We've loved the McClure Twins ever since we featured them on our blog back in March as a Featured Multiracial Family! The other day I was on YouTube and stumbled across this adorable video of the girls, Ava and Alexis, discovering they look exactly the same. It is the most adorable thing ever! You can follow all of the cuteness that is the McClure Family on their YouTube Channel!
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Multiracial Mixed Family
One thing I really love about having Swirl Nation Blog as an outlet, is that is provides me with the chance to promote and support amazing men, women and families! Next month we will be featuring the adorable Seestone-Ramirez family from Provo, UT as a Featured Multiracial Family, but will mom Anna was filling out her profile she shared her business Leo's Letters and I became obsessed! So I wanted to share the cuteness with all of you:)
Leo's Letters (named after Anna's son Leo) is an adorable business Anna started custom painting letters for kid's rooms and nurseries. Anna is a mom, a full time student and a business owner all at the age of 22! These letters would make the most amazing holiday gift for a kid of any age!
Check out some of the projects she has worked on and go to her Etsy page to order some for a cute kid in your life!
Yesterday at work I was aimlessly wandering the internet looking for inspiration when I came across the most adorable baby, doing the most adorable things. Now, I am a mom, but I am not one of those baby freaks. I think my baby (who is now 12 and 5'8") is adorable and the greatest human being I have ever met, but I do not melt in the presence of random babies. But baby Joey Choiz could change that!
The Huffington Post shared out this article about how baby Joey's mom dresses her up while she naps in pop culture inspired costumes. Not just a little prop here and there, but full-fledged amazing costumes. They are absolutely the cutest thing you will see all week! Follow mom Laura's Instagram account to see tons more! Also as mentioned in the Huff Post article, the captions are on point too!
Prior to focusing on eating less carbs I don't think I really thought about radishes at all. I mean, if they were in a salad at a restaurant I would eat them, but I never bought them. But then I read that they are super low in carbs, so I decided to see what I could do with them.
Last week I think I created the holy grail of radish recipes and it is seriously SO EASY.
ROASTED RADISHES WITH BROWN BUTTER SAUCE
- Preheat the oven to 450
- Clean the radishes
- Slice off the ends (you could use the tops, but I didn't because I had purchased my radishes at a Japanese grocery store that had already cut the ends off)
- Slice the radishes in half and place in small bowl
- Mix in Olive Oil and sprinkle some pink salt
- Pour onto a cookie sheet and roast for about 15 minutes
- If you want them a little crispy you may want to cook them a little longer
- Stir 1/2 way through
- Pull them out
- Then melt some grass fed butter with another pinch of pink salt until it starts to slightly brown
- Plate your radishes and pour butter sauce over top and then garnish with parsley
Beautiful! My daughter was skeptical when I told her what I was making (that is usually her first response to my experiments;) but she LOVED them! This will now be a regular side dish for us!
This week I am sharing a different low carb recipe every day! I love to cook and get creative with food, so I hope you enjoy the recipes and let me know if you try any of them! First up is Deviled Eggs! I LOVE deviled eggs. Like LOVE! So I make them a lot. My all-time favorite is BLT Deviled Eggs. I've been making them forever and they are always a crowd pleaser.
BLT DEVILED EGGS
- Cut eggs in half (obviously)
- Place yolks into a bowl and mash them together (I use a fork)
- Then I place a mixture of mayo and sour cream with the egg yolks. 2 parts mayo, 1 part sour cream. I think this is a key part and what makes my eggs different than most people's, the sour cream is delish!
- Once it is mixed smooth I add pepper and ground Pink Himalayan Salt
- Place the mixture in a ziploc bag, cut a small corner and fill the eggs
Then the toppings are bacon, sliced tomatoes, basil and paprika
- Break up crispy bacon into small pieces
- Cut up tomatoes into small slices, it is important that you only use the tomato skin- the insides of the tomato will make your eggs weird and mushy
- Cut small pieces of fresh basil
- Finally top with a small amount of paprika
If you don't have basil or tomatoes handy you can of course just make them with bacon and paprika and they will still be amazing!
