Salsa making has never been so much fun!

Archive for April, 2010

Lela the Pig reaches Haiti!

For those who have yet to visit our new website, we have a section on there about LELA, our donation Pig.  Her mission is to collect 250,000 paracetamol tablets and send them to where they are needed most.  Every time we have ships docked in port, we bring her out and people give what they can to help her reach her goal.  If you haven’t seen her in action, take a quick peek at our Facebook Lela Album, where we have over 150 photos of people donating and holding (and recently kissing!) little Lela.

Lela the Pig

Lela is an integral part of our tour.  It’s our way of  “giving back”…

Since January 2010, we have collected nearly $1000USD from guests who have donated to each worthy cause.

Jan 14 – Feb  27              donations went to Haiti (after the devastating earthquake there)

Feb 28 – April 6              donations going to Chile (a personal cause, as I was born there and have most of my family there…)

April 7                               donations going to West Virginia (a horrible mining accident killed a total of 29 miners)

April 8 – present            donations going to Chile (so much work and help is still needed there…we just don’t hear about it anymore)

We have been lucky enough to find a contact for each cause.  For Haiti, we had a lovely young lady named Kara Telesmanick join the tour back in March and found out she had been working in Haiti with children when the earthquake happened.  Kara was on a mission of her own, to help undernourished children with the CNP (Children’s Nutrition Program of Haiti).  Have a quick look at the You Tube video for what they are about 😉   (**a special thanks to Laura Lindroth for her help and attention**)

Payment was made to CNP for Haiti

We are proud to say we raised a total of $413USD for Haiti and look forward to sharing photos with you in relation to the kids in Haiti.

Here are Salsa and Salsa, we try our hardest to give back and ask that if you have friends or relatives that are able to donate, that you send them the link to this blog post 🙂  The more people that are aware of these disasters, the more help each cause will receive.

Leonique reminded me the day the Haiti donation was made, that we should take a moment out of our busy schedules to remember those who had passed on from each disaster.  I had plans to go out for my friends birthday, and as I sat there in a nice fancy restaurant, looking at my fancy food and drinking my fancy wine, Leonique’s words echoed in my head and I took a moment to be grateful for what I had…sometimes we take for granted the simple things.

Thanks to all those who have helped make Lela the Pig such a great success.  Donations online are always welcome and appreciated.  We will keep you always informed as to her paracetamol count, available on the bottom left hand corner of our website!

Not to change the subject – but totally changing the subject hehehe – check out my interview at Expat Alley, where my friend Tom Frost asks me about traveling, Mazatlan, Salsa and more!

Happy days!



It really is a small world!

I am fascinated by numbers. Not so much the nerdy math side of numbers (sorry nerds), like Algebra, or 4 pie squared, the intriguing “what are the odds of that happening ?’ side of math – the odds…  For some of you, mainly those I have had the pleasure in chatting with personally, know I like to dabble a little in Texas Hold’em Poker.  Odds play a HUGE part in my game, and as in my game, odds play a huge role in my life.

Ever wondered how small the world is?  I do, as a matter of fact, I do ALL THE TIME!

Take, for example, the two girls on the Salsa tour today…  both from Australia and both from Melbourne (my hometown).  Okay, so not that far fetched I hear you say. You probably ran into a good dozen people from your home state on your last vacation, right?

Okay, how about the girl (again from Melbourne) who works around the corner from the Shopping Mall that I spent countless of weekends prancing around with my teenage friends and actually worked in for 3 years,  back in 1996?  I mean, that’s narrowing in, isn’t it?

Still not convinced?  Ok, how’s this one?!  What about the girl who showed up at Salsa and Salsa with her fiancee, who we soon discovered was my classmate in high school!

Now what are the odds of THAT?!

Funny Australian Map

Well, let’s break it down a little – so we can get some perspective here : I’m all about fun facts 😉

195 countries in the world, right? (according to and I’m counting Taiwan – coz I’m cool like that  lol)

6,838,128,000 people in the world…and counting (according to

22,222,934 of those people are in Australia (according to

and of those 22,222,934,  just over 4 million are in Melbourne.

I mean, I can go on and on with numbers here… of all the cruises in the world…of all the shore excursions in the world… (now I’m starting to sound like Humphrey Bogart “…of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine.“) but my point is that if this happens to me, then I know it’s happening to you!

I like to think I’m a magnet of energy, good energy of course, so fingers crossed, in 5, 10, 15 or even 20 years from now, be assured that our paths will cross again.  Who knows?  Your TWO DANCING CHEFS might end up in Greece, or Croatia, or even Australia, so when you take your next cruise – guess who’ll be standing there with their little chef hats?!  hehehe

I hope you take from this a little fresh perspective.  The world is small, there isn’t THAT many people on it…get out there and meet more people!  What have you got to lose?!  Making new friends may be just that pick me up you need 🙂

Making Friends is easy!

Try it, just say hello to a stranger!



A Molca-what?


This week we entertained hundreds of lively cruise ship passengers.  Both Spring Break and Easter allows us to  include children and teens along with their parents on the salsa and salsa tour.
We both agree as many parents do that teaching your children how to cook is equal to teaching them to manage money. The result is always a more prosperous, productive and healthy life.

