Week 8

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Growing up, it was always extremely important that I got enough sleep. I was never one of those kids that could just sleep all day the next day and make up for it. When the annual "Lock In" happened at church with the youth group, I always had to make the decision on whether or not it was going to be worth the fun of hanging out with my friends all night, because I would pay for it the next day and following week. My body shuts down when I have a lack of sleep. I make it a point to take care of myself because of this. I get the sleep I need. I try to eat healthy with the occasional indiscretion here and there. I exercise.

Well. I WAS sleeping, eating healthy, and exercising. I look at the calendar and there is not ONE smiley face (my indication that I exercised that day) for the last almost two weeks.) Not to say that WORKING isn't a form of exercise, but it's not quite the same as lacing up my running shoes and going for a jog with a good stretch afterward. I think back to what I ate over the four days of working long shifts and realize that I barely ate at all just because I was too busy at work and too tired once I got home. So, to review, the last two weeks (as of Monday) have had me barely sleeping, eating, or exercising.

It caught up with me in a big way.

Sunday evening at work I started feeling...not well. I was able to push through the bouts of nausea and the beginnings of a sore throat to finish my shift, but when I woke up Monday morning, I knew that my luck had run out. I felt like I had swallowed my whole knife kit. NEVER have I been so thankful for a sitter. I dropped Layla off at the babysitters, came home, and passed out until time to get Harmony off the bus. We went and picked up Layla, made it through the afternoon, and I passed back out when the kids went to bed.

Tuesday was a repeat with the addition of sneezing and congestion.

Wednesday I got up and began to get ready for school before giving up as I got the sweats every time I tried to exert any sort of effort. I gave myself ANOTHER day in bed. I began to wonder if I had mono. I had it once ten years ago and I haven't been as laid out as this was making me since then. I realized after some research that it wasn't mono, so I had some hopes of feeling better in less than two weeks.

Thursday I got up and went to school loaded up with Alka Seltzer Plus. I made it through the cooking and managed to mop half the floor while the others were still finishing up their food. I asked Chef to leave since I had cleaned and my food was finished. I wasn't feeling well again. I went home and crashed.

Friday I decided to take my last day. I had work Saturday. I NEEDED to be well. Harmony and Layla were off of school. I thought about keeping them home with me to spend time with them but I knew it would be selfish motives. I miss them so much. But the sitter was taking them to the zoo and I knew they would have more fun there than camped out on the couch watching movies with me. I also knew that I wouldn't get as much rest that way. Most importantly, the less time they were in my proximity, the less likely they were to catch whatever I have. So off they went.

Yesterday I went to work. I loaded up on AlkeSeltzer Plus again. I made it through. I'm feeling some better. Not 100% by any means, but I am making it through. I've been making an effort to eat better. By that I mean, I've been making an effort to eat. I'm waiting to squeeze exercise in until I can breathe through my nose again. I was switched to the day shift Saturday and an earlier shift on Sunday.

Marc and I just keep telling ourselves that we need to make it through this quarter, this year and things will be better schedule wise. As Marc put it, "When you graduate, we are SO having a party!" We will have made it through one of the most challenging yet rewarding times in our lives. Together.


All that being said, in class Thursday I made Spicy Pork Empanadas and fried another Stuffed Poblano. I have made both this items in Latin this quarter but there were noticable differences in the recipes. The most blatent difference was that the empanadas were fried this week, as opposed to being baked in Latin. I prefer the texture (and slightly more healthy!) aspect of the baked empanadas, but I really loved the Spicy Pork filling. The dough of the fried version was different, as well. This version had cream cheese in the dough and was slightly stickier. It needed to be chilled well before working with it. Then I found that once I cut them out, and folded them in half, I needed to chill them again before attempting to make the decorative fold on the outer edge or the dough would just...mush together.

The poblanos were stuffed with a different filling this week, too. I liked the Latin version better, actually. This filling was mainly corn and sour cream with a little queso fresco. It wasn't BAD...just not as interesting or flavorful.

Tex Mex!

Monday, May 23, 2011

This was week 7 in American Regional Lab. We prepared Tex Mex food and it was one of my favorite weeks yet! Thursday was mostly prepping for Friday, but Friday was a feast!!! Tex Mex is HUGE on protein, after all.

