Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

Lately, I had been having trouble trying to stay afloat. I had so many projects land on my lap that I had to take a quick (baby) mental break because I was starting to feel overworked, drained and really uninspired. I’m not the type of person who does their “best work” under pressure, I like to take my time and do things at my own pace. I’m a perfectionist, which can be extra crippling at times especially when my OCD compulsions decide say “¡Hola!”. So I turned to retail therapy to help alleviate my stress, and to find some inspiration.

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

I didn’t own any Mexican cookbooks, so I bought a few of the ones a few friends recommended. One of the books I got was “Claudia’s Cocina, A Taste of Mexico” authored by Claudia Sandoval, winner of Master Chef Season 6! I was really excited to get my hands on this book because she takes great pride in her Mexican heritage and I was instantly sucked in when I read her introduction.

She says,

“I hope this book does a couple of things. I hope it reminds you that you should never be ashamed of  where you come from, but rather celebrate every bit of who you are. I hope it encourages you to stop making excuses and push the boundaries of your fears and day-to-day life. And I hope that it inspires you to cook food that doesn’t always look pretty but that warms your soul.”

And I couldn’t stop relating to it.

Flan de Limón (Key Lime Flan)

For much of my childhood, I was made to feel ashamed of who I was and where I came from. For wearing the huaraches on my feet, for speaking a foreign language, and for being a little darker than everyone else. Now, I’m taking my culture back, and I’m owning it. I’m wearing my huaraches proudly, and I’m embracing mi piel de color cajeta–without making any apologies for it.

One of the first recipes I landed on when I first opened the book was a recipe that Claudia has for a Key Lime Flan and I don’t know that I could have landed on a better recipe because it is exactly what my soul needed! The flan itself is easy to make, and it was one of the dishes she made for her finale dinner. It’s sweet, a little tart from the key limes, and we’re topping it off with a tequila/triple sec whipped topping. I  truly enjoyed reading the bits and pieces Claudia shared about her life and how she’s been able to connect with her culture through food. She’s the true definition of a Chingona, a total badass.

In the book she includes recipes for Mariscos estilo Mazatlán, basics like tortillas and frijoles de la olla, and staples like enchiladas, chile verde pork and huevos divorciados. If you’re interested in learning a little more about her, you can find her cookbook here.

Don’t forget to take a minute to treat yourself. Make some flan, and unwind away!

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Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

When Billy and I first started dating, I used to try to cook everything I could just so I could introduce him to all of the dishes I grew up cherishing. I really wanted him to get a sense of who I was through food, and I wanted him to learn about all of the bits and pieces of my culture and traditions he didn’t know. Last year, he finally had the opportunity to experience the place where my roots stem from–Colima. He got to taste all of the dishes I talked so much about, he got to meet the aunts that have always kept me laughing (and very well fed), and the loving grandparents who have taught me so much about life.

Traveling to Mexico at a young age was always bittersweet because my parents were undocumented when I was growing up. Not only did I have to travel by myself from time to time, but I always felt guilty that I had the opportunity to enjoy what they couldn’t– spending time with their family.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

Mi grandma.

Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos)

It’s super backlit, but it’s one of my favorite shots with my aunts/grandparents. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I have a deep appreciation for my maternal grandparents because they’ve always treated me like their own child. They have provided me with an immense amount of love and support and they’ve always been really great examples of what I should aspire to be, a hardworking, humble, and appreciative individual.

To this day, my grandma has continually worked hard to help her household make ends meet. For as long as I can remember, she’s walked the pebble stoned streets of Colima selling the fresh cheeses she’s made every morning. She’d get on the ruta in Comala bright and early and walk around for miles and miles carrying various cheeses on her back and during the weekend, she’d transform her living room into a small restaurant and sell pozole, tacos de papa and sopes to everyone en la colonia

I really wanted to spend my Birthday in their company this year because I enjoy being surrounded by so much love, mis tí as las pericas, and all of the good food I could ever want. 

We were fortunate to swing by while my grandma was still selling food during our last day there. She offered us sopes, pozole and tacos, but I settled on tacos de papa because she makes them like no one else!

Tacos de papa are pretty basic. They consist of a deep fried tortilla shell stuffed with a mashed potato filling and they’re topped with shredded cabbage, sliced tomato, diced onion, heaps of cotija and a garlicky tomato sauce.

These tacos are a good reminder of my grandma, and they instantly transport me back to Comala whenever I have them. If you have the opportunity to make them, I hope you enjoy them as much as I do and I hope they bring you warm memories, just as they do to me.

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Mango con Limón Peeps with Tajín

Mango con Limón Peeps with TajínRemember when I said I still needed to get my hands on some peeps in my last post?

Welllll….I did.

Kinda.

I wasn’t feeling any of the flavors that were available, so we ended up going home and ended up making our own.

Mango con Limón Peeps with TajínLast week, I was featured in a piece on Food 52 where I mentioned I like to infuse flavors I grew up with into American classics as an homage to my identity as a Chicano, and I think today’s recipe showcases this perfectly.

If you haven’t read the feature, you can read it here.

I really enjoyed seeing all of the conversations it sparked. Even if a few people got a little uncomfortable because they only read what I had to say and didn’t take the time to actually hear what I was trying to say.

