Things and Happenings

Sooooo, I have been very busy…mostly with the day job and with my little boy. It was our son’s first Christmas, and so him enjoying this time of year took priority over everything.


There are a few new updates that I have, but not too many. They are all very general in nature. First of all, the writing is going good! I’m wrapping up two novels now. I’ll be blogging soon for a great writerly organization and I’ll be attending some book fairs and conventions. There will also be a flood of short stories in 2014.


I’m looking forward to 2014. I have some great and interesting projects coming up and I look forward to telling you all about the things I’m working on. I’m also looking forward to chatting with more of my writerly followers in 2014! So, please, follow what I’m up to J


Today I spent most of the day making tamales. I posted a picture of the progress on Twitter. One of my Twitter followers said they had never had a tamale. Below is a recipe I put together. If you have time, a lot of time, you should try it out! If you’re not the tamale type, I placed a link below of the BEST sugar cookies I have ever made. The cookie recipe was simple and yielded quite a lot.


Do you think you have what it takes for these tamales?

Warning: This takes a LONG time, five hours’ worth of time. You will need to make the dough and the filling. You will also need to prepare corn husks and will need a steamer.


Corn Husks:

Place the corn husks in a large pot. Cover them completely with warm water and allow to soak for 20 minutes (at least) until they are soft and pliable. I like to do this first and then work on all of the other parts of the recipe.


Tamale Dough:

4 cups of Masa Harina corn flour (It looks like this!


4 cups of vegetable broth


2 teaspoons of baking powder


1/3 cup of olive oil


Directions: In a large bowl, combine the masa harina, broth, salt, baking powder and oil. Mix until dough is fluffy. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator while you work on the other parts.


Vegetarian Filling:

1 cup of frozen corn


Salsa verde (If you like a bit of space, add this! You can just purchase this canned. Here are some examples of brands you can buy: The Rick Bayless brand is my favorite:


Directions: Boil the frozen corn. That’s it!



Chicken Filling:

1 pound of chicken breast


8 ounce Hunts tomato sauce


8 ounce jalapeno peppers in sauce (If you like a bit of spice, add this. It looks like this!


½ teaspoon of salt


Directions: Boil chicken breast and salt for 40 minutes. Once done, place chicken breast in glass bowl. Pour the juice from the jalapeno peppers into the bowl. Then, pour the tomato sauce. With a fork in each hand, proceed to shred the chicken until all of it is shredded finely.



Take a corn husk and lay it flat. Spread 2 tablespoons starting from the center across and upward. It should be a thin layer across, not too thick or you will not be able to roll this closed. Drop 1 tablespoon of your preferred filling in the center. Carefully roll up the tamale, making sure to encase the filling completely in the corn husk. We like to fold once from left to right, then again right to left and then finally lifting up the thinnest part of the cornhusk upward. That’s one way. Another way is rolling it up and tying both ends. If you like, you can tie both ends with heavy duty kitchen string. Loosely pack the tamales into a large steamer basket. Steam for 4-5 hours. Some recipes call to steam them for 30-40 minutes. I don’t know how that’s possible. We steam them for 4-5 hours until they feel firm to the touch. Serve with your favorite guacamole and chips as a side.


Don’t want tamales and just want to bake sugar cookies instead? THIS was the recipe that won Christmas for me. Enjoy!


Best of luck!

Categories: Blog

Cynthia Pelayo

Cynthia (cina) Pelayo is the author of short story collection Loteria and the young adult horror novel Santa Muerte published by Post Mortem Press. Her short stories and poems have appeared in DM, Weird Year, Flashes in the Dark, SNM Horror Magazine, Seedpod, Static Movement, and more. Pelayo is the Publisher/Gravedigger of Burial Day Books and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. She is currently at work on two novels and a series of short stories and poems. You can find her on Twitter at @cinapelayo or at