No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, 1918 – 2013
The season of Advent started yesterday and it’s such a joyous time for me spiritually. It’s a time of waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas. Advent commenced this year on December 1st on the First Sunday of Advent and it’s wonderful that we got to welcome December with the lighting of the first Advent candle.
Therefore, stay awake!
For you do not know on which day your Lord will come…
So too, you also must be prepared,
for at an hour you do not expect, the Son of Man will come.
As you know, I love entertaining. That’s one of the many reasons my husband and I work so well because he loves it equally as much as I do. Some people find it stressful and exhausting but I find it exciting! I like the challenge of outdoing myself from party to party and finding new recipes to try on family and friends. The part that I like second most to the food is setting the table.
To me, the entire house doesn’t need to be decorated to theme. Although that’s nice – it’s not necessary. But if I’m entertaining, like we are for our annual Friendsgiving dinner this Saturday, then I need a good looking table. Paper and plastic will not suffice (maybe in the future with little children running around and breaking things!).
I’ve set the table for our Friendsgiving dinner this year to give you some inspiration. It doesn’t need to be costly or extravagant – the goal is to have fun! Decorate with the colors and theme that you adore. I have a friend that thinks that autumn is mainly white and green colors so she uses white pumpkins and green garland for her Thanksgiving table.
Now it’s your turn!
It is undoubtedly fall. The air is crisp and the days are short. It’s my favorite season, encompassing everything I love: fashion, holidays, and gatherings. The transition into to fall can be easily be missed living here in Southern California. Californians don’t get to see the benefit of the leaves changing color to know that it’s fall. But having lived here all my life, I can appreciate the subtleness. The gentle hue of the light as it goes from day to darkness. The warmth of every sun ray and how I wish it lingered a little longer.
I love fall fashion! The colors, knits, boots…you name it and I’m completely in love. Unfortunately, I’m not at a point in my life where I can keep up with all the trends of fall and buy it for my closet. So, I window shop and browse online, stalk fashion blogs, and check out the lady next to me – all just to satisfy my trend envy.
Here are some looks that I absolutely adore:
We host my cousins for dinner about once a year. It’s so nice to see everyone and catch up on what’s new in their lives over a good, comforting meal. They love my husband’s aji de gallina, which is a Peruvian shredded chicken dish served with rice. This year, I decided to accompany his infamous dish with empanadas. I love empanadas and have been waiting to try to make them at home for awhile now. They turned out splendid, super flavorful and the perfect appetizer to this South American themed dinner!
Beef and Chorizo Empanadas
recipe inspired from Food Network
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef steak
- 12 oz fresh pork chorizo, casing removed
- 1 finely chopped onion
- 2 cloves finely chopped garlic
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
- 3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 packages store-bought pie crust
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the beef, chorizo, onion, garlic, cumin, and pepper. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes, stirring constantly so that the ingredients are well blended. Turn off heat. Add olives and cilantro. Set aside and let the filling cool.
Roll out the pie crust dough and cut out rounds using a 5-inch cutter. Put filling on half of the round. Fold the other half of the round over and using a fork, press down on the edge of the dough making sure it is sealed all the way around. This forms the empanada. Whisk the egg in a small bowl. Brush the top of each empanada with the egg wash. Arrange the empanadas on a nonstick sheet pan and bake until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Transfer the empanadas to a serving platter and serve.
The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn…