food crush friday… sweets and beyond.

I couldn't let another #FoodCrushFriday go by without mentioning one of my favorite YouTubers, Ida of Sweets and Beyond. I "met" Ida online while working on my novel, Taste for Love. (Taste for Love is the third book in the Wilkersons in Love series and offers even more background on Trent Scott's misdeeds before his appearance in my latest release, Baby Love.)

I was seeking yummy Puerto Rican dishes… you have to read Taste for Love to find out why. *wink* (Food research is probably one of my favorite parts of writing.) Ida soon became a "friend in my head" after she won me over with her recipe for Rellenos de Papa (Stuffed Potato Balls). Happy Belly Note: I LOVE Rellenos de Papa. Just watch a couple of videos and you'll be hooked, too. Ida will have you feeling so comfortable (and hungry), as she takes you into her kitchen to share some of the most delicious recipes one can find on YouTube.

Ida agreed to stop by love notes by tia… the blog. to tell us a little more about herself. She's also sharing a couple of recipes including one of her childhood favorites, Limber de Coco! (Okay, earlier I said I love Rellenos de Papa, because I have a thing for potatoes but coconut… umm heck yeah! I can never get tired of it. Swoon food.)

So go grab your coconuts and get ready for a yummy and refreshing treat with Ida of Sweets and Beyond.


Who is Ida?

I was born and raised in Ponce, Puerto Rico. I left Puerto Rico in 1998 when I got married. I'm a proud wife and mother of a beautiful 15 year old daughter.

How long have you been cooking?

Growing up, most of the cooking in our house was done by my mom or my sister. I had no interest in cooking, til I met my future husband Ray in 1996.  With help from my mom, sister and especially my grandmother, I learned how to cook the basics in Puerto Rican cooking. From then, I have been inspired to cook authentic food from our ancestors.

Tell us about Sweets and Beyond.

Sweets and Beyond features Puerto Rican cooking tutorials! Step by step instructions on yummy boricua dishes! Here you will find a little bit of everything, from Boricua dishes to yummy desserts. Making good Puerto Rican food that's quick and easy and makes people happy is what it's all about for me.

What inspired you to share your recipes on YouTube?

My husband one day wanted to surprise me with a home cooked meal. He looked up on YouTube how to make white rice. It was a disaster!  He showed me the video he followed and I was shocked that they made cooking so complicated. I wanted to show the world how easy it is to make a home cooked meal.

What is your favorite recipe?

My favorite recipe has to be Bistec Encebollado (Steak with Onions)

That's one of my favorites, too. My family also enjoyed it. By the way, I love the spoon trick you demonstrate when making white rice.

What’s a good summertime recipe that we can try?

One of my favorite summer time treats is a cold Limber de coco (Puerto Rican version of an Italian ice).

Thank you, Ida! Where can we find you online?

Facebook  || Instagram  || YouTube  || Website

Don't forget to check out Ida making Limber de Coco in the video below.

Posted on July 17, 2015 and filed under happy belly.