family recipes: tamales

one of our longest-standing holiday traditions is for the whole family to get together to make a big batch of tamales for christmas. in fact, i can’t even imagine a christmas without warm tamales on the table. the process for making them can be pretty labor intensive, so i’m sharing an abbreviated version for the latest post in my family recipe series. you can make the masa from scratch, but i usually just buy it already prepared from the local panaderia. and when it comes to fillings, there really are no rules. i’m sharing this classic vegetarian version because it’s simple and tasty, but the options are limitless. you could try adding potatoes, pumpkin, corn, or carrots. and when it comes to meat, i usually prepare a pork filling with a red chile sauce.

chile and cheese tamales yields about 6 dozen

corn husks soaked in water until soft
15 lbs masa preparada
2 lbs jack cheese cut into strips
roasted anaheim chiles with the skin, stem, and seeds removed
green chile sauce (you can make your own or simply buy a canned variety from the grocery store from brands like herdez or hatch)

the best way to do this is to convince a few friends or family members to join in, then gather all of the prepared ingredients in a little assembly line! with a butter knife or thin spatula, you’re going to spread a thin, even layer of masa across the smooth side of the corn husk about 1/4″ thick, leaving a couple of inches on one end. this is kind of hard to describe with just words, so i have added plenty of photos to illustrate what this looks like. then, add your filling. in this case, we place the stick of cheese inside the chile, then top it off with a spoonful of green chile sauce. then wrap it up like a little burrito, folding up the bottom end to seal it. this is not the only way to wrap tamales, but this is the way we do it in our family. some people cut strips of corn husks and use them to tie off one or both ends. it’s really up to you.  from there, place the tamale upright in a steamer pot. once you’ve filled the pot, put them on a low boil to steam for about 1.5 hours. you’ll know they’re ready when the masa becomes slightly firm to the touch.




Tags:

2

wherever i wander

Over the weekend, I decided to take advantage of the unseasonably warm California winter weather by borrowing my dad’s vintage Alfa Romeo for a little spin. I should preface this by saying that I don’t have a ton of leisure time because when I’m not busy with Adam during the week, I’m cramming in as much work as possible into the weekends. My Saturday mornings are most often spent tethered to my computer for hours on end, editing photos, writing blog posts, answering emails, and working on freelance gigs. I count myself as lucky because I’m able to do what I love, but I certainly wouldn’t mind a little more fresh air once in a while. So of course, when HP & Intel asked if I’d like try out the new HP Stream 8 Tablet with Intel Inside®, I saw it as the perfect opportunity to get out of the house and into the world again.

I have to admit that before now, I hadn’t gotten on the tablet bandwagon before. Call me old-fashioned, but I usually get all of my work done on a regular desktop computer. So I might have been a little more excited than the average person to discover all of the features you can get on these things. HP Stream is a new kind of tablet with Intel Inside®, and one of the more intriguing features is that all of the HP Stream products include a free 4G data plan for life. They also include Office 365 (Excel, Word, PowerPoint, OneNote, and Access) along with 1TB of free cloud storage for one year. Did I mention that the tablets run on the Windows operating system? They essentially operate like a mini desktop computer with Intel Inside® for lightning fast performance. Clearly I am behind on the times because I did not know that mobile technology had come this far.

Needless to say, I’ve been having a lot of fun zipping around town in my dad’s car, toting around my tablet and setting up my own little workspace wherever I wander. I’ve been going off on vintage shopping excursions, scouting new photo shoot locations, and just getting out of the house and getting inspired. I’m still working, but now I’m free to work from my happy place.



This post was written in collaboration with HP & Intel. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that make this blog possible!

2

making memories

over the weekend, we made the first of our annual trips to the christmas tree farm as a family. which was really just a glorified trip to the petting zoo. adam doesn’t care about christmas trees or presents, and he’s absolutely terrified of the man in a santa costume, but he can not get enough of the petting zoo.

i know he’s too young to remember these moments, but i certainly won’t forget them any time soon. and it’s really got me thinking about all of the family traditions we will get to create together over the years. oh man, parenthood has turned me into a big ol’ sappy mess! insert happy crying emoji here.

adam is wearing the most adorable cat shirt that we received as a gift from electric collective, a handmade cycling cap from niko’s naptime, sweater by neige , and osh kosh jeans.



Tags:

1

outfit: easy does it

hard to believe that we’re fast approaching winter and that christmas is less than two weeks away. this time of year always seems to speed up and pass me by before i even know what hit me! i don’t feel anywhere near prepared for christmas day, and i’m just barely keeping up with my normal responsibilities. but isn’t that the way it goes? this year has definitely been a lesson in efficiency for me. i’ve had to learn how to get ready in the morning with a fussy little baby who would much rather be held in my arms than watching me attempt to swipe some blush on my cheeks or mascara on my lashes. i’ve had to learn how to do virtually everything with a baby propped on my hip. and i certainly don’t have the luxury of staring wistfully into my closet, trying to think of what to wear every morning. my closet, much like the rest of my life, has been arranged into a foolproof arsenal of essential goods to help me get through the day. shirt dresses? check! easy jacket? check! flats and low heels? they’re all lined up in coordinating colors! and this is one of those outfits. it’s a trusty standby that gets me through the day feeling good. the primary function is to keep me comfortably clothed while taking care of a baby and going about my daily business, but it’s got just enough style that i feel pulled together and ready to embrace the day.

wearing:
vintage raw silk shirt dress
vintage denim jacket
asos wool fedora
rachel comey mars boots
clare v. messenger
the runwell watch courtesy of shinola



9

family recipes: mexican hot chocolate

i’m kinda cheating with this latest post in my family recipe series because even though we grew up drinking mexican hot chocolate, we never actually made it from scratch. our real “recipe” would normally consist of buying up a box of abuelita from the grocery store, chopping up a few cubes, and whisking it into some warm milk in a saucepan. there’s absolutely nothing wrong with doing just that, but over the weekend, my sister and i decided to try out our own “healthy” rendition of this childhood favorite.

