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Catching Up and Getting it Right in December

After 364 days of playing catch-up, there is still a list of things I’d like to accomplish before 2011 escapes me. Though I won’t give up until the last grape is eaten tomorrow at midnight, at this point, I may have to consider, the somewhat likely possiblity, that there’s a chance, that I might not get it all in. Maybe. If that does happen, at least I’ll have a brand new year with a whole extra day to get it right.

Not to knock 2011, but it was a difficult year for many of us. As challenging as these economic times are for individuals just getting by, it can be devastating to non-profits that depend on all of us to have just a little extra to give. With the end of the tax year fast approaching, I thought it was a good time to highlight some of the organizations whose work has inspired me in the past for those who don’t want to wait till next year to get it right, or at the very least, need one more tax deduction… Read more


Waiting It Out

Waiting out the rest of the year, the last week of December feels something like the end of a great night. The pressures of bringing together family and friends are over and you have a few extra days before the New Year to make plans, go to stores or avoid them, see friends, see movies, or just drift a little. After hosting my first complete Noche Buena this year, I was ready to drift. There was little food left but tons of chocolate – in the drawers, in the cabinets, on my mind. I decided to do something. Read more

It’s a Wonderful Life

Or at least it can be. Have a wonderful Christmas!

Mantecados de Ánis

Polvorones, the Spanish shortbread cookies have been my favorite for the holidays. Just flour, sugar and sometimes almonds, they’re perfect as gifts – simple but flavorful they go with everything. I was working on this spiced almond version for the Cooking Channel’s All Star Holiday Cookie Recipes  post when I started thinking of mantecados. Though they’re some times used interchangeably with polvorones, mantecados should be made with lard – something I’d been avoiding despite the assurances of Michael Pollan, the Lee Bros., and legions of Cuban grandmothers. For frying it made sense, but for baked goods I associated it with heavier and denser cookies and pastries. Read more

Hungry at the Beach

This is my third and final post about Jamaica (at least until my next visit). I’m happily staying close to home for Christmas but with everyone else in transit, I thought it would be good time to linger in the Caribbean awhile longer and pick up where I left off… Read more

Turning Three

I almost didn’t make a cake to celebrate Hungry Sofia’s third birthday, but then at times it felt like I might not make make it here period.  There have been a million distractions pulling me away from the kitchen the last couple of months. Inspiration is not hard to find if your writing a food blog – we all have to eat and I’m always coming across a new shop, book or market – but actually getting to the kitchen and working something out is harder, much less writing about it. I’ll get it just right in my mind then draw a complete blank when I’m actually sitting down and ready to do something about it. Sometimes I feel like a three year old, getting so over simulated she tires herself out at her own party and ends up face down, party hat askew, face covered in fosting. Read more

Catching Up in November

If you’ve followed me the last couple of weeks than you probably understand why its taken me till December to catch up to November. Together with the Thanksgiving/Christmas onslaught and some remodeling I’ve been doing on my site, I’m starting to feel like a snow-globe post-shake, unsure of how it’s all going to settle. Now that I’ve moved my site into a new space, I look forward to decorating, so there will be more changes to come. Sadly because I miss it, I haven’t spent too much time in the kitchen recently.  Jamaica was so inspiring that I’ve taken a few posts (with one more to go) to unpack it all. After one incredible trip to the Caribbean, I was back in NYC just a day then up in the air again and on my way to the Dominican Republic – so there will be a few more travel posts to follow. Read more