El Amor

Every Year For Nochebuena My Twin Brother Gets To Go Golfing While I’m Forced To Play Cinderella And Help Make The Lechon, Here’s Why

There’s a moment in almost every woman’s life when she realizes that the cards are systematically stacked against her because of sexism. The realization hits us at different moments, but it hits hard. For some, it’s the first time we see the unfairness of being scolded for climbing trees or getting in trouble for strict dress codes. For others, its when they get their first paycheck or have a male-coworker call them something like “sweetie” or “hun.”

I clued into this reality back when I was a kid watching TV on the couch with my twin brother (aka my same aged brother who had no reason for being treated any differently than me). My mother had been in the kitchen when she called me over to clean up. It wasn’t the first time she’d asked for my help with cleaning, but it was the first time I realized I was the only one asked, and that it was total caca that my twin hadn’t been asked as well.

Of course, I knew better than to make a fuss about being asked to clean.

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Mama didn’t raise no dummy who talks back. However, I did open my mouth to say something like “But what about my bother?” which was quickly met with “Boys don’t clean the kitchen.”

And thus began my understanding of the subtle yet very obvious ways he and I were treated differently growing up.

While I hightailed my ass home to make sure I met my 10 o’clock curfew…

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(A very annoying thing to have to do when you’re trying to actually have a social life in your teen years)

My twin brother was strolling into the house hours later at midnight.

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Looking and smelling suspicious as hell.

Nearly every one of my outfits went under daily scrutinization…

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Shirts, skirts, shorts, even pantyhose were up to inspection and criticism.

But my twin bro got away with any size shorts, no problem.

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The teeniest tiniest shorts were never a big deal.

My parents wouldn’t let me have a boyfriend.

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“No novio para ti mija”

Or, drive in cars with my friends.

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“Why do you need to drive with your friends when I can drive you”


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There goes my twin doing all of the most.

And despite all of my very ~mature~ and completely logical protests, it continues to this day.

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And we’re both adults!

Even now, when we visit home for Thanksgiving or Nochebuena, while I’m playing Cinderella in the kitchen with my sister and mother…

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My brother’s out hitting balls on the golf green with my dad.

And AFTER dinner? When I’m stuck Jenga-style organizing the fridge with leftovers of lechón and frijoles…

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Ay yay yay.

The prince gets to lay back and rest his precious tummy.

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Because, you know, he put it in a whole lot of work eating at the dinner table.

Ok, sometimes he has to take care of the trash.

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LBR, that’s the bare minimum.

When I do put up a fight about cooking and cleaning…

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My mom starts sweating me about whether I’ll ever convince some guy to marry me.

Or, when I want to go out with my friends?

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It’s like facing a parole board.

My brother could go for a run and literally be gone for hours.

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Last year, I went running and after being gone 30 minutes my dad rounded up neighborhood watch.

Being a twin, I know that I’ve got quite a leg up over the singletons of the world. And all the perks he gets aside, my wombmate is actually pretty much the best.

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I was born with a lifelong buddy and have always had someone to help me tackle life’s hurdles. It also means I’m one step closer to being an Olsen twin than anyone who doesn’t have a twin. (Which means I’m basically an Olsen twin?)

That is to say, I’m lucky and I know it.

But when it’s all said and done, as a woman, I know there’s a whole lot of BS I’m expected to put up with, and benevolent sexism in my household is absolutely one of them.

So, ICYMI he absolutely should be the one to clean the dishes this year for Thanksgiving, Mom and Dad.

What kind of caca sexism do you experience in your house? Tell us in the comments below, and recommend this post to your friends!

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20 Better Ways to Celebrate The Holidays Than Eating Too Much Salty Ham

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20 Better Ways to Celebrate The Holidays Than Eating Too Much Salty Ham

Not everyone loves salty ham for Christmas, even if it is from that one store with all the commercials that we won’t name. Latin American food is filled with rich dishes perfect for special occasions, soups, stews, empanadas, soul-warming drinks, and the dish that the rest of America loves to make, tamales. So forget salty ham or dry turkey and try making one of these dishes. If you’re vegan or vegetarian, there are plenty of ideas here for you too.

