Semi-Homemade Guava Pastelitos 

I live in Miami, so for Father’s Day I wanted to try making my version of a very “Miamian” breakfast staple: the famous guava and queso (cream cheese) pastelito. The guava and cheese pastelito it’s a versatile pastry you can serve for breakfast with café con leche, as a snack in the afternoon or as dessert after dinner as well.

My first idea was to use a flaky crust like Pepperidge’s, but after wondering around for a few minutes in the frozen food aisle and staring at a couple of options, I decided to try Pillsbury’s Grand Jr. Golden layers instead, which I knew would give my pastelitos a much fluffier than flakier texture. Pillsbury also scored an extra point for not being a frozen good.

Using Pillsbury turned out to be a great choice. These guava and cheese pastelitos are super delicious, fulfilling and good at any time of the day. You could also use different fillings such as ham and cheese or Picadillo meat and you can even shape them like the real thing, which I might or might not do next time so they won’t look like empanadas. The world may never know.

In the mean time, here is what you’ll need to make them:

  1. Pillsbury’s Grands Jr. Golden Layers.
  2. Baking spray.
  3. Guava Jelly.
  4. About 1/2 of an 8 ounce cream cheese package of your choice.
  5. Powdered sugar to sprinkle.

This is how you do it:

  1. Pull apart the biscuits and use 1 for each pastelito.
  2. Flatten and expand it (as if making a pizza) using your hands.
  3. Place guava jelly and cream cheese in the middle.
  4. Your pastries don’t have to look like anything, they could look like balls-and I mean tennis balls, voleyballs, basketballs…whatever- for as much as I care, but if you are anal about these things, by all means, cut two triangles to cover your filling.
  5. Spray your cookie sheet with baking spray, place the pastelitos on it and stick them in the oven for about 12 minutes or until they reach your desired crispiness.

Finally, after allowing them to cool down on a cookie rack, take out your pretty plates, presentation is half the battle 😂. Serve and enjoy!

Goodwill Hunting in Miami: How not to become a broke hoarder

            My mother has been a thrift hunter for as long as I can remember. She calls it “her therapy,” and she claims that finding something of name brand, at a ridiculously low price AND with tags still hanging produces in her a “money-orgasm.” (Note to my kids: this is where I get my weirdness from. Your Abuela is the problem!) 

In the other hand, I, hated going to flea markets and thrift stores as a child, mostly because I felt so ashamed and didn’t want anyone I knew to find out I could very possibly be wearing second hand clothes on any given day, as gently as they may have been used. Thank goodness I am over that craziness now, and so, here I present you with some tips on how to spend your money wisely at Goodwill and not become a broke hoarder.

  1. Make a budget before leaving the house. Saving money IS your goal. Pick a number $ and stick to it!
  2. Build an outfit. This one it’s a little extreme, but If you go thrifting regularly, you might end up filling your closet with stuff you’ll probably never wear. Go out with a purpose!
  3. Love it or leave it. Ask yourself: Does it go with my style? Am I going to use it next week? no? just walk away. Don’t follow my mother’s example. She has three rooms and a garage full of crap she’s never going to use. Love you mami.
  4. Keep an eye out for sale items. Here in Miami Goodwill features the “color of the week” sale every week. During this sale you will pay ONLY half of whatever the marked price is. Let’s say you get attracted to something that is not on sale. What do to? simple. Go back to tip number 3. Run the opposite way!
  5. Put your school id to good use. Every Wednesday Goodwill stores all across Miami reward students with a 10% discount on their total purchase, upon ID presentation.
  6. Finally, do not discriminate. Trust your instincts. If it looks and feels like good quality, it probably is. Read the tags. Items labeled as handmade or leather will give you a hint of the quality of the product and their possible price. Keep your eyes open for items that are made in Italy, items that are handmade, items labeled “all leather”. Keep your phone handy and Google the brands if you do not recognize them. I bought a pair of AG jeans not long ago for about $2.50. They were not even marked as Designer jeans. Someone dropped the ball, and I was there to pick it up. Goal!