Cooking Across Cultures with Kiosko Latino

Last month, MAP was please to host our second Cooking Across Cultures event in collaboration with the wonderful vendors at the West Side Bazaar. This time we partnered with Maria Rodriguez and her husband Alan - the owners of Kiosko Latino. Guests learned how to make arroz con gandules, pastellilos, and sofrito all while listening to Puerto Rican Christmas music! We also enjoyed homemade tostones and a refreshing passion fruit juice. Maria and Alan were lovely hosts and excellent teachers!

Stay tuned for our next Cooking Across Cultures class!

Blue Mashed Potatoes


2 lbs Blue Potatoes washed
1/2 cup Milk of choice
4 TBSP butter
Salt + Pepper to taste


1. Boil the potatoes in a pan of salted water until fork tender.

2. Heat the butter and milk of choice together in a separate pan.

3. Drain the potatoes, and mash with a potato masher.

4. Add in the milk and butter and mix until creamy.


Take the butter out or use a plant based butter to make the recipe vegan!

Recipe adapted from: 

This recipe is brought to you by Massachusetts Avenue Project! Find MAP’s Mobile Market to purchase items on your ingredient list by visiting www.mass-ave.org or follow @massaveproject and #foodthatmoves on your favorite social media site.

Meet Amina!

¡Hola! Mi nombre es Amina. Oh espera, lenguaje equivocado. Bonjour! Je m'appelle Amina. Ç'est la faux langue. Now that we have that situation settled, my name is Amina Shariff and I am a sophomore at Hutch Tech HS. I am currently majoring in Biochemistry and I have been working at MAP for one summer and decided to continue into the school-year program. Here’s a little bit about me!
First thing you need to know about me is that I am super indecisive, so I absolutely suck at making decisions. It has been a problem that has affected me my whole life. It is now hindering my decision to find out what I want to do with my life. Part of me wants to become a biochemical engineer and the other half wants to become a pediatrician. Two totally different fields of study. However, I know that whichever one I decide on, I’ll be happy succeeding in that field. Which is all that really matters!
Three words that describe me you ask? Well if you must know, ORGANIZED, CHEERFUL, AND DILIGENT. All traits that stay true to me. If you take a look inside one of my school binders, you’ll see post-it notes, dividers, and my very neat handwriting. Organizing my life like this honestly just makes me want to succeed, which is why I do it. I have become way more productive this way, which is how I stay on top of my school work. When I have my life organized, I just turn into an overall cheerful person and I tried to spread my bright attitude everywhere I venture to.

My favorite quote is by the one and only, the most wholesome man in the universe, the amazing artist that he is, Bob Ross. Can we get a round of applause?
“We don’t make mistakes, just happy accidents.”
-Bob Ross

There are very few mistakes in life that cannot be corrected if you try hard enough. Even a seemingly insurmountable problem can have a solution as long as you really take the time to solve it and not give up. This quote inspires me to not surrender when things get difficult and overall gives me a more positive outlook on life.
I am currently learning how to play the piano, I enjoy writing all kinds of stories and articles, and cooking. I haven’t been given many opportunities to cook at home which is why I think working at MAP will be great for me. I knew I had a passion for cooking ever since helping me mom in the kitchen and I hope to continue having that passion. Working at MAP will bring great opportunities for me and I am excited to be a part of a great organization, that helps fight for those in need.

Meet Kay!

My name is Kay Reh my nickname is boe Reh. I’m from Thailand and a village called Karenni camp. My house was very big and we have backyard which we grow tons of variety of foods and fruits we also grow pigs. Back in my country I love watching cars and plane go by as we only see them like 1 or 2 time a week or 2. I speak Karenni and I go to Karenni camp school in Elementary school for 2 yrs until we move here into the U.S.A. We live in New Jersey for 4years and spent our childhood growing up and going to school like any other kids in about 4grade my parent tell us we are moving to New York Buffalo and I was Kinda surprise and shock and little sad cause I live New Jersey and I don’t even know anyone in buffalo yet. When we got here the place was kinda quite. We live with our cousin for few weeks after that we found house to rent. For another 4 year all I do is go to school and come home sometime go shop with my parent. I don’t go outside much and don’t really have any friends until I reach high school. At 9th grade at Burgurd High school I meet some few friends and spent a normal life. We hang out after school but we really didn’t spent much time outside of school since we live so far away from each other. I also change school since I always come late to school and school was far. During summer I was offer a Job from urban league and that how I got to work at Map. I love working at Map it was a gate way for me into the future and also give me the experience to test out my skill.Thank you Map!!

