Here are some delicious family friendly recipes from the Spanish-speaking world.

Scroll down for the recipe and enjoy! ¡Buen provecho!



3.chocolate: Mexican hot chocolate

4.Spanish tortilla




Make the most of the bounty of summer tomatoes. Here’s an easy refreshing recipe from Andalucia, in southern Spain. It’s a great way to get the kids involved, to get them to have their veggies, and to practice Spanish.

I’ve adapted this recipe from Gourmet’s Menu Cookbook. I have made some changes based on experience and having some delicious gazpacho at our friends' house near Madrid.

Combine in the container of a blender 1 mashed garlic clove  and 1 onion, peeled and chopped, and blend the mixture until smooth. Add 5 large tomatoes, peeled and chopped, ½ - 1 green pepper, chopped, 1 cup beef stock, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 3 tablespoons each of vinegar and chopped parsley, and a dash of paprika.

Cover the container and blend the mixture until it is smooth. Chill the soup thoroughly.

Garnish with store-bought croutons or (my preferred) make your own: cut crusty French bread into cubes, sprinkle with salt and olive oil and bake (350) until golden.


Put some guitar (recommended: flamenco) music on, and buen provecho; enjoy.

Encourage the kids to use their Spanish.

Click here for the pronunciation of gazpacho.

Está riquísimo!   It’s delicious!

¿Te gusta? Do you like it? ¡Me gusta! I like it! ¡Me gusta mucho! I like it a lot!

¡No me gusta! I don’t like it!


Ps. The kids can participate in the preparation. Mamá or Papá would do the cutting and blending, of course, but they can find and set out the ingredients. They can have fun bargaining (pretend) for cinco tomates (See Rincón Cultural, P.22 top). See that they use the polite expressions, such as por favor. By the way, bargaining is not a custom in Spain.




Empanadas consist of turnovers stuffed with a  meat, chicken, etc. mixture. They originated in Spain and are popular in many Spanish-speaking countries, especially in Argentina.

The whole family will love them. Here’s a recipe given to me by a woman from Argentina. You’ll need to make or buy the dough. If you live in an area with a large Hispanic population, you can find the dough shells in supermarkets or bakeries. I found them in the freezer section of my supermarket. There are recipes online for making the dough yourself.

My middle school students made these, with parental supervision, every year. Parents will have to make these for younger children, but they are ¡riquísimas!



The recipe makes 20 empanadas.

1.Chop up an onion, sauté with some olive oil in a frying pan until golden.

2.Add 1 pound of chopped meat, and cook until brown.

3.Add a tablespoon of tomato paste.

4.Let the mixture cool a little, and mix in: a chopped hard-boiled egg; chopped green olives

5.Season with salt, pepper, cumin, paprika and a pinch of sugar.

6.Place two tablespoons of the mixture in the empanada rounds, fold over, and press to close with fingers or a fork.

7.Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 10-15 minutes until pastry is golden.


Enjoy! ¡Buen Provecho! And remember that this is a great chance to practice your Spanish. Scroll down to the recipe for chocolate for words and phrases.







Warm up a cold day and engage the kids with this child-friendly recipe. It’s a great way to use some of the Spanish that you’ll see (or have learned!) in ¡HOLA! Let’s Learn Spanish. p.s. it's delicious, ¡es riquísimo!  both kids and adults will love it.



Ingredients:  makes 2 mugs


1/2-3/4  cup milk chocolate chips (more or less depending on the thickness that you want)

1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Cinnamon stick

2 cups milk

Dash of vanilla extract

Whipped cream, optional



  1. Have your child measure each ingredient into a large saucepan. Stir to mix.
  2. Heat the hot chocolate over low heat, stirring occasionally. Don’t let it boil over.
  3. Pour into mugs and let cool for a few minutes. Add whipped cream if desired.



Recipe thanks to


Now, let’s add a little ambiance to our activity. Play some Mexican music, use some of the Spanish that you learned, and soak up the warmth!

While you’re making the recipe:

¡Es fácil! It’s easy! ¡No es fácil! It’s not easy!

While you’re having the chocolate:

¡Está riquísimo!   It’s delicious!

