Salsa making has never been so much fun!

Archive for March, 2010

Making Friends via our Blog

Most of you reading our blog have been to our Tour in Mazatlan (for those who haven’t, we hope to see you soon!).  We recently launched our website and would like to thank everyone for their kind words and feedback.  There are a few new things heading our way for the site, including cool videos, more pictures and brand new recipes.

Last week was lots of fun!  We had four days of Salsa and Salsa, a total of six ships!  We had everything from a ten year old girl, to a couple celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary (needless to say, they were oh so in love, it was adorable!).  Unfortunately, our camera broke last week, so we have been relying on guests to send us their photos.  This little video was sent to us recently and we just had to show you what happens when you begin the day with two shots of Tequila! 

Can’t help but to have fun!

We do love hearing from you all. We’ve made new acquaintances via the blog too!

Jessica at has a great blog, her dairy free recipes are a sure winner!

Nancy at shares all things Mazatlan and more.

Michael (or Yod, that’s what everyone calls him) at is a friend who moved to Mazatlan and shares his quirky tales of mischief.
* If you have a blog or website that you think our readers would be interested in, please send us an email with the link and a short blurb *

We totally love getting photos from you too!   Jeff and Patty had a Salsa Party at home, and were kind enough to send us their photos.

We now also offer SALSA IN A BOX, everything you need to make your very own Salsa and Salsa Party at home!  We have them in sets of 4, 8 and 12.  Check them out here!

Weather is starting to get hot hot hot in Mazatlan.  Time to start working on the tan and getting in shape again 😉

Looking forward to April,


(aka Dancing Chef)


Salsa and Salsa has officially launched their website!

It’s taken a lot of time and oh so much energy, but we are so excited to announce that our website is finally up and running!  We have everything from Recipe of the Month, Photo of the Month, videos, information about Mazatlan and of course, the Salsa Store.

Our Homepage will keep you coming back with Recipe of the Month, Photo of the Month and Testimonials, as well as our Aspirin Count on LELA the PIG (more on LELA later!).  Need stuff for your kitchen?!  We got it all, with Salsa Products that will have you Salsa Making in no time!

Want to show your friends how much fun you had on the tour?!  Send them a link to our Photo Gallery!  You’ve heard us say it before, but we simply LOVE LOVE LOVE getting your Salsa photos.  It reminds us everyday that we are bringing joy and laughter to thousands of people from across the globe!

Our Salsa Store has everything Salsa!  Ask us about ‘Salsa in a Box’, it has everything you could possibly need to host your very own Salsa Party at home.  From aprons to chef hats, we got you covered!  Need more recipes?  We have a variety of cookbooks that will have you Salsa making all year round.  Our best-seller ‘Salsa for all Seasons’ takes you through every season and utilizes all the fruits and vegetables that come into season every year.

Your Two Dancing Chefs even have a page!  We thought it would be fun to have a little info on us on the site…we get to know you all so well, it’s only fair you get to know us!

We look forward to hearing your feedback on the site.   Send us your comments, tell us what you thought, what stood out and don’t forget to share your testimonials (if you’ve been to the show).  We’d like to thank all our guests, past, present and future for all their support and encouragement…without you guys, this dream would never have become a reality 🙂

Keep your dreams alive,


You’re our heroes!

Ever wonder where so many people come from, what they do, what they think? I don’t either!

But I do think about how to make them smile. Maybe just a little laugh a minuscule jolt of joy. Making people feel good about themselves. We don’t know where all the 93 people are coming from this morning for our Salsa tour, but what we do know is how to show them a good time.

For the few hours we all get together we laugh and dance and cook and share songs, well sometimes we  could do without the sharing songs part but above all our time together is about connecting.

We like to bring attention to someone who may very likely be swept up in a world spinning at such a pace where most people are forgotten, neglected. Where we are left standing miraculously, clutching our computers with hurricane force winds surrounding our everyday duties and lives.

