These muffins may or may not just be an excuse to use the muffin liners I bought back at the beginning of October. Their pattern looks like a bad 80s couch that probably lives at a relatives cabin. I’m VERY into them.
I’m kinda surprised I bought them because I don’t even like cupcakes. I mean, they’re a’ight, but if I had to choose, I’d just make a layer cake or something. Those are prettier anyway. But these are muffins. They’re different. I usually have an attitude with muffins that skate the line between muffin and cupcake, but we’re on vacation right now so let’s just live.
These cupcakes come together with a quickness, especially if you already have sweet potato puree in the fridge leftover from Thanksgiving. If it’s spiced with bourbon or nutmeg or cinnamon and sugar, no biggie. Throw it in. It’ll work just fine. Of course, your muffins might be a bit more spiced and bourbon-ey, but that’s actually a good thing.
I’m going to try my hardest not to talk to you about how excited I am about fall TV shows. I mean…Scandal, Parenthood, Downton Abbey, The Mindy Show!! I can’t. Growing up, starting school in fall felt like The New Year to me. New clothes/new school supplies/new shows! UGH. My heaven, seriously. Back then it was all about Felicity, Roswell and Dawson’s Creek.
Even though I was just as obsessed with TV back then as I am now, my TV-watching was limited. My parents were super strict about the TV and I was only allotted one hour a night, so I had to be VERY choosy. I had no TV in my room–wasn’t allowed! And a lot of nights my brother and I had to come to an agreement as to what we’d watch for our one hour of TV. Looking back I have no idea if watching less TV made me smarter or more connected to real humans. I honestly have no idea. I just no at the time it was torture! Well, I’m an adult now; I can eat alllll the Twinkies I want while watching all the TV I want. YES!
Soooo…here’s the thing. It’s not that I hate normal potato salad. I mean, if I’m at a 4th of July party or Super Bowl party and it’s there, I won’t hesitate to put it on my plate (with all the other stuff), but you can bet that it’ll be the last thing on my plate, and I might t ake a few bites. Might. Cole slaw on the other hand? Gimme. Baked beans YES! Fried jalapeño poppers? Double yes.
Here’s the deal with normal potato salad: the potatoes inside, like, internally are sort of bland. Once you get past the awesome mayonnaise/sauce stuff, the potatoes are just boiled, dry and kind of whatever. Potato salad in general is little meh to me until…wait for it…until NOW!
These potatoes aren’t boiled. We’re doing a salt crust. It’s simpler than it sounds. And fun. And, it takes just as long as it would to put them in a pot with boiling water. The result is a million times better. The potatoes end up with a slightly salty interior. And they actually end up tasting more like potatoes. More earthy. More flavor. More potato-ey.
There are times when I get bummed out. Like seriously just bummed. Whether it be with careers, relationships, friendships, etc., we all make plans for those things, and when those said plans don’t work out, disappointment can surely set in. So the other day when I was bumming around and loathing in my own bummed-outness, I decided to take a cue from Erin over at Reading My Tea Leaves. Each week she posts a few pictures of simple, little objects that made her week. Sometimes when bigger stuff is out of your control, you have to look to the little stuff that makes you happy.
So here are a list of a few things that made my week:
1. A vintage post card that hangs on my fridge. It’s from my uncle that was accompanied with an old Marcela Hazan cookbook.
2. Even though it’s Spring in LA, the chilly nights still make me grab for this cashmere scarf. And plus, it was a gift from my brother (probably picked out by my mom).
3. These daffodils because they’re $1.79 at Trader Joe’s, and that means I can buy a bunch and spread them around my apartment. They’re sunny.
And lastly, this freakin’ frittata. It was super easy, super amazing and tasted like Spring. And also, it has potatoes in it! And the carmelized onions are amazing..and this is coming from someone that quivers at the thought of eating a cooked onion. Seriously. You must try this. If you do, I guarantee that it’ll be one of those little things that make your week.
Umm..what’s Papa a la Huancaina?!? That’s what you’re thinking, right? Well, that’s why I’m here; to explain, you see. I grew up on this stuff. As a kid, I remember my mother making this sauce and me sneaking cubes of queso fresco. I was pretty creative with the stuff and used to put it on everything from chicken to potato chips. In Peru, where my mother was born, this is a pretty common appetizer–it’s sort of like their version of veggies and dip.
Where is Papa a la Huancaina from?
This appetizer hails from Huancayo, Peru; the place where my great grandmother was from. She grew up in Huancayo, a mountain town high up in the Andes. The place of magic and Incas. This sauce hails from there.