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Tacos Arracheras

Before I left for Mexico, Ruby told me my mission was to learn to make really good, authentic Mexican tacos, and then share the recipe with her, and our you, our lovely readers, whom we love. I don’t want to jump the gun, but I might have nailed it on the very first try (the secret, of course, is eating a lot of other people’s tacos first). I will be making them again this week, just to make sure it wasn’t beginner’s luck!

(The fruit in the upper right-hand corner is not a lime, it’s a weird, Mexican orange. It sort of tasted like a cross between a lime and an orange, and was pretty refreshing.)

Click “more” for tacos arracheras recipe. (more…)

June 3, 2010 at 7:00 am 7 comments

Emerald’s Easy Empanadas

I fell in love with empanadas two years ago in Costa Rica, where I first discovered the fried dough pockets stuffed with cheesy, meaty goodness. But all of the empanadas I’ve come across in Mexico have been fruit-filled pastries more suitable for breakfast or dessert than dinner. Not that there’s anything wrong with a pineapple-cream-filled empanada, but lately I’ve had a hankering for something more savory. Chalk it up to my monthly carbs-n-cheese craving, but I wanted–no, NEEDED it to happen.

When I thought about it, I realized I could probably just use the tortilla recipe and stuff the uncooked tortillas and then fry them instead of baking them on a skillet. Which was correct. For stuffings I used carmelized onion, a little bit of jalapeño sausage, and oaxaca cheese (which is a white Mexican cheese similar to string cheese, sold in a coil, and very creamy when melted). After filling one side of the tortilla, I wetted the edges with a little bit of water, pressed it shut with the tines of a fork, and plopped it into some hot oil and cooked it on both sides until it was golden. Voila! It couldn’t be easier! And the options for stuffing are ENDLESS. I thought pumpkin cream cheese empanadas would also be good, as would mushroom and roasted peppers, or blue cheese and fig preserves or honey. A fried dough pocket, is, in my opinion, a blank canvas upon which any creation is destined to delight. I mean, it’s pretty hard to screw up fried dough….

♥Emerald

May 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm 3 comments

Pics from My Birthday In Cozumel

I meant to post these last night, but I was suffering from a case of Montezuma’s Revenge, which, I suppose, was inevitable. Especially when I keep forgetting not to brush my teeth with the sink water. In any case, the Great Spirit of Montezuma must consider himself revenged because I’m fine now.

Here are some pictures of lovely Cozumel. It has a colorful Caribbean vibe to it, and I love how brightly painted everything is.

Here I am on the ferry, very excited to be underway and wearing a hibiscus blossom.Pine green and saffron paint scheme? Why not? I love it! The celebration of color reminded me of New Orleans, even if the architecture was different. I love it when people aren’t afraid of color!

Another reminder of New Orleans. (Ruby, I took this one specifically for you.) Also found out that Cozumel was formerly the stomping grounds of pirates such as Jean Lafitte, so it has that in common with NOLA, too.

♥Emerald

May 27, 2010 at 8:07 am 5 comments

Pics of the Day

Today I got to go on the boat while my husband completed a scuba lesson. It was the perfect opportunity to take some nautical photos…

May 25, 2010 at 12:53 pm 6 comments

Tortillas!

Since I’m living in Mexico, I thought I should learn how to make tortillas–we’ve been eating a lot of quesadillas, after all. So I bought some flour at the grocery store, and last night I gave it a try. There was a cookbook on the bookshelf here called 365 Easy Mexican Recipes, and inside I found a recipe for tortillas. They turned out great, especially with fresh guacamole!

They were, in fact, easy to make–however time consuming. That didn’t bother me because time is slow here; an afternoon lasts for days. The tortillas turned out so well, I’m including the recipe here for my fellow gringas.

You’ll need:

  • 2 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. plus 1 tblsp. lukewarm water
  • 1/4 cup shortening (I used butter)
  • pinch of salt
  1. Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in the shortening like you were making a pie crust. You could also use a food processor, but I didn’t have one. I used a wire whisk to mash the butter into the flour until it was the consistency of coarse meal.
  2. Add the water all at once and mix or knead until the dough cleans the sides of the bowl. Plop it onto a floured surface and knead for 15 seconds.
  3. Roll it into a fat rope and then cut the rope into 12 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into little balls and then cover with plastic wrap. Let the balls rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour.
  4. Flatten the balls with a rolling pin or the heel of your hand. Bake them over med-high heat on an ungreased cast-iron skillet or griddle surface. When the raw side starts to bubble, flip the tortilla. Cook until little brown spots appear and/or it puffs up like a little balloon.

May 24, 2010 at 7:39 am 3 comments

And the Winner Is…

…Bellywho! (A.K.A. Kelly) Ruby, I excluded you from the drawing because, as my blogging partner and lovely, long-time friend, you are already slotted for your own package of Mexico goodies, including one of these, which will be part of Kelly’s package.

Behold, one of my first attempts at both wire-wrapping and seaglass jewelry.

Thank you ever so much everyone for all your super-nice birthday wishes! I found a TON more seaglass yesterday in Cozumel, so I will be making more jewelry and most likely giving some of it away here, just to spread the love out in the blogosphere! Stay tuned…

♥Emerald

May 21, 2010 at 9:30 pm 4 comments

MY BIRTHDAY GIVEAWAY!

Here is a little arrangement of things that just happened to be sitting together on my kitchen counter: some pink lilies we rescued from a trash can on our street, a rose-scented Virgin of Guadalupe candle from the supermarket, some pesos, and a neat shell I found a few days ago.

By the way, today is my birthday. In honor of my birthday, I will send one of YOU a gift when I’m back home in the States and postage is both more reliable and affordable. All you have to do is leave a comment wishing me happy birthday. The winner will be chosen at random, and the prize will be a box of cool beachy, Mexican-y stuff I’ve bought, found and/or collected while I’m here.

Good luck, thanks for playing along!

May 20, 2010 at 7:00 am 14 comments

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