Vacations are about spending time with loved ones, meeting new loved ones and or forgetting about old loves!

Just like that our lives begin to bloom again.

Breath, your taking time out for yourself! what a concept! remember that person you grew up with, that survivor you became after the divorce, that illness,that hero you were helping strangers. Your the sister or brother, Mom or Dad to your crazy siblings and even crazier in-laws. Need I say more?

These 93 people sitting in front of us,with their chef hats on, wearing aprons ready for action are our heroes!
Travelers passing through teaching us, sharing with us and raising glasses, in the pursuit of happiness…

Salud! Dinero and mucho mucho Amor!


Routines are like Old Friends…

One of the things I like about life, and our Salsa show, is a solid routine. There is something comforting in a routine.  Knowing the pace, the time, the payoff.  Some people don’t like routines, they want something different everyday, something exciting and challenging.  But for me routines are like old friends, you can count on them.

I think what happens, like anything, we take our routines for granted.  What was once an exciting ride to the beach can become boring.  Some people don’t even see the ocean while driving along the shore.  Come on people, start living your lives, quit waiting for all the stars to line up, they wont!

First stop, Starbucks, hello to our friends, maybe a blueberry muffin, maybe a sandwich, today just the coffee.
Next stop the hotel.  This is where the routine comes alive.  Everything in its place, tequila shot glasses poured, fruit and vegetables cut and sliced and filled, and always a new face, a new waiter.  Do we have to train him again?

Ingredients are ready, the drinks are poured and in a few minutes 50-100 people will be waiting in line to join the show.
“Your aprons and chef hats are on your chairs, please put them on when you are seated!”

All routine, all organized – but wait, then something starts to happen…that annoying little thing, like wind or rain, all interrupt our wonderful routine.  The timing starts to change, I glance at my watch and realize we might have to move the entire show from outside to inside in 20 minutes. I call the dock to see if we can hold the passengers a few more minutes, then that gripping feeling ravishes my body when they say, “the buses just left!”

I notice rain falling over the ocean in the distance. I stop and look up at the clouds and waiting to see which way the rain is moving……then Holy Guacamole just like that its coming our way. Who would arrive first the passengers or the rain. No time to wonder, lets move inside fast! Wait ,  we are in Mexico nothing happens fast,Holy Guacamole again, lets just move!…………
I run to find help, anybody, everybody, I pass the hotel owners sitting comfortably having breakfast and with a shrill I ask them for all hands on deck.
The bellboys, the handymen, everybody starts to pick up round tables of 8 , entirely covered with dishes, food and drinks and table after table get moved over to a new enclosed area. Wooden bar chairs are flying out of the bar on one side and plastic table chairs are shuffled in through the other.

Everyone goes into first gear, Okay well, Pamela and I go into first gear, but since we are driving it is okay that everyone else rides alongside……… much to do, we have to be ready, lets go……….. lets go….
The sound system is dragged in and the final touches are added to each table.
Pamela and I look at each other and realize we have just done the impossible AGAIN!
Last week we took over the lobby of the hotel. It was completely out of routine, our sweet wonderful routine. Hotel guests looked bewildered stepping off the elevator into a lobby of 86 chefs complete with chef hats ,aprons and those fantastic margarita smiles ,all of them shouting “OLE!’.

I wondered what the new arriving hotel guests thought when the taxi pulled up and close to a hundred chefs were all dancing in the lobby. They probably thought is was some kind of swinging place, this hotel. “Nah couldn’t be the welcoming committee.”

Routines are great and anytime we fall out of routine we are tested.
Next time you feel like complaining about your routine, stop and think about how lucky you really are to have a reasonably safe life without to much change in your routines.
Remember routines are responsibilities cousin, and when we can live a responsible life people can count on us. And when people can count on us they can trust us, after all isn’t that what we all want anyway, for people to trust us and depend on us.
What makes my life so great is that from the moment everyone arrives,while I search through my opening dialogue, I kiss my sweet routine for being there with me. I can count on my routine most days. But when routines are lost I realize it a passing adventure I need to stand up to.
So next time your bored or feeling dumpy, think about all the things that are routine in your life. Each one a friend, with a subtle tap on your shoulder that  whispers ” hey lucky you” relax, everything is going according to routine.



