Cookies 'n Cream Atole (Atole de Oreo) #AtoleWeek

The classic combination of milk and cookies in a delicious Mexican atole.

When brainstorming ideas for what flavors of atole to share for #AtoleWeek, the kiddies insisted I make Cookies 'n Cream Atole, another version of Atole de Galleta, made with Oreos. Who doesn't love Oreos?! This Atole de Oreo starts with an Atole Blanco base (thickened with cornstarch), and the cookies are added at the very end. Top your Atole de Oreo with a dollop or two of whipped cream for a decadent treat the whole family will love!

Comfort Food Classics: Atole Blanco de Masa (Basic White Atole) #AtoleWeek

Atole Blanco is the base recipe for many traditional Mexican atoles, but it is also delicious all on it's own.

Mexican atoles come in a wide variety of flavors like chocolate, strawberry, cookie, cream cheese, guava, sweet potato, coconut, pecan, mango, cajeta, corn... The list goes on and on! But the one thing most atoles have in common, whether they are thickened with masa or cornstarch, is that they all start with a basic Atole Blanco base. Atoles are my favorite winter beverage, and every year I try to make sure I make all of our favorite flavors. But sometimes it's nice to sip on a simple White Atole. The soothing flavor reminds me of my grandparents, who often prepared Atole Blanco when I was sick.

Atole de Guayaba en Agua (Guava Atole) #AtoleWeek

A traditional Mexican atole made with fresh guavas and thickened with masa harina.

What do you do when a produce truck drives through your neighborhood selling a kilo of fresh guavas for 10 pesos (like 60 cents US)? I don't know about you, but I bought five kilos to make some of my favorite guava recipes. Yes, eleven pounds of guavas might seem like a bit much, but they are so tasty and so versatile. I can't get enough of them. And have I mentioned their mesmerizing aroma? Fresh guavas sitting on the counter are the best natural air freshener ever.

Atole de Chocolate (Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole) #AtoleWeek

Atole de Chocolate is a thicker and creamier cinnamon-infused version of traditional hot cocoa made with Mexican chocolate.

Mexican Hot Chocolate Atole -

After a cold and rainy weekend here in Mexico, the sun is shining in the bright blue sky. But I think the sun might be broken, because the temperatures this morning dipped to a bone-chilling 2 degrees Celsius (about 35°F). That's freezing cold weather for these here parts, and the layer of ice on our truck's windshield before taking the younger kiddies to school is a not-so-gentle reminder that winter will soon be here. Because there's nothing like a hot mug of atole to warm you up on a cold winter's day, this week in my cocina we will be celebrating #AtoleWeek. Tune in every day this week (Monday-Friday) for some of my favorite atole recipes.

Secret Recipe Club: Cinnamon Hibiscus Hot Toddy

Cinnamon and dried hibiscus flowers add a merry and bright twist to the classic hot toddy for a delicious holiday treat.

A very merry December to all! With the holiday season in full swing, I only had one thing in mind while choosing a recipe for The Secret Recipe Club... Something festive for the holidays! My assignment this month is A Fit and Spicy Life written by Mellissa whose tagline perfectly sums up her blog, "A lot of cooking, a little wine, and workouts to keep it all inline." Full of health-conscious recipes like Ramen Noodle Salad, Ginger Carrot Soup, and her Spinach, Mushroom & Onion Mini-Frittatas, you'll also find fitness tips and wine recommendations on her weekly Wine Wednesday series.

Cajeta Apple Cider

All the flavors of a caramel apple in a comforting mug of hot apple cider flavored with cinnamon, cloves, and Mexican cajeta.

Cajeta Apple Cider -

´Tis the season to be jolly! To help you get in the holiday spirit I've got this warm Cajeta Apple Cider made with creamy cajeta, a delicious Mexican caramel sauce made with goat’s milk. It smells like Christmas! Whether you're decorating the tree, watching your favorite Christmas movies, or just curling up under your favorite fuzzy blanket because the weather outside is frightful, a sip of this Cajeta Apple Cider will warm you right up.  

Piloncillo Cream Pie

Add this delicious piloncillo pudding filled pie topped with whipped cream and Mexican cajeta to your holiday dessert table.

