Cinnamon Custard Cake {Latiya}


Cinnamon Custard Cake, or Latiya (pronounced "la-tee-ja"), is a delicate dessert among the islanders of Guam. Angel food cake, sponge cake, yellow cake, or pound cake can be used as the base. Our family prefers to make it with pound cake. 

My mom & dad…when they were young…
It's funny how a picture can say a thousand words. Just glancing at one can bring out the tiniest bit of emotion that you never knew existed. My parents are the ones who take up occupancy in the picture on the right. I assume it was taken before I came into this world, hence their smiling faces :)  As a child, I used to stare at this picture for hours, wondering what they were thinking as they looked into the lens of the camera. Looking at this picture as a middle-aged adult who is no longer a child, I see a couple who is about to embark on the greatest journey of their lives together as a military family.

They met on the tiny island of Guam, where both of them are from. Dad was in the U.S. Marines when they married. They relocated to the United States shortly after their wedding and a couple of years later, my father transferred over to the U.S. Army, where he retired as a First Sergeant. 

Throughout all our travels, my mother would always cook and bake dishes from her native island.  It wasn't unusual for her to spend half the day in the kitchen, cooking up our favorite Chamorran (the name that describes everything Guam related) dishes for breakfast, lunch, dinner or *just cause.*  I think it was her way of chasing away the homesickness.  

When I moved out on my own in my early 20's, I made sure that I took copies of the recipes to some of her signature dishes that I grew to love.

Latiya is one of them :) 

This dessert is famous among the people of Guam. I LOVE it because it's like comfort food for me. Who can resist angel food cake/sponge cake with a tasty, creamy custard on top and cinnamon sprinkles to round it out?? 

It's great to make if you are having a barbecue or have been invited to a special event because it makes quite a lot.

All the credit goes to my mom when it comes to this recipe.  She is the one who introduced this dish to us and in turn, I am introducing it to all of you ;)

Cinnamon Custard Cake {Latiya}
 (serves 8-10)

1 stick butter
2 (12 oz.) cans of Evaporated Milk
2 cans of water, poured into both emptied cans of the evaporated milk
1 and 1/4 cup sugar
12 tbsp. or 3/4 cup of cornstarch
1 bottle of Ground Cinnamon
Store bought or homemade angel food cake and/or sponge cake and/or pound cake


1.  Cut the cake into squares and place them on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan. 

2.  Melt butter in a pot and add milk. Add one of the cans of water. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat to medium.

3.  In a separate bowl, add the cornstarch and the second can of water. Mix thoroughly.

4.  Add the cornstarch mixture to the milk mixture and stir constantly. Add the sugar while stirring.

5.  Let this boil for 5 minutes or until thickened. It may take a while to thicken, but it will :)

6.  Pour over the cake.  Place in the fridge to chill for a few hours or over night.

7.  Sprinkle with enough cinnamon to decorate and serve.  

Recipe Source: My mama ;)

Mother's Day Recipes {From Our Family}


Mother's Day is coming up soon!

I thought it would be an awesome idea to introduce everyone to all the mothers in my life and their awesome recipes.  After all, the best recipes really do come from mommies don't they?

First up…is the head matriarch herself, my mother ;)
(in the pictures: my dad, my mom, and my two children)

Most of the recipes on this blog are either hers or have been inspired by her.  She's such an awesome woman. I have looked up to her all my life. Her strength amazes me and will continue to amaze me forever. She spent 20 years as an Army wife and has beaten breast cancer twice! I'm known as the "hope" in her life and she claims that it was because of this, that she was able to kick breast cancer in the butt. I think it's the other way around though ;) She literally is the hope in my life :)

Start out Mother's Day by making these breakfast recipes straight from her recipe collection:

Next up is my step mother-in-law ;)
(in the pictures; my step mom-in-law, my father-in-law, me, and 
my two children)

I always tell people that if you want to experience the deep south, come with us to visit my in-laws :) Their roots are embedded in the steep traditions of the south…to include food and everything related to it. 

My step mom-in-law can seriously cook! From authentic gumbo to crawfish boils to ambrosia, she can do it all! I enjoy our visits with each other because we both take on different roles in the kitchen, with her being the culinary instructor and myself being the student. I've been known to sit at her bar with a pen and paper, watching her like a hawk as I contently write down everything she makes. I also have been known to raid her cookbook collection on occasion. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have ordered a few of them for myself ;) Like my mom, some of the recipes on the blog are from her as well.

For Mother's Day lunch, try some of her recipes:

Lastly, are my sister and sister-in-law ;)
(in the pictures; my sister-in-law and her daughter…my sister and her 
three children)

My sister and sister-in-law are two people who I hold dear to my heart. They are both Army wives and like my mother, their strength knows no bounds. My sister has been through three deployments to date and has moved to more then four different duty stations while she's been a military spouse. My sister-in-law, even though she is just starting out as a military wife, will be following in her footsteps soon. When I hear people say, "military spouses are so strong." I always turn to them and reply with, "you should meet my sister and sister-in-law." These two women are who I think about when I hear the words 'military spouse.'

To round out Mother's Day, make these two recipes for dessert…..
My sister's hubby's recipe for Cherry Bread and my sis-in-law's recipe for Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Blondies

You can bet I will be sending flowers to each and every one of these
ladies in my life next week…because they deserve it ;)

from our hearts to yours….
Happy Mother's Day!!!

Cinco de Mayo Recipe Collection


Cinco de Mayo is in a few days!  
In honor of this special day in history, I thought it would be nice to post some of our family's favorite Mexican and Spanish dishes. We will be celebrating the day by making one of these easy-to-make recipes.  We hope these dishes will find a special place in your kitchens this year!

**Note: I am always coming across new recipes in this culinary genre, so please keep checking back for updates and new recipes!**

Have a very wonderful Cinco de Mayo!!!

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