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Catching Up in July

During the summer, it’s easy to drift into your own world enjoying long days and longer weekends, but there was an intensity to this July that didn’t allow for easy disconnect. There was tragic and terrifying news , too soon goodbyes, and on a personal note – friends facing unthinkable and unexpected challenges. On the other extreme, I got to spend last Sunday at City Hall with two other friends who’d just won the literal lottery, allowing them to make it official after 27 years on the first day that it was legal to do so in New York City. Swinging between high anxiety, deep sympathy, and pure excitement, I couldn’t say the news has been all good or all bad but the past few weeks, I’ve been constantly reminded just how fragile it all is, or maybe it was the heat making everything tremble. Read more

Summer Favorite

I had planned on a new post but plans were hard to hold onto this weekend – temperatures soared, ovens broke, and friends got married. So in lieu of a new post, I decided to let life be life and repost one of my favorites from last summer.

But Is It Cuban?
Looking back at my summer posts, I noticed a lot of limes on the side or off in the corner – standing by to restore the balance to anything too heavy, too rich, or just too fried.  With Labor Day coming up, it’s was only right to bring them front and center in a key lime pie.  I thought it would be a departure from my Latin American desserts when I came across a few references to the Cuban pastel de limón.  Made with juice from limones criollos – also known as key limes – and condensed milk, the custard is topped with meringue, and poured into a cookie crust made from galleticas Maria.  Could the key lime pie be Cuban?  According to Maria Josefa Lluria de O’Higgins, a version of the pie was brought to the Florida Keys in the late 1860′s with Cuban settlers during our war for independence.  Other alleged sources include self-made Florida millionaires, their cooks and local fisherman.  While I can’t pretend to be impartial, I will say this – creole limes, condensed milk, meringue – it certainly sound like us. Read more

Grilled Corn and Quinoa Salad

The last couple of weeks I’ve been indulging in early Saturday market runs. Loaded down with corn, currants, peaches and herbs, I head home with my haul, spread it out then have a moment of what now. As inspring as the weekend farmer’s market can be, sometimes the summer goes to my head and I overbuy (or just haven’t found a gooseberry recipe to love). That’s partly why I was so happy to make this grilled corn and quinoa salad, the first recipe I’ve tried from Lourdes Castro’s new book,  Latin Grilling. Read more

Guayaba y Limón

When it’s warm, I miss the cold and when it’s cold I miss the warmth, though I miss my Snoopy sno-cone machine more than both combined. This weekend I tired out different granizado recipes for a Devour post armed with little more than a metal pan and a fork. I never get the results I want from my ice maker and there are worse places to spend a boiling New York summer day than half in the freezer. Loading up on guava, passion fruit, and mango pulp from a nearby market, I headed home and started mixing. Read more

Fourth of July


Hope your fireworks are worth waiting for – Happy Fourth of July!

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