Stamppot

Two weeks behind; I’m getting there!

This was the beginning of Dutch week. To be honest, I’ve never had an interest in the food from the Netherlands but we do have a friend who is Dutch and I did this for him. Hi Bob! Bob and his wife, Nicole, currently live in South Carolina but we met them a few years ago through mutual friends when they lived here in Austin. Through the years they have become some of our favorite people and I always look forward to seeing them when they come down to Texas. They usually make a couple of trips a year, one earlier in the year and then another later in the year. They came down during the summer but I had already booked the Netherlands for the winter so I told them I’d cook for them when they came back down. And that was the plan.

Well, then Nicole went and got herself a lucrative contract with a gallery in New Orleans and now they can’t travel as much. Way to go, Nicole! Of course I’m kidding, it was/is an amazing opportunity for Nicole and we are so very proud and happy for her! My friend is famous! If you’d like to check her out (and you really should!) please visit her website or The French Art Network, with whom she works. Saying Nicole is talented is an understatement and I’m constantly in awe of her work. I bow down at her abilities. I am not worthy!

But I am worthy of this meal! Stamppot was a suggestion made by Bob, who said that unfortunately the Dutch aren’t known for their food. We had other friends live in Amsterdam for a bit and they agreed, their favorite food to eat while living there was actually Indonesian. Well I had already done Indonesia so “boring” Dutch food it was.

This was far from boring! It’s really easy to make because all you do is boil and them mash veggies. A child could make this. Well, a child with a good handle of cutlery because you do have to chop up a lot of veggies beforehand. The cool thing about stamppot is that it’s very versatile. From what I gather, you just need to have a couple of root vegetables and a green and you’re good to go. I used potato, sweet potato, turnip, carrot, leek, and cabbage. Bob made a kale stamppot a few days later that look amazing so I will definitely try it kale next time. The recipe called for rookworst, which is a Dutch sausage, but I couldn’t find it so I used kielbasa. Bob suggested smoking it next time to get a richer flavor and to also use a sausage made by Salt Lick, a local barbecue place.

I ate multiple servings of this and I was stuffed afterwards. The girls did eat this as well. The four year old picked at the stamppot but really enjoyed the sausage; the baby stuffed her mouth with both. James also liked it but said it was heavy. It was but that didn’t stop me! I ate it for lunch the next day, and the day after that, and was sad when it was gone. I had planned on incorporating it into our Thanksgiving dinner but I forgot about it until later. Whoops! This would be perfect for the cold weather weare (finally!) experiencing here in Austin so I’ll probably be making this again soon. I’ll just have to make sure I go for an extended run beforehand so I don’t go into a carb coma.

Recipe

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Arroz con Pollo

This is the third time I’ve made arroz con pollo. The first was during Costa Rican week and then during Cuban week. This is also the second time I’ve used those sentences. I am anything if not original.

This week’s arroz con pollo recipe is Colombian. I chose Colombia because one of my favorite people on the entire planet is Colombian. Hola Caro! I’ve known Caro for eight years and we met when we were both working at a property in south Austin. I was pretty sure she hated me when we first started working together but then I learned that unlike me, she takes a while to warm up to people. I’m one of those annoying people who thinks every person they meet is going to be their new best friend because who wouldn’t want to be best friends? Best friends are great! Caro, like normal humans, gets to know people to feel them out and figure out if they’re worth being let in. I will literally tell you my whole life story within ten minutes of meeting you if you ask. Sometimes I do it without even being asked.

Once she warmed up to me, which took all of a month because I’m persistent in my friend making, we became very close friends. Since then we have spent many nights drinking wine and scotch (cause we’re fancy), having M.I.A dance parties, been in each other’s weddings, and have watched each other grow into women (which is probably the best part). Our oldest daughters are three weeks apart and this November she’ll have another daughter, whom I’m still hoping she’ll name after me. The currently named Baby Eelan will be a Scorpio, just like me, and will also be born in the year of the Monkey, just like me. She’s due at the end of November and I’m not typically keen about sharing a birthday with other people but I’m making an exception for Eelan and am hoping she will come early and be born on the the second.

Even though I’ve never been to Colombia, I feel a connection to it through Caro. I had hoped to do Colombian week when she and her family were visiting a few weeks ago but they were so busy doing so much in their short time here that I didn’t bother. Up until then, Caro and her family were living in Vietnam, where she and husband were teaching ESL. They came back to the States for a month before moving to Qatar, where they will be for the next two years while her husband teaches. I was really hoping they would stay this time but the world calls and they must answer. Until then, we’ll just have to survive through FB and WhatsApp phone calls, one of which we have today. I’ve been looking forward to it all week!

