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Inocente

Last week I had the amazing opportunity to meet and talk with Inocente Izucar, an incredible artist and beautiful person with a driving story and an even more inspiring soul.  Inocente’s journey is one of hope and love and most importantly passion, teaching me that I can overcome obstacles and realize my dreams with those driving forces in my arsenal.  

I was given this opportunity through the Kentucky Center for the Perfroming Arts, who called me up in the hopes of having paletas for the meet and greet following the screening of this multi talented documentary and Q&A with Inocente.  In a mad rush of excitement I couldn’t turn this opportunity down!  The theme of the night was traditional paleta flavors, some of my original recipes, one even that I had to pull off the dusty shelf and revitalize.  You see, the director of this event had lived in Mexico while growing up, and a few years in both California and New Mexico, meaning she knew her flavors well.  Well enough to ask specifically for Tamrindo, even when it wasn’t listed on my order list.  In the end it was everything a paleta traditionalist could ask for, sweet Horchata, Mexican Chocolate with a kick, Cucumber Jalapeno, Tamarind, and of course, your traditional Strawberry, but made with whole fruit and no added anything, you can’t get better than that. 

At the end of the evening, that’s when it became a special moment for me.  With the crowds gone and only the staff and participants remaining I had a chance to meet and talk with Inocente.  We discussed my paletas and her art and after sharing with her my personal favorites of her work, she generously insisted I take a piece with me.  Signed, sealed and delivered.  I am so excited to frame this peace and hang it in my home.

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This piece resonated with me, even now when I think on it I can’t tell you why exactly.  Maybe it has to do with the happenings of my personal life?  I’m currently dealing with a loss of sorts and although it is a sad and un-wanted moment in my timeline, a storm of heavy clouds and rain, I know that every day will bring a brighter tomorrow.  The color spoke to me.  The theme inspired me.  And Inocente shared a little bit of her soul with me. 

Please, read more of Inocente’s story here, and be sure to check out the official documentory trailer here.  You will be amazed, inspired and encouraged to follow your dreams, no matter what your obstacles may be. 

Flea Off Market

This past weekend was the first Flea Off Market of the season!  An exciting event for Louisville local bushiness, artists and street vendors alike and I was lucky enough to be able to attend.  You see, I usually work this market, and although I am surrounded by amazing people doing amazing things I don’t often have the luxury of leaving my booth space to wander into theirs.  Being as I am a warm season business I don’t open my imaginary doors for sales until April, leaving me free to enjoy this month’s market, getting to know, and rekindling friendships with, some of my fellow marketeers.  So, with my BFF and son in tow we headed down to E. Jefferson for an afternoon of great fun and food.  

After two new shirts, a belly full of poutine and treats for my son, in the form of new Vans and a flower balloon from John The Balloon Guy, we called it a day.  A little early, I know, but I really had to go and a singular port-a-pot accompanied by a long line of men was not an appealing option to end the afternoon.  So I guess the only down side to this amazing market is it’s amazingly bad option for restrooms.  But not to fret, my spoils were well worth the struggle to not pee my pants on the ride home.

A big thank you to Bourbon Built.  Bless Your Hearts and love your shirts.  And Rob at French Indo-Canada for the amazing short ribs, I’ve been thinking long and hard since the market and I think they’re the best I’ve ever had.  Can’t wait ‘til next month!

They’re back! I’ve been stalking the #Vitamix trunk shows for years and they always use the same sales tactic, “Rumor has it we’re not coming back, last chance to buy at this price.” And like clockwork they mysteriously appear again 2-3 months later spitting the same sales pitch, rumor has it… All of this is said in good humor, of course. I love my vitamix, and #costco ain’t so bad either.

Tropical Smoothie

I’ve been working through the Vitamix recipe book.  The most recent creation is something along the lines of a Tropical Smoothie.  

Recipe:  1 banana, 2 clementines, 1 apple (seeded), 1 mango, 1/2 C. water, Drinking Cup full of ice.

I layered the ingredients in the blender and let it rip.  In hind sight I should have layer the ice on the bottom, but that’s why I’m messing with these recipes and learning the tricks through trial and error. 

Mmmmm…

I think the coolest part of this recipe is the fact that I left the apple in whole chunks.  Whole Chunks!!!  That is so awesome.  This machine is designed to perfection and powerful enough to pulverize anything.  Okay, maybe not anything, but at least whole chunks of apple.  Can you tell I am in love?  Because I am.  I’ve been avoiding making paletas with apples because of my lack of blending/juicing, no pulverizing, abilities.  That’s all about to change.

