I made Tamales this Holiday Season....

I made home made tamales from the heart. I often cook special meals without measuring and just feeling my way through taste. This makes me a terrible cooking teacher. In this post I will try to share my way of making tamales. My parents were indigenous and their way of cooking is through love and taste. No measuring is involved in indigenous kitchens, just love. 
Masa for making Tamales 
I buy my masa from the local Mexican Market. I use about 20 lbs to make enough tamales for my family and to give away. I make about 100 of them with this amount of masa. This means the masa is spread lighty on a corn husk that has been soaking in water. 
The sauce is made with dried chiles found at any local store. They are boiled and then blended to make the sauce. California and Japoneses Chiles are the ones I use. Use one medium bag of  California Chiles and a handful of Japoneses Chiles. Japoneses chiles make it spicy. California chiles are mild. I add a small white onion, two cloves of garlic, chicken broth (about to a spoon and half), salt to taste, three cups of water and black pepper all blended together. Some Mexican's add pumpkin seeds to the sauce to add more flavor. Making the perfect sauce is an art. Here is where you taste it and more water add water. I usually use the water that the chiles were boiled in. Remember that you may have to do a few sauce batches because you are making sauce for pork and chicken tamales. 

The perfect sauce will not have any chile skin or seeds. Use the strainer to remove the pulp as well.  

(To add more flavor blend black pepper, salt and chicken stock into the sauce.) 
While you are making your sauce and cooking your chicken or pork the dry corn husk should be soaking in water. The corn husks will be used to spread the masa and meat(sauce mixed in). During the holidays some markets will have cooking demonstrations. Look for the signs in the store. 

Masa, Corn Husks, Chile Sauce with shredded Chicken
Cook the meat that you will be using in a separate pot. The meat will be shredded and the chile sauce will be mixed in for flavor. I used chicken for these tamales.  I shredded the chicken and mixed it with the sauce before adding it to the masa.  Spread the dough on the corn husk in a thin layer with a spoon and made sure it's evenly spread. Then add the chicken and sauce in moderation. Fold the corn husk like a burrito. Fold the bottom to make sure nothing falls out. Then stand them in a steam pot with the folded corn husk facing down. Once you have finished setting them in the steam pot cook on low heat. It is cooked through steam only. Be careful not to burn the bottoms. Once the corn husk burns, the smell sticks to the rest of the tamales. Keep an eye on the steam and cook time. Every stove and pot is different, so here you will have to check on the dough to make sure it is cooked. I usually cook them on the stove for an hour and half on slow. I let it rest in it's own steam for another 40 minutes before testing it to eat. The masa should look firm like the picture below. If it's still wet then you spread your masa a little to thick and it needs more time to cook. 
mexico tamales
Ready to eat

tamales americanos
Hot and Delicious Yummy Tamales.
Visit the Mexican Market to find the ingredients: Masa Prepared, California Dry Chiles, Corn Husks, chicken stock, fresh meat (pork, chicken or beef.)

Remember to try something new everything day and keep learning.

Wishing you a very Happy New Year!!!!


Happy Belated Merry Christmas

Happy Belated Merry Christmas!!!! I hope everyone is having a great time. As for me I took time out to spend with my family. (This means that I did not call, write, post or share very much through my Social Media outlets.) This Christmas I held on to hope that things would be great. I put fear aside and faith on top of my list. I focused on family and those around me. I have to say that I had a great Christmas. My brothers who rarely visit stopped by. My Christmas tree was put up just in time for the holidays. My kids received an abundance of love and gifts. The grandparents showered us with gifts and encouraging words. Things worked out just the way they were supposed to be. There was no family drama (relatives) just love understanding and kindness.  I feel extremely lucky to have family and friends with such kind hearts and a great holiday spirit. I know Christmas has past, but I hope the spirit continues on inside of your heart. Stay positive, love and encourage others and don’t give into fear. If you have fear than you don’t have faith.  Happy Belated Merry Christmas. Alma


Words for Thought... Happy Saturday!