Thanksgiving week is finally here! Bring on the food! Freshly baked bread rolls, roast turkey (or chicken), creamy mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and stuffing galore. And let's not forget the pies.Thanksgiving wouldn't be complete without a couple slices of pie before happily slipping into a food coma. One pie we'll be serving this year is this Piloncillo Cream Pie. I've been making Piloncillo Pudding for years, at first as an alternative to butterscotch pudding as brown sugar wasn't readily available, but because pudding pies are my favorite kind of pie Piloncillo Cream Pie quickly became a family favorite.

Espagueti Verde #ThrowbackThursday

Espagueti Verde -

If I left our weekly or monthly menu planning up to Jack (my 10 year old son) we'd eat nothing but Refried Beans, spaghetti, french fries, and hot dogs. Maybe even all in the same day. Because Jack is such a picky eater I try to serve different versions of his favorite foods, like this Espagueti Verde, made with roasted poblano peppers, cilantro, and Mexican crema. So far my plan seems to be working, and thank goodness, because there was that unpleasant phase where he only wanted to eat spaghetti with ketchup.

Calabacitas con Crema (Mexican Zucchini in Spicy Cream Sauce)

If you like rajas con crema (roasted poblano strips w/ cream), you'll love these Mexican calabacitas and golden corn kernels bathed in a spicy cream sauce.

Calabacitas con Crema -

I have side dishes on the brain. I'm pretty sure it's due to the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, because for us the holiday meal isn't about the turkey at all. (Turkeys are hard to come by in my small town, unless I want a live one.) No, for us our Thanksgiving menu is all about the scrumptious sides! (And pies!) I'm still not sure what sides I'll be serving with our roasted chicken, but in thinking of my all-time favorite side dishes these Calabacitas con Crema came to mind and I haven't been able to stop thinking about them. Like Rajas con Crema the Mexican calabacitas and golden corn kernels are simmered in a creamy sauce made with butter, onion, serrano chiles (for spice), garlic, Mexican crema, and a little cream cheese. Calabacitas con Crema is traditionally served as a side dish, but it also makes for a delicious vegetarian taco filling.

Comfort Food Classics: Caldillo de Papa (Mexican Potato Soup w/ Queso Fresco)

Caldillo de Papa is a delicious traditional Mexican soup made with potatoes and queso fresco in a light tomato broth.

Caldillo de Papa y Queso Fresco -

A popular soup in Mexican kitchens Caldillo de Papa is comfort food in it's simplest form, and it's been one of my favorite soups since childhood. My grandpa used to make this soup on rainy days when he wanted something comforting to warm him up, while my grandmother usually made this soup at the end of the month when money was tight and the cupboards were getting bare. Whether you're looking for something simple and delicious, or something budget-friendly this soup is for you. Made with bite-size pieces of potato and queso fresco in a light tomato broth seasoned with bacon, onion, garlic, serrano chile, and fresh cilantro this classic Mexican soup is sure to become a family favorite.

Secret Recipe Club: Pimento Cheese Pasta Salad

All the creamy and cheesy goodness of pimento cheese in a delicious pasta salad.

Pasta Salad with Homemade Pimento Cheese -

Happy November, friends! I can't believe it's already November. And it's the first Monday of the month which means it's time once again for The Secret Recipe Club. This month my assignment was Lori's Culniary Creations. Lori is a fun, spirited Harley Davidson-riding wife and stepmom with an amazing outlook on life:

"Today is life - the only life you are sure of. Make the most of today. Get interested in something. Shake yourself awake. Develop a hobby. Let the winds of enthusiasm sweep through you. Live today with gusto." 

Lori's brings her enthusiasm and sense of adventure to her blog which is filled with quick and easy on-the-go meals perfect for busy wives and moms looking to be a little more adventurous in the kitchen. I have a long list of Lori's recipes that I've added to my "to make" list including her Peachy Cream Crepes, Zucchini Stuffed Burgers, Avocado Kiwi Ice Cream w/ Caramel Swirl, Tomato Florentine Soup with Peanut Butter Crostini, and her Tropical Pumpkin Pie.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie (Pay de Queso y Calabaza)

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie -

Tomorrow Hubby and I will be celebrating 21 years of wedded bliss. And I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with this Pay de Queso y Calabaza. This Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie combines the fall flavor of pumpkin pie with the creamy goodness of cheesecake in one irresistible dessert. It's the best of both worlds, just like our marriage.

