WARM WINTER MARGARITA

With the holidays on our doorstep, I wanted to share with you a cocktail that’s a fantastic and easy-to-make drink that’ll be sure to please your guests.

A few weeks ago, I attended a Ladies’ Night In party in Chicago with Chef Marcela Valladolid, cookbook author and hostess of the Food Network’s “Mexican Made Easy.” We sipped and sampled numerous Sauza Tequila drinks and had a fantastic time tasting dishes from Marcela’s cookbook, Fresh Mexico.

One of the drinks Marcela showed us how to make was this warm winter margarita, reminiscent of a hot toddy – only way more Mexican! It was an instant hit with the crowd and the perfect way to end the evening.

I admit, I’ve got a hoarding problem when it comes to recording TV shows on my DVR. Right now, I probably have half a dozen episodes each of Marcela’s English-language show, “Mexican Made Easy” on the Food Network, and her Spanish-language show on Discovery en Español, “Relatos con Sabor.” I usually like to watch them once for pleasure and a second time to jot down notes with the recipes if it’s something I don’t already know how to make. José is always asking me if it’s safe to delete them or if I still have to watch my second run. I love Chef Marcela because her mission is a lot like mine: to teach people about authentic Mexican food.

It was so much fun to hang out with her for an intimate evening of cooking tips and getting to taste some of her recipes!

Click on the collage below to see the entire album of photos from the party:

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The Salsa Showdown is tomorrow! And we’ve got a {GIVEAWAY}!

I’ve been receiving lots of encouragement here on the blog, on our Facebook fan page, via Twitter and email from all of you about my Salsa Showdown at the Kenmore Live Studio! Thanks for all your support!

Don’t forget: the showdown starts tomorrow night at 7 p.m. CST! You can attend in person in Chicago or watch from home live over the internet via the Kenmore Facebook fan page’s Live Studio tab. Watch our promotional video for the show and click on the Kenmore Live Studio button below the video to reserve your free tickets to attend the show in person tomorrow. We had lots of fun shooting the promo video, and I assure you that Chuy’s very nice despite all the tough-guy acting in the video. And if you come to the show, please introduce yourself afterward! I love meeting fans of The Other Side of The Tortilla!

No chefs were harmed in the filming of this video.

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To reserve your FREE ticket and get details with the studio address and directions, please click the Live Studio button below:

{GIVEAWAY/SORTEO}

And, we’ve got a very special giveaway this month!

Head over to our Facebook fan page and click “LIKE” for a chance to win a 2011 culinary calendar from our good friends at Muy Bueno Cookbook. The calendar, beautifully photographed by Jeanine Thurston, has a sneak preview of what will be in Muy Bueno’s cookbook, which I’m hearing will be out later next year. We’ll be posting some instructions on Facebook on how to win starting today. We’ll choose one lucky fan of The Other Side of The Tortilla as a winner once we hit 250 fans, so hurry and tell your friends about us!


Muy Bueno has partnered with The Denver Foundation to donate a portion of the proceeds from each calendar sale to their Strengthening Neighborhoods (SN) program. It’s a grant program that helps residents in 10 struggling Denver neighborhoods improve their communities “from the inside out.” The Grants help pay for resident leadership training, and community projects such as food pantries, tutoring programs, neighborhood gardens and school safety patrols. They have also helped with park and school cleanup, among other projects. If you are interested in learning more about this innovative program, please visit their website at www.denverfoundation.org and click on Strengthening Neighborhoods.

You can also try your hand at winning a calendar through Muy Bueno’s site and submitting a recipe. If you win, they’ll also photograph your recipe and post it on their blog.

  • ¡Suerte! Let me know what you think of the video in the comments.

Salsa Showdown: Join me for a live cooking show!

I’m proud to announce I’ll be partnering with the Kenmore Live Studio for the second time this year for a live cooking show!

Tortilla fans of Chicago, I hope you’ll join and support me in the studio on Friday, November 19 as I cook off against my friend and chef/owner of Chilam Balam, Chuy Valencia. If you’re an out-of-towner, no worries: the show will be broadcast live over the internet so you can still cheer me on! There will also be video available here on The Other Side of The Tortilla the following week.

Chuy’s restaurant is one of my favorites in Chicago, so I’m thrilled to be cooking alongside him. He’s a Rick Bayless-alum and also the youngest person ever to have been elevated to the position of sous chef at a Bayless restaurant when he was just 20 years old. Bayless recently told Chicago magazine that Chuy is destined for stardom, and I couldn’t agree more. Before starting his own restaurant, Chuy also worked as Chef de Cuisine at Adobo Grill. Check out his website for more about the concept behind Chilam Balam.

So…

¿Roja o verde? You be the judge.

I’ll make my salsa verde, and Chef Valencia will make his salsa roja. Will I leave him green with envy? Or will he get ahead with his red? Taste and decide for yourself.

We’ll introduce you to some authentic Mexican flavors and the salsas will top chilaquiles and enchiladas. You won’t believe how easy they are to make! And as always, the audience will get to taste-test!

The Mexico Tourism Board will also be on hand to support me, share information and answer questions related to Mexican food and culture.

Dress to impress; the event will be livestreamed on Kenmore’s Facebook page on the Live Studio tab and seating is first come, first serve. Come early to reserve your spot!

Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. CST.


To reserve your FREE ticket and get details with the studio address and directions, please click the Live Studio button below:

  • I’d love if you’d leave me a message of encouragement in the comments! Let me know where you’ll be watching from!

The photo of me above at my Kenmore demo at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach in Miami is courtesy of Carol Cain, official photographer for the Blogalicious ’10 conference
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