If you’ve spent even one Thanksgiving at an average American dinner table, you’ve likely encountered sweet potatoes or yams with some kind of brown sugar or maple syrup and a marshmallow topping. I’m not knocking the tradition—in fact, I grew up eating it and usually get a craving around this time of year—but there are lots of other interesting things you can do with sweet potatoes.…
¡Hola a todos y feliz fin de semana!
If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably hear the phrase “sin maíz no hay país” about a million times in your lifetime, and probably even taught it to others when explaining Mexican cuisine. Literally, it means “without corn, there is no country.”
As one of the basic staples of Mexican cuisine, corn is very important as a form of nutrition in Mexico; and it can mean anything from tamales to sopes to plain and simple tortillas con crema y sal. There are so many options, you’ll even see street food snacks centered around corn such as esquites and you can use corn masa in beverages such as atole. When I named my blog “The Other Side of The Tortilla,” it was, in part, because of the importance of corn and the tortilla in Mexican cuisine.
The tortilla pictured above is actually a photo of one of the very first tortillas I made from scratch as a newlywed. Even though it wasn’t perfect, I was so proud that I had to take a photo to commemorate it and send it to my suegra. Obviously, tortillas are a staple in our household and it’s practically a crisis if we run out. That’s why I not only keep tortillas in the refrigerator at all times to avoid a family-style meltdown, but also a bag of Maseca masa instantánea in my kitchen cabinet so that if we do run out, I can quickly make some more without much fuss about a tortilla apocalypse on the horizon.
And so, I’m happy to announce a new partnership between Maseca and The Other Side of The Tortilla! We’re one of ten blogs that has been chosen as an ambassador for Maseca’s Amigas Blogueras community.
Maseca has relaunched their website at MiMaseca.com with tons of recipes (including a section that made me giggle uncontrollably called “Sorprende a tu suegra”—in English: “Surprise your mother-in-law”), nutrition information and tips, and great promotions such as the ¡Compra, raspa y gana! sweepstakes where you can scratch and win prizes from Maseca products to getting your entire grocery bill paid for in your local supermarket if the Maseca team is visiting your town.
I encourage you to follow along on Twitter using the hashtag #clubmimaseca, check out the Maseca Facebook fan page and stay tuned here for more information on eating healthy, new recipes featuring Maseca products and some really fantastic Maseca giveaways!
- Tell me in the comments below: What’s your favorite Maseca product or way to use Maseca at home?
This is a sponsored post through a campaign with Maseca and Latina Bloggers Connect. Though I am being compensated for participating, all opinions, recipes and stories are my own.
A few years ago on a trip to Mexico City, I had the pleasure of working with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM) to document photos of the campus for a UNESCO project. If you’re not familiar with UNAM, the university is the oldest in the Americas (it was founded in 1551) and its main campus (Ciudad Universitaria) is recognized as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. This is definitely a cool place to visit if you travel to Mexico City.
One of my favorite things about the campus is the amount of public art incorporated into both the buildings and open spaces. And I especially love the murals created by some of Mexico’s most famous artists.
During my visit, I got to spend some time up close to one of the murals that I’d only before ever seen in photographs—“El Pueblo a la Universidad y la Universidad al Pueblo” by David Alfaro Siqueiros on the side of the Torre de Rectoría….
Looking to plan your next vacation or just need a destination to daydream about? Las Bahías de Huatulco is the place!
Last year for La Navidad, our family spent a week in Huatulco relaxing and enjoying the nature, the food and the local culture. It was one of my favorite vacations we’ve ever taken. Watch the video to get a little taste to whet your appetite.
One of the best parts of attending tourism events with the Mexico Tourism Board is the goody bag they send you home with to learn more about new places in Mexico! Whenever I get a goody bag filled with new reading materials about destinations I already love or am planning to visit, I always feel like the kid who got the most candy out of the piñata.
That’s why I’m sharing the loot with you!
