I don’t know what compelled me to wake up at 6:45 a.m. on a Saturday and decide that making Eggs Benedict was a good idea. But when there’s a toddler tugging at your blanket and there’s more than plenty of time on a weekday morning, sleep deprivation and a hungry stomach begin making decisions one cannot argue with. So it was that in this deluded state I decided, not only was I going to make Eggs Benedict, I was going to make them Peruvian style with homemade huancaina sauce because I’d had a dream the night before that my husband and I had innovated this particular dish and it had been damn tasty. This is probably a good time to tell you that I’ve never poached an egg in my life. But, hey, there’s a first time for everything.
When Martha Stewart says she’s going to teach you how to cook/bake/make anything, you go. And you take notes. She recently came down to Miami during Art Basel for a cooking demonstration at Macy’s, for which I was clearly unprepared because I thought arriving 45 minutes early would be ample time to find a decent seat within viewing distance of the Queen of Craft (that’s what I like to call her, anyway). But that only left me four rows from the back, zooming into the second monitor, trying to take a picture of a picture of Martha. Lesson learned, lady. Lesson learned. No matter. She cooked. And she did it well. (She also said “twerking,” the context of which escapes me because, I mean, Martha Stewart said “twerking!” But the context really doesn’t matter. What matters is that she said it. And it was AWESOME.) And the food still reached those of us in the far back – with seconds on those little lemon cookies straight from pastry heaven. So here are three of Martha’s recipes for you and yours to enjoy this holiday season.
P.S. In case you’re curious, I’ve also posted pictures of all the other meals we were able to try (Holiday Citrus Punch, Poached Egg with Creamed Spinach, Mushroom Crepe, Fruit Salad, and Lemon Poppy Seed Cookies). The mushroom crepe was my absolute favorite.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve some sort of family gathering that usually began early in the day, around the kitchen area of a relative’s home. More often than not, that scene involved my grandmother prepping and cooking a meal that always proved too large to eat but too tasty to be discarded. So we went for seconds, and sometimes thirds, and grew up relishing in the fact that Cuban women were built to have curves.
I was recently lucky enough to capture one of these gatherings in my own little kitchen, with Abuela making one of my absolute favorite dishes: Arroz con Pollo a la Chorrera (or, Cuban Yellow Rice with Chicken). Keep reading for pics and step-by-step instructions on how to recreate it sans Cuban Abuela.
The thing about beer is that I didn’t really appreciate it at all until I met my husband. I hate to admit it, but I’d often turned my nose up at even the finest brew before Tony introduced me to IPA’s. My love of brut champagne made this my go-to flavor. It’s been quite the happy marriage on both accounts ever since. Which brings me to today’s post in honor of Father’s Day. I don’t often have guest bloggers, but when I do, I make sure they’re experts on their subjects. And few people are bigger experts on beer than my friend MP.
We recently attended the opening of the Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park, which inspired a post I thought would please my beer-loving husband on his first Father’s Day. Today, MP has lent me his encyclopedic knowledge of beer to bring all you ladies up to speed on what you need to know about the frothy stuff and what you can try next time you’re out with your beer-drinking counterpart. Hope you enjoy it. And Happy Father’s Day to all the great dads I know. Cheers to you on your day.
P.S. Just wanted to note that I certainly don’t mean to imply that all women are ignorant about brews and the like. I know there are plenty of ladies out there who are quite well-versed in all manner of topic related to beer. To those women, I offer a toast to your knowledge and only wish I’d been enlightened sooner. Xx – Alicia
P.P.S. Check out the pic of the Most Interesting Man in South Florida and the street style shots at the end of the post. I’m all about those leg warmers in a non-ironic way.
