homemade tamales and a Happy New Year!

chile relleno tamale

Happy. New. Year.


What a year that last one was. Much of mine was painful, difficult, exhausting, scary.
To those parts I say goodbye, I close the door on them.

As always, there were bright and happy points – and those I am very thankful for. I will cherish those memories and bring them with me into the new year.

chile relleno tamale

Even though it was a rough road much of the time, and I now have more knowledge of Portland hospitals than I care to, spending time with my dad this year has been priceless and I am incredibly thankful I was able to. Not only was I reminded of my own strength, but my relationship with dad grew even closer. We had some great laughs and I will always admire my dad’s positive attitude and great sense of humor!

Springtime saw Jason and I buy our new house – which was and is thrilling! We hosted our first holidays last month, and look forward to more entertaining. I look forward to more decorating – I have some fun ideas planned. We are making this house a home, and filling it with people (and dachshunds) we love.

I feel incredibly lucky to have spent my June in a vegan chef immersion program. Even better, I have made wonderful lasting friendships from that class that have already brought me such joy!

Friends. This year I reconnected with a good friend from school, and it is as if no time went by! This is one of those friendships where we can be silly together and we laugh until we snort, and on the other side be serious, support each other, and have great conversations and connections. This has once again become a friendship I truly value, and one that is so very good for me!

This year saw me assist in teaching a cooking demo – something I have wanted to do for a long time and that I look forward to doing more of this year. Exciting plans in the works.

Rosemary. She is a new happiness in our house, and we love her so! Basil is getting used to her… they are usually found side by side.

New Years black eyed peas tamales

The last year of running this site brought much happiness as well. I have had generous opportunities come my way, and have had good fun here – more than I ever dreamed possible! I have created good recipes and had (more than?) my share of those not so good recipes. I was offered and I accepted a new opportunity that begins this month – one I am thrilled about and will share soon.

Most of all, I have all of you. I still marvel at this amazing community of fellow bloggers who support each other, and the readers who we do it all for!

Each and every one of you means so much to me – and when I say your comments Make Me Smile Big, I mean it!

The friends I have made here – you got me through this year. The tough times when I was baking at midnight, the happy times you helped celebrate. I am so very grateful.

So very grateful.

back eyed peas tamale

As is our tradition, Jason and I made New Years Eve tamales.

We made new flavors this year – a chile relleno tamale, a black eyed pea jalapeno tamale, and a fig tamale with havarti sauce. All of them so good – the chile relleno is my new favorite! I also made a new chipotle sauce that is rich and spicy – I cannot wait to share with you!

To see our masa recipe, other tamale flavors and assembly methods, see our tamales from last year.

havarti fig tamale

Happy. New. Year.

Here’s to more than we could ever dream possible!



  1. says

    What a great recap. To be honest, I am so completely envious of all the opportunities you have created for yourself and the talent that you have. If I lived in Portland, I would probably be one of those stalker people trying to convince you that I should be hired as your personal assistant–or dog walker, either way 😉

    Much success, health and happiness to you in 2013, my friend!

  2. says

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year! I am always in awe of the amazing support from the vegan and blogger communities – it is truly a thing of beauty!

  3. Shilpa says

    Happy New Year!!! May this year bring lots of joy and many more opportunities. Wishing you, Jason and your dad loads of happiness.

  4. says

    Just like our comments to you make you smile big, your words to us make US smile big. I admire your strength and the joy you continue to harness even through what was largely a very difficult year for you. I’m looking forward to a lot more ups for you this year my friend…and in the meantime, I hope we keep making you smile as much as you make us smile. xoxo

  5. says

    So glad it ended on such a positive note, Kristina! And congrats on all the wonderful things that occurred for you this past year. Looking forward to a 2013 that is even better! Happy, Happy new year to you! :)

  6. says

    I know you’ve had 2012 has been a whirlwind for you, but love hearing about all your ups. Jason is a lucky beau.

    Wishing you, Basil and Jason a beautiful 2013!!

  7. says

    Oh I love this post so much and your recap of the ups and downs and everything in between. It’s been a really good year for you, for the most part, and an uplifting one in many ways, for the challenges you continue to face, such as your dad’s health. Big hugs, my friend, you are such a kind heart! XO

  8. says

    Thank you for this lovely review! Phew what a year! I’m happy that there were so many great things, but also great things afford energy, so there …

    Also, I’m back now, finally. I’ve missed all of this so much, so happy I’ve had you on fb at least!

    Happy New Year to you! :) :)

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