In Season: Tomatillos / Salsa Verde

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Tomatillos (pronouned toe-mah-tee-yos) are native to Mexico and are available year-round in Jaltemba Bay. The tomatillo is a member of the nightshade family along with tomatoes, potatoes and peppers. And while this small (1-2 inch) round fruit resembles a green tomato, it has an inedible papery husk and a sweet, yet tart flavor completely…

Nayarit EATS: What Makes a Fajita Sizzle?

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Fajitas are a popular Mexican dish and are served throughout Jaltemba Bay and Riviera Nayarit. Some of the most authentic fajitas can be found at La Piña Loca Restaurante in Rincón de Guayabitos. They start by marinating and grilling your choice of shrimp, chicken or beef (or a combination of all three), and sautéing chunks of onion,…

Nayarit EATS: The Local Art of Making Authentic Mexican Tamales

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We were thrilled when we finally got the opportunity to watch the Valdivia-Muñiz family make tamales at their home in La Colonia a few weeks ago. My husband David discovered "Tamalería La Autentica" last season, and quite honestly, they make the best tamales we've ever tasted. We quickly learned that the family's goal is to…
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Real Mexican Vanilla

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The unseasonably rainy days have given me time to complete some research on vanilla that I started some time ago. I explored vanilla and its many uses as well as some authenticity issues. I have provided some links for those who are interested in learning more. I’m sure you’ll agree, it is a very “delicate” subject. The vanilla…

Atole de Masa

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Atole (pronounced ah-TOH-lay) is a warm corn masa drink found throughout Mexico and Central America. Mexican atole is traditionally served during Dia de los Muertos celebrations, and its chocolate version, champurrado, is popular at Christmastime. The consistency of atole varies from almost porridge-like to a thin, pourable drink depending…

The Incredible Mexican Torta

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For anyone who hasn't tried a torta, you are missing out on one of Mexico's most popular dishes. This traditional sandwich is made with a cut telera roll that is packed with a variety of fillings and toasted to perfection on a flat-top grill. Like most Mexican street food, tortas are inexpensive, fast and filling. Adan Lopez, owner…

Impossible Coconut Pie

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What do we have in abundance in Mexico? Well... sunshine, great people, good food, the freshest and best veggies in the world and the fruit?? OMG... soooo good. Who doesn't love that? But we also have coconut.. all kinds of coconut... and the shredded coconut can be found everywhere. And what makes a great last minute dessert? One with…

Butter Tarts

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For your recipe this week, I was feeling a little bit Fall-ish... so I made Butter Tarts. Not the ones in the little shells, because we can't get the shells here... and think of the work in a hot kitchen. NO THANK YOU. And if I can bake in THIS TEMP (see photo below)... there is no reason for folks not to cook. LOL! So, I made them…

Avocado Cheesecake

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Here is the recipe for Avocado Cheesecake. But what I didn’t know, and I’m guessing neither did you, was what do you do when you want to make something with an avocado and it’s not ripe? I needed to have this recipe made and a picture sent in for this newsletter... and my avocados were still hard as rocks! What to do? I went online…

Avocado Brownies

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Can't have flour? Want something sweet and yet healthy? Looking for a treat that you can feel good about eating it, but your taste buds can't tell? Then try these Avocado Brownies. You can use flour, but if you have an intolerance to wheat, use coconut flour instead. Either way, these are a must have in your recipe file... trust me on…

Watermelon, Arugula & Feta Salad

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This salad is wonderfully refreshing, light and unexpectedly delicious, just as a summer salad should be. After looking online for hours, and making two trial versions (one with mint and one with basil), I decided that both herbs are equally good... so you decide which is your favorite, or use them both. Watermelon, Arugula & Feta…

Tequila Christmas Cookies

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We thought we'd share this classic holiday cookie recipe with our readers to help us get through the holidays with a smile. A big thank you to "The Cisco Kid" for submitting this recipe to us. Tequila Christmas Cookies Ingredients 1 cup of water 1 tsp. baking soda 1 cup of sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 cup of brown sugar 1 tbsp. lemon…

Mexican Turkey Stew

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This is a wonderful use for your leftover turkey... and it’s rich and comforting. No one will guess it’s made from your leftovers, and you can bet this will be a family favourite! You can make this... sit down and watch the game... curl up and watch a movie... or after, go for a long walk on one of the beautiful beaches in Jaltemba…

