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Tamara Lukens

Tamara Lukens
Contributor

Tamara Lukens is the founder and editor of T’s Tasty Bits, a recipe and food blog dedicated to Ecuadorian and Latin American cuisine.  Born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador, Tamara developed a passion for cooking and experimenting in the kitchen at a very young age, inspired by the Ecuadorian cooking show “Día a Día con María Rosa”.  As a young adult, Tamara moved to the United States in pursue of her dreams of a college education and a career, but cooking never left her heart.  Tamara now documents her memories of growing up in Ecuador and her kitchen adventures on T’s Tasty Bits, where she recreates the meals she ate growing up. 

Name: Tamara Lukens
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Butternut Squash and Tomatillo Soup
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During the cold winter months, one of my favorite things to make is soup.  Soups based out of zapallos, or squashes, are always on the top of my list. Back home, our soups are usually thick and creamy.  Several of them incorporate potatoes, milk or even pureed peanuts to achieve this type of consistency.  However, these types of...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Butternut Squash and Tomatillo Soup
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Butternut Squash and Tomatillo Soup's tomatillos add a lighter, citrus flavor to an otherwise traditional, cold-weather soup. Top off this soup with a drizzle of Mexican crema and a flurry of cilantro leaves, and add a pumped-up Latin flare to your meal.
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Type: Recipe
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Polvorones Main
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Polvorones always remind me of Christmas.  In Ecuador, Christmas dinner is an event, the event. I remember my mom, aunt, grandma, and nana bustling through the house a week in advance, congregating in the kitchen, making this, perfecting that. As expected, we always had piqueos or small bites to keep our hunger at bay, both sweet and...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Sweet Almond Cookies (Polvorones) Recipe
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Polvorones are a softer, cake-like version of a sand tart with an intense almond flavor and a generous dusting of powdered sugar. A quick pro tip: make sure to grind the almonds in food processor to get a fine cookie crumble. 
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Dulcineas Main
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Holidays tend to be hectic and stressful, though full of good intentions. I remember my entire family crazily preparing for the many fiestas and comidas the holiday season brings. A growing brood, plus friends and unexpected guests that dropped by to wish us "Feliz Navidad y Próspero Año Nuevo" meant that my mom always had to...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Nuts, Coconut and Milk Drop Cookies (Dulcineas) Recipe
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Give the oven a night off with these no-bake cookies. Ground almonds and walnuts are held together with caramel dulce de leche and flaky coconut, then rolled and ready for dessert. And for a festive presentation, drop them in our favorite mini cupcake liners to serve.
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Cuddle up with a Canelazo
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How do you warm up during a cold winter’s night?  A few options include sitting next to the fireplace, cuddling up in a snuggie, or drinking some hot cocoa.  In Ecuador, we warm up to the tune of a canelazo.  Canelazo means something like “strong cinnamon”, and literally translates to “getting whacked with...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Canelazo Recipe
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Turn up the temeprature with an Ecuadorian classic: Canelazo. This spiked citrus cinnamon drink is made from naranjillas that are stewed with holiday spices of cinnamon, allspice, and clove and topped with a shot of aguardiente. 
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Sweet Plantain Pie
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Maduros, or sweet plantains, are a staple in Latin American cuisine. In Ecuador, Maduros con Queso, or roasted sweet plantains with slices of white cheese, are a popular street food, ubiquitous throughout the entire coast.  Sweet plantains can even take the form of a sweet drink called chucula, which resembles a smoothie, and is often served...
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Name: Tamara Lukens
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Sweet Plantain Pie (Tarta de Maduro) Recipe
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Sink your teeth into this Ecuadorian sweet plantain pie. A radical new spin on a holiday classic, this pie swaps in sugary ripe plantains for pumpkin and is topped with a warm doze of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. Serve with a dollop of cool whipped cream or keep it Latin and add a slice of salty queso fresco.
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Type: Recipe
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