Mango con Limón Peeps with TajínCuando era niño, we used to spend our Easters in Merced.

I know, it’s Merced–But one of my aunts had a dairy farm with a bunch of fruit groves on it so we always had a blast.

We’d run off to the lake, we’d dye eggs, and we’d pick apricots and eat allll of the grapes.

It was all good and fun until my aunt took us inside one year to show us how the cows were milked and basically scared the baby jesus out of me.

Mango con Limón Peeps with TajínDe niños, we always snacked on fruit.

We’d get home from school and mi mamá would cut up some jicama, papaya, pepino, or mango for us. She’d spritz a little lime juice, sprinkle tajín over it and we’d sit in front of the tv and watch Luz Clarita or whatever novela was popular at the time.

When I was testing these out, I really wanted to make sure the nostalgia hit with all these flavors–and I really felt like I was sitting there in front of the tv biting into a juicy tart slice of mango covered in Tajín.

If you happen to have the time to make these, please do so! They’re 100x more delicious.

Billy also made some crazy good Strawberry Ginger Peeps, check them out here.

Anyways.. have a great Monday.Y como siempre, stay chingonx!

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Beer Braised Ribs

Beer Braised Ribs

¡Hola!

How’s your week?

Am I the only one who feels like 2017 is coming at us full speed? It’s already April!

Easter is coming up, and so is Mother’s day, which means two things.

1: I still need to get my hands on a bag of peeps and those chocolate marshmallow eggs from Walgreens.

2: I need to make reservations for Mothers’ Day Dinner.

Spoiler alert: We’re probably going to do Mother’s Day at Lucille’s Smokehouse Bbq because my parents are weirdly obsessed with it. For the past few years we’ve been to Lucille’s for their birthdays, and Father/Mother’s day and we always end up spending too much money on really dry ribs with practically no meat on them.

I make waaay better ribs though. Trust and believe.

Beer Braised Ribs

Over the weekend, Billy, our friend Matt, and I went to Knott’s to check out the Boysenberry Festival and it was so much fun!

I grew up in Orange County, which means we always went to Knott’s for school trips–and I think this is why I love Knott’s so much!

Anyways, this was our second time at the Boysenberry Festival and we were excited to try some of the newer items on their tasting card—and I was also v excited to get my hands on their Boysenberry BBQ Sauce cause it’s just so damn good.

Beer Braised Ribs

Boysenberry Pizza

Beer Braised Ribs

Boysenberry Panna Cotta

I wish Boysenberries were a little more accessible so I could make the bbq sauce from scratch, but because they aren’t, Ina says store bought is fine.

The Festival is kind of cool because it happens inside and you get to walk around through the different areas of the park to access the different booths.

We had the opportunity to try Boysenberry: Ravioli, Meatballs, Panna Cotta, Pizza, Chicken Wings, Beer and Cider–and I was really surprised to see how well it all fit together!

The Boysenberry Festival is running through April 23rd, so if you live in SoCal, be sure to check it out.

Beer Braised Ribs

I’m gonna make these braised ribs with the Boysenberry bbq sauce for Easter in hopes that we can skip Lucille’s next month and have some really good bbq at my place instead.

If you’ve never braised ribs before, brace yourself. They’ll be nice and juicy and the meat will fall off the bone with the slightest pull.

Make these for your next quince/bautizo/primera comunión or carne asada, you won’t dissapoint!

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Aguachile

Aguachile

Hola!

How’s your week so far?

I’m pretty excited about this weekend, cause Billy and I are heading out to Knott’s Berry Farm to check out the Boysenberry Festival.

There’s going to be giant cinnamon rolls, boysenberry pizza, and funnel cake.

Call me boring y crazy, pero I love going to Knott’s just for the funnel cake and the berry punch.

Ohmygod, y el fried chicken, cannot forget about that!

Aguachile

I mentioned in my last post how we went to Cuyutlán while we were in Colima a few weeks ago. Billy wanted to visit the Sea Turtle Sanctuary in Cuyutlán, so we did and it was a pretty good time. We got to learn about some of the species that come in and lay their eggs in Colima, and we even had the opportunity to release a few baby turtles into the ocean. It was stressful. So stressful.

They are so tiny and fragile and most of the babies end up getting eaten, so I hope they all make it and live long and happy lives.

Aguachile

We made a pit stop at our favorite restaurant (shack) on the beach, Mariscos el 7 , where we shared a few botanas.

We had Micheladas, Ceviche de Pescado, and Botana de Pulpo y Camaron. I’ll be posting a bunch of pictures from our trip to my Insta Story today in case you’re curious!

Anyways, es cuaresma for those of us who are practicing catholics.. which means no meat on Fridays!

Lent was one of my favorite times growing up because we always had seafood every Friday. My mom always had pescado frito, tortas de camaron, camarones a la diabla, and ceviche on rotation and I lived for it all.

We’re making an aguachile today, which is closely related to ceviche. The only difference is the shrimp is cooked in a spicy lime and cucumber sauce instead of just straight up lime juice.

If you’re currently observing lent, or you just need a really good app to go with your Michelada, look no further! I got you!

I hope you all have a great weekend. Y como siempre, stay chingonx!

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