Monday, July 22, 2013

Joaquin, the cactus man

Most weekends you will find Joaquin in the jardin (the main square in San Miguel de Allende) with both hands full of his cactus creations.    He makes a plaster base and with a little sphagnum moss he builds the most beautiful cactus and succulent arrangements.  He lives out by the presa (dam) south of town and takes the bus into town.

Over the years we have bought one for the doorways going from the patio into the house.  Last time I saw him, he only had one in his hand.  My Mom and I had just come from the money exchange and I just had to buy another one.  When we met up with my Dad in the jardin , low and behold, he had bought one too as a surprise for us ladies. 

Joaquin is the nicest man.  When ever he sees us, he quickly walks our direction and gives us a firm handshake.  We have a good laugh because I have told him that I have run out of doorways.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Burros, burros and more burros

Nothing takes me back to the earlier times than seeing the burros on the streets in San Miguel de Allende.  This group of burros with their owner were delivering firewood (lena) door to door.

In the summer time, the burros are loaded down with burlap bags full of dirt and mulch for the garden.  I can always tell when it is the burro man knocking at my door looking for a sale.  It is load and never ending.
Talk about a well dressed milk man on his burro.
A successful day in town!  After a bit of rest, they have to make their journey back to the countryside (el campo). 
My good friend, Guadalupe who owns Penzi (an event planning business specializing in elegant and unique weddings) has her own burro named Benito.  Benito graces the scene of most weddings in town with his decorated baskets filled with shot glasses and a bottle of tequila. If you can believe it, Benito has his own Facebook page!
On Calle Cuna de Allende, this burro is patiently waiting for his owner to make a sell so he can lighten his burden.
This little furry guy lives out at a ranch owned by a friend of mine outside of town.  I just adore this sweet burro. 
A sleepy burro.  It must be siesta time!  Then time to go home.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Zabaione Freddo, a perfect summer dessert!

For the Mermaids and Margarita party, I wanted to make something refreshing and small enough that everyone would have one.  For an easy, make ahead dessert (and a great presentation), I used my little Mexican glasses that are about 3 ounces each.  I get so much use out of these glasses:  perfect for ceviche, shots of gazpacho, serving baby carrots standing in a 1/2" of dip...

August of 1985 I was at Villa d'Este right on the shores of Lake Como.  I bought Cooking Ideas from Villa d'Este written by Jean Govani Salvadore who ran the cooking school at the hotel.  I have made the Zabaione Freddo (Cold Zabaione) several times but I had always served it in a margarita glass.  Using the smaller glasses was just perfect, especially for a crowd.


8  egg yolks
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 lemon peel
zest from half an orange
2 cups dry Marsala
1 cup dry white wine
3 cups heavy whipping cream

Blueberries and raspberries

In a double broiler whisk sugar and the egg yolks until frothy and creamy.  Pour in the Marsala, the wine and the lemon peel and orange zest.  Keep beating until you have a smooth consistency.
Remove from the heat and set pan in a bowl of ice to cool.
Whip the cream and gently fold into the egg / wine mixture.

Drop of few of the berries in the bottom of the glass, pour the mixture into the glasses and garnish with one berry on top.


To serve, let glasses sit at room temperature to slightly soften - about 10 minutes or more depending on the weather.

I was able to fill 24 of the small glasses.  It is a perfect dessert to have on hand in the freezer!

Bon Appetit!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

A great evening on the patio with my fellow mermaids

Recently I had my group of wonderful ladies from my Denver Athletic Club water aerobics over for our Fourth Annual Mermaids and Margarita party
The evening could not have been nicer.   I make all the food and of course, the margaritas.
We started with guacamole and chips and baked goat cheese with a roasted salsa seco. 
Meet Lori, Esther, Annie, Melinda, Sylvia and Beth.
And our favorite instructor, Lizzy!  She rocks.
Mary, Petra and Eddy.
I made my famous chorizo pork sliders served with a roasted poblano sauce.  Jennifer always pitches