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Hot Dogs with Chicharron, Avocado, and Queso Fresco

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I can’t decide if this post is too late for mother’s day post or too early for father’s day. My mother was both for most of our lives, so it’s kind of perfect that it falls somewhere in between. The first comment people made when I told them I was moving to Miami was that my mother must be thrilled. I love telling people that her initial reaction was a momentary pause, a sigh, and to say – well, I’ll need my space. Full disclosure – she denies saying this but then she laughs because she knows it’s true. Read more

Hitting the Goblin Market

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While it’s not something typically associated with life in Miami, poetry – read, written, spoken – is very much part of the city’s DNA. Every April the O, Miami poetry festival makes it their goal that every person in Miami will encounter a poem at some point in the month. It might pop-up on a prescription bottle or out of a vending machine, go underwater at the Standard Hotel or float through the canals of Coral Gables, get written across a cocktail napkin or the sand, be spotted in a picket line or from the window seat of a Miami bound airplane. If this seems unlikely, bear in mind that kids here learn to recite José Martí along with their ABCs.
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Adiós a Todo Eso

Flamingo Sno-GlobeThe last time I posted, I was in the middle of packing up my Brooklyn apartment. For years, my heart and mind had been divided between Miami and New York. If you follow this site, then you know that home has been a preoccupation from my very first post. Faced with an expired lease in a neighborhood I felt increasingly alienated from, the heart won and the rest of me followed. I’d planned on relaunching my site as soon as I was settled in Miami but then unpacking always takes longer than you think it will. Read more

Merengón con Crema de Leche Redux

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Clearing things out is stressful but I’ve also found a lot of things to hold onto. In that spirit, I remembered a post I had written when I was asked for and heirloom recipe. I immediately thought of my mother’s merengón. Read more

Tiradito Nikkei

Tiradito NikkeiAs someone who loves ceviches and tiraditos in all their forms, I’ve wanted to post a raw fish recipe for awhile but have held back. I understand that sushi-grade fish is safe to eat but there’s something unnerving about preparing it yourself. I leave it to others to not cook it correctly for me and certainly didn’t feel comfortable telling anyone else how to go about it. When Gastón Acurio’s  Peru: The Cookbook came out, there were no excuses. Beautifully put together and encyclopedic, Peru is more self-contained than I’d expected but it’s surprising how personal each entry feels. I decided on the tiradito nikkei  – partly because of its attainable ingredient list and partly because it calls for completely fish that’s completely raw – no searing, no marinating. Finding the freshest possible fish was key so I went to my favorite fish store in the neighborhood and asked my friend Alex to show me how to get even slices. After cutting off a corner, he gave it for me to sample. Taken aback, I couldn’t say no. I bought a pound and brought it home and from there it couldn’t have been simpler. By the time you’ve prepped the ingredients, it’s pretty much just a quick assemblyand you’re done. As I paused to take a few pictures, I could see the citrus based sauce was cooking the edges of the fish and hurried up. I didn’t want it to interfere with the fish’s texture that – even on its own – was all ocean. Read more

Una Tormenta

Tormenta-Dark Rum MojitoSome words have no translation. It’s easy enough to approximate the meaning but the emotion is lost. That’s how I feel about the word tormenta.  It means nothing more than a storm, but tormenta is just a better word for it. It even sounds like the crack of lightning. Tormentas slice through canvases by El Greco to threaten saints and martyrs, storms menace weekend sailors and their dockside girlfriends in yacht rock classics. Storm clouds can be chased away, tormentas have to be waited out. I miss the rains I grew up with in Miami where the weather can go from a bright, blue sky day to an end-of-days downpour (or aguaceros) in a heartbeat. Read more

Catching up Spring to Summer

Spring IMG_0031It’s technically still spring, so I spent most of yesterday cleaning out my closet. Storage is always a problem in my apartment, so I’m pretty good at throwing things away a little at a time – or so I thought. I was putting something away, looked up at a stack of t-shirts, and realized I could easily give half of them away – then one stack led to another. A few months ago, my friend sent me an article from organizational consultant, Marie Kondo. Read more