Tag Archives: World 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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Sightseeing Paris – Notre Dame – Tour Eiffel

We slept in this morning. We were far too exhausted from yesterday to even consider getting up early. Around 10 we left the hotel room and took the bus to (M) Cour St’Emilion where we took the metro to (M) Etienne Marcel where we started off our day. Our first mission was to find a street called; Rue Tiquetonne where I had singled out our shopping to start :D However, taking a wrong turn, we didn’t find that street, but a lovely little Brasserie where we decided to have our breakfast instead.

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Restaurant “Le Capitole”, located at 105, boulevard de Sebastopol, 75002 Paris
PS: These guys have WONDERFUL Service and very tasty Breakfast !!

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Enjoying Breakfast

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Looks like Linda is still enjoying being on her first trip without mom and dad :)

When we were done with our Breakfast we took a new look at the map and this time we had no problems finding Rue Tiquetonne and both the Pylones store and G Detou (A specialist store for bakers and chocolatiers) where I had scheduled my only must buys for the day :D Chocolate from the House of Callebaut for Chocolate Fountains. This filled up my sack for the day and had I been intelligent had I planned this for late afternoon, but well I didn’t – so I carried my “burden” with no complaints.

We continued walking down Rue Montmartre past Les Halles and Chatelet crossing the bridge to the “Isle de la Cite”. We stopped in bakery and baking equipment stores to see if they had any good ideas for things to make at home. We took pictures and we enjoyed our day very much. The sun peeked out from a clouded layer and despite temperatures around 6 Celcius, it was a beautiful day. Crossing the bridge to Isle de la Cite, we visited the beautiful flower market before we headed down to the Notre Dame Church.

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The Notre Dame

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Two Happy Sisters (Notice the sour-looking Japanese tourist in the back – hihi).

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InsideNotre Dame.

I have been to Notre Dame once before, when I was 10 myself, and I think Disney is to thank for Lindas Interest in the church. She took pictures and she asked questions and she wanted to go up to the towers and in the end she didn’t want to leave.

When I was there last time, both me and Ingrid (our middle sister – at the time 7) were totally fed up of visiting “grown up” tourist attractions, and churches – BORING. We had no interest of getting inside the Church, we wanted to stay outside in the sunny beautiful weather playing. Of course parents can’t leave their 10 and 7 year olds outside a church to play in a foreign city, so we had to go in and both of us made a scene (which we have been reminded of countless times throughout the years).

Once we were done at Notre Dame we went Lunch hunting. Originally I had set out for a Restaurant who specializes in Frogs and Snails called Roger La Grenouille, located in Rue des Grands Augustins. However, this restaurant was only open between 12:00 – 14:00 for lunch and they would not reopen until 19:00 which was too late for us to have lunch (and to stay in the area) so we started walking down a couple of nice streets where we window-shopped and at the end of the street we arrived at the Place St Andre des Arts where there were Brasseries and Restaurants on every corner.

Our choice fell on the Restaurant called Chez Clement, who had snails. Linda had expressed before our travel that she wished to taste both snails and frogs while we were there, and me in particular… wanted to have frogs for dinner.

So for starters we ordered Snails and Fois Gras de Canard. Linda was good and not only tasted, but liked and wanted more Snails. She tried the Fois Gras de Canard, but that was not to her taste. Good … More for me :D

For dinner I had a Rabbit Stew, which she also tasted (but the poor thing felt remorse for the poor rabbit the rest of the day!) and liked. She herself had ordered Beef with Mashed Potatoes.

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We decided for dessert and they had this lovely Chocolate – Pineapple Fondant Cake baked inside a Pinapple ring. Linda had Ice Cream, but we exchanged  for tasting :D This was a lovely meal and a waitors were nice and helpful! And … I think they had the best (and nicest and best smelling) bathrooms I have visitied in a long time.

After dinner we crossed the bridge and walked towards the Louvre. We had no idea to enter it until tomorrow, but we wanted to go shopping and looking. We entered the shopping mall Carousel du Louvre where we shopped for a while. However it was so full of tourists, bus loads of tourists from everywhere. In particular groups of teenage schoolkids. And they were pressuring and running around us and I must admit I got slightly scared of loosing Linda. As its my first time that I am taking a child with me on a travel my stress level rose a bit ;D

We continued on, our last stop of the day was to walk to the Eiffel Tower as we wanted to both see it and take pictures of it at night time.

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After we took pictures it was already so late it was about time to get back to the hotel. We left our stuff in the hotelroom and rushed to Carrefour to go shopping for eastereggs and easterbunny chocolates as well as baguettes and fruit and juice that we could have for our late night meal. Back in the hotel room we ate and packed our bags for tomorrow before we went to bed. After a wonderful, but long day, we were beaten.

Our Tour of the Day on the Map:

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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).

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 !

Dinner @ Le Nord

Tonight Anni had booked us a table at a lovely Brasserie called Le Nord.

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Sundays apparently are not the best day for going out in Lyon, but Le Nord was quite a good place to dine! The food, the wine and the service were quite good and the only thing we might have a comment on could be the acoustic in the room where we were seated. With all the guests chatting it became quite loud.

For dinner today I had ox cheek. It must be on of the most tender meats I have eaten. It was cooked to perfection and it was just so lovely. Dark dark meat and the red wine sauce it came with accompanied it to excellence.

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We had a very lovely local wine to accompany our dinner. A wine from Michel Désormière et Fils called Perdriziere, one of the 14 communes of the Cote Roannaise wine district.

We had a lovely meal and a great time!