Sunday, October 27, 2013

Halloween Slime



How to make Halloween Slime (for playing, not eating) 


  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup cornstartch
  • food coloring
Boil 2 cups water in a medium saucepan.  Add cornstarch while stirring. After that is mixed well, add food coloring and stir.  Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.  Make sure kids play with it on a plastic covered surface.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Spooky Guacamole with Carrot Fingers

Halloween Parties! What costume are you going to wear? We had small Halloween Cooking Party with parents and kids. We all had so much fun. Check out what they made!

Recipe for Spooky Guacamole with Carrot Fingers


For Guacamole:
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • 6 cherry tomatoes,  halved or 1 ripe tomato diced
  •  juice of ¼ of lime
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro
  • sea salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1 clove of garlic, peeled and minced (optional)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion (optional)
  • ¼ cup diced jalapeno (optional)
  • pinch of ground cumin (optional)
For carrot fingers:
  • 5 Carrots, (knobby ones work best)
  • a little bit of peanut butter 
  • 5 sliced almonds (for finger nails)

Guacamole: Combine all ingredients in pilon (mortar and pestle) or bowl. Mash until desired consistency is achieved.

Carrot fingers: Take 4 long carrots and 1 shorter one (cut off carrot tops), with a sharp paring knife, carve a location for the almond  to sit (finger nail). Using peanut butter as glue, fasten the sliced almond onto the carrot finger. Insert all five fingers into the guacamole like a hand rising out. Serve immediately or chilled if preferred.

Coqui the Chef's Halloween Cooking Party Photos

What do you think Chef Chris Ackerman afro?
What do you think about Tania Lopez cat ears?

Kids mashing the ingredients for the guacamole.
Chef Chris demonstrating how to slice the avocado
Mom helping out her boys cut and slice the ingredients for the guacamole

Family time is always important and fun

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Fighting Hunger at the Food Network NYC Wine and Food Festival

From the desk of Tania Lopez (Creator of Coqui the Chef)

I volunteered for Food Network New York City Wine and Food Festival. It ran from October 17-20, 2013. It is the only Festival in New York to bring together both legendary culinary icons from around the globe and America’s most beloved television chefs.

New York City Festival benefits the hunger-relief programs of Food Bank For New York City and Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry® campaign. Having raised over $6 million to date, 100% of the net proceeds from the Festival go directly to these community-based organizations. Eat. Drink. End Hunger.

I had such a great time volunteering on Oct 19 for the Grand Tasting book signing event for celebrity/author chefs. Several volunteers had different jobs, mine was to take photos of the celebrity chefs with their fans.  I loved it!! I was the only one authorized to take the photos so a lot of fans handed me their smart phone and cameras. It was such an amazing experience to be so close to Rachel Ray (she is so lovely), Martha Stewart (has strange personality), Masaharu Marimoto (always said "sushi" with every photo taken), and Rick Bayless (has a great smile).  It was nice to see how these chef celebrities treat their fans. Unfortunately, I was not able to take photos with my smart phone because part of the volunteer rules are that we cannot take photos with celebrities during our shift but I took a memorable one. 

Did you  know?
Volunteering is a great way to make friends, contacts, increases your social and relationship skills, providing you with career experience and valuable job skills.  Most of all it is good for your mental and physical health.  Volunteering increases your self-confidence and helps you stay physically healthy.

What I learned from volunteering?
Two years ago, I suffered from depression.  I refused to take medication because I knew in my heart there was a way out of it.  That is when I started my community work and volunteering.  Through volunteering, I learned that if you just give a little of yourself, you will get a lot in return.  It's simple and worth it!

My most memorable picture
Coqui the Chef is always looking for volunteers to help with the kitchen and with junior chefs. If you are interested and want to make your resume look AWESOME.
Fill out this long yet simple form

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Coqui the Chef's Junior Chefs Graduate

Coqui the Chef's junior chefs graduated from the nutrition and culinary workshop "Building Healthy Habits" on October 18.  Sadly, it was our last workshop for the year.  We are going to miss them.  It was quite an experience for our junior chefs as they learned how to slice, cut and combine flavors to make an awesome salsa, smoothie and delicious apple donuts made out of slices of real apple with real fruit toppings. Oh! How can we forget! We also taught them about musical instrument like the maracas, bongos and saxophone.  At the end to celebrate their accomplishment, they received a certificate of completion, booklet with fun healthy advice, recipes, chef's hat and apron.

