Mami pequiña vs. planchita enorme

Bolivian food with my honorary Bolivian family (you too, Nate & Christian) at Luzmary in Falls Church! Larry and Alé have decided that Luzmary has the best salteñas in the area:  the thinnest crust with the best not-too-sweet filling. My go-to is pique macho, the quintessential Bolivian drunk food of french fries, hot dogs, steak, jalapeño, onion, tomato, boiled eggs and served with ketchup, mayonnaise, and mustard. It blew my mind when Chef Larry made it for family meal at the Fair one day. Any cuisine that loves hot dogs as much as Lao people (one of these days I'll make hot dog nyam, i.e. hot dog salad, for you to see) is aces in my book. Last night, however, I ordered chicharrones (fried pork with potato & corn), very tasty, though Alé's mom ordered the planchita (imagine all the things you'd want on one sizzling platter) and I was a little envious until she shared some hot dog with me. I've mentioned hot dogs at least three times in this paragraph. I'm not that obsessed with hot dogs, I swear.  

Just describing the pique macho has made me super hungry so off I go in search of coffee and breakfast. This afternoon is a bbq at Casa de Rachel y Travis, photos later! 

Smallest person at the table = biggest dish ordered. 100% gangsta. 





Cheeseburgers and Ice Cube Trays

When I asked my dad what he wanted for his birthday, he responded, “Ice cube trays. The big cube ones, for whiskey. Maybe the spherical ones, too.” 

...sure, Dad. You got it. I think it's kind of cool actually, to turn 66 and not really want anything more than ice cube trays. G status. 

When I asked him what he wanted to have for his birthday dinner, if he wanted to go out or stay in, he requested cheeseburgers and hotdogs. I took care of the cheeseburgers (nothing fancy, recipe to follow), Pa & John brought hotdogs (some kind of veal situation with a great snap), baked beans, macaroni and cheese, and we had potato chips, fries, and a Boston creme pie. Dad spilled root beer all over himself (and the floor) and Mom put horseradish sauce on her burger. Pa and John bought him fancy crocs (*sigh) and, knee-deep in a food coma, we watched the Dimitri v. Murray match at the U.S. Open. 

Happy 66th birthday, Daddy. I can only aspire to your level of cool. 

(the ten second concept drawing of Dad and his birthday burgers)

A simple recipe for simple (but delicious) cheeseburgers

Thank you to my sister, aka my reluctant hand model

- ground beef chuck (20% fat)
- salt and pepper
- American cheese or sharp cheddar
- lettuce, tomato, red onion
- Duke's mayonnaise and spicy brown mustard
- potato buns

- Make burgers: salt & pepper the chuck. Form into balls (you can food scale it up, though we generally just eyed it), flatten into patties, and use your thumb to make an indentation in the center so they cook flat. 
- Cook over grill or med/high heat in a cast iron skillet on stovetop until desired doneness. 
- Assemble: Bun, burger, lettuce, tomato, onion, bun. 
- Make your family pose for photos before they eat. Oh, maybe that's just me.  

Behind the burger scene at Casa de Sananikone

We made sliders too, because the slider buns were too cute not to bring home. 

Sarah, Raul, Luke, Henley, and Tallulah

I have lots and lots and lots and lots to catch up on photo editing, and I promise I eventually will, but for now here's a preview of family photos I did with my coworkers Raul & Sarah (Restaurant Eve and PX, respectively) and their adorable kiddos, aka my new best friends that I bribed with ice cream. I heart this family!