BOCAteers Share the Foods of Their Cultures

By November 19, 2020#BOCALife

BOCA is a distributed workforce with employees scattered across the country, so even before the coronavirus pandemic, BOCA’s Culture Committee has always looked for ways to host virtual events to bring BOCA together. However, COVID-19 means that all events must be virtual for the time being. The most recent virtual event put on by the Culture Committee was a “Food of My Culture” Happy Hour where BOCAteers each brought their favorite recipe that celebrates their heritage or where they are from. The event was such a huge success that we wanted to share with you.

Wendy Brittain, HR Director

Aebleskiver is a Danish dessert that looks similar to doughnut holes but is much sweeter. 

Laura Groshans, Assistant Account Executive

Spanakopita, meaning “spinach pie,” is a Greek savory pastry, typically with spinach and feta cheese filling.

Another savory pie is Gibanica (or Serbian Cheese Pie), a traditional pastry dish popular all over the Balkans.

Gabby Iarrobino, Senior Digital Strategist

Pizzelles are traditional Italian waffle cookies that are served at Christmas, Easter and weddings.

Anthony Lam, Senior Account Executive

Checkout Anthony in this vlog trying out authentic Vietnamese food in San Francisco!

Sammy Totah, Senior Vice President B2B Practice Lead  

Knafeh is a traditional Middle Eastern dessert made with shredded filo pastry, or alternatively fine semolina dough, soaked in sweet, sugar-based syrup, and typically layered with cheese, or with other ingredients.

Diego Vasquez, Senior Content Strategist

At El Mazateno in Tijuana, Mexico Diego ate the best tacos of his life. They are called “camarones enchilados” and are a creamy, cheesy shrimp taco.

Jenn Zimmer, Account Director

Jenn brought her husband Zack’s grandmother’s pierogi recipe to share:

Dough Ingredients

  • 2 c. of flour
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ⅔ c. cold water

Filling Ingredients

  • 5 lbs. of potatoes 
  • Onions (chopped)
  • 1 lb. cottage cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine the flour, salt, egg and water. Mix all together to form dough; cover bowl and set aside.
  2. Peel potatoes and boil in water for 25 to 30 minutes until tender.
  3. Saute onions in butter until browned.
  4. Mix potatoes, onions and cottage cheese. 
  5. Roll dough out on a floured surface. Cut circles out of dough and place a spoonful of filling in the center of each circle and fold over, pinching edges together to seal. 
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; drop perogies in boiling water and cook for 4 to 5 minutes until they float. 
  7. Optional: Heat butter in skillet and fry perogies for crispy finish.

In addition, Jenn also brought her grandmother’s recipe for Steamed Cranberry Pudding.


  • 12 oz. cranberries
  • 2-⅔ c. flour 
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 c. dark molasses
  • 1 c. warm water

Sauce Ingredients

  • ½ c. butter
  • ½ c. half and half
  • 1 c. sugar
  • ½ tsp. vanilla


  1. Slice cranberries in half. Place in colander and rinse out the seeds.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Gradually mix in the dark molasses and warm water. Fold in the cranberries.
  3. Grease 9” round pan and pour the cranberry mixture into the pan.
  4. Use large stock pot (I use my canning pot) and place something in the bottom to elevate pan (you don’t want direct heat). Place pan on top and fill the pot with water (about halfway up the side of the pan). Cover.
  5. Bring water to a boil and steam for about 2-½ hours, checking water level periodically (every 30 minutes or so) and refilling as needed. 
  6. The pudding is done when you can stick a toothpick in the center and it comes out clean. 
  7. Allow pudding to cool. 
  8. Make butter sauce by melting butter in saucepan over low heat, stirring often. Stir in half and half and sugar, then add vanilla. 
  9. Pour warm butter sauce over sliced cranberry pudding.

Zenetta Zomalt, Assistant Account Executive

Zenetta shared her favorite recipe for habanero salsa!

Habanero Salsa 

  • 1 Habanero 
  • 4 roma tomatoes 
  • 2 jalapenños
  • Salt 
  • Lime juice (6-8 limes)
  • Cilantro (chopped)
  • ½ White onion (chopped)

Boil tomatoes and jalapenos for about 10-15 minutes. Add to blender or food processor along with habanero pepper and blend until smooth. Add salt, lime juice and chopped cilantro and onion. Finito! CAUTION: very spicy salsa. 



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