Spaghetti By Nikki Givens

Videography and Production By Alexis Lawrence 

Here you will see Nikki Givens in my new youtube video where she shows her cooking skills by making her favorite dish Spaghetti and explains why she choose this recipe. And how she got into cooking for her family. Ms. Givens is also an Accountant she first started her accounting Job in Dallas Texas and moved recently to continue in Austin Texas this year. And raised two daughters who are now both in college.

  • 1 tsp of butter
  • ½ a cup of bell pepper (diced)
  • ½ a cup of onion (diced)
  •  1 lb. of ground beef
  • 1 14.5 oz can of Diced tomatoes
  •  2 -8oz cans of tomato Sauce
  • ½ package of spaghetti strings
  • 1 tsp of garlic salt
  •  1 tsp of Italian Herbs

1. Turn on stove to medium hot 2. Melt the butter in a large fry pan of your choice. 3. Add bell pepper and onion to the pan and sauté them. 4. Add ground beef to pan and stir with onion and bell pepper until fully cooked. 5. Drain the fat 6. Sprinkle in the garlic salt & Italian Herbs 7. Pour in the Diced Tomatoes and Tomato Sauce 8. Stir together for 10 minutes on medium then turn down to low. 9. In a medium saucepan boil 2 cups of water 10. Once boiling add spaghetti strings and cook for about 10 minutes. 11. Take hot noodles and pour in a strainer. 12. Rinse with cold water. 13. Take cooled noodles and add to the sauce (optional)


Caldo de Pollo

Caldo de Pollo by Kimberly Rodriguez                                                                  Videography and Production by Katherine Rodriguez

Kimberly Rodriguez is an amateur chef who likes to remind herself of where she comes from through food. After learning how to cook from the internet and her grandma, Rodriguez prepares Caldo de Pollo as a way to bring people together.


  • 3 pounds chicken leg quarters
  • 1 gallon water 
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic 
  • 2 tablespoons salt 
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder 
  • 1 cube chicken bouillon 
  • 3 large corn ears, cut in halves 
  • 4 large carrots, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 4 large potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks 
  • 1 cabbage, cut into large chunks 
  • 1 large onion, cut into large chunks 
  • ½ bunch fresh cilantro, chopped


Place chicken legs into a large stock pot and pour water over chicken. Add garlic, salt, and garlic powder. Cover the pot, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until chicken meat falls off the bones, which takes roughly one to two hours. Stir in chicken bouillon cube and let it dissolve. Mix corn, carrots, potatoes, chayote, and white onion in the broth, turn heat to medium-low, and cook soup at a low boil until carrots and potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Stir chopped cilantro into soup, simmer for 5 minutes, serve, and enjoy a delicious meal on a cold and chilly day.

Lentejas a la Charra

Lentejas a la Charra by Lili Garcia

Videography and Production by Eva Garcia

Lili Garcia is a stay-at-home mom to her three kids and has looked at the bright side of quarantining: she gets to spend more time with them, especially her daughter who is doing her college work at home. She enjoys cooking all different kinds of food, which is why a few years ago, she took chef classes to learn more of International cuisine as well as baking and pastry.


• 1 pound of uncooked lentils

• 3 tomatoes

• 1 onion

• 3 serrano peppers (or your preference)

• Half a bunch of cilantro

• 5 strips of bacon

• 2 tablespoons of Knorr Caldo de Pollo

• 1 whole garlic

• 1 dash of cumin

• 1 dash of pepper


Thoroughly rinse your tomatoes, onions, peppers and cilantro.

After rinsing them, thoroughly rinse your lentils as well.

In a large pot, fill it up halfway with water and put it boil.

Add your garlic, Knorr, pepper and cumin to the water.

Once the water has started boiling, toss in your lentils.

Dice your tomatoes, onion, serrano peppers and cilantro.

Chop your bacon in small pieces.

In a separate pan, sauté your vegetables (except your cilantro) and bacon.

Let your lentils cook for about 20 minutes or until they are tender.

Add your sautéed vegetables to the pot of lentils and stir.

Add your chopped up cilantro towards the end.

Let it cook for about 5 more minutes and then it is ready to serve!

