Dalia Ceja

Dalia Ceja is a Latina in love with sharing lifestyle tips and trends focused on fashion, travel, food, drinks and fiestas.


Sweet and Savory Fried Plantains

Food & DrinkDaliaComment

Let’s talk about snack foods. I am definitely one of those people who likes to be munching on something tasty a few times a day. I typically like to go the “healthier” route and nom on carrot sticks and hummus but once in a while I crave something fried, something sweet and something salty. That’s where these puppies come into play. I first discovered my love for fried plantains during my backpacking trip to South America and became instantly addicted. There is also the spicy aji salsa, which adds a bit of acid, spice and creaminess to your palate.

Traditionally, fried plantains or {Tostones} are a favorite snack and side dish in Puerto Rico, Cuba and other Latin American countries. Tostones are salted and eaten much like potato chips or French fries but, in my opinion, are so much better. Trust me, you’ll get addicted! 


{For step-by-step cooking instructions check out my video below}

{Pics taken by my bro, Ariel Ceja. Orale!}

Sweet and Savory Fried Plantains dipped in a spicy Aji Salsa

Serves 4 people - Level Easy

Ingredients for fried plantains:

  • 3 large ripe plantains
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt/water mixture
  • Salt to taste after frying


Heat the oil to 375 degrees. While the oil is heating up, peel the green plantains and then cut them into 3/4 inch slices. Tip: Put the sliced plantains in a bowl of salt water for 5 minutes. This will make them crisp and golden brown when frying.

Fry the slices in the hot oil for 3 minutes. They should be a golden brown in color, crisp on the edges and semi-soft in the center. Remove the plantain slices with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Set aside.

Ingredients for aji salsa:

  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce
  • 3 jalapenos, fire roasted and deseeded
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 green onions, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • Juice from 2 limes
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Fire roast the 3 jalapeno chiles on a comal or griddle. Then, roughly chop the chiles, lettuce, garlic, cilantro & green onions. Add all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender. Blend for 3-4 minutes on a medium level. Lastly, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the tostones on a platter and put the aji dipping sauce in a little container.

Tip: Pair the scrumptious appetizer with Ceja wines and enjoy!

Spicy Mexican Cornbread

Food & DrinkDaliaComment
If you can't stand the heat, get out of my kitchen!

Let’s talk about Spicy Mexican {jalapeño} Cornbread. I’ve always been a huge fan of this baked delight and couldn’t resist recreating this super classic treat with a twist! Doesn’t it sound delicious, ultra-comforting and just plain sexy zesty? Well, it pretty much melts in your mouth with every bite. I love my cornbread to be subtly moist, sweet and with just a hint of spice and found that this recipe does the trick.

I’m pretty convinced that everything is better when it’s made in a cast iron pan, so if possible get yourself one of these babies and I promise you it will do wonders for your cornbread!

For a detailed look into this recipe watch the step-by-step cooking video here and get to know the Salud! Napa blog - more killer recipes & videos!


{Impeccably cool pics taken by my bro, Ariel Ceja - Órale!}

P.S. Dazzle your love this Valentine's Day with this fun and fiery recipe that will ignite the fire and have him/her fall head over heels in love {with you & your cooking even more!}.

Mexican Cornbread - Serves 6 Cook Time: 45 minutes   Level: Easy


  • 2 ears of corn or 2 cups of frozen and thawed (charred) corn
  • 1/2 stick cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 jalapenos, finely diced with some seeds
  • 1 1/4 cup cornmeal (preferably stone-ground, not coarse)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cup well-shaken buttermilk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup honey


*Special equipment: a 9 1/2- to 10-inch well-seasoned cast-iron skillet

Heat grill to medium high. Lightly brush corn with oil and grill turning every 3 minutes until charred and golden brown. Cut kernels off cobs then sauté kernels with chopped jalapenos for 3 minutes with a little bit of olive oil. Set aside. If using frozen corn, make sure corn is properly thawed before sautéing with jalapenos.