So this week is dedicated to you, my CaroLINDA.

And because this week’s decision comes from a place full of love and respect, it hurts me to say this recipe did not do it for me. It wasn’t that it was bad but the meat was kinda dry. Okay, the meat was very dry. I had to boil chicken breast and make a stock, which I was hoping would help make the breast juicy, but it did not. The rice part was great and I liked the addition of the green beans but that meat was so dry! I will try to make this again though because I think I can trick the girls into eating veggies this way. The four year old did pull out every single piece of green, including peas, beans, bell pepper, and cilantro, but she did eat the rest. The baby gobbled it up but that wasn’t a surprise. Maybe next time I’ll add more broth to the mixture when mixing the chicken in with the rice and there will be a next time.

Even though this didn’t work out, I’m hopeful for the rest of the week. And maybe Caro will give me some insight into what I did wrong but I have a feeling she’ll say what I did wrong was cook with chicken. She doesn’t eat anything with feathers because, actually I don’t know why she doesn’t eat birds. I’ll have to ask today.

Recipe

 

Daeji Kalbi, Gamja Saelleodeu, and Pajeon

This will be a short post and not because I didn’t love this meal but I’m a little grumpy right now. I went out for my afternoon run and I tripped and fell because the sidewalks in our neighborhood are atrocious. I was almost done with my run anyway and took it as a sign that the universe was telling me to go home BUT that’s not the point. Or points. There are two points.

1. Get it together City of Austin! Sidewalk repairs are the city’s business and if this is how they work, maybe they should just close up shop and put up an “Out of business” sign on their door because they are clearly not doing their job. Talking to neighbors it seems that the sidewalk repair department (I don’t know the real name but that’s what I’m calling it) is made up of five employees. FIVE people for all of Austin. Sidewalk repair department: I’m a stay at home mom and have a few free hours a week. Employ me. I’m pretty sure I can figure out how to pour concrete. Our property taxes went up by 10% this year and our limited district is proposing another increase in fees but for what? So people can trip and fall on their sidewalks or so people can have their strollers almost tip over (with children in the stroller!) every time they hit one of the cracked or the uneven spots?

2. Four cars passed me and not a single person slowed down and asked if I was okay. I fell in a school zone, they were already going 20 mph, would it have killed them to stop?! I mean, I just have a scraped knee and was less than half a mile from home but they didn’t know that! This is what people mean when they refer the Californication of Austin, no one cares about their neighbors anymore.

Rant over.

Maybe the memory of this meal will put me in a better mood. The ribs were super yum and not as spicy as they should have been, probably because I only used half a cup of gochujang instead of the full cup the recipe called for. The pajeon (scallion pancakes) were also delicious is not a little burned. I blame it on my cousin Robert. He was our dinner guest and I was too busy talking to him to pay attention to the pancakes. The gamja saelleodeu (potato salad) was hea-ven-ly! Not even joking. I consider myself a potato salad connoiseur and this was probably the best potato salad I’ve ever had. The apples, carrots, and corn added some crunch and just the right amount of sweetness to balance out the bitterness of the mayo. I loved it so much that it will now be my go to potato salad recipe. It changed my life, y’all.

Okay, talking about the potato salad lowered my blood pressure but I’m still shaking my fist at you, City of Austin.

Spicy Cold Buckwheat Noodles, Spicy-Sweet Shredded Squid, and Soy and Sesame Spinach

This week we are eating food from Korea. I love Korean food. I say that with having only eaten beef bulgogi, bibimbap, kimchi, and japchae BUT I love everything I’ve eaten. My cousin’s wife is from South Korea and every time she posts their meals on FB, I’m left drooling and wondering if moving back to Uvalde would be worth it just to be able to eat dinner with them on a weekly basis. Fyi, it wouldn’t be. Based on what Sujin has posted and the few meals I’ve eaten, I knew we had to do Korean food for this project. James and I were giddy about it all weekend.

