E: My sweet parents visited a few weeks ago. My mom made this side salad which also has jicama and cucumber in it. You’ll see from the picture of my mother that we had the jicama,cucumber next to the salad bowl. We didn’t mix it in because my husband doesn’t like jicama or cucumber. Weirdo. But let me tell you, the jicama was crunchy and sweet. The tomatoes, cilantro and avocado were perfect for the tacos we were eating too. Enjoy.
Ceviche de Mahi Mahi
E: I love having ceviche on hot summer days. All you need are some healthy crackers, and some hot sauce like tapatio and you are good to go. Yum! Aside from the wonderful taste of ceviche, I like making it because it is a meal I can make ahead of time and can be made without dirtying up the stove or pans. It’s a one-pot meal so to speak. The only caveat is that the fish cooks by way of acidity from the lemon so it needs time for the cells to be denatured. The smaller you cut the fish, the quicker it will cook. However, I’m a big fan of ahi-tuna and sushi so I don’t mind the big chunks of fish, and don’t mind if they are slightly undercooked.
Fire Roasted Salsa al Molcajete
E: Every time I make salsa al molcajete, I think of my irreplaceable dad, Fulgencio. Growing up, he always had to have a little heat to go with his meals. His favorite has always been salsas made in molcajete. Till this day, my dad enjoys taking over in making salsas, because he likes it spicy.
The word “molcajete” and “tejolote” is the mexican equivalent to a “mortar” and “pestle.” The words come from the nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs. My dad believes that salsa made in a molcajete tastes better, and I agree.
There is a saying that if your salsa is spicy, then you made it while you were upset. So when you hear, “estabas enojada” typically means that salsa is too spicy to that person’s liking. But if your salsa is not spicy enough, then it is said that you don’t really know how to make a salsa. Ouch.
Either way, having any type of salsa stocked in your fridge is a must. You will find that I put this on so many recipes. You can put a little bit of it in a guacamole, or on top of huevos rancheros, or avocado-toast. The variations are endless.
Pico De Gallo (Salsa Fresca)
E:Pico de Gallo is diced veggies small enough to resemble “rooster food.” You can add “Pico” to almost anything and can make it part of a healthy snack by eating it with some crackers and avocado. It’s great for huevos rancheros. Growing up, on most Sundays after church we would stop by the Mexican market to buy “carnitas.” As soon as we got home, mom was in charge of prepping the meat and making a salsa verde or roja, and us girls would start cutting the veggies to make Pico de Gallo. Biting into a juicy taco with hints of cilantro and serrano and a warm tortilla will always bring me back to those Sunday brunches with my family.
Skinny Margarita with Mint and Cucumber on the Rocks
Yields: 1 serving
E: Margaritas are the “it” drink at our house. Sam and I went on our first date to Margaritaville in Capitola near Santa Cruz. It might be surprising to say that Sam likes Margaritas more than anyone else I’ve ever met. I read that Margaritas are most popular in the United States, over Mexico. About three years ago Sam and I went to Puerto Vallarta, we went on a tequila tasting tour and got to see how tequila is made. A byproduct of the tequila making process is Mezcal. I’ve seen it become more popular in the past few years. My dad gave Sam a bottle of Mezcal a few years ago because he said it’s an underrated alcohol. For now, I’ll stick to tequila.
Spicy and Sweet Chicken Wings
Time: 1 hour
E: My mother-in-law introduced me to these chicken wings two years ago at New Year’s Eve. They smell and taste SOOOOO good. The garlic, ginger, honey and chipotle give off a very pleasant asian-fusion smell. The honey makes them a little sticky, but the sweetness is perfect to cool off the spiciness from the chipotle.
As I was grocery shopping today, I figured I would make finger food since we were going to be watching the Golden State Warriors play in game 2 of the NBA playoffs. I made these along with some potato wedges. These are relatively easy to make. There is hardly any clean-up. Sometimes that’s a bigger factor than the time it actually takes to cook the meal. My mother-in-law got the recipe from “The Neelys,” a show on the Food network. I replaced the butter with canola oil. Enjoy. Let me know how they turned out.
Yield: 4 servings (serving size: 1 turnover about 330 calories)
E: I grew up in a family of 6 with three siblings. My brother and I were very close, he was about 1 year and a half apart from me. We spent our summers playing outside, riding our bikes, swimming, and shooting hoop in the cul de sac.
One summer, after swimming all-day, I decided to make empanadas as a surprise for my brother’s birthday. His birthday was on July 10th. Right in the middle of summer. I made like 4 empanadas, just for him. It’s nice to do little things like that to make people feel special. He didn’t have any brothers, just us three girls. In fact, I was the closest thing he had to a brother. I think that’s why I made these for him, I wanted to show him how much I loved him. Did I mention I was like in 9th grade?