The Tamalada: Tamales and Community

misssk Family, Handmade, Mesoamerican, Scratch cooking, Texas, Tradition Leave a Comment

Earlier this week we explored the holiday tamal tradition, tracking down possible explanations for the connection between these tasty steamed masa cakes and the holiday season. Of course no discussion of tamal customs and tradition would be complete without mention of the tamalada, a grand fiesta in which families gather to catch up, laugh, share stories and memories, and oh …

Tracing the Holiday Tamal Tradition

misssk Family, Handmade, Mesoamerican, Scratch cooking, Spirituality, Texas, Tradition Leave a Comment

In Texas, the holidays mean tamales. Along with Christmas trees, sparkling lights, and sweet treats, I will forever associate the abundance of tamales—making them, craving them, seeing them, eating them, buying them—with the holiday season. As the wonderful aromas of warm masa, stewing chiles and tamales de dulce emerge once again this year, I found myself wondering where tamales’ holiday …

Brown Rice Horchata Recipe

misssk DIY, Drinks, Gluten-free, Handmade, Kitchen, Latin, Mesoamerican, Raw, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Vegan, Veggie Leave a Comment

Last week, I offered up a little tutorial on making your own horchata, or spiced rice milk agua fresca. While this creamy, sweet refreshment is traditionally made with long-grain white rice (and can be made with any number of other ingredients including basmati or jasmine rice, nuts, seeds, etc.), a recent experiment with just the opposite—short-grain brown—yielded surprisingly delicious results. The …

Homemade Horchata

misssk DIY, Drinks, Gluten-free, Handmade, How-to technique, Kitchen, Latin, Mesoamerican, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Texas, Vegan, Veggie Leave a Comment

Horchata (or-cha-tah) has always been one of my very favorite aguas frescas, cooling flavored-water beverages popular in Mexico. It’s typically made by soaking rice with whole-stick cinnamon, blending it, sweetening it, and straining it into a refreshing rice milk. It’s sweet, cold, and creamy—a fantastic accompaniment to hot, spicy tacos. Although rice, cinnamon, and sugar tend to be horchata constants, …

Chipotle Almond Hummus

misssk DIY, Gluten-free, Handmade, Healthy snacks, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Vegan, Veggie Leave a Comment

This is an addictively tasty variation on classic Greek hummus. The beans are the same  (it’s hard to go wrong with garbanzos), but it uses almond butter rather than tahini, which totally alters the flavor into something sweet and subtle. Chipotle peppers throw some smoke back into the mix, and of course give it a beautiful color and spicy kick. …

Blooming Mango Flowers: How to Cut Fresh Mango

misssk How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking Leave a Comment

I can’t remember exactly who first showed me a fresh-cut mango flower, I remember only the giddiness and wonder of watching it unexpectedly bloom before my eyes. It’s one of my favorite little-girl memories, so naturally, one of my favorite things to pass on to little girls. As I was putting together our fresh mango salsa at my friend Melissa’s …

Stay Hydrated with Aguas Frescas

misssk Eat local, Handmade, How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking, Texas Leave a Comment

Spring came early in Austin. Our flowers are blooming, the sun in shining, and although still intermingled with of a few nippy days here and there, that Texas heat is beginning to creep in. It feels like agua fresca weather. Aguas frescas are around year-round, but they’re especially apt to battling warm weather. Literally “fresh waters,” they are simply water …

Baby Cutie Cakes

misssk Baking, Dessert, Gluten-free, Handmade, Kids, Kitchen, Recipes, Scratch cooking, Veggie Leave a Comment

Cuties, also known as “sweeties” and officially called clementines, are a favorite citrus snacker of the kiddie crowd. These super-moist, almond meal sandwich cakes are packed with vitamin C, covered in a sweet pineapple glaze and sized to perfection for little fingers and pie-holes. Yield: Makes 16-20 mini cakes Cook time: 2 hours For the cake: 4 cuties/sweeties/clementine oranges (grate …

Nutter ‘Yer Butter: Nut Butter at Home

misssk DIY, Handmade, How-to technique, Kitchen, Scratch cooking Leave a Comment

This week as I was pondering a creative spin on PB&J for my bonus daughter, I thought it would be nice to try cashew butter in place of peanut. I knew I’d seen and slammed on cashew butter before, but when I got to the market I couldn’t find it anywhere. They had peanut, of course. And almond. And peanut-almond. …