Thursday I prepped the beef brisket by placing it in a marinade to sit overnight. Then I got everything ready for the bbq sauce. I also made Pico de Gallo for the next day. Then I made what is called a Starburst Salad. Oh. My. Goodness. I am a huge fan of strawberries as it is, but the vinaigrette that the strawberries were tossed with is making my mouth water as I type this. Two grapefruit were zested and sectioned, and all the juice is saved from that process and the segments are saved for the salad. Then you combine the juice with sherry vinegar, salt, sugar, and oil. Toss in the poppy seeds and zest and you have an amazing vinaigrette that perfectly complimented the strawberries. I ate all the strawberries except a few that others tasted. But it was mostly me.

Friday the brisket was popped into the smoker immediately. It still needed about 30 minutes to be REALLY tender, but that's one of the drawbacks of such a short class. It had a really wonderful sweet, tangy, and salty flavor to it with the bbq sauce. It was served with Tamales that another girl made.

I also prepped everything for the Shrimp Tacos with Green Chili Chutney. I decided to make the tortilla shells into little tortilla cups instead of the normal taco shape. I really liked the presentation I ended up with. I also enjoyed the flavors of the shrimp in this recipe, especially with the added heat of the green chili chutney.

I made the flan, as well. I made a double batch and they all were eaten.

After all that, I still had time and I had seen some extra strawberries in the fridge left over from the day before. I decided, after asking Chef if it was ok, to make the strawberry salad from the day before, with a twist. He agreed I could have SOME of the strawberries to do what I wanted with. I made the vinaigrette and then I brought it to a simmer with some cream and tempered some egg yolks. I chilled it down and folded in just a little whipped cream to lighten it a little. A Grapefruit Juice Creme Anglaise. Delicious. Strawberries dipped in said anglaise. Divine.

This has been my favorite week so far in American regional.

Latin- Week 7

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

This week we hopped over to the Caribbean in Latin. I'd been pushing myself to prepare more savory items this quarter, but this week I really wanted to make the Sweet Potato Cake that we had a recipe for. I told the girl that has been doing the desserts most of the time this quarter that I'd been letting her do them all quarter and it was my turn today. She wasn't too happy, but she didn't fight me on it. This Sweet Potato Cake can best be described as a pumpkin pie type of filling baked in a loaf pan. I made a creme anglaise to go with it flavored with orange, rum, and cinnamon. It was delightful. I wouldn't describe it as a cake, though. It had no flour in it whatsoever and had the pie filling texture to it.

I also prepared the salad of the day. This salad consisted of pineapple, red onions, and iceburg lettuce tossed with an orange and lime vinaigrette and garnished with avocado and lime wedges. I did enjoy the flavor of the salad, but if I were to prepare it at home, I would definitely use romaine since it is highly nutritious.

Now This Is Life...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

I have a job.

Correction. I have an AMAZING, fantabulous, blowing my mind job.

Last quarter, I was cooking away in Classical, looked up, and saw who I thought was Chef Kenny Gilbert who was on Top Chef Season 7- Washington DC. I dismissed the thought quickly, thinking I was just going crazy. Between classes, I was on the elevator and just as the door was about to close, I saw Chef CJ walk up to the Kenny look-alike, give him a huge hug, and begin talking away enthusiastically with him. When she arrived on the 3rd floor, she asked me if I was still looking for a job. I told her it depended on the job. She told me that she was friends with Chef Kenny Gilbert from working with him at The Ritz Carlton in Amelia Island and he was opening a restaurant soon and was looking for a Pastry Chef. She told him that she had some students she would recommend and told me to run downstairs and give him my resume.

I was already in a rush because we were finishing up cakes that week in my Advanced Pastry class so I frantically called Marc and asked him to email me a copy of my resume, dashed to the computer lab to print it out, and wobbled my way to the table Chef Kenny was sitting at to fill out an application and turn in my resume. Was I star struck? A little. If any of you have seen the season of Top Chef, you will know that Chef Kenny is extremely talented, and with extreme talent comes extreme intensity. I was beyond nervous to be approaching him, but I didn't want to show it. I am one of those people that doesn't believe in fawning over people just because they are "famous." That doesn't mean that I am not extremely appreciative of their skill, but I just feel like I, personally, would find it really annoying. Chef was a little stand off-ish when I met him at the school, but his two executive Chefs were friendly and approachable. I was a little torn as to who to speak to and what tone to use, but it must not have gone as weirdly as I thought because I got a call back.

