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Momma always said “you look so much prettier when you smile,” and she’s right (for everyone, not just me!) It’s important to smile. I believe these muscles need multiple day exercise, no matter what the circumstances…. but how!?

Look at puppies, or kittens 🙂  on pinterest.

Think of a funny quote from a friend or a movie. Try Seinfeld, Family Guy, Clueless or Best in Show for starters.

Talk to yourself, aloud, in the car- this always does it for me. No one is watching, at least they shouldn’t be, and sometimes you need to just put things out there in space.

Turn on your favorite jam and dance like nobody’s watching. Also a fav. Also done in the car. 🙂

Remind yourself that football is just a game, and 1 loss doesn’t mean the season’s over. (But boy does it hurt.)

Or you could go to the store, but these ingredients and make a feel good no matter what life throws at you meal courtesy of Peru.

This dish will def make you smile. 🙂

Made with an inexpensive cut of meat, potatoes and rice/bulgar on the side, it’ll make your wallet smile too. (Thus increasing your smile I’m sure.)

Enjoy with a side of salad!

Waiting for the seco to develop its slightly thick and incredibly flavor dense sweet onion and cilantro sauce? Sauce so delicious a spoon is needed to get just the right amount for each bite. (hint:a lot)

Well try scooping up some shallot white wine broth to coat a perfectly cooked mussel. And then sop up some more with a piece of crusty bread. (I know you will! :))

Lightly toasted french bread. I’d like to learn a recipe but that’s something you leave up to the pros.

Mussels are super easy to cook, even though they look all fancy. And the broth is drinkable good, so don’t skimp with the wine. I think I followed a mixture of Ina’s and Tyler’s recipes so have at it. As usual with seafood, just don’t overcook.

My favorite appetizer of all time. And satisfying enough to hold one over for some of this.

If you can’t get to Peru anytime soon, and you totally should, give this recipe a try. Unbelievable flavor with reasonable effort.

Add a little latin flavor to your cuisine today! This will be a top 5 fav for a loooong time!

Make it a real Peruvian meal with alfajores as dessert! Creamy homemade dulce de leche makes these sugar cookie sandwiches over the top good!



peruvian seco

makes about 6 servings


8 large cloves garlic

1/2 cup red wine vinegar

1 Tbsp ground cumin


2-3 pounds beef shoulder, bones and fat removed, cut into 2 1/2-inch chunks

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

8 large cloves garlic

3 medium onions, red or white

2 teaspoon coarse sea salt (this is about how much I used, but remember you can always add more, not take any out)

1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

6 cups water (or beef/chicken/veggie broth but water is fine)

3 large boiling potatoes, peeled and quartered

3 carrots, cut into 1-inch slices

2 bunch cilantro, leaves only, finely chopped

1/2-1 cup frozen peas

  1. Marinate the meat in the garlic, cumin, red wine vinegar mixture, overnight is best but try for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or pressure cooker over medium-high heat. Sprinkle each piece of meat with salt and pepper and sear on all sides, remove to plate and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, add the onions and garlic to food processor and pulse until finely minced.  Add to saucepan and cook over medium-low heat until soft and translucent. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Add the carrots and potatoes, and the meat chunks. Pour in the broth/water and 1 bunch of finely chopped cilantro. Add in 1 tsp salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Make sure there is enough water to just cover everything.
  5. Cover and bring to a boil, then cook on medium-high for about 10 minutes, then turn heat low and simmer for at least 2 hours. (Doing this in a pressure cooker GREATLY reduces the time.) About halfway through the cooking process add in the other bunch of chopped cilantro, and during the last 20 minutes add in the peas.
  6. When ready, meat should be fork tender. Serve with cooking sauce and rice or bulgar.