Welcome to Latina Mom Meals!
Hola, I'm Neyssa, and I created Latina Mom Meals in 2016 as a way to stay connected to my Puerto Rican and Cuban roots.
My hope is that when you visit, you feel like part of the familia and leave with a recipe that not only satisfies your appetite, but also warms your heart.
Cooking is my form of art. Where some find their expression in painting, I find mine in the kitchen, with each pot and pan serving as my canvas.
My passion lies in recreating authentic Puerto Rican foods and classic Cuban meals - those cherished recipes from my childhood, my life’s journeys, and the invaluable ones shared by friends and our beautiful community.
Let's go back in time!
Growing up, eating out was a rare treat in our home. My parents, both skilled cooks, brought the flavors of Cuba and Puerto Rico to our table daily.
For an authentic Puerto Rican dinner, my mom would make arroz con gandules, pollo frito, potato salad with apples in it, and if we were lucky some flan.
The kitchen was the heart of our home and it always had an aroma as something was on the stove or in the oven.
Creativity & Mentorship
What amazed me most was how they'd create diverse dishes from the same staples like rice and beans, each day offering a new culinary experience.
Their creativity in the kitchen was not just impressive; it was a form of art!
This culinary passion was a gift they passed on to me. As a child, I was more of an eager taster than a cook. But now, they are my mentors.
Whether through calls, Facetime, or visits, I absorb their intuitive cooking methods, learning that the secret lies in 'no medida' - cooking by feel and taste rather than strict measurements.
I'm immensely grateful to have my parents as my guides. Their legacy, their love for cooking, is what I aim to preserve and share on Latina Mom Meals.
I started this blog with a dual purpose:
First, to preserve these treasured family recipes and traditions that were handed down to me, ensuring they are not lost to time.
And second, to share the warmth, vibrancy, and flavors of Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisine with a wider audience, inviting them to experience the same joy and connection that these dishes have brought to my life.
Every family recipe here is a story, a memory, a piece of my heart, lovingly prepared and shared.
Join me as we explore the delicious depths of Puerto Rican and Cuban cooking, keeping traditions alive and appetites satisfied.
What To Expect
I'm a detail-oriented person, a single blog post can take me about 20 hours to create.
I love to research recipes, cooking methods, speak with family members and the community about dishes, and then I take my time with writing to make sure you are able to successfully recreate the recipe with any questions answered.
Classic meals with modern approaches:
Here at Latina Mom Meals you can expect to find easy authentic Puerto Rican recipes and traditional Cuban family meals created for the modern home cook.
As a mother of five, I know that cooking dinner on school nights, after a long day of work can be a time-consuming time.
My goal is to still share how to make these beautiful classic Latin meals, with available variations and cooking techniques that better serve you.
I want you to be able to save time making meals that are still authentic, without sacrificing on quality or flavor.
This can look like making pastellios in the air fryer, using an Instant Pot for beans instead of soaking them overnight, or having the option of using frozen root vegetables for sancocho instead of peeling and cutting them.
Creating Memories & Connection:
When you visit Latina Mom Meals to get a recipe, you're also getting a memory.
Whether that memory is that of your own or one that's shared in my blog post, one things for certain, not only is your body nourished -but your spirit will be too!
As the daughter of a Cuban immigrant, I did not get to meet my dad's side of the family until I was ten years old.
I met my grandfather who had the most piercing blue eyes once when he was able to visit on a visa for a few weeks. I never saw him again.
Cooking Cuban meals has been a way for me to feel a sense of connection to my Cuban heritage.
Also, as the daughter of a native Boricua that moved to New York City in her early 20's, Puerto Rico was only ever served on a platter with a side of salsa music and virgin coquito.
I'm super grateful to have had my tia Carmen around in my childhood.
She taught me how to make natilla with an egg yolk, and to never make friends with chickens that all of a sudden come to visit your home on the day of a family reunion... you just may find your new pet chicken is served with caldo and veggies.
These cherished moments, filled with laughter, music, and invaluable cooking lessons, not only deepened my love for Puerto Rican and Cuban cuisines but also inspired me to share these vibrant cultures through every recipe on Latina Mom Meals.
Building a Community
Latina Mom Meals is a bridge. But the traveler is you. Many of our readers come to Latina Mom Meals in search of recipes to recreate a meal they shared with a loved one or to feel connected to the Latin culture.
Not only will you find recipes here, but you can find ways to connect with other readers on our social media platforms and our popular private Facebook group that has over 160,000 active members with excellent moderators to ensure a healthy environment!
I am dedicated to sharing only authentic and helpful content and am always open to learning.
I value your feedback, whether it's a tip, suggestion, or request. Please feel free to reach out through my contact page or leave a comment under a recipe post.
Together, we can continue to build a strong community that celebrates and preserves the rich culinary heritage of Puerto Rico and Cuba.
Eventually, I want to create a way where you can share your own recipes that I can add here on the site -with your story!
Latina Mom Meals will one day be the resource site where you can find recipes from not only Puerto Rico and Cuba, but recipes inspired from many Hispanic communities.