If you enjoyed yesterday’s post with the video footage from the César Russ photo gallery exhibit, then you’ll love today’s giveaway (items pictured here above). The beautiful soft cover book about the Riviera Maya has 250 glossy pages of stunning images from around the area with photo captions in four languages (English, Spanish, German and French) to describe the subject and the history of some of Mexico’s treasures; nature, native animals, people, places, and scenery that will all have your heart aching to visit. Also included in the giveaway is a black fabric tote bag with the Visit Mexico logo.
Last month, I was lucky enough to be invited to a beautiful event by the Mexico Tourism Board in Chicago and there was a very special guest on hand: Mexico’s Secretary of Tourism, Gloria Guevara Manzo.
Not only did Secretary Guevara talk about new tourism initiatives, but she also introduced a sneak preview to all the guests of the new documentary, “Mexico: The Royal Tour,” what looks to be an absolutely thrilling journey around Mexico with Peter Greenberg and one of the country’s most distinguished tour guides: President Felipe Calderón.
The trailer brought tears to my eyes when I recognized a few of the places I have been and made my heart ache for Mexico. Thankfully, my next trip is only one month away. The rest of the night was filled with traditional music, excellent food from Mexique and a gallery viewing of simply stunning photographs by world-renowned Spanish photojournalist, César Russ (who, coincidentally, has been living in Chicago since 2006). The photos are incredible and so vibrant, you feel as if you’re really there. The detail is just amazing—have a look for yourself: I took video as I walked through the gallery and captured some of my favorite photos up-close.
After the video presentation, I had the chance to speak with Secretary Guevara for a few minutes about tourism efforts, how online efforts are helping boost tourism and the Mexico Today program. As the only Mexico Today ambassador located in the Midwest, I was honored to represent my colleagues far and wide and was very proud when Secretary Guevara was able to mention some specific efforts within the program and that she was very pleased with the selection of ambassadors….
I’ve been experimenting in the test kitchen lately and coming up with some new recipes. Today I’m sharing my newest recipe for the #MizkanLatino cooking challenge, arrachera borracha con rajas de pimiento, or drunken skirt steak with grilled bell pepper strips. “Sabroso Grilling” was the theme for this challenge and the challenge ingredient was to use one of Mizkan’s World Harbors marinades, so I chose the Mexican-style fajita marinade….
Through the #MizkanLatino cooking challenge that we were selected to be a part of, which will continue this month with challenge no. 2, they’re offering fans of Holland House products the chance to win a $2,000 grill of your dreams or other great prizes instantly.
If you missed the first recipe of the challenge, check out our video recipe for Mexican chimichurri-marinated flank steak. It was a HUGE hit at our Fourth of July party and everybody crowded the grill for a bite!
Stay tuned next Monday for another great recipe as part of the challenge. The theme is “sabroso grilling” and I can’t wait to show you the recipe I created! No doubt it’ll have you saying ¡Que rico!
Disclosure: This post is part of a sponsored series to promote Mizkan cooking wines, vinegars, marinades and sweepstakes of interest to our readers. We also received samples of Mizkan’s Holland House, Nakano and World Harbor brand products and promotional material from Mizkan to assist in preparing the recipe posts. All opinions and recipes in this series are our own.
I’ve been working late into the evening recently so I decided to break out my slow cooker and put it to work for me! On top of the late nights, the brutal heat wave we’ve been having over the last few weeks has made me less than happy about spending time in the kitchen after a long day, especially if it involves heating up the oven or even the stove top for more than a few minutes because I don’t want to be any hotter.
This recipe for chicken tacos is great for a few reasons: it’s super easy to make, it takes very little effort to prepare and it can be used as a filling for three different dishes so if you make a little extra you can turn it into more than one meal.
It can be used just as a regular old taco filling, rolled and fried in a tortilla to make taquitos or even rolled and bathed in salsa and topped with cheese as enchiladas. The biggest bonus of all: It won’t heat up the kitchen….