1.  Pernil

Made of pork shoulder, this Puerto Rican dish is cooked with the meat on the bone until the skin on the outside is crispy and the skin on the inside is falling off the bone. Get yourself an orange and some Sazon Goya and get cooking.


2. Turkey Pozole

Let say you like turkey, but you don’t want to cook a whole one.  Try this recipe. Unlike some pozole recipes that you’ll find online, this recipe calls for using dried pasilla chiles, so it will taste like the pozole that you’ve had before only with turkey. The recipe does call for tomato paste which you won’t need if you just add a couple of more chiles.


3. Birria de Chivo

Often served at weddings (watch that white dress!) and baptisms, this dish is great for serving during the holidays too. It’s deep red sauce, made of ancho and guajillo chiles looks festive garnished with onions and cilantro.


4. Red Pork Pozole

If you’d rather have pozole during the winter holiday season, why not just make this one. Pork pozole has the best flavor out all the pozoles because of the fat in the pork. This well-written recipe comes with step-by-step photo instructions as well as the standard ingredients list.


5. Pork Tamales

Mely Martinez, of México in My Kitchen, food blog, offers traditional Mexican recipes in both English and Spanish. Her pork tamales recipe is beautifully illustrated with step-by-step photos, and a list of ingredients at the end of the recipe. She even tells you what of cut of meat is best for these tamales.


6. Vegan Mexican Meatball Soup

Let’s say no quiere meat at all. This Vegan Mexican meatball soup, or albondigas, is made with 1 package of Gardein ground beef crumbles. It also contains everything else you’d expect in albondigas, carrots, potatoes, and long-grain rice.


7. Vegetarian Green Chile and Cheese Tamales

Everybody loves the cheese tamales. Mamás all over the Americas spends hours stewing meat for pork tamales only to have everyone eat the cheese ones first. This recipe includes ingredients and directions for making both the masa and the filling, and Isabel at Isabel Eats food blog, tells you how to make masa both vegetarian and with lard. If you don’t have time to make the masa, and you’re not vegetarian, go to your local Latin American food market where they have plenty of it on hand, especially during the holiday season.


8. Tamales de Pavo or Turkey Tamales

The New York Times recipes can sometimes be very fussy and call for expensive ingredients, but this recipe is unfussy and straightforward. Poultry tamales are hard to make without getting the meat too dry but aren’t likely to have that problem if you follow the cooking times in this recipe carefully.


9. Mole-Roasted Turkey with Masa Stuffing and Chile Gravy

So you didn’t get to eat turkey for Thanksgiving and you want one for Christmas but with a Latin-twist? Try this recipe. If you’re a meat-eating goth, this turkey will look great on your table because the mole rub makes the skin a dark, black red color. The recipe includes the directions for the masa stuffing and chili gravy which is something we would eat every day.


10. Turkey Birria

If you still have the left-over turkey carcass with some meat left on it in the freezer, pull it out and make this turkey birria. Ruby from GUBlife, Growing Up Blaxican, blog offers fully-illustrated instructions and an ingredients list. The GUBlife website has other recipes, DIY craft ideas, and culture and parenting info.


11. Turkey in Mole Sauce

This is not a Rick Bayless recipe *wink*.  Good mole is always time-consuming pero se vale la pena. This recipe from Epicurious, with its long ingredients list, will take at least three days to make, but your casita will smell so yummy. The recipe does call for nuts, so don’t serve it to your gente with nut allergies.


12. Orange Chipotle Ham

Okay, maybe you really do want ham, try this recipe by Laylita de Ecuador. Included in the ingredients are chipotle chile, lime, achiote, cinnamon, and some tequila! The chipotle, honey, tequila sauce poured over the ham for cooking will create a beautiful red glaze.

