Tamales Guatemaltecos (Guatemalan Tamales). ⚐


I’m pretty sure if you are a living being, you are a lover of food & maybe even love to cook yourself! If you fall into any of these 2 categories you probably know that the BEST recipes are those within the familyhanded down & carried on throughout the generations. Like it is for many, you’ll hear families raving about how their “mother makes it best,” or how their “grandmothers recipe is unlike any other”-a tight-kept family secret!


This year I not only got married to the most amazing man in the world, BUT I was welcomed into a new family which, in turn, brought about new traditions & new culture into my world! I have always felt that I have had a little latina flowing through my veins, but now it is official (well, kind of!)! I can now proudly say that I am a part of a beautiful Guatemalan family & am learning so much about their roots- particularly how they spice it up in the kitchen ♨︎! I grew up emmersed in Latin culture through my best friend who is Puerto Rican & Guatemalan (shout out to my girl LIZ!), so BELIEVE ME when I say that “rice, beans & plantains…” that hits home right there!!!!  

Having a husband that likes to eat, (which is basically EVERY husband; wifeys can you feel me?!) means more cooking! I personally love to cook & learning about authentic culture & implementing those recipes on my own is so exciting to me! This year we decided to be intentional & made time to learn some amazing recipes from my husband’s grandma- the beautiful, talented, & most loved:

★ (chef) Goyita! ★


Goyita is 1 of 8 brothers & sisters (now, that’s a lot of kids!), born & raised in Guatemala City. She came to the United States to work in 1974 & 1977, & officially immigrated when she was 33 years old in July of 1981. It wasn't until 1994 that Goyita’s eldest sister, Cristina, came over to the United States & taught her the authentic way of tamale making! Every year since, Goyita has put in countless hours & heartfelt passion ♡ into making tamales for friends, for family & even as a means to make a few $! Let me tell you they are ¡MUY DELICIOSOS!

We were honored to stand by her side this Christmas ⭐︎, (our 1st as a married couple) & learn the ins & outs, the tricks & the tips…on making Goyita’s Guatemalan tamales! It is definitely a process, but boy is it WORTH IT! We hope to one day carry on this tradition…Christmas 2019?! ☺︎


los Ingredientes ➡︎


• Maseca

• Corn oil

• Water

• Salt

RECADO (the sauce):

• Tomato

• Red pepper

• Chile guajillo

• Chile pasilla

• Cinnamon

• Bread

• Pumpkin seeds 

• Sesame seeds

• Corn oil


THE GARNISHES (what’s inside):

• Green & red bell peppers (sliced)

• Green olives (w/ pimento center)

• Chicken breast & chicken on the bone (seasoning; its a secret!)



• Banana leaf

• Foil

El Proceso ➡︎

With tamales, “team work makes the dream work!”


While the masa is being made, we prepared the banana leaves!

They worked nicely cut into slight rectangles; big enough to wrap a tamale in full, all around!

*Banana leaves give the tamal delicious flavor throughout the cooking process!


We placed the cut leaves in a pot with boiling water to help soften them as well as sanitize.

Then we rinsed under water & wiped off each leaf individually to ensure there were no traces of dirt/residue!


When the masa reaches the right consistency (believe me your forearms will TELL YOU!), you taste for flavor (mmm), & set aside until cool!

Thankfully, when the Ramos family makes these in December, Chicago is nice & cold! If it’s the same where you are, cover completely & place outside for a quicker cool-down!


Once masa is ready, it’s time to START MAKING TAMALES!

FYI: This is what a 4lb bag of Maseca will yield you! (makes approx. 75 tamales!)



If you have an expert in your presence, you know best to step aside & let them get the ball rolling! (or rather the masa!)



Masa (abt. 1 cup), recado, chicken, más (more) recado, a few peppers, a few olives…

& there you have it! A beautiful combination of flavors & color wrapped into one tamal!



The 1st official tamal!

Born: December 23rd, 2018.

Participants: Chef Goyita & sous chef (& grandson) Joshua

Let the tamales steam for about 1 hour!…



Yes, tamale making is a long process, but it can be a FUN one! Gather some of your friends & family to help, put on some music, share some stories, laugh, & taste-test them together at the end!

(Thanks again Goyita for showing us your ways! We love you! ♥︎ Tamales in 2019, anyone?!)