“healthy” mexican hot chocolate

2 cups milk or milk-alternative of your choice
2 – 3 tablespoons raw cacao powder*
2 – 3 tablespoons maple syrup or agave
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of sea salt

simply pour all of the ingredients into a saucepan on medium heat and whisk until warm! for this recipe, i really like using an almond/coconut milk blend, but if you wanted something really rich and creamy, then go for whole milk. we also tried adding various other spices beyond just cinnamon, but found that if you start adding things like nutmeg and cloves, it really starts to taste more like pumpkin spice. that’s not necessarily a bad thing, but after tinkering with the recipe quite a bit, i personally prefer to keep it simple.

*a note about the cacao: we tried this with unsweetened bakers cocoa and it just did not taste like the mexican hot chocolate we grew up drinking. i think that using real, raw cacao powder (or nibs that have been ground to a powder in a food processor) is the most important element of this recipe. it’s what will give you that strong, slightly bitter flavor that is associated with the drink.

oh, and i think i may have cancelled out the healthy part of this recipe but adding a big dollop of homemade whipped cream. you gotta live a little, right?

Tags:

5

mayflower supply co. fall 2014

MAY_15_2048x2048

she’s done it again! liz hull, of brooklyn-based vintage shop mayflower supply co. has just released her fall/winter 2014 collection, and it’s perfect. her inspiration?

“woody allen’s leading ladies in the 70′s like meryl streep in kramer vs kramer with effortless and oh-so-perfect long breezy hair and rosy cheeks, and diane keaton in annie hall wearing loose, oversized layers strolling around manhattan.”

the team? none other than my favorite new york leading ladies including annie strole doing makeup, photographer hannah metz, and modeling/styling by emily theobald of golly magazine. and in addition to the selection of vintage goods you see here, they’ve also introduced a selection of hand knit hats by none other than good night, day. it really doesn’t get much better than this, folks. so head on over to the shop before all of this glorious vintage sells out!










Tags:

4

family affairs holiday treat no. 12!

every year, nina of family affairs celebrates the holidays with a series of treats! and today i’m excited to announce that i’ve partnered up with her to offer holiday treat no. 12! the johnny pants, originally $188, are on sale today only for $85! these are real patchwork pants, nina selected each square of cotton menswear shirting, which was then quilted together to create the fabric. the result is a pair of playfully retro bellbottoms perfect for strolling around in the california fall. today, i paired them with my family affairs pony up shirt, an oversized vintage denim jacket, and a pair of clogs. but i’m equally excited to try wearing them with a little cropped t-shirt in warmer weather.

shop the johnny pants, on sale for only $85 today only!

wearing:
family affairs pony up shirt
family affairs johnny pants, originally $188, on sale today only for $85!
swedish hasbeens braided high in natural

warby parker jasper sunglasses



Tags:

3

a scene from last week

i caught a few snapshots of adam with his great-grandparents when they came over for albondigas last week! it is such a special treat to be able to watch him interact with them, he really does have a special bond with them.


4

family recipes: albondigas soup

it’s the time of year to celebrate family, so i’ve decided to share some of my favorite family recipes for the month of december. i grew up on mexican food, with all of the recipes being handed down from generation to generation on my mother’s side. and as soon as the weather gets chilly, we all start craving a pot of caldo (soup) to warm our bones. albondigas (meatball) soup is one of my ultimate comfort foods. in fact, after adam was born earlier this year, i asked my mom make a giant pot for me, and it was literally the only thing i ate for at least a week after i got home from the hospital. i just didn’t have the stomach for anything else. she would serve me a warm bowl of soup with a rolled up tortilla, and i would be in heaven.

last week was grey and rainy, so it was the perfect time for us to practice our family recipe. my sister and i made a big pot of soup under my grandmother’s supervision so that we could share the recipe with you. mind you, this is a recipe that we’ve all committed to memory, we eyeball the measurements for all the ingredients, and each of us tweaks the recipe to our own personal taste. there really are no rules, especially when it comes to making soup! i’m offering you the base for how we make it in our family, but feel free to add or subtract whatever ingredients you prefer.

albondigas soup

for the meatballs

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 egg
1/4 cup brown rice
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped mint
garlic salt, pepper, and cumin to taste

for the soup

1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup rice
1 tbsp crushed garlic
cumin to taste
3 cups vegetable stock
3 cups of water
1 small can of tomato sauce
2 cups cubed red or yellow potatoes
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrots
green beans or any other vegetable you prefer!

garnish (to taste)

cilantro
green onions, chopped
oregano

after prepping all of your veggies and meatballs, coat the bottom of a large pot with a thin layer of olive oil. saute onions until translucent, then add crushed garlic and saute for another minute before adding the cumin. finishe sauteing for another minute, then add the vegetable stock, water, and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.

once the soup is boiling, carefully drop in the meatballs. let boil for about a minute before adding in the vegetables. reduce heat and allow the soup to simmer until all of the ingredients are tender, about 30 minutes.

serve with cilantro, green onions, and oregano to taste. then warm a tortilla and enjoy!






Tags:

5

.