Posts filed under ‘Food/Cooking/Recipes’

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 8 comments

Hot Chocolate cherry cupcakes

I made these for my husbands birthday and since I am not organized enough to start posting about my trip I thought I would post about these.

I wanted to surprise him with something exciting and I had read about something like this awhile back except it was a trifle and I didn’t have a trifle bowl and  a trifle seemed a little to girly for a 33 yo mans birthday anyway so I came up with this on the spot while I was at the store buying the ingredients.

I bought one box milk chocolate cake mix, one bag guittard milk chocolate chips(they are larger than reg. choco chips but smaller than kisses), one can cherry mix filling, one jar milk chocolate ice cream sauce and then whipped cream.

At home I just mixed up the cake mix according to the instructions.  I lined the cupcake pan with liners and then filled the cups 1/3 of the way up with the cake batter then sprinkled in about 5 choco chips and after that I put a spoonful of the cherry filling (about 3 cherries and some of the filling) then I spooned the other little bit of cake batter over the top of the cherry filling and sprinkled a few more chips over it all and baked according to the cakes instructions.

When the cupcakes were done I immediately spooned some of the chocolate sauce over them and added some whipped cream.  I served them hot to acheive sort of a molten chocolate cake effect, but they were equally good the next day when they had cooled off with nothing on them at all.

Hope someone tries em!

June 2, 2010 at 9:15 am 3 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….


May 28, 2010 at 3:09 pm 3 comments


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

Tacos Camarones

This morning we went to nearby Playa del Carmen just to poke round in the tourist shops and have some lunch. We ate at a cute little cafe called the Restaurante Cactus, which was owned by a French woman. There I had the best shrimp tacos I’ve ever had in my life.

My husband had chicken enchiladas in a mole sauce, which was unlike any mole sauce I’ve ever tried. It was a little  sweet, a little fruity, a little spicy, and a little savory. It was EXCELLENT.

Normally I would shy away from Mexican food recipes conceived by a non-Mexican person. But, I’m convinced that French people have can cook any food, any style, and make it taste AMAZING. The proprietress was so cute–she even put out colorful placemats for us.

The best part? The whole meal, including a giant, fresh lemonade and a banana smoothie only cost about twelve dollars.

May 13, 2010 at 6:37 pm 4 comments

Comida (That Means “Food”)

Hello everyone! So sorry I didn’t post anything yesterday–I got a sunburn (surprise, surprise) and so I didn’t feel very good. I spent most of the day napping and drinking water. Once the sun had gone down somewhat, I went to the grocery store, which was like a little mini-adventure, since I had to take a colectivio— a small van-bus that shuttles people around. It’s the way the locals travel, and pretty cheap, about a dollar per ride. If there’s one thing I love, it’s going to the grocery store in another country. I could walked around inside the Soriana (that’s the name of the supermarket) for hours, just looking at all the different stuff. I probably will next time, when I’m not sun-sick.

We got some apple empanadas in the bakery that were to die for. And the cuts of meat were very different than what I’m used to in the States. Last night I bought a cut of beef called Milanesa Pulpa Negra, which are very thin slices of meat, but I don’t know which part of the cow they’re from. I layered it in a pie pan with sliced garlic, black pepper, and Italian seasoning between the slices. Then I poured some old wine into the dish, left behind by the people who normally live in this apartment. I don’t know how it’ll turn out- I’m kinda winging it, but it’s fun to be cooking again after having all my kitchen in chaos and half-boxed up for the last few weeks.  Ruby told me my mission while I’m in Mexico is to learn to make perfect tacos. I have eaten some good ones, but I think I need to  eat a few more before I attempt my own recipe. Taco school.

Here’s tonight’s supper, in it’s marinade. I’ll let y’all know how it turns out tomorrow.

May 11, 2010 at 1:02 pm Leave a comment


Well, I’m here in Mexico, and so far it’s every bit as beautiful as I expected it would be. Its so beautiful, in fact, that I’ve decided to post a picutre a day from my Mexican adventures.

Today I went to a small vegetable market in Puerto Aventuras, where we’re staying. I’m told the market is held only on Saturdays, so I stocked up on all this glorious produce.

I have to soak them in a non-toxic bacteriacide for ten minutes before I can eat them. They are soaking right now, and I’m practically drooling on myself. I’ve been dreaming of mangoes for months, and now it’s about to happen for real, in my mouth.


May 8, 2010 at 12:56 pm 3 comments

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