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.
Every January 6th, on El Día de los Reyes, Santa Claus and reindeers are traded in for wise men and camels. Celebrated throughout Spain and Latin America, kids leave shoes out along with grass and water for the camels in exchange for presents the Reyes Magos will leave behind. Growing up, it was one of my favorite holidays because it meant having at least one more gift to open. This year I forgot to leave my shoes out last night and if the camels came looking for straw they were disappointed but I still wanted to post my favorite recipe for Rosca de Reyes. Read more
Some 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
Now that I’ve talked about the Tabasco, I wanted to get back to the food and more importantly the people, because both were pretty great. Waking up that first morning at the Marsh House, I opened the door and followed a cloud of bacon upstairs to large family style dining room just off the kitchen where Stanley Dry, Louisiana chef and food writer, was making breakfast. Aside from the bacon that woke me up, there was chicory coffee, eggs, boudin sausage, fig preserves spiced with fennel and bay leaves, fried pies filled with persimmon jam or peaches sweetened with Avery Island honey, pain perdu dripping Steen’s cane syrup and trees dripping in Spanish moss on view from every window. That was how we started every day and it couldn’t have been lovelier. Read more
A few weeks ago, I decided to make Cannelle et Vanille‘s Aran Goyaga’s Swiss Chard, Pear and Gruyère Tart from her new cookbook, Small Plates and Sweet Treats. I’m not sure how to describe this beautifully photographed book except to say that it glows. It actually glows. Read more
In case you missed it, I posted this recipe for alfajor de coco on Devour the Blog and wanted to share it here. Normally, having something this sweet on hand is dangerous – sneaking slivers on every trip to through the kitchen until it’s gone sooner than I’d like (or would ever admit to). In this case, the tart just got better with each passing hour so I had extra motivation to keep walking until I could properly indulge.
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
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
I was very excited to see my post up on the Cooking Channel‘s Devour the Blog yesterday. I’ll be contributing regularly over the next few months and hope you will make the jump with me. It was my first visit, so I gave a lot of thought about what to bring before deciding on a pastelón de platano maduro. It had been awhile since I’d made one and I was dying to update one of my favorites, especially since I’d discovered recao and ajicitos tucked in between the parsley and peppers at the grocery store. Once it was baked, photographed and eaten, my mind went to the plantain recipes I hadn’t tried. I’d made tostones on the fly, mariquitas when I was feeling restless, and tortilla de platanos maduros just because. With a bowl full of plantains that were just past ripe, it was time for dessert. Read more
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