Tacos de Flor de Calabaza (Squash Blossom Tacos)

Celebrate #MeatlessMonday with these flavorful Squash Blossom Tacos a la Mexicana with chopped onion, tomato, and serrano chiles.

Tacos de Flor de Calabaza -

Homemade Mexican food doesn't have to be complicated. Some of the easiest Mexican recipes I know are made a la Mexicana, with chopped onion, tomato, and green chiles. These dishes are called a la mexicana because the red, white, and green ingredients represent the colors of the Mexican flag. Earlier this month I shared my Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza, stating that cooking with flores de calabaza (which are currently in season here in Mexico) doesn't have to be complicated either. Combining the simplicity of a la mexicana with freshly cut squash blossoms we get these flavorsome Tacos de Flor de Calabaza a la Mexicana that are super quick and easy to make. Enjoy these Squash Blossom Tacos on their own for a light lunch, or serve them with Mexican Rice and Refried Beans for a complete meal.

Helado de Elote (Sweet Corn Ice Cream)

No-Churn Sweet Corn Ice Cream with a just a hint of cinnamon to bring out the natural sweetness of the fresh corn.

No-Churn Sweet Corn Ice Cream -

Corn plays an important role in Mexican cuisine especially in dishes like tortillas de maíz, tamales, and pozole. So, it should come as no surprise that corn is also the featured ingredient in many Mexican desserts as well. One such dessert being Nieve de Elote. Believe it or not Nieve (or helado) de Elote is a very popular ice cream flavor here in Mexico. Traditionally Nieve de Elote is hand-churned in large garrafas and takes several hours to make. But thanks to this recipe you can make this sweet and creamy treat without all the hard work of churning by hand. And now you can enjoy it year-round because I'm including directions on how to make this recipe using fresh corn or canned/frozen corn kernels. The only difficulty you'll have with this recipe is waiting for the ice cream to freeze.

Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

Because it wouldn’t be fall (the greatest season of the year) without a few pumpkin desserts. My second fall comfort dessert to make this season, second only to Calabaza en Tacha, is this creamy Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche because unlike most of you who live in the US, I have not been bombarded with an overload of Pumpkin Spice Everything. This creamy Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche combines the creamy goodness of traditional Arroz con Leche with homemade pumpkin puree and a few fragrant spices. Who needs fall scented candles when you’ve got a pot of Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche seasoned with brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves simmering on the stove?!

Pumpkin Spice Arroz con Leche -

Sopa de Fideo a los Cuatro Chiles (Mexican Fideo Soup w/ Four Chiles)

Sopa de Fideo a los Cuatro Chiles is a traditional Mexican fideo soup in a tomato broth seasoned with four types of chiles.

Sopa de Fideo a los Cuatro Chiles -

We are finally experiencing cooler temperatures here in Mexico which makes it perfect weather to enjoy a bowl of a comforting sopa (soup). You are never too old to enjoy a bowl of Sopa de Fideo. If traditional Sopa de Fideo can cure what ails you, this version made with four varieties of chiles is no exception. Each of the chiles adds flavor, earthiness, and a touch of smokiness. While we removed all of the seeds from the chiles, which is where most of the heat comes from, this soup still has some kick to it. Sopa de Fideo a los Cuatro Chiles is the perfect soup to nurse you back to health when you are feeling under the weather, or for those days when you’re just looking for something that’ll warm you up on a crisp fall afternoon.  

Secret Recipe Club: Zucchini Bread Pancakes

Fresh zucchini takes center stage in these fluffy pancakes seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg.

Zucchini Bread Pancakes -

It's the first Monday of a new month which means it's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club reveal. My assignment this month is Adventures in All Things Food written by Andrea, who keeps herself busy on her family farm along with her husband and their three adorable children. Andrea's blog has a little bit of everything: delicious recipes, tales of family and farm life adventures, crafts, book reviews, product reviews and giveaways. There's something for everyone to enjoy.

Squash Blossom Quesadillas (de Flor de Calabaza) #ThrowbackThursday

Buttery flour tortillas stuffed with fresh squash blossoms and lots of ooey, gooey melted cheese.

It's fall, ya'll! And with fall comes an abundance of freshly cut flores de calabaza (squash blossoms). Cooking with squash blossoms might seem intimidating, but trust me when I say that there is nothing easier than cooking with this beautiful and vibrant flower. One of the easiest squash blossom recipes I know is Quesadillas de Flor de Calabaza. All you need are three ingredients; squash blossoms, cheese, and flour tortillas. It's that simple. Of course, I like to add a little butter to mine to give the quesadillas their golden hue. Squash Blossom Quesadillas make for a light and delicious meal for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Dress them up with your favorite salsa, guacamole, or sour cream.

