Tuesday, December 31, 2013

A Year in Review - 2013

I wanted to review 2013. It was a good year with some sadness and some high points as well. But I guess all years are a little like that. Time goes by and things happen.


The highlights in January were that this blog celebrated it's 4th year. I cannot believe I have been writing nonsense and shenanigans for 4 years and now it will be 5 years this January. Oh my. Also in January, our house because a movie star. My favorite recipe from January is Pork Butt Two Ways.


This is my birthday month and I was at Disney on a press trip. It was one of the best birthdays I ever had! I also was retweeted on Twitter by Donna Brazille and David Corn and went a little fangirl.


Tom left me in March to go to China. I was so jealous because that was an amazing trip. Nothing much else happened that month. My favorite recipe in March was Disney Ohana Wings.


I met my new friend Lizzy who lives about an hour away. She found me online and we became fast friends. I started learning French but have forgotten everything I learned. My favorite recipe from April was Hasselback Potatoes.


We went to Europe and it was amazing. I loved London the most. I want to live there. I finally saw the Eiffel Tower so I can die happy. We also went to Spain. I ended up in the E.R. in Barcelona but that didn't spoil Madrid for me.


I went to Cincinnati to the Procter and Gamble Headquarters. It was amazing. We also started our garden and it was starting to grow.


Our garden was growing and we harvested goodies. We traveled to Atlanta! My favorite recipe was Spaghetti with Gremolata!


In August I headed to Costa Rica to visit the family. I also learned how to make pasta and visited the Cafe Britt coffee factory!


September was slow. I did travel to NYC as one of the Top Latina Bloggers. It was a lot of fun and I saw a lot of old friends. We visited the United Nations and I snick out to see the 9/11 memorial.


This month sucked balls. Our baby, Scout, died. We had her for about 17 years. She was our first baby and to this day, we miss her sooooooo much. It is lonely around here without her. We also headed to Charlotte for a football game. My favorite recipe: Potato and Onion Gratin.


Fall came to Western North Carolina. It was beautiful as Fall is. I love the Fall. We also headed to Las Vegas and ate some sinful food. We attended the Latin Grammy's and fired a gun and an uzi. My favorite recipe: Roasted Acorn Squash.


I am a huge nerd. I received a White House Christmas Card again this year and was thrilled. I love those Obamas! We headed to Cancun. I promise a recap post and pictures soon but I have been too lazy to do it. My favorite recipe: Potato, Garbanzo and Pork stew.

This was our year of travel. I think we would have traveled more but we spent our summer taking care of our little baby. I am hoping more travel opportunities come up for us in 2014. It was also a so-so year. We had some bad spots especially losing Scout. But it was overall a good year for us. I am hoping 2014 brings us bigger and better things and a Mega Money lottery jackpot.

Happy New Year.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Friday, December 20, 2013

Pork, Potato and Garbanzo Curry Stew!

I made up this recipe because I wanted something that reminded me of a pork and garbanzo stew my abuelita and mami used to make. I had no idea how they made it but I remembered it had garbanzos and some sort of pork. I wasn't sure about the potatoes but I knew if I added potatoes, then that would make it thicker. I also remembered that tomatoes were involved but not sure how so I decided to add a can of diced tomatoes for the hell of it. Then I decided that maybe I should add some curry to spice it up. My mom and granny didn't use curry but I figured why not. I made it and it came out wonderful. It can also be made vegetarian without the pork. But pork is delicious. Here is how I made.

I used 4-5 small potatoes, one medium onion, 3 cloves of garlic, a can of garbanzo beans, a can of diced tomatoes, curry powder to taste, white wine, chicken broth and a pork shoulder chop. You can use any type of pork but that's what I had in the freezer. 

Start by browning the pork in a heavy pan with a little oil. 

Once the pork is browned, add some minced onion and garlic. Also add a splash of white wine. I think I added about 1/2 cup or so. Also add about a tablespoon of curry sauce.  It really depends how spicy you want it. You can skip the curry sauce as well and just add more spice like garlic or onion powder. 

Add about 3-4 cups of chicken broth. And let the pork cook for about an hour so it get tender. 

Once the pork is done, take it out and shred it or cut into little cubes. Put it back into the pot with the broth and then add the potatoes (cut into chunks), the can of tomatoes and the garbanzo beans. Taste and add spices as necessary. Then let it cook for another hour on low heat so the potatoes get tender. I also like smashing some of the potatoes when they are tender to add starchiness to the stew. It will thicken up nicely if you do that. 

That's it. This is a delicious  spicy stew that is perfect for the wintertime. I serve mine with a little Naan bread. I can't believe that I actually almost recreated the recipe I loved as a child. It might taste a little different but it certainly comforts me like it used to. 

Buen Provecho! 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Secrets the Vine Room Video

Here is my usual hotel room video. This is from Secrets the Vine Resort. It is perfectly lovely. We have a great view but already know we have noisy neighbors. Boo. But we will have to see how noisy. I will keep updated on our adventures.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tom and Carolyn

This was taken on our Vegas trip. The owner of the SEA restaurant at Bally's wanted us to sit in this weird chair and take the picture. It was a hot mess but the we look good!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Heading to Cancun!

It's time for our December vacation. Last year, we didn't one and we missed it. This year we were going to forego it again but Tom found an incredible deal on Delta Vacations. This hotel is a little more upscale than we have done before. We are headed to Cancun and Secrets The Vine Resort. It's the high-rise in he photo.

The place looks amazing. It is right on hotel row but it has 3 pools, most rooms have great views and the food looks amazing. Me? I just want some sun, heat, good food and to be able to read the zillion books I downloaded on my Kindle. Tom needs a vacation as well. These resort vacations force us to do nothing. Although I must admit, I never need a gun to my head to do nothing!

We will be back in town for Christmas though. But at least we get our beach vacation this year. I cannot wait. Keep checking because I might actually work a little on my vacay and post some pictures on my blog. I will definitely be posting pictures on Facebook Twitter and Instagram so if you do not follow there, you will miss out on my over-sharing.