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.
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
Reading Donna Bell’s Bake Shop Cookbook inspires me to share my New York origin story – or more importantly how I met Darren Greenblatt – one of the writers and co-owners of the eponymous bakery. My older sister’s best friend went to FIT with Darren so he was one of the first people I met when I moved up here to go to school – not that I think I Read more
Film was my first love but it was never an easy relationship. Early prep days were always my favorite time, when you were crewing up and you could anticipate any and all problems – or not. No one ever sets out to make a less than perfect movie but there are so many elements that can get away from you that it can be a heartbreaking process. It’s lovely to see good work rewarded and I’m excited to see friends making movies being honored this weekend. What’s isn’t so great is not seeing it recognized, and it was equally disappointing to see so many frozen out this year. Read more
I can’t decide if this post is too early or too late for Mardi Gras. I’ve always associated bread pudding with Lent for some reason although there is nothing ascetic about pudding drowning in butter and bourbon. While friends’ feeds filled with street scenes from the parades, I spent Sunday morning, on what felt like the coldest day in Brooklyn, standing over an enormous of red beans with smoked sausage and filling an enormous pan with bread pudding. Read more
Winter may feel endless just now but the season for red pomelos is way too short. Only a few markets in my neighborhood carry them and I all but missed them last year. Sweeter than other varieties with a thick white pitch or albedo, pomelos are perfect for making dulce de toronja and I‘d been waiting all year for them to come back around. 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
For the past few weeks, I’ve been hopping around different countries for Devour. This recipe for sleeping meringues, however, is very close to home. I’d been trying to make my grandparents meringues which were air crisp on the outside and chewy on the inside when my friend Maria Budet shared her own grandmother’s recipe, providing the missing piece that had eluded me. Mystery solved, I added a few toasted almonds and drops of vanilla but am looking forward to many variations in the next year. Thank you all for reading and I hope you’re all enjoying a happy and peaceful Christmas morning!
This year I did a short series of Christmas posts for the Cooking Channel’s Devour on traditional holiday dishes served in Latin America. This meant spending a lot of time speaking with friends’ parents asking them just how they made that thing I had at their house that one time. One of my first calls was to my friend’s father Oscar Marin who generously gave me his recipe not only for the buñuelos Colombianos but the natilla con panela they serve with it. I’ve always loved joining friends for their novenas but it wasn’t until I spoke to Oscar that I realized how lit up Colombian Christmas can be. Jump here to read more. 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