We are working hard to generate funds for more workshops next year therefore we need your help. We are accepting donations, sponsors, angel investors and grants.  Will you help us? Share, post, tell people you know who would love to help Coqui the Chef keep the workshops sustainable for the kids in the South Bronx. Visit our donation page 

Take a look at their smiling faces.  
Remember Children Who Learn How to Cook Are Hungrier for Healthy Food Choices!

Children Who Learn How to Cook Are Hungrier for Healthy Food Choices! - See more at:
Children Who Learn How to Cook Are Hungrier for Healthy Food Choices! - See more at:

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Coqui the Chef met Murray from Sesame Street at the New York ComicCon

We went to the New York ComicCon 2013 for three days and had a blast! Apparently since I, Tania Lopez, can no longer wear the mascot costume. I thought of a silly but ingenious idea; why not carry Coqui the Chef puppet in a baby carrier so people can meet him? That is exactly what I did.  It was funny to see people's reaction and smiles but what was even more funnier how people made way for me in crowded places because they thought I had a real baby.  

In one of the panel discussions "Comics for Everyone" I met Joseph Mazzarino the voice actor for Murray from Sesame Street.  I took notes of all the advice he gave regarding what can make a character unique and funny. So my friends the future looks bright for Coqui the Chef puppet! YAY!!

Sunday, October 6, 2013

NOW OPEN...Coqui the Chef's Smoothie Bar!!

We wanted to teach our junior chefs how a restaurant works so we opened a pretend smoothie bar.  The ten junior chefs all had turns role playing as customers, waiters, and prep cooks. Their energy and willingness to learn was amazing.  The photos say it all...

Try Coqui the Chef's Tropical Sunset Smoothie Recipe...

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Suggested Vegetable Seasonings, Flavorings, and Combinations

Choosing fresh seasonal vegetables is great especially when they are from your local farmer but what seasonings, flavorings or combinations go well with the them?
Well here is a short list of what you can use to make the vegetable taste YUMMY!!!

  • Asparagus-- Lemon juice, brown butter, mustard sauce, Parmesan cheese; hard-cooked egg, peas, artichokes, mushrooms 
  • Beans, green-- Dill, basil, tarragon, oregano, garlic, brown butter, soy sauce; almonds, sesame seed, onion, tomato, celery, mushrooms, bacon 
  • Beans, Lima-- Oregano, sage, thyme, sour cream, cheddar cheese; corn, peas, onions, mushrooms, pimiento, bacon
  • Beets-- Lemon, allspice, caraway, cloves, dill, ginger, horseradish, bay leaf, orange, sour cream, onion
  • Broccoli-- Lemon, mustard sauce, almonds, buttered and toasted bread crumbs, hard-cooked egg
  • Brussels sprouts-- Caraway, dill, Parmesan cheese, cheddar cheese, chestnuts
  • Cabbage-- Caraway, celery seed, dill, mustard, nutmeg, garlic; bacon, ham, carrots, onion
  • Carrots-- Parsley, dill, fennel, tarragon, ginger, nutmeg, bay leaves, caraway, mint, orange; celery, peas, zucchini
  • Cauliflower-- Dill, nutmeg, mustard, curry, cheese, tomato sauce; hard-cooked egg, peas, almonds
  • Celery-- Parsley, tarragon, onion, green or red pepper, potatoes
  • Corn-- Chili powder, mild cheddar or jack cheese, tomato, bacon, Lima beans
  • Cucumber-- Dill, garlic, mint, tarragon; peas 
  • Eggplant-- Garlic, marjoram, oregano, parsley, Parmesan cheese; tomato, chopped walnuts
  • Mushrooms-- Nutmeg, parsley, lemon, paprika, dill, sherry, Parmesan cheese, cayenne, heavy cream; peas, spinach, artichokes, green beans
  • Okra-- Garlic, coriander, sage; tomatoes, corn
  • Onions-- Nutmeg, sage, thyme, cheese sauce, sour cream; peas
  • Peas-- Mint, basil, dill, sage; mushrooms, pearl onions, turnips, potatoes, carrots, water chestnuts, Jerusalem artichokes
  • Spinach-- Nutmeg, garlic, heavy cream; mushrooms, hard-cooked egg, cheese
  • Squash, summer-- Cumin, basil, oregano, mustard seed, rosemary, garlic, Parmesan cheese, parsley; tomato, carrots (with zucchini), onion, (including zucchini) almonds, walnuts
  • Squash, winter-- Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, cloves, ginger; apples, bacon, pecans
  • Sweet potatoes-- Allspice, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, brandy, orange; almonds, apples, bananas
  • Tomatoes-- Basil, bay leaf, garlic, celery seed, oregano, thyme, rosemary, chili powder; peppers, black olives
  • Turnips-- Parsley, chives, nutmeg; mushrooms, potatoes, peas

