For some reason I always have insatiable energy. My husband, Enrico calls me the energizer bunny, but is this gift a blessing or a curse? Could this be hereditary or learned? Maybe both?
Growing up with my Mom and my Dad seemed pretty normal to me, although I don’t remember a lot of our time together as a family since they got a divorce by the time I was a nine year old. I remember both of them being pretty low key, they didn’t seem to be rushing in and out of the house or having people over every weekend or anything like that at all. On the other hand, going to my Grandma’s house was always a huge production, as I have mentioned before in previous blog entries. She was definitely the hostess with the mostess , the original Martha, a true culinary Goddess and a fabulous entertainer. Everything was impeccable at her house, the silverware shinning all the time and absolutely nothing seemed out of order. The food was to die for and she always had at least three homemade desserts readily available. I loved being around her and I remember always wanting to absorb all of the energy and charm that she graciously had every time I saw her. On top of being absolutely fabulous at anything that had to do with entertainment, she was also impeccably dressed at all times and such a beautiful woman inside and out. Everybody that knew her loved her.
Three years after my parents divorce along came the Peruvian woman. Rosi married my Dad when I was about eleven years old but it wasn’t until I was thirteen that I moved into their house in San Juan. This woman used to feed me oatmeal, eggs and steak (yes, steak) every morning before going to school because you need a complete breakfast, as this is the most important meal of the day. I honestly think that my hate for oatmeal is 100% related to the steak, eggs and oatmeal days back when I was a seventh grader. Why couldn’t I just have a pop tart or cereal? I had no clue; I guess that this was a Peruvian thing. Well, the truth of the matter is that this woman started her day with the energy of an army and I lived with her in the same house for a total of ten years. I am starting to think that my energy gift could have been learned as well, but then why aren’t my sisters wired the same way? It still remains a mystery to me.
During my years with my Dad and Rosi there was always a plan. Parties, get togethers, fancy dinners, BBQ’s, you name it. My house was always the party house and everyone loved it. We always joke that instead of drinking water, we drink champagne (we are not alcoholics, if that is what you are thinking, just huge party people). The music was always turned on and people came in and out of the house like a fraternity and I absolutely loved it. I guess that my love for music comes from both my Mom and my Dad because if they had something in common was their love for music and culture. From the Stones to Serrat I always remember living in very musical households.
All parties were hosted at my house and to this day both Rosi and my Dad still love to be surrounded by friends and family.
When I was about twenty, I met Enrico and along came Heidi. If I thought my Grandmother and Rosi had energy, this woman was at a completely different level. Heidi is to this day a culinary artist, with both spectacular and impeccable taste. She doesn’t know how to stop. Period. The woman works 24/7 and still has the energy to be around her loved ones, host events and look sharp. If I am throwing a baby shower or a birthday party, she would hop on a plane and come over to help me make the best out of it. She is the type of person that will be up at 6:00 am cooking, cleaning and creating just because she loves it and because she has the energy of 100 soldiers.
And then there’s me, up at 6:00 am every day for no apparent reason. Cooking, working, creating, cleaning, planning and exercising. I do not know the meaning of the word relax, stop or breaks and I am always on the go. As soon as I finish a project, I am ready to start a new one. I always feel the need to be surrounded by people and I absolutely love to entertain, feed and make everyone around me feel loved and welcome. My house is also like a fraternity, but way cleaner and neat.
Some people say that men end up marrying someone very similar to their Mothers, and Enrico got an explosive combination. The love for music and culture from my Mother, my Grandmother’s culinary traits, Rosi’s entertaining skills and Heidi’s insatiable energy is basically what best describes me today.
So, blessing or curse? I guess that it is all in the eye of the beholder! (Just ask Enrico) Ay Mama!
My daughter Lucia, who is as energetic as her Mama, turned five last Monday so here is a recipe of the cupackes that we made together for her birthday. The recipe was taken from the Joy of Baking. Enjoy!
-1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
-1 cup granulated white sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
(cut into pieces)
-1 large egg, room temperature
-2 large egg yolks, room temperature
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
-4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped (melted and slightly cooled)
-2/3 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
-1 1/3 cups confectioners sugar
-1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 and lightly butter or line 12 muffin cups with paper liners.
In the bowl beat to combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, egg, egg yolks, vanilla extract, and sour cream. Beat the wet and dry ingredients together at medium speed until the batter is smooth and satiny. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter and bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until pale gold and a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled, frost with icing.
Chocolate Frosting: Melt the chocolate in a heatproof bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
Beat beat the butter until creamy and add the sugar and beat until it is light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla extract. Add the chocolate and beat on low speed until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until frosting is smooth and glossy. Buen provecho!
Filed under: Uncategorized