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At the Table with... Kimberly Morales

Kimberly A. Morales is the Sacramento-based writer and recipe developer behind PoorGirlEatsWell.com. Founded in 2008, the site offers cost-effective cooking tips and Kimberly’s original recipes, including those that pay homage to her Colombian and Salvadorean heritage. Currently residing in Sacramento, California, Kimberly's work has been featured on CNN and TakePart.com.

In the February 2014 issue of Latina Magazine, Kimberly cooked up recipes for a fun Girls’ Night In party. On the menu are Ahi Poke Ceviche, Paella Flatbread, Yucca Fries with Pique, and a scrumptious rum, pineapple and guava cocktail. Here, the chef and blogger shares her food philosophy, culinary inspirations and favorite restaurants.

Dish you crave from your abuela

Her buñuelos! It took years of begging to get the correct recipe from my mom (only I still feel she makes them better than I do). Abuelita’s homemade chorizo ran a very close second to her buñuelos.

Secret ingredient to make a dish pop: 

Cumin and cilantro. I use these in almost everything, regardless of cuisine style. I find the smoky depth of cumin and crisp freshness of cilantro can add just the right amount of je ne sais quoi to a dish.

Favorite Latin restaurant in the U.S.: 

Guaymas (fine dining) in Tiburon, CA; Chando’s Tacos (casual) in Sacramento, CA.

Favorite Latin restaurant in the world:

My mom’s house? Seriously though, I’ve yet to travel enough to answer this one properly, but I can’t wait to do so!

Favorite city to eat in: 

San Francisco

Secret to a perfect dinner party: 

Always have good music playing, especially during prep time. It helps you move faster and keeps you a little more relaxed closer to crunch time.

Biggest food indulgence: 

Anything with ridiculous amounts of cheese. Or chocolate.

Favorite vegetable: 

It’s so much easier to name the vegetables I’m not too fond of, since the list is shorter. I’ll keep it short, though: kale, Brussels sprouts, spinach, peppers, and tomatoes (if we’re not getting all technical about their fruit categorization).

Next, the chef shares her best food memory and her ideal meals...

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