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 450°F. Add butter and oil to skillet and heat in oven until melted (typically 5 minutes), then carefully pour into a medium bowl.

Whisk together cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Whisk buttermilk, corn/jalapeno mixture and eggs into melted butter and honey, then stir into cornmeal mixture until well mixed. Pour into hot skillet and bake until a wooden pick or skewer inserted in center comes out clean, 18 to 22 minutes. Cool in skillet for 5 minutes then serve & enjoy!

Mussels in a Spicy Pinot Noir Broth

Food & DrinkDaliaComment

This time of year makes me crave hot, comfort food from my mom, Amelia. One of my favorite dishes is her spicy mussel Pinot Noir broth with longaniza {Mexican sausage}. It’s decadent, delicious and paired with a toasted sourdough baguette is simply to die for. Enjoying this dish on a cold winter night relaxing by the fire is my idea of heaven. Oh yes, and let’s not forget the glass {or bottle} of Pinot Noir to accompany the dish.

Recipe included below… Ole!

Mussels in a Spicy Pinot Noir Broth {From Amelia Morán Ceja’s Kitchen} Serves 12 people


  • 5 pounds mussels, well cleaned
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 red bell pepper coarsely chopped
  • 1 sweet Maya onion (or any sweet onion) thinly sliced
  • 2 leeks thinly sliced crosswise
  • 1 pound cleaned and sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 8 finely chopped garlic cloves
  • 8 tomatoes finely diced
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup coarsely chopped cilantro
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • ½ teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 5 dried California chiles
  • 5 dried Ancho chiles
  • 5 garlic cloves
  • ¼ teaspoon cloves
  • 4 quarts nonfat chicken broth
  • 1 cup Ceja Pinot Noir


Briefly toast the dried peppers on a skillet or hot pan. Be careful not burn them, because if this happens it makes the dish taste bitter. Place roasted chiles in a bowl with 2 cups chicken stock and let stand until softened. In a blender, liquefy with 5 garlic cloves and ¼ teaspoon cloves – set aside.

Add olive oil to a 10 quart pot, sauté the coarsely chopped red bell peppers, onion, leeks, mushrooms and chopped garlic for 5 minutes. Add the diced tomatoes, basil leaves and chopped cilantro and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Add the rest of the chicken broth, the red pepper sauce, the Pinot Noir wine, bay leaf and Mexican oregano and bring to a boil – simmer gently for 10 minutes. Add the well cleaned mussels, mix well and turn off the stove. All mussels will open, and if not, turn the burner on and cook for two more minutes. Lastly, enjoy with a glass of your favorite Pinot Noir!

p.s. I'm in NYC this weekend attending a friend's wedding. I can't wait to share my adventures with you next week! 

[typography font="Homemade Apple" size="22" size_format="px"]I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend![/typography]


Refreshing White Sangria

Fiestas, Food & DrinkDaliaComment

Summer is the perfect excuse to kick off your shoes and enjoy a refreshing glass of Sangria. Well, at least for me it is! Considering that I love both Sauvignon Blanc & Sangria I decided to combine the two and make the perfect summer cocktail. This cocktail is both energizing and festive, making me so excited for the summer season to begin. For details on how to make my recipe please check below!

Dalia's Refreshing White Sangria

Serves 6 people


  • 1 bottle of Sauvignon Blanc {Personal favorite: Ceja Vineyards}
  • 1/4 cup brandy
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 3 tablespoons of lime juice
  • 6 slices of oranges
  • ½ cup of sliced white peaches
  • ½ cup of sliced apples
  • ½ cup of blackberries
  • ½ cup of raspberries
  • 1 cup club soda or Sprite
  • Ice


Combine white wine, brandy, and sugar in a large pitcher, then stir in ice. Continue stirring until the sugar is dissolved, then add the lime, oranges, white peaches, apples, blackberries & raspberries. Lastly, stir in the club soda. Add ice as you need and enjoy sipping this refreshing beverage on a warm summer afternoon. Ole!