Chorizo Bean Dip

Dip into the creamy goodness of a spicy homemade bean dip made with chorizo, pinto beans, green chiles, cumin, and cream cheese.

Homemade Chorizo Bean Dip -

There's nothing my kids love more on a Friday night than eating dinner huddled together in the living room watching a movie on Netflix. Some nights we order pizza, and other nights we only want to snack on bowls of buttery popcorn topped with lime juice and bottled hot sauce. But every once in a while I like to surprise Alf (Hubby) and the kiddies with a big tray of tortillas chips and an array of our favorite dips like Chile de Molcajete (roasted tomatilla & arbol chile salsa), Guacamole, and this creamy Chorizo Bean Dip.

If you like the classic combination of beans and chorizo, then you'll love this homemade bean dip made with green chiles, Mexican chorizo, and cream cheese. You'll never buy canned bean dip again once you see how easy it to make your own.

Chorizo Bean Dip with Jalapeños -

Chorizo Bean Dip


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil 
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh serrano chiles, finely chopped  
  • 6 to 8 oz. Mexican chorizo, casings removed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 3 roma tomatoes, finely chopped 
  • 3 cups cooked pinto beans, drained 
  • 1 cup bean broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 oz. cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream  
  • 1 cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup shredded queso Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese
  • Chopped pickled jalapeños (optional) 
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Tortilla chips  

Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion and serrano chiles for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft and transparent. Add the chorizo, breaking it up with the back of a wooden spoon, and let brown until fully cooked. Stir in the garlic, tomatoes, cooked pinto beans, and bean broth. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce heat to low. Using a potato masher, mash the pinto beans until desired consistency; season with the ground cumin and salt as needed. Stir in the cream cheese, Mexican crema, and mild cheddar cheese until completely melted. Remove from heat.

To serve, ladle dip into a large serving bowl; top beans with shredded Oaxaca or mozzarella cheese, chopped cilantro, and pickled jalapeño peppers. Serve with plenty of tortilla chips. Enjoy!

Receta en español 

Pinto Bean Dip with Chorizo -

Secret Recipe Club: BBQ Chicken Sandwiches

Classic BBQ Chicken Sandwiches filled with tender pieces of shredded chicken in a tangy vinegar-based North Carolina style barbecue sauce.

Happy Labor Day to my friends (and family) in the US! But that's not the only thing we're celebrating today. The first Monday of a the month means it's also time for another installment of The Secret Recipe Club. Every month I'm assigned a new food blog from which I choose a recipe or two to cook and share here in my cocina on reveal day. This month my assignment is Cupcake Muffinwritten by Sara who has been blogging for 8 years. One thing that really stood out to me about Sara's well-written blog is a list of menus that she's currently cooking her way through. The list of menus was recently given to her by her mom, but they were originally written by her great-grandmother, and has been passed down from generation to generation. Isn't that incredible?!

DIY Crema de Tequila

If you're a fan of Irish cream, then I have quite a treat for you. Crema de Tequila is Irish cream's Mexican cousin made with tequila, and a hint of chocolate and coffee. It's sweet, creamy, and super easy to make at home with just a handful of ingredients. Crema de Tequila is a rich and decadent dessert cocktail that can be served on ice, or add a splash to a steaming mug of hot coffee or a tall glass of Iced Coffee Agua Fresca for a grown-up treat. Double or even triple the recipe to give as gifts to family and friends.

Homemade Crema de Tequila -

Easy Peach Cobbler w/ Biscuit Topping {She Made/Ella Hace}

Easy semi-homemade peach cobbler with a flaky biscuit topping using canned peaches.

Easy Peach Cobbler with canned peaches -

Happy "Eat a Peach" Day! It's a real food holiday that I had no idea existed until Heather (girlichef) suggested it as our theme for this month's She Made/Ella Hace. I'm all for celebrating food holidays so I was more than happy to make one of my favorite peach recipes. Heather whipped up a swoon-worthy Fresh Peach & Whiskey Ice Cream while I've serving up an Easy Peach Cobbler.

