Saturday, January 29, 2011

Just a Small Town Girl

I live in California now, but what you may not know about me is that I didn't grow up here. I know. It's shocking. A Californian who wasn't born and raised in California. From the age of 7 to the age of 15 I lived in a very very very very small town in Pennsylvania. How small was this town? Well, we had to drive 45 minutes to the nearest GAP. And if you grew up in the late 80s, early 90s, you'll understand the importance of this mile marker.

This was a town where great grandparents lived down the street from grandparents lived down the street from parents. In other words, it was a town of strong loyalties. And one of those loyalties was to our football team, The Steelers (or as we call them, The Stillers. Don't believe me? Ask someone from Pittsburgh the name of their team.)

I still remember my fourth grade teacher chasing one of my class mates around the room with a chair or a ruler because he was a Browns fan. Yeah, we were crazy loyal. And after all, the town I lived in was built on the coal mines which supplied the coal which was actually used to MAKE the Pittsburgh steel.

Now that I'm in San Diego, my loyalties have switched. The Chargers are an easy team to love, but they're also a team that can break your heart. Year after year after year. Even though they're not "my team" anymore, there was a feeling of pride that surged through me last weekend when it became clear that The Steelers were going to the Superbowl. Instead of two random teams, to whom I owe no loyalty, I can cheer loud and proud next Sunday.

I'm so very excited for this year's Superbowl, and for more than just the amazing junk food that is sure to be consumed in households across the country. Although, how amazing is that junk food? Buffalo wings, potato skins, and of course, what would Superbowl Sunday be without nachos? These are pure California babies. Topped with fresh carnitas. In San Diego (and much of Southern California) you can pick up delicious carnitas from your closest carneseria. For those of you a bit further from Mexico, try your local market, or even better - make it yourself. We get it so easily here that it's a dish I've never attempted, but carnitas is so delicious if we were ever to move, it would be the first thing on my 'learn to make" list.

Carnitas Nachos
1 lb carnitas, cooked
1 bag tortilla chips
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups refried beans
1 jalapeno, chopped
sour cream
1 diced tomato
Tabasco sauce

1. Preheat oven to 350. Spread chips on a baking sheet and top with carnitas. Heat for 10 minutes.
2. Combine the beans and jalapeno and spread overtop the chips and carnitas. Sprinkle cheese on top and place back in oven for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
3. Top with sour cream, tomatoes, and a couple dashes of Tabasco.


  1. I never really have any loyalties, even if the team is a NY one. That's probably not something I should ever admit to anyone. Yeah?

    But I'll pretend to love any team as long as it means I get a bite or two of those nachos. So bad and yet. So good.

  2. Delicious looking nachos! This year I am not into either team...sorry! But it will be all about the food!

  3. I won't be watching the Super Bowl up here in Canada, for shame, but I would definitely make me some nachos!!!

  4. Those look so good!
    I don't care for either team this year.
    And I have to drive 45 minutes to the nearest Gap. Though there is an outlet 30 minutes away.

  5. Your nachos look delicious. There is always room fro another recipe in my file. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

  6. I thought you were a Canadian until you moved to the States as an adult... but, you are basically an American... or, do you only have a Canadian passport. Neither here, nor there - except that you are culturally an American as you have been there from 7 years old and on - and Pennsylvania! Nice!
    I had to look up carnitas. I thought you had to make that - I didn't know you could buy it made. Oh, silly me. Isn't that really pork belly? I am not sure... but I can imagine the taste from my "googling" and it would be TOO delicious for words. I would be completely focused on the plate. Forget the game!!!!