Summer has always been one of my favorite seasons. With Billy up in Mendocino visiting his mom this week, it really makes me miss the summers we spent in Humboldt (during our undergrad) where we’d spend time lounging out by the Eel river enjoying fresh ceviche, and grilling every other day! If you’ve never really explored Northern California, I highly recommend taking a stroll through the Redwoods and visiting the lost coast. One of our all-time favorite hiking spots was in the scenic Fern Canyon, where a scene from one of the Jurassic Park films was shot.
It’s gorgeous up there.
Today happens to be #NationalHotDogDay so we’re making Dogos, or bacon wrapped hot dogs. They are so easy to make, and they are one of my favorite things to throw on the grill while the asada is cooking. Dogos originated in Hermosillo Sonora, where they were first served on a warm bolillo and are now typically topped with grilled onions, jalapeños, avocado, ketchup, mustard and crema Mexicana. With it being a hot dog, you’re free to customize it with your favorite toppings. I’ve even seen them topped with crushed Doritos–(as someone who likes to add hot cheetos to their sandwiches bc I’m a hot mess) I can 100% get behind this idea.
Bacon wrapped hot dogs have become a staple in Southern California, and even more in Los Angeles where you seem to run into a dogo stand on every other block. If you happen to live in an apartment complex where the grill seems to be occupied every time you go down to use it (which happens to us all the time), don’t fret because you can totally make these on the skillet!
I’m really excited because it’s Billy’s 5th year putting this on, but my very first year participating!
We were both living in Eureka, on our last semesters of College when he hosted his first Popsicle Week, and I’m so proud to see how far he’s come with this popsicle lovefest. This year Billy was given a spread in the summer issue of AllRecipes Magazine for popsicle week, and he also did a Facebook Live with AllRecipes where he made these really good ginger piña colada and blueberry cobbler popsicles.
If you’re interested in seeing what else everyone contributed, head here. There are over 120+ contributors this year!
There were a few ideas I had in mind for popsicle week. My initial idea was to make these paletas de vainilla which have become an icon in Colima. Unfortunately, I was only able to find the specific popsicle molds in industrial sizes so I’m going to have to wait until I go back to Mexico to look for said molds. My second idea was to create a café de olla popsicle, which is what we’re making today. If you’re not familiar with café de olla, you’re missing out. It’s one of my favorite things to have for breakfast whenever we’re in Mexico, especially when we’re dining at one of our favorite spots in Comala, Los Portales de Suchitlan, who happen to package their own fresh coffee on-site!
It’s an al-fresco setting and you basically dine in the middle of coffee trees and other greenery, and it makes you feel like you’re eating in the middle of a jungle. Depending on who’s making your café de olla, it’ll be typically made by brewing coffee with really good piloncillo, Mexican cinnamon and in certain places people will also include a bit of orange peel for aromatics. I decided to leave out the orange peel out of the popsicles because I’ve never been a huge fan, and I think I have those bitter strips of candied citrus peel on the rosca de reyes to blame.
In this recipe we’ll be adding coconut milk for an extra layer of flavor and then dipping them in butterscotch and if you’re feeling a little daring, add a pinch of sea salt before the magic shell completely hardens for that sweet, salty and creamy experience. If you’re looking for the popsicle mold I used, you can find it here.
Have a happy 4th of July!
I can still remember how excited I used to get for Birthdays growing up. As kids, we never received toys—and it wasn’t because my parents didn’t love us, but because it was a luxury they could not afford. I grew accustomed to receiving socks/underwear and the occasional $20 for the occasional paleta or raspado pretty quickly because as you become more self-aware, you notice your parents are doing their best to provide you with everything they can. When it came to Birthdays, my mom would always splurge and make us our favorite meals, and I (usually) always asked for the same thing; sopes, and gelatina de leche. Sometimes she’d just make gelatina de leche by itself, and other times she would layer it with a strawberry jello and top it with slices of strawberries.
My favorite of course, was just the gelatina de leche by itself.
When I posted the picture of the slice on Instagram, I didn’t realize that there’d be so many of you who also grew up loving gelatina de leche. I love connecting through food and sharing stories and it always makes me incredibly happy when others share their memories with me.
The best way I can describe this jello is as a more firm, slightly more flavorful panna cotta. We steep cinnamon in the milk, and top it with fresh berries to counter the sweetness. We’re also adding buttery crema mexicana to make the gelatina a little creamier. It wasn’t until I was going through the pictures that I realized I had this red/white and blue motif going on which makes this perfect for your upcoming 4th of July gatherings. Step it up a notch and use a more intricate bundt pan for it and boom! you have a simple and very elegant dessert.
¡Hola! I just want to take some time to thank all of my new readers that are now following the blog thanks to the NPR feature. Welcome to the familia, I truly appreciate the support/comments/and e-mails!
A few weeks ago, La Plaza de Cultura y Artes reached out to me to see if I could create a signature cocktail for the opening of their new exhibition, ¡Mírame! Expressions of Queer Latinx Art and it was such a great experience–and so fitting! The exhibition featured 12 artists from the Latinx LGBTQ community, where they explore their Latinidad, gender and sexuality and the difficulties of trying to fit into two worlds which can be unaccepting. I definitely recommend the exhibition if you live in the LA area, the exhibition runs through December 9th!
For the exhibition, I pitched a bunch of fun cocktails and they chose the Tepache Mezcal Margarita. I wasn’t expecting for them to go that route because in my experience, Tepache can be hit or miss with people because it shares similarities with Kombucha. The crowd seemed to be split in half between people who had no idea what Tepache was and people who loved it. It was a really good opportunity for me to share some knowledge and introduce people to such an iconic drink with pre-columbian roots, and it was also a great experience connecting with those who loved it and were reminded of their visits to Mexico. They instantly lit up. I’m currently reworking the recipe for the Tepache Mezcal Margarita, so keep your eyes peeled for that next month.
I decided to make this strawberry hibiscus margarita inspired by Billy because I’ve lost track of how many times he’s mentioned strawberries and hibiscus in the same sentence this past month. It became an ear worm (one of those songs that gets stuck in your head that you can’t get out until you actually listen to the song/make the margarita) so here we are enjoying this delicious margarita on the first day of summer!
If you’re also currently experiencing a heat wave (it was 102 degrees en mi rancho yesterday), take some time to cool off, and enjoy a margarita!
Happy Summer Solstice!
One of the things I miss the most about living with my parents, believe it or not, are the copious amounts of street food venders that used to roam the streets of SanTana. Not only were we fortunate enough to have paleteros walking by, but we also had hardworking brown men and women walking the streets selling fruta picada, elotes, empanadas, and tamales. The eloteros where my favorite of the bunch. They’d usually walk by ringing their bells when ever I’d be out in the yard miserably helping my dad mow the lawn, and it was always a quick break from having to deal with my dad’s last attempts at trying to butch/toughen me up through manual labor. But, I’ll stop right there and save the rest of the details for when I share my coming out story.
Protip: If you want to earn a little street cred with your Mexican friends, don’t refer to this as “Mexican Street Corn”, “Elote”, or “Mexican Corn”–call them what they are, elotes preparados. 😉
With summer coming up, and with tons of sweet corn starting to flood local supermarkets, elotes preparados are the perfect effortless side dish for your next carne asada gathering/novela binging. If you weren’t aware already..Maria la del Barrio, RBD, Rubi, La Usurpadora and tons of other good classics are up on Netflix now…you’re welcome! 😉