¿Te gusta? Do you like it? ¡Me gusta! I like it! ¡Me gusta mucho! I like it a lot!

¡No me gusta! I don’t like it!



The Spanish word for both chocolate and hot chocolate is just chocolate.  Click here for the pronunciation. 




FYO:Chocolate was known in Mexico and Central America for several centuries before the arrival of the Spaniards. It was considered to be the gift of the god Quetzalcoatl. It was served as a bitter drink with spices added.

The Spaniards brought chocolate back to Europe, where sugar was added, and it has been popular ever since.

Nowadays, Mexican cooking uses chocolate as an ingredient in many dishes, in its sweetened or unsweetened form


 Before eating, Spanish speaking people wish each other Buen provecho. For the pronunciation click here, scroll down to Bon appetit (the French equivalent), and'll hear the Spanish!





La tortilla española


Parents, here’s a recipe you’ll have to cook yourselves, but the kids can help getting the ingredients out, peeling the potatoes, and of course eating.

The Spanish tortilla is an everyday dish that kids and people of all ages can take on a picnic. It is served everywhere in restaurants and as tapas, or early evening appetizers in cafés, and is commonly eaten for the traditional late-night supper.

Here’s my recipe for the basic tortilla: You can make this smaller or larger.  I learned this from my mother-in-law in northern Spain.


Olive oil

1 onion, sliced

2 Idaho potatoes, peeled, cut in cubes

5-6 eggs

Salt, parsley


1.Pour some olive oil in a frying pan. When heated, sauté the onion. Remove with a slotted spoon to a big bowl

2. Add more olive oil if necessary. Sauté the potatoes until soft, add some salt just before removing with the slotted spoon. Place in the bowl with the onion.

3.Crack the eggs, mix with a fork, and add to the bowl with potatoes and onions. Stir until all is mixed. Add some chopped parsley.

4. Add some more olive oil to the frying pan if necessary. Heat it up, and add the egg mixture. Cook until the bottom is well set and most of the tortilla is cooked.

5.Place a dish over the frying pan and turn it over. Have another dish underneath to catch any liquid that spills. Put the turned over tortilla and any spillings back in the frying pan for a short time until the other side is cooked.


Serve the tortilla, warm or at room temperature. Slice it into wedges.  Spaniards like to add other ingredients like chorizo, or Spanish sausage. Vegetables are often added.

 Click here for the pronunciation of tortilla.

Enjoy and use the Spanish that you and the children have learned (see above) while you're having a good time.




Flan is enjoyed, in one form or another, throughout the Spanish-speaking world. This recipe is for classic Spanish flan. It is made in 6 individual ½ cup ramekins. Have also on hand a small strainer and 13x9x2-inch metal or pyrex baking pan.



1 cup sugar, divided

¼ cup water

2 cups whole milk

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt



1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat ½ cup sugar and ¼ cup water in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Do not stir with spoon. Swirl liquid around pan to moisten sugar evenly. When the mixture begins to boil, add a few drops of lemon juice  (1/8 teaspoon) to prevent christalization. When the mixture turns to a medium caramel color, remove from heat and quickly pour evenly into 6 ramekins. The process may take 5-10 minutes.

Note: if you’ve never made caramel sauce, it’s a good idea to watch a how-to video:

Keep away from face and hands; the mixture is very hot!

2. Stir milk and ½ cup sugar in medium saucepan over low–medium heat just until sugar dissolves (milk will be lukewarm). Whisk eggs in medium bowl until blended. Slowly whisk in milk mixture. Whisk in vanilla and salt. Strain custard into prepared cups.

3. Arrange cups in 13x9x2-inch metal or pyrex baking pan. Pour enough hot water into baking pan to come halfway up sides of cups. Bake flans until just set in center, about 50 minutes. Remove cups from water and let stand 30 minutes. Chill until cold, at least 4 hours and up to one day. Cut around sides of each cup to loosen flan, invert onto plate.


Notes: it is better to make the flan one day ahead of serving. After serving, you may find a residue of hardened caramel at the bottom of the ramekins. After cleaning, add boiling water and let stand to melt the hardened caramel. Repeat as needed.

Recipe adapted from Epicurious with my comments, based on my experience.




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