Dominican style- Stuffed Peppers with Couscous

peppers in plate3

One of my favorite dishes is stuffed peppers.  There are lot of different ways to do stuffed peppers but this recipe I just grabbed whatever was in the house and just put it all together.  Stuffed peppers can be made in many different ways with many different stuffing.  Some people like to add white rice and mix it in equal proportions to the meat but today I actually used Couscous instead to make this delicious Stuffed Peppers with Couscous.  Usually I have white rice in the fridge, but I didn’t have any and I was not going to have time to wait for the rice to be made so I decided to try something different.  I always love to improvise and try different things.

The peppers are great for dinner parties, family get-together s, and holiday meals, or when you are feeding a crowd and that is always the case with us.  lol.

Here is the recipe for the Stuffed Peppers with Couscous:


4 Red bell peppers (you can either had red, yellow or green but red is my favorite)

For the filling:

1 pound of ground meat

1 red onion


2 tablespoon of tomato paste

2 crushed garlic

1 tablespoon of oregano

2 tablespoon of Goya Adobo

1/2 tablespoon of black pepper

1 bag of Couscous

1 can of corn

1 can of sweet peas

1 bag of shredded cheddar cheese

1 jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce


Salt according to your taste


1.  Season the ground meat with the salt, oregano, adobo,  pepper and make sure that you mix the seasoning so that it absorbs the flavor.  In a pan, add some vegetable oil and a little bit of sugar when you see the sugar turning to a brown color (not black because that means you are burning the sugar) then it’s time to cook the meat.  Make sure you move it around with a spoon and then add your tomato paste and onions.  Add the cilantro and leek to your liking or if you need to add salt then this is the time to add flavor to your meat.  After it is cooked, place the meat in a bowl and save.

2.  Cut the top of the bell peppers and cut them in half, remove the seeds and separate.  Boil in a pan for about 10 minutes.  You don’t want the peppers to be too soft.  I prefer to cut them in half so it is easier to eat but some people like to serve the bell peppers in whole for presentation.

3.  In a separate pan, make the couscous.  It only should take about 6 minutes to make.  Jut add a little bit of butter, salt and I like to add chicken broth to give it more taste.  After it’s finished cooking, let it sit so it can continue to cook.

4.  Take a mixing bowl and mix the meat, corn, sweet pea and couscous all together.

5.  Stuff the peppers, add two tablespoon on spaghetti sauce on top of the peppers and top it off with the cheese.  In my case, I love cheese so I always add lots of cheese!

6.  In a pirex that have already been greased with Pam or butter, enter the peppers in a preheated oven of 350 for just 10 minutes or until you see the pepper wrinkles.

peppers in pan3

Don’t forget to let me know how much you liked this recipe.  Most importantly please subscribe!



Street Stylin it Wednesday!- the Charis way

andreaBy popular request, I have added now a new section that shall be called “Street Stylin”.  Basically, it will be pictures of random people in the streets of New York or wherever I am at that I see someone that I think looks nice or just have a sense of style.

My first victim…lol.  She is actually a friend of mine and ever since I have known her she always had a sense of style.  I met up with her in the streets of New York and just asked her if I could take a picture of her outfit.


What she wore:

Dress: Parker

Shoes: Aldo

Accessories: David Yurman necklace

If you have a picture of your favorite outfit that you will like to share, please feel free to share.  I always like to see  something new and creative.  Enjoy!

Andre pic (1)


ONE DIRECTION Makeup & Miami Concert Experience Giveaway #makeupby1D

ONE DIRECTION Makeup & Miami Concert Experience Giveaway

Make-up by One Direction:

A range of makeup and cosmetic products celebrating youth, style, and the uninhibited lifestyle of a new generation. Celebrating life with bold shades, unique formulae and infused with limited edition collectable packaging, Makeup from One Direction is fun, bold, often irreverent, with a touch of cheeky mischievousness. Offered at prices that every girl and woman can afford.

The world’s biggest biggest pop group introduces an impressive makeup collection that any fan enthusiast would love to own.  The Looks Collection has officially dropped into retailers like Macy’s and Dillards for fans to purchase.  If you are a hardcore fan, this a collectible item that you have to own.  Even if you are not a fan of the group, this makeup like is so fun and chic that it’s a must-have to add in your makeup bag.

The Looks Collection is a hot item at the stores and with the “Where we are” tour ending, I thought this would be an amazing opportunity to share with my readers to be actually at the One Direction makeup and dream Miami Concert Giveaway.  One luck winner has a chance to win the following:

The Prize

1) 2 Field Level Tickets to One Direction Final Concert Tour Date in Miami on Sunday 10/5/14.2) 2 R/T economy tickets (within continental United States ONLY) to Miami.3) Room Accommodations (1 Room) at the Turnberry-Isle Miami Hotel (

4) Ground transportation (to/from Airport and to/from Concert)5) $300 AMEX Card for incidental expenses6) 2 Autographed Make-up by ONE DIRECTION limited-edition collections of beauty essentials, housed in a collectible keepsake tin. Inside is everything you need to rock all your beauty looks on or off the stage.
Check out their facebook page:
#makeupby1D, #thelookscollection, #markwinsEnter
Enter below for your chance to win:
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Brandpacker.  I have partnered with Markwins to present the launch of One Direction Looks Collection to my readers and subscribers.  Please see disclaimer for further details about sponsored post.  I am not being compensated for this post.
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9/11 will never be forgotten: Share your story here

new-york-77639_6409/11 is a day that will never be forgotten.  The day where we were able to see war happen on our own backyard.  The day when the World Trade Center and the Pentagon came under attack.  How many of us have seen this story told so many times and all over the media?  Regardless how many times we hear this story, it always intrigued me how one event impacted so many people in so many different ways.  History is about telling a story, and in sharing that story you are also helping yourself become healed.