I prepared for the interview with Chef Omar and Chef Trey by getting a portfolio all put together in a clear plastic folder with plastic sheaths holding 8x10 photos of my best work. The interview went well and I was offered a job soon after. Nippers Beach Grille was set to open in April but due to construction issues, it just opened yesterday, May 16, 2011.

I am now able to officially say that I am a Pastry Chef. I am living my dream. I am LOVING working on the line. There is this adrenaline rush that you get with every single ticket that prints out to get the food out quickly and perfectly. I am learning SO much and am working with some absolutely incredible Chefs. Chef Kenny had Kevin Sbraga, winner of Season 7 Top Chef, his Sous Chef, Jose Adorno, and Arnold Myint, also from his season. These wonderful Chefs helped whip us into shape and get Nippers up and running in time.

Let me say something here. If you ever are in Jacksonville, FL and want somewhere to eat that is absolutely gorgeous, has a fabulous atmosphere, tantalizing food, and want the novelty of eating somewhere that you KNOW the kitchen is CLEAN and the staff treats the food with the utmost respect...come eat at Nippers. I swear to you that it is the cleanest place to eat in Jacksonville and it will remain that way. Everything in that *HUGE!* kitchen is BRAND NEW except for ONE piece of equipment. On top of that, we DEEP CLEAN the kitchen EVERY SINGLE NIGHT. I'm not talking your run of the mill mopping the floor clean. Because we don't just mop. We scrub it down with deck brushes, hose it down, squeegee it off, and dry mop it. Yeah. Everything else gets the same kind of cleaning treatment...extensive. I love working in a place where everyone cares and respects the equipment and food this way.

I am awestruck that I have this opportunity in front of me. I have the rare chance to learn from a brilliantly talented Chef in a place that is beyond beautiful. (Did I mention that every time I look up while I am working, I am gazing out into a enchanting marina?)

I'm not going to lie. My life is extremely stressful right now. I am still a mother of two young children. I still have an amazing husband who I could NOT do this without, for sure. I am so thankful for him with all of my heart. He makes it possible for me to leave every day without worrying about the kids or the house. I know that I am leaving them in his completely capable hands and that the house will not only be presentable, but will actually be CLEAN, along with the laundry and the girls. Even at my very best, Marc makes me better. We are a team. I am still striving to maintain my 4.0 GPA, despite those Debbie Downers who tell me that it doesn't matter and that noone will ever ask what my GPA was in culinary school. That isn't the point. On top of that, I have now added a (in theory) almost 40 hour work week on top of it. I say in theory because I have been scheduled till 9:30 and be asked to stay until 1:15. So the next few weeks, especially, are going to be extra challenging. I will be taking my Ativan almost daily. My mind will continue to swirl with a mix of new knowledge being learned at Nippers, and things I need to work on for school. I will sleep every spare moment I can to make up for the days that I get up at 5am for school and won't get out of work until at least midnight, only to get up at 5am the next day and do it all over again. I will squeeze every last second that I can out of each day with my girls, since there are days I will not even see them. I will revel in the moments with my husband since there will be days that I will see him little more than for a hug and kiss before I pass out from exhaustion. Above all, I will do my best to savor these crazy moments, despite their difficulty. I will fight the feelings of guilt I feel every time I have to walk out the door and leave my girls in the care of their completely proficient father or our reliable sitter. This is what I have worked so hard for. This is what we have sacrificed so much for. In addition to that, we really need the income. haha.

I will probably not be posting much about my work at Nippers. The reason for this is that I'm not really sure how well that would go over. I'm sure there will be days that I am ecstatic and days that I am beyond frustrated. I don't think that any of that really needs to be out there on the internet for my coworkers or, more importantly, my bosses to read. This is such a culmination of everything that I have worked for, though, that I had to at least post SOMETHING about it. I've procrastinated on writing this post so long, however, because my heart is just too full of wonderment. I didn't know if I was going to be able to put it out there in words or if it would be trivialized. I don't know that I've done it justice, but I have tried.

I'm off to finish up some homework before crashing since tomorrow begins my "work week" beginning with Latin at 6:30am.