Orange chipotle ham

13. Mushroom Empanadas

Empanadas are a great side dish and a super satisfying blend of carbs and protein. These empanadas de hongo y queso make great horderves during the holidays, especially with the festive green aji criollo sauce. There is a link to the salsa recipe on the mushroom empanada page. This recipe is one of Laylita’s many empanada recipes.

Mushroom cheese empanadas

14. Chicken Sausage Gumbo

It’s not a Latin American dish, but chicken sausage gumbo is spiced similarly, and equally satisfying as many Latin American dishes. When we get tired of pozole at my house, we make gumbo. You will want to follow this Emeril Lagasse (one of the few celebrity chefs who hasn’t been accused of sexual misconduct) gumbo recipes carefully, especially when it tells you to stir the roux. If you burn it, start all over. Trust us!


15. Seafood Gumbo

Okay, so you’d rather have seafood gumbo. Try Emeril’s Classic Seafood Gumbo recipe. A bit more time-consuming than the chicken sausage gumbo, this recipe will make the seafood lovers in your life mighty happy.


16. Persimmon Mojito

Now that you have the casita all warmed up by all the cooking in the kitchen, it’s time to fix yourself a drink. This persimmon mojito recipe is perfect for the season as persimmon’s are abundant this time of year. While the recipe calls for rum, you could leave that out for a virgin version if you’re Latino and straight-edge.


17. Mexican Ponche

If your Christmas won’t be complete without ponche and no one passed the recipe down to you, here’s one from Lesley Téllez at The Mija Chronicles. This recipe will get your apartamento smelling just like Christmas en México. If you have to have one those cute terra cotta cups to drink it from, many Latin American markets sell those too.

How to make ponche, the traditional Mexican Christmas punch

18. Mexican Bread Pudding or Capirotada

Made with Oaxacan queso and nuts, this bread pudding recipe is beautifully-illustrated and easy to follow. It calls for a lot of butter which guarantees great taste, no? This particular recipe also has an easy-to-find print button for those who don’t like reading recipes on a screen.


19. Pastel de Tres Leches

Sabes qué? You can make tres leches cake at home. Here’s a recipe by award-winning food blogger, Vianney from Tejas. Vianney is the author of two cookbooks The Tex Mex Slow Cooker and Latin Twist. She also hosts the Sweet Life blog.


20. Vegan Mexican Chocolate Pie


Follow this dairy-free recipe, and add some cayenne pepper to your chocolate and you’ve got vegan chocolate pie. Unlike many vegan dessert recipes, this recipe can be made without nuts. This particular chocolate pie has a graham cracker crust,  nom, nom.

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13 Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Bring That Will Showcase Your Latinidad

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13 Thanksgiving Side Dishes to Bring That Will Showcase Your Latinidad

This year don’t bring some basic bland food to Thanksgiving. Bring something that will surprise your jefitos, impress your primos, nourish your vegan/vegetarian friends, and showcase your Latinidad. Forget boring mashed potatoes, over-salted, cream-sauced vegetables, store-bought pie, or being afraid of vegan/vegetarian dishes.

You’re an adult now, this is your chance to show your love through home-made food like your family has done all these years.

1. Tamales de Green Chile y Queso


There’s nothing more festive than tamales over the holidays, and you don’t have to wait until Christmas. Prepare a dozen or so of these for yourself and anyone else who’d rather fill up on hearty Mexican food than dry turkey. This recipe is vegetarian if you make your own masa as instructed, but if you don’t care if they are fully vegetarian, or you just don’t have much time, you could buy prepared masa con manteca from any Latin American food market. Some of us never make our own masa!