In case you missed it last week… check out our salsa de tres chiles on the Kenmore Genius Blog – the ultimate fresh, homemade dip for your tortilla chip! Warning: you may never be able to eat crappy restaurant “salsa” ever again after tasting this stuff. You know what I’m talking about – that runny, watery, often bland mess of tomatoes, onion and jalapeños they serve at chain restaurants. You’ll have to visit the Genius Blog for the full recipe with instructions, but here’s a sneak peek of the video:
- Give this post a Facebook “Like” or a +1 on Google+ if you pledge to never eat bad salsa again!
Disclosure: I am compensated for my posts on the Genius Blog and provided with Kenmore small appliances to test but all my recipes and opinions, about the appliances and otherwise, are my own.
I’ve written several times about our trip to Huatulco last year when we spent our Christmas vacation in Mexico. Lots of you have written to say you loved the photos and the stories, and even the video I took from the beach. Huatulco is, hands down, one of the most beautiful, peaceful places we’ve been in Mexico.
Mexico Today is hosting a giveaway on their Facebook fan page for a trip for two that includes airfare, hotel accommodations and spending money for you to enjoy and discover Las Bahías de Huatulco. You must be a fan of the Mexico Today page to enter. You must be at least 18 years old and a resident of the U.S. or Canada in order to be eligible to win. The sweepstakes ends July 20 at 6 p.m. PDT. See the official rules and more information at the Mexico Today Facebook fan page….
If you’re not familiar with Frida’s life, work, or the famous Casa Azul, you can read more about them on the Museo Frida Kahlo website (in English). And if you’re ever visiting Mexico City, Casa Azul is one of the places you absolutely must visit.
It’s a magical place where you can feel her presence in just about every room and in the garden as well.
At the time I last visited Casa Azul, a stunning and thought-provoking private collection of photographs of Frida, Diego and their family and friends, entitled “Frida Kahlo: Sus Fotos,” was on display and many of the photographs were taken by Frida herself. It was an incredibly interesting glimpse into her life and how things looked from her point of view. You can read more about the photo exhibition, which ran through December 2010, on the museum’s website (in Spanish).…
I’m incredibly excited to announce that my passion and desire to share Mexican cooking and culture with the rest of the world have led me to a new partnership that I’m very proud to be a part of. The Other Side of The Tortilla has been chosen as one of 24 ambassadors by the Mexico Tourism Board for the Mexico Today program to promote the country as a global business partner and an unrivaled tourist destination!
This blog has always focused on the positive aspects of Mexico as a destination that offers world class cuisine, abundant natural beauty and a melding of ancient and modern cultures. It feels only natural, then, to become a part of Mexico Today because we know and frequently share here that Mexico is more than what you may see on TV news or in newspapers in the U.S. and in other countries. This partnership will give us access to exclusive interviews and other resources to share more of Mexico with you and we’re thrilled to be involved. In addition, some of our closest blogging amigas are also involved, including Ana from Spanglish Baby and Silvia from Mamá Latina Tips. I can’t think of two better friends to embark on this journey together with.
Read on to find out where it all started and how I keep Mexico close to my heart even when I’m thousands of miles away….
Who doesn’t love to grill? With the 4th of July coming up, I know that we’re going to be out on the patio all weekend to enjoy the sunshine while sipping on some limonada with friends, grilling up some cebollitas and this tangy new recipe I came up with for the #MizkanLatino cooking challenge.
José, Mr. Picky-Picky when it comes to me experimenting with new ingredients, said this dish both smelled and tasted fantastic! With his stamp of approval, you know it has to be good. A note about the use of jalapeños in this recipe: you can absolutely leave the seeds and veins in the jalapeño if you want to give your chimichurri a little kick. I removed them in the video so that the chimichurri wouldn’t be spicy, but would still have all the flavor of a jalapeño so that I could serve it to guests who were a little apprehensive about eating spicy food.
I used flank steak here (also known as falda de res) but you can substitute with another cut such as skirt steak (arrachera) if you like.
Be sure to check out the linky below throughout the week to see more videos and recipes from others participating in this challenge with me. You can also find out more about Holland House products on the Mizkan website.
I wrote about my love for paletas and shared a recipe for paletas de mango con chile on the Kenmore Genius Blog recently. These are similar to mangonadas, but those usually include chamoy as an ingredient, and this recipe doesn’t.
