I went to The Culinary Institute of America to professionally become a Pastry Chef/ Bread Baker. Sure, the CIA taught me to make the perfect pastry cream and I had top Master Bakers as professors. But the CIA didn’t give me what my Mother has given me: love and passion. 
I left Virginia on December 31st and surprised my family in Miami!
Ever since I was young my flavor repertoire slowly crawled away from powdered cereals, milk and baby food to more elaborate foods.  My mother knew I was going to be a big eater.  She would feed me “grown up food” which made me develop new flavor profiles for everything I was fed.  Food such as sweet, golden fresh corn droplets and butternut squash puree  that felt silky on my tongue. I was also exposed to tiny boiled quail eggs dressed with mayonnaise and ketchup which I adored because they would pop in my mouth. The warm, runny yolk would swirl around my mouth. After doll playing and dress up, my mother would fix me dinner of my favorite food, spaghetti in tomato sauce.  
2009- Bread Baking with Mom; Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
I grew up watching my Mother bake cake after cake and my birthdays always had amazing cakes. The great thing is that cake was never a “special” treat. We’d have cake every day and till this day, still do. My Mom taught me how to bake and because of her, I am who I am. I’m a baker? Yup, because of my Mom. My Father and her sacrificed themselves for me to achieve my dream of attending CIA. They’ve supported me when I wanted to bake/cook everywhere and anywhere. Sure, she shudders at the thought of me moving across the nation, but she knows she’s taught me well. 

Another Christmas, this time 2009

To my Mother,
Thank you for your endless love, even though I am the craziest of your children. Thank you for loving me even when you don’t agree with what I am doing at times. Thank you for your guidance, advice and loving words. Thank you for the thousands of letters you’ve written me (since the moment I was in your belly). Thank you for being my coffee companion, my friend, the one person that will love me no matter what. Thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made. Thank you for teaching me all your baking secrets (even though I know you still have a few up your sleeves). Thank you for pushing me to become a better person/baker/friend. Thank you for calling me three times a day when I am away, even when I say I’m busy, I’m glad you did it. Thank you for keeping me in your thoughts and prayers when I was thousands of miles away. Thank you for your crazy laugh, your loving eyes and your delicate hands that always know how I feel. I love you with all my heart and I could not ask for a better Mother. Te amo Mami! Feliz Dia de las Madres!


My adorable Mom and Dad. They’ve proven to me (daily) that True Love DOES exist!


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  1. What a beautiful post. No one in my family was a baker so I started out by making cookie mixes when I was 8, then graduated to cake mixes, and didn’t really learn to make things from scratch until I was an adult. Well, I tried to bake bread from scratch when I was 8. Just flour + water, right? Yeah, well those turned into inedible bricks. (Even though my mom is not a baker, she’s an excellent cook and wonderful in so many ways.)

  2. I have tears right now, soooo beautiful! You are such a beautiful soul, and your parents are so lucky! Thank you for sharing such a special part of your life with us!
    Love and Hugs,

  3. Beautiful Post! I love the pictures. Is it me or your mom looks younger as years go by? God bless 🙂

  4. Sweetest post. Ever! 😉
    Your Mom must be so proud and thrilled to read the impact she has had on you.

  5. That is so sweet! I couldn’t agree with you more. The way we appreciate food, the way we cook and eat is mostly stemming from our childhood and parents can really have a huge impact on that! Great post and I’m so happy to have found your blog today!

  6. What a fantastic post! I didn’t know you went to the CIA. I eat there every time I visit my sister who lives up the highway in Rhinebeck. I start drooling just thinking about eating there. 🙂

    I can’t tell which parent you look most like. In each photo I swear, that’s the parent. What a great family.