Friday, September 27, 2013

Recipe: Mucho Bueno Black Bean Avocado Salsa

Recipe: Mucho Bueno Black Bean Avocado Salsa

  • Black beans low sodium (choose either 15 oz can; drained and rinsed or home-cooked beans)
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow pepper, diced
  • 2 limes, squeezed juice
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Cherry tomatoes, cut in halves (amount you desire)
  • Cilantro or parsley (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Cover bowl and refrigerate for 10-15 minutes. Serve cold as an appetizer with tortilla scoops or in a tortilla wrap with lettuce and cheese.

Health benefits: Black beans have a high quantity of both protein and fiber that help to move food through the stomach to the large intestine at a healthier pace. Peppers and limes have vitamin C, which help with the immune system. Avocado and extra virgin olive oil is great for the skin.

Our little chefs love making this recipe!
Visit our website to learn more about our kids cooking class

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Save Money! Buy Produce in Season

Autumn is here! The leaves start falling, the breeze is cooler, and the afternoon weather is comforting.  What really makes autumn amazing is the food.  Do you know what type of fruits and vegetables are in the autumn season?  NO! Don't worry, this produce list will help you out. Remember buying in season always saves you money.

Autumn Fruit
  • Apples 
  • Grapes
  • Pears
  • Rasperries
  • Watermelon
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash
Autumn Vegetables
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic
  • Green beans
  • Lettuce
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Carrots
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chard
  • Eggplant
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Sage
Talk with your local farmer or produce manager to help you select the ready to eat produce.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cooking with Coqui the Chef Show

Watch Coqui the Chef make sofrito with Chef Chris Ackerman.

Get the recipe here

Learn more about Coqui the Chef visit

"Without the help of Freshmade NYC, Associated Supermarket at 1136 Ogden Ave in the Bronx, Rothwyn Media, Jason Torres, Chef Chris Ackerman, Rs Luciano, my kids and friends the cooking show would of never been possible. Thank you for your support and believing in Coqui the Chef and me."
~Tania Lopez (creator of Coqui the Chef)

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Coqui the Chef appears on ABC's "The Chew" and TLC's "What Not to Wear"

(PRESS RELEASE) On Friday, September 6 New Yorkers get another healthy serving of their favorite Latino chef , "Coqui the Chef," when he appears on ABC's "The Chew" at 1pm EST, and TLC's longest running prime time series "What Not to Wear" at 10pm EST. 

"The Chew's" celebrity chefs Mario Batali, Michael Symon, and Carla Hall, lifestyle expert Clinton Kelly and the fresh face of healthy living Daphne Oz serve up everything from cooking and home entertaining to food trends, restaurants, holidays and more. TLC's "What Not to Wear" features fashion experts Stacy London and Clinton Kelly, who face an assortment of fashionably challenged contributors, providing them with fashion advice and life-changing transformations. This season, the show's last, includes some of Stacy and Clinton's biggest challenges to-date, including Coqui the Chef founder Tania Lopez.

Lopez founded Coqui the Chef in 2007 and her personal mission is to empower kids, adults and entrepreneurs to live a healthy life and lead a productive business. She works with organizations and communities in the South Bronx who want to improve overall food quality and promote healthy lifestyles. An alarming number of Latino youth in the Bronx, where nutritious foods are not always readily available, suffer from high levels of obesity.

Tania is a proud mom of two teenagers and a frog.

In the spring of 2012 Lopez launched "Coqui the Chef's Bodega Adventures," a series of cooking demonstrations and nutrition workshops at local bodegas throughout the South Bronx, in an effort to help combat youth obesity in those neighborhoods. Bodega Adventures is designed to help youth and their families create flavorful, healthful, and simple meals with fresh produce and other healthy ingredients from local bodegas. It also aims to encourage bodega owners to stock healthy food items that may not previously have been available, such as whole wheat tortillas, low-fat cheese and yogurt, fruit/veggies smoothies and drinks. 