Another year gone by and, yet again, when the 18th of May rolls around, I get that nagging suspicion I’ve forgotten something…which, of course, I inevitably have. The 18th marked my third year of blogging. When I looked back at year two, I thought there was no way I would top it, but just now looking back at my third year, I realize I have so much to be grateful for – and things are only getting better. Here’s a look back at my favorites (click on each pic to see more). Hope you enjoy. And THANK YOU SO MUCH for reading. <3
I won’t pretend I didn’t have an overwhelming love affair with food prior to my expectant status. But I will say that what champagne used to do for me pre-baby, cuisine has temporarily filled in for quite nicely. And without any of the guilt, which is essentially priceless. Hence, the Great Pregnancy Craving Tour of Miami.
I have shamelessly paraded this bump around town and (mostly unknowingly) dripped all sorts of toppings upon it to put together a list of my favorite (and not-so-favorite) crave-inducing establishments. I’m starting with my longest-running obsession, burgers. Check out my picks. Did I miss any? What should I try next? Let me know your favorites.
Elevation Burger – Simple, sustainable, organic, grass-fed, and free-range. If you’re a carnivore with a conscience (and a budget), there’s nothing better. Add a healthy list of toppings and a soda machine to blend any concoction to your whim and you’ve got the kind of place that’s made me go through a slew of frequent visitor cards. Slew!
Blue Collar – There isn’t enough I can tell you about this burger. I was newly pregnant at the time and discovering I’d developed the kind of appetite that would impress a wrestler. Enter the Real Juicy Cheeseburger – Prime dry-aged New York strip on a Portuguese muffin with your choice of lettuce, tomato, and onions. I don’t think I spoke two words during that meal.
Crave – This is the kind of refined establishment where most (non-pregnant) people would enjoy a nice sushi lunch or a delicately balanced salad. But I had absolutely no shame in devouring their Crave Burger and licking my fingers while doing so. I’m happy to do it again, even in the finest company. With smoked cheddar, onion, and house-made pickles, this is definitely a winner.
Lokal – I’ve never strayed from the 50/50 (Fidy Fidy) burger. And I don’t think I’ll ever want to. Equal parts Florida ground beef and Florida ground bacon combine to make super amazing burger babies in your mouth. Served with mayo, Monterrey jack cheese, and a sweet onion marmalade, you also get a side of 50% sweet potato fries, 50% french fries with honey mustard dipping sauce that gives you quite possibly the most beautiful combination of ingredients a belly could want.
Latin House Grill – This little gem on Sunset has a menu full of crave-able items (Sneaky Nachos!). But if you’re having one of those days when you can’t really figure out what flavor you’re after, I recommend the Intl Muffin Tops. Two of those little guys have a big fill factor.
Red Robin – I had no idea what to expect from Red Robin. And then I learned about their Bottomless Steak Fries (that I, of course, dipped in ranch dressing). It was absolute kismet. I paired that with the Whiskey River BBQ Burger and happily groaned my full belly out the door.
Shake Shack – While I genuinely enjoyed their Angus burger (I had the SmokeShack), my heart was really much more set on their Flat-Top Dogs. I made a mess of that Shack-cago Dog and enjoyed every last bit of relish. Bring your pooch along to dine on the terrace and buy him his own treats for a small price.
NOT WORTH THE WADDLE:
Le Tub Saloon – This waterfront joint has a serious following thanks to being voted best hamburger by GQ Magazine as well as being placed on Oprah’s radar as one of her favorites. The burger itself was simple, tasty, and juicy but the downside for any preggo is that there will likely be a minimum wait time of 1.5 hours before you see any meat on your plate. My vote? Try it when you’re not as likely to dig into the person next to you with a fork & knife. Or sit at a safe distance from others and bring a snack for the wait.
CG Burgers – You only get one shot at dinner. You can deal with “ok” food for lunch because you still have a chance to make it up throughout the rest of the day. But when you have the kind of dinner that leaves you wondering what was missing, you just end up with a grouchy preggo that’s likely suffering from heartburn and an unfulfilled appetite. In this case, what was missing was a decent brioche and some basic seasoning. I wanted so much to like this place but two strikes is enough for me to know not to go for the third.