Starbucks in Mazatlan

Although not new to Mazatlan, our local Starbucks has become a haven for your Two Dancing Chefs!  Meetings, wind downs, wind ups and chance encounters frequently occur at our favorite coffee house.  A lot of travelers don’t realize Mazatlan has a Starbucks…in fact, it’s been here a little over a year now, maybe a little more (late 2008?), however it is hidden from the main drag and therefore not easy to see.

There is nothing better than entering an establishment that greets you by your first name, with a smile (and sometimes a smart remark!) – it just makes you feel part of something…  actually, I remember being a total coffee snob!  Having grown up in Melbourne, Australia (and I say grown up lightly!), coffee is a part of the culture.  But, I found a huge difference in the coffee culture in Nth America than that of Australia.  When I spent one year in Canada, coffee was simply something you picked up on your way to somewhere.  It needed to be quick, hot and preferably cheap.

In Melbourne, I found drinking coffee was more an experience.  You had to sit and drink your coffee.  You could read a little, whether it be a magazine, a favorite book or the daily paper.  I remember sitting at a coffee house for hours, ordering two or three coffees.  A latte had a milky/creamy head, just like a well poured beer…Espressos were rich in flavor, thick too, and a good barista knew that the pour had to be slow and served immediately.  You would meet friends for coffee, catch up with old acquaintances with coffee and everyone had their favorite place to meet.

I found that traveling through the States, the same ‘had to be quick and on the go’ attitude applied around the country…it really made me miss Melbourne coffee.  But then I re-discovered it at our Mazatlan Starbucks.  Now, don’t get me wrong, I’ll take a Melbourne latte any day of the week, but as I said, that feeling of wanting to sit and enjoy a coffee has returned.

You can find Starbucks Mazatlan at Paseo Lomas de Mazatlán 102, corner of Cerro de Cubilete (behind HSBC).  Their hours of operations are Monday-Sunday 07:00 to 23:00.  From our Salsa and Salsa show, they are a 4 minute walk down the street!  Be sure to ask us how to get there.

I’ve added two fun pics of the fellas at our Mazatlan Starbucks…they have really become more than just the guys who give us coffee, so a big hello to them all!  If you happen to find your way there (oh, and btw, they all speak fluent English!) be sure to tell them we sent you 😉

Geraldo (left), Leonique and Mauro

Geraldo, Pamela, Edgardo, Mauro

Looking forward to a busy week…6 ships in this week, so will need those extra shots of coffee and a double dose of energy!  Till then,

The coffee fiend,

Pamela Hormazabal

(aka Dancing Chef)

Carnival Splendor! The Fun Ship Indeed!

Leonique and I recently added a new member to the Salsa team.  Her name is Maaike (pronounced Mike-ah).  She is from Holland also (like Leonique) and she is the perfect balance to help us with the ever-growing success of SALSA AND SALSA!  Welcome to the team Maaike!

Carnival Splendor was docked in our lovely city yesterday, and boy oh boy do they know how to have fun!  We had everything in this bunch, young and old (can I say that?!), Americans, Canadians, drinkers, non-drinkers but they all had one thing in common…they all wanted to simply enjoy themselves and enjoy their time in Mazatlan.

I have to share the story of the three couples, none of whom knew each other…but by the end of the tour, were best friends!  One was from Alabama, the other Vegas (woohoo! go Vegas) and the other from Oklahoma.  Two of the fellas were in the Airforce so we made them come up and sing their Airforce song…10 points for getting up in front of everyone and giving it a go…but only 3 points for singing off key hahaha!  Good job guys.