EATALY: 43 EAST OHIO ST, CHICAGO, 60611
Living in Chicago has afforded me the chance to be completely exposed to all different types of foods from all over the world. Whether I want to eat in Greektown, grab a coffee in Wicker Park, dine on deep dish in South Loop, or head over to the luxuries of River North I am surrounded by different eateries. I will say I have not explored the city half as much as I would like to be completely settled on a favorite place, but instead think of where I suggest most for my friends to eat and dine.
When I started working at Eataly as a fine dining hostess I had very rough idea of what Italian food was and that Olive Garden was pretty much the peak of that. Don’t get me wrong after reading this post because I love Olive Garden and would still dine there in a heartbeat because, breadsticks/salad- YES. Eataly, takes Italian to a whole other level by brining the traditional, cultural flavors of Italy to America. The two-story facility here in Chicago provides a variety of different restaurants, a deli, pastry shop, wine retailer, cheese shop, bakery, gelato bar and so much more inside.
So why Eataly? It revolutionizes the idea of Italian food by bringing you imported Italian products and serving up menu’s that are specific to the Italian culture. You will not find Chicken Alfredo, breadsticks, or salad to accompany your plates of food. Instead you can get fresh meat/cheese boards, olive oil and hand cut bread, hand-rolled pasta and in house fresh mozzarella. Eataly is an experience, and while it sounds like I’m marketing for it, I promise you I advocate that facility alone is an experience worth having. It pushes customers outside of their comfort zones by giving you taste/flavors that are specific to this culture instead of an Americanized version of them. As of now there are two current Eataly facilities in the United States (NYC/Chicago) with current plans to open an L.A./Vegas/DC/Philadelphia in the impending future.
HAPA CUPCAKES: 105 W. AMERIEGE AVENUE, FULLERTON, CA 92832
The following post has been a while in the making. First I tweeted (maybe more than once). Then I found them on Instagram, so of course, I had to follow them… And like all their photo’s in the process. I admit it, I kinda stalked the ladies of Hapa Cupcakes, but guess what? It worked. Not only did they partake in Hapa Hour, but they also invited me to their bakery when I was in town a couple of months back. This does not mean you should go out and stalk someone until you get the results you want….
Sadly, I did not get to meet Hanayo Martin and Akemi Lee. However, their employees were expecting me and they let me pick out 4 different cupcakes and a mini cake to take home! So sweet of them!
I finally ended up with: Whiskey Oreo cookie, Kahlua Mocha, Strawberry Champagne with Chocolate Frosting, and Strawberry Cheesecake. Hapa Cupcakes are known for their liquor infused creations. The Whiskey Oreo Cookie Cupcake was great. The Strawberry Cheesecake was great too! My Mom and Grandmama loved the Kahlua Mocha one the best. I, however, loved the Strawberry and Champagne Cupcake with Chocolate Frosting.
I have to say these were some of the best cupcakes I have had, and I’m a cupcake snob from living in NYC. The cakes were perfectly moist and those frostings! Oh man, wish Hapa Cupcakes could ship me a tub of that! It’s easy to see how they were on Food Network’s Cupcake Wars.
If you live anywhere near Hapa Cupcakes in Fullerton, California, you must go. Sorry NYC, there isn’t one here. Maybe if I bug Akemi and Hanayo enough they will open one out here.
For more info on Hapa Cupcakes please visit their website.
I moved to Texas from Miami three years ago and I have yet to find a good Peruvian restaurant. For this reason, I always look forward to my yearly trips to Miami. I love seeing my family and enjoying the home-cooked Peruvian classics my father-in-law lovingly prepares for us. Ceviche mixto, lomo saltado, his special quinoa with chicken and Peruvian aji amarillo. I also enjoy eating out at Peruvian restaurants. My two favorites: El Chalan and CVI.CHE 105. El Chalan is like a mom-and-pop local eatery where Peruvian food is served comfort-food style. CVI.CHE 105 is your bourgeois, but not-too-pricey, restaurant serving the cuisine in a fancy-foodie style.
