Category Archives: Food

La Tamalera

La Tamalera means the woman that makes Tamales. You may wonder what a Tamal is, but no reason to get impatient. I’ll get to that all throughout this post.

Tamales are one of the most time-honored Christmas traditions in Costa Rica. Like the rest of Latin America, tamales are a principal part of Christmas dinner. In Costa Rica, tamales are made from corn flour and are filled with many different ingredients, such as potato puree, rice, vegetables, garlic and onions, and shredded pork or chicken or beef, all wrapped in banana leaves and tied with string into squares, and boiled.

Christmas traditions in Costa Rica

After last nights party I slept in. Something that resulted in it being very warm already (26C) when I woke up. So… I decided to sleep some more.

When I woke up again it was already 1pm and Roshy y Mami had started making Tamales.

Roshy and I were put into the time lengthy job of cleaning the banana leaves so they were all clean of dust and other stuff, preparing them for using.

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Roxana washing Banana leaves

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Me washing Banana leaves

mami started cookinge the meat and the vegetables for the filling and the broth.

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Meat cooking and preparing for Tamales

Then we prepared the fillings.
We used Carrots, Prunes, Olives, Red bell peppers, Green peas, raisins and potatoes cut in stripes.
Not to forget:  For each tamal a peace of meat.

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Carrots prepared to be used as filling for Tamales

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Mami preparing La masa (the dough)

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How to fill a Tamal

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Mami filling tamales

Once the Tamales are filled, bundle them up two and two and put in a huge casserole for cooking. They now need 1-2 hours of cooking.

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Finished Tamales – Wrapped and ready for cooking

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Tamales cooking over open fire outside in the yard

Of course, this was a lot of work and a lot of effort inside today, however it was an excellent way to spend the day with my family and learn one of the most popular traditions for christmas.

And.. For dinner. Tamales.. Yummy :D

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Our Christmas Portal

For the full recipe to make Tamales go to my Recipe blog

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Holidays in Italy. Starting in Rome

So this morning I was up and out of bed early to get to the airport in time for my flight to Rome. At the airport was the longest checkin queue I have seen in Gardermoen ever. Fair enough, there were technical problems and electricity prolems that caused the luggage not being chartered of to the right airplanes, but still… However the security scan was over quickly.

The flight was uneventful and done in 3 hours and when I landed my friend Anni had sent me a text message saying she was waiting for me at the airport. Together we took the train to our respective stations and checked in to each our hotels nearby each other. The funny thing with Anni is that we met by chance in the beginning and once we started visiting each other, we suddenly realized that; Hey, we have met in so many countries… Actually one country per time we have met. We need to make it into a sport. So we continued and this is the 9th time we meet, and the 9th country (We have met at 2 airports as well outside of these 9 times, but they don’t count as they were in the international zone).

I was dead tired and Anni had a spa treatment so we each had a nice sleep before we were meant to meet up tonight, but I did have a afternoon walk first and found this amazing food store called Eataly where they sold only best quality products of everything. I haven’t seen so many cheeses gathered in one place before.. Oh so yummy.

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Fresh Pasta at Eataly, Piramide Train station

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Ham and Cheese department at Eataly. Yummy!

I met Anni at 8pm and we went downtown to have dinner at this lovely Restaurant close to via Veneto, called Lo Stil Novo. Just by giving us complimentary Prosecco when arriving I liked this place. The Prosecco was a Vettori from Valdobbiadene. Lovely.

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For a starter I had baked aubergine with Mozarella, Parmesan and Aubergine sauce. It was delicious.

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As a Primi Piatti I had seafood spagetti and with it we had a Corte Sant’Alda white from Valpolicella Ripasso, Campi Magri. Lovely combination.

05 Duck

My main course was Duck on vegetables and it was really good. The wine to go with it was lovely, but I forgot the name of that one.

We took a cab home and by that time it was quite late already.

In a total today I walked over 17000 steps and had a very, very nice day!