This Tropical Smoothie recipe made a little too much for just two, so I stored the remaining smoothie and blender in the fridge.  I pulled it out later that day, gave it a whirl on the base and, other than the fact that is was a little thinner (from the melted ice) it was just as delicious.  Yummy!

Commercial-grade Equipment Upgrade

For years I’ve been pinning after the volts and amps of the high performance blending machines made by Vitamix.  A company focused solely on developing and perfecting their trade and, as their vision states, “liberating the world from conventional food and beverage preparation boundaries.”

Wanting to break through my personal culinary boundaries (and self diagnosed OCD penny pinching tendencies) I’ve been stalking the Vitamix representatives at the Costco trunk shows for months with a constant internal debate over value of function vs. cost.  For as long as my longing and love for these beautiful machines has been stoking so has my hesitation to drop over $500.00 for a single culinary machine.

Reflecting on my blending history I’ve only just now begun to see the error of my ways.  The I-won’t-mention brands I’ve been using and burned out time after time were just fillers.  My only saving grace has been the phenomenal return and exchange policy of Bed, Bath & Beyond.  Now, I won’t dog on any of the past equipment I’ve used because their design and manufacturing for household use was put to the test and even surpassed my expectations, but I am beginning to see they were only adequate for my commercial-grade abuse.  I laugh out loud, or at least in my head, at the description of adequate.  This term, and its humdrum synonyms, has been a running joke between me and my hubby for years.  It helps to lighten the mood when all the tough questions in life are answered with a quick fine, um…adequate, acceptable and our mutual favorite, satisfactory.

With a loving push of rational thinking from the finniest man in my life I made the financial plunge and upgraded to the Vitamix commercial-grade 6300.  After all, it is a tax write off.  So, With butterflies in my belly and anticipation in my fingers I’m off to read the instructional manual and recipe book that came along with my new purchase.  Yes, I am in fact nerdy enough to read manuals and books containing nothing but recipes.  As I embark on this new chapter of culinary technique I’ll be sure to keep you posted on my new commercial-grade equipment upgrade, at last.

                                  

A note to ohbritbra: keep following for updates on my discoveries with this amazing machine.  In the mean time, you can read about a few tricks of the trade by checking out an earlier post from September 2011 in response to a similar question to yours.

Holiday Special!

This holiday season we’re running a Holiday Special!  By ordering the Holiday ‘Grab Bag’ Special option you will receive a verity of paletas from this year’s seasonal recipes, including Egg Nog, Peppermint Candy Cane, and Pumpkin Cheesecake.  For more details on how to order follow these ordering instructions or email me at paletapopculture@gmail.com.

              

              

              

For more details on how to order follow these ordering instructions or email me at paletapopculture@gmail.com.

-Kellan Emge, Owner

Paleta Pop Culture, LLC

Egg Nog

In addition to these Egg Nog paletas being delicious, this is also one of my favorite photos taken yet.  I even set it as the background of my phone.  I pretty sure this picture says it all.

Dusted with nutmeg and rich with flavor, this nog is all but made from scratch.  Take this one to the company Christmas party and let the good times roll.  

Amazing Mae

The newest addition to the Paleta Pop Culture uniform…

                  

These charms were made by my neighbor and long time friend, Traci.  She is the owner of a small business called Amazing Mae where she makes unique soldered jewelry.  

Below are a few other examples of charms by Amazing Mae.  To order your custom made jewelry visit her etsy shop, and be sure to follow the Amazing Mae blog for the latest in custom made fashions.   

                      

                     

                      

                      

Pumpkin Cheesecake

Last fall I experimented with the versatile flavor of pumpkin developing a completely unique paleta: Pumpkin Cheesecake.  This year I wanted to take it to the next level so I spent a few days making and remaking this recipe, playing with the spice/pumpkin/cream cheese ratio and even eliminating the pumpkin and cheesecake swirl.  Although the swirl gave a gorgeous marbled effect I decided using a solid texture would lend itself to better consistency in flavor.

One if my favorite modifications to this recipe is the addition of a graham cracker crust.  I waited until after the paleta was frozen and solid to add the crust on the outer surface.  Experimenting a few times with the concept I settled on this because the crust can be added as desired rather than as a mandatory part of the recipe.   

So why not try something a little different at this year’s Thanksgiving dinner?  The perfect Pumpkin Cheesecake paleta.  

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