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! 😉
A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to be a guest on one of my favorite podcasts; the Tamarindo Podcast! I had been a long time listener, so when Luis asked me to be on I gladly accepted! I was so excited and slightly nervous and I couldn’t believe I was in the studio recording with them. If you love a good podcast, check them out! Whenever I listen to them or to Latinos Who Lunch I feel like I’m sitting en la sala hanging out con mis primos. They instantly become like family, and I love how relatable they are.
You can listen to the episode here.
When I posted the Vegan tacos Al Pastor on Tuesday, I had no idea I was going to get the reaction that I did. They went over so well! I had so many people tag me in their Insta stories who were making the marinade and I was living for it–Thank you for showing me so much love!
Keeping with the Vegan theme, we’re going to be making vegan churros with a vegan salted caramel dipping sauce today. The churro recipe comes from Eddie Garzas’s ¡Salud! Vegan Mexican Cookbook, which is one of the cookbooks I picked up a few weeks ago. This is a great book for anyone who’s Vegan and is looking for an authentic Mexican experience, or for those who like having alternatives for days when they don’t feel like eating meat.
I wish I were actually Vegan so I could truly appreciate the authenticity in these dishes. Eddie not only showcases modern Mexican cuisine, but he also focuses on spotlighting pre-Hispanic Mesoamerican dishes, taking it back to its plant based roots.
Today we’re pairing these Churros with a Vegan Salted Caramel dipping sauce because when I was visualizing what I wanted to do with the churros, I could not stop smelling cajeta. I kept picturing myself walking around El Jardín de la Villa being enveloped by the aroma of tacos de adobada, hot cakes with cajeta sizzling over a hot skillet, and the smell of dough being deep fried and being tossed around in sweet sugar and cinnamon.
Are there any vegan recipes you’d like to see in the future? Let me know! Non-vegans, we’ll be back to our regular recipes next week! See you then.
One of my collabs with Mitú went up on Friday! You can watch me make a refreshing watermelon cocktail inspired by the spicy watermelon paletas I grew up with here.
The last time my parents came over to visit, my dad mentioned he wanted to take a family trip to Cancún, and to be completely honest I don’t know if I’d want to go. The last time we were there, we had an okay time..there was nothing about Cancún that left us wanting to come back. It’s been two years since we’ve visited, as it was my reward for losing the 40 lbs. I had put on during my last year in college.
I decided that February that I was going to finally make a change to my lifestyle, so I booked our flights and I told myself that I was going to take my shirt off at the beach regardless of what my body looked like. I was always the kid who never took his shirt off at the pool because I was super shy about my body, but I worked hard and trained my butt off and I actually managed to reach my goal weight a week before our trip.
Cancun has beautiful blue beaches and good food, but it is a very tourist heavy location and it lacked the feeling of being in Mexico. We decided to stay en el centro to get a more authentic experience while we were there but we never found quite what we were looking for. We did however, find amazing tacos al pastor. They were completely different than the ones I was used to. The pork was sweeter, and the taqueros really played up the pineapple, cinnamon, and the achiote notes which was different than the heavier guajillo flavor bomb I was used to.
We’re going to be recreating a vegan version of those tacos al estilo Cancún today because I finally started dipping my toes in the vegan pond. I have many friends who are vegan who’ve been asking me to write recipes for some of their favorite dishes and I was excited to finally incorporate TVP (meat substitute) into a recipe. As a non-vegan I didn’t really notice that the pork was missing, TVP has the texture of meat and stays moist and flavorful, unlike pork which can become tough and dry when it is slightly overcooked. If you’re vegan, I hope these tacos deliver an authentic experience, and if you’re not vegan, don’t be afraid to try something new. I promise you won’t be disappointed.
(Billy also has a recipe up today for tacos de pollo verde , you can check it out here)