New Cookbook

New Cookbook

I got a new cookbook for Christmas from my Sister. It is Pati Jinich’s Treasures of the Mexican Table. I’ve been obsessed with this chef ever since I stumbled upon her cooking show. I love her show because she takes the time to describe the history behind each dish that she prepares and will also go to the places that are known for that particular dish. It’s a nice dose of delicious food and culture.

Calabacitas de Tapachula – My version looks quite a bit less appetizing than the one pictured in the cookbook, but I assure you it was quite delicious. I’m not one to usually go for an all veggie dish, but this seemed healthy and loved every step of the process. From roasting the Chiles Poblanos for the sauce to removing the leaves from a corn to shave off the kernels. The added treat was the cubes of Queso Panela.

Sopa de lima – This was the first dish we tried from the cookbook and it was absolutely delicious! The soup was very flavorful and it came out looking pretty close to the picture. The only thing different I would do next time is not leave the lime slices for garnish in the soup for too long. The lime skins added bitterness to the soup as they stayed in the broth.

Tortillería La California

Tortillería La California

I’m not sure why my mom first started coming here, but I suspect it’s because it is the closest tortillería. Every year for as long as I can remember, we come here to get forty pounds of masa preparada to make the annual tamales for New Year’s Eve. Over the years the building has changed colors from white with murals, to blue, green, and now orange. A testament to its heritage from a land that is not afraid of using bright colors on its buildings. Other than the change in color, time seems to have stood still at this place. You still order from the same windows inside a foyer (for lack of a better word) and through the black metal screen security doors you can get a glimpse of the behind-the-scenes action, and in the background hiding in the dark there is always always a live tree decorated with a few strands of lights. I got lucky, because there is usually a long wait and cars stack parked behind each other, but today it was easy to get the masa.

Photography on my mind

Photography on my mind

It is around this time of year that I start thinking about doing something for an entire year. A picture a day seems to be the highest on my list, but it can also be a little time consuming. I paused my writing to waste time looking at cameras. I came back to writing on here determined to not waste more time and ultimately I would up looking at more cameras and settled for a new lens. It’s been over five years since I last bought a lens for myself. I ran into some financial trouble shortly after that and I ended up selling it along with a wide-angle lens I really liked. I’m definitely looking to start taking more pictures, but I’m not sure I want to make a 365 project out of it. My original 365 project started as a photo. I never completed it.

I’ve been lazy about writing. Truth be told, I’ve felt lazy about everything lately. I need to focus on eliminating unnecessary distractions from my life. Historically, social media has been a huge time suck for me but I’ve been mostly good about staying off of it these last few years. Occasionally, however, I stray. So at the moment I deleted all the social media apps from my phone. But let me know waste anymore time talking about wasting time.

What are the positive things I am doing with my life right now?

  • I have been focusing on my health a lot more lately:
    • Eating habits: I am trying to eliminate sugary drinks from my diet almost entirely. This is the easiest way to have hundreds if not thousands of calories sneak into your day.
    • Physical activity: I am constantly on the lookout for ways to squeeze in a few extra steps or a quick exercise throughout the day. I have not found the motivation to workout for an hour at a specific time, so I am using the strategy of The Compound Effect. It’s a book about how the effect of small meaningful actions can add up to big results over time.
  • I’ve been listening to audiobooks during my commute so I’m not just wasting my time sitting in traffic.
  • I made small donations to both the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Los Angeles Opera. In the personal finance books I read, I keep coming across the importance of giving back. I’ve been fortunate during this pandemic to have kept my job. So it’s only fair that “I play my part” (as the LA Phil likes to say) and provide my support for two organizations that I love and that have struggled through this pandemic.

I have more to say, of course, but my eye lids are starting to close…

Fail and try again…

Fail and try again…

There are times or circumstances where I feel that I am being tested. It’s hard to notice in the moment, but easy to see in retrospect. I think today I encountered another one of those situations and I failed. I am keeping this intentionally vague because it is a personal journey. There were many good things today and I could focus on this one thing an let it cloud the rest of the day. Instead I am acknowledging the failure and realize that I failed not because I am not good enough, but because I am not yet ready. I believe that too often we expect perfection of ourselves and carry our failures with us for far too long. Our lives are a journey of learning. It’s okay to strive for perfection, but we must realize that we are not there yet. We must recognize too that the road to perfection is paved with mistakes and failures. So lay those bricks or cobblestones down and continue forward.