Best of The Tortilla from 2010

Today we’re headed back to Chicago and la vida diaria, but so we don’t skip a beat while traveling, we’ve prepared a few lists, based on you, the readers, and what you loved most on The Other Side of The Tortilla in 2010. Click on the photos below to visit each recipe or story.

And don’t forget, for more homemade Tortilla goodness, a glimpse at what’s cooking in the Tortilla Test Kitchen and exclusive giveaways for fans, LIKE us on Facebook!

TOP 3 BEVERAGES/BEBIDAS

TOP 3 RECIPES/RECETAS

TOP 3 TRAVEL STORIES/CUENTOS DE VIAJE

TOP 3 VIDEOS

  • We hope you’ll find something new that you may have missed or that you rediscover a recipe or story you may have already read. If your favorite post isn’t listed here, let us know in the comments what you liked best. Also, please feel free to leave a comment with what you’d like to see in 2011!

Cooking Combat at the Kenmore Live Studio: Chilaquiles

Back in November, I did a cooking show with a live studio audience at the Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago. It was so much fun, I can’t wait to do another! For those who may have missed the show in person or couldn’t watch the live stream online, Kenmore was kind enough to put the show on YouTube so I could share with all of you.

¡Buen provecho!

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¡Feliz Navidad!

Sending you warm wishes for a Feliz Navidad

from Las Bahías de Huatulco, Oaxaca, México

As my regalito to you, I bring you the sounds of the ocean

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Las Posadas Navideñas

Thursday this week began las posadas navideñas, the nine days of annual Christmas celebrations that culminate with a big celebration on Noche Buena, or Christmas Eve. The nine days symbolize each of the months that Mary was pregnant, and that’s also why Christmas Eve is more celebrated in Mexico than Christmas Day like in many other countries.

The posadas often include traditional foods and drinks, especially things like tamales and ponche navideño. There are many different ways to make ponche, and each family does something different. Another holiday favorite of mine is rompope, an eggnog-like drink that comes from the famous nuns of Puebla, a city located about two hours outside of Mexico City.

Watch this video to learn more about las posadas and how our family celebrates.

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¡Conectando con mi gente!

I like to be constantly connected to mi gente, so when Sprint offered me a chance to try out its 4G network with a Samsung Epic phone for conducting official Tortilla Test Kitchen business, I was excited.

Many of you know I’ve been an iPhone devotee because I love all of the photography apps that make it so easy for me to share my creativity, what’s cooking in my kitchen or what events I’m attending that are of interest to the fans here on The Other Side of The Tortilla. But my iPhone doesn’t always work as a phone, and I can’t always pick up 3G coverage everywhere in the Chicago area where I live and play. I have to be honest that my love for the iPhone has been waning due to the fact that I drop calls or lose my 3G signal all the time, leaving me sometimes unable to connect at all or at a seemingly glacial pace. So the rapidity of the 4G Sprint network was a welcome change of pace.

It’s so important to me to stay connected and be able to charlar con mi gente, especially when it comes to answering cooking and ingredient questions from Tortilla fans on Twitter and Facebook. So when I discovered the Epic had mobile-to-mobile video chat capability with certain phones using Android apps, I was ecstatic! A fun new way to connect with fans? !Sí, por favor!

I offered my Twitter followers and Facebook fans with eligible phones the opportunity to video chat with me using the Samsung Epic on Sprint’s 4G network and one fan was kind enough to let me video tape our chat.

Watch me give Carrie the lowdown on chile chipotle and the difference between cajeta and dulce de leche.

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Celebrate Mexico Every Day

September 16th, Mexican Independence Day, has come and gone, but the celebration of Mexico isn’t really over just yet.

Tomorrow, November 20th, Mexico will celebrate the centennial of its Revolution. This year has been filled with special events all over the world honoring these two important anniversaries in Mexican history.

But there are many everyday reasons to celebrate Mexico, too: the diverse flora and fauna; beautiful ecosystems spanning every kind of terrain from jungles and deserts; the incredible food with worldly influences ranging from pre-Hispanic cultures to European, Asian and beyond; the kind and generous people; the abundance of historical and World Heritage sites… I could probably go on listing the things I love about Mexico for days. I can’t wait to one day have children to teach them all the things we love so much about the country where their papá was born and raised.

In the news in the U.S., Mexico is often painted as a violent, turbulent place and seldom are the positive things about the country and the culture shared in the mainstream media. But to me, Mexico is so much more than what they show on the news. Here on The Other Side of The Tortilla, I choose to focus on the positive aspects of Mexico and Mexican culture because it is what I feel in my heart. It is a mission here to both connect Mexicans at home and abroad to their culture via stories about family and food – two of the most important aspects of the culture – as well as educate those who are not Mexican about traveling the country, absorbing the rich culture and experiencing the incomparable cuisine.

This week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) awarded Mexican cuisine the status as a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity at a ceremony in Nairobi, Kenya. This is big news in Tortillalandia and you can definitely expect to read more about it here soon. In the meantime, check out the Conservatorio de la Cultura Gastronómica Mexicana to learn more about the organization that submitted the proposal that was approved by UNESCO. I’m excited to see that the world is finally acknowledging the importance of Mexican cuisine and it’s even more special that the status is being awarded during the bicentennial year.

From November 29-December 10, Mexico will also be hosting the United Nations Climate Change Conference (also know as COP16/CMP6) in Cancun. I was delighted to hear that the conference will be planting around 10,000 trees and bushes in Cancun as part of their way of giving back to the city for hosting. I’m very excited to see all the sustainability efforts being implemented during the conference, as environmental sustainability and caring for the natural resources of the area are very important to the local habitat. The Riviera Maya has much to offer in terms of natural beauty, historic landmarks and world-class culture and food. In fact, the ruins at Tulum are one of my favorite gems in that area because they incorporate both the lush vegetation and the incredible building skills of a civilization that is not physically present, but still lives on in the heart of Mexican history.

I encourage you to follow along with the conference and check out the resources on their website as Mexico steps into the limelight to become part of the solution, bridging the gap between the developed and developing worlds and educating others on how to preserve our beautiful natural spaces and reduce our carbon footprints for generations to come.

I plan to continue celebrating the magic of the Bicentenario through the rest of 2010 and well into the future. I’ll be visiting Mexico for most of the month of December and into early January so you can count on a daily serving of whatever I’m up to, all laid out here in stories, photos and video every day while I’m there. Ven conmigo and subscribe via email or RSS so you don’t miss out on the fun!

Without Mexico, my life would be a lot less picante, verdad? And to me, life without a little spice is boring so I’m proud to say that Mexico is my home away from home.

If you missed the espectáculo, check out this video below for a glimpse of how the bicentenario was celebrated in Mexico City’s zócalo. To learn more about Mexico’s rich history and the events still to come in 2010, check out the Bicentennial websites in Spanish and English.

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200 AÑOS DE SER ORGULLOSAMENTE MEXICANOS

  • HOW DO YOU CELEBRATE MEXICO EVERY DAY?
The photos in this post were provided by the government of Mexico through Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide.
Ogilvy is working with the government of Mexico as a communications partner to help promote Mexico worldwide as a global business partner and unrivaled tourist destination. To accomplish this, they are working with writers like me to provide interesting information, additional facts, economic information, and new perspectives about the country to a range of interested audiences. The words and opinions here are my own.
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