American Regional Week 6

Monday, May 16, 2011

Let's start out by saying that this week was an insanely busy week. I began my new job at Nipper's Beach Grill last Monday and began training in the restaurant this week. I will be posting a separate post about this later. The point of mentioning it now is that Thursday was the Food Show where all the plates of food were put up for us to see so we would know how Chef Kenny Gilbert wanted things plated. It was a terribly important day. That being said, I was supposed to be at the restaurant at 10AM. This was a problem because I am supposed to be in American Regional from 6:30 to 11:30 or 12 depending on the day. I contacted Chef Ridsdale about it, and he said it would probably work out, but I could tell he was NOT happy.

So Thursday I made the dough for a deep dish pizza for the whole group. We each were to make a pizza and top it and bake it off. In addition to that, we were to make sausage, and a German potato salad because it needed to sit overnight. I was the first to get my dough in the proof box to rise, and then I sauteed up the pepperoni and sausage that was to go inside. I had been on the girl assigned to make the pizza sauce to get going on it immediately but she was piddling around and didn't even have the sauce on the stove by the time I was ready to assemble my pizza...and the sauce needed to simmer 30 minutes. Thankfully another table had their sauce going and let me have enough for my pizza. The difference in a Chicago Deep Dish pizza and a regular pizza is that the toppings are put on it a different order. First cheese goes down, then sauce, then toppings, then cheese, sauce, and then a tiny garnish of cheese on top. I popped it in the oven and cleaned up and got changed while I waited for it to bake. Out it came and off I went. I didn't even get to eat any of it but Kandice said it was yummy. I believe her.

Friday I got to stay the whole class, but Chef had me testing out recipes for a team for Competition Club. I was to follow their recipes and see what needed clarification in the directions or ingredients. I was chosen because I am so detail oriented. I prepared a Mango BBQ Sauce, Baby Back Ribs, Candied Collard Greens, Curried Potato Salad, and for dessert I prepared a Pecan and White Pepper Ice Cream with Fried Peaches and a Raspberry Sauce. I didn't get pictures of it because A.) I didn't like how the dessert plate came out, and B.) Chef took the plates to get photos of and didn't get them back in time.

So no photos this week. I will definitely get some next week, though!

Latin- Week 6

This was the last week that we were in the South American region of Latin Cuisine. I prepared Empanadas. There were not that many recipes again this week, so someone else prepared the savory filling for the Potato and Beef Empanadas, I prepared the dough, the chimichurri sauce, and then decided to prepare a sweet filling too. Of course. I found some pears and walnuts in the cooler and chopped them up. I sauteed them with a little butter, sugar, and cinnamon to make a caramel sauce. Then I made an actual caramel dipping sauce to go on the side. Delicious!

I liked these Empanadas, especially, because they were baked, not fried. Empanada dough on its own is not terribly healthy, so any step taken to improve the nutrition of it makes me happy.

I did enjoy the flavors of the savory Empanada. I would take steps in the future to make sure that the filling was evenly divided. Some of ours ended up with more potatoes and some had hardly any potatoes at all. Both ways were enjoyable, but I liked those with the potatoes better.

In our dividing up the recipes, there was a miscommunication and the ceviche this week was accidentally skipped all together. Whoops. The Quinoa dish was also a fail, since Matt put his on to boil and noticed hundreds of teeeeeny tiny bugs crawling all over it in the pot. It was organic. Ick. The tapioca cake didn't turn out well, either. It was just kind of a solid blob of gelatinous coconut. I'm hoping the sweet potato cake that we will be doing next week from the Caribbean will be better!

Creole and Cajun

Sunday, May 8, 2011

This week in American Regional, we were exploring Creole and Cajun food. We delved into the differences between the two and prepared some amazing food! Before we did any of that, however, we took a knife skills test on Thursday. I haven't had a knife skills test in what feels like forever, although I'm pretty sure I actually had one in Classical last quarter (holy moly, last quarter seems like an eternity ago!). In any case, I was happily surprised at how much my knife skills have improved since then. I got a 22 or 23 (can't remember which on this part) out of 25 as opposed to the 19 or 20 I got last time. Phew! I still have a ways to go, but I'm getting better!

