Local LATINpreneur Corner: Andrea Lazo

At Latin Chicks, we celebrate the successes of our fellow latinos in the Savannah community.

Connection and community seem to be the threads of Andrea’s “why” as a LATINpreneur. A paralegal by day, but an art instructor by night, Andrea discusses her new mobile art studio, Mingle & Easels, bringing the paint party to all Savannhians.

Q. Where did you grow up?  How long have you lived in the area?  Tell me about your family.

A. I was born and raised in Chile. I have lived in the Savannah, GA area around 9 years. Before coming to Savannah, I lived several years in Miami, FL.  I have two children, Alani and Andru, who live with my fiancé Jordan and I.

Q. Tell me what led you to create Mingle & Easels.

A. I grew up going to galleries and museums. Also, I come from a long line of entrepreneurs myself. My dad has a new bed & breakfast, my aunt owns a restaurant, and even my grandparents have been long time owners of a small school supply store in Chile. All of this has molded the way I am and how I think.

Q. What is unique about your business? What sets you apart from the rest?

A. It’s a mobile painting party business and I can go anywhere clients book me!

Q. What is the “why”of Mingle & Easels?

A. I’m passionate about bringing art to individuals, groups, and businesses. For me, the most important “why” of Mingle & Easels is for people to connect, have fun, perhaps learn a new way to relax and of course, to support our local economy.

Q. Given your skill expertise and the nature of what you do, what advice can you offer to other aspiring entrepreneurs?

A. You will have many ideas while you are trying to become “your own boss”. Many will tell you “no”. So, remember, “no” means “not, right now”. The most important part is the process; not just the destination.

Q. What are some tangible/practical things you do to come up with fresh ideas? 

A. When I have a new idea, I can’t wait to get home to sketch and paint it; I am restless! Something else that 

helps me immensely is having the support from an online group who shares the same passion for art as I do. 

We support each other during our creative processes.


Q. For more information about Mingle & Easels?



The "Good Stuff": Stuffed Tostones Recipe

Twenty years ago, if you were a Latino family transplant in Savannah, and told your local grocer that you were looking for plantains, he may have scrunched his face, asked you to repeat and describe said fruit, and then point you in the direction of either the banana section or Publix. That’s because Publix was the only well known vendor at the time to provide common Latin food products on a regular basis. It wasn’t cheap either. But my how times have changed. Now, thanks to the internet and a more global economy, Savannhians are very familiar with this unique, tropical cousin to the banana. You can find it in just about any major super market for a reasonable price. And it’s quite popular in many Latin cuisine restaurants. Differentiating in texture and flavor, the plantain is like a bigger, green banana with a slightly bitter taste.

Plantains aren’t ideal for Banana Nut Bread, but they’re an excellent, filling starch for savory bites like this recipe… 

STUFFED TOSTONES: Pairing avocado with plantains and a little Low Country touch of fresh, local shrimp is a winning combo. They are very popular in the Spanish speaking Caribbean and parts of South America. Get that apron ready! INGREDIENTS: 3 cups of Canola oil 1 green plantain Butter Garlic Salt  Herb Seasoning (click here for a personalized blend recipe) Fresh cilantro Avocado Shrimp sauteed in butter garlic to taste ADDITIONAL MATERIALS: Frying pan or fryer Lemon squeezer covered in plastic (for molding purposes) or a tostonera/plantain press A strong, sharp knife for peeling the plantains  INSTRUCTIONS: To peel the plantains, which can be tricky, point the tip of the knife at the top of the seams of the plantains. Puncture it and run the blade down each seam, peeling each section. 

PRO TIP: Run the plantains under hot, tap water for a few minutes to soften them before cutting open to peel.

  1. Once the plantains are peeled, do the following: 
  2.  Slice them into about 4 or 5 pieces. 
  3. Pour your canola oil into the frying pan, with just enough to immerse the plantain pieces completely.
  4. Bring the oil to a “ready to fry” boiling temperature.
  5. Carefully slide the plantain pieces into the pan
  6. Fry each one for 5 minutes
  7. Take out of the pan
  8. Now take the plastic covered lemon squeezer or tostonera and squeeze each plantain piece with the tool until it has a beautiful mini bowl shape.
  9. Carefully slide each plantain bowl back into the pan and fry now only for 2 minutes.
  10. Take the plantain bowls out, let them sit in paper towels for oil absorption. 
  11. Lightly dash salt into each plantain bowl
  12. Now take the avocado and scrape out all the filling with a fork.
  13. Take the avocado filling and stuff it into the plantain bowls.
  14. Take two shrimp for each plantain bowl and hang each shrimp on the crisp edge of the bowls, facing each other.
  15. Lightly dash the stuffed tostones with the herb seasoning.
  16. Top off with fresh cilantro leaves
For a visual aid, check out our video from WTOC’s Morning Break show and see for yourself why you may find that we’re one of the best places to eat in Savannah!

