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Fall is here! Clean out that fridge and freezer!

Well. Just six weeks ago my husband and I moved from one side of the country (east) to the southwest again. Now that the move is over fro...

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top 10 list for 2009! Happy New Year to everyone!

Hi all,

As, the year 2009 comes to an end and we ponder what happened over the last year. Let us take a little time to reflect back on the year. Here is my top 10 list.

1) Obama was the first black president elected in the US!
2) Michael Jackson (the king of POP) Died
3) Smart phones went crazy - remember the wait line to get the latest and greatest new tech toys (instinct, iphone, and so on)?? What about the apps and the push to become electronic and connected. Did all that being connectedness leave you with a feeling that you needed to "DISCONNECT" sometimes????
4) Sex Scandals (political, show biz - yeah I mean David Letterman) and the whole Tiger woods scandal which just got worse and worse - what the hell were they thinking??? Don't forget SEXTING (new buzz word)
5) H1N1 Flu scare - who has gotten their H1N1 shot??? Not me! Controversy abounds and altho I volunteer in a hospital why get the H1N1 shot if most people who are exposed to it do not get it. (namely my husband had the flu and I shared the bed and house and never got it)
6) Abuse is bad. Be it physical abuse of Chris Brown to his sweetie or the language of Kanye West's retort to women (will he ever learn)??? No, once is all it takes!
7) Facebook and UNFRIENDING people acting as your buds but who are lurking "sicko" types!
8) Gosslin vs Gosslin - have we been punished enough for watching "reality TV" already?
9) Susan Boyle - what a voice!
10) It's the 80's revisited! Wonder if the BIG HAIR IS COMING BACK??? Time to take all those old "hippie" clothes out of the closet!!!

So let's take a little time to ponder, think of those which you want to add to this list (or change altogether) and give thanks that even though the economic times are hard as hell right now we are alive and well. After all, hard times are supposed to build character, right? So, time now to think of those new years resolutions we are all thinking of. I won't put down "lose a few pounds" as we all know it is on my list and always will be! So, here goes, I for one will have a few resolutions for 2010.

1. To be a bit better at writing and providing updates on this blog!
2. Exercise more in 2010!
3. Find time to write everyday (or every other day).
4. Give thanks for what I have (rather dwelling on what I still need to work on even if they are goals)!
5. Take time to enjoy my family.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous new year in 2010!


Friday, December 4, 2009

Mexican Cuisine: December news

Mexican Cuisine: December news

Mexican Cuisine: December news

Mexican Cuisine: December news


December news

Hi everyone,

I highly recommend a recipe I tried during the Thanksgiving holidays. It is Libby's PUMPKIN ROLL.
I tried this recipe which was a special request by my daughter Lauren.

Here is the link for the pumpkin roll:  http://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/detail.aspx?ID=32372

Modifications:  YES

I did not add WALNUTS to the batter and I MODIFIED the filling.

I made half the cream cheese filling and combined that with an equal portion of "COOL WHIP". It was light and delicious and my guests from Australia (Hi Renee and Jorge) loved it as well.

I also have set up my website in anticipation of the Mexican cookbook publishing.

So, please visit my site:

Now then as for the Paella, I will be back with a recipe for you this weekend.


Friday, November 13, 2009


This is what Paella looks like. I am working on a recipe and will post that once I've had a chance to test!

Thursday, November 5, 2009


October has come and gone.

Had my "Intro" edited by my writer's group, the "Intro" is now updated, personalized and backed up. My wonderful hubby has helped with formatting the pages, yet again! In addition, since we sold our home in Texas I had to move everything. That move took over 2 weeks to complete! Then I headed off to Spain to sample some authentic Paella and other Spanish dishes, as well had a REAL vacation.

Madrid was wonderful; I tasted authentic TAPAS and had some lovely Spanish wine. However, I must admit I loved Barcelona and plan to head back to Spain some time. I also hit Malta, Italy and France while I was visiting Europe and must say that the Italian countryside was beautiful and the pasta and wine were delicious. Spain was clean as could as could be and Malta had some great wines as well. Southern France was great as was the French Riviera, and let me tell you those French women were trendy, slim and so well dressed. One thing, which I noticed about everyone in Europe, is that people there had not bitten off on the "rat race mentality" here in the states. So many people were out walking dogs, playing with their kids, enjoying and living life!