Happy Saturday! Stay positive and go forward.
“The only reason we don’t have what we want in life is the reasons we create why we can’t have them.” ~Tony Robbins

“I challenge you to make your life a masterpiece. I challenge you to join the ranks of those people who live what they teach, who walk their talk.” ~ Tony Robbins


OC Family Page 10

I still remember the first time I found OC Family Magazine. I felt as though I had found great wealth. You see being a stay-at-home meant I had a very limited budget. (Stay-at-home moms make their money work for them. Every dollar matters and is well planned for spending.) The first time I met OC Family, I was inside a Subway with a baby and a toddler. I was getting lunch for my son and I, wondering what I could do for fun, beside the park again?  The answer was waiting for me inside the OC Family Magazine. Coupons! Coupons to the Irvine Park Regional Train ride. Coupons to Jamba Juice. They were buy one get one free. It was like money found! They even had a family calendar of things to do around town!!!!! Field Trips on a calendar! I am proud to say I took a few more magazines with me and stuck them inside my neighbors mailboxes. I could not believe the magazine was free with coupons and field trip ideas. FREE!!! Of course I told others. Those coupons are valuable and the calendar is super great for parents. I love my family, friends and neighbors, so I had to share this great treasure with them. I love OC Family Magazine for their articles and their deals. I usually have the latest copy in my car, at work and home. You never know when you will need it. Today, I am on their page 10 as a blogger to follow on Twitter. How amazing and crazy great!!!! Please help me say thank you to OC Family. Leave a comment at the end of this post. Thank you :)

Dear OC Family aka Churm Media,

Your writers, bloggers and people who work for you are some of the friendliest people in media as well as talented. Your articles are always very interesting and fresh. I am so proud that I am on page (10) as "OC Family's Five to Follow".  I am so happy I found you all those years ago. I can't wait for next month's magazine.

Thank you OC Family for being so kind and loving.

Happy Holidays,

Alma - Field Trip Mom aka @Fieldtripmom

You can find OC Family online.

OC Family Online
Churm Media

Disclaimer: This is not a paid post. I was not paid nor compensated for writing or posting this article.  This is my personal blog. All opinions are my own.

Field Trips for 2013 - Looking ahead....

I wish I could take my family on field trips everyday. While that seems very romantic and fun, it is not a reality. So planning ahead makes sense for my family. Which made me think about sharing some of the places that I have visited in the past and loved it. In particular order:

Environmental Center - Newport Beach

Family Programs

There are several opportunities each month for families to enjoy nature programs at the ENC. Full moon hikes and Star Parties give families the chance to explore the Center after dark. Little Naturalists programs feature stories and hands-on fun for 2 - 5 year olds and their parents. Family hikes feature hands-on activities; crafts for children aged 5 and up and their families. For a current list of events, check out our Events page, or call the office at 949-645-8489 to be added to our Public Programs mailing list.

Sherman Library & Gardens - Corona Del Mar

Sherman Library & Gardens is a 2.2 acre Corona del Mar horticultural retreat.
The Gardens provide a museum of living plants, displayed amidst a setting of immaculate gardens, patios and conservatories linked together by wide brick walkways, beds blooming with seasonal flowers and bubbling tile fountains. The Library is a specialized research center devoted to the study of the Pacific Southwest

Sherman Library Gardens - Corona Del Mar

Pacific Marine Mammal Center - Laguna Beach

Pacific Marine Mammal Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and release of marine mammals stranded along the Orange County coastline and to increase public awareness of the marine environment through education and research.

Pacific Marine Mammal Center Link

I hope that you plan ahead and visit one of these wonderful places. Stay creative and happy holidays.


Disclaimer: I was not paid to write about these great places to field trip. This blog is a personal blog.  This was not a paid post or sponsored. Just sharing with my fun field trip ideas with my readers.