As always, we started with our Margaritas, and Billy (he’s the one with the white head thing!) informed us he had never made a Margarita, let alone tried one, so how exciting to be the first to give him that experience!

As the day progressed, their table got louder and louder, which was really quite entertaining for everyone else.  We certainly hope you all find each other once you get back home – finding people you get along with is hard to do, but both Leonique and I have many many overseas friends and we both truly love staying in touch with them all.

We had a great recipe idea from one of the passengers yesterday.  I’m pretty sure his name was Nick, but don’t hold me to that!  Anyway, Nick suggested we put up a recipe for Queso Fundido (Mexican Melted Cheese).  We thought what a great idea, so here it is:

Serving Suggestion



1 lb Chihuahua Cheese, or Oaxacan Cheese or Monterrey Cheese (If you do not have access to a local Mexican grocer, Mozarella works just as well)

1 Poblano Chile, finely chopped, seeded

2 tbsp Olive Oil

2 Garlic Cloves, minced

1 lb Fresh Mushrooms, stem removed, cap quartered

You will need:

Molcajete and Manita (Mexican Mortar and Pestle – available for purchase on

Frying Pan


Cutting Board

Sharp Knife

  • In a skillet or frying pan, heat on low 1/2 tsp of oil.  Fry garlic and poblano until garlic begins to brown.  Remove from heat.
  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (185 degrees C)
  • Add to your Molcajete and mush till it becomes a paste.
  • Add the remaining oil and mush for one minute.
  • In skillet, or frying pan, add mushrooms and fry for 10 mins.  Remove from heat and set aside.
  • Add cheese to Molcajete and mix into chile and garlic paste.
  • Place Molcajete into oven and allow cheese to melt (about 10-15 mins)
  • Remove from oven (be careful, will be very hot!) and serve immediately.

**If you have a broiler, place Molcajete under broiler for 5 mins or until golden on top.  Also, if you’re feeling creative, fry up some bell pepper and onions and serve on top (see picture!)  YUM!  Serve with warm tortillas and your favorite salsa!  Enjoy! **

Let us know what you think of the recipe!  Request your recipe or share your recipe with other fellow Salsa and Mexican cuisine lovers! We’ll take great joy in sharing your family recipes…but make sure you send us your photo, we have to put a face to the recipe!  😉

Now I’m hungry… off to the kitchen!


Pamela Hormazabal

(Dancing Chef)

Not everyone loves their jobs…

When we decided to write a blog for Salsa and Salsa, we sat down and story boarded ideas, concepts and themes.  We weren’t sure we wanted to keep a day to day log of every ship, people’s names and funny events/situations that occurred during shows.  We see a lot of people each week and keeping track of everyone seemed like a daunting task.  But what we have come to see, is that people, their stories and their personalities speak for themselves.

Salsa and Salsa Promo 1

Salsa and Salsa Video

For example, today we had Mariner of the Seas and the Sapphire Princess docked in port.  Both fun cruises, both with a good mix of ages and origins.  We had some Cowboy fans, as well as gals from Chicago (CHI-TOWN!), boys from Brisbane  and a couple from Alaska…to name a few.  Not to mention the family of 6, traveling together, enjoying each others company! (Tom the dad, Tyler and his partner, and Tony aka Cody and his respective other also).  We had another two couples from Brissy, who btw, did not know the boys from Brisbane! (lol).

It’s amazing to think so many nationalities, let alone ages, and walks of life, can come together and share such fun times in such a small amount of time!  Leonique and I get so fired up every morning, with the excitement of seeing those first passengers arrive through the doors…we always love the fact that they have no idea how much fun they are about to embark on, and we feel honored to be able to provide you guys with awesome memories, great photos, fantastic recipes and unforgettable moments!  Not everyone loves their jobs as much as we do…we love getting up in the morning, picking up our morning coffee from Starbucks and heading over to the Hotel Las Flores to help set up for the tour.  How many people can say their job is located in a 4 star hotel, with beach views, sunny weather, where you get to cook, dance, laugh and sometimes (if you’re lucky) sing!  We are truly blessed, and best of all, your TWO DANCING CHEFS are best friends, so we joke around A LOT and make fun of each other at any given opportunity!  A real recipe for greatness is working and surrounding yourself with people that make you feel special, and we were both lucky enough to find each other.  🙂

