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Verdolagas con Costillas de Puerco

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I think my relationship with New York is steady enough that I can admit we’d recently hit a rough patch.  I’d spent so much time away last year that it felt like I was living consecutive winters. It wore me down and I took it out on the city that had become all work. Now that we’re having this beautiful summer, every day comes closer to New York’s song-and-dance ideal and I’m in love again. I even gave in and bought a new bicycle -albeit one that is technically older than I am – a copper colored Schwinn Suburban step-through with an honeywood basket. It’s heavy, impractical and my favorite thing in the world right now. Read more

Valdirose, Lastra a Signa, Tuscany

IMG_1266It’s hard to believe now, but I still remember going to friends and family’s homes to see “the vacation pictures”. Magnified on what to me was the big screen, it was one of those things people moaned about (when it wasn’t their own slides in the carousel) but I always loved it – both the scale and the ritual. I hadn’t thought about how obsolete that had become until I came back from a family trip to Italy. Between instagram and facebook, everyone comments on what you’re doing and seeing in real time so there’s not much left to tell and every repeated story feels smaller somehow. Still it’s impossible to travel through Italy without thoughts of futures posts running through my head.  Rather than go through it all in one go, I’ve decided to take it city by city and share some favorites places and the recipes that came from them – starting where we did in Florence.

IMG_1249Preparing for the trip, I’d gone through my typical pre-flight checklist which ranges from the entirely doable (download Lonely Planet guide to ipad) to the highly unlikely (learn Italian). The week before coincided with last looks on my manuscript so I tried a more balanced approach -checking bookmarked links and noting a handful of things I absolutely wanted to see and more importantly – eat.  Read more

The Cuban Table

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I always had a hard time dropping my pencil and turning in my work as a little girl and it’s not much different now. It has been almost two years since I first posted about The Cuban Table, my collaboration with food photographer Ellen Silverman, but I could have happily kept tweaking and polishing it forever. Luckily it wasn’t up to me which is why I have this lovely cover to share, an actual ink and paper bound book on its way, and an official release date from St. Martin’s Press to look forward to this October! Read more

Chimichurri

ChimichurriI’ve never been one for meat and potatoes. I rarely go for the steak frites on frenchified Smith Street and I’m as interested in the sides as the slabs of beef served at steakhouses. While I believe hamburger cravings should always be heeded because absolutely nothing else will satisfy, my own burger attacks are few and far between. Still there are exceptions when I really do love red meat: 1) when my mother who is a genius with a Costco steak and open flame grills for us at home (post to come later) and 2) Argentinian-style churrasco drizzled with chimichurri sauce. Read more

Cúrate on TLK

photographer Christopher ShanePhotographer Christopher Shane

It’s one of the challenges of starting a blog that you hope it will lead you to other things then those other things keep leading you away from your blog.  Last month, a perfect storm of deadlines and travel kept me from posting as often as I would like.  Rather than come back empty handed again, I’d like to have a little more to show for my long absences.  I met chef Katie Button at this year’s SOBEWFF and I was so happy to interview her for The Latin Kitchen.  I knew she had a great back story – neuroscientist, sorcerer’s apprentice at el bulli, travel through Spain where she met her boyfriend then husband then business partner – but what really captured my imagination was her description of Asheville, NC.  It’s where she and her family have set down roots and opened their glowingly reviewed tapas bar Cúrate and prohibition style Nightbell and I can only think of it as Brooklyn in the mountains.  Also, I love this picture of the cherry blossoms that canopy over the restaurant’s front door.

 

 

Capitolios

IMG_0754Some posts take longer to write.  That’s how it was with these capitolios – vanilla cupcakes topped with meringue, dipped in chocolate, and shaped like Havana’s Capitol building (hence the name). Our parents used to buy them for my sister and I and for years she’d been asking me to make them.  Since her birthday falls in May, she always plans something outside and this year she chose a spot under the Brooklyn Bridge and next to Jane’s Carousel for a picnic.  I had no idea what to bring when she reminded me that I’d never gotten around to the capitolios.  Read more

Yerba Mate Soda

Yerba Mate Soda 1I keep coming across lists of things I’m not supposed to like.  If I do – which is often the case – then I’m from Florida/Brooklyn, varying degrees or white/latino/other, basic or a hipster.  The hipster lists really sting because they’re typically include favorite food trends  – but then who doesn’t love bacon, green juice is good for you, and mason jars are very practical.  I was considering making my own yerba mate-flavored soda when I saw homemade soda listed as a repeat offender and felt very much caught in the act. Read more

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