gwendolyn faith is not a crayon.

Hello, I’m Gwen.

I work in advertising. I play in the kitchen.

I’m part tweenager. (Look at my iTunes playlist.)

I’m part Grandma. (Look at my oversize cardi collection.)

I’m part Romy or Michelle. (Look at the height of my hair.)

As a Christian, I'm learning how to glorify God in the everyday. To live into the status quo, like Jesus' own Manchurian candidate, and seep grace through its cracks.

I wish my life were a musical, but other than that, I’m pretty content.

(No surprise I also like to Yelp.)

The Casual Vacancy
The Explicit Gospel
Gone Girl
The Chaperone
Cutting for Stone

Gwen Daniels's favorite books »

Posts tagged "rick bayless"

On Sunday Ladan, a friend who lived in my dorm in college, came over to make fried fish tacos, a fun first for us both. Since she introduced me to Xoco, the most casual restaurant in Rick Bayless’ Frontera empire, we picked a recipe by Bayless himself. 

Standing at times a little too close for comfort to pan of sizzling oil, the two of us chatted for hours, pausing only later to take less-than-dainty bites of unbelievable taco. 

Wow, y’all! Grab a friend, preferably one who isn’t afraid of a little frying, and make ‘em immediately.

salmon in luxurious green sesame pipian, the rick bayless recipe i made for dinner last night. since i’m cooking for one, i simmered a single salmon filet with just a fourth of the sauce, reserving the rest in fridge to cook with more salmon in the next few days.

(photo via natural home and garden)

Today’s a big day. I didn’t realize that at first. I thought it would just be like any other day, chock-full of class and homework and studying.

But nope. Today’s a big day. Today’s National Taco Day, a celebration of my favorite food in the whole wide world! (Well, tied with roasted vegetables and risotto.)

And it doesn’t even matter I didn’t know about National Taco Day. I’m not missing out on the merriment. I have such strong ties to tacos, I celebrated without even realizing it. My mind sensed National Taco Day, even if my brain didn’t know about it.

Yesterday I made Rick Bayless’ Smoky Pork Tinga Tacos with Avocado and Fresh Cheese, the perfect meal for National Taco Day (and for several taco days afterward, since the recipe makes enough for at least eight meals). We’re talking pork shoulder slow-cooked to perfection with redskin potatoes, tomatoes, chipotles in adobe, Worcestershire, oregano, garlic and onion and wrapped up in corn tortillas with queso fresco and simple guac. We’re talking good. We’re talking make ‘em in your slow cooker, like, today.

Or tomorrow morning, since the pork shoulder cooks for six hours.

Sometimes in life, we have to face the facts.

Like I didn’t learn to ride a bike until I was in sixth grade. That’s a fact. And my baby brother leaves for his freshman year at Oberlin on Saturday. That’s another one.

The fact is, Rick Bayless can do no wrong. Ever. At all. Well, at least when it comes to cooking.

Tonight I made Lentil-Rice Salad with Chorizo, Cucumber, Red Onion and Herbs from his cookbook Mexican Everyday, which Kristin and Jillian gave me for my birthday. It’s my new favorite way to prepare lentils. And my new favorite way to prepare rice. And cucumber. And red onion. And spinach. And poblano pepper. It’s that good, folks. Give it a try!

Cooking Notes: I used dried oregano instead of fresh and omitted the cilantro altogether.

I have a thing for Rick Bayless. I mean, look at that pork shoulder! (And read his cookbooks and make his zucchini-mushroom tacos and watch his PBS show and peruse his restaurant menus and grab a torta at Xoco.) My thing for Rick Bayless is very understandable.

Today Bethany and I met my friends Sara and Dresden, fellow Starcom interns, at Rick Bayless’ restaurant Frontera Grill for brunch. I ordered Tinga Poblana, pork shoulder braised with roasted tomatoes, homemade chorizo and potatoes served with avocado, queso fresco and corn tortillas. (The photos were actually taken at Red O, a Rick Bayless restaurant in San Francisco with a very similar menu.)

And that guacamole. I’ve had good guacamole. I’ve had great guacamole. But I’ve never had guacamole in this league. I couldn’t discern what makes it so special — which probably means I should eat it once a week ‘til I figure out the secret, right? — but it was creamy and tangy and onion-y and citrus-y and tart and oh so good.

Speaking of guacamole: Bethany mentioned her friend’s mom puts chopped-up grapes in guac — and apparently it’s a thing?! Add that to my growing list of homemade Mexican dishes to try.

You’re lookin’ at tacos from last night’s Mexican fiesta.

Jillian, Kristin and I celebrated Cinco De Mayo with Rick Bayless, a PBS celebrity chef—are PBS chefs considered celebrities?—who specializes in fresh Mexican food. Jillian and Kristin bought me his Mexican Everyday cookbook for my birthday, and we decided Cinco De Mayo would be the perfect opportunity to try a few recipes together. We made Zucchini-Mushroom Tacos with Chorizo, homemade guacamole and Pineapple Skillet Upside-Down Cake (and margs, of course).