I’ve been playing around with the Salsa Camera the last few weeks, with the intention of putting together a fun You Tube video to share with you all.  It’ll be made up of snippets of clips from the show.  I plan to start on it as soon as I finish this entry, so fingers crossed I don’t get angry at my Windows Movie Maker (what is it with that thing?!  How has Microsoft NOT come up with a solution to fix the annoying bug that program has?!)  In the process of getting all the IT stuff for Salsa and Salsa up and running, we started our own Salsa Channel on You Tube <CLICK HERE to subscribe> !  or simply click on the photo above to see the Salsa video.

As I mentioned in our first post, we will be sharing video, recipes and more, but we would like to hear from you…Have you been to our tour?  What did you think of it?  Got any cool pics you would like to share?  What recipe would you just kill for?!

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Pamela Hormazabal

(Dancing Chef)

The Salsa and Salsa Blog has arrived…

Well, our Salsa Blog was finally born today.  It’s a girl!  LOL.

It’s always hard to start something like this, I find it difficult to know where to start, but in the words of Julie Andrews “let’s start at the very beginning!”…

For those who have never heard of us, we are the ‘Two Dancing Chefs’, Leonique Vandeveerdonk and Pamela Hormazabal.

Leonque Vandeveerdonk and Pamela Hormazabal
Two Dancing Chefs

We run a tour named ‘Salsa and Salsa’ in Mazatlan, Mexico.  Now, you might just be thinking why on earth would a tour need a blog, well, the simple truth is that we see and meet over 1,000 people a month.  Although we truly enjoy staying in email contact with everyone, we thought it was high time we moved with the times and got ourselves a Blog.

Here, you’ll not only get to know us, (and trust me, we’re a hoot!) you’ll also get to see and hear from our guests.  We want to share recipes with you, videos of the tour, videos we make purely for fun, instructional videos, as well as photos, links and lots of entertaining info that will transform you into a Mexican kitchen Virtuoso (that’s whiz, and yes I had to look it up!).  The tour is made up of interactive fun for everyone who attends.  We teach people to make REAL Margaritas and then take them through step by step how to make traditional Mexican salsas.  Once the salsa making class is over, we polish our dance shoes and teach everyone to dance the salsa, hence the name ‘Salsa and Salsa’ (I can see those light bulbs turning on! ).

Salsa Table
Ready for Action

We are primarily a Cruise Ship tour, so bookings are done through a Shore Ex Rep.  We service most major Cruise lines, including Carnival, Holland America, Princess and Royal Caribbean.  We are currently working on a local show for non-ship days, so stay tuned for more details on that!

Today, we had both Marnier of the Seas and Sapphire Princess docked, so we entertained a number of passengers. Let’s see if I can remember names…hmmm…well, we do have volunteers join us at the Head Table, so I can remember their names, Tim – who is better known as Ricky Tikki Timbo (don’t ask), Steve – who I’m sure is utterly and madly in love with his wife (he couldn’t wait to get back to the table where she was and when he did he laid a nice big kiss and told her he missed her…awww…) and we also had the newly engaged JC and his fiancee Jenny.  The two Sharon’s also graced us with their presence and they sure did have a good time!

The cooking is of course, only 1/2 the fun.  Once we are done making salsa, we dance the salsa.  I have to tell you, if I had a dollar every time a wife said “you won’t get my husband to dance Salsa”… I’m pretty persuasive, and 3 hours of drinking all-you-can-drink Margarita’s certainly helps the cause!  Well, I could go on and on about the tour, but best leave you wanting to know more…stay tuned for videos and pics!