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Tamara Lukens

Hominy Chipotle Dip
Hominy Chipotle Dip

Summers in Georgia are quite toasty. There are days when cooking an elaborate meal indoors is almost unbearable, as the stove heats up our entire living space. And although we grill a lot during the summer, many times, we enjoy small bites and dips and chips for dinner out on the deck, accompanied by ice cold beers. During the summer, simple meals and easy entertaining are always best.


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Hominy Chipotle Dip
Hominy Chipotle Dip

Hominy Chipotle Dip is an easy and fast snack to whip up anytime. Nutty tahini paste and bright lime juice complement the rich corny taste of hominy.


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Mote Pillo (Ecuadorian Hominy and Egg Scramble)
Mote Pillo (Ecuadorian Hominy and Egg Scramble)

Growing up in Ecuador, I always looked forward to our end of school year trips. Sometimes we took these trips with our entire class, while others times, my family took a few days off to travel to La Sierra, the Andes region of Ecuador. On school trips, we rented a large school bus that could fit the entire class plus some chaperones, and set off to Quito and Riobamba for four days.


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Mote Pillo (Ecuadorian Hominy and Egg Scramble)
Mote Pillo (Ecuadorian Hominy and Egg Scramble)

Mote Pillo is a traditional Ecuadorian hominy and egg scramble. The onion and garlic refrito base gives this scramble a delicious flavor which is absorbed by every hominy kernel. This dish has queso fresco and a hint of achiote powder which gives it some color and a sprinkling of cilantro to finish.


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Passion Fruit Cocktail
Passion Fruit Cocktail

My husband and I love to entertain, and I love entertaining Ecuadorian-style. Whether I'm feeding my guests Ecuadorian food and drinks, or incorporating some Ecuadorian flare into my menus, there's something inherently of Ecuador at all of our parties.


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Passion Fruit Cocktail
Passion Fruit Cocktail

This Passion Fruit Cocktail is an easy delicious cocktail to whip up on a warm night. Sweetened condensed milk adds a creamy sugary touch to tart passion fruit and a generous dose of rum makes it a grown up sipper.


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Sweet Plantain Ravioli with Chorizo and Chipotle Sauce
Sweet Plantain Ravioli with Chorizo and Chipotle Sauce

Plantains are one of my favorite things to eat.  I love patacones (tostones) and chifles (plantain chips), both made with green plantains, but I also love sweet plantains, which are often featured as a dessert or a side dish.  In my childhood home in Ecuador, we would have maduro con queso, or sweet plantains roasted with a slice of queso fresco quite regularly.


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Sweet Plantain Ravioli with Chorizo and Chipotle Sauce
Sweet Plantain Ravioli with Chorizo and Chipotle Sauce

This tasty ravioli dish uses an unexpected ingredient: sweet plantains! Not just for desserts, the sweetness of the plantain filling is kept firmly in the savory world with a hearty spicy sauce with chorizo and chipotles. Wonton wrappers sub for for pasta so you can have this ready for dinner even faster.


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Spicy Ceviche-Style Shrimp and Grits Main
Spicy Ceviche-Style Shrimp and Grits

There are some key staple foods you come to love when you move to the South. On the top of my list is the ubiquitous shrimp and grits. Most southern food restaurants and diners offer their own version of this very classic southern dish, and the great thing about this meal is that it’s simple and quick to prepare.


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Spicy Ceviche-Style Shrimp and Grits
Spicy Ceviche-Style Shrimp and Grits

Spicy serrano chiles and a touch of citrus juice adds an Ecuadorian touch to this take on a classic Southern shrimp and grits recipe. Try using quick cooking grits and dinner can be on the table super quick.


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