Iced Coffee Agua Fresca (Agua de Café) #ThrowbackThursday

Wake up your taste buds with this refreshing Iced Coffee Agua Fresca!

Coffee Agua Fresca -

After updating my Chile de Huevo recipe back in June for #ThrowbackThursday, I thought it would be fun to make it a monthly series to show a little love to some of my older blog posts. This month we're showing love to my Iced Coffee Agua Fresca.

I've been a coffee drinker for as long as I can remember. When I was a little girl I liked waking up extra early with my grandparents because that meant one of them would make me a cup of Cafe con Leche to drink while they enjoyed their first cup of coffee of the day. Once I got a little older Gramm would make a simple Iced Coffee with instant coffee granules, water, milk, and sugar. Whenever she did, it was always a special treat that I absolutely loved.

Secret Recipe Club: No-Bake Coconut Cranberry Bars (with Galletas Maria)

An easy no-bake dessert made with Galletas María, dried cranberries, coconut, and sweetened condensed milk, with a subtle hint of orange.

No-Bake Coconut Cranberry Cookie Bars -

Hi friends! It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's time once again for The Secret Recipe Club. My assignment this month was Chit Chat Chompwritten by Melbourne based blogger Leigh, who loves to cook, loves pots of tea, twinkling Christmas lights, and all things French. That latter part explains the chic, French vibe I got while reading through Leigh's blog. One thing that I really caught my attention was her 2013 Cookbook Challenge that she started to motivate herself to cook more recipes from the books in her collection. I for one need to really consider starting my own cookbook challenge, because my cookbooks have been long neglected and could use some love and attention.

Black Bean Flautas

Crispy corn tortilla flautas stuffed with refried black beans seasoned with caramelized onion and ground cumin.

Black Bean Flautas -

Because sometimes you get a craving for something crispy and fried. Black bean flautas are a meat-free alternative perfect for any night of the week. The kiddies love them because they can eat them with their hands, and Hubby loves the rich flavor the caramelized onions add to the beans. Serve these flautas with Mexican Rice and a simple green salad for a complete meal. Cut the flautas in half to make mini-flautas to serve as appetizers at your next family get-together.

Secret Recipe Club: Buffalo Ranch Chicken Dip w/ Valentina Hot Sauce

All the flavor of hot wings in a creamy, cheesy, and spicy Buffalo Chicken Dip made with Valentina Hot Sauce.

Buffalo Chicken Dip with Salsa Valentina -

I'm so excited about this month's Secret Recipe Club because I've been a long-time admirer of my blog assignment for this month. Daily Dish Recipes is written by Nicole. Nicole is a mom of 5, writer, food blogger, and she has one heck of a green thumb. (I have major garden envy!) Because Nicole and I got to know each other through another food blogging group I have pinned and made a few of her simple, down home, feel good recipes. Like her Jolly Rancher Vodka. A must try! Other recipes I've wanted to try are Nicole's Pumpkin Donuts, Corn Cob Jelly, Crockpot Curry Chicken, and Summer Berry Cinnamon Bread Pudding.

Homemade Chili Beans

Homemade Chili Beans made from scratch with cooked pinto beans and five varieties of chiles.

Homemade Chili Beans -

This weekend the US will be celebrating Independence Day. Now that I live in Mexico the 4th of July always makes me a little homesick for fireworks, American flags flying high, and all the yummy food being served at the cookouts. When I was younger the 4th of July always meant that Gramm was going to open a can of chili beans and ladle them over hot dogs, because for Gramm nothing was more American than hot dogs and chili beans.

Crockpot Beef Shank Barbacoa (de Res) {She Made/Ella Hace}

Aside from my blender, which I use pretty much every single day, my favorite small kitchen appliance has to be my crockpot. Especially during the hot and humid summer months. That's one of the reasons why I suggested to my good friend girlichef (Heather) that we make a crockpot meal for this month's edition of She Made/Ella Hace. Heather is serving up Slow Cooker Baked Beans over on her blog, while I've cooked up Barbacoa de Res (Beef Shank Barbacoa).

Barbacoa de Res is a tradtional Mexican dish with tender pieces of beef served in a dried chile broth seasoned with ground cumin and crushed oregano.

