A Look Back, A Look Forward and of course, Tamales!

2014 has become 2015…..

Damn that went fast!

Probably because I was so busy!  Or its because I’m getting older and the whole age relationship of time continuum thingy.

I like to believe it’s the first suggestion.  Being busy.  And busy in such a great way!

This past year I have developed some amazing working relationships with some great companies.


mmmmmm mushrooms

I’ve eaten at a ton of fantastic restaurants.

Kamayan Feast (16 of 17)

Kamayan Feast at Lamesa

I’ve attended a pile of killer events; food and drink.

Niagara Craft Beer Fest


I hung out with cool people

Chef Norman van Aken

Mary Luz Meija with Chef Norman van Aken at The Pan American Food Fest

I’ve tried awesome products.

SweeTango Apples

SweeTango Apples

I’ve cooked loads of wicked things. Including things I didn’t think I could ever do well.

Choux Pastry success!

Choux Pastry success!

And all while I have been working more hours at my day job.

Most importantly this past year I have developed lifelong friendships with an outstanding group of uber talented, smart, beautiful women and spent as mush time I has could in their company (you all know who you are).  They have made me both a better and happier person that despite all my crazy hours and exhausted mornings, I wouldn’t change it for the world.

I also know for a fact this coming year will be busier, and even morning exciting.

Watch for:

  • a monthly cookbook review and giveaway.
  • more healthy, veggie centric recipes
  • cooking things outside my comfort zone

And much more great reviews, better photos (woot) and lots of outstanding recipes. Like this one!


One of my highlights this past year was definitely these tamales.  Taught to me by Paolo Solorzano from Santo Pecado Catering I have to say I was so proud of myself to be able to recreate them at home.  They are very labour intensive but if you have a group of people willing to help out (and leave with a ton of tamales) an afternoon together could be very productive. Just have them all bring their own filling and viola: tamales exchange!

Below is the recipe for the masa and step by step instructions on how to create the tamales.  I will leave the filling totally up to you.  It can be meaty, cheesy, spicy.  You decide.  Google tamale fillings and pick one that work for you.  And make sure you experiment as well; you really can’t go wrong.  And let me know in the comment section what you made this past year that was out of your comfort zone.  Or what you hope to.

Cheers to a New Year!

Masa Dough

2 cups masa flour
2 cup warm chicken broth (or vegetable)
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/2 tsp baking powder
salt, pinch
You will also need:
corn husks, soaked overnight
tamale fillings
large steamer pot
tamale press (optional)
saran wrap/parchment paper
hot water
dish cloth

To make the masa:

Combine all the masa ingredient and mix until fluffy and doesn’t stick to your hands.



Assemble on a large table all your fillings and tools.  Make a golf ball size ball of masa.

If you are using the tamale press place a piece of saran wrap or parchment down and place ball in middle of press.  Press down until dough is flattened into a circle about 3″-3 1’2″ wide.  Make sure it’s not to thin. If you are not using press make a similar sized circle by pressing dough in your hand.




Place a corn husk in your left hand and using the parchment turn the circle of dough onto the husk.  Make sure the top of the dough is about 1″ from top of the corn husk.


Add about 2 tbsp of filling to the center of the circle leaving about an inch top to bottom.


Take the cornhusk edge on the right and fold dough over onto itself.


Take the corn husk edge on the left and do the same.


Take the left edge of the corn husk again and fold over completely continuing to fold until completely wrapped.


Fold up the bottom of the corn husk.


Using strips taken from another corn husk tie the bottom securely around.


Place tamale upright in steamer basket of pot and continue until pot is full. You can cram them in pretty tight. If you still have dough and filling left keep making tamales and use another pot.



Place the steamer pot full of tamales over the bottom pot filled with boiling water.  You don’t want the water to reach the tamales to be carefully how much is in there.

Securely cover the tamales with a dish cloth making sure no steam can escape. Let them steam for 40 minutes or until dough appears cooked.  Make sure your bottom pot doesn’t boil dry.





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  1. Love you too!! Can we serious all go out for tamales!!!
  2. ooooh excited for monthly cookbook reviews!!!!
  3. Gorgeous, I love tamales.

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