El Chalan Restaurant: 7971 Bird Road #17, Miami FL 33155
The description on Google explains it all: “Humble strip-mall outfit with an array of down-home Peruvian fare such as ceviche & lomo saltado.” But don’t let that description deter you from trying it. Walking in, you will notice pictures of Macchu Picchu and Peruvian gauchos on the wall. A soccer game or Peruvian tourist videos will be playing on the TV. You will most likely not hear any English being spoken (there are English-speaking servers, but maybe take this opportunity to practice your Spanish). There is nothing fancy about this restaurant. My favorite dish to order at this restaurant is Chupe de Camarones, or seafood soup. It is absolutely delicious. It isn’t light like a lot of seafood soups. It is hearty and spicy with the right balance of seafood, vegetables, and rice. I also like Tallarin Verdes, Lomo Saltado (of course), and Tallarin Saltado de Mariscos. Yum Yum! The restaurant only has a Facebook page and it hasn’t been updated in 9 months, but an abbreviated menu is available on Google.
CVI.CHE 105: 105 NE 3rd Avenue, Miami, FL 33132
For a little fancier atmosphere with equally good food, try CVI.CHE 105. So I just went to the website and my mouth just watered – oh, Pavlov… So what to try? EVERYTHING. When we had visitors to Miami, we always took them here. The drinks are delicious (Pisco Sours and Mojitos). They have an assortment of Peruvian Ceviches and Tiraditos – they were voted best ceviche in Miami four years in a row. The Causas are delicious, they even have one, Causa Montada con Pulpito al Olivo, that combines Cause with one of my favorite Peruvian dishes of octopus smothered in a creamy black olive sauce. There is a section of the menu called “Peruvian Classics”. This is where you find the Lomo Saltado, Aji de Gallina, along with dishes like Risotto Fillet which has filet mignon and shrimp on a bed of parmesan and mushroom risotto. I just drooled on my keyboard. My favorite desserts here are Suspiro Limena and Mousse de Lucuma. Suspiro means “sigh” in Spanish, and the dessert is totally a light lemon-y flavor with a creamy merengue on top. Lucuma… so lucuma is a fruit found in the amazon that tastes like nutty pecan and sweet potato mixed together. The mousse is rich and every bit worth the calories. CVI.CHE 105 does have a website. Make a reservation before you visit. I just learned via the website, there is a South Beach location too.
Sattva is a state of mind that causes us to remain steady, calm and peaceful. As the wife of a yoga teacher trainer, starting each day with tranquility is a priority. Our years in residence at the Himalayan Institute allowed us to cultivate a morning ritual that sets the tone for our entire day.
Each morning begins with a glass of water, neti wash and homemade Indian chai. My husband lights a candle and we sit next to each other on our meditation cushions to begin morning prayers. After completing audible chants, we practice japa meditation in silence. Then I wake up the kids while Luke starts preparing breakfast.
This daily routine infuses our home with palpable calmness. School day rush is filled with a sense of urgency but there is an underlying current of joy and gratitude. Communication is clear and when things go wrong, no one gets bent out of shape--we adjust and support each other.
Anyone can cultivate harmony in their home using tools and techniques that resonate with their personal beliefs and tradition or religion. Creating balance in your home isn't difficult but it does take effort and consistency is key.
The result is a happy, productive life--a life that everyone deserves.
Easy Homemade Chai
Makes 2 cups
Grate two inches of peeled ginger into 1 cups of water and bring to a boil
Add 3 heaping tablespoons of black tea
Optional pinch of saffron
Add 1 cup milk (optional almond, rice or soy)
Bring to a boil (skip boil for non-dairy milks)
Add sugar to taste
Add 6 Green Cardamom pods ground with a mortar and pestle
Strain and enjoy!
