te apuesto que puedes hacerlo en menos tiempo 😉

Alguna pregunta?

Espero que hayan disfrutado este tutorial 🙂





Glass Lamps (from Glass Vases)



Hello! Today I want to show you one of my favorite projects. I really like glass. I can not have too many glass products at home because of the kids but I managed to make and add a few of my lamps around the house. Because this tutorial may be a little long I’ll try to get to the point soon. Before we start, I’ll add some of the resources I use to buy material at the end and I will also limit the tutorial to the glass base. For the shade I’ll recommend checking the lamp shade tutorial at Design Sponge here. She has a great tutorial that I have use to make all my lamp shades.


Glass Base.

5/16 inch diamond bit

A good drill

Masking tape

Safety glasses

Rubber gloves

Standard quality cork stopper (the size of the vase opening)

1/4 IPS Internal pipe hole bushing

8 Ft. 18/2 SPT-2cord set with molded plug (the color you prefer)

2 1/2 Inch X 1/8 IPS nipple steel

1/8 IPS star lock washer (X2)

1/8F Hex head nut-steel (X2)

1 1/2 Inch 1/8 SL Checkring (The color you prefer) (X2)

3-Way lamp socket (the color you prefer)

Regular duty harp. it may be 8 inches or 10 inches depending on how big it is your vase (the color you prefer)

Lamp finial (the color you prefer)

To start you will need a sink or a water source to keep the vase wet while drilling the hole. Put some masking tape in the place where you want the hole to be drill. As with a lot of power tolls, you will need to start it before placing it on the vase (this will give you an idea of the best speed and how much control you will need over the drill to keep it in place while drilling). Start with the bit in a 45 degrees angle until you get some control over the drill and you notice it won’t move out of place. If the drill move out of place it may scratch the surface of the vase. slowly move the bit, while drilling, in a 90 degrees angle. it will take sometime, usually about 10 minutes. Do NOT push the drill, do NOT wiggle the drill while opening the hole. This may break the glass and you won’t get a clean cut. Because it is glass you will note some of the mistakes. Wear your glasses and gloves while drilling and keep the water running so the glass won’t get to hot and break.



After opening the hole, you will get some little pieces of glass inside the vase. Add a little bit of dish soap and rinse until you get all the soap out. This way you will minimize water marks. Turn upside-down until it dries.


Now that the vase is ready to become a lamp, lets start installing the electrical. Take the cork stopper and drill a hole in the middle big enough to be able to pass the nipple through but not too big that the nipple will be loose in it (I usually open the hole with a smaller drill bit so the nipple will fit tight). pass the nipple leaving almost equal parts out of both sides. In the smaller end of the cork add FIRST, one checkring, one star lock washer and then one hex head nut.


On the widest end of the cork add FIRST, one star lock washer, one hex head nut and one checkering. Also, add the bottom part of the harp. Now, separate the lamp socket (bottom and top) and screw the bottom part to the nipple on this same side of the cork (don’t forget the ring that keep both half of the socket together). Note: you may need to loose a little the screw at the bottom part of the socket. remember to tight that little screw at the end.





Put the pipe hole bushing in the hole you drilled in the vase. take the wire and pass it through the hole and also through the nipple until you have enough wire to connect the electrical. (I did this before putting together the hardware on the top part but, I have done that as I instructed here before and there is no difference that I have noticed)



Connect each way of the wire to the screws on the socket (one end to one screw and the other end to the other screw). slide the socket top part to the internal part where you connected the wires and then screw to the bottom part attached to the cork.



Press the cork down until it gets real tight to the vase (I usually try lifting the vase by the socket to get sure it is tight enough and won’t come off the vase). Be sure that the cork and the electrical are leveled and then add the top part of the harp, lamp shade and finial.




It may seem like a lot of work but it is not. after you get the hole drilled in the vase it may take about 5 minutes to put the electrical together. you can even buy a lamp shade and have the whole thing done pretty quickly.

As always, any question I’ll be more than happy to answer 😉

Almost forget! I am sure there may be more places to buy the materials. I’ll share with you the ones I have been using. (for electrical parts) (for corks) (for lamp shade supplies)

If you decide to tackle this project, please send pictures 🙂


Pernil Horneado Venezolano (Venezuelan Roasted Fresh Ham)

Well, after a few events that usually happen in our lives, I am finally back! 😀

After living in the US for almost 6 years, I miss the food I grew up with, a TON. Pernil Horneado is a dish a regular Venezuelan family will make for christmas eve or new year’s eve as part of the holiday’s meals.

