Thanksgiving Dishes Latinas Love!

Haven't planned your menu yet? Not to worry -- sample these and impress your friends and family at the same time.

I must confess: I’m not much of a cook. In fact, I’m a kitchen dunce. But no worries, I have Thanksgiving Day covered. We’re having dinner at my mother’s home (again) and I have my dear foodie friends for inspiration. I asked four of my Latina friends to share one of their favorite Thanksgiving recipes. These ladies love cooking traditional recipes and creating new ones. Here are four dishes they happily shared with me, for that eventual day when I’m up to taking out some pots and pans from closet!

Pumpkin Empañadas
Yvette Marquez-Sharpnark of Muy Bueno Cooking loves collecting recipes passed on from her mother and grandmother. Of the many recipes she offered to share, I chose the pumpkin empanadas. I absolutely love empanadas. My grandmother and I used to make them together when I lived with her. They always bring back beautiful memories of my childhood.

Yvette associates seasonal changes with empanadas.  "Growing up we always knew the fall and winter meant lots of sweet and tasty treats we call empanadas," she said.  "These sweet pastry pockets are filled with whatever jam or preserves are in season or whatever you were lucky enough to preserve over the summer.”

You’ll love the crunchiness, sweetness and the smell of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves! Click here to find out how you can make these at home!

Pumpkin Margarita
My good friend, Vianney Rodriguez of Sweet Life Bake, realized that in her attempt to bake the perfect pumpkin empanadas, she was left with plenty of puree. That’s when it hit me,” she said. My Thanksgiving table needs a great margarita, a pumpkin margarita.” So she created this awesome pumpkin margarita drink! Find out how you can make it here.

Moro de Habichuelas (Rice and Beans)
I grew up eating rice and beans every single day. This recipe, from Aunt Clara’s Kitchen, has all the ingredients my Dominican mother used when cooking moro de habichuelas (rice and beans, mixed together). This is as authentic as you can get. Trust me. Click here to make it tonight! 

Turkey Breast Mole Poblano
My friend Eva Smith from Tech.Food.Life shared her turkey breast mole poblano recipe. Every Thanksgiving Day, she gets really excited about trying out new recipes to make the holidays a memorable experience. “This year I experimented with traditional Mexican recipes and made a turkey breast with mole,” she said. “The aromas of the mole remind me of my grandmother’s cooking and turkey always reminds me of family.”  Find out how you can make it yourself here.

As you can see, for many Latinas, cooking is more than a culinary experience; it is a special opportunity to honor the important women in our lives.

Enjoy and Happy Thanksgiving!

Angelica Perez is an iVoice Latina with iVoices on iVillage. She is also the publisher and CEO of, an online lifestyle magazine for all women, with a focus on Latina and multicultural women.

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