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Growing up, my family didn’t have too many cultural traditions. We lived in Germany during all of my years in elementary school, never living on the military base. Naturally, we partook in a few cultural traditions while living in Germany: Nicklaus Day, The Celebration of St. Martin, and my favorite, Fasching.
Fasching is basically Carnival/Mardi Gras, the festivities before Lent begins. Fasching typically begins on the 11th day of November at 11:11 a.m., or the day after Dreikönigstag (Three Kings Day), and ends the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday.
The festivities culminate in one big party spanning the week before Ash Wednesday. The events are as follows (courtesy of http://german.about.com/od/culture/tp/Fasching-In-Germany.htm ):
· Weiberfastnacht - Thursday before Ash Wednesday. This is mainly an event held in the Rhineland. The day begins with women storming into and symbolically taking over city hall. Then, women throughout the day will snip off men's ties and kiss any man that passes their way. The day ends with people going to local venues and bars in costume.
· Parties, Celebrations and Parades - People will celebrate in costume at various carnival community events and individual parties. Carnival parades abound, it is literally the weekend for people to live it up.
· Rosenmontag - The largest and most popular carnival parades take place on the Monday before Ash Wednesday. These parades come mostly from the Rhineland region. People throughout the German-speaking countries will tune in to watch the biggest German carnival parade of all which is held in Cologne.
· Fastnachtsdienstag - Besides some parades which are held on this day, you have the burial or burning of the Nubbel. A Nubbel is a life-size doll made of straw that embodies all of the sins committed during carnival season. It is buried or burned with great ceremony on Tuesday evening before everyone parties one more time till Ash Wednesday arrives.
I grew up in the Rhineland, in Mainz, Germany, so we had one of the biggest parades in the country. Every year, my parents would have us dress up in our favorite costume and take us to the parades where we would shout “Helau” and have candy thrown at us from the floats. Polka music abound, my family and I danced with our German neighbors and celebrated like locals.
Who doesn't love to travel?! This week we're all sharing our favorite destinations with you. Either places we've been and loved or places we're dying to go. My favorite destination is the tiny island of Caye Caulker, Belize.
In July of 2015 I went on a solo trip from Tulum to Caye Caulker. My love affair with Belize started on Pinterest, I saw some amazing photos of gorgeous blue water and colorful houses and decided I must go. 6 months later I was on a water taxi to the tiny island.
Caye Caulker is only 5 miles long and less than a mile wide. It is known to be a popular destination for backpackers, hippies and other laid back people and is significantly smaller and less populated than the larger Ambergris Caye.
You can water taxi into the island or take a very small plane. There are no cars on the island, just golf carts, bikes and boats. When you arrive at the port you are greeted by a view of colorful houses, and the sound of friendly locals. They speak English and the vibe is what I would describe as an incredible mix of latin and caribbean.
The island is not fancy, which is what I love about it. I stayed in a nice apartment that was located in a wonderful compound of homes I found on VRBO a couple days before I arrived. I would say it was definitely the most luxurious option the island has to offer. There are not any large hotels or resorts but there are hostels and smaller hotels.
During my days on the island I would wake up early and ride my bike around the island, which takes like 20 minutes lol. By the second day the locals were greeting me by name! There are various small shops and restaurants, various boat excursions, and lots of dogs roaming the streets.
But I spent my days at the island's main destination which is The Split. The Split it is this amazing spot where the island actually split during a Hurricane and now creates this awesome swimming channel between the 2 sides of the island. There is a restaurant bar at The Split which basically makes for the perfect day of swimming, sipping and suntanning. 3 of my favorite things.
There aren’t really any beaches on the island, the whole island is made of coral. But there are piers everywhere you can jump off of into the water with ladders leading back up to land. The scuba diving in the area is also supposed to be amazing although I did not do it. I really wish I had skipped Tulum all together and spent the entire time in Caye Caulker, which is why I plan on going back this summer- this time with my daughter!
