Want more comida for your vida?
My weekly newsletter is full of exclusive recipes, special offers, and my favorite picks of the week.
Click HERE to sign up!
My sincerest hope is by the time you read this all our shit will be loaded into a semi trailer and out of our house. What will be left is the scrubbing of the bathtub and the wiping down of everything else. The truck will be pulling out of town tomorrow so whatever is not on there by now is getting left behind. What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever left in a move?
When Armando and I moved from Montana after grad school we left two mattresses in the back of someone’s pick-up truck and some horse hair in their cowboy boot. It’s the wild west out there man…and also we’re assholes.
It goes without saying that moving is exhausting. I wake up every morning feeling like I was a contender on America Ninja Warrior the night before but had done nothing nearly as glorious. Unless wrapping unopened soy sauce in foam and plastic wrap is similar.
I appreciate last week’s self when I remember I still have a couple of these creamy paletas in my freezer. A couple weeks back Meg from Beard + Bonnet shared her Vegan Mexican Chocolate Popsicles on the blog and her method of combining raw cashews with coconut milk was so easy and the results so creamy I had to try it with other flavors to see if it would work with something else. When Lola from Lola’s Cocina asked if I’d share a recipe for #paletaweek I knew exactly what I wanted to do.
Guava is a passionate flavor. It is sour like quince but when cooked down into a thick fruit paste the sugars are deepened and become bold. Guava takes well to creamy things. That’s why the combination of guava paste and cream cheese is so popular in Latin homes. Puff pastry + cream cheese + guava = heaven. You can buy guava paste at practically any grocery store next to where they sell other Mexican products. You can absolutely find it at a Latin grocery store, or buy it online.
Let’s not let our lack of retro popsicle molds come between us and creamy frozen dream pops. Popsicle molds don’t have to be from a fancy kitchen store, nor do they have to be specifically popsicle molds at all. These cute little molds I’ve had for so long that I’ve lost the sticks that came with them so I just tightly cover the top with plastic wrap and make slits just big enough for wooden sticks to fit through. You can do the same with small paper cups, little juice glasses, or whatever you have on hand (champagne flutes, perhaps?).
Paper cups are easy to get off, just tear away the sides and there you have it. With juice glasses you will need to run them under hot water for a few seconds until they start to loosen then twist and turn them until they come loose. Stick them back in the freezer for a 15 minutes to get hard again.
A pie popsicle would not be a pie popsicle without the exterior crunch of the “crust” component. A few graham cracker crumbs are like the icing on the cake, so to speak.
Don’t forget to check out all the paleta recipes over on Lola’s Cocina. My favorites have been Tamarind and Mango Paletas with Chile from HolaSus, Paletas de Fresa con Crema (Strawberries and Cream Pops) from The Other Side of the Tortilla, and Cochata Paletas (Coffee + Horchata) from Two Plus Luna but there are over 30 more on her Paleta Week Page.
One last thing: we are moving this week so it might be radio silence from me for a little while. I will be back (from my new California kitchen!!!!) in a few weeks, so stay tuned. I hope you all have an excellent 4th of July, stay safe, have fun and keep in touch on Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat (@holajalapeno). xoxo, Kate
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 12 Popsicles
I cannot take credit for the genius that is America’s favorite freezer pop poured over crushed ice. That one goes straight to The Professor.
It is important that I give him his due since I’m still waiting for him to admit that I was the real creator of this sculpture….. ahem.
Since he continues to Big Eyes me on that front I will woman-up and admit that last Saturday when we thought our freezer was broken and our Fla-Vor-Ice pops were still in liquid form and the kids were hot and sweaty and in the most cantankerous of moods, it was my husband that decided to crush some ice and pour the plastic pouches of sweet, colorful goodness over the top. (I don’t want him to become a Jehovah’s Witness and sue me in a Hawaiian court after I get rich and famous off of this snow cone revelation.)
We have this nice little Sunbeam Snow Cone machine that makes fluffy shaved ice but if you have a powerful blender or a food processor you could just as easily crush the ice in that too. If you don’t have any of the above just put the ice in a resealable plastic bag then put that in another larger resealable plastic bag and give it a few good whacks with a rolling pin until the ice is in tiny pieces. Then all you have to do is snip open the top and pour, my favorite combo is tropical punch and grape, Louisa goes for blue and red, whatever those flavors are…cherry and blue raspberry? I don’t think she really cares.
Don’t think too hard about this one. Be a kid, just this once.
The strata (an egg-heavy bread pudding) is my answer to make-ahead eggs. Not only can you make it in advance, you kinda sorta have to. The bread needs to sit overnight and soak up the egg and cream mixture. When you bake it the next day, it becomes puffy, golden, and crunchy on the outside with a warm custard-like interior.
For this particular strata I used sautéed poblano chiles—those large, mild green chiles that look a bit like an elf’s shoe. Dried poblano chiles are called anchos, but fresh they have a verdant flavor not all that different from a bell pepper but with a more complex smokiness to them. They are terrific stuffed, or in this case folded into eggs and baked.
