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Archive for December, 2010

Catching Up in December

I briefly considered skipping my catching up post for December.  The new year came on to quickly after the chaos of the blizzard and it had been a relatively quiet online month before that.  Still, counting out the grapes for this year’s countdown, I realized I couldn’t end the year on an incomplete.  Though I normally pull together stories and links from other sites, when I unexpectedly received my wordpress report card reviewing my year online, I thought it would be a good opportunity to catch up on my own.  So in lieu of the twelve grapes I’ll be throwing back at midnight to welcome in 2011, here’s a quick catch-up list of the most popular posts from each month (with a few of my favorites mixed in) of the past year. Read more

Yuca Frita con Salsa a la Huancaína

I am grounded. So completely grounded.  Scheduled to return to New York just after Christmas, my flight was canceled because of the blizzard and I’m still in Miami.  Desperate to get back in the sno-globe, I spent hours refreshing the Continental Airlines app to check flights and badgering Ask Alex – the virtual “expert” on their site – with questions.  Only getting back canned answers and unhelpful links, she’s become my sworn enemy. Still, there are worse (and colder) places to be stranded and I don’t mind having more time with Christmas leftovers. A couple of weeks ago, I made salsa a la huancaína over yuca frita.  With piles of yuca left over from Nochebuena dinner, I thought it would be a good time to post the recipe (now that I suddenly have all the time in the world). Read more

Merry Christmas

Hope this Christmas brings you something new to try!

Down to the Wire

This is a last minute post about last minute shopping.  Pressed for time and more importantly money, it’s tempting to play it safe.  Buy something you know they want, a gift certificate to a store they love, or the safest of all – not picking an item or even a store – just a pre-paid tab anywhere Master Card, Visa  or American Express is accepted.  All are good options and if any of them is waiting for me under a tree – thank you, I love it!  But if you’ve waited but still want to find something bigger than an envelope and smaller than a bread box (or an actual bread box), I scouted out a few stores in my neighborhood that have never failed me.  With little time to spare, I want to know that I can still find something thoughtful, unique, or beautiful whenever possible.  Here are just a few stores where I found all three.  If you can’t make it Smith Street before Christmas, they’re definitely worth a visit soon if only to use those handy gift cards. Read more

Hungry Birthday

This weekend marks Hungry Sofia’s second birthday.  In that first post, I talked about wanting to eat my Christmas tree (still do) and mentioned a bûche de noël but included no recipes or pictures.  Two years later and closing in 300 posts, I thought it was time for the bûche to have its closeup.  With friends coming over once again before going there separate ways for the holidays, I had the perfect excuse to make my site a birthday cake. Read more

Favorites in 2010

While my kitchen shelves groan audibly every time they see the familiar Amazon swoosh coming at them, I don’t feel equipped to offer a best cookbooks of the year list.  I couldn’t begin to cover all the great books that made my wish list this year.  Rather than coming up with one more “best of” selection, I decided to write up a quick list of my favorite releases covering Latin American and Spanish cuisine instead.  I thought this would be the only thing they have in common but as jotted them down, a theme emerged – classically trained chefs who are passionate about their region offering traditional recipes with modern innovations – contemporary baroque.  It was a good year. Read more

Turrón de Chocolate y Almendras

There are few things I look forward to at Christmas that I couldn’t have any time of the year.  Unlike childhood where they withhold the holiday to the very end, of the very last month, until you just can’t take it anymore, as an adult you can fly to snow, buy your own presents, mix your own nog.  Turrón, however is one thing that, while I could technically indulge in year around, I only ever have at Christmas.  A specialty item in May, it’s stacked sky high in every possible flavor by November and the challenge is to remember everyone’s favorite before they sell out and you’re left to choose from three kinds of coconut and a mashed up box of sugar-free Alicante. Read more

Tortilla de Papas y Chorizo

I love the holidays but so much joy can be exhausting.  The things I normally love doing – seeing friends, decking the halls, shopping, traveling – become stressful when done for 31+ consecutive days.  I miss my kitchen and get in a panic about getting home too early to sleep and too late to cook.  Faced with the prospect of nighttime pop tarts (organic maybe but still) and cold bowls of cereal, I opted for tortilla de papas instead. Read more

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