Apple Pie

Apple Pie by Mariana Flores-Sosa
Videography and Production by Ivan Leonel Briones

Mariana Flores-Sosa gives us the rundown and basics of making a great apple pie, why baking has become and escape for her, and how to approach cooking for first-timers. Learn how to make great food that is both simple and rewarding! To make this dish, follow the recipe listed below:


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 6 to 7 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Pastry for double-crust pie
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 large egg white
  • Additional sugar


In a small bowl, combine the sugars, flour and spices; set aside. In a large bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Add sugar mixture; toss to coat. Line a 9-in. pie plate with bottom crust; trim even with edge. Fill with apple mixture; dot with butter.

Next, roll remaining crust to fit top of pie; place over filling. Trim, seal and flute edges. Cut slits in crust. Beat egg white until foamy; brush over crust. Sprinkle with sugar. Cover edges loosely with foil. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake until crust is golden brown and filling is bubbly, 20-25 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack. Recipe by:

Quarantine Noodles

Quarantine Noodles by Natalie Serna
Videography and Production by Joshua Duran

Junior St. Mary’s student Natalie Serna cooked her favorite dish, which is cavatappi pasta and other spices, that she learned during quarantine. start boiling water then add the cavatappi pasta noodles with a generous amount of salt. once the pasta is al dente, drain all the water. in a separate pan on the stove at a medium heat add the butter and spread around the pan then add the noodles. first add half a cup of white cheddar cheese, then one tablespoon pesto sauce and continue to stir. then add a teaspoon of truffle butter and sprinkle of cayenne pepper. add salt and pepper for taste.


  • Cavatappi noodles
  • Pesto sauce
  • Butter
  • White sharp cheddar cheese
  • Truffle butter
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne

start boiling water then add the cavatappi pasta noodles with a generous amount of salt.

once the pasta is al dente, drain all the water.

in a separate pan on the stove at a medium heat add the butter and spread around the pan then add the noodles.

first add half a cup of white cheddar cheese, then one tablespoon pesto sauce and continue to stir.

then add a teaspoon of truffle butter and sprinkle of cayenne pepper.

add salt and pepper for taste.

Smoked Chicken

Smoked Chicken By David Riojas

Videography and Production By Zachary Ramirez

Watch David Riojas make smoked chicken and sausage. He loves to Bar-B-Q any day especially on holidays. David has 40+ years behind the grill.


18oz bottle of BBQ Sauce

10oz of Soy Sauce

2 cups of butter

3oz of Syrup

1 cup of sugar

10 pounds of Chicken Leg Quarters


Start by adding sugar and syrup to bbq sauce. Stir for one minute. Set Aside.

Mix together butter and soy sauce with the chicken.

With wood lit in bbq pit in pieces at the bottom start to place chicken inside.

Cook with lid closed for a total of 2 hours while rotating placement of the chicken every 30 minutes.

After the chicken is cooked cover the with bbq sauce and keep them in for 15 more minutes.

Remove from pit when ready and let sit for 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Sandra’s Oven-Baked Salmon

Oven-Baked Salmon by Sandra Soto

Videography and Production by Sofia L. Soto

Sandra Soto is a St. Mary’s University alumna, VMECHS counselor and mother of three from Brownsville, Texas. In this video she shares her favorite, simple oven-baked salmon recipe. This recipe is a crowd-pleaser and is a great option for busy families because it can be made in 5 easy steps!


  • 1 Oven Pan
  • Aluminum Foil
  • 1 Salmon Fillet
  • 2-3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp. of Butter
  • Celery and vegetables of your choice

Directions: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Place a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap your entire salmon fillet in your pan and then add your salmon. Chop up your vegetables into bite-size pieces and add them on top of your salmon. Season the vegetables and salmon with pepper, salt, 2 tbsp of butter and 1/3 cup of olive oil. After that, make sure to wrap and seal your salmon and vegetables with the aluminum foil. Lastly, place your pan in the oven for 50-60 minutes and enjoy!

Banana Bread

Banana Bread by Sabrina Evans

Videography and Production by Amanda Sue Quiroz

Sabrina Evans, an StMU alumna with a BA in communication studies, bakes a moist chocolate chip banana bread on camera. Evans talks about her first experience baking banana bread. She describes the “sense of comfort and a sense of consistency” from the banana bread that brings back memories from her college days and the people she loves.


  • 3-4 medium, overripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups All Purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • dash of ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips


Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Prepare a 9×5 baking pan by lining it with parchment or foil and lightly spraying with nonstick spray.

Preheat the oven to 350ºF.

Prepare a 9×5 loaf baking pan by lining it with parchment or foil and lightly spraying nonstick spray.

Mash the bananas with a fork or whisk.

Whisk in the sugar, egg, vanilla, and vegetable oil.

Mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

The batter will be lumpy. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan (top with more chocolate chips if you want).

Bake for 55-60 minutes (start checking for doneness with a toothpick at 55 minutes). Let cool.


Lasagna by Blanca Gutierrez.

Videography and Production by Christa Neumann.

Dyslexia teacher Blanca Gutierrez goes through the steps on how to make an easy lasagna. After working for 39 years, Gutierrez describes her journey into the kitchen and what makes cooking so special for her.


  • 1-pound ground beef
  • 1 (32oz) jar spaghetti sauce
  • 32oz cottage cheese
  • 3 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 9 lasagna noodles
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 spray can of olive oil


In a large skillet over medium heat brown ground meat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drain the grease. Add spaghetti sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.

