Tomato chipotle soup with star pasta

Mexican tomato chipotle soup with star pasta recipe from The Other Side of The Tortilla via @MauraHernandez

This post is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Barilla and Latina Bloggers Connect.

Tomato chipotle soup with star pasta is a spin on the classic Mexican comfort dish known as sopa de fideo.

I love to make this soup especially during the fall and winter months or on a cool, rainy day. And the star-shaped pasta rather than regular fideo is a fun addition for both adults and kids alike!

Although this soup is really not very spicy at all, if you’re worried about picky eaters, you can reduce the amount of chipotle pepper by half or completely replace the actual chile with a few tablespoons of adobo sauce.

Star-shaped pasta is a classic cut that’s perfect for introducing kids to the delicious world of pasta, and in Mexico, many children’s first experience is with estrellas or fideo.

RELATED RECIPE: Sopa de fideo… 

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Mango cantaloupe paletas with chile powder

Mango and cantaloupe are a great combination not only because they’re both at peak availability during the summer, but also because both fruits are sweet enough when ripe that they don’t need to be sweetened with sugar to make juices or other treats like popsicles.

These mango cantaloupe popsicles are keeping me in denial about the end of summer drawing near.

Mango, cantaloupe and chile powder paletas recipe from The Other Side of The Tortilla

I really love these popsicles because they’re not syrupy sweet like store-bought popsicles, and the chile powder in the fruit mixture adds just the right amount of heat so that they’re still kid-friendly. Optionally, if you like, you can also sprinkle or dip the popsicles in some more chile powder before eating to add extra spicy flavor. … 

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Watermelon and aloe vera juice

In Mexico, as well as other countries in Latin America, aloe gel (also sometimes referred to as aloe crystal) is used externally for a variety of skin ailments as well as consumed for its curative health benefits, especially for stomach and digestive ailments. Aloe gel or crystal comes from the meat of the leaf, and is easy and inexpensive to extract yourself at home. In Spanish, aloe vera is called “sábila” or “áloe,” and is sometimes misspelled as “sávila.” In Mexico, it’s most commonly referred to as “sábila.”

Aloe vera juice is said to help maintain healthy digestion, and can also help regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, reduce acne eruptions, as well as many other health benefits, and is a good addition for those who are conscious of an alkaline diet.

Watermelon aloe vera juice recipe from theothersideofthetortilla.com (jugo de sandía y sábila)

My Tío Eduardo swears by homemade aloe vera juice for digestive ailments. Homemade aloe juice is both easy and inexpensive to make—a single large aloe vera leaf in the produce section of most grocery stores in the U.S. should cost between 99 cents and $2 or $3. If a single leaf is $3 or more, it should be very large and heavy, otherwise check another store for a better price. Most Mexican or Latin American markets will carry them. Aloe leaves available in grocery stores are typically about 4-4.5 inches wide at the base, 22-24 inches long and about 1 inch thick.

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We’re busy polishing the silver…

As you may have noticed if you’ve visited theothersideofthetortilla.com over the last few days, things look a little different – and not quite right just yet! Please pardon the digital dust while I polish the site. We’ve switched to new hosting and we’re implementing some great new features for more fun here in the Tortilla Test Kitchen, including a new design and layout and a better commenting system.

In the meantime, if you’d like to view old posts and photos the way they used to look, you can do so by visiting the old site. All of that content has been moved over here but some posts need a little cleaning since they got tarnished in the move. You can still comment here if you like. Any comments left on the old site this week will be ported over to the new site so nothing gets lost in the shuffle.

Don’t worry, we’ll be back soon, and we’ll be more brillante than ever before!

    A new, improved Tortilla coming soon!

    It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted and I wanted to write you all a little note about why. Soon, The Other Side of The Tortilla will relaunch with a better, more interactive design! I’m moving hosting in an effort to better serve all of you and to provide some cool new features that I cannot integrate on my current platform. I promise it will keep the same, clean style that so many of you have written me saying you love so much.

    I’ve been working on a redesign since the beginning of April, and it should be ready to be implemented sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks so much for all your patience and support – I can’t wait to show you the new site! I hope you’ll keep checking back. In the meantime, you can still access all my old posts here. Once the redesign takes effect, all the old posts will be imported to the new site so you’ll still be able to search and find some of your favorite recipes and stories already posted here.

    Hasta pronto,
    Maura

    Ya tenemos 6 meses!

    I can’t believe last week I passed the six month mark since I began The Other Side of The Tortilla. It feels like only a short time ago that I started contemplating how to share my quest for Mexican culinary and cultural nirvana in the kitchen. Thank you so much to those of you who have become big fans along the way; I appreciate your loyal support, feedback and passing my site on to friends and family via word of mouth (or email…or tweet…or Facebook).

    My goal with the site is not just a personal one to chronicle all I’ve learned from family, friends and cherished cookbooks about traditional Mexican cooking in order to someday pass the wisdom down to my own children; I also want to help educate others about Mexican cuisine and culture. I’m always open to suggestions for improvement or new elements you’d like to see, so please hit me up via the comments or by emailing me by clicking on the contact section to the right if you’d like. I frequently get comments via email in both languages, which I think is so cool. Thanks to all you wonderful readers, I’ve already gotten some great suggestions on how to enhance your experience here on The Other Side of The Tortilla. You can expect to start seeing a little bit of video here and there very soon. One note: I do moderate the comments only for purposes of keeping my site free of spam, but I make a conscious effort to approve legitimate comments as soon as possible so we can have a lively discussion.

    To commemorate this little 6-month milestone anniversary, I created a graphic using words that have commonly appeared in my posts since I started back in August 2009. The more frequently a word appears in posts from the last six months, the larger the font size. I hope you have as much fun looking at it as I have!

    When it’s quiet around here, it can only mean one of two things: I’m either busy in the kitchen or writing and revising new recipes. Lately, I’ve been busy with a bit of both. If you follow me on Twitter, then you already know that I often post photos taken on the fly in the kitchen; if you didn’t, you do now, so head over and follow me there if you’d like some sneak peeks every now and then. Most commonly, people have been telling me I’m making them hungry, so I must be doing my job well, right?

    Here’s what I’m currently working on in the Tortilla Test Kitchen that you can expect to see coming up soon (in no particular order–to keep some element of surprise!):

    • champurrado
    • salsas rojas
    • sopas
    • carnes
    • flan
    • guisados

    Also, I’ve recently been asked to write a guest post about why native foods are such an important element of cultural bonding (both in adult-to-adult and adult-to-kid relationships) at SpanglishBaby.com, a parenting site for raising bilingual kids. I’m very excited to be able to contribute over there and will cross-post my article here on the Tortilla later this month. They found me thanks to someone passing on the word about the blog. I’m also honored to have been mentioned on The Tiki Tiki Blog in their weekly El Buzz section as a blog to watch a few months back and hope to contribute a thing or two over there in the coming months.

    So again, thanks for reading. I hope you will continue to enjoy my adventures in the kitchen and will share the site with a friend or two.

    If you like the wordle image above, you can make your own by going to wordle.net. The custom color palette was created with colors from photographs that appear or are scheduled to appear here on The Tortilla.

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