You won't believe how easy this barbacoa is to make AND you can serve it a number of ways so you don't get bored. You can serve barbacoa the traditional way with lots of chile broth topped with chopped onion and cilantro. Or you can serve the beef shanks whole Osso Bucco style with mashed potatoes and a chile broth gravy. (Yum!) Then if you have any leftovers, finely chop the meat and spoon onto warm corn tortillas for tacos de barbacoa. However you decide to serve up this Beef Shank Barbacoa, I'm sure it will quickly become a family favorite.

Crockpot Beef Shank Barbacoa (de Res) -

Chile de Huevo en Chile Colorado (Chile Colorado w/ Eggs) #ThrowbackThursday

This recipe for Chile de Huevo (en Chile Colorado) might look familiar to longtime readers of La Cocina de Leslie. It was one of the first recipes I ever posted on this blog. That was six years ago and it's one of those recipes that kind of got lost in the shuffle and hasn't really gotten the love I think it deserves. Because it's Throwback Thursday, and  because Chile de Huevo was one of my favorite breakfasts growing up, I thought it would be fun to share this recipe again.

Chile de Huevo en Salsa de Chile Colorado -

Chile de Huevo (eggs in chile sauce) was a dish that both Gramm and Pappy (my grandparents) often made for breakfast. It was one of those easy, no-fuss meals that didn't require anything more than scrambled eggs and leftover enchilada sauce. Pappy liked to add nopales (cooked cactus paddles) to his Chile de Huevo, but back then I was not a big fan of nopales at all. Thank goodness times have changed because now I can't imagine having this dish without the nopales. They really do help to bring this dish together.

Secret Recipe Club: Pisto Manchego

A vibrant mix of bacon, onion, tomato, zucchini, and colorful bell peppers, Pisto Manchego is often referred to as Spanish ratatouille.

Pisto Manchego with Zucchini -

It's because of recipes like this Pisto Manchego that I love being part of the Secret Recipe Club, because every month I get the chance to discover new-to-me blogs full of swoon-worthy recipes from all over the world. My assignment this month is Things I Made Today written by Vicky Cassidy, a wife and mom who loves to cook, bake, blog and photograph everything around her. Vicky's blog is so beautiful and elegant, it's like looking through the pages of a gourmet food magazine like Saveur or Food & Wine. It's no surprise that her recipes have been featured on Apartment Therapy, Buzzfeed, The Kitchn, and Food52. But what I liked most about Vicky's blog is that it features simple, easy-to-follow recipes made with fresh ingredients.

Fresh Strawberry Margarita {She Made/Ella Hace}

My good friend girlichef and I are in the cocina once again for She Made/Ella Hace. This month it's all about strawberries. Heather (girlichef) is serving up not one, but TWO sweet strawberry recipes: Strawberry Atole + Strawberry Atole Paletas. (Be sure to head on over to Heather's blog to check out her mouth watering recipes.) And I whipped up these delightful Strawberry Margaritas, because who doesn't love a good margarita? These Strawberry Margaritas are sweet, refreshing and taste like summer in a glass.

Fresh Strawberry Margaritas -

Almíbar de Mango (Mango Syrup for Shaved Ice)

Homemade snow cone (shaved ice) syrup made with fresh mango and a hint of cinnamon.
The temps are heating up here in Mexico, so it's time to keep cool with one of our favorite summer treats... Nieves Raspadas (aka raspados/raspas/snow cones)! Making your own snow cones at home is a fun summer activity for kids of all ages. And since mangos are one of our favorite summer fruits, I decided to combine the two for a sweet and delicious frozen treat. I like to add a dash of ground cinnamon to my mango syrup to enhance the flavor of the mango, but if cinnamon isn't your thing you can leave it out and still have a delicious raspado de mango. And if like me (Hubby & our kiddies) you like to spice things up a bit, sprinkle a little Tajin (dried chile & lime fruit seasoning) on top for an extra kick.

What's your favorite raspado (snow cone) flavor?

Nieve Raspada de Mango (Mango Shaved Ice) -

Shredded Chicken Tacos de Mole

Tender pieces of chicken in a rich, chocolate mole sauce wrapped in warm corn tortillas.

Tacos de Mole -

These shredded chicken tacos are a cinch to make especially with the help of an old family friend, Doña Maria. Doña Maria is a brand of mole paste and it's the only kind of mole I ate growing up with my Mexican grandparents. Over the years I've learned to make various mole sauces from scratch, but every once in a while I crave the mole that my grandparents made.