Pernil Horneado is not a difficult dish but, it will need some time and checking on the Ham during cooking time. First than all, I want to apologized beforehand about the lack of pictures. It was my first pernil and I was kind of anxious to get the best results. I’ll try to explain the best I can so you can get it right the first time as I did 😉

you will need:

Fresh Ham (if it’s not the holiday season or easter here in the US, you will need to make an special order at the supermarket that may take one to two weeks. mine took a little over a week)

1 Cup chopped bacon

1-2 Tbsp cloves

Bay leaves

9-10 Tbsp salt

4 Tbsp black pepper

5 Tbsp dried oregano

2 Cups sweet red wine

1 cup pitted prunes

1 cup pineapple juice (fresh is the best)

1 Big yellow onion

1 bunch of green onions (I have absolutely NO idea of how you call it in english. I just know the supermarket put it together with a rubber band)

1/2 cup of honey

1/2 peeled and cored pineapple.


Let the fun begin,  If your ham comes sealed like mine. you don’t have to worry about putting A LOT of salt so the pork will drain the extra blood (which happens in Venezuela and is an extra step you can skip) If your pork is soooo fresh that is dripping blood, well…you will need to add extra salt all over the piece of fresh ham to help drain it. When the excess blood is gone you can then proceed to the next step.


take a chef knife and make deep cuts all the way to the bone of the fresh ham in different parts of the pork (be super careful because the skin can be very hard sometimes and you will prefer all your fingers attached to you)



Usually the cuts are made on the entire piece of pork not only the top part. These cuts will absorbe the condiments so you will have a very tasty pernil. In a pot add bacon and cloves and cook a few minutes over medium heat until the bacon start losing some of the fat and you start getting the cloves smell a little bit more intense.




I like to cut my bacon while frozen with a very sharp knife (now that I just wrote that, it sounded very very dangerous) Be careful!

let the bacon and cloves mixture cool down so you can start putting it inside the cuts you made to the ham. after filling the cuts you will need to add salt, pepper and oregano evenly to the entire ham. then add some bay leaves and pour the orange juice and 1 cup of wine over the ham. cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate over night.


Note: life will be easier if you are not so lazy to go and find a better size container for that ham!

NEXT DAY: in a blender add, the rest of the wine (1 cup), prunes and pineapple juice. Pour the blended mixture on the ham cover with aluminum foil and put it inside the oven at 350 fahrenheit one hour for every kilo (because 2 lbs. is a little under a kilo you can try 1 hour per every 2 pounds or convert pounds to kilos to get a better timing on your pernil.) my pernil was a little over 14 pounds which is over 6 kilos. I just cooked it 6 hours and the result was awesome it wouldn’t hurt a little more time so, don’t worry about being too precise.


very important! every 45 minutes to an hour put some of the liquid on the ham while in the oven and cover again with the aluminum foil. you don’t want a dry tasteless pernil so please remember to do this over and over again until done.

then, 45 or 30 minutes before cooking time is up, remove the aluminum foil to toast the skin and get a darker color on your pernil.



Because of the cooking time the skin on top will roast until almost disappear and the one on the bottom will fall off. you don’t have to be worry about eating extra fat, just the essential 😉

If you notice in the last picture we started to eat the pernil before taking the picture. Philippe, my two-year-old boy, was the first and he loved it. so we just started digging (Literally) the pernil.

if you have enough liquid after taking the ham out of the oven, as we did, you can thicken it with a tablespoon of cornstarch disolved in 2 tablespoon room temperature water in a pot and cook over medium heat until you get the thicker consistency.

The most popular choice is to make the pernil sauce and that is why we haven’t use the other ingredients just yet.

Ok. for the sauce, add to a blender onion, green onions, honey and pineapple. in a saucepan heat the blended ingredients over medium heat until thick and serve over the pernil.