Hop over there to check out the post with some additional notes on the ingredients. Enjoy the yummy video!
- 4 manila mangoes
- juice of 4 limes
- 4 tsp chile powder (or more to taste)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated cane sugar (I like Zulka brand)
- zest of 2 limes
- In a sauce pan, bring the water, sugar and lime zest to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Simmer for about 5 minutes to infuse the flavor of the lime zest and then remove from heat and let come to room temperature.
- Peel the mangoes and remove all the flesh. When you get close to the pit, you can just scrape it in a downward motion away from you to get the last bits off.
- Put the mango flesh (which should be about 2.5 cups) into the blender with the lime juice, sugar syrup and chile powder.
- Pulse on low for 10-15 seconds so that you get a puree that has some small mango chunks in it.
- Pour evenly into popsicle molds, making sure not to fill them all the way to the top; the popsicles will expand a little when they freeze, so leave a little room so they don't spill. Place them on an even surface in the freezer for at least 12 hours (or longer if you use bigger molds).
- Once they’re frozen through, run the bottom of the mold under warm water just long enough to loosen them from the mold.
Disclosure: I am compensated for my posts on the Genius Blog and provided with Kenmore small appliances to test but all my recipes and opinions, about the appliances and otherwise, are my own.
If you’re a fan of our Facebook page, then you probably already know from our announcement last week that we’ve partnered with Kenmore to provide exclusive content on their Genius Blog every Friday for the rest of 2011. I’ll be talking about kitchen tips, Mexican ingredients and sharing recipes I’ve written especially for Kenmore’s audience.
You may remember I have done two cooking shows with Kenmore in the last year, first albóndigas at the Ritz-Carlton South Beach at the 2010 Blogalicious Weekend conference, and then chilaquiles at the Kenmore Live Studio in Chicago with Chuy Valencia, the rising star chef and owner of Chilam Balam. I had so much fun with those and I’m excited about this partnership and teaching others about our cuisine and the Latin kitchen in general. I encourage you to visit over there on Fridays to see what else I’m up to when I’m not posting new things here….
Since we’ve been back from Mexico, we’ve been very busy in the Tortilla Test Kitchen testing new recipes and having fun shooting new videos we’ll be sharing soon. But while we were in Mexico, we ate and ate…and ate and, well, you get the picture. I think I may have finally earned the affectionate nickname I’m sometimes called at home – Gordita, or Gordis, for short.
We decided we needed to bring a little order to our daily habits after eating to our hearts’ content for nearly a whole month. That’s not to say that healthy Mexican food doesn’t exist, because it definitely does and you will see more new examples of that on The Tortilla this year. However, it’s sometimes harder to make those healthy choices when most of the year I live in Chicago and can’t get some of my favorite Mexican foods.
It’s a bit like letting a kid loose in a candy store, only instead of a candy store, you’re dropping me off in a city full of taquerías that serve my favorite things like chicharrón de queso, tacos al pastor and Sidral Mundet apple-flavored soda. It’s hard to say no to all of that, knowing that in a short time, I’ll be back in Chicago without access to these things again until my next trip. There’s nothing wrong with eating or drinking all of those things if you do it in moderation, but sometimes we need a reminder that moderation is the key in order to stay healthy.
This year, we’ve decided to bring some good habits back from Mexico, such as eating breakfast daily. We started every day with a good breakfast during our visit and now I crave breakfast as soon as I wake up in the morning. In the past, I’ve been known to rush out the door in the morning without eating breakfast because I’m crunched for time, but I’m vowing to break that bad habit in 2011.
And for breakfast, there are so many healthy options. One of my suegro‘s favorites is avena con nueces o fruta y azúcar moreno, or oatmeal with nuts, fruit and a little brown sugar. I’m a huge fan of oatmeal, but truth be told, I don’t like the instant stuff with the artificial flavors. Since I’m usually on the go in the morning during the week, I often have to prepare something the night before to take with me to assure that I get a good, healthy choice….
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.