In a large bowl, mix the cottage cheese, eggs, half of grated Parmesan cheese, dried Parsley, salt ground black pepper. To assemble, spray the bottom and sides of a 9×13 inch baking dish with olive oil. Evenly spread ¾ cup of sauce mixture. Cover with 3 uncooked lasagna noodles, 1 ¾ cup of the cheese mixture and ¼ cup sauce. Repeat layers once more: top with 3 noodles, remaining sauce and sprinkle mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Add ½ cup water to edges of the pan. Cover with aluminum foil that has been sprayed with olive oil.

Bake on preheated 350-degree oven for 45 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes, let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Arroz con Pollo

Arroz con Pollo by Michael Lopez

Videography and Production by Allison Magera

Michael Lopez, a current student at Texas A&M University, shares how to recreate his favorite dish: Arroz con Pollo. Through his tips and tricks and simple but flavorful ingredients, you’ll be able to create a meal that you won’t be able to find in just any Mexican restaurant.


  • 4-6 Whole Chicken Thighs (varies depending on number of servings)
  • ~2 tablespoons Season-it-all
  • 1 tablespoon of garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • 4 cups of water
  • 2 cups of dry white rice (brown rice also acts as a substitute if necessary)
  • ~ 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 of a chopped yellow onion
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 4oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon caldo de tomate
  • Dash of garlic salt, cumin and pepper


First, season raw chicken thighs with a generous covering of salt, pepper and season-it-all. Add about a tablespoon of oil to pan and brown chicken thighs on medium-high heat until skin is crispy. The inside does not need to be completely cooked; it will boil later with the rice. In a separate pot, begin to boil 4 cups of water for the rice. Including about a teaspoon of oil, fry dry rice in another separate pan until brown, about 10 minutes. Add chopped onion, bell pepper and diced tomatoes to rice once it is browned and stir occasionally for about 3 minutes. Add boiling water to the pan with the rice and vegetables. Add tomato sauce, caldo de tomate, garlic salt, cumin and pepper. Lastly, add browned chicken thighs to the pot, cover, and simmer on low heat for about 20-25 minutes or until both the rice and chicken are cooked thoroughly.

Skillet Enchiladas

Skillet Enchiladas by Sheila Peña

Videography and Production by Courtney Peña

Sheila Peña is a mother and a teacher who enjoys cooking. In this video, she shows you how to make Skillet Enchiladas and talks about her experience with cooking.


  • ¼ cup of avocado oil
  • 1 ½ pound of ground beef
  • 2 cans of enchilada sauce
  • 1 package (8oz) of shredded cheddar or colby jack cheese
  • 12 corn tortillas (Cut in small squares)
  • 1/8 to ¼ cup of corn masa mix
  • ½ cup of water


Turn the stovetop between medium and high heat and fry tortillas in batches in avocado oil in 12 in pan. Remove fried tortillas and set aside on a plate. Remove excess oil. Cook beef in the 12 in pan. Once the beef is cooked, add enchilada sauce and stir. Add cheese mix and stir. Mix masa and water in a separate cup. Add masa mixture and stir. Add fried tortillas and mix it all together.

Baked Pears

Baked Pears by Amia Barrio

Videography and Production by Sydney Jara Barrio

Amia Barrio, making some Baked Pears with her canine costar Koda!

Preparing food for your family is not always the easiest task, but Amia walks us through a simple recipe to gather loved ones at the dinner table for a sweet treat. Baked pears, it’s what’s for dinner… or rather, it is for dessert.


Measurements for this recipe are subjective and can be tailored to preference. I am only guessing the amount used in the video.

  • 3 large ripe pears
  • 1/3 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 3 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup crushed walnuts
    • optional: ice cream, yogurt, frozen yogurt, or Cool Whip!


Begin by preheating your oven to 350F. Then cut pears in half and place on a baking sheet; a good tip is to cut off a small sliver of the other end, so they sit upright and do not wobble. Using the knife, a spoon, or melon baller, scoop out the core as best you can. Afterward, sprinkle cinnamon, top with crushed walnuts, and drizzle with honey over each one. Once you have prepared the pears and your oven is at 350F, place them on a baking sheet to bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Then remove, let cool, and enjoy! Top with Cool Whip, vanilla ice cream, or yogurt to make it even sweeter!

Banana Nut Bread

Banana Nut Bread by Dolores Tellez
Videography and Production by Sarah Lugo

Dolores Tellez is a biology/pre-nurse major who happens to love baking! In the video, Dolores is baking a loaf of banana nut bread for her family. She also shares with me how she started baking and what she’s learned from it. 


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (unsifted)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (8 tablespoons) butterfat room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 ⅓ cups mashed ripe bananas (3-4 bananas)
  • 1 teaspoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup chopped nuts

In a medium bowl add flour, salt, and baking powder and whisk until it’s well combined. Then, in a big mixer bowl add butter and sugar to cream together until it’s light and fluffy. Next, add two eggs and mix again till well combined. In a separate bowl peel the bananas and mash them. Once they’re mashed add the vanilla extract and milk and mix together. Then, alternate adding the dry ingredients from earlier and the banana mixture into the butter (mixer) bowl. Afterwards, add your nuts into the new mixture and pour into a buttered loaf pan. Now heat the oven to 350° F and bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Once it’s done, take the bread out of the oven and let it cool for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes give the pan a few taps on the counter to loosen the bread, remove it from the pan, and enjoy!