Arroz al horno, hearty baked rice, Mama ía

Arroz al Horno, Hearty Baked Rice —Valencian comfort food

Arroz al horno, hearty baked rice, Mama íaMy son Matthew was home this weekend. This is always an event, because even though he’s only two hours away from us, he doesn’t come home all that often. In fact, we hadn’t seen him since the Christmas break. So whenever he comes home, we make it a celebration. This weekend in particular, we attended a concert, and spent time together, even if some of that time was him doing (more…)

Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing, Mama ía

Passionfruit and Berry Cake with Mascarpone Icing, for St. Valentine’s Day

Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing, Mama íaTo be perfectly honest, this wasn’t going to be this week’s blog post. But life catches up with me every day, and St. Valentine’s Day caught up with me. Passionfruit and berry cake with mascarpone icing seemed very appropriate for the occasion. A day of love, a day of passion, right? So even though I don’t like posting two desserts in a (more…)

Lemon meringue tart, Mama ía

Lemon Meringue Tart, and the thermal baths turned school

Lemon meringue tart, Mama íaTraveling back to Spain every year is an aspect of what living in North America entails for me and my family. Keeping connected with our family, our culture and our roots is very important to us no matter how long we may live or may have lived on this side of the Atlantic. I keep up with the politics, both national, local, and European, as well as (more…)

Spanish omelet, tortilla española, Mama ía

Spanish Omelet, Tortilla Española, Spain’s most popular tapa

Spanish omelet, tortilla española, Mama íaSpanish omelet, tortilla española or tortilla de patatas, is the most popular of all Spanish tapas. I dare you to find a restaurant, a bar, or a cafeteria in Spain that doesn’t serve it. I dare you to find one household in Spain that doesn’t make it. As popular as patatas bravas are when it comes to tapas, nothing overshadows Spanish omelet. And yet, like with (more…)

Spanish nougat mousse, Mousse de turrón, Mama ía

Spanish Nougat Mousse, Mousse de Turrón —or the Spanish habit of conservation

Spanish nougat mousse, Mousse de Turrón, Mama ÍaIt happens every year around Christmas time: I buy too much turrón, Spanish nougat. And every year I tell myself that next year I won’t buy as much, but invariably, I do it again. Not that I don’t buy many other Christmas sweets, and make them, too, of course. But turrón is closest to my heart. I talked about Christmas nostalgia in other (more…)

Piquillo pepper and chickpea soup with rice, Mama ía

Piquillo Pepper and Chickpea Soup with Rice —eating light after Christmas

Piquillo pepper and chickpea soup with rice, Mama íaToday is the day that marks the end of Christmas in North America, at least for Christians: it is the feast of the Epiphany, when we celebrate the adoration of the Three Kings, the Three Wise Men, to baby Jesus at Bethlehem (click on this link, to read or hear a children’s story I wrote for Highlights for Children magazine a few years ago, where (more…)

Pork tenderloin with chestnut sherry sauce

Pork Tenderloin with Chestnut and Sherry Sauce

Pork tenderloin with chestnut sherry sauceWhat a beautiful time of the year this is —and this week in particular, a week of anticipation, of preparations, for the big day on Christmas, if you celebrate it. The music in the stores, and in many radio stations, puts me in a happy mood, in an expectant mood. Maybe you’re traveling to see family. Maybe relatives are coming to spend some time with you. Or your (more…)

Chocolate medallions, Mama ía

Chocolate Medallions —and the Nostalgia of Christmas

Chocolate medallions, Mama íaIf you’re not a baker, or even think you’re not, this is the Christmas dessert for you to make. Medallas de chocolate, chocolate medallions, with a few toppings, will be the talk of the party (don’t they look beautiful?) Nobody will know that they are so easy to make. It only requires some organization, and very few baking skills. In fact, (more…)

Candied pumpkin fiber almond turnovers, Mama Ía

Pastelitos de Cabello de Angel, Candied Pumpkin Fiber Almond Turnovers

Candied pumpkin fiber almond turnovers, Mama ÍaThanksgiving is two days away and I haven’t seen it coming. Blame it on the warm weather, or on recent travels, or on the busyness of life. Blame it on the elections, still fresh. Thanksgiving is in two days, and I had better get ready.

We have this tradition, my friend Shelby and I, where we take turns hosting Thanksgiving. Her house or my house, (more…)

Cod in salsa verde, Mama ía

Cod in Salsa Verde, and Valencia’s Ciutat Vella

Cod in salsa verde, Mama íaIt is the season, I know, for pumpkins and squashes, for persimmons and stews, and soups, of course. It is autumn, after all. And yet, I’m thinking fish, and had to make bacalao en salsa verde, cod in salsa verde, green sauce —cod, as you know, is one of my favorite kinds of fish. When I’m in Spain, I buy it in salt, then soak it for hours, changing (more…)