Recipes are available in the Coqui the Chef Bodega Adventures Cookbook.

From humble beginnings, over the past six years Coqui's fame has continued to grow. Coqui the Chef received The American Heart Association's New York City Community Impact Grant, as part of its ongoing effort to improve the cardiovascular health of the city's youth. Coqui partners with Healthy Neighborhoods City Harvest Program, Citizens Committee of New York City and was the Guest of Honor/Ambassador of Health at the 55th Annual National Puerto Rican Day Parade in 2012. Coqui has also been featured on WPIX Channel 11, in The Daily News, Zagat, City Spoonful's "Dishing it Up" and on and


Follow us on Twitter and Instagram!

Twitter: @coquithechef and @tanialopezfoodi

Instagram: @coquithechef and @tanialopezfoodie

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Guess who's on "What NOT to Wear" and "The Chew"?

I bet you can't guess who's going to be on "What NOT to Wear" and "The Chew" on Friday September 6, 2013.

Well, you are almost right...

Coqui the Chef's founder Tania Lopez will be starring on both shows.  You don't want to miss out on the fun, laughter and tears.   If you have Facebook we created an invitation to help you remember the date and time of the shows.

For more details visit:

If you don't have Facebook, jot down the date and time on your calendar, smartphone, etc.

Both shows air Friday September 6, 2013

Show: The Chew (ABC channel) Time: 1 pm EST

Show: What NOT to Wear (TLC channel) Time: 10 pm EST

NOTE: On the day of the shows, we will have a LIVE Twitter and Instagram Party to answer questions and comments.

Please follow both Twitter profiles

Tania Lopez:

Coqui the Chef:





Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Kids Who Learn How to Cook...

Coqui the Chef teaches kids to pass up junk food and favor healthier fruits and veggies by offering a simple solution: giving them an apron and the tools necessary to help them with meal preparation.

Summer Cooking Class at Police Athletic League

Thanks to Citizens Committee of New York City Neighborhood Grant we are able to provide summer cooking classes to Police Athletic League Summer Camp.

See photos:

Spring Teaching Head Start Food Art and Nutrition

What we thought would be our toughest challenge turned out to be our most joyful experience.  For the first time we taught head start kids about nutrition and food.  Together we created food art such as fruit and vegetable faces, apple frogs, and watermelon pizza.

See photos: 

For updates on our most recent projects "LIKE" Coqui the Chef's Facebook page 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Preparing Healthy Food for Healthy Children

While some are busy bemoaning the declining health of New Yorkers, others, like entrepreneur Tania Lopez, forge new career paths and spread the word about health and nutrition in the process.  Mother of two, Lopez paid attention to reports that the health of American children was declining.  With particular concern for her son, Lopez decided to take action.

Reaching to her Puerto Rican roots for inspiration, she found healthy, delicious and efficient recipes and incorpo-rated them into her household. “I didn’t think it was hard, I just thought, ‘I want to do this because it makes me feel happy’ and I’m passionate about food,” she comments.  It worked. As her family’s diet changed, Lopez watched her son grow from a cuddly little boy into a healthy and athletic young man. Inspired by her son’s transformation, an impassioned Lopez began a social enterprise organization determined to reduce obesity and diabetes in children through expanding the changes she made at home to the community. 
“They don’t pay right away and grants are not easy to get...Money is an important factor, don’t stick to one way of getting money. Try multiple ways, one will eventually fall into place.” ~Tania Lopez
The story continues on pages 32-33 

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Join Coqui the Chef in the Daily News’ Viva New York

Join Coqui the Chef on this wonderful opportunity to help spread the word about healthy eating to parents, kids and adults of all ages through a column on Daily News' Viva New York magazine!

If you’re a New York food services/products business, join Coqui the Chef in the Daily News’Viva New York and connect with New York’s Latino community in a remarkably unique and equally important manner.

For more than three decades the Daily News’ Viva New York has served as New York’s #1 Hispanic lifestyle section – delivering almost twice the number of Latino readers as El Diario. Now you can sponsor Coqui the Chef’s column in Viva New York and help Coqui promote healthy eating and nutritional awareness to all ages of New York’s Latino community. This high-impact marketing opportunity provides not only the chance to feature your products in Coqui’s column, increase brand awareness and drive sales - you’ll also be providing an important community service to the children, parents and seniors in this important and growing demo.

