good food + awesome travel & occasional odd bits

Recent Posts

Meringue Cookies: Pistachio and Vanilla

Meringue Cookies: Pistachio and Vanilla

Santa Ana winds and dry air is not a news worthy event, except serving as a reminder for me to take my allergy meds. Nevertheless, I was overjoyed at this weather pattern as of late. Surely you must be wondering what on earth this has to […]

Chorizo and Manchego Cheese Braid

Chorizo and Manchego Cheese Braid

Today’s post is written by K and baked by both of us. Enjoy! How do you prepare for Sunday, 2PM? For a while now, Sunday afternoon has had its own tradition for us. It is a tradition that we adopted while traveling. Sometime around 2 […]

Jamaica Rolled Tacos

Jamaica Rolled Tacos

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This post from last week was leading up to something… something exciting to possibly nobody but me. Anyhow, since we’re all here, lets try something new. On our last trip to Mexico City, I was blown away by a platter of simple tacos made with jamaica flowers. We make jamaica every summer or when the weather is hot and I never thought to put the flowers to use. I’m not sure how the restaurant made them, but in my experimentation, the spent flowers worked best. In my eyes, this dish is a win-win and zero waste. Think about it, you get two for the price of one- a refreshing drink plus a meal.

In case you’re wondering how these rolled tacos taste, let me tell you that they are meaty in texture but also tangy from the natural flavor of the flowers. Truly unique, something you simply must try. They are best served with guacamole and cheese, nothing acidic beacuse of the tartness of the flowers.

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Jamaica Rolled Tacos:

yield: 16 rolled tacos

5 oz spent hibiscus flowers

16 tortillas

vegetable oil for frying

Use the spent hibiscus flowers from this recipe. After straining the flowers from the liquid, place into a separate container. Pick through and remove any seeds and tough inner parts of the flower. You want only the softer petals. Discard the rest.

If your tortillas are not freshly made, warm them so that they are pliable. Place a small amount of flowers on the tortilla and roll tight. Secure with toothpicks at each end. Continue until all tortillas are filled.

In a frying pan, heat the oil to approximately 365 degrees Fahrenheit and fry the rolled tacos a few at a time depending on how many your frying pan can accommodate without overcrowding. Fry until tacos are golden brown. Place them on a cooling rack and remove toothpicks as soon as they are cool enough to handle.

Serve with guacamole, queso fresco, and radishes. Enjoy!

Hibiscus Water

Hibiscus Water

One night at dinner a long time ago, we were dining with company at a nice Mexican restaurant. As I was browsing the wine selection, out of nowhere comes, “What’s Jamaica?” Um, sorry, what? Isn’t it an island in the caribbean and what does that […]

Chocolate Swirl Babka

Chocolate Swirl Babka

Bread has always been an intimidating baking experience for me and one that I happily avoided. If I’m being honest here, anything that involved yeast and rising time terrified me. One bad experience and I was scarred for life- almost. Lately, I’ve been more curious […]

Ceviche: Yellowtail and Nopales

Ceviche: Yellowtail and Nopales

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We made a quick trip over the border the other day to check out an art exhibit and then went for some ceviche. Fresh, cold seafood was the perfect lunch to have on a hot day in Tijuana. Aside from making it at home, ceviche was something we ate a lot of in Peru and were really missing all of the exceptional seafood, especially their delicious ceviches. Luckily, we were able to get a taste of both Mexican and Peruvian-style ceviche this past weekend. Clearly, it made an impression on us inspiring our own blend of both styles combining aji chile from Peru and nopales used in some indigenous Mexican dishes. Together, they are a nice pairing with crunch and texture from the noples and just a hint of spice from the aji.

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Ceviche: Yellowtail and Nopales

Yield: Serves 2 as an appetizer

¼ pound fresh yellowtail fish, sliced thin

1 teaspoon aji paste

1 small clove garlic

½ oz white or yellow onion

Juice of 1 ½ meyer lemons

Salt to taste

5 sprigs cilantro (chop the leaves, discard stems)

1 small cactus lobe, cleaned

1 shishito pepper, sliced thin, seeds removed

¼ small red onion, sliced very thin

Prepare the Cactus:

Wash and dry the cactus lobe. With a pairing knife, cut off the prickly needles in one swift motion against the growth. Here’s a good video that shows the process: https://youtu.be/tSWNv2Q3ju4

After cleaning the cactus, slice into ½” cubes, place into a colander and rinse with cold water. Let drain. Place a grill pan on the grill and cook cactus until they soften, making sure to turn and move them around. This can also be done indoors on a comal or a dry skillet. When they are a bit charred and soften, remove from heat and let cool down. This can be done a day in advance. Store in the refrigerator until ready to assemble ceviche.

Combine the aji paste, garlic, yellow onion, lemon juice and salt in container. Puree until smooth with an immersion blender or in a regular blender. Transfer to a clean bowl. Add the fish, cactus, chopped cilantro, and red onion and gently mix to combine. Place on a platter and garnish with shishito peppers and red onion. Enjoy immediately.

Locro

Locro

We are in for a treat. Today’s post comes to you from K in which he shares how loco for locro he was. After some tweaking, we have nailed down a recipe that works for us. It’s hearty, comforting, and delicious. Two times. That was […]

Roasted Chayote Salad with Green Chile Dressing

Roasted Chayote Salad with Green Chile Dressing

Chayote is one of those vegetables that was mostly relegated to soups in our house. I enjoyed their mild flavor and they were a nice addition to a vegetable soup, but that’s as far as it went. Then, one day we were watching PBS and […]

Blood Orange Sparkling Wine Cocktail

Blood Orange Sparkling Wine Cocktail

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It’s our anniversary and we’ve been celebrating all weekend long. There’s a lot to toast to and even more to celebrate. These are happy times deserving of a special cocktail. Since it’s citrus season and blood oranges are abundant, why not? Gin is our spirit of choice and we had a smooth, subtle aromatic one on hand that paired well with the blood orange juice. Topped off with a sweeter sparkling wine, this cocktail it was fit for a celebration. Cheers!

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Blood Orange Sparkling Wine Cocktail

Yield: 2 servings

2 oz fresh squeezed blood orange juice

1 oz gin

1 oz simple syrup (1:1 ratio)

sparkling wine

Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, except sparkling wine. Cover and shake until cold. Pour into two champagne coupes or other drinking vessel. Top with sparkling wine.

Quinoa and Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Lime Dressing

Quinoa and Baby Kale Salad with Roasted Garlic Lime Dressing

Since it’s been so warm lately, I wanted salad and a tangy vinaigrette. But, there are rules. This salad would have to be portable enough to take to lunch, not too fussy to assemble, and not get soggy. Kale is a good option since it’s hearty […]

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