Puerto Rican Thanksgiving

Ameena mentioned in my comments that she loved how international my family is. Well sister, things just got a little more global on this blog!

Why? Because today we are going to recap the celebration of Puerto Rican Thanksgiving! Only the most exciting and best post-holiday there is.

My sister goes to her godmother’s house for Thanksgiving every year, so we always plan a small get-together the night after. Her mom cooks the most amazing Thanksgiving food with a Boricua twist. (Think chorizo stuffing and tostones on the side of your turkey.)

I arrived to Lili’s house a quarter-past-six and gave a big beso to my sister who greeted me at the door. We usually see each other once a year but January will be special because I will fly to Denver to have three days of non-stop sister action. ๐Ÿ™‚

Her home is one of my favorite decorated homes ever, it is so different then the usual stiff modern feel or empty bachelor pad. I feel like I should be in Puerto Rico. It has a tremendous amount of her personal taste and pictures of loved ones and you can not help but feel cozy at home.

I love this light switch and will find a way to sneak it out her house without noticing one year. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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As tradition follows, I usually get there while Lili is running around the kitchen and help myself to one of her famous pina coladas. It makes me want to get caught in the rain for some reason. ๐Ÿ˜‰

My very intelligent sister requested a floater in hers and I must admit, it was not a bad decision.

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Do we look alike? Who looks more Latina?

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Some people like spotless fridges but my future home will have a fridge like this one. I could not imagine starting a day off wrong when you see all your favorite people before leaving the house.

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The hostest-with-the-mostest herself! My second mom. Here she is finishing off the tostones, I am craving them again. This woman can cook her tail off.

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When all the guests arrived, we started to bring the plates to the table. Puerto Rican Thanksgiving was about to start and all of our hungry selves could not wait. Lili invited her best friend from the days when they ran around New York together and her two children.

The only traditional thing about this course was the turkey…and I suppose the cranberry sauce but who really cares about that.

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You would not even begin to imagine how delicious her arroz con gandulas is. It takes skill, practice and a little bit of magic to make the perfect sofrito and Lili nails it every time.

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The final things I have not mentioned is her chorizo stuffing and tostones con avocado. The salty and crispy flavors of the plantain is the perfect combination of the smooth and creamy taste of the avocado.

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The first plate of three, I wish I was kidding.

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Happy thanksgiving again! You should already know I like to extend things as long as possible. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Tomorrow I am attending a very special event! It cost a pretty penny but will be so worth it. Cheers!

Are you feeling back into the groove of things? I am pretty much zoned out until the second week of January!

Avocado Cream Sauce

My hands have suffered enough today. It is so cold right now that if I do not keep typing, my fingers will fall off. I was so babied by the sun SF has been receiving and forgot how much of a pain in the butt the fog is.

I mean come on, this is kind of ridiculous.

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When I picked up a house-made pasta at the Farmer’s Market on Sunday, the lady suggested I make an avocado sauce to compliment the parsley flavors. I never heard of using avocado as a base for pasta sauce, but she told me the gist of how to prepare it and sent me home a little confused.

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Avocado Cream Sauce

Prep Time: 10 Minutes

Serves: 2

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Ingredients:

  • 1 Hass Avocado
  • 1/3 Cup Fresh Parsley
  • 1 Tbs Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 1/2 Lemon Juice
  • 2 Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil
  • Paprika, Salt and Pepper, to taste

**Note: I know it’s a strawberry yogurt container but I was too lazy to go to the store and just used a tbs of the plain side.

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1. Boil your favorite pasta in a medium pot. Make sure to watch the time so it is al dente.

(I happened to have a perfect one from the Farmer’s Market but any pasta will do!)

2. Combine all ingredients in a food processor except the olive oil. When it is starts becoming more creamy and liquid, add in the olive oil.

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3. Serve with fresh grated cheese and your favorite type of protein or veggies!

This was an awesome change from regular pasta sauce, but it is really rich so I suggest not eating it plain. It also does not reheat well, so eat it fresh and share with your lover or favorite person in the whole world. ๐Ÿ™‚

What better to cure yourself from the cold then a nice big bowl of soup?

Almost every Japanese restaurant in San Francisco is closed on Monday. This made it so hard to find a place to eat, let alone after 8:00pm. Fortunately, Ramen Underground was open all the way to 10:30pm.