Enjoying a wonderful day in Lyon

This morning Anni and myself went out early and Anni didn’t feel like working in the morning. So we went shopping instead :D I bought myself 12 new wine glasses and I bought my sisters christmas gifts. I bought the two small ones each their suitcase (which will also be practical for me when I need an extra suitcase for all the extra stuff I bought for myself :D) and for the last one I picked up some small extra gifts. We also shopped some nice kitchen accessoires and then we had Lunch @ Le Muranie.

lemuranie

After Lunch Anni went back to the Hotel to continue her work while I continued Shopping. I walked around and found some clothes, some christmas decorations and just enjoyed a lovely day. I really like Lyon. I also found a lovely store that sold some amazingly cute christmas tea light candles. I might have gone a bit mad with the shopping, but who cares :D It’s about the first time I have felt really good since june so I felt I deserved it!

This was the first day that I did not have a rest in the afternoon and I felt really well on top of it. Today was the only day we had to walk a bit far to get to the restaurant we had booked, so we had a lovely walk crossing the Pont Lafayette and enjoying the lovely view in the dark of the bridge.

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And then we walked down towards the central station but about half way down we turned right and found our restaurant called Daniel et Denise where we had another lovely meal.

danieldenise

On our way back to the hotel we took time to take some pictures and I really loved this house.

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Dinner @ Daniel et Denise

For Dinner today Anni and I went to another highly rated traditional restaurant called Daniel et Denise.  Another excellent choice by Anni.

At the Restaurant we ordered a lovely bottle of Red Wine by Georges Duboef called Prestige Julienas which was excellent.

For my appetizer I ordered Calf’s head cooked in a court bouillon with ravigotte sauce and Anni had sweetbread (which I was fortunate enough to taste – Both was lovely).

calfhead

As my Main course I had Angus beef sirloin steak fried with black pepper and flambed with cognac, but at this point I forgot to take pictures of the food because it was so delicious. :D

Another excellent dinner on this our last nights in Lyon.

Lunch @ Le Muranie

For Lunch today we wanted to try some of the Frenchest of the French cuisine so we decided to to to Le Muranie.

lemuranie

As an appetizer we had Snails :D They were lovely! (I really DO like snails)

snails

And my Main Course was Frog Legs. I have had Frog Legs a few times before, but  these were fresh and not pre-frozen and they were absolutely stunning.

froglegs

So stunning that Anni had never seen anyone clean the bones as well as I did ;D
(to make sure I got all there was to eat).

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Poor Frogs :D

For dessert we had Chocolate Fondant, which was great as well.

chocolatefondant

The best thing was that the Chocolate Fondant was on the house! :D Amazing!

Dinner @ Le Garet

Today Anni had booked us dinner at Le Garet which is a Restaurant that serves very typical food from Lyon and the area around Lyon.

legaret

As a main course we had Rilette d’Oie (Tender Morsels of Goose) which was absolutely amazing. To accompany our meal we had a wine called D’Ampuis by E. Guigal which is a local wine from the Cotes de Rhone district.

goose

The Goose Morsels were delicious with pickels and we just enjoyed it utterly too much eating all we could. We also had a really fun time watching the guy at the next table who seemed to find the food just a bit too weird for his taste. He had ordered something as simple as pigeon and struggled with it.

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We, on the other side, had ordered calfs brain sauteed in butter after poaching in a court-boillon served with steamed potatoes.

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It was another lovely meal in company of my dear friend.

For dessert we had Ice Cream with liqueur which was lovely.

liquer

Another lovely meal at another great restaurant! Awesome food!

Lunch at Le Bistrot de Lyon

For Lunch Anni and I went to Le Bistrot de Lyon where we had a lovely lunch with wine.

I started out with a Foie de Gras as an appetizer and Anni ordered a seafood plate that looked amazing. They had decorated it absolutely beautifully.

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Anni with her Seafood plate ;D It looks amazing! Doesn’t it?

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My main course was a rabbit leg with gratinated potatoes. It was so lovely.

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That lunch was just awesome !