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…)

Chocolate Mousse Tower Cake

Chocolate Mousse Tower Cake, and a Weekend of Love

Chocolate Mousse Tower CakeThis is not the post I was going to do for this week. In fact, this post was not even planned. What was planned, and what is almost finished, (as you will soon see), is a different recipe, of one of my favorite tapas. But Matthew came home this weekend, almost by surprise (we had known for just a few days), and we had to celebrate. Add to it (more…)

Braised Short Ribs in Two Wines Sauce, Comfort Food in a (so far) Mild Winter

Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Red PotatoesMy brother-in-law Jorge is an animal lover. And if he has a weakness for an animal in particular, that would be the cow. And the bull. Jorge is a veterinarian by trade, and after years of working as the purchasing director of the meat department of one of Spain’s largest supermarket chains —traveling to many parts of Spain as well as  (more…)

Chocolate Meringue Cake

Chocolate Meringue Cakes, or the Habit of Conservation

Chocolate Meringue CakesHave you noticed how, more often than not, the end of something good only means the beginning of something better? It happens to me everytime I bake: the end of a good dessert brings me inspiration for the next. But most often, it’s the ingredients, or rather, what’s left, the scraps and by-products, that are the spark (more…)