Bruce’s Gumbo

Seafood Gumbo by Bruce Warner

Videography and Production by Ian Warner

Gumbo Ingredients

  • Roux
    • 3 cups of flour
    • 1 cup of vegetable oil
  • Stock 
    • 8 Quarts of Water
    • 30 ounce can of diced tomatoes
    • 10 garlic cloves sliced
    • 3 bell peppers chopped
    • 2 white onions chopped
    • 1 celery stalk chopped
    • 2 ounces of bay leaves 
    • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Shrimp Stock
    • 2 pounds of peeled shrimp shells
    • 1 quart of water
    • 1 stick of butter
  • Seafood
    • 2 pounds of peeled shrimp, cut in half
    • 2 pounds of crawfish tail
    • 32 ounces of shucked oyster

Gumbo Recipe

Making the base of the soup is the first step in cooking gumbo. Fill a large boiling pot with 8 quarts of water- add: 1 (30 ounce) can of diced tomatoes; 2 tablespoons of chicken bullion; 1 (2 ounce) bottle of bay leaves; 2 white onions chopped; 3 bell peppers chopped; 10 cloves of garlic sliced; 1 stalk of celery chopped. Bring the soup to a boil and let simmer. Add 1 pound of frozen okra to the soup mix once vegetables are soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. 

The next step is cooking the roux. You will need to mix 3 cups of flour and 1 ½ cups of vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Continually stir and rotate to create a dark chocolate brown roux. Add the roux to the soup once the vegetables are soft to thicken the gumbo. 

Start peeling the 2 pounds of shrimp. Add the shrimp peels to a large saucepan with 1 quart of water and 1 stick of butter to create a shrimp stock. Once the stock is brought to a simmer, pour through a strainer into the gumbo. 

Add 2 pounds of shelled shrimp, 2 pounds of bagged crawfish tails, 32 ounces of shucked oysters. Simmer till seafood is cooked.

Add diced parsley, simmer until soft. 

Ready to serve!

Garlic Shrimp Pasta



Karen Julissa Bogran, an employee at the US Embassy in Peru, goes through her delicious 20-minute dish called garlic shrimp pasta for her family. She discusses how she learned to cook, some challenges she faces with time management, and the importance of eating well in concern with health.


  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil 
  • 1 lb. Shrimp 
  • 1/4 of cut onion 
  • Kosher salt 
  • 1 tbsp. garlic 
  • 3/4 c. dry white wine 
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon 
  • 3/4 c. freshly grated Parmesan for garnish 
  • 12 oz. spaghetti


Begin by adding spaghetti to a pot filled with boiling water on the stove in medium heat. Let sit until it has softened which is when you then rinse out the water with a strainer.  

In a large skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon of olive oil, 1/4 of cut onion and one tablespoon of garlic. Add shrimp and season with salt. Cook until pink, 2 minutes per side.  

In the same skillet, add 1 tablespoon of garlic. Cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Add wine, and lemon juice and simmer 2 minutes. 

Add the cooked spaghetti into the same skillet and toss until completely combined.  

Transfer the spaghetti and shrimp mix onto a plate, garnish it with Parmesan and add your preferred sides before serving. 

Chicken Strips

Chicken Strips by Carmen Cervantes
Videography and Production by Bryann Cervantes

Carmen Cervantes, mother of StMU student Bryann Cervantes, prepares her favorite dish Chicken Strips and tells us a little bit more about how she fell in love with cooking and offers some tips.


  • 3 Chicken Breasts (bone-in)
  • 3 Eggs
  • 2 packs of saltine crackers
  • ¾ Teaspoon of Chicken Flavored Seasoning
  • 1 Cup of Olive Oil
  • ¼ Teaspoon of Table Salt (or to your liking)
  • ½ Teaspoon of Black Pepper (or to your liking)

Use roller to grind crackers into crumbly bits in a Ziploc bag. Transfer the crushed crackers to a bowl, and add salt, pepper, and the chicken seasoning then mix to distribute seasonings evenly. Cut the chicken breasts into thin chicken strips and afterwards, preheat a pan with the olive oil on medium heat for 5 minutes. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until they are completely liquid and then change the pan heat to low after 5 minutes.

Begin the cooking process by covering one entire chicken strip with a thin layer of the whisked eggs, and then dip the strip into the cracker crumbs bowl covering it entirely. Then lay the covered chicken strip in the pan, submerging it completely in the olive oil and on both sides until a golden-brown outer color is achieved. Place the finished golden-brown chicken strip in a container to serve, lined with napkins to absorb excess grease. Repeat the process for all 15-20 chicken strips and serve warm.

