Wednesday, November 24, 2010

HoliDAZE! And Guineitos en escabeche (pickled green bananas)

Our Tree, 2010

This happens every year- I put off thinking about the holidays then feel like they pounced. I love the family gatherings but I hate the crowds, the clueless gift shopping, the MUSIC, the expectations... AAAARGH! I'm a scrooge at heart.
So this year- in order to break out of a particularly long introspective funk I put up our tree early. And I feel like I failed to take a good photo AGAIN.

Busy busy busy- all these trinkets to remove...

For every item I put up Lola took down 2 so it took 2 hours versus the usual 20 minutes- the tree is tiny just like our apartment. I've been ready for Lolster's tree shaking self for YEARS- all the ornaments are felt. I LOVE felt ornaments.

I KNOW Annalee is only for ladies with 3 cats but my Mom loves them so I get them when she repeat buys.

JC Penney was having a sale and I bought that awesome moving tree topper- the only thing more perfect would be if it was motorized and had lights.

The other thing I've been struggling with is my cook traditional Puerto Rican food 3 times a week vow. I barely cook ANYTHING twice a week so it's time to buckle down and DO THIS.
Here is my recipe for Thanksgiving:

Guineitos en Escabeche


  • 4 pounds of true green bananas, not almost green, GREEN 
  • 2/3 cup of rice vinegar (that's what I used- recipe calls for regular white vinegar)
  • 1 2/3 cups of olive oil- (I probably used way more than that OOOPS
  • 2 onions, peeled and cut into thin slices. I tried frying the first batch and BURNED IT- rookie mistake)
  • 1/2 cup of alcaparrado (olives and capers mixed with red pepper)
  • 4 bay leaves (I used like 6)
  • black pepper to taste
  • flakes sea salt to taste (I LOVE FLAKE salt- it's an EXPERIENCE)
  • 2 pounds of chicken gizzards (yes you heard right)
Boil the GREEN bananas for 2
5 minutes- in salted water (I forgot to salt the water). Do not cut the skin before boiling or your pot will get this ICKY black ring that's almost impossible to remove- that is LA MANCHA DEL HIBARO!!! The hillbilly's spot. Anyway..

After your boil them babies, let them cool a bit, peel them and cut them into rounds. Add the other ingredients and let sit over night for best results. Boil the chicken gizzards for 30 minutes in salted water and add as well. I did not boil them- I sauteed them with garlic and onions- which was my classic mistake- DO NOT DO THE FOLLOWING...

Saute chicken gizzards in olive oil for like 15 minutes get distracted by Dancing With The Stars and add the onions and garlic too early using HIGH HEAT. They will inevitably burn and RUIN THE TASTE of those already iffy gizzards. 

DO THIS: Let the gizzards pan fry for at least an hour on low heat- this will make them soft. Repeat DO NOT add garlic and onions until the very end. Cut the gizzards down to bite size pieces and add to salad. CHOMP!

That's it- super easy animal entrail salad- if chicken gizzards make you wanna puke don't add them- try your chicken muscle of choice.

MuChOs SmOoChEs!!


  1. Girl, your tree is fabu. I totally believe in putting up the decorations early. Otherwise, what's the point? I decorate my employer's home for Christmas. 5 trees, mantles in every room, staircase, formal dining room that seats 14, etc, etc. So my body is always too tired to do my own house. So I go girl.

  2. HERNY!!! I think your tree is adorable! <3


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