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Who is in to petition Japanese restaurants to provide complimentary edamame at the beginning of every meal like bread and butter? It is one of my favorite parts of the meal. I could probably eat three bowls and go home happy, I also love yogurt, that’s why I get a yogurt machine from www.Village-Bakery.com so I can do it everyday without a sweat.

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Have you heard of HABANERO ramen? When I saw it on the menu I knew I had to try it. I love spicy food so much and this was a nice treat instead of the traditional miso or soy sauce broth.

I am sure my cousins in Japan are shaking their heads at me for insulting their cultural cuisine and Americanizing it.

PS: I love the Painter T from J. Crew, I have one in almost in every color.

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Doesn’t it look fantastic? I added kakuni (pork belly) and a soft boiled egg. I can not vouch for anything besides the habanero special, but it was amazing and I will be coming back soon to enjoy it again. The only thing is I wish the yolks were more runny, although I know that is a personal preference.

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Good night, Japantown.

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How are you with spicy? The spicier the better for me.

Panko Baked Avocado Fajita Tacos

One thing (out of many) that I love about living in California is the produce. I understand that fruits and vegetables go through seasonal changes but we grow almost everything in this state. When I went to New York a few months ago, Bailey and I stopped by a random Whole Foods to buy a bottle of wine for our hosts. I noticed that almost of the signs in the produce area wrote “Grown in California”. Call me sheltered, because back home it seemed common sense that the food was grown within the state. Duh. Sustainability, right?

My oblivious, born and raised in CA brain did not realize that other cities and towns do not have the same perfect climate that we have to grow delicious fruits and veggies.

PS: Yes, I was also shocked that they do not sell alcohol in the same place as foods on the East Coast! I honestly have a beer maybe once a week so it is not a big deal to me but I never heard that kind of law before. The worker there looked at me like I was the biggest tourist (or crazy) when I asked him where the wine section was. He pointed out the doors and across the street to a wine boutique.

If I ever move to that side of the nation, how am I suppose to pair my wine with my cheese if I am in a rush? First world problems.

Just wanted to show off the nice weather from my roof top.

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I was kind of in a cooking rut, so I texted my b-e-a-utiful sister and hustled her for some recipes I could steal for the blog. She gave me a few great options and I headed to the market down the street to pick up a few ingredients. Turns out, they do not sell eggplants (weird) and I did not have time to drive so I had to make use of what I had.

My whole produce tangent was because of avocados. Yes. Creamy, delicious, good-on-everything avocados. And they are abundant here. Year round. I am afraid to move and have to pay $4 for an avocado. I get them here for 89 cents and it is such a bargain.

So I put my thinking cap on and a lightbulb came flashing through! A-ha!

Baked avocados! Breaded with panko! In a taco? Yes! AKA the food love-baby of my Eggs In a Hole (Avocado Style) and Panko Baked Eggplant Caprese recipes.

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Panko Baked Avocado Fajita Taco

Prep Time: 25 Minutes

Cook Time: 12 Minutes

Serves: 3

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Medium Hass Avocados
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Jalapeño
  • 2 Eggs
  • ~1 Cup All Purpose Flour
  • ~1 Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
  • Cooking Oil
  • Queso Fresco (or any kind of cheese but get QF if possible)
  • Parsley, for garnish
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Salt, pepper and oregano, to taste
  • Baking paper

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1. Preheat the oven to 425° degrees.

2. Cut your avocados in half and then each half in to fours (8 slices total for each whole avocado).

3. Set up your working station by having three different bowls. First bowl with flour, second bowl with two well-beaten eggs (with pepper and salt), third bowl with panko crumbs.

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4. Throw your avocado into the flour bowl and coat it thoroughly. They are more sturdy then you think, so just tap it against the edge to get the excess out.

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5. Dip the avocado into the egg bowl and let it drip until it is evenly coated and thin.

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6. Drop the avocado into the panko crumb bowl until it is coated enough that it blends in.

7. Put on a baking sheet with olive oil generously drizzled on top and bottom of the panko-covered avocados.

8. When oven is done preheating, slide the avocados in for twelve minutes. Flip them over half way (6 minute mark).

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9. While avocados are baking, wash and chop the bell pepper and jalapeños into thin slices.

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10. Cook them in a large pan with cooking oil, oregano, salt, pepper and fresh parsley until soft but still retaining the firm texture.

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11. Heat up a few corn tortillas on your tortilla griddle.

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12. Garnish with parsley, queso fresco and a splash of lime. Amazing. Seriously.

