Tag Archives: fresh

Cinco de Mayo – The most popular celebration not celebrated in Mexico…

3 May

Ever since I lived in Chicago a few years ago, where there is a huge Mexican population, I learned that Mexico’s Independence Day is celebrated in September. I remember people riding outside their car windows carrying huge Mexican flags, parading themselves with pride.

So, if this is celebrated every year in September… why does every gringo I know believes Mexican Independence day falls on Cinco de Mayo?  My belief on the popularity of Cinco de Mayo is for several reasons (and I am just speculating here):

  • It’s simple to pronounce even if your main language is English. Try saying “dieciséis de septiembre”!!!! Rolling those “r’s” can be a challenge to many.
  • May more or less signifies the beginning of warmer weather so gives people an excuse to party in shorts
  • I truly believe a beer company started this as a promotional scheme to start selling beer in May rather than waiting until June/July when it’s actually hot.


Cinco de Mayo is not really an important holiday or celebration in Mexico. I am “friends” on Facebook with Chef Marcela Valladolid. And this is her perspective, as a Mexican, on Cinco de Mayo:

Chef Marcela - Cinco de Mayo

In reality, Cinco de Mayo is the date when the Mexican army drove away the French army at a great battle in Puebla. The Mexicans were never ever expected to win and they did. And for that… we celebrate!!!!

Nonetheless, for whatever reason Cinco de Mayo got popularized in the US, we use it as an excuse to celebrate everything Mexican. I wish I had a recipe for Mole Poblano in my blog to share with you all, but in the meantime, here are a few recipes that celebrate Mexico, France and combine a little bit of both…

French Quesadilla

Cordon Bleu Quesadilla

(In México, these are called sincronizadas because they’re made on Wheat Tortilla.  True Quesadillas are made on corn tortillas)

Fried Quesadillas with Fresh Tomato Salsa

Poblano Pepper Rajas

Chopped Avocado Dressing

Veggie Tortilla Soup

Mexican Lasagna



Warming up and cooling off on the streets of India…

19 Apr

After visiting India the last time in April, we swore never again to visit when the weather has started to warm up. This time around we visited India from end of February to mid-March and it was super fun weather-wise because we had a whole range of temperatures in the different cities we visited.

In Allahabad, just like in a desert, it was chilly in the mornings and evenings and warm during the day… chilly enough to wear fleece!!! But in the south of India, the weather was warm and tropical, just like being in Puerto Rico. We even got to take paddle boarding lessons from some new Hawaiian friends , Tim and Kenny,  in our hotel pool!!!

Weather Collage

With all these weather changes, sometimes we had to warm up ourselves from the inside out… and sometimes we had to cool ourselves down the best way we know how…

To warm up… what better way than chai masala!!! I’ve already shared mu love for chai masala. Ever since I tasted it for the first time in Varanasi, I’ve been a true fan. I was fascinated with how in every stop, every city, and every back alley we visited someone was making chai masala for people to buy. And according to Tim and Kenny, who became somewhat of connoisseurs in chai masala tasting, the best chai’s come from the streets!!!! And in my experience… also the best chai masala’s are served in clay cups – the ones you use once and break after drinking your serving… I wish I had more pictures of all the times we had chai on this trip.

Chai Masala Collage


To cool off… we drank lots of coconut water right from the coconut itself!! Just like we do in Puerto Rico!! Some coconuts were sweeter than others, but it is way better to drink coconut water than any other packaged juice. It’s like nature’s Gatorade. We drank these coconuts while in Rameshwaram, almost at the tipy-tip of India, right in front of Sri Lanka. The perfect treat after visiting temples…

Agua de Coco India 5


Down in Pondicherry, the heat felt like the middle of summer in the Caribbean!!! Sweat was rolling down our backs… if you know what I mean. The best way to cool off the “Indian way” is enjoying a cool, delicious kulfi. I had the chance to taste kulfi once while in Varanasi, but I did not know the name then. Kulfi is a milk-based frozen dessert usually flavored with saffron, cardamom and pistachios. They sell them in ice cream stands and it’s the perfect treat when you need something cold and creamy. My friend Fabiola was fascinated with kulfi… I think we have another convert here!!!!

Kulfi Collage

I searched the internet and I found a few kulfi recipes… here is one I will be trying to make real soon. Hope you like it too!!!

What’s your favorite way to warm-up or cool-down? Any other ideas?

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