I was also offer a Job during School year and I was very happy cause I love working there and I hope to learn many things throughout the years.

Meet Blet Say!

“Ciao bella! Mi chiamo Blet Say Wah. Ho quindici anni e frequento il liceo Hutch Tech. Lavoro a MAP da un mese.”
[Hello beautiful! My name is Blet Say Wah. I am 15 years old and I attend Hutch Tech High School. I work at MAP and have been working there for about a month.]
I am currently a sophomore in high school and is currently in the Engineering Major. I can speak two languages which include Karen and English. In school, I take the Italian language. As a person, I am introverted, creative, and very calm. Anything that has to do with the arts interests me.
“Meaningless! Meaningless!”
    says the Teacher.
“Utterly meaningless!
    Everything is meaningless.”  ---- Ecclesiastes 1:2
My favorite quote is that everything is utterly meaningless. There are a lot of interpretations to that. However, I believe that this verse defines my life quite clearly! Everything is meaningless without a purpose, without a goal, or without knowing what you were here to do. I believe that happiness is something we all long for and also something that we actively try to pursue in our lives. It is possibly one of our main goals in life.
I am a deep thinker and also enjoy controversial topics because it gets my brain working. I love learning about new things that are happening in the real world, such as the food injustice that I learned over the Summer. In my free time, I enjoy playing the guitar, drawing, reading manga, crocheting, and knitting. I view myself as an optimistic person. I have a bright outlook on life and is very enthusiastic to see the future world that will await me.
I have a lot of vegetables that I like. My favorite ones include green beans and cucumber. My favorite fruit is rambutan. My favorite food is Nan gyi thohk, from the Burmese cuisine. However, I mostly enjoy eating more than I enjoy cooking.

Meet Nina!

Hello my name is Nina Adam, I’m sixteen years old junior at Mckinley high school. I’m taking a horticulture shop because I enjoy working in landscaping. My sister is one of my biggest role models, when she started working at Massachusetts Avenues Project was really amazing to see all the amazing things she was doing .I wanted to be a part of MAP. Joining Massachusetts avenue project in 2017 in the summer was a great experience. I learned more about working with plants which inspired me to take a horticulture class in school. Starting at MAP I was really uncomfortable with my public speaking, I hated talking to a group of audience, I had more opportunity to practice my public speaking to people. I was able to make a podcast on an issue I strongly believed in I had to step out of my comfort zone to do presentations. I learned about issue that I never expect to exist in this world, like global warming, GFPP, nutrition values and locally grown food etc. After four years working at MAP I had opportunity to lead a youth caucus and make a workshop with my fellows at the tomorrow’s leader conference. MAP has helped me grow as a youth activist.

Meet Day Yar!

My name is Day Yar Paw. I am 17 years old. I’m smart, ambitious and independent. I’m a junior in Mckinley High School. I was born in Thailand and moved to America in 2013. Living in Thailand was very difficult and there is not a lot of opportunities, especially when it comes to education and jobs. Moving into America was an amazing decision for my siblings and I. There’s so many opportunities in America, they have nice clothes for us to wear, good food and also meeting so many different people from different cultures. I started working at MAP in school year of 2018. Working at MAP helps improve my communication skills and slowly come out of my shell. I also learn different skills in cooking class with Bethany. All the staff members and workers are kind and friendly. After high school, I will be attending Cosmetology school so the money that I got from working at MAP, I will save some and spent some on the things that I need for Cosmetology. The important thing that I’m currently working on right now is to improve myself as a young woman, always have the positive mindset and moving forward with my life.