SmashBurger – This place just made me angry. I first take issue with their logo, a blatant rip-off of GameStop’s font and coloring. But bad branding aside, with a name like SmashBurger, you should really be making a sensational impression. Rather, the result of quite literally smashing your burger patties into submission before squeezing all the juice out of the poor things is what my Cuban grandmother often refers to as “suela de zapato”, or the leathery bottom of one’s shoe, for those not fluent in Cuban slang. But I retain that it’s more accurately articulated in Spanish. No need to stop here.
Note: Rok Brgr didn’t make the list because I only visited once and wasn’t too impressed but felt that maybe it was an off night. I think it deserves another shot before I pass judgement.
I’m sure you all had very exciting plans for this evening but if they didn’t involve being ringside watching a few rounds of Mexican wrestling with a taco in hand, I feel compelled to inform you that you’ve missed out. On what, I’m not quite certain. But there’s something to be said for men (and one helluva badass chick) in metallic spandex flying through the air in the name of honor – and a big shiny belt.
We headed down to the food truck rally with our favorite Mexican in tow (see below in all his pony-tailed glory) and celebrated Mexican Independence Day at El Main Evento, complete with Mariachis and Mexican wrestlers. This was my first time witnessing such a spectacle, so I truly went just for the food (GastroPod’s short rib sliders and Taco Heat’s nachos made me shamelessly lick my fingers).
But it wasn’t long before I was hollering with the rest of them, marveling at the flying masks as they tumbled and rolled off each other with the kind of grace that, to the untrained eye, would likely seem to border on homo-eroticism. But I digress. It was a damn good show — one that made me a fan as soon as female wrestler Angel Rose strode in that ring with a flower in her hair and body-slamming victory in her heart. You can’t help but cheer on a girl who can dominate her opposition in a perfectly styled ensemble.
If you missed El Main Evento, you can still catch the food trucks every third Saturday at the Magic City Casino or click here for a daily schedule.
You know, I almost didn’t post this but then I realized there was no way I could omit a Sinbad photo op. I mean, come on – it’s Sinbad! Though this post is a bit of a mish-mash of random (but honestly, very fun) things we did over the course of our Miami staycation, these moments reminded us why we are pretty fortunate to live in this city (now and then and only when there’s decent parking involved).
We rediscovered Monty’s South Beach, a location that not only has spectacular views but also boasts a bar-side pool, so as not to interfere with simultaneous oyster-shooting and tanning. We also discovered that Chili’s is no place for anyone over 30 (that black light pic is the only good thing that came out of that venture – our stomachs are still very upset at us). And we made a pit-stop at some generic Chinese restaurant where we were comfortingly addressed in broken English by a woman who actually had perfectly coherent language skills when addressing her staff.
But let’s get back to Sinbad. I mean, what really needs to be said? If you grew up in the 90’s (and I hope I’m not one of the few), then you can probably share in my Different World inspired glee (I was always rooting for him and Jaleesa). But even now, the guy is still really funny and just plain nice. It was one of those adolescent tv-dreams-come-true — good enough to round out one heck of a staycation and justifying that two-drink minimum at the Improv.
P.S. I wonder where he gets his wardrobe…
Though the weather hasn’t been particularly beach-friendly over the past couple of weeks (particularly for MBFWS), Tony and I were lucky enough to enjoy some time in the sunshine during a mid-week staycation (I still question the validity of that word), which, in my opinion, is the best of its kind because there never seems to be better weather than when it’s Tuesday and you’re locked indoors.
This gloriously sunny day fell upon us by chance as we decided to leave our far-too-westward apartment on a gloomy morning and found that, indeed, there is always better weather upon entering Miami Beach.
And though you know I’m usually offensive to the point of snarky about Miami’s less-than-desirable traits (traffic on the 836, anyone?), days like this make me eat my words – this time at Big Pink, a sanguine corner diner everyone should visit after a dip in the ocean (if you can find parking within a three-mile radius).
More staycation (I know) updates coming up this week, complete with a trip to The Forge‘s enomatic wine bar for your voyeuristic pleasure. And be sure to hover over the pics for more info. You won’t want to skip that “jargarita” recipe. That’s one little mason jar full of sip-able bliss. Cheers!