Now I have time to get back too that book. I just arrived in the states and will be working on the "Table of contents yet again" and uploading the softcopy of the book for approval. Expect the first copies of the book will be available in soft back copy. I uploaded the content for the hardback copy of the book (which will be a few dollars more) and will get that interior file uploaded and reviewed to check and see when it is ready to be published (more photos and a few more hints will be included in the hardback cookbook copy).

Therefore, November will be good, as I will be listing the book on Amazon.com as soon as the TOC is completed.

Ciao for now all!

Monday, September 28, 2009

DPI, Book Proof, Farmer's Market Produce, Cake, Basil and Pics Rant!

Well, I received the email I have been waiting for saying "my book proof was ready". I met the editing requirements. To rephrase "my pictures were at 219 DPI" the "best practice" for photos is to get them with @ 300 DPI, tried and tried to increase the DPI in my "food" photographs. While I am doing better than the original pictures count of 72 DPI, I am still not at 300 DPI. Therefore, my cookbook paperback will be at 219 DPI with black and white photos. I shall continue to strive to make the hardback book with color pictures as close to 300 DPI as I can. I hope that my picture taking skills improve, and that I have learned how to take "better pictures" or can do whatever it takes to get a "REALLY" good picture from this point forward.

That said I am awaiting proof number 2! I hope that my proof will arrive within the next few days and I can get the "marking aspect of selling this book: on the road this week and start offering my black and white paperback copy of Exploring Mexican Cuisine on my website and Amazon.com.

As for pics, I have tried to take pictures of tools I am using and have decided I will include a little more info and full color pictures in the full color hard back of my book, which will come out a few weeks later than the paperback copy of the cookbook.

I went to the local farmers market in Capitan this past weekend and got some gorgeous gigantic zucchini, fresh mountain grown huge tomatoes and some sprouted wheat bread. Today I went by my sister-in-laws place and grabbed a handful of fresh basil. To make the vegetable sauté I got out my sauté pan and I added:

1 T olive oil
1 quartered, sliced zucchini
2 roughly chopped slices of purple onion
1 large diced tomato
1 clove garlic
1/2 t each of fresh black pepper and sea salt

I let the onions wilt, added the fresh torn basil leaves, and let it all cook down until the basil had wilted. I served fresh cabbage with a CIDER VINEGAR Vinaigrette from my cookbook "Exploring Mexican Cuisine: Abuelita's Kitchen" along with smoked Cornish game hens which my husband had prepared. YUMMY. Then I made my carrot cake but substituted 1/2 of a fresh shredded zucchini to the "carrot cake" recipe and added 1 cup of pineapple cut in small chunks and made 1/2 recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting:

4 oz softened butter
4 oz softened cream cheese
2 cups of powdered sugar

Mix Cream cheese and butter well, add powdered sugar and mix well. It will cover the top of a whole cake 13" x 9". My husband loves the cake and it leaves allot for leftovers and I will freeze 1/2 the cake in individual servings so he can grab it/defrost it whenever he wants it.

Now, to start on the article pertaining to fall in the Mountains, which my NM Writers Club is writing. I still need to put up that carrot, zucchini, and pineapple cake with cream cheese frosting, which is sitting in my kitchen right now.

Um, maybe time for a VERY SMALL late night snack and a glass of milk!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Dreaded pictures for the cookbook

We have our pet peeves and I for one have more than one! Really! I do! But shhh!

Pictures, the taking of pictures and the taking of  "Food Pictures" specifically has been so tedious as of late. That is to say - well, really what I'm trying to say is these latest pictures were not happily taken and not knowing the process of "how to take pictures of food". Well it is simple to say, many have opinions however no REAL SUBSTANCE nor "HELP" could be found in some who where experts as apparently taking pictures of food is well an "ART". I have searched high and low and found some photo sites to peruse and learned more by doing and yes, listening. So, with that I will let you know that I am going to start posting pictures, ALLOT of pictures. Some pictures will NOT make it into the Mexican cookbook and I am going to throw recipes alongside of those pictures which do make into the blog. 

