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.
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!
Fill your life with one new color this Easter and share your eternal springtime with others!
What a great life…
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:
QUESO FUNDIDO A LA SALSA AND SALSA
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 http://salsaandsalsa.com)
- 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!