Every Christmas, my mama makes tamales. It’s just kind of an expected thing, and I never thought twice about it, until recent years.
My mom is now 71 years old. I have no idea how that happened – she’s still just my young, amazing, strong mama.
But 71 is not 31. And making tamales isn’t an easy task. This year, she did it by herself – dozens and dozens of tamales; pounds and pounds of masa and pork cooked with red chile; bags and bags of corn husks.
And as always, they are AMAZING. And somehow, this year they are even better than usual – the masa is fluffy, the chile is at the perfect heat, the flavors are perfection. And my tiny little mama toiled all day and made these amazing delicacies for us, her greedy little (big) kids.
J and I brought home a freezer bag full, and we have been very, very slowly defrosting and eating them. It’s a once-a-year thing; it takes so much effort; it’s so full of love. I’ll be really, really sad when the last of them are gone.
I totally missed posting about the new year. At the last minute, we decided to stay home, make dinner, and see if we could peep some fireworks from our balcony.
We had no groceries. So we raided our pantry and fridge and came up with what turned out to be a fantastic dinner.
I whipped up an artichoke-and-kale dip, and now I think we have to make this for every event. I just stirred together chopped, canned artichoke hearts, frozen kale, mayo, the last bit of sour cream, and seasonings, then topped it with Parmesan and baked until it was hot and lovely.
Then we rolled out some fresh pasta together and made cacio e pepe (one of our favorite things). The dough was a little finnicky – I used regular all-purpose flour and definitely didn’t knead it enough (I was hungry!). I’ve been watching/obsessing over Pasta Grannies lately, though, and now I’m stocked with Tipo 00 flour and am ready to spend some time kneading my dough.
J shook up some daiquiris with Plantation Pineapple, and we were all set! It turns out that our little balcony currently has the perfect vantage point to see alllll the legal and illegal firework shows in east Austin. The horizon was completely filled with fireworks – it was pretty amazing.
So – happy belated New Year! I hope 2020 is treating you well.
Welp, that was a crazy start to 2020. Somehow January seems like it’s been 87 months long, full of stress and travel and surprises – and it’s only January 18! Such is life.
I thought I should post a bit about Vixen’s Wedding, since we are there so often that the bartenders know our drink orders when we walk in. 😀
Interestingly, the drink photo I have is not of our usual drinks. Don’t get me wrong, this one is lovely, but I always opt for the Goan Places (white rum, lime, pineapple, coconut water), and J always gets a Last Word (surprise).
This spot has become our go-to hangout. Whether we stop in for some cheese pao or samosas before heading home, or we opt for a full (amazing) Goan-inspired dinner, we’re always happy.
Even better, there are super comfy couches on the patio, and some nights, we manage to arrive just in time for there to be a fantastic jazz band playing across the street at Whisler’s. And so we sit on the patio, drink amazing cocktails, listen to tunes, and bask in Austin loveliness.
And the food! The ceviche with crunchies (up top) is insane – but our favorite is the mussels with potatoes and chorizo, with a side of the turmeric sourdough for dipping.
The staff is awesome, the food and drinks are amazing, the ambience is lovely. We are SO happy to have this place downstairs. 🙂
One time, I saw a gorgeous photo of a dish on Tumblr or Pinterest or Instagram or some other place (I have since found the photo on 101 Cookbooks, of course – one of my favorite blogs), and I didn’t have any info about it – it just looked delicious. So I decided to try to make something that looked similar, and it turned out to be one of our favorite recipes of all time.
I started making it when we were getting weekly bins from Farmhouse Delivery, and every summer, that meant loads of fresh field peas. Having never cooked field peas before, I was looking for any recipe that might work; and then I remembered this photo.
So I created this recipe, which I will now share with you, in hopes that you will cook it for your family and have a delicious and wonderful meal.
Field Peas in Parmesan Broth with Angel Hair and Kale
1/2 medium yellow onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced 4 small red potatoes, diced Olive oil 6 cups vegetable or chicken broth 1 cup (ish) field peas, frozen or fresh Salt and black pepper 1 small bit of parmesan rind (or 1/2 cup grated parmesan) 2 head of Tuscan kale, chopped (or any other greens you like) Fresh parsley, minced 1 lemon 4 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta
Garnishes Fresh parsley, minced Olive oil Grated parmesan Cracked black pepper Crème fraîche or sour cream
In a stockpot, cook onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent. Add potato and sauté a minute or two. Add broth, peas, salt/ pepper, parmesan rind (if using) and semi-cover; cook 40 – 50 minutes, until peas are almost tender. Add broth as needed. Add kale/ greens and cook until tender. Add juice of 1 lemon, parsley and grated parmesan, if using; cook a bit more.
Meanwhile, cook angel hair in salted water. Drain and toss with olive oil.
To serve, add angel hair to a shallow bowl, top with beans/ broth. Sprinkle with parsley and more parmesan, drizzle with olive oil, and top with a bit of crème fraîche.
Makes 4 servings. (We often only boil 2 oz of angel hair for the 2 of us, then eat the leftover field pea mixture however we’d like the next day.)