Pull Up A Chair To The Table And Get To Know Me:
I am a lover. I am a lover of people, of good, beautiful, heart warming food. Of long, long captions where you can peer into my soul. I am a lover of matcha and avocados. A lover of the outside, and adventure. I am a lover of justice, and equity. I am a lover of my Latin roots, of the rich Mayan culture that I come from. I am a lover of disrupting the millennium pink in the blogger-sphere and exploding my feeds with color. I am a lover of big earrings, big hair, big parties. I am a lover of salsa dancing while I cook. I am a lover of deep thinking and deeper loving.
I am a fighter. On a daily basis, I fight a rare genetic disease called Fanconi Anemia. It affects your bonemarrow, and it makes you hundreds percent more likely to develop early onset cancers. This disease killed my brother, and it’s life expectancy is currently 33. I’m completely healthy right now, but because I live this beautiful life, I feel a deep sense of urgency to race for a cure. That only happens through research–if you want to support this blog, please consider donating to research to find a cure so that I can write and cook and love and fight and feed well into my 80s. I am also a fighter for mi gente. I am the daughter of immigrants. I am a woman. I am brown. I am American. I am Latina. I am a Southerner. I have a heart meant for the PNW. I come from a lot of beautiful cultures, many of which are threatened right now. I am a fighter for justice, racial reconciliation and restitution, and equity. You will hear all of who I am in this space.
I am a feeder. Welcome to my table. Whether you gather around this online table, or through my real dining table: you are welcome here. Bienvenidos! I hope you read things throughout this blog that feed your soul, and that make you so excited to cook and gather and celebrate with your people. Because I am a feeder, y’all. I want you all to feel full. Of love and gratitude, and joy, and freedom to be where you’re at; full of excitement to start your cooking journey, or inspiration when you hit a wall.
I am by no means a trained chef, and by all accounts unashamedly learning. About cooking, photography, blogging and story-telling. But I’ll tell you what, I’d love to have you join me in the process. I promise to never fake it in my attempt to make it, and to share both the curated and messy aspects of my life.
My first cuisine love, is Guatemalan cuisine. Both my parents are from that beautiful land of many trees, and my earliest favorite flavors are from there. There’s a sort of heart that goes into Guatemalan cuisine that is hard for me to find outside of it. There’s an intentionality about the use of ingredients (everything gets used), from black beans that are blended, and then refried, to using leftover scraps for egg scrambles. A lot of my comfort foods come from Guatemalan food, and while it isn’t always simple to make, it’s always made with mucho corazon.
My Second food love, is Southern food. Growing up in Georgia spoiled me to the max, and I have a deep, deep love for sky high biscuits + chicken fried steak. There’s a level of elegance to southern food, and I love the idea of Sunday dinner’s and brunches being extraordinary special. That you dress nice, and eat the best there is around. I miss that sometimes; the show and flair of a good Sunday supper.
My first semester of college, I lived some sort of ridiculous dream where I “studied” (using that term reallllly loosely here) in Italy, and fell in love with the freshness of the food, the warmth of the people, and DO I NEED TO SAY ANYTHING ELSE ABOUT IT? Because Italy. Since then, Pasta has become my kryptonite, and I can be frequently found trying out different sauce recipes and homemade pastas. Something else I love about Italian food is the idea of lingering around the table, and eating slowly. Around my own table, I always want the time around to stretch out over good conversation and good food.
In 2013, I traveled to Turkey with a group of friends from college. This was the place where Ben (my husband) and I fell in love, and it was one of the most special places for us. It doesn’t hurt that the food was D E L I C I O U S. Talk about a savory dream–Turkish food is everything I love: fresh meat, endless mezzes, and complex textures and flavors. There’s also something very old world about traditional Turkish dishes, and a sort of magic that comes from knowing those meals have been prepared and perfected over centuries.
Finally, since relocating to the PNW, I’ve fallen in love with the artisanship and creativity that Portland food requires. I don’t think I’ve ever lived somewhere where the way food looks + tastes is more important than in Portland. To add to that, Portland farmers add a high level of craftsmanship to their crops, which makes for fresh, earthy, colorful foods. Walking through farmer’s markets in the summer is one of my favorite things to do to get inspired to cook.
S I D E K I C K S
Ben is my husband. You’ll hear his voice on this blog from time to time. He is the reason this beautiful space exists. He created this website for me, and takes care of the hosting, upkeep, and any design changes I ask for. He is my champion, and he is deeply talented when it comes to all things technology. You can find more of his work, here. On the blog he’s the voice of travel/tech organization & is both my personal sou chef and taste tester.
Estel, the lab. Patiently smells all the food I cook. Eagerly awaiting a promotion to taste-tester.
P.S. want to know more??? I’d love to connect with you via email. I’m always happy to answer questions!