Keeping current in wellness, in and out of the water
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
You can scroll the shelf using ← and → keys
Welcome to the coffee party. I am glad you have the time to drop in for a cup of coffee, tea, or good cheer. If we were having coffee today I would invite you to stay for a while to tell me what is up in your life. We have a very festive table set for your visit today. I just whipped up some cranberry rhubarb sauce, and am sipping on my new favorite tea, roiboos lemon cloud. In the back yard I am grilling up eggplants and a very large batch of green chiles I picked up at the produce bonanza this morning. The selection this week ( We get 60 pounds of produce for $10) was small, but the quality very high. Nothing says Christmas in Tucson like perfect green chile, so I filled the box to the brim. We brought home watermelons, green peppers and eggplant too. I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to use/ and or give away all the fresh vegetables before they rot. There will be sour cream enchiladas, chiles rellenos, and some chilaquiles later today. Stick around if you like Mexican food. I made great tomatillo/jalapeño salsa last week that is outstanding. We like it spicy around here.
If you are not fond of Mexican food we have great leftovers from an impromptu party we threw this week. I made an English Christmas Pudding, which created discussion, which in turn lead to a weeknight party with great old friends. One of our guests lives close enough to walk over, and has vast experience with pudding like this. His family has a traditional holiday pudding called a puzzle pudding, which they inherited from their ancestors in Wales. I made one with apples and rum raisins, and served it with great quantities of whipped cream. We partied on homemade spinach artichoke dip, crudités, olives, and cheese fondue while sipping hot spiced cider. It was perfect for our low key style. We had a great time catching up with our friends, and the effort was minimal.
As we head into the darkest days of the year I am going extra dark next week. I have an appointment to receive a light treatment at my dermatologist’s office that is kind of tedious. It requires that I stay at the office for about 2 hours, which is not so severe. After the treatment I must avoid light of all kinds for about 3 days to ensure proper healing. It is even contraindicated to sit by a window inside the house. I have rolling shutters downstairs, so I can effectively create a black out inside. While the rest of the world rolls by I will spend three days 18-21 December in total darkness binging on television and hopefully doing some writing and art. I may do some cooking, but am feeling kind of finished with holiday meal preparation. I am accentuating the winter solstice for full effect. I have candles, essential oils, and fancy red robe to dress up like Mrs. Santa Claus. I will be going into deep cover. I hope to emerge refreshed and ready for a brand new year. I wish you all a happy Saturnalia.
I appreciate the chance to share coffee and more with this group of talented writers. Stop by Diana’s blog to read, comment, or post your own coffee stories. The group is welcoming and intelligent. We welcome your point of view.
In the month of October I took the #OctoberUnprocessed challenge as I have for a few years now. Each year I give up fake meat products, chips and crackers for the month. I eat pretty well, but those products have been prominent in my diet forever. I also bought two small packages of sugar, one brown and one confectioners, and vowed to make them last until 2017. I am happy to report that both of those sugar bags remain unopened. I probably will open one today for banana bread, but I have used no sugar in the kitchen for almost two months. The other progress I made was to adapt to life without bags of chips and boxes of crackers. I made one tasty batch of home baked crackers in October and then just forgot about them. I decided that if I go to a great Mexican restaurant once a month that makes tortillas in house I never really need to buy bags of chips. So far, this is working too. Instead of answering each and every whim I have to eat nachos, I am practicing delayed gratification by anticipating much better nachos in the future. There is no way I want to give up nachos forever.
I have stumbled upon a positive way to use procrastination. This word means putting off necessary tasks. I have reversed this process by putting off bad habits without giving them up once and for all. It is brilliant. I will admit I am back on the fake meat. I was wolfing down bacon bits on the fist of November like they were going out of style. Maybe next October I will break that habit. There are far worse things to which one can be addicted to than fake chicken McFriedFood and veggie burgers. I can accept myself with this silly exception to my almost all unprocessed diet. I am feeling good about the cracker conquest. They have no power over me any more. Do you have a processed food that you can not bear to stop eating, gentle reader? What is yours? I have to have really good taco salads in my life:
Our state is attractive to tourists because we have sunny warm weather. We call them snowbirds because they come down from some wintry place to stay in our area while it is miserably cold up north. Some own second homes, and others are driving RV’s on the annual pilgrimage. They provide much-needed economic boosts to the places they visit, and then head north in the spring. Arizona depends on their spending to support not just hotels, but service industries and retail stores as well. The tourist represents a segment of the economy we can grow. What we have to offer is in competition with all other destinations for traveler’s attention. Here are some features I believe make a vacation in Arizona in winter great:
This year when snowflakes begin to fall on your front yard, book your flight and come on down to Tucson for outdoor adventure and some awesome tamales. We welcome you to our part of the world.