Koreatown: a Cookbook came out earlier this year and I’ve had my eye on it since. It got on my radar when Food 52 named it one of the best cookbooks to come out this year and honestly, the cover is what got me. I totally judge books by their covers, literally. I don’t do it with people so I at least have one redeeming quality. But yes, the cover of the book is very simple yet appealing. Look at it! Very basic black, no crazy font or a chef holding a bowl of rice, it really lets the food speak for itself. I loves it. And I mean it, I really love this cookbook. It’s the first book during this entire project where I’ve sat and read through the entire thing. Well, not the entire thing, there were some interviews that bored me, but I’ve read most of it. The tone is very conversational and it doesn’t treat cooking or food as something precious. There’s no pretension about it, they are making food that you like to eat because it’s good. Not because it’s trendy or has some hard to find ingredient, it’s just good food. I cannot recommend this enough.

Which is why I won’t be sharing the recipes. I really want people to check this book out. It’s not terribly expensive, $30 at Barnes and Noble, and I think it’s a great book to have if you like cooking and like eating. If you are really not into buying it, check out the preview on Google Books. I’m not saying you can Google the names of the recipes and they come up on Google Books. I’m not saying that at all.

This meal was kinda just thrown together. I ran out of time this week and didn’t plan my meals but I did earmark all the recipes I wanted to makein the book. I was running short on time Tuesday because I spent so much time grocery shopping so I just went through the book, found three recipes that didn’t require marination or a two hour fermentation, and made them. I’ll be doing the same today because, ugh, you don’t care why. So yeah, these meals were pretty quick. Most of the work was in the prep. I had to chop a good amount of veggies so I’ve decided my next tool purchase will be a mandolin slicer. I also forgot to set the rice cooker to the “Quick Cook” option when making the rice so it took a little longer than usual to get our rice. If I use the “White Rice” setting, it takes over an hour to make two cups of rice. Hello rice cooker? I need rice now! Haha, I need it rice now! Lame joke.

The buckwheat noodles were good but they did remind me a lot of the Indonesian Gado Gado in terms of fresh veggies. Although instead of a delicious peanut sauce, we ate a molten lava based chilie sauce. Gochujang does not mess around! The spinach was fine as well but it wasn’t anything special. The belle of the ball was the squid. Oh man, I loved that squid so much! I didn’t know what to expect with dried squid because I’ve never had squid except in bento boxes. It’s very chewy and I can’t say it’s my favorite. I don’t like it when my jaw hurts from chewing so hard. The scent from stir frying it wasn’t all that appealing either; my kitchen smelled very fishy and at one point James walked in and said “Oh, wow, um, that’s strong…” and walked out. When it was finally time to eat, I took a deep breath and shoved some squid in my mouth.

The burning. So.much.burning. I know I’ve mentioned it before but I’m not a fan of spicy food. It’s not that I don’t like the flavor or that the heat bothers me that much, I just physically can’t take it. “You just said the heat doesn’t bother you” It doesn’t hurt me but it does numb my mouth. Seriously, anything hotter than a banana pepper and my tongue and lips go numb so I’m not able to enjoy the full flavor of the food. I recently looked into this and apparently it doesn’t happen to everyone so that explains why some people can eat a ghost pepper and continue eating while I eat a quarter of a jalapeno and have to chug warm water just so I can taste the rest of my meal. Also, if you are eating spicy food, drink warm water, not cold. Warm water lifts the oils off your tongue while cold water sets them in. Science!

The squid was delicious! It was spicy and sweet and so, so chewy! But it didn’t make my jaw sore! The only way I can describe it is that it’s like the small nuggets of batter in General Tso’s chicken. You know what I’m talking about. The itty bitty pieces of batter that always get thrown in with the rest of the chicken and are crunchy yet chewy? That’s what this squid was like. And I can’t wait to make more of it. I’m not joking when I say this will be a snack staple from here on out. It took all of fifteen minutes to make and it was amazing. You need this squid in your life.

And if you’re wondering, the girls ate sandwiches. I was not in the mood to hear about how spicy everything was.

I can’t wait for the rest of the week!

Ceebu Jen

When we decided on doing Senegalese food, I don’t think either one of us knew what to expect. I have little to zero knowledge of Senegal; James probably knows more because he’s an encyclopedia. I really hope the girls inherit his thirst for knowledge…Anyway, the only thing I did expect was to eat fish since it borders the Atlantic Ocean.