When I look back where I was on that day, I still get goose bumps.  I had a job interview that day at the World Trade Center at 10am.  I was running really late and that is very unusual for me.  But when I was on the train on the way going to the World Trade Center, I remembered that I forgot my cell phone.  Usually, I never go back for a phone but for some reason I decided that I just had to go back home and get it.  I was already on 125th street so why go back? As soon as I got off the train, I saw people were walking really fast as if they were in a rush but I didn’t think anything of it.  It’s New York after all.  But then I heard conversations and people talking…”did you hear about the attacks”? And that’s when I asked “what are you talking about?” And the lady told me whatever you do just go home.  That’s when I decided to just go back home and I didn’t take the train or the bus I walked all the way back home.  If we were under attack, then they would target trains and buses too so I walked.  When I got home and I saw the images, I was in complete shock.

I am grateful to God that I made it home safely and God was my savior that day.  If I had not forgotten my phone at home, who knows what would have had happened to me.

On that day we lost lives but I saw something amazing happen and that is watching strangers coming together.  I saw everyone helping each other in some way or another and this is how we became stronger than we were before.

Share your story here.  I want to hear your story and how you can count your blessings today.


How to remove nail cuticles without using painful tools

sally hansen box

How many of you have lots of cuticles around your nails? I have so much cuticles that I was spending so much money on going to the nail salon so they can remove them.  The problem is that I have a bad habit of biting my nails so I can’t see not even a little bit of cuticles otherwise I will start biting away.  I have tried so many things to eliminate this bad habit but I feel like the only way I can stop is by always removing the cuticle.

As I was at a drugstore one day, I saw this product just calling my name so I had to give it a try and I fell in love with it.  This is why I had to share it with my readers because it was my little solution to this nasty habit.  It has really helped me improve on my habit but I still haven’t completely eliminated it.  I am still working on that. lol.








Let me know if you have used this product before and if it has worked for you.  I would love to hear from you.  Check out my video below that I made to review this product.  Show some love!

What are your thoughts on a red carpet @Joan Rivers funeral?


After hearing about Joan Rivers death, I was deeply moved because I can’t imagine the way her daughter feels at this moment.  Then I saw the news about them having a red carpet at her funeral and it got me to think…Is there such a  thing as funeral etiquette?  Is it too old school to think that funerals are meant for a moment to reflect on the life of the person and not a moment to throw a big party or is it okay to throw a big party at the funeral?

Back in the days, I remember attending funerals and you could not even speak a word before someone gave you a glare but so much has changed now.  It’s now accepted when people throw parties at funeral or make more of an event rather than a funeral.

Regardless, what is the proper etiquette in funerals?  From my own experience and opinion, there are a few things to keep in mind when you do attend a funeral.

1.  Selfies at the funeral.  This one I still can’t grasp around this idea how people go to funerals and they start taking selfies with the deceased.  I mean really?  At first I thought it was a joke or a prank but it wasn’t at all; people were really taking selfies.  And not only with the deceased but they were also going around and taking selfies with people that they haven’t seen in a long time.  I understand that funerals can bring families and friends together but it is not a social butterfly scene and for you to start taking pictures with everyone.

2.  Turn the cell phones off.  I really do not know why is it so hard for some people to just remember that there needs to be some sort of peace, serenity and silence in a funeral.  It gives the person who is mourning a time to think or even grasp what is happening.  If the call is so important, then just stand up and go outside and take care of what you have to do but there is no reason why there needs to be a conversation inside the funeral home.

3.  Not being considerate to the feelings of the grieving family members.  One way this is shown is by talking and laughing too loud while there is silence in the room.  We don’t want to draw unnecessary attention to ourselves but to try to keep the focus and respect to the one that has passed away.  Usually at the end of the funeral, people do use the time to hello to old friends and family members that they haven’t seen in a long time.  In this case, more people are speaking and the noise level is raised as opposed to in the beginning of the funeral when it is usually quite.

Do you have a great story to share about improper manners at a funeral?  Please post comments below or go to Charis by Design facebook page so we can all join in the conversation.


Happy Grandparents day! What are your best memories?

1510792_10201333905055113_1247047629_nToday is National Grandparent’s Day and there is nothing sweeter than honoring them on this special day.  When I was younger, I had the privilege of having both of my grandmothers and grandfathers but for today I will speak of my grandparents who lived in New York City.  I loved both of my grandparents very dearly and have special memories of them in my heart.