I began eating large quantities of corn tortillas about 40 years ago and will never stop
My parents drove all over Mexico with the family when I was a teenager
They were great lovers of restaurants, especially in Mazatlán, where we spent summers
We preferred corn to flour tortillas, although we knew nothing about gluten
Chips, enchiladas, tamales, tostadas and endless tacos have made me extremely happy
It is important to pace yourself with corn because the masa expands after it is eaten
tacos de papa
If you have the chance to eat fresh hand made corn tortillas, jump at it
Salsa, the right mix of chiles for the moment, completes the fun flavor fiesta
Ride the poetry train this month by clicking here. Read, write, eat and drink poetry this April.
Another day in Austin, another fabulous place to eat!!!! My brunch experience at Tamale House East today was out of this world…. or at least out of my normal world. I cook Mexican food and have made plenty of tamales myself but there is always a regional and personal style to every dish. I have a world wide competition on the best preparation of huevos rancheros (classic), chilaquiles (subject to MUCH interpretation), and nopalitos. The contest got started when some of my friends in Tecate were bragging that they made the best nopalitos. I said, “Well, let’s see.” They would bring me different versions of their specialties, all delicious. I would declare a tie (what kind of fool would declare a winner when the nopalitos were still flowing?). The tie in nopalitos continues, just in case some of my commadres read this.
They are not big on the nopalito thing in Texas, but the other two are to be found in abundance. Taking my landlady’s advice again I went to Tamale House East. This old establishment is popular with the hipsters. When I arrived they were playing Mexican music. When the hipster busboy arrived he switched to obscure rock, and the student clientele started to stream in the door, around 10 am. Lots of places around here do not open until 11 because methinks the collegiates are still sleeping until that time. The plates are large for the breakfast specials, and include some very good beans and a couple of hot flour tortillas. I could have gotten corn tortillas, but did not request it, so I enjoyed what I had. They gave up lard, like most restaurants these days, because most people are no longer into it. They still make one pork tamale with lard, but vegetarians will not be ordering that anyhow. The place is spacious, comfortable and colorful. The staff is friendly and attentive. The real reason to come here, though, is for the food. The tomatillo salsa was just right with my chilaquiles topped with an egg. I tried both of the house salsas on offer because that is how you know if you like the place. Both were outstanding.
I went to the kitchen to give my compliments to the ladies who made my food and was met with a very warm reception. I discussed tamales with the tamalera, who is from Guerrero (the state where Acapulco is). She was very cool and told me she makes green corn tamales at home. This is a Sonoran specialty not often found outside our zone. I would recommend this restaurant to anyone. If you have never tasted tamales, this is a great place to start. If you are like me, very selective about your Mexican food, you will be more than pleased with the authenticity, the ambiance, and most of all the cuisine. Y’all come. You will not be disappointed.
My landlady leaves a book of recommendations in the Airstream for her visitors which I have found to be helpful. There are way too many choices for Mexican food and I only want the best. Her statement about El Chilito is that they have the best breakfast tacos in town. I have been here for 5 days and have not had a single tortilla, so I followed her advice and drove to Manor Rd for some tacos. The menu is extensive, with plenty of options for vegetarians. I had a migas taco and a bean, cheese and egg taco which were both full of flavor and very satisfying. The style is double tortilla (you can order it with flour, but I always prefer corn) soft taco. The only seating is outdoors, but the foil wrapper keeps the food hot for a while if you want to take it with you. They also have a large selection of aguas frescas and other drinks. They even serve mimosas. Funky, original, and perfect…El Chilito is the real deal. If you visit this fine city and are hungry for Mexican food check this place. Prices are low, just like their overhead. I plan to return. I don’t need to try all the other breakfast tacos. I think my landlady is right.