Can someone please explain to me where July went? June was great, and wonderfully summery, but July just flew by like a lightning bolt. I’m hoping the summer will slow down again once August hits because I need to drink up this season before its gone! I did manage to get lots of summer fun in this weekend in the form of swimming, reading, and outdoor concert listening/picnicking, as well as some delicious cooking. Anyone else? What’s your favorite summer-only activities?
I’m pretty excited about this week. Tuesday is my last official day before I pass the torch at work, which means I’ll finally be able to devote all my time to the job I love, food styling and this blog. Although I still feel a little scattered, I’m super confident about my path for the future. Patience is my biggest problem, as I always want things to happen NOW, yet I know the world doesn’t work that way. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on my endeavors.
On the eating side of my life, I recently made tamales at home using one of Melissa’s Tamale Kits. I love tamales, and usually buy them from the vendor at the farmer’s market. Melissa’s made it SUPER easy to make them at home. Pretty much you just add water to the masa, assemble, and steam. That’s it! (Of course I had to take it up a notch and make my own carnitas to stuff them with). For anyone who loves tamales, but doesn’t make them at home because you can’t just buy the husks (and sometimes the masa harina) at your regular grocery store, or they just seem too intimidating, you must try one of these kits.
Carnitas recipe from Homesick Texan
3 pounds of pork butt, with plenty of fat
1 cup of orange juice
3 cups of water
2 teaspoons of salt
1. Cut pork into strips (three inches by one inch), add to a large pot with the liquids and salt. Bring to a boil and then simmer uncovered on low for 2 hours. Do not touch the meat.
2. After two hours, turn heat up to medium high, and continue to cook until all the liquid has evaporated and the pork fat has rendered (about 45 minutes). Stir a few times, to keep pork from sticking to bottom of pan.
3. When pork has browned on both sides, it’s ready (there will be liquid fat in the pan). Serve either cubed or shredded (pork will be tender enough that just touching it will cause it to fall apart).
I made tamales with this carnitas, black beans, and of course, my favorite Wholly Salsa. The beauty of tamales is that you can really make them with anything. I love breakfast tamales with eggs and chorizo, or a good vegetarian tamale with corn, jalapenos and queso fresco. You could even make one with shredded, pre-cooked rotisserie chicken, salsa, and cheddar cheese. You really can’t go wrong, so get one of these kits and try it!
**Disclaimer: Although I did get this kit for free at Camp Blogaway (all attendees got one) Melissa’s in no way asked me to review or blog about it. I truly loved this product and posted about it on my own accord, and plan to buy it again in the future.