Family, friends, food, and (f)beach

Last week was a crazy and fun week. My best friend, Amee, (who I’ve known since the 6th grade) and my cousin, Nancy, and her son, tony, came for a visit. It was all rather coincidental that they came to visit in the same week, which made it a bit overwhelming but an absolute blast!

Cooking for a crowd can be daunting but I’ve hit an old standby that I just love making: arroz con pollo (chicken with rice). There’s nothing fancy to this dish but it’s very hearty and feeds a group of 3 men and two ladies. And it’s also comforting: I remember my mother making it and so it always brings back memories of her.

So the whole group was together Tuesday so we headed to El Platanal for dinner. Yum! The food was simply prepared so the natural flavors of the beef, seafood, and plantains (of course we had to get some mofungo) shined. Aside from the great food it was just nice to have everyone together at the dinner table. Did I mention the mojitos were amazing!!

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So we spent a few days galavanting around checking out the beaches. We started out at playa Sardinia, headed over to crash boat, and finished off with one surfing at Jobos Beach. We haven’t been here long but we’ve seen the beaches on various occasions and it still awes me how incredibly beautiful it is. The different colors of the water; the various swells and crashes of the waves; and the scenery that surrounds the water. Our guests also enjoyed the simple splendor of it all.

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The week was called off by some homemade pernil. I love love love making this recipe, a variation of this Sunny Anderson recipe. Because we were going to be gone for the day beachside, I decided to start off the pork in the slow cooker abs then finish it off in the oven. I could have just left it in the slow cooker and be done with it, but you HAVE to have the crispy skin, or chicharron, to go along with it. So off into the oven it went for about another hour and so and the skin came out golden and crispy. Such an easy dish that yields not only a huge amount of food but also is oh so good! I paired the pernil with arroz con habichuelas, and tostones. Everyone gobbled it up.

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The house is quiet now. The extra beds are out away and everything has been cleaned up and I smile because it truly was great having my people come for a visit. It’s one thing for a friend to say, yea- I’ll come visit but when they actually do, it truly is a testament to the friendship and I couldn’t be more touched that Amee, Nancy, and Tony took time from their uber busy schedules to come see our new life and to also meet baby Gabriela. It really made me realize how precious my friendships are. So go call up that friend that you’ve been meaning to, share a hug, or it back and remember fond memories that you may have. You’ll see how it can revitalize your soul!

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The Life of Jan

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