I know what my children will say when they see this post: banana nut bread (in any of its forms, like the banana nut bundt recipe I’m sharing today) is not Spanish. I’ll have to remind them then that this blog includes the recipes that I make at home, most of which are Spanish, but some of which are not. If I make it often enough and is part of my repertoire, chances are, it’ll make it to Mama Ía blog. I’ve been living in North America for over two decades, after all!
Desserts and Sweets
It is true that this blog is dedicated to Spanish cuisine in America; it is also true that some dishes have been made on both sides of the Atlantic, and beyond, for many years. Just like sangría is now made in many countries, with different variations on the original Spanish recipe (which you can find here, on this blog), I would think another of those dishes is tiramisu, an Italian dessert that has become, like many others, almost international. I make it often at home, so it has become part of my repertoire of recipes. As Christmas, and the festive days ahead, approach, with many of us hosting family and friends, this is one dessert that will not disappoint, and that can be made in large sheets and refrigerated, ready to feed a crowd. With coffee and some liquor in it, it is a crowd pleaser (and I don’t let the coffee and liquor part stop me from sharing it with my children, ha!)
I made this rhubarb almond cake a while ago, and I was hesitating whether this was the right time to post the recipe, given that rhubarb is not in season, at least where I live. I decided that this was perfect timing: with Thanksgiving next week, pie and cake are words that are dancing in my head, and this rhubarb almond cake is so versatile, you could swap the fruit and obtain the same wonderful result. The traditional ones, pumpkin, apple, and pecan pies, will be on many tables next Thursday, but alongside those, I always like to have something different. My friend Shelby makes coconut cream pie, and I absolutely love it. This rhubarb almond cake could become a pear almond cake, or a plum almond cake, and be a new addition to your Thanksgiving menu. I love it with rhubarb, so if you can find it, by all means, make it! Rhubarb gives the cake a certain tartness that I love, much like I think plums would.
A pear tree grows in the woods next to my house, and I made a pear tart (actually two!) with its fruit. This pear tree is just one of the wonderful discoveries in my garden this summer and fall. Another one, that I’ve mentioned before, was the “resurrection” of the fig tree I planted last year. And it came out in force. It’s now almost taller than me! The weather is still summer-like, we are having a beautiful, beautiful autumn, but I start to worry about how I will protect it for the winter. I think replanting it in a pot and bringing it indoors is out of the question, the tree is too big. What should I do? Do you have any suggestions? If you do, please tell me! I’d love to see the tree alive and well next spring, and I’m afraid much of it will depend on the kind of winter, less or more harsh, that we have. If there’s a special way of wrapping the tree that will protect it better, I’d love to know.
Monjavina is a sweet of arab origin, typical of the region of Játiva and of La Vall d’Albaida, where Onteniente, my hometown, is located. You can find it by other names like almoixàvena or monxàvena, but you will very rarely find it in any other regions of Spain other than the ones I just mentioned. My mom, in fact, never made it, as she comes from Seville, and I grew up eating it at the homes of friends. You could say that every household in Onteniente makes it.
The recipe is simple, with few ingredients, and that can mislead as to its result, which is a delicious, light, sugary cake that is best eaten on the day it’s made. My favorite time to have it is mid afternoon, with a glass of horchata (*) if I am in Spain, or an espresso if I am in America. This mid-afternoon snack is usually referred to as la merienda in Spain, a meal that is meant to stave off hunger between lunch and the late Spanish dinner. La merienda is most often also referred to as this meal in the context of children: the meal they eat right after they get home from school.
As mother’s day approached, and I was thinking more of my mom, and how we’ve been separated by an ocean for the past 22 years, many memories of when she was the mom and I was just a daughter danced through my head. Many of those memories involved oranges, and orange trees, and an orange orchard where (more…)
If you subscribe to this blog, or follow it regularly, you’ve noticed it has taken me a few extra days to post. I have not been procrastinating! In fact, this is the third recipe that I cooked and photographed for this week’s post. I kept changing my mind about it, and suddenly, I realized this Sunday is Mother’s Day in Spain, and I will (more…)
The farmers markets haven’t opened in Fort Wayne, and yet, I can find almost every fruit that I can think of at the store. They are obviously not local, but I’m having a hard time staying away from them. And plums have a sweet spot in my heart (check this post, where I explain it in more detail), so I couldn’t help but get some. I was thinking (more…)
I am mesmerized by the person of Rafael Guastavino, and I’ve been wanting to write about him for a while. This apple tart made me think of him.
Rafael Guastavino Moreno was a Valencian architect that lived between the 19th and 20th century, and whom, upon his death, the Herald Tribune baptized as “New York’s Architect”, a testament to the more than (more…)
To 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…)