I think I’ve mentioned this before but seafood always makes me nervous. I grew up in southwest Texas and the seafood we ate was mostly catfish and shrimp from the gulf. I’m sure we ate more because my dad loved fishing but all I remember is catfish and shrimp. Catfish is not good. I mean, it’s not bad, but there are few people who would choose catfish when presented with fish options. And there’s only one way to make catfish: fried. You know why? Cause you have to fry all the crap out of it, literally. Shrimp is a little more versatile and I love me some scrimps so I will not say anything bad about shrimp. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried many different kinds of fish but deep down, I’m still that little kid from Uvalde, grossing out over another catfish fish fry. I lived in Austin for almost six years before I ate my first fish taco for crying out loud!

Fish can be gross.

I really hoped that would not be the case with this meal. Ceebu Jen is considered the national dish of Senegal but just because the Senegalese like it, didn’t mean I would. I am seriously a fountain of positive thinking. Constantly shooting out positive energy into the universe.

I had nothing to worry about. This was one of my favorite meals in a looooong time and as the picture shows, the baby liked it a lot as well. I had barely put the plate down when she started scooping out food. And she didn’t stop. It already called for plenty of veggies so the only thing I added was red bell peppers. It reminded me of paella, which it basically is. My rice burned a bit because I forgot about it but it didn’t affect it too much. I never cook rice on the stove top, I use a rice cooker, so when I do, I almost always forget about it. I loved the texture of the cabbage, eggplant, and squash; everything was just so chewy.

We had a good amount of leftovers because the oldest refused to eat it so I had the pleasure of eating it for an additional two days. Let me tell you, it.held.up. I’m a weirdo who likes to eat leftovers cold (I’ve actually analyzed this habit and it’s way too complex to get into) and it was really delicious even cold.

So this is completely unrelated but it’s a pretty big day for us. Four years ago today, our oldest came into our lives. She is now THE four year old and not the ALMOST four year old. She is quite possibly the most stubborn child I have ever met and as a parent, it drives me crazy because sometimes (always) I don’t need to be told why she can’t or doesn’t want to do something, I just need her to do it. I know this will work for her benefit someday and that’s why I’m as patient as I am, which is not very. But her strong opinions have helped me as a person and with this project because as she makes it very clear, I am not the best at everything and not all the food I make is awesome. She keeps me humble and grounded and for that, I am appreciative.

Happy birthday you difficult, wonderful little girl!

Recipe

Carbonnade Flamande

This dish was one that was recommended to me by various people who have visited Belgium. There was a lot of praise and many said it was their favorite thing to eat in Belgium. So I obviously had to try it.

There are many variations of this dish and it was hard to find a true “Belgian” version and I think that has to do with Belgian cuisine being so heavily influenced by neighboring France, Germany, and the Netherlands. After looking at many, I just chose one that was the easiest. Don’t know if that’s being true to the dish but it made my Wednesday night a lot easier.

It’s very similar to beef bourguignon and the Nourished Kitchen‘s Braised Short Ribs with Sun Dried Tomatoes and Herbs*, both of which I’ve made before. The biggest difference is that both those dishes are made with red wine while carbonnade is made with beer. Actually, that’s the only difference. Well, beef bourguignon doesn’t use any pork and also includes onions and mushrooms but you get the point. Seeing as how I’ve made these before, I felt pretty confident with making this meal as well because I have, just with wine. Confidence is very important in the kitchen.

My confidence paid off because this was an extremely satisfying dinner! I did forget to make frites but this was more than enough food for us. I feel like it could have used a bit more tomato puree and I don’t say that because it affected the flavor but because all the pictures I saw of this dish were significantly redder than mine. I couldn’t find anything that told me whether I should marinate in the fridge or at room temperature so I did overnight in the fridge and then let it sit out in a covered dish in the kitchen for about six hours. I don’t know if that made a difference but just want to throw that out there.

The oldest was not interested in it at all. I can’t remember her reasoning but I’m pretty sure it was not logical. The baby, my beautiful, healthy, somewhat gluttonous baby, had two servings. That’s right, she ate hers and her sister’s. And it wasn’t that she was hungry, she had already eaten a lot that day, she just really liked the meal. I’m telling you, this kid and I are going to take a food tour of Europe someday and the oldest will be at home, eating McDonald’s.

So I now have three versions of this dish that I can make and that’s good. It’s nice to be able to change things up every once in a while. And it’s also nice to have options when you’re missing certain ingredients for one meal. Which, of course, never happens to me because I always have a fully stocked pantry and refrigerator and never forget to buy anything at the store. Never.

