White and dark chocolate cake w banner, Mama ía

White and Dark Chocolate Birthday Cake —and a jazz concert

White and dark chocolate cake w banner, Mama íaThis is the year of milestone birthdays at out house. We celebrated one in March, and now one in May —and it’s not the last one! But this one is very special and celebratory, particularly for my son David, who turns two digits. In fact, I think he has been celebrating for quite a while now. The big 1-0!

For the first of his celebrations, we visited  (more…)

kale and purple vegetable salad, Mama Ía

Kale and Purple Vegetable Salad —and a Robin’s Nest

kale and purple vegetable salad, Mama ÍaIt must be spring, and heading straight into summer, because I’m craving salad. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t eat salad the rest of the year. In fact, we eat salad at home every day. What I mean is that I’m craving colorful, crunchy, large salads as the main dish. And that  kind of craving usually comes to me in
spring and summer. It must be (more…)

Pork tenderloin in the style of Córdoba, Mama ía

Pork Tenderloin in the Style of Cordoba —and Knoxville, Asheville and Charleston

Pork tenderloin cordoba, Mama ía

Going away for spring break is something relatively new for us. In Spain, we had Holy Week holidays, which coincided, of course, with Holy Week and Easter. Even living in the United States, when the children were younger they didn’t notice if we went away on a trip during spring break or not. In fact, it was nice staying in Fort Wayne: the (more…)

Torrijas de mona de Pascua, Mama Ía

Sugar and Cinnamon Baked Milk Sweet Bread, Oven Baked Torrijas de Mona de Pascua

Torrijas de mona de Pascua

If you read my previous post, with the recipe for Monas de Pascua, Easter Sweet Bread, you’ll remember I mentioned that the Easter sweet bread will last for a couple of days, pretty much like with any bread. And like it happens with bread that is not fresh, you’ll either have to toast it and eat it with jam and butter or your (more…)

Monas de Pascua, Mama ía

Mona de Pascua, Easter Sweet Bread, from Valencia

Monas de Pascua, Mama ÍaYou might be wondering why I would be posting a recipe for Mona de  Pascua now. In my defense, I will say that we ate the monas (also called panquemados) on Easter Monday, as it is tradition in Spain. And also in my defense I will say that Easter started on Sunday, but it hasn’t ended yet. In fact, it will not end until Pentecost, which this year (more…)

Cod+ Cauliflower soup with rice

Cod and Cauliflower Soup with Rice, for Good Friday

Cod and Cauliflower soup with rice, Mama ía

This week will culminate in Easter Sunday, which in gastronomic terms means chocolate and special sweets, and an occasion for family celebration. Eggs of every color and material, real and not, and also made of chocolate, inundate our tables, our decor, our stores. So understandably, my first instinct was to make an Easter treat for this week’s post. But this week is also (more…)

Thick hot chocolate, Mama Ía

Thick Hot Chocolate for “Las Fallas”, Valencia’s Festival

Thick hot chocolate, Mama ÍaThis is a very special week in my home city of Valencia, Spain, where every March, Spring and Fallas seem to arrive together. From March 12 to March 19, the city stops its daily business to celebrate this festival. In a ceremony called la plantà, the setting, 700 colorful statues are mounted throughout the city, in every square and (more…)

Olivada and Smoked Salmon Spread

Olivada and Smoked Salmon Spread, Spain and Canada on toast

Olivada and Smoked Salmon SpreadAppetizers are a wonderful invention. So much so that, in Spain, we have created a new category of dish called tapa, or pincho, or montadito (the name changes depending on the region of Spain you’re in) based on small plates, equivalent to what in America we would call appetizers. Tapas can be so flavorful that we like to (more…)

Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Tart, Two Birthdays, and a Potting Party

Dulce de Leche and Chocolate TartAt the end of February and beginning of March, one week holds two birthdays in our family of five. You will then understand that some Lenten promises take a break, and we pause to celebrate. Two cakes, two special meals, and a whole week of anticipation and celebration. This year, in fact, those two birthdays are (more…)

Salt Cod Fritters, Mama Ía

Salt Cod Fritters, Buñuelos de Bacalao for Friday

Salt Cod Fritters, Mama ÍaI’m multi-tasking as I write this, trying to get tickets for our trip to Spain as well as writing this post. I’m looking forward to our trip, and as they say, getting there is half the fun! This includes trying to make sense of the dates available for every member of our family, accomodating summer jobs, work, soccer camps and (more…)