At Salsa and Salsa we want people to walk away from our tour feeling like they can experiment with new foods and not feel intimidated while walking through the grocery store.

Imagine walking down the aisle and your son or daughter asking you if you have enough tomatillos (green tomatoes with husk)or cilantro. Now there is meaning of success. Understanding the foods we eat is essential in this day and age,teaching your children about nutrition should be on the top of your list as a Parent, Grand Parent,Auntie or Uncle.

Many of you have culinary gadgets and things your not sure how to use, what they do, or how to clean in your kitchens but here in our Mexican kitchen and in at least 4000 other kitchens that we know of, the Molcajete is the most valuable cooking utensil.
The molcajete was first used in pre-Hispanic cultures over a 1000 years ago. It was the main cooking utensil used by the Aztecs and Mayans. The first molcajetes were made out of clay and used to grind, spices,salsas, nuts and berries.
Today we keep that tradition alive in our show.

Have a fresh salsa ready and mixed in minutes.
People of all ages love using the molcajete because its fun, okay a bit tedious at times (to many margaritas) but the flavors are terrific. Kids enjoy sitting in the kitchen using the molcajete with you,while they learn about the different ingredients in the food.
I remember once a small boy at our show telling me how he hated guacamole. Strong words for a little one but none the less I am sure he never realized that avocados were the main ingredient. I showed him how to carefully open the avocado and take out the seed. Then we spooned out the meat and began to mush it in the molcajete. He loved the messy mashing part, what kid doesn’t? Then we took a taquito and dipped it in the bowl,just like that…. Mikey liked it! I giggled to myself how we as parents tend to sway our children at times with our opinions about food rather then to let them form their own. Many of you have written to us over the years on how your using your molcajete,below I will end with some of the fun uses we received. (Check out the Holy Guacamole inter-active kids cookbook)

When using your molcajete try and keep the food in the center of the bowl. Press and roll with your little pestle, the clay bat shaped object used to crush the ingredients. Do not stomp in your bowl as the food will splatter on you. The pestle also known as the manita (little hand) can become covered with foods as you begin the grinding process. Just lift the manita and scrape it on the lip of the bowl or use a knife to push the food back to the center of the bowl.
The bowls clean in just seconds with warm soapy water, ready for the next task.

Discover the joy of the molcajete, roast your ingredients before hand and keep them refrigerated. Then during the week get ready,press and you’ve got a salsa in minutes. Molcajetes stay out on the counter in our kitchens for daily use,like blenders, coffee makers or any other cooking utensil.
Other uses include: Facials,  add yogurt and avocado for a super facial mask, try a banana and honey mask or papaya and cucumber. They are all great hydrating masks. The strangest one we received was the strawberry toothpaste but now one of my favorites. Put a couple of fresh strawberries in your molcajete and mush, after it turns into a paste ,scoop it up with your toothbrush. Crush walnuts, almonds, pecans in your molcajete and add as topping to ice cream or yogurt.
Molcajetes make great gifts,fill them with small bottles of salsas,little bags of spices or a lime squeezer and your ready for that Cinco De Mayo Celebration!
Also remember to check out the Kids cookbook on sale this summer called Holy Guacamole, its fun inter-active cookbook filled with puzzles,tips,recipes and a Mexican language guide.



Laugh a little…it’s good for you!

Just a few more days and a couple of hundred passengers later, we jump right into April.  Now, I love April!  It’s the beginning of all things bright and beautiful.  Actually, I woke up this morning humming that song from the ‘Sound of Music’…”raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens“…  Spring is definitely here, and you can feel it in the air.

Unlike a lot of places I have lived, Mazatlan is one of the few places where the weather is consistently warm and sunny.  Apart from Hurricane Season (Sept – Oct), we are blessed with sunny skies, blue waters and lots and lots of humidity!  Having lived in Melbourne and Vancouver BC (both with similar weather patterns – both very similar to Seattle weather), it’s kinda nice to not wake up to grey skies, rainy days and all that jazz.  Here though, when Spring arrives, something changes…  not only does the weather heat up, but things come alive.  People seem happier.

I’ll always be the first to tell you that happiness will cure EVERYTHING!  Ask your doctor.  He’ll tell you the same thing I will, if you are happy, you will live longer.  If you are happy, you are more likely not to get sick.  Jump on Google.  Look up secrets to living a long life, and you’ll find time and time again, those people who live to 100 or 110, when asked what their secret is, they all reply the same thing    “Just…be…happy…

Some of us forget to be happy.  We let the day to day things clog up our mind.  At Salsa and Salsa, we try hard (well, not too hard, coz we REALLY are quite goofy, it just comes naturally hahaha), but we enjoy making you laugh.  Laughter is really one of the best medicines.