Check out the beauty of the islands in these photos I took!
Things We Lost In The Fire was one of the first mainstream movies that I felt broke many movie barrier rules and portrayed the beauty of biracial families and marriage. Released in 2007, the film didn’t receive the recognition it deserved.
Without giving away too much of the plot, Halle Berry plays a wife and mother struggling through grief and heartache over the death of her loving husband. Her husband, played by David Duchovny, is a doting father to their two beautiful bi-racial children. The love between their characters is evident, truthful, deep and honest. Another storyline within the film, depicts the husband’s friend, played by Benicio Del Toro, who struggles with addiction. The movie reveals the gritty truths of human struggle, paralyzing fear, death, forgiveness, growth, love, change, friendship, family, and most of all inner strength.
My favorite movies are movies I can enjoy with my family. I love movies with strong female characters who overcome adversity through working hard and having grit. I have a 7-year-old daughter who loves soccer and Bend It Like Beckham, with the exception of a few scenes with “older” themes, is a good family movie. It is slightly cheesy and has a few clichés, but it is so funny and addresses issues of culture, tradition, race, and stereotypes of girls who like sports.
The movie is about a young, Indian girl growing up in London named Jess (played by Parminder Nagra) who loves to play soccer; however, her traditional Indian family feels she should pass her A Levels and learn to make the perfect chapati. After seeing Jess play soccer with boys in the park, Jules (played by Kiera Knightley) asks her to join her soccer practice. Jess practices with Jules’ team and loves it. She hides soccer from her family for as long as she can, but her family eventually finds out and it forces them to make a decision between dreams and tradition.
Bend It Like Beckham focuses on the struggle first-generation Indian youth face in London. Whether it is holding on to tradition, respecting elders, and living the dreams of your parents; or truly assimilating into your new culture and living your own dreams. It addresses that balance between being who your family is and adopting the culture of where you were born, a theme very relatable for most first-generation youth.
The movie also spotlights sexual orientation. A side story of the movie is Jules’ mom’s preoccupation and fear that her daughter is a lesbian. It is a very comical side story, but it brings up a stereotype that girls cannot be good at sports, or like sports, unless they are lesbian. One of my favorite quotes from the movie is, “Get your lesbian feet out of my shoes!” You have to watch the movie to get it, and I promise that line will be met with laughter.
There’s a little romance, lots of cultural jokes, and David Beckham only appears in posters throughout the movie. Bend It Like Beckham features a multi-cultural cast that does such a great job in truly bringing to life cultural nuances and comedy is used as a vehicle to address social issues with impeccable timing. I really love this movie - I wrote this whole post with a smile on my face.
I'm a total geek, and I was so thrilled when this new Star Wars film came out. Not only is it kick-ass but I felt it has an ethnically diverse cast, which is even better!
So much of Hollywood is white washed, so when I was asked what my favorite movie with an ethnically diverse cast is, I draw a blank. How sad is that? Granted there
are several "indie" films, but nothing really mainstream. Thankfully this new Star Wars
came along. Granted it's still not "that" diverse. I'm just hoping this is a step in the right direction. Shouldn't the movies we see reflect the society we live in? I sure as hell don't live in an all "white" community, and I sure don't like seeing it on screen.
Light and fluffy pancakes are fun and festive thanks to sprinkles in the batter. Greek yogurt is used in both the pancakes and the vanilla sauce, giving these funfetti pancakes tons of filling protein. Such a delicious and celebratory breakfast!
I came across this recipe on Pinterest. I was looking for something yummy, easy with a traditional twist. Everyone has fond memories of pancakes growing up or as an adult:) I enjoyed homemade buttermilk pancakes with fresh blueberries and pure maple syrup. We didn’t have them often so they were always a special treat.