*If you are not familiar with Nourished Kitchen, I cannot stress enough how much you are missing out! She focuses on using real food and preparing them using traditional methods like fermentation and soaking and souring grains. The Beef Braised Ribs can be found in her cookbook and before starting this project, I used it all.the.time. I have yet to have a bad meal from her recipes and I cannot recommend it enough!

Recipe

Chicken Waterzooi

About ten years ago I bought a book titled 501 Must Read Books. Reading all 501 books is on my bucket list; I’ve read about 30 so I have a ways to go. Anyway, at some point I was browsing for books at Goodwill. This was before the bedbug epidemic and before all the transplants from bedbug infested cities moved to Austin and brought their creepy crawlies with them and you could buy secondhand books without worrying about bringing them into your home. Ruining secondhand book purchases for Austinites is something that is often forgotten when we complain about how transplants have ruined this city but honestly, I think it’s far more important than what they’ve done to traffic. Think of the books!

Back to my story. I was at Goodwill. One book I came across was Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald. I remember feeling it looked familiar and the story on the jacket was interesting (“the story of a man’s search for the answer to his life’s central riddle”) so I bought it for a whopping $1. I got home and put it with all the other books I hadn’t yet gotten around to reading and forgot about it. A bit later, when updating my reading list in the 501 book, I saw that Austerlitz was on the list. The “Woah!” and “Wow!” feelings were full blown kismet. I was meant to read this book!

I started reading the book last week and I’m on page thirteen. What does this have to do with this blog? Well, the first thirteen pages are set in Belgium and reading those thirteen pages inspired me to do Belgian food this week. So here we are. It’s all connected.

Also, before I move on, those first two paragraphs would not have been possible had I been reading an ebook. Physical books have more stories than just what’s written on the pages and let’s try to remember that. No doubt, there’s a place for ebooks, but they will never replace the real thing.

Last night I made Chicken Waterzooi. Traditionally it’s made with fish but I wasn’t in a fish mode so I chose the chicken option. Also, it’s traditionally eaten during the winter because it’s a hot, creamy soup. Hot, creamy soup and I made it in Texas summer. All glorious 95 degree Texas summer with 1000% humidity. It was not the smartest decision but it was a DELICIOUS one. It was very rich, probably due to the large amount of chicken broth and egg yolk, but the veggies made it lighter. The use of leeks, celery, and onions (some of the lightest vegetables you can eat) really helped offset the creaminess. I think it would have been a different story had I used a starch like potatoes so I’m grateful for the lightness.

The oldest didn’t eat it. Her exact words were “Mommy’s soup is yucky!” but oh well, more for us! The baby loved it because she’s an amazing child who appreciates what her mother does for her. And also she likes to eat but in order to shame the oldest one into submission, I’m focusing on the love the baby has for me.

I really am the best mother around.

Recipe

 

 

Gado Gado

Last night was the start of Indonesian week for us. Irish, Jamaican, and American week had their fair share of fried foods so we wanted get some roughage in us and give our arteries a break from being clogged.

So I made fried tofu and potatoes. I mean, if you’re going to eat fried food, it should be fried tofu, right? That makes it a little better, doesn’t it? No, no it doesn’t. So it goes.

We originally wanted to do Balinese food but when searching for recipes, I kept encountering Indonesian food. This left me perplexed. Does Bali not have their own food? Why is their food classified under a neighboring country? Why can’t Bali be great????

Bali’s food is classified as Indonesian because Bali is a province of Indonesia. Yeah. We thought Bali was its own country…so not only am I learning about food, I’m also learning about geography. The lessons abound in this project! Just this morning I was telling the almost four year old that she should strive to learn something new everyday. We’re having issues with her wanting to read books at night because she’d much rather watch My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Friendship IS magic but so is reading! I tried to explain that by watching tv, her brain is turning to mush and reducing her ability to learn because she isn’t taking the time to observe or analyze things. She then said “Momma, the light is red.” I should really listen to myself sometimes. I’m going to take my own advice and make an earnest attempt to learn something new every day; yesterday was that Bali and Indonesia are NOT two different countries. I haven’t learned anything new today.

Moving on.

From my extensive research, a.k.a I read two articles, Gado Gado is one of the most popular meals in Indonesia. It’s a veggie salad, plain and simple, however, the peanut sauce is what makes it exceptional. Everything I read, all two articles, mentioned how the key to a great Gado Gado was the peanut sauce. I did everything the recipe said in making the sauce but mine came out a little chunky and I say this just based on the pics I saw online. I don’t think it made a huge difference, it just meant that the sauce didn’t spread as easily across the whole plate.

