Chicago’s own Mercado Navideño

This past weekend I attended the Mercado Navideño at the National Museum of Mexican Art here in Chicago with my friend, Daniela. It’s been awhile since my last visit so I was eager to see the new exhibits as well. But I loved all the gifts, decorations and crafts that remind me so much of the Museo de Arte Popular (of which I have only ever visited the gift shop) in Mexico City. I sent a picture message from my iPhone of the beautiful paper maché piggy bank to my suegra because she collects all kinds of puerquitos (little piggies). She loved it and said when I arrive, we’ll make plans to go visit the museum since she couldn’t remember ever taking me there before.

If you live in Chicago or are visiting during the Thanksgiving holiday next year, check out the mercado – it’s typically the Friday through Sunday right after Thanksgiving. Some of the items were pricey (compared to purchasing the same item in Mexico) but for the most part, they had a lot of beautiful gifts at reasonable prices. And you can’t visit the National Museum of Mexican Art without also making a stop in the gift shop on your way out! I loved the mini papel picado, juguetes and all kinds of books about Mexican art and culture. I may go back soon for some books on regional art and food!

    • What’s your favorite kind of Mexican popular art?

 

The photos in this post were taken with my iPhone 3Gs using the Polarize app by Christopher Comair.

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.

YouTube Preview Image

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.

Spotted in Chicago: Hojas de Maguey

Just when I’m missing Mexico and checking my calendar to see how many days are left until I leave for my holiday trip next month, I find something amazing and unexpected in the grocery store that makes me feel relieved that a little piece of Mexico is never too far away. Thanks to the fact that there are more than 1.5 million Mexicans in Chicago, and therefore no shortage of Mexican grocers, I can often find foods or other Mexican things I’m missing within a 10 or 15-minute drive from our apartment.

These leaves, called hojas or pencas de maguey, from the maguey plant (also known as agave) are often used as an envoltorio, or wrapper, to cook barbacoa. Seeing them at the grocery store this week reminded me of a recent trip to Querétaro with my suegros, while we were en route from Mexico City to Aguascalientes to celebrate José’s abuelita’s 90th birthday.

More on that trip (and barbacoa) later this coming week – I just couldn’t resist sharing the highlight of my day!


Related Posts with Thumbnails