Agua de Lima (Sweet Lime Agua Fresca)

Agua de Lima is a light and refreshing agua fresca made with sweet limes (citrus limetta).

Agua de Lima (Sweet Lime Agua Fresca) -

Since moving to Mexico 15 years ago I have discovered (and fallen in love with) many new-to-me fruits native to Mexico like ciruelas amarillas (yellow plums), pitayas (fruit of the pipe organ cactus), and limas. Limas  are by far my favorite. Here in Mexico limas are a variety of citrus limetta (AKA sweet lemon/lime). Sweet limes have the distinct flavor and aroma of a citrus fruit, but without the acidity and tartness. In it's place is a subtle sweetness, hence the name "sweet lime". Although their flavor is subtle at first, it lingers on your tastebuds and in the back of your throat leaving you with a sweet and refreshing taste in your mouth.

Secret Recipe Club: Banana Butterscotch Bars

It's the first Monday of the month, which means it's time for another installment of The Secret Recipe Club. This month my assignment is the family friendly blog Hun... What's for Dinner? written by Cindy, a Canadian blogger who is also stay-at-home mom of two adorable little kiddies. Cindy lives in Canada and loves recipe contests. With good reason too. Her recipes have won several awards, including the Rising Star Award in the first season of the Real Women of Philadelphia Canada AND she's had several recipes published in Gooseberry Patch cookbooks. (Something we have in common!) And did I mention that her hubby is a chef?!

Banana Butterscotch Bars -

I had a hard time deciding which of Cindy's mouth-watering recipes to make. A few recipes that caught my attention were Cindy's Lemon Cracker Cake, Chicken Club Pasta Salad, Zucchini con Queso, Strawberry Cake, and Jalapeño Popper Cheeseburgers. But then I spotted something that reminded me of my childhood... Banana Butterscotch Blondies!

Spicy Pork Masa Harina-Crusted Milanesas

Breaded pork chops infused with Mexican flavor from a crisp and spicy masa harina crumb coating.

Spicy Pork Milanesas -

My family loves milanesas served any way, shape or form. Whether they be made from beef, chicken, pork or fish. In my cocina each type of milanesa has it's own unique recipe. For my Milanesas de Cerdo (pork milanesas) I like to coat them with masa harina seasoned with chile powder and ground cumin. Using masa harina in the crumb coating not only adds texture to the milanesas, but it also adds another level of flavor. And the chile powder and ground cumin add a rich smokiness, as well as spice.

Secret Recipe Club: Honey Bun Cake

Another month is upon us, which means it's time for another installment of The Secret Recipe Club. For those of you unfamiliar with the SRC, it's a fun virtual recipe swap with another blogger who has no idea who will be cooking something from their blog. 

My assignment this month was Baking & Creating with Avril, a bright and delightful blog full of baked goodies and family friendly savory recipes. As usual, I didn't have anything specific that I was looking to make, but with the word "baking" in the blog title I was definitely leaning towards something sweet. With so many mouth-watering recipes to choose from Avril's blog did not disappoint. Recipe like Nutella Drop Cookies, Pumpkin Black Bean Soup, and Zucchini Cornbread all caught my eye, but in the end I decided to go with Avril's Honey Bun Cake.

Cucumber Lime Margaritas {She Made/Ella Hace}

Squeee!!! I can't contain my excitment about today's post. After what seems like forever, I am back in the cocina with my foodie BFF girlichef for another installment of She Made/Ella Hace. Woo-hoo! Our theme this month is "green" in honor of St. Patrick's Day. Heather (aka girlichef) is sharing some festive Matcha Shamrock Shortbread Cookies, while I'm serving up a pitcher of Cucumber Lime Margaritas.

On St. Patrick's Day everybody (in the US) is a little bit Irish. Now I know margaritas and tequila aren't your typical Irish fare, but with it's vibrant green hue these refreshing Cucumber Lime Margaritas with a hint of spice will have everyone wanting to be Mexican Irish.

What's for Dinner: Week 9

Welcome back to another edition of What's for Dinner - a weekly menu planning series with inspiration from my Cocina to yours.

Week 9 of weekly dinner menu ideas -

This week I was looking forward to getting back to our regular meal planning, especially since we didn't have any leftovers from the weekend that needed to be used up. (Love it when that happens!) We ended up having take-out three times this week, two of which don't surprise me because I usually take the weekends off from cooking. But mid-week I was blind-sinded by a migraine, so take-out again it was. I'm hoping to do better next week.