Then we had to debone a chicken in the manner we learned on the turkeys a couple of weeks ago. I hadn't actually done the turkey, but I had watched a video on it before that class and then saw the demo in class, so I wasn't freaking out. I wasn't thrilled, either, as most of you know that butchery is just NOT something I'm excited about. I've been trying to challenge myself this quarter, though, so I tried to view this an a prime opportunity to do so. I surprised myself, an I'm pretty sure Chef, with how well I did breaking down this chicken. We had to show him the bones, and several cuts of meat from the chicken- a regular, deboned chicken breast, an airline breast, two deboned thighs, and the wings and drummies. I also skinned mine because some of the meat and the bones were going into stock.

Thursday was an interesting day, cooking wise. The menu was NOT that extensive, but somehow the time seemed to get away from us all. There were three people, including me, in my team this week. One of the members was the Sous Chef, so he had to be given less work because he had to constantly take care of the other student's needs. We were to prepared hollandaise with leeks, a muffaletta, chiken livers, and we EACH were to prepare blackened chicken, fettucine, and alfredo sauce. What ended up happening was that I prepared the hollandaise with leeks (which was perfect up until service and then it promptly broke), the spread for the muffaletta, the seasoning for the chicken for the group, my blackened chicken, and then the fettucini and alfredo sauce...apparently for the other girl as well because she did NOT prepare her own. I kept asking her what she was doing, because it should not have taken her an entire class to prepare chicken livers, but somehow it did. Apparently. Every time I asked, I was setting up to ask her to take something else on, but the opportunity never arose. In any case, my chicken and alfredo with pasta came out fabulous and Marc ate it for lunch.

Friday, I prepared Gumbo, a Hericot Vert Salad, and we were assigned the recipe, but were not assigned the actual dish, but I decided to go ahead and make the Bread Pudding, as well. The Gumbo was simple to make, and I loved the flavors of it. It was a very heavy dish, though, and you can really only eat a small amount at a time.

I was very pleasantly surprised with the Hericot Vert Salad. It was light and refreshing, and the fennel didn't knock me over like I thought it would.

I took some creative liberty with the Bread Pudding and loosely followed the written recipe. I decided to take some of the Praline mixture that was being used to make cookies and spread it over the bottom of the pan before I poured in the egg and bread mixture. Once it cooked, I flipped the whole thing out of the pan and it had an ooey gooey caramel mixture on the top. The raisins were marinated in Kirsch and gave an extra oomph to this simple dessert. It was devoured extremely quickly.

All in all, it was a great week this week in American Regional!

Latin Cuisine- Week 5

We were still in South America this week for Latin. We had an extremely short menu this week. One of the things we were focusing on was preparing the Ceviche de Pescado (Fish Ceviche.)

Ceviche is a technique in which you "cook" a food using acid, such as lemon or orange juice, instead of heat. In some instances, you may partially cook the item in boiling water and then finish it off with the lemon juice, which has been the case with shrimp so far every time I have encountered this technique. Our team worked together to prepare the Ceviche so it would have the maximum amount of time in the "cooking" liquid. I learned two things at the end of this dish. First, the fish should have been cut into smaller cubes for the time we had in class. Our fish cooked ALMOST all the way through, but not completely. If they had been smaller pieces, we would have had more success. Second, the recipe called for 4 oz of lemon juice and 2 oz of lime juice. There are always plastic containers of lemon juice and usually lime juice on our staples cart. We used these instead of FRESH lemons and limes. When making Ceviche, we learned after the fact, you should ALWAYS use fresh. It makes a gigantic difference in the flavors.

Also prepared this week was Shredded Beef with Beans, White Rice, and Fried Plantains. I tackled the rice this week. In doing so, I learned something very important. If you have been following my blog at all, you will know that I can cook rice perfectly if I am cooking it as needed. If I have had to hold it for service, however, I was not doing so well. Since rice is such a huge part of Latin food, I had a feeling Chef Heidi could help me. I admitted, embarrassed, that I had yet to fully successfully hold rice, and if she had any tricks for me. Oh my goodness! It's SO EASY. Chef taught me to cook the rice to where you need it to be, then place it in a bain marie covered in plastic wrap, place it in a hotel pan that has WARM water running into it. It hold it at a temperature where it's warm, but it isn't so warm that it is continuing to cook! Amazing!!! So my rice came out perfectly. The beef and beans were well prepared and hearty, and I never really like fried plantains unless they are sliced extremely thin and more like chips.

Floribbean Cuisine

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Floribbean Cuisine has been influenced greatly by Latin Cuisine, as well as that of the islands of the Caribbean. It's a relatively new Cuisine that is exciting and full of bright flavors.

