{stories and snapshots from my new york city life.}


Black Bean Tamale Pie...and a birthday

Today is my best friend's birthday. Her name is Callie, and if you don't know her, she is lovely. We grew up together in Galveston, TX and have maintained a friendship for almost 25 years. Despite the distance--she lives in Los Angeles; I live in New York--our friendship has outlasted awkward phases, jobs, apartments, and boyfriends. We were friends before we wore bras, back in the days when cameras required film and we wrote good old-fashioned letters instead of emails. 

Cake is traditionally served on birthdays, but I'm choosing to toast my friend with pie--black bean tamale pie. We live on the east and west coasts now, but Callie and I will always be Southwestern to the core. For us, comfort foods are the ones with cumin and hot chilies and freshly fried tortilla chips--the kinds of foods our mothers cooked for dinner or we had delivered late at night to our college dorm in Austin. 

This one fits the bill and I think she'd love it. I think you will too!

                        Corn & Black Bean Tamale Pie

Kernels of 4 ears fresh cooked corn (2 cups)
1 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup masa harina
1 can (16 oz) creamed corn
1 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp unsalted butter, melted
2 cans (15 oz. each) black beans, rinsed and drained (I used one can of white beans instead of black)
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
pinch cayenne pepper
½ tsp oregano
¼ cup tomato puree
1 can (4 ½ oz) diced green chilies
8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded (2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 7 by 11-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Puree corn briefly in a food processor. Combine pureed corn, stock, masa, creamed corn, baking powder, and butter in a bowl. Set aside. Combine black beans, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, oregano, tomato puree, and green chilies in a large bowl. Spread two-thirds of masa corn mixture in bottom of prepared baking dish. Layer bean mixture and cheese. Top with remaining masa corn mixture. Bake one hour. 

{Backstage at our first dance recital.}

{All grown-up in NYC.}

Happy birthday and many kisses, Callie girl. This is gonna be your year. Hope you're out eating chips and queso somewhere in L.A. 


  1. awww you guys are too cute and so lucky to have a friendship that many will never know! Happy birthday to your long time bestie!

  2. I love those pictures. I remember Callie- Happy birthday!

  3. Awww... you guys are so cute! I guess I need some new friends because I always seem to be the one doing the cooking, lol. Also, that tamale pie looks amazing.


  4. what a sweet post on your bff... the both of you look so cute .. happy birthday callie!

  5. Happy b-day to your bestie! That looks so yummy!

  6. Happy Birthday to your sweet best friend! You girls are adorable...now and then. I love how you made a tamale pie in her honor. Austin would be proud! Thank you for sharing this with me! I hope you have a wonderful afternoon.

  7. Mmmmmmmmmmm, that looks excellent! And happy bday to your girl!

  8. What great photos and a sweet post! I do think I would love that pie...sounds delish!

  9. yummy pie and I really like the design of that card. I like the circle idea a lot.

    Just Better Together is having a $25 gift certificate giveaway!

  10. Aww you girls are so cute. Happy Birthday to your friend, Callie. The tamale pie looks amazing. Good to know you are a Southern girl with good Southern recipes because it's something I need to experiment more with.