I had to blanch the vegetables and James was curious as to the purpose of doing it. I don’t have a lot of experience with blanching so I told him that I thought it was to cook the veggies and retain their natural, crisp texture. This wasn’t entirely accurate. According to el interwebs, blanching is used to preserve the nutrients and color in veggies before freezing them. It also helps when stir frying veggies. If you blanch denser veggies, like broccoli, you can then add them to the stir fry with less dense veggies and they will all cook at the same time. This is actually something I’ve encountered when stir frying carrots; I never know how to get them to cook evenly with the other vegetables.

There’s my lesson for the day!

The salad was delightful and I had multiple servings. James took leftovers for lunch and I think would be a great lunch to prepare ahead for the week. My shrimp chips burned a little so it changed the whole flavor of them. I wasn’t a fan of that. I’ll do better next time and there definitely will be a next time!

Recipe

Panes Rellenos

This week we are eating food from El Salvador. I don’t know much about El Salvador and what I do know isn’t very positive so, moving along…

In my Banh Mi post, I mentioned that the one person I could tolerate in my office was El Salvadorean. Kecia, in case you’re reading this, this was obviously before you started working with us. Once you started, I had two people I could tolerate. Her name was Nora and she was amazing! She was my age (yay!), had a dog like me (double yay!), and was Hispanic like me (ALL THE YAYS!). I really looked forward to the days we worked together and even though she later told me I annoyed her when we first met (I do that to people) we are still friends to this day.

Which is why I texted her when I decided to make El Salvadorean food this week. I searched online but couldn’t find a website that had a variety of recipes, which is what I prefer, and I also couldn’t find a really good list of foods. Everything I found said to eat pupusas and tamales. Um, I’m pretty sure the people in El Salvador eat more than pupusas and tamales, although if they don’t, I won’t judge them. Pupusas and tamales are the best!

Nora gave me a pretty good list and mentioned that her favorite was Panes Rellenos, literally stuffed breads. When I read the name of the dish, a very bloated, stuffed Melissa came to mind. It just sounded like it was going to be very heavy and would leave me incapacitated for a bit. I obviously couldn’t wait to make it.

I found the recipe on Food.com. Making the sandwich itself wasn’t very hard, it basically consisted of chopping veggies and meat and then boiling them. The hardest, most time consuming part was making the Relajo, the sauce that is poured over the sandwich. Roasting spices, boiling veggies, blending veggies, blending the spices, and then boiling everything together; man, my kitchen was a disaster. The recipe for the Relajo called for sesame seeds but I was out so I used poppy seeds. Because of this, my Relajo had a brown tint to it, when it should have been more red. My kitchen was a disaster but it smelled heavenly! The first part of preparing the chicken called for boiling it with cilantro, garlic, and chicken bouillon. I need that scent as an air freshener. Seriously, I’m going to look into it making some of these scents into air fresheners because I know many a homesick Latinos who would be down for that.

When I was putting the sandwiches together, I worried that I didn’t have any sides but I didn’t need to, it was MORE than enough food. It had everything *cue Stefan voice* protein, vegetables, bread, a really tasty, tangy sauce that made you want to grab a funnel and have your significant other pour it directly into your mouth while singing Ave Maria. Too far? Yeah, I do that sometimes…It was so.good. I wanted seconds but I knew I would regret making another sandwich so I just ate some extra chicken with the veggies and sauce. I gave the girls plain chicken sandwiches but the baby kept taking the relajo soaked green beans off both mine and James’ plates. I was worried they would be too spicy but she couldn’t stop eating them. The oldest one said they were green, therefore they were yuck.

Panes Rellenos made my Top Ten Favorite Meals so far. Yeah, it was THAT good.

P.S Nora, Kecia, I’m so glad we met and became friends. Y’all made those nine months in Houstons tolerable! Let’s get together again someday and drink to the memory of that horrible, disgusting, boss of ours (I refuse to say her name).

Olla de Carne

Olla de Carne translates to “pot of meat” but I feel like there wasn’t a lot of actual meat in this recipe. The recipe called for two pounds of beef and roughly four and a half pounds of vegetables. It reminded me of Caldo de Res, which is Mexican beef stew, but with more root veggies.

This was by far the easiest meal I’ve prepared so far. It was also one of the most boring.

costarica.com. I’m pretty sure that’s legit.

Maybe I should have thrown in some cilantro…

Recipe