Watermelon-Jalapeño Paletas

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I love the sun, but not so much the heat... especially the dripping-wet-too-hot-to-do-anything kind of heat one experiences in Jaltemba Bay from July to mid-October. I arrived almost 3 weeks later than normal this year and thought surely I would escape some of that heat and humidity. That my friends was only wishful thinking! I have…

A Bouquet of Jamaica

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One day last December around siesta time I saw one of our neighbours, Señor Garcia, riding his burro up the mountain road from his fields. I suppose what had caught my eye was the fact Bruno (the burro) was barely visible from under the armload of red coloured vegetation Sr. Garcia was carrying. Further obscuring the animal, were two…

David's Deliciously Simple Shrimp Ceviche

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While surfing the net the other day for a recipe to bring to a party, I decided to make something with a little Mexican flair that would be reminiscent of the ceviche we often order in La Peñita and Guayabitos. After checking out many websites, I combined a few different recipes to come up with this very tasty ceviche. I hope you enjoy…

Mexican Gazpacho with Corn & Cilantro Salsa

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It's been an incredibly hot summer... and when it's this hot, no one wants to cook. I had never made gazpacho before, but the heat and all the fresh summer veggies inspired me to try it. I combined two recipes to come up with this tasty no-cook Mexican-inspired cold soup. And the good news is that you can easily find all the ingredients…

Italian Bread Salad

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This is one of my most favourite ways to use up stale, good quality bread. We're blessed here in Jaltemba Bay with fine bakers who work from their kitchens and sell amazing bread at the markets or on the corners of any one of our villages. When we buy the bread I do my best to use it all while it's still fresh, or to make croutons as…

Watermelon, Feta & Basil Appetizer

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Being that sweet juicy watermelon is pretty much the essence of summer, I decided to try this new recipe at our 4th of July celebration last week. This no-cook appetizer is easy to make so you don't have to sweat the details - and because the flavor is light and refreshing, it's perfect for any summer party. Plus, it is as pretty as it…

Blackened Jalapeño Guacamole

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Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May) celebrates the Mexican victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla in 1862. While Cinco de Mayo is a big celebration in the US, it is no longer a national holiday here in Mexico. Regardless, guacamole is one of those appetizers that everyone loves – and this recipe from Whole Foods (with a few modifications)…

Guide to Mexican Cheese: Part 1

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With all the talk about cheese on the Jaltemba Bay Folk Forum lately, I decided to enlist my good friend Rosalva to enlighten me about what types of cheeses are available in our area, where the best places are to purchase them and how they are most often used by the locals. What I discovered was more than I expected and the experience…

Classic Baja Fish Tacos... and a little Fish Taco history, too

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While perusing one of the many e-newsletters I get each and every day, I came across a great little article about fish tacos. I don’t know about you, but I cannot get enough of this tasty finger food. The article says that “Fish tacos are the Steve McQueen of Western foods: casual and cool. Born in Baja, Mexico, they were…

Margarita Pie with Pretzel Crust

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While planning a dinner for our friend and contractor Norman and his wife Romy, Martin, and his wife Christina, all dear friends, I wanted something different to serve as a dessert. It’s hot here as we’re in the summer/rainy season. So, what to make? I got a letter from a cousin of mine in Alabama and she had been entertaining,…

Michelada: Cure for the End-of-Summertime Blues

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Nothing says lazy days in Mexico more than the Michelada. This popular Mexican cocktail (pronounced “me-chel-LA-da”) is made with beer, tomato juice or Clamato, fresh lime juice and hot sauce. It is similar to a Bloody Mary or Bloody Caesar and there are endless variations. According to Wikipedia, the word Michelada is the…

Watermelon Cucumber Mint Agua Fresca

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Let’s face it. It’s HOT out there. And anything cool, fizzy and fresh is right up my alley (no pun intended) – especially when it combines all the best flavors of summer: mint leaves, cucumber and watermelon. Agua fresca (which translates to “fresh water”) is a common drink found throughout Mexico. Not only…
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In Season: Mango Madness / Mango Salsa

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Mangoes are plentiful during the summer months. Just drive down the street and you can’t help but notice that the mango tree limbs are literally weighed down to the ground with hundreds, if not thousands, of this incredibly sweet and delectable fruit. You will find many different varieties at every mercado, fruteria and minisuper…

Chicken Pozole with Cumin-Lime Tortilla Chips

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Many of you may not know this, but before David and I moved to Mexico and opened our B&B back in 2004, we owned and managed an upscale Brewpub and Brewery in Minnesota. I mention being in the restaurant biz, because we both thoroughly enjoy a good meal and a cocktail now and then. A few weeks ago, while flying from Saint Paul, MN…