If you’re interested in exploring this opportunity please contact Tania Lopez/Coqui the Chef via phone: (347) 692-8102 OR fill out this easy contact form

Friday, July 19, 2013

Hace Calor!! Keep yourself cool with these tips...

Getting bored of drinking plain water all the time? Add some flavor!! All natural make-at-home flavored water, it's simple and delicious.

Strawberry Mint Flavored Water Recipe:
Add the following ingredients but not to much just enough to give the water flavor.

  • Strawberries sliced
  • Mint leaves
  • Lime or Lemon sliced
  • Pineapple chunks
  • Filtered water

Below are some great tips on how to keep cool from the New York Health Department.

Summertime heat can be dangerous for anyone. Some people are at risk of serious health effects – even death – from getting overheated. Here's what you need to know about the effects of hot weather and what you can do to keep cool.

What should I do before a heat wave?
  • Know the symptoms of heat-related illnesses.
  • Make sure that you can open your windows and/or that your air conditioner is working properly.
  • Find out where to cool down - ask local officials about cooling centers in your area. If there are none, identify air-conditioned buildings where you can go (such as libraries, malls, supermarkets, or friends' homes).
  • Choose someone that you can call for help or who can check on you.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist to learn more about medications that might make you sensitive to the sun or heat.

El calor del verano puede ser peligroso para cualquiera. Algunas personas están en riesgo de sufrir efectos graves para la salud, incluida la muerte, si se acaloran. Esto es lo que necesita saber sobre los efectos del clima caluroso y qué puede hacer para refrescarse.

¿Qué debo hacer antes de una ola de calor ?
  • Conozca los síntomas de las enfermedades relacionadas con el calor (ver tabla a la derecha).
  • Asegúrese de que puede abrir las ventanas y de que el acondicionador de aire funcione correctamente.
  • Busque los lugares donde pueda refrescarse; pregunte a los funcionarios locales sobre los centros de enfriamiento en su área. Si no hay ninguno, identifique edificios con aire acondicionado adonde puede ir (como bibliotecas, centros comerciales, supermercados o casas de amigos).
  • Elija a una persona a la que pueda llamar para solicitar ayuda o que pueda controlar su estado.
  • Hable con su médico o farmacéutico para aprender más sobre los medicamentos que pueden hacerlo más sensible al sol o al calor.
Leer mas...

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A frog and a mom of two teenagers on "What Not to Wear" and "The Chew"

A frog and a mom of two teenagers on “What Not to Wear” and “The Chew

It’s the final season of The Learning Channel's (TLC) “What Not to Wear”, and me (Tania Lopez founder of Coqui the Chef) is being featured!

Thanks to friends and family who nominated me, they felt it was time for me to no longer hide inside my mascot costume, and start representing myself as a smart, loving and beautiful entrepreneur. I received a complete makeover; hair, make-up and $5,000 worth of beautiful clothes that Stacy London and Clinton Kelly helped me select.

Colleagues like Ilene Bergelson from Lifemoves Health, my cousin Lisandra and my best friend Noel were approached by producers several weeks ago and have been trying to set me up for an ambush on my favorite show ABC’s “The Chew”. I was so surprised and filled with joy that I couldn’t stop crying. No one has ever given me anything so wonderful, I always had to work hard for everything.

The last segment–the big reveal—was taped in April, and I look fantastic.  Coqui the Chef makes several guest appearances in both shows.

Stay tuned this summer to watch the ambush on ABC’s “The Chew” and the complete makeover on TLC’S “What Not to Wear”. I will let you know when you can catch the whole thing!

Connect with me via social media--


Partnerships and Collaborations:

I am proud to announce Coqui the Chef partners with Healthy Neighborhoods City Harvest Program and is 2013 Neighborhood Grant Winner of Citizens Committee for New York City .  We all share the mission to improve resources on low-income communities where healthy food is not readily accessible and where residents often suffer from high rates of diet-related diseases like diabetes and obesity.

Coqui the Chef with City Harvest

Last week we visit Freshmade NYC who offer classes for children ranging from toddlers to young teens in their beautiful studio kitchen. They invited Coqui the Chef for their 'round the world class where they teach about each culture and country as the kids taste its flavors. Together we made all natural piña colada of course without alcohol :) THE KIDS LOVED IT!

See more photos of Coqui the Chef in Freshmade NYC at
Coqui the Chef's FB page:


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