Cinnamon Apple Strudel Muffins

Cinnamon Apple Strudel Muffins by Jillian Garza

Videography and Production by Danika Garza

High school student, Jillian Garza, takes us through her thoughts on all things baking while preparing a recipe perfect for the fall season. While watching her prepare the dish, we hear how she began her interest in baking.


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1-1/2 cups chopped and peeled tart apples


  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons cold butter


In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients for the muffin batter. In another bowl, beat the eggs, sour cream, and butter together. Stir into the dry ingredients just until moistened. Then, fold in the chopped apples. Fill each greased or paper-lined muffin cup two-thirds full.

For the topping, combine sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Gradually add in the butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Sprinkle a rounded teaspoonful over each muffin.

Bake at 400° for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks. Best served warm.

Pastel de Granola

Granola Cake by Conchis Perez

Videography and Production by Valeria Perez

Conchis Perez uses her cooking as way to connect with her family, create new traditions, and make joyful memories. In this video she shows how to prepare her delicious granola cake.

Cake Ingredients

  • 6 egg whites
  • 4 cups of granola
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of vanilla

Frosting Ingredients

  • 2 bars of cream cheese
  • 1 cup of powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp of vanilla



Start by preheating the oven to 350° F (180° C). Place the 6 egg whites in a bowl and mix with a mixer until you can turn the bowl upside-down and the egg whites won’t fall. Keep mixing while adding the baking powder and the vanilla. Slowly add the sugar and keep mixing for one more minute. Once you stop mixing, slowly ad the granola and pecans. Using a spatula to mix the granola, pecans, and mixture with a “folding” motion. Then, grease a cake pan and add the whole mixture to the pan. Place the pan in the oven for 45 minutes. (Another way to check to see if it’s ready is poking the cake with a toothpick, once the toothpick comes out clean the cake is ready.) Once the cake is out of the oven, let it cool.


Place the two bars of cream cheese in a bowl and mix with the mixer. While mixing, add the powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix until all the ingredients form a single mixture.

Putting it together

Take the cool cake out of its mold and spread frosting on the top half. You can now enjoy your granola cake!

Pasta con Albondigas de Cerdo

Pasta con Albondigas de Cerdo por Julissa Puerto

Video y Producción por Valeria Rodriguez

Julissa Puerto desde muy pequeña adquirió la pasión por la cocina y con ayuda de su abuela esto fue posible. Aunque tomo un camino diferente profesionalmente el cual es Doctora en Cirugía Dental nunca ha dejado de hacer recetas e innovar también.


  • 2 libras de carne de cerdo
  • 1 bolsa de pasta
  • 2 libras de tomates frescos
  • 1 chile
  • 1 cebolla
  • 1 ajo
  • 1 cucharadita de salsa soja
  • 1 cucharadita de azúcar
  • 1 cucharadita de sal
  • 1 cucharadita de aceite de oliva
  • 1 bolsa de queso parmesano
  • 1 bolsa de salsa de tomate


Primero, preparamos la carne de cerdo con ajo, sal, pimienta y salsa soja. Una vez sazonado la carne, continuamos haciendo la pasta. Después de que hierva, la condimentamos con el azúcar y los tomates, y le agregamos las albondigas de carne prefabricadas y dejamos hervir aproximadamente treinta minutos hasta que esté listo.

Strawberry Cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake by Isac Perez

Videography and Production by Maria Esquivel

Isac Perez is a political science and criminal justice double major at St. Mary’s University. Isac attributes his baking skills from his mother and grandmothers who have taught him to cook and bake. In the video, Isac is baking a delicious strawberry cheesecake for his friends.


  • 1 pre-made graham cracker pie crust
  • 2 1/2 8 oz cream cheese packages
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 3/4 condensed milk
  • 2 cups of cut strawberries


Pre-heat oven to 350F. Once oven is ready place pre-made pie crust into the oven for 5-7 minutes. In a large bowl add 2.5 softened cream cheese blocks, 2 eggs, 1 cup of sugar, 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract, 3/4 condensed milk and blend until the mixture has a thick and smooth consistency. Next, pour your mixture into the pie crust and position back into the oven for 40-60 minutes or until baked. Next, place strawberries on cheesecake and set the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours. Enjoy!