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Hello all!

This month, Culture Kitchen featured Estefania, a chef from Ecuador who gave us a great walk-through on how to make Potato Stew with Chickpeas (Guiso de papa con garbanzo). Estefania has lived in Flagstaff for about a year now and is an active community member, especially at Liminal Cafe. Along with making delicious food, she also hosts several community events, including art therapy! For more information, feel free to follow her Instagram at @esvsarttherapy.

This recipe is not only super easy to make, but it is absolutely delicious as well! The ingredients are simple but the flavor is phenomenal. One of the key ingredients of this recipe is annatto seed, also known as achiote. This can easily be found in the Hispanic/Latin food section of your local grocery store. We hope you enjoy this recipe, and be sure to tune in for our next Culture Kitchen event in April!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

● 1 Large Potato

● 1 Can of Chickpeas (Garbanzo


● Annatto Seed (Achiote)

● 2 Cloves of Garlic

● 1 Tomato

● 1 Red Onion

● 1 Red Bell Pepper

● 1 Box of Vegetable Broth

● Olive Oil

● Salt

● Black Pepper

● Paprika


  1. Cut the potato into small cubes. Place into boiling water on medium heat. As you prepare the other ingredients, keep an eye on the potatoes. You want them to be cooked, but not fully cooked as they will be combined with the rest of the ingredients to finish cooking later on.

  2. Cut the tomato, red onion, bell pepper, and garlic into small cubes. This will be the basis of the refrito, which is the fried vegetable base of the stew.

  3. Grind up the annatto seed, using about 3 raw tablespoons. This can be done by hand with a mortar and pestle, or with a blender.

  4. Drain the chickpeas from the can and set aside.

  5. Heat up a large skillet on medium heat, adding about 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

  6. Once the skillet is hot, add the bell pepper, followed by the red onion, then tomato, and finally the garlic. By using the "hardiest" vegetable firsts, the vegetables are at less risk of overcooking. Stir the vegetables for a few minutes.

  7. Add the potatoes, chickpeas, and finely ground annatto seed to the pan.

  8. Add vegetable broth to the pan, ensuring that the amount of broth used does not fully submerge the ingredients, but barely covers them. This dish is more ingredient-heavy rather than broth-heavy.

  9. Season generously with salt, followed by black pepper and paprika to taste. Stir.

  10. Cover the skillet with a lid and let simmer for about 5-7 minutes. You will know the dish is ready when the broth has begun to reduce and the potatoes are now fully cooked.

  11. Enjoy! This dish is great to eat on its own, and can also be served with rice.

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Thanks to everyone who came out this past Sunday for our first ever Culture Kitchen event! We had such a great time making dumplings with everyone and connecting with our awesome guest chef Bella (pictured below). Bella is studying abroad from China at NAU and is majoring in Communication with a minor in English. In addition to showing us how to make these delicious dumplings, Bella also played guitar and sang a traditional Chinese new year folk song for us which you can watch here. Thanks Bella!

For those who missed the event, here is the ingredients list and recipe instructions to make the dumplings. Enjoy!

Base Ingredients:

Additional Ingredients Needed Based on Chosen Fillings:

  • Chinese Cabbage and Pork

  • Minced Pork

  • Chinese Cabbage

  • Mushroom and Pork

  • Minced Pork

  • Finely Chopped Mushrooms

  • Corn and Pork

  • Minced Pork

  • Corn

  • Vegetarian

  • You can pick any vegetables you would like, such as Corn, Mushrooms, or Carrots. For all ingredients, make sure to chop them into little pieces.


  1. Set your frozen dumpling wrappers out to thaw a few hours before starting recipe.

  2. Place scallions and ginger into a bowl with a few cups of boiling water. Set aside.

  3. Finely chop all vegetables into small pieces. If using Chinese cabbage, place the chopped cabbage into a bowl with some salt as to extract the excess moisture and set aside.

  4. If using mushrooms as a filling, place the mushrooms into boiling water for a few minutes before combining with other ingredients later on in the recipe after draining.

  5. For a vegetable dumpling filling, combine the vegetables together with 2 oil and 3 soy sauce. The amount needed of each of these ingredients depends on the amount of filling; for an amount like the one pictured below, you will need one tablespoon of each.

