Atole de Cajeta

Día de Muertos (Day of the Dead) is just around the corner. (As is Halloween!) Last year, for Día de Muertos we visited our dearly departed at el panteón (the cemetery), then stayed to watch a one-woman play called "La Muerte Irridenta". We all loved visiting el panteón on a cold and eerie night, but the whole time we were there I kept thinking to myself that I should've taken a thermos of something warm to drink to keep us all warm. Thankfully the city officials served hot chocolate and tea when the show was over, but I made a mental to note to remember to bring along something warm to drink for next year.

Well, it's next year already, and I have just the beverage for our annual Día de Muertos outing at the cemetery this year... Atole de Cajeta! Atole is a warm, creamy milk-based beverage that is slightly thickened with cornstarch (aka corn flour) or masa harina. Now I love thick atoles like my Sweet Potato Atole and Champurrado that get their grainy texture from the masa harina. But there is something to be said for the silky smooth creaminess of atoles thickened with cornstarch, like my Atole de Nuez (pecan). Those are the kind of atoles I remember my grandpa making me when I was growing up. And that is just the kind of atolito that will keep us warm at the cemetery come Día de Muertos.

You'll notice in the recipe that I don't sweeten this atole with sugar or piloncillo, like you see in other atole recipes. That's because this atole is made with cajeta, which is a sweet Mexican caramel sauce made from goat's milk. Cajeta is all the sweetness you need! No need to add more sugar, but you can always add more cajeta. If you're lucky enough to find cajeta envinada (spiked cajeta - Woohoo!), then by all means go ahead and use that instead of regular cajeta. But if you are unable to find cajeta of any kind and you really want to try this Atole de Cajeta, you can substitute a can of dulce de leche or a cup of caramel topping for the cajeta.

And finally, if you're looking to try more atole recipes to try be sure to tune in to my Cocina next month for a special #AtoleWeek (Nov. 10th - 14th)!

Atole de Cajeta -

Atole de Cajeta

  • 5 cups milk, divided
  • 1 (3-inch) cinnamon stick 
  • 1 cup Mexican cajeta or dulce de leche 
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch (I used unflavored Maizena)

In a 2-quart stockpot, heat 4 cups of the milk with the cinnamon stick and Mexican cajeta over medium heat until very warm, stirring constantly to dissolve the cajeta. While the milk is heating on the stove, dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining cup of milk. Just before the milk on the stove starts to bubble, add the cold milk and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until the atole has thickened slightly. Ladle into mugs. Enjoy!

Cajeta Atole -

Secret Recipe Club: Spicy Salmon & Spinach Tacos

About a month ago one of my sisters-in-law brought me a bag of frozen salmon fillets on one of her visits from the city. I was beyond ecstatic to receive the frozen salmon, because up until that moment it had been some 14+ years since I last ate and/or cooked salmon. Back then Hubby and I weren't big on seafood, and salmon was something we only ate on special occasions like Valentine's Day, our wedding anniversary, or when Hubby got a raise at work. But for the life of me I couldn't remember what my go-to salmon recipe was oh so many years ago. As excited as I was to finally be able to introduce my kiddies to salmon, I decided to leave the salmon in the freezer until I could find a salmon recipe that Hubby, the kiddies, and my suegro (father-in-law) would love.

But when it came time to choose a recipe for this month's installment of The Secret Recipe Club, I didn't have anything specific in mind. My blog assignment this month was bcmom's kitchen, a food blog full of quick, easy, delicious recipes. Anna (aka always bcmom) also has a personal blog by the same name where she writes about her two grown kids, her grandson, and her hubby of 28 years. Some of Anna's recipe that caught my eye were her Oatmeal BreadSoft Raisin Cookies, and Pineapple Coconut Rum French Toast. But what really won me over was her recipe for Chile Lime Salmon Tacos. We all love tacos, the seasoning is similar to my recipe for Pollo a la Plancha (grilled chicken), and it was just the recipe I was looking for to use the salmon my sister-in-law gave me.

We were not disappointed. Just as Anna promises on her bcmom's kitchen blog, the recipe was easy to prepare and absolutely delectable. The salmon was flaky and perfectly seasoned. And the fresh lime juice and the creamy white sauce made with Mexican crema and Valentina hot sauce were the perfect way to finish off the tacos. I know I will be making these again soon, even if I have to personally drive out to the city to buy the frozen salmon.

Spicy Salmon & Spinach Tacos -

Bacon Chipotle Macaroni & Cheese

When sitting down to plan our weekly dinner menu I can count on two things...

  1. Hubby will always request either Tacos de Papa (Potato Tacos) or BBQ Ribs with all the fixin's (including my Creamed Corn a la Mexicana).
  2. Hope (my 16 year old daughter) will always request Macaroni & Cheese. 

Hope LOVES Macaroni & Cheese! She's loved macaroni & cheese ever since she was almost 2 years old and I'm pretty sure she always will. And I can't say that I blame her. Who doesn't love a bowl of creamy macaroni & cheese whether it be from that famous little blue box or homemade?!

Now as much as I love macaroni & cheese, I don't always want to eat the same thing over and over again day after day, or week after week. So, I try to mix things up a bit by stirring in different ingredients I have in the fridge or pantry to spice things up and hope that Hubby and the kiddies will like it. That is where the idea for this Bacon Chipotle Macaroni & Cheese came from. All of my kiddies love chipotle peppers and everybody loves bacon. Stir it all together with some homemade macaroni and cheese, and it's no surprise that it quickly became one of my go-to recipes. 

Bacon Chipotle Macaroni Cheese -