Our meals this week...

Mango Margarita

Sunshine hued Mango Margarita made with fresh mango and tequila reposado.

Mango Margaritas -

It's time once again for one of my favorite foodie holidays...National Margarita Day! And it's also time for my good friend girlichef's annual Margarita Party with some of our food blogging friends.

I love me a good margarita, whether I'm ordering one at a restaurant or making them at home. One of my all-time favorite margaritas is a sweet mango margarita made with tequila reposado. During the cold winter months when fresh mangos are no where to be found I make this margarita with canned mango, but now that spring has made an early appearance here in Mexico I added some fresh mango which helps intensify the flavor and the gorgeous sunshine-y hue. Whether you decide to use fresh or canned mango, you're in for a quite a treat because this mango margarita is like sunshine in a glass.

What's for Dinner: Week 8

Welcome back to another edition of What's for Dinner - a weekly menu planning series with inspiration from my Cocina to yours. 

What's for Dinner: Week 8 -

There were two main objectives for our meal plan this week. The first half of the week was all about using up the leftovers from last Saturday's birthday party. I'm pretty sure we had enough leftover Carnitas, Frijoles Adobados, Nopales, Mexican Rice, Pico de Gallo, and Chile de Molcajete for another party. This week I was having some tooth troubles and had a wisdom tooth removed on Thursday, so the last half of the week was all about making soft, non-spicy foods that wouldn't irritate my dental work. 

Our meals this week...

Baked Garlic Lime Tilapia

Wednesday was the first day of Cuaresma (Lent), so you know what that means, right? Meat-Free Fridays are back! Every Friday from now until Good Friday (April 3rd) I'll be sharing a new meat-free recipe. I'll try my best to include pasta and veggie-based dishes, along with seafood dishes.

For our first Meat-Free Friday of 2015, I'm sharing this easy Baked Garlic Lime Tilapia: moist and tender baked tilapia in a simple mayonnaise sauce flavored with garlic and lime. This recipe is one of the first seafood dishes I made for Hubby when we were newlyweds, and it's been a family favorite ever since.

Baked Garlic Lime Tilapia -

Agua de Naranja (Orange Agua Fresca)

Refreshing agua fresca made with freshly squeezed orange and lime juice, and sweetened with honey.

Agua de Naranja -

I think of a more delicious way to combat cold and flu season than with this refreshing Agua de Naranja. And it's a great way to take advantage of the abundance of oranges that are in season right now.

Chilaquiles Rojos con Carnitas

Fried corn tortilla chips and shredded Carnitas baked in an ancho chile sauce topped with ooey, gooey melted cheese.

Chilaquiles con Carnitas -

It's been a while since I've shared a recipe the same day I made it. Okay, if we're being completely honest, it's been a while since I've shared a recipe, period. I know. But today I'm feeling inspired.

I didn't have anything specific planned for today, as all I wanted to do was use up the last of the Carnitas (before Lent starts tomorrow) that were leftover from the birthday party we co-hosted on Saturday for Hubby's aunt. On Sunday we had Tortas Ahogadas, and yesterday I made Tacos de Carnitas. I kind of wanted to make Tacos de Barbacoa, which would help to use up the two and a half kilos of corn tortillas in my fridge (also from the party), but there weren't enough leftover Carnitas to make enough tacos for all seven of us. So it was back to square one.

What's for Dinner: Week 7

Welcome back to another edition of What's for Dinner, a weekly series with menu planning inspiration from my Cocina to yours.

After ordering take-out three times last week, I was determined to get back on schedule this week and stick to our plan. I'm happy to report that there were no surprises this week and everything went according to plan. Woo-hoo! To quote one of my grandpa's favorite TV shows, "I love it when a plan comes together!" (Bonus points for whoever can guess the TV show in the comments below.)

Our meals this week...   

What's for Dinner: Week 6

Welcome to week six of our weekly menu plan with inspiration from my Cocina to yours.

What's for Dinner: Week 6 -

I was debating whether or not to share this week's menu as our meal plan went way off course and we ended up ordering take-out three days this week. Usually we try to order out only once a week. But sometimes you just can't help it because life happens. Do you ever have those kind of weeks?    

Our meals this week...