New York Monday: 125th Street in the Evening

January 16, 2012 | Filed Under 125th Street, Harlem, Holiday Lights, Moon, New York Monday | 6 Comments 

Holiday lights are still up across 125th street.


They stretch across town, from the East side to the West.


However, the man-made lights don’t outshine the moon.


It shines over 125th Street.


Looking through the wintry tree limbs, you can’t miss the moon.

Happy New York Monday, everyone!

Have a great week.


Green Banana Soup

January 12, 2012 | Filed Under Green Bananas, Green Plantain, Plantains, How Do I Love Thee? Let Me Count the Ways, Soups | 5 Comments 



If I ever went to Ecuador, I know I’d have no problem with the cuisine and eat well there.  Lolita of Lolita’s Recipes post several recipes from Ecuador and over time, I’ve tried and enjoyed many of them.  Here is the latest – Green Banana Soup (Repe Lojano), a traditional soup from the province of Loja in Ecuador.  Basically it’s a creamy soup of green bananas, onions, garlic, milk, cheese and cilantro (cilantro!).   Instead of green bananas, green plantains may be substituted. 

In an earlier post, I mentioned that I mistakenly thought that green bananas and green plantains were the same.   I later learned I was wrong.   They’re definitely two different foods.  They taste slightly different and it takes a little longer for one of them to cook.

Depending on where you live, green plantains are more readily available than green bananas.  Luckily, I have no problem finding either in the supermarket. 

Lola includes tips in her post on how to peel green bananas or plantains.   They can be a little hard to peel. 

I made my repe lojan on Christmas Day and served it, as suggested, with avocado, cheese, and aji (an Ecuadorian hot sauce, which I love).  There was a little bit of soup left over and I think it tasted even better the next day.  Next time, instead of green bananas, I plan on trying the soup with green plantains.

According to Laylita, there are different variations of this soup.  Arvejas con guinea is a famous version and includes split peas.   Another version, repe mestizo, is made with potatoes. More variations to look forward to making.




Repe lojano  (green banana soup)

Laylita’s Recipes



  • 10 green bananas or 6 green plantains, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 4 oz of cheese: quesillo, a fresh farmer’s type cheese – can also use queso fresco or mozzarella
  • ½ cup of milk or cream
  • 1 bunch of cilantro, finely chopped – about ½ cup already chopped
  • 8 cups of water
  • Salt to taste
  • Sides – Avocado slices, cheese slices and aji or hot sauce


  1. Heat the oil in large soup pot, make a refrito or base for the soup by adding the diced onion and crushed garlic, cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the 8 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Add the diced green banana or green plantain in batches, making sure that the water is boiling when you add each batch – to keep the bananas from darkening
  4. Cook over medium high heat, stirring occasionally, until the bananas or plantains are soft, about 15-20 minutes. It will take longer for the plantains to cook than the bananas.
  5. In the same pot, gently mash some of the bananas pieces to help thicken the soup.
  6. Crumble the cheese and add it to the soup
  7. Stir in milk or cream, cilantro and salt
  8. Remove from the heat and serve with slices of avocado, cheese and aji or hot sauce.

Black and White Wednesday: Bread of Gold

January 11, 2012 | Filed Under Black and White Wednesday, Bread, Food Blogging Events, Pandoro | 6 Comments 

Pandoro, which literally means "bread of gold" is a traditional Italian sweet yeast bread, popular around Christmas and New Year.  During the holidays, I saw this in a window display of Milano Market, a food shop that sells Italian food products.  The top shelf highlights the traditional Pandoro con lieve nota di miele (bread with honey) and the bottom shelf carries Pandoro al Cioccolato (chocolate).  Perhaps, next year, I’ll buy them to see how they taste.

Black and White Wednesday is a culinary photography event, which Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook created and hosts.   Stop by her blog to see who else played.  You can also learn how to play along with us there, if you’re interested.

Happy Black and White Wednesday!


New York Monday: 125th Street

January 9, 2012 | Filed Under Harlem, New York Monday | 6 Comments 

I took this photo when I was standing on the above-ground subway platform, waiting for the uptown #1 train.  This image is just a small portion of 125th street, which goes from the east side to the west (and vice versa).  It looks very quiet and almost abandoned, but this is a very deceptive photo.  It’s normally very busy on this crosstown street.  There  is a lot of pedestrian and automobile traffic.  

This street is sometimes referred to as the Capital of Black America, the Gateway of Black America and the Main Street of Harlem.   I’ve post a few photos of 125th, which you can find here, here, here and here.

Happy New York Monday, everyone!  Have a great new week!


New York Monday: Lights on Broadway

January 2, 2012 | Filed Under Harlem/Morningside Heights, New York Monday | 10 Comments 

Cars seem to pass by…


in a flash of the eye.


There’s nothing like a little light to make a place look special.


It makes the atmosphere around this couple, trying to hail a cab, romantic.


Happy New York Monday!

Happy New Year, everyone!

I wish you all the best this 2012!



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