2. Brussels Sprouts with Mexican Chorizo


If you want to bring something a bit more traditional, or you’ve been asked to bring a vegetable side dish, try these Brussels sprouts. Don’t be afraid that people don’t like Brussels sprouts, cooked this way in the fat from the cooked chorizo, they are sure to impress. The red Mexican chorizo will turn the light part parts of the sprouts red, resulting in a festive, and Mexican flag-colored, green and reddish.

3. Sqirl’s Brussels Sprouts

Thanksgiving Side Recipe: Sqirl’s Brussels Sprouts

Or maybe you’d rather put chicharron powder on your Brussels. Cooked in butter, sherry vinegar, and fleur de sal. Sqirl LA’s food is so good people from all over the country, often come straight from the airport to eat there. It happens so often that the restaurant will happily store your luggage in their stock room. Bring this Latin-flavored recipe to Thanksgiving and show your friends what all the fuss is about.

4.  Tropical Chipotle Cranberry Sauce


Many think that this Thanksgiving staple shouldn’t be messed with, but I can assure you that American Indians and English settlers didn’t eat cranberry sauce out of the can. That said, why not try something different and add some chipotle and pineapple to some fresh cranberries for sweet, sour, and spicy version.

5. Apple Chorizo Cornbread Stuffing


Thanks to all the Latino’s in the US, chorizo is making a strong showing in Thanksgiving dishes. If you’ve been asked to bring stuffing not cooked in the bird, make this savory cornbread chorizo stuffing. This recipe also calls for cumin, oregano, and cilantro to help round out the Latin flavors.

6. Abuelo’s Papas Con Chile or Mexican Mashed Potatoes


These mashed potatoes use Velveeta, but people all over the internet swear by this recipe. If you were asked to bring the papas try this dish. Tell us how it went.

7. Empanadas de Camote


This recipe combines sweet potato, bacon, and queso fresco. Hearty and filled filled with protein and iron, these empanadas are a lighter alternative to bringing masa heavy tamales. With pretty folded edges, these empanadas will look pretty on any Thanksgiving table.

8. Pan Amasado or Chilean Bread Rolls


So you’ve been asked to bring some rolls, but you don’t want to just go to Safeway and grab whatever they have, why not make Pan Amasado? The recipe, only calls for nine every-day ingredients, including shortening, egg, and butter. Sabroso!

9. Blistered Peppers with Lime


Blistered Padrón or shishito peppers topped with spicy sea salt are common now on menus in upscale restaurants all around the country. They are super easy to make too. Bring this to Thanksgiving at your adventurous family/friend eaters, as in the same batch, one pepper can be quite mild and the next one quite hot.

10. Puerto Rican Mofongo


If you’re looking to bring a taste of the island to Thanksgiving make this traditional style mofongo. Made of plantains, garlic, and pork rinds, this dish is an adaptation of a West African slave dish by Taino Indians made with ingredients available on the island. A similar dish is made by Dominicans.

11. Vegan Potato Adobo Tamales


If you’re a vegan attending a non-vegan Thanksgiving, make yourself these hearty tamales. This recipe will show you how to make both the vegan masa (made with coconut oil instead of lard) and the adobo potato filling. The recipe also calls for garlic, oregano, clove, cinnamon, and cumin. Tamales without masa are lower in calories and saturated fat.

12. Vegan Chile Rellenos


Okay, so many of the vegan recipes here are from the same person, Dora of Dora’s Table. This mujer, Dora, who was born and raised in México and to culinary school in New York, works extra hard to create vegan versions of traditional Mexican dishes, using traditional Mexican ingredients. Her Vegan Chile Rellenos use poblano chiles and vegan cheese. On her website, Dora warns that this recipe isn’t what she’d call healthy.

13. Empanadas de Argentina


If you’re looking to bring the taste of South America to Thanksgiving dinner, make these Argentinian Tamales. They are made with ground beef, bell pepper, and latin-flavor spices. You’ll save time on the dough too because it’s made with store-bought puff pastry flour.

Read: 11 Latinas That Boldly Embrace Natural Body Hair From the Past And Present

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