First, I intend to play catch up. I have finished my content for the Mexican cookbook - yet again! I think this is the 7th revision this year and yes it takes 1 - 2 years to get a book completed. I'm awaiting the editor comments back which generally will take 2 - 3 weeks. I will be shooting the dreaded "Food" pictures again as the last ones were so disappointing . Seriously I need 300 DPI or close to that to make into the cookbook. SERIOUSLY!!!

Here is a great site which has great stuff for food writers, food bloggers and of course food pictures!!!


That said. Now on to pictures, waiting for editor comments before I submit for my final proofs and on to writing more stories and getting more stuff published! Polish, polish, polish!

Preparing the vegetables for a fritata in a frying pan photo:

An onion in the process of being diced and then vegetables on a cutting board -- testing cropping and blocking:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Carne Guisada and Mexican Coleslaw

Tonight I substituted ground turkey meat for the ground beef in my "CARNE GUISADA" recipe. Like the addition of fresh diced poblano peppers and sauteed onions which add flavor but also to make the recipe go a little further.

Apple Cider Vinegar in the "Mexican Coleslaw" allowed the coleslaw to have a bright taste. Refreshing and a welcome change to the regular milky looking coleslaw dressing we are all so used to seeing.

The Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas were to die for! No butter, they did not need it! Instead of the plain "All Purpose" tortillas I replaced 1/4 of the weight of the flour with WHOLE WHEAT flour. Bought a scale to measure out flour by weight and began using it!

Note:  Big change!!! Noticed that my weight has dropped a couple of pounds in the last two weeks by tweaking the ingredients and walking 30 minutes a day x 4 times a week, doing Hatha Yoga most days of the week for at least 15 minutes. Drinking more water, using olive oil, fresh garlic, sea salt, and using complex carbs and lots of fresh vegetables. Only one WW tortilla at a meal twice a day.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Pumpkin Empanadas

I love PUMPKIN Empanadas. However, I especially love the PUMPKIN EMPANADAS! So, while I was looking through my recipes I decided that I needed to look high and low for the recipe. Here it is:

1 - 16 oz can of Libby's Pumpkin
3/4 cup sugar
1 t anise
1 t allspice
2 cups all purpose flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t sea salt
2/3 cup vegetable shortening
2/3 cup milk
1 egg, beaten

Coating: 3 T sugar w/2 t cinnamon

Tear a  sheet of parchment paper to fit a large baking sheet. In a small bowl combine pumpkin, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 t anise, and allspice. Taste and add 1/2 cup more of sugar if desired.

Sift the flour, 1/4 cup sugar, baking powder and salt in a med bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse meal. Add the milk and the remaining anise, stir until mixed. Turn onto a floured board and knead it a few times. Roll out in circles about 3 - 4 inches in diameter. Repeat the process. Place 1 T pumpkin on each half of dough. brush edges with cold water and fold, seal with tines of a fork. Brush w/ beaten egg.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Bake for 12 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar/cinnamon mixture during the last 2 minutes of baking.

Sunday, September 6, 2009


OK, I do admit that I've been experimenting with different kinds of Guacamole. Mango, Pineapple, and so on. Here is a really good recipe I came up with recently when I came across some Mexican Regional specialty cooking.

Salsa de Aguacate

1 Jalapeno, minced
4 springs Cilantro, minced
1 ripe Avocado, cubed
1/2 t sea salt
2 T Vinegar

Mash Avocado in a bowl, add rest of ingredients. Mix in salt to taste and add a little fresh cracked black pepper if you wish.

This recipe won't be in the cookbook but I think it tastes pretty good!

Try it.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I'm working on the content for Carne Asada recipe. I have been editing the content and filling in the missing recipes.
Would you believe I just had to have some Beef with vegetables ASIAN STYLE today. So , no pictures of mexican food today.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Exploring Mexican Cuisine

First of all "Thanks" for visiting my blog site. This is the home of "Exploring Mexican Cuisine" due out in 2009. The book will be available for sale at the following sites:
(amazon.com site to be updated)

I plan to start posting to this blog as of September 2009. I will include recipes, photos and many healthy twists on Mexican dishes and how you can create these nutritious dishes.

Feel free to email me @ abuelitaskitchen@gmail.com

Also, if you wish to order a signed copy of my book please feel free to email me @ abuelitaskitchen@gmail.com