Thursday I attended the afternoon section of American Regional because I went to an awards ceremony for my 5 1/2 year old at her school in the morning. I may have been complaining about the newbies in my morning class. I had no idea how good I had it!! The afternoon class was such a mess. In the morning class, we are usually done a little early and then out of there with plenty of time to spare. This class went on and on and on. People were screaming at each other and complaining over completing the chores that we have to do in EVERY LAB. Get over it! Do the work! The longer you complain or point fingers, the longer it takes to get stuff done. Just DO IT! I had to just put my head down, focus on my own work, and let that be that.

We each had to pan sear a grouper filet during the class. Everyone used too high of heat and too much oil, myself included. One kid used SO much oil and so high of heat that his pan flashed right next to me and scared the bejeebus out of me. I know I've mentioned before how terrified I am of fire. Then he kept turning his heat on high with a pan on it with oil in it and WALKING AWAY...OVER AND OVER even after several of us called him on it. I guess if the fire didn't teach him a lesson, several of his classmates telling him isn't going to do it either.

Friday we had a second opportunity to try to pan sear the grouper again. I appreciated this opportunity to correct the mistakes we all made. Mine came out wonderfully!! (And deliciously!!!) I'm excited to try the marinade we used in class on fish at home for Marc.

Thursday I also made Conch Chowder. This was not a terribly difficult recipe, but I really enjoyed the flavors that developed. We were supposed to grind the conch on a medium die, but Chef said to just cut it really small by hand. I did, and it worked out very well.

Friday I made the hush puppies and prepared the marinade for the group's fish. Once I began preparing the marinade, I realized that the person who made the marinade for our group the day before (in the afternoon class), apparently can't read recipes well. They had added mayonnaise to the mix. I thought it looked a little odd when I first saw the fish coated in this thick white paste, but thought that surely, SURELY the appropriate ingredients were used. Right.

The hush puppies were...well, hush puppies! I thought they could have used a little more flavor, but overall they were alright. I would have added a second jalapeno the second time around, I think, as well as some extra salt. I kept speaking to them while they were frying, "Come on boy! Tuuuuurn over! You can do it! Goooood booooy!!!!" This was because when they are done they "roll over onto their bellies" as the recipe puts it.

I then fried up some tortillas to serve with our tropical fruit salsa. I love fruit salsa more and more every time I eat it. I think it is something that I may become more interested in experimenting with when I get the opportunity. I would love to have some amazing salsas in my repertoire.

Next week we are going to be making Cajun food! I've typed the recipes already and there are just SO MANY that I want to prepare!! It should be a great week!

Latin Cuisine- Week 4

We were in South America again this week. I prepared the Tomato and Onion Salad and the Crepes. I absolutely adore crepes. I know I have posted about them in the past, but the South American version is slightly different. By this I mean, it is topped with chopped pistachios and a delightful dulche de leche (caramel) sauce. How much better can it get than crepes drizzled with caramel with a cup of coffee at 9AM? Not much, I would venture to say.

The crepes were easy peasy to make, although it seemed that every time Chef was standing near me, I couldn't flip them to save my life without them just folding in half. The trick really IS to fully commit to the flip and give it a confident flick of the wrist. A half hearted flick= failed flip.

The caramel sauce, however, was a little more of a challenge for everyone in the class. Most caramel recipes call for you to dump the sugar in the pot and then add the liquid, apply heat, and LEAVE IT ALONE until it develops the color you are looking for and THEN stirring it. This recipe had you combine everything and then just simmer it for an hour. It was supposed to thicken. It never did. I added more sugar hoping that would help. It helped a LITTLE, but not much. It was a very thin caramel sauce, but it still tasted delicious, and made a wonderful accompaniment to the texas style cinnamon french toast with sauteed cinnamon apples I made a couple days later. Nom nom nom!!!

The Tomato and Onion salad was pretty straightforward. Soak the onions, drain the onions, combine everything together, and plate. I joked, "Can I substitute basil for the cilantro and mozzarella for the onions?" Of course not. Then it would be Italian, not Latin...but I would have enjoyed it more.

This next week has a VERY short recipe list so I suppose we shall see what that means. We are making Tamales, though! I'm definitely looking forward to trying that. I've been curious ever since I saw them being prepared on Arthur- although those were Chinese Tamales.

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