It’s important to remember to laugh.  I have a “Joke of the Day” email sent to me everyday, I read it first thing in the morning.  I also have friends and family constantly sending me silly jokes or interesting facts (I love facts!) that will give me a giggle…  here’s a few facts that will give you a little chuckle (if you haven’t laughed in a while, this is a good way to ease into a rolling on the floor laughter 😉 )

In the 1400's a law was set forth in England that a man was allowed
to beat his wife with a stick no thicker than his thumb. Hence we have
'the rule of thumb'
--------- --------- --------- ----
Many years ago in Scotland , a new game was invented. It was ruled 'Gentlemen
Only...Ladies Forbidden'.. .and thus, the word GOLF entered into the English language.
--------- --------- --------- ----
The first couple to be shown in bed together on prime time TV was Fred and Wilma
--------- --------- --------- ----
Every day more money is printed for Monopoly than the U.S. Treasury.
-- ------------ --------- --------
Men can read smaller print than women can; women can hear better.
--------- --------- --------- ----
Coca-Cola was originally green.
--------- --------- --------- ----
It is impossible to lick your elbow.
--------- --------- --------- ----
The percentage of Africa that is wilderness: 28% (now get
--------- --------- --------- ----
The percentage of North America that is wilderness: 38%
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven:
$ 16,400
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Intelligent people have more zinc and copper in their hair..
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Each king in a deck of playing cards represents a great king from history:
Spades - King David
Hearts - Charlemagne
Clubs -Alexander,the Great
Diamonds - Julius Caesar
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
111,111,111 x
111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987, 654,321
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
If a statue in the park of a person on a horse has both front legs in the air,
the person died in battle. If the horse has one front leg in
the air, the person died because of wounds received in battle.
If the horse has all four legs on the ground, the person died
of natural causes
--------- --------- --------- --------- -----
Q. Most boat owners
name their boats. What is the most popular boat name
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Q.. If you were to
spell out numbers, how far would you have to go until you
would find the letter 'A'?
A. One thousand
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Q. What do bulletproof vests, fire escapes, windshield wipers and laser
printers have in common?
A. All were invented by women.
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Q. What is the only food that doesn't spoil?
A. Honey
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Q. Which day are there more collect calls than any other day of the
A. Father's Day
--------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the
wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with
all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because
their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the
honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
At least 75% of people who read this will try to lick their
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------
Don't delete this
just because it looks weird.
Believe it or not, you can read it.

I cdnuolt blveiee
taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg.. The
phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at
Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the
ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the
first and last ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a
taotl mses and you can still raed it wouthit a porbelm. This
is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by
istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh?
--------- --------- --------- --------- --------- ---------

1. You accidentally
enter your PIN on the microwave.

2. You haven't
played solitaire with real cards in years.

3. You have a list
of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of

4. You e-mail the
person who works at the desk next to you.

5. Your reason for
not staying in touch with friends and family is that they
don't have e-mail addresses.

6. You pull up in
your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is
home to help you carry in the groceries.

7. Every commercial
on television has a web site at the bottom of the screen

8. Leaving the house
without your cell phone, which you didn't even have the first
20 or 30 years of your life, is now a cause for panic
and you turn around to go and get it.

10. You get up in
the morning and go on line before getting your

11. You start
tilting your head sideways to smile. : )

12 You're reading
this and nodding and laughing.

13. Even worse, you
know exactly to whom you are going to forward this

14. You are too busy
to notice there was no #9 on this list.

15. You actually
scrolled back up to check that there wasn't a #9 on this

FINALLY~~~~~ ~~~~~~~


! Go lick your

Education and LAUGHTER is the best provision for the journey to old age.

Have a wonderful day,


Spring is here!

This week marks the beginning of Easter week. For us living here it means crowded beaches, lots and lots of families from the US and Mexico, everyone sharing in the spring spirit and of course the glorious weather.
In spring time our lives blossom, friendships bloom in celebration of life. It’s a time to come from within out, a time for gratitude, replenishing our thoughts with new creative ideas.
Spring time is also about color, everywhere the bougainvilleas are bursting in bright reds, oranges and yellows. The magnificent jacarandas, hibiscus flowers are peering out from the winter months, expressing growth in the light of day.

What I love about Mexico is the happiness people have in their lives. Eternal springtime!
The family unit alive and well,grandfathers to little siblings caring for each other.

Mexican people are so rich in spirit and this light exudes from them whether shopping or waiting at a street light or simply walking down the boulevard, people truly enjoy their lives. They live in the moment, relaxing, celebrating,and eating which is a huge part of any festivity.

At Salsa and Salsa we teach people how to open up to new ideas, try new foods and share in the joy of eating together. Like our Mexican hosts, eating should be the most important time of the day. Everyone comes together,sharing thoughts and feelings about school, or work.
Next time you feel like running through a meal or flying past the drive-thru stop for one second the think about how important food really is to our lives.
Like spring time, food colors inspire us to eat healthy.
Think about what your eating, take a moment to fill your mind with gratitude that you have food on your plate or lap or in your hands and remember that spring time is the time of renewal.
Be grateful for everything you think about, ideas you have and people who make you smile.

Have a party, use your molcajete and dream up your own spring salsas! Or just go by our store and flip through our spring time recipes in our Salsas For All Seasons cookbook!

Salsa for all Seasons

Fill your life with one new color this Easter and share your eternal springtime with others!

What a great life…

Ole,  Leonique