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Hispanic Heritage Month Book, Music, and Recipe Recommendations

As APLU celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month, we asked staff to share some of their favorite books, music, and recipes. Learn more about some of our favorite books, music, and recipes below.

Bernie Burrola, Vice President International Programs

Café de Olla
The simplest method to enjoying Mexican coffee (café de olla) is to place a stick of cinnamon in your drip coffee maker pot. As the drip coffee brews, the cinnamon stick will infuse the whole pot of coffee with a fragrant cinnamon aroma. This is known as café de olla and the way I grew up drinking coffee.

Amily Loredo, Human Resources Coordinator

Pasteles de Queso
Pasteles de queso was a favorite in our house growing up. In Bolivia, pasteles are like a sweet empanada usually enjoyed in the morning with a hot cup of api, but when making them at home with my mom, my sisters and I were more concerned with who could get the best crimped (repulgue) edge and sprinkle the most powdered sugar on top!

Milan Ephraim, Program Assistant, Economic Development and Community Engagement

Monkey Hunting
I cannot recommend Cristina García’s novel “Monkey Hunting” enough! I think in mainstream America we often forget how large and diverse the Hispanic/Latinx diaspora is and this book really highlights these unexpected historical lineages. The novel follows four generations of Chen Pan, a Chinese man who is “Shanghaied” into indentured labor in Cuba alongside Africans. It is a tale of adventure, love, loss, and how the trajectories of our lives can change in an instant.

Florencia Drumwright, Associate, BoHS, CARET and Cooperative Extension

At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig
This is one of the very few books that accurately analyses the real history of how one of the most prosperous countries in of South America was ruined by the egotism of its ruler. If you are curious to know the name of the country, you would just have to read it.

LADAMA “Inmigrante”
This song will have you moving even if you don’t understand what they are saying.

Recipe: Sopa paraguaya

For a Latin version of this year’s Thanksgiving cornbread, I dare you to try this “soup.”

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1¼ cups stone-ground yellow cornmeal
  • 3 onions, finely chopped
  • 1½ cups whole milk
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
  • 1¼ cups finely diced fresh mozzarella

1. Heat an oven to 375°F, with a rack in the lower third. Brush a 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan well with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and coat with ¼ cup of the cornmeal.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. Add the onions and saute until tender and translucent; do not let them brown. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

3. In a medium bowl, mix together the milk, beaten eggs, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and cooled onions.

Sprinkle one-third of the remaining cornmeal evenly over the bottom of the pan. Scatter one-third of the mozzarella evenly over it. Ladle one-third of the milk, egg and onion mixture over the cheese. Repeat two more times. The mixture will look quite wet.

4. Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake for about 1 hour, until puffed and golden brown and quite fluffy; do not let it get too firm, or it will be dry. Cool in the pan on a rack.

Andréa Rodriguez, Director of the Coalition of Urban Serving Universities


In the Country We Love by Diane Guerrero

Sanctuary by Paola Mendoza & Abby Sher

Cien Años De Soledad/One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez

Growing up, my father made sure my brothers and I could speak, read, and write in Spanish. So everyday, for two hours, we would read aloud, Cien Años de Soledad. To this day, it is still my favorite book of all time.


Guatita (A yummy tripe and peanut butter, white rice dish from Ecuador):


  • 2 pounds of beef belly or tripe also known as booklet, tripe, or menudo (well washed and clean)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 10 cups of water
  • 5 sprigs of coriander or cilantro
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ cup peanut butter, unsalted
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup chopped red or red onion
  • 2 cups white onion, chopped
  • ½ red or green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons ground achiote
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 white potatoes, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste

To prepare the guatita:

  • Cover the tripe with juice from half of the lemon, water and salt, let rest for 10 minutes and repeat. Rinse well the last time.
  • In a large stock pot, cover the tripe with 10 cups of water, cilantro sprigs, garlic, salt, and cumin, bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer until tender, about 2 hours, drain and save 2 cups of the broth.
  • Mix the peanut butter with ½ cup of milk to soften it (so that it mixes in better later).
  • Dice the tripe into small pieces.
  • Prepare a refrito with the butter, achiote, cumin, salt, oregano, chopped onion, bell pepper, tomato and garlic, cook until the onions are translucent and soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Blend the refrito, remaining milk and peanut butter sauce to obtain a smooth sauce.
  • Place the blended sauce, the 2 cups of reserved tripe broth, the diced potatoes and diced tripe in a large stockpot.
  • Bring to a boil, reduce temperature and simmer until the potatoes are tender and the sauce starts to thicken, about 25 minutes.
  • Lightly mash some of the potatoes to help thicken the sauce.
  • Taste and add salt/pepper if needed.
  • Serve with white rice, onion curtido, tomato slices, avocado slices and a good hot sauce.

Sides: White rice, slices of Avocado and tomato, and for bonus points: slices of Fried Plantains

Postre Chajá (A yummy peach and cream dessert from Uruguay):


  • Genovese sponge cake
  • 5 eggs at room temperature
  • 200 grams of sugar
  • 200 grams of flour
  • Meringue
  • 3 whites (at room temperature)
  • 190 gr. icing sugar
  • Filling
  • 1 can of 1 kg of peaches in syrup
  • 500 ml. cream (very cold) to whip (minimum 35% fat) + sugar to taste
  • 400 gr. of dulce de leche.

To prepare Postre Chajá:

  • You could just use a vanilla cake from the grocery store, but if you want extra authenticity points, build up your layer cake with a layer of whipped cream, crushed meringue cookies, and a light drizzle of dulce de leche in between each layer. Frost the outside.
  • Crush your meringue cookies. Postre Chaja is named after the chaja bird, aka the southern screamer, which is a fluffy bird and we want this cake to look like a big, fluffy thing. So, don’t destroy the meringues, but crush them once under a can so they’re broken into big puffy chunks.
  • Place the meringue chunks along the outside of the cake like a delicious sugary mosaic.
  • Once the outside is all crusted in meringues, layer your sliced peaches on top.
  • Access & Diversity

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