5. For the pork based fillings, break up the minced pork into a bowl to ensure it is in tiny pieces.

6. Add in 3 spoons of the scallion/ginger water, stirring in between each addition with either a pair of chopsticks (as shown below) or a spoon. If you would like, you can chop the ginger and scallion up and add this to the pork (or vegetable) filling.

7. For the pork filling, add in the soy sauce and oil by the spoonful as shown in Step 4's image for the vegetable filling. You can also add black pepper and oyster sauce if desired.

8. If using Chinese cabbage, squeeze the excess water from the salted cabbage that has been sitting aside. Combine the drained cabbage with the pork or vegetables.

9. For both vegetarian and pork fillings, combine an egg into the filling. This is the final step for filling assembly.

10. Boil a pot of water over medium heat. The size of your pot will determine how many of your dumplings you can cook at a time, as you do not want the dumplings to be crowded within the pot.

11. Filling the dumplings. No matter how you pleat the dumplings, follow three rules for an optimal result:

  • Make sure your seal them very well. Otherwise, the filling might leak during boiling.

  • Try to wrap an appropriate amount of filling, neither too much nor too little, and avoid having too much air trapped inside the wrapper.

  • Sprinkle flour over the surface where you’re placing the dumplings to prevent sticking.

For some tips and different folding styles, check out this video:

12. Add a small amount of salt to the boiling water.

13. Add your folded dumplings to the pot of boiling water. After adding your dumplings to the water, the water should cool down to the point where it stops boiling. If your water continues to boil after adding the dumplings, turn the heat down on the stove.

14. Once the water reaches a boil again, add in a small amount of cold water (about 1/2 a cup). Repeat this step two additional times. In total, you should be adding the cold water three separate times, waiting for the water to reach a boil again before adding in more water.

15. When the water reaches a boil a fourth time, remove the dumplings from the pot and place on a plate.

16. Your dumplings are ready to eat! Enjoy with some oyster sauce, soy sauce, or create your own sauce combination. Our chef, Bella, suggested this Black Vinegar, which is from her hometown in China:

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Updated: Jan 3, 2022

8 people standing in front of Culture Connection AZ's logo, smiling
Culture Connection AZ's first event was a Pop-Up to support local artists and artisans on May 8, 2021.

Over the past year I, along with our very dedicated board members, have been in the process of creating and defining a vision for Culture Connection AZ. To do this, I spent time volunteering at several nonprofit organizations in our community, listening to folks whose experiences are vastly different from my own, reading and watching stories written from unfamiliar perspectives, and reflecting on what it all means, as I watched our community move through an unprecedented time in our history.

Through these experiences I came to develop some core principles on which to build the foundation of Culture Connection AZ. I hope that sharing them will allow us to start off strong and make steady progress towards a more informed, compassionate, and interconnected community.

Collaboration, not competition

I believe that when a member of our community is successful, we all benefit. When a part of our community is uplifted, it ripples out and uplifts all of us. When a fellow nonprofit organization receives a donation or a grant, I will celebrate with them, knowing that it gets us all closer to our goal of creating a stronger community. I envision a space where we celebrate our colleagues’ (not competitors) successes with them. Another’s gain does not mean our loss.

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Abundance, not scarcity

I believe in giving freely of whatever you have in abundance. I have seen the toll that a scarcity mindset has taken on our community. The hoarding of resources has resulted in too many members of our community lacking what they need to get by, while a concentrated few have much more than they could ever use. I am dedicated to reaching both ends of this spectrum by creating opportunities and space for those who have much, to give back, and for those in need to find connection and opportunities.

If you would like to explore this idea further, I recommend Robin Wall Kimmerer’s wonderful essay The Serviceberry: An Economy of Abundance.

Recognition, not shame

I believe that shame is counterproductive to our mission, and should never be used as a tool to coerce, convince, or alienate those with a genuine desire to learn, understand and connect. I also believe that we have a responsibility to recognize ALL of our community’s history, including the good, the bad, and the ugly. I believe that this acknowledgement must take place if we are to communicate honestly, respectfully, and productively about the complicated issues facing our community. We cannot begin to understand and discuss these issues without first recognizing that we live in a society that historically has perpetuated a system of privilege for some members at the expense of others.

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