My grandparents were Rosa and Victor Martinez and I wish they were still here today.  Both of my grandparents lived a remarkable life that inspired me greatly because they were missionaries to the church in the Dominican Republic.

They were the most patient, giving, helping, loving and attentive missionaries that I have met because they really took the time to serve others.  I remember my grandmother always happy and singing a hymn while she was washing dishes or cooking for others.  They were always ready to jump and help anyone who needed help.  All those strolls that we took together with all my cousins to the park will never be forgotten because that is when she would always say a story or quote something and take the time to talk and listen to us.  She always said to me “It’s important to listen to others because you don’t know what problem they may be going through”, and I have never forgotten her words.

As for my grandfather “Papa Victor”, he was never afraid to preach the gospel.  Always ready to share the good news and just talk to anyone who was ready to listen.  I miss his perspective on life and his gentle humor.  I miss the surprising depth of knowledge that he had without finishing school.


For this reason I will always hold them close to my heart.  I could never or will never measure up to them.  I only wish I could be just a little of what they were for the family.  But for now, I miss them both very dearly and I will treasure their memories forever.






What are your best memories with your grandparents?

Happy Grandparents day!

Happy Saturday with love and laughter!

super baby

School has started and family vacations are over! well at least technically…it really doesn’t have to end.  Why do we need to end such great family or friends moments?   Sometimes we (especially me) get so lost on running errands during the weekend because it’s the only time that we have to do everything that we miss on the most important thing…spending time with the ones you love.  Make them smile or laugh so hard until they can’t laugh anymore.

Don’t get wrapped up with chores but take the time to make each smile and laughter count! Your kids and friends will remember you more for the good times you had together and not for all the stuff that you gave them.

No matter how busy life can get…put a smile on your face and it will only be a matter of time before it becomes contagious!

Happy Saturday!


College dorm decorating ideas


At this very moment, many parents are facing the reality that their kids are going off to college.  It’s a new chapter in their lives when they need to give up the idea that they are not kids anymore but that they are on their own making their own decisions.  It scares me to death to think of that moment for my own kids and I really don’t want that moment to come like Ever! lol But I know that can never happen either.

I look at them playing and running around and only wish that time could stand still and not get away from us.  There will be a moment when I will get to see my kids go off to college.

But for those of you who are facing that reality now…you want your kids to feel comfortable in their new environment.  This is why decorating their rooms helps to make them feel at home and excited about starting a new journey.  For some teenagers, a transition like this can be a little difficult but for others it is easier.  But regardless, make your kids feel comfortable by helping them decorate their rooms.

Before buying a whole bunch of stuff,  you should:

1.  Know what the dorm room includes.

2.  Make sure to ask your advisor what appliances you can bring to the dorm.

3.  If you can talk to your roommate beforehand, you can split the cost of furniture like refrigerator or futons.

4.  Don’t buy expensive furniture because at the end of the school year you will probably end up throwing it out or giving it away.

What do you need:

1.  Monogram towels: I would get monogrammed towels so you know which ones are yours and no one can confuse your towels with someone elses.

2.  Monogram pillows:  It is a cute decor on your bed plus you can’t confuse your pillows.

3.  Night stand: If you have room for one, then it’s a must.  You can always set your pictures and books next to your bed before heading off to sleep.

Here are some inspirational college dorm decorating ideas:

I would love to hear from you!





















Fried fish a la Dominican Style Recipe

fried fish pic

Many of you have requested the recipe for the fried fish that I posted a picture of recently.  It is one of my favorite dishes that reminds me of the tropical beach in the Dominican Republic.  There is nothing sweeter than laying on the beach in the island and eating fried fish with coconut water.  I have many memories eating this meal in Boca Chica, the most popular beach.  You will find someone walking around selling fried fish among other things.

When you go to the beach, you will always see a big group of people hanging out dancing and drinking.  Plus, you will see food…like a lot of food.  It’s not just like the beaches here in the states that you take chips and a sandwich.  Dominicans don’t just bring snacks to the beach, they bring a plate of spaghetti with rice, beer, and big meals.  When everyone goes to the beach, it’s a whole day activity not just for a few hours.

Food can bring back a lot of great memories and this is why I wanted to share this recipe.  You can start making your own memories with your friends, family or anyone that you want to cook something different or special with.

Here is the recipe:


Fried Fish a la Dominican Style      


6 slices of fish (preferably the snapper)

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of Goya Adobo

2 cloves of mashed garlic

2 sliced lemons

Salt and pepper to taste

½ cup all-purpose flour



  1. Clean and wash the fish in cold water.  Drain and pat dry the fish with paper towel before seasoning with oregano, garlic paste, lemon juice, adobo and salt and pepper.  Marinate it for at least 20 minutes.  The longer you marinade the more flavor the fish will have in the end.
  2. Mix flour, cornstarch and add a pinch of salt.  Place the flour mixture in a large shallow dish.
  3. Coat each side of the fish with the flour, shake off any excess, and deep-fry until the fish is golden brown on both sides.
  4. Serve with lemon wedges and tostones (fried green plantains).


Buen provecho! aka Enjoy your meal!



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