Fast forward to now, and my boyfriend’s favorite breakfast treat is oven-baked pancakes. I have eaten more pancakes as an adult than ever… Not sure if that’s a good thing. I reduce the calories by making gluten free pancakes and using yogurt instead of syrup. So, in the spirit of Valentine’s day, heart-shaped sprinkles pancakes with Greek yogurt sauce would be a perfect breakfast for your children, boyfriend, husband, girlfriend, wife and family. The bonus, they’re healthy and tasty! Happy Valentine’s Day!
INGREDIENTS FOR THE PANCAKES
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
- 1/2 cup milk (I used 1%)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup sprinkles (the oblong kind, not the tiny dot kind)
- For the Sauce
- 1 5.3 oz container vanilla yogurt (I used 0% Chobani)
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons honey (more or less to taste)
- 2 teaspoons milk
- Preheat a griddle pan or large frying pan over medium low heat.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda.
- In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, milk, egg, oil, and vanilla until well combined.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Do not over mix. Let the batter sit for 10 minutes.
- Divide the batter into two bowls, and gently mix half the sprinkles into the first bowl.
- Lightly and carefully grease your pan.
- Spoon the batter into four places on the griddle pan. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until golden brown. Flip and cook for 1 - 2 minutes on the other side. Remove pancakes to a wire rack.
- Stir the rest of the sprinkles into the remaining batter, and repeat cooking process.
- For the Sauce
- In a small bowl, stir together the yogurt, vanilla, honey, and milk. Add more milk until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve pancakes topped with yogurt sauce and extra sprinkles.
Original recipe and photos from www.chezcateylou.com
This week we are sharing our favorite gift ideas for Valentine's Day. I love Valentine’s Day and really all things cheesy and romantic. For the last 11 years my Valentine has been my daughter Kaia and I love making extra special treats for her every February 14th. I’ve made heart shaped eggs, pancakes, pizzas and more over the years. But last year I decided to go with DONUTS!
Donuts are an automatic win, I have never met a kid that doesn’t love donuts. Two years ago I bought a bunch of sprinkled donuts and created a multi-tier donut birthday cake and my daughter’s friends almost lost their sugar-loving minds:)
My absolute favorite custom donuts come from a donut shop in Koreatown called Fantastic Donuts. I discovered them like I discover most things, on Instagram. If you go to their store on Vermont Avenue it looks like any other donut shop- the key is to email them for their special order donuts! They are super nice and easy to work with. Here are the donuts I got Kaia last year!
Cute right?! She of course LOVED them! This year I'm going to have to get creative because my daughter just joined me on my Ketogenic eating plan (aka no sugar)!!! But for the rest of you here is some other #DonutPorn (best hashtag ever!). I have a sugar high just looking at these photos!
All images can be found HERE!
There was a period of time, during my teen years, when I lived with a Mexican- American foster family. During that time, we ate traditional homemade Mexican food: mole, menudo and, one of my favorites, pozole. The result of this experience is that now I am extremely picky about my Mexican food and know how authentic Mexican food is supposed to taste. Jen Fisch, one of the founders of Swirl Nation and one of my best friends, got me a trial account with Blue Apron, which delivers farm-fresh ingredients and recipes to prepare home-cooked meals. A few months into receiving dishes, pozole was on the menu as an option. I was intrigued, wondering if it would taste as good as I remembered and read over the ingredients and instructions. They seemed fairly close to what I remembered as a teen and I wanted to give it a try. I was pleasantly surprised how flavorful and fresh it tasted. Now, it was not by any means authentic Mexican pozole, but it was extremely tasty and easy to make! Definitely a great dinner dish for the family during colder weather seasons.
BLUE APRON'S PORK AND TOMATILLO POZOLE WITH HOMINY, AVOCADO AND RADISHES
Pozole is a traditional Mexican soup with its origins in Aztec cuisine. Though there are many variations, all of them center on hominy, a special preparation of maize. Our interpretation is inspired by the delightfully rich, slightly tangy versions of the dish commonly associated with the Mexican Pacific coastal state of Guerrero. Tomatillos (a tomato relative with papery skins) and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) are some of the region’s hallmarks. Their delectable tartness and crunch, along with the cooling creaminess of avocado, complete this hearty dish.
