Wordless Wednesday: Choco Zucaritas

A few weeks ago, I visited Washington, D.C. for the 2011 Blogalicious conference, where I got to spend lots of time with my blog amigas from all over the country. My friend Tracy from Latinaish, who lives in the area and was also attending, found out before the conference that I was a huge fan of Kellogg’s Choco Zucaritas (chocolate frosted flakes) and brought me a box as a gift! Now THAT is friendship. I took it all the way home to Chicago in my carry-on luggage so that the box wouldn’t get squished in my checked baggage. I’ve been eating Choco Zucaritas in Mexico ever since I discovered them a few years ago and was always bummed out that I couldn’t buy them in the U.S.—until now.

¡Gracias Tracy! I’m almost out, so I’m headed to the super this week to see if I can find a box here in Chicago.

  • What foods do you love to buy in Mexico that you can’t find in the U.S.? Tell me in the comments below!

Blogalicious: A recipe for amistad y comunidad

las blogueras

I must’ve sat down at least half a dozen times over the last week with the good intention to write a recap of Blogalicious Weekend, the conference I attended in Miami just less than two weeks ago. But each time, there were a million things I wanted to write, so I started making a list to try to condense the highlights. The truth is I just couldn’t. The entire weekend was like a highlights reel, filled with brilliant women doing amazing things.

If you’re not familiar with Blogalicious, it’s a blogging conference that celebrates diversity in social media and is mostly attended by women of color. I was honored to speak on a panel about Latinas in social media, moderated by the fabulously talented Kety Esquivel and sponsored by LATISM and Que Rica Vida. Equally fabulous were my co-panelists: Veronica Arreola of Viva La Feminista, Aurelia Flores of Powerful Latinas and Deanne Cuellar of Media Justice League.

Additionally, I moderated a panel discussion about how Latina bloggers and marketers can work together toward common goals. The brilliant panelists, Carrie Ferguson Weir from Tiki Tiki Blog, Roxana Soto from Spanglish Baby, and Melanie Edwards from Modern Mami, did not disappoint the audience with their insights into how to position yourself and grow as a blogger as well as advice to marketers on how to approach Latina bloggers.

giving out samples after the demo

As you already know from last week, I hosted a cooking demo with the Kenmore Live Studio pop-up kitchen, where I made albóndigas. I loved cooking for a live audience; it was fantastically fun and I’m very much looking forward to doing it again soon.

But the biggest takeaway from the weekend for me was the importance of community. My friend Ananda Leeke, has come up with a great term for what I mean (and she’s writing a book about it, to boot): digital sisterhood. Ananda interviewed me as part of her project, and I hope you’ll listen to our interview as well as the others she did from the conference.

During the panel I spoke on, I was asked what I thought was the best case study of a blog success story. My answer was that I don’t think there’s just one silo blog success story that everyone should look at as a case study. Rather, there are many blogs out there that individually do something amazing. From forming a community with these women over the last 14 months since I began blogging, I have learned something from each of them, and each one of them has contributed to whatever my “success” is. And for each of us, “success” is something different. For me, success is when I get a comment or an email from a reader saying that one of my recipes reminds them of their abuelita. That is part of the reason I write here. To make cultural connections.

Maura and Jeannette Kaplun from Todo Bebé

There was a lot of talk all weekend about owning niches and finding your community, so I wanted to share with you a short little list of ingredients that make up my tribe – one of the recipes I’m most grateful for ever coming across…. 

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Albóndigas en salsa chipotle

Albóndigas are a simple Mexican comfort food, easy to make and even easier to eat. I always serve these Mexican meatballs in a tomato chipotle sauce. Some people like to make their albóndigas bigger so they can accommodate a whole egg filling on the inside. My husband only likes them without egg, so I finally learned this recipe from our family friend, Esmeralda. It’s an easy but traditional Mexican dish sure to please the whole family.

A classic recipe for albóndigas al chipotle, a Mexican meatball dish with a tomato-chipotle sauce. Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com.

This past weekend I had the pleasure of speaking at the Blogalicious Weekend conference at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach in Florida. I had an absolutely incredible time and was inspired by so many of the women I met.

The kind folks at Kenmore hosted a pop-up kitchen at the conference and invited me several weeks ago to do a cooking demo using their kitchen. There was one challenge: I had to choose a recipe that could be made only using small appliances.

I thought for several days about what I could make with only access to a blender, a convection toaster oven, a toaster, a stand mixer, an induction pad, a food processor, a coffee maker or teakettle and a slow cooker. It was a tough decision because I really wanted to make rajas con crema, but without a sink and an oven, I didn’t think I could pull it off.

A few weekends ago, my mom was foraging through my refrigerator looking for a snack and I ended up giving her some albóndigas (meatballs) over rice. She loved them so much that she gobbled up the last of what little was left in a Tupperware from a few nights before.

The next day at 7 a.m. – a Sunday – my mom called to tell me she’d been up all night thinking about albóndigas and that she needed my recipe so she could make them herself that day. Seldom in my life has my mom, who is an amazing cook, called me for a recipe – it’s always me calling her. That’s when I decided if they were good enough for mom to call me at 7 a.m. on a Sunday and risk waking me up on the one day a week that I like to sleep in, then the Blogalicious crowd would surely love this recipe, too. If you weren’t able to see it live in Miami, check out the video below of the cooking demo from start to finish.

A classic recipe for albóndigas al chipotle, a Mexican meatball dish with a tomato-chipotle sauce. Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.com.

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