Was walking on Valencia St today and saw this transporting truck. Pretty badass, no? In a crime noir sort of way?

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Are you allowed to buy alcohol in supermarkets in your area? What’s your favorite taco combination?

Eggs In A Hole (Avocado Edition)

Guys. I am so tired it’s not even funny. I’ve been working hours this week that interns would even be scared of.

Because of this, my recipe is not the most showcasing or impressive. However, it is most certainly delicious (and nutritious)! My two favorite -ous words.

You have seen the eggs in toast, right?

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Well, I have been casually stealing pieces of PB&J from the kids I nanny and toast is the last thing I want to eat at this point. My cousin recently posted a picture of her breakfast on Instagram and it intrigued me. She baked an egg within an avocado and claimed it to be heavenly. I scoffed, everyone knows that avocados are to be eaten cold or not at all.

I saw it again the next day on a random website. I decided to try it out and I liked it.

Eggs In A Hole (Avocado Edition)

Prep Time: 5 Minutes

Bake Time: 20 Minutes

Serves: 2


Ingredients:

  • 1 Large Avocado
  • 2 Eggs
  • Oregano, paprika, salt, pepper to taste
  • Grated cheese (optional)

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1. Preheat the oven to 425ยฐ. Cut the avocado in half and scoop out enough to hold an egg. (L: scooped, R: unscooped)

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2. Carefully crack an egg and pour it into the hole in each avocado. Sprinkle salt, pepper, oregano, paprika and cheese on top.

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3. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes/until the egg is fully cooked.

(My oven sucks lately, so it might take you shorter. Put in for 15 and check if the middle is still liquid.)

That’s all, folks! It’s super easy and great to make when entertaining or just feel like eating two plain things like a fancy pants.

Or, you can make an egg on the stove and cut avocado on top. OR you can spread your newly baked avocado on a piece of toast. The options are endless, people!

P.S. You might recall my etymology interest about Brussels sprouts. Well, did you know the avocado got its name from the Aztecs? Yep, they called this fruit ‘ahuacatl’, which actually means testicles in their native language. I’m assuming the shape resembled a certain body part to them. My apologies, I didn’t mean for this blog to become so PG-13. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Charlotte @ Commitness To Fitness, one of my favorite bloggers, nominated me for the Sunshine Award! I never had one of these surveys done on my blog before, but I’m so exhausted that I’m going to use this to cheat and have an easy post. ๐Ÿ™‚ Don’t hate.

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The Rules:

1. Include award logo in a post or on your blog.

2. Link to the person who nominated you.

3. Answer 10 questions about yourself.

4. Nominate 10 bloggers to receive the award. Link your nominees to the post and comment on their blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.

Once again, thank you Charlotte for asking these questions! Xx

1. What is your favorite dessert?

Creme brรปlรฉe, for sure. Every time I see it at a restaurant I have to order it, no matter how full I get.

And no, it can’t be Creme Catalina, the Spanish wannabe creme brรปlรฉe. (Inside joke!)

2. If you could only go to one website for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Can I cheat and say google? So I can google everything and get to every website? If no, then probably Wikipedia, as boring as it sounds. Wiki has never failed me.

3. If you can live in any time period, when would it be?

I think it would be so cool to live in the 1920s with all the American writers in Paris. Fitzgerald, Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, Pound, etc. They are my friends from another life time.

4. What’s your favorite motivational quote? (More than one is acceptable if you can’t choose.)

You race like you train. Or to be more poetic:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

5. What’s your favorite type of food to get when you eat out?

This is probably the hardest question. I love eating Italian, tapas, burgers, Chinese, all types of Asian actually (including shabu shabu and hot pot).

6. Describe yourself in 2 words.

Hungry and content.

7. How many different states have you lived in?

Two: California all my life and Nevada for three weeks (long story, don’t ask).

8. Who is your favorite actor?

I don’t really have one, but Quentin Tarantino is my favorite director if you don’t mind me shifting the question!

9. Would you rather read or watch TV?

I love reading and would definitely pick that if I had to choose one, but I do find myself watching TV more. This is something I’m trying to fix for the new school year.

10. What type of shoes do you have on your feet right now?

Black ankle socks. ๐Ÿ™‚

I can hardly keep my eyes open now so I’m nominating everyone that hasn’t been nominated yet! Everyone deserves a chance to be part of the fun. ๐Ÿ™‚ Goodnight, amores!

Avocados, do you mind eating them warm? How do you feel about creme brรปlรฉe?