8 Ounces Ground Pork
3 Cloves Garlic
2 Ounces Radishes
1 Red Onion
1 Large Bunch Cilantro
3 Tablespoons Pepitas
1. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS
Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lime. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and onion. Remove and discard the papery husks of the tomatillos; medium dice the tomatillos. Drain and rinse the hominy. Pit, peel and medium dice the avocado; toss with the juice of 1 lime wedge to prevent browning. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes; cut the radishes into matchsticks. Pick the cilantro leaves off the stems; discard the stems.
2. BROWN THE PORK
In a large pot, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground pork; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until lightly browned and just cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside, leaving any drippings and browned bits (or fond) in the pot.
3. COOK THE AROMATICS & TOMATILLOS
Add 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the pot of reserved fond. Heat on medium-high until hot. Add the garlic, onion and all but a pinch of the spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened and fragrant. Add the tomatillos. Cook, stirring frequently and breaking apart the tomatoes with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until the tomatillos have softened and begun to thicken into a sauce.
4. FINISH THE SOUP
Add 2 cups of water to the pot of aromatics and tomatillos. Cook, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits from the bottom of the pot, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Add the hominy and browned pork; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium and simmer 7 to 9 minutes, or until slightly reduced in volume. Remove from heat. Stir in the juice of 1 lime wedge; season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. TOAST THE PEPITAS
While the soup simmers, in a small pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the pepitas and remaining spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, 2 to 3 minutes, or until toasted and fragrant. (Be careful, as the pepitas may pop as they cook.) Remove from heat.
6. FINISH AND PLATE YOUR DISH
Divide the finished soup between 2 bowls. Garnish with the avocado, radishes, cilantro and toasted pepitas. Serve with the remaining lime wedges on the side. Enjoy!
As you can probably gather from my family profile, I love Peruvian food. The first time i had causa was at my in-laws vow-renewal. The mixture of tart potatoes and spicy aji pepper with familiar chicken salad and creamy avocado was heaven. I ate a tray all by myself. Enjoy!
PERUVIAN CAUSA RELLENA
2 lbs. yellow potatoes ( Yukon gold)
1/2 cup oil
1/4 cup lime juice (mix with key limes, if available)
2 -3 tablespoons aji amarillo peppers (my in-laws always bring this for us from Miami)
salt and pepper
2 cups chicken salad (used as filling, I typically buy this premade)
2 -3 hard-boiled eggs, sliced into rounds
6 -8 pitted black olives
- Place the potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook the potatoes until they are tender and cooked through. Drain and set aside to cool.
- When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, peel them. Put the potatoes through a ricer or mash with a potato masher until smooth. Stir in the oil, aji pepper, lime juice, salt and pepper to taste.
- Line a casserole dish or baking pan with plastic wrap, pressing it down to fit the dish. Spread half the potatoes into the bottom of the dish and smooth out. Spread chicken salad evenly over the potatoes. Layer sliced avocado over chicken salad. Spread the remaining potatoes evenly over the filling (chicken salad and avocado). Press down gently to firm up your causa. Cover and chill thoroughly.
- Lay a serving platter upside-down over the top of the causa dish. Using both hands, flip the dish and platter over, letting the causa fall onto the platter. Remove and discard the plastic wrap.
- Garnish the causa decoratively with the hard-boiled eggs and olives and, if you like, a sauce. Cut into portions and serve.
If I don’t have a large group, I use a round spring form pan – it shows off the layers and makes it look fancy
You can substitute chicken salad with tuna salad, ahi tuna, shrimp, crab salad
My mother-in-law has substituted the avocado with beets
As an appetizer, you can roll the potato mixture into ½ inch balls, top with chicken salad/filling of choice, and drizzle with huancaina sauce or Peruvian mayonnaise
You can garnish the causa with cilantro, tomatoes, shrimp, lime - use your imagination