We liked both sauces so we had both 😀

If you have any questions I’ll be glad to help. I also want to thank my uncle Salim (Tio Nono) for his help in passing this recipe to me 😉

Enrollados Venezolanos (Venezuelan Pastry)

Enrollados Venezolanos

Hey there! The pastry I am going to show you is known in Venezuela as “enrollado”. You can find enrollados in bakeries (which in Venezuela are frequent places to go daily for some fresh bread, and pastries of course). Since I move to the US I’ve been reading different cook books, and noticed that Venezuelan culture involves a lot of European and Middle Eastern food. Just to let you know a little bit of Venezuela. My beautiful South-American country was a preferred destination for immigrants for a big part of the 20th Century. The tropical year-round weather, and the start of the Venezuelan oil industry are, in big part, the reason of this phenomenon.

So Thanks to all these people who decided to move to my piece of heaven in earth, Venezuela is one of those places where you can have a big variety of great food 😉

Ok amigos mios, These are the ingredients:

1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry
Powder sugar for rolling
unsalted butter for the pastry cylinders
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water
2 1-4 cups regular milk
1/2 vanilla bean
5 egg yolks
6 tbsp. powder sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tbsp. cornstarch

For the pastry wrap, you will need one sheet of ready-made puff pastry or you can make your own. I have tried my own pastry before and there is not a difference of flavor between one and the other. Remember to follow the manufacturer instructions to thaw it. Mine ask for 30 minutes out of the freezer prior to roll it. Add enough powder sugar to a flat and clean surface to start rolling your puff pastry. try to roll it keeping the rectangular shape of the dough. you need it about half the thickness it originally came. you can add powder sugar on top on the pastry to avoid to get stick to the rolling pin.




once you have the pastry rolled to the desired thickness, start cutting 1″ thick lines.






You could make the lines thinner or thicker depending on how big you want your enrollados to be. Next add some unsalted butter to the pastry cylinders so your enrollados won’t stick to them (which I forgot to do :P)




As you can see on the last picture, That is what happens when you forget to add butter to your cylinders. But it is not the end of the world. To fix this, you can take a table knife and cut the tips of the pastry and remove them carefully (with the knife because it would be stuck to the cylinder) then put you entire hand around the pastry without putting too much pressure on it and turn it a little bit. Congratulations! you just saved your pastry wraps 🙂

Note: If you don’t have pastry cylinders, you can make some with aluminum foil. cut long strips of aluminum foil and wrap it around two fingers a couple of time to make the shape. Another consideration; If you forget to add butter to your aluminum foil cylinders. hold your pastry with your hand, without pressing too much, and turn the aluminum around softly until you can take it out of the pastry wrap. I KNOW! I should stop forgetting the butter… By the way, I use to have the aluminum foil as cylinders for a while until I decided to get serious and bought them on amazon.

Add parchment paper to a cookie sheet and arrange the enrollados about 1 to 2 inches apart one from the other. Brush them with an egg wash made out of one whole egg and one tablespoon of water whisked together.



Bake at 350 Fahrenheit for 12 to 15 minutes.



Now for the creme. This is called Creme Patissiere. I don’t speak french so for me is called crema pastelera. take the 2 1/4 cups of milk and add the 1/2 vanilla bean (I split it in half to get a little bit more flavor out of it) bring to boil but don’t let it boil more than 1 minute. meanwhile, whisk together the egg yolks and the powder sugar until pale. Then add the flour and cornstarch making it thicker (whisk any lump in the mixture). take the vanilla bean out of the milk. if a film is formed on top of the milk take it out as well. add the milk to the egg mixture gradually and take it back to the stove at medium temperature and bring to boil whisking constantly to avoid lumps forming on the creme. Let boil for one minute and take out of the stove. Put the creme on a bowl and cover with plastic wrap while cooling down.

The creme should get thicker when boiling but it will get even more thick when cooling down. to see if the creme is the right consistency. Put a wooden spoon inside the preparation take out and make a line with you finger on the back of the spoon. If it draw a channel in the middle it is ok to take out the stove and cool it down.





Now that you have your creme done, take a piping bag and fill the pastry wraps. Dust the tops of the enrollados with some powder sugar.



you can keep you enrollados in the fridge in an air tight container I will eat them within 3 days to keep the nice flavor. Some people like them better after you put them in the fridge. Not me! I could seriously eat them hot or cold 🙂

Note: From 1 sheet of puff pastry you can get 6 regular size enrollados.

Any question? just let me know 🙂