Once you have this combination down, try riffing with your favorite flavors to give the recipe a new spin—spinach and queso fresco, perhaps? Maybe some cooked and crumbled bacon? The variations are infinite. You’ll be surprised how a few ingredients in a baking dish can make a spectacular brunch, and one that doesn’t interfere with sleeping in.
Oh, and don’t be a loser like me and forget to put the cheese on (twice!!) it really brings the whole dish together.
With Memorial Day behind us we are officially in summer territory, right? We can wear white now and all that stuff? If so, then it is most definitely limeade season.
Back when I was a kid my dad made my brother and I take tennis lessons from his friend Steve. Steve was a grown man—a friend of my father’s from high school—who still lived at home with his mom and may have been good at tennis—I honestly don’t remember, I just think my dad felt sorry for the guy.
Dad was always looking for things for my brother and I to do during the summer and hired Steve to teach us tennis. My brother was very good at tennis, an athletic sort of person, he was good at all sports. I, on the other hand, was not. I hated going to these stupid lessons, where I stood out there in the blazing sun, sweating, and swinging my racket, hoping the ball would miraculously make contact.
The silver lining to this whole scenario was that my grandmother, God love her, would always show up with a thermos full of ice cold limeade. I’d pathetically slump down on the park bench next to the tennis court, she’d hand me a glass of limeade and all was right with the world….well, kind of.
Grandma’s limeade was always made from concentrate—she was of the generation that firmly believed everything was better from a can—but making it from fresh squeezed limes is the bee’s knees. This being cherry season and all I can’t stop there, making a simple cherry syrup to sweeten up the tart limes makes an utterly refreshing combination, especially when you add some fizzy, bubbling, cold club soda.
I’m loving this cherry syrup because it seeps all the flavor out of the cherries without all the work. Forget the cherry pitter, spewing juice on you with every punch. You just combine the cherries, whole, pits and all, with the sugar and mash them with a potato masher over a low heat on the stove top. After the cherries are basically mush, you run the whole shebang through a sieve, pushing the sweet juice out and leaving all the pits behind.
I tell him cold beans are toothsome and filling on a hot day when you want something cool and are especially nice paired with crunchy bits of fennel or cucumber. He tells me no real Mexican would ever eat cold beans. And this is one of those really funny, awesome conversations you get to have when you’ve married outside your race.
While flying home from Dallas last week we were waiting in the security line trying to keep our three-year-old from running off and the baby from crying as the line snaked back-and-forth.
Children tend to give strangers the go ahead to strike up conversation so the older couple who had spent the last five minutes politely smiling at the baby finally got up the nerve to ask how old he was. “Five months.” I tell them. Referring to the baby’s pacifier the woman goes on to tell me in her southern drawl all about her two-year-old granddaughter and her pacifier addiction.
I make some small talk in an attempt to get the conversation to stop and am pretty sure it has come to an end when the husband asks me “So what country are you returning to?” “Did you come here to have your baby?”
Unsure what to make of this question seeing as I am very much a white person with no noticeable accent. I say “I’m from the United States, I am returning to North Dakota.” Unless he was referring to the country of Texas, I’m not sure where he would’ve conjured the notion that we had snuck into the United States five months ago to make my otherwise illegal-alien child ligit.
This is not completely out of the ordinary. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in conversation with my husband in public only to be asked by a stranger if he speaks English. Well, I suppose so seeing as that’s what we were just doing.
That’s just the joy of being Latino in America and as the wife of a Mexican man I get to be privy to such exquisite displays of stupidity. Occasions I otherwise would miss out on in my white world. It is one of the many benefits of being in a bi-racial marriage I get to experience racial profiling and my husband gets to eat cold beans.
The Professor decided at the spur of the moment to drive one of his sculpture to Bozeman, Montana instead of shipping it for an upcoming show. This meant not only would I have to find endless ways to maintain my sanity during the day, but also in the long evening hours which can turn into an eternity if it is cold and windy and raining. Granted he was only gone one night, which seems pretty pathetic on my part now that I’m writing this all down, but it felt like a month.
In the afternoon of the second day of his impromptu road trip he called to say he would be home in time for dinner—oh thank God! So I searched my pantry for inspiration. I spotted a bag of pistachios which I had bought a couple weeks before to make this rich, nutty pasta recipe I had found on chow.com.
I felt my mood lifting as I chopped and stirred. There are very few ingredients here, but the nuts are so toasty and bold that this dish is way more filling than you would ever expect. The professor arrived home just as I poured the pasta in the boiling water. That evening we decided to forgo our dining room table for the toddler-sized table in the kitchen. Sitting on an amalgam of tiny chairs and stools we tucked into our steaming bowls of pasta and found it’s not so hard to carry on after all.
Adapted from Chow
No matter the name, I love the idea of banana cookies and these are just what you’d expect, soft, sweet, and a slightly complex, plus dairy free!
Yield: 4 Dozen Cookies
A soft banana oatmeal cookie recipe with chocolate chips, hazelnuts, and vanilla. Dairy free!