Adobo: Fairy Dust For The Foodie

You may have heard in your History class growing up that Christopher Columbus never meant to “discover” the Americas. He was off to find a better route to India. The European economy couldn’t get enough of those delectable Indian spices, and Spain was not about to miss out on the spice trade.  Well, you and I both know that Columbus never quite made it to India. Instead, he encountered what we now know today as the islands of the West Indies: Cuba, Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico to name a few. The next 500 years, the indigenous Taino people, the Spaniards, and the African slaves would leave their mark on many of the Latin food recipes we enjoy today. Ironically, India’s spices would also make their way to the New World. And thank God for that.  Because that’s how we now have ADOBO What is Adobo, you ask? It’s  the mother of all seasonings in the Caribbean. You can use it on meats, soups, stews, and vegetables.

You can sprinkle Adobo like fairy dust just about anywhere and come up with a savory, mouth-watering dish.

You need this in your life. That’s why we’re providing this ADOBO spice blend below. 1.Garlic– freshly, minced garlic in dishes is always a winner. But if you just want to dash some goodness as a topping for a bite to eat, then go for the granulated garlic.
  1. Oregano– oregano was known to the Ancient Greeks as the “delight of the mountain”. It has wonderful, anti-inflammatory properties.
3.Black pepper– a classic that works beautifully with the next spice 4.Turmeric– when combined with black pepper, turmeric adds amazing health benefits, such as increasing memory, aiding with digestion, and just like oregano, serving as an anti-inflammatory spice. In India, it’s often used as a common healing remedy.
  1. Cumin– Oh how Latinos, just like our Indian friends, love cumin. It’s flavor is POTENT. But this spice is a must for that mouth-watering effect. 
6.Kosher or Pink Himalayan salt– simply put, it’s just as flavorful, but better for you. 7.Paprika – Because paprika makes things fun. Add everything to taste in your blend. There are no exact measurements. Just harmony. And if you’re needing ideas for other dishes that will go well with this Adobo spice blend, check out our ropa vieja, roasted pork in mojo sauce, or our tacos for more inspiration!  Spice up your life!

What Is "Three Kings Day" And Why Do Latinos Celebrate It?

Some churches may refer to it as The Day of Epiphany. Others may simply know it as the official day to celebrate the end of the Christmas season and put away decor until next year. Many countries around the world honor this tradition, Latin American countries being no exception. January 6th, a day where Western churches reflect on the visit of the Magi, as told in the Nativity story, is a special experience throughout Latin America indeed! 

Many Americans are unfamiliar with this holiday, yet you may be very familiar with the story behind it.

This festivity has its roots in the Biblical story found in the Gospel of Matthew (Ch. 2, verses 1-12). According to the ancient account, a few Magi, that is, kings or wisemen of noble rank, had discovered the foretelling of a miraculous child that would one day bring hope to humanity and rule as the good king over creation. Using their astronomical skills, they followed a star that led them to this child, better known throughout history as Jesús, and brought him three mentioned gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. The account never mentions there being three kings. However, many assume so because of the three gifts specified.

With time, it became customary in many Catholic practicing families to recount the story of the three kings to little children on the 6th of January. Today, many children will have taken either a shoe, decorated shoe box, or stocking from last night, stuffed it with grass for the “camels” of these three kings, and will have awaken this morning expecting a gift in return from the three kings themselves. And in some countries, a special, orange-zesty, sweet bread will be baked, with a toy of baby Jesus inside. Whoever bites into it will be the designated host of a Christmas gathering the following year. We like this recipe by and hope you will let us know how your Rosca de Reyes turns. For more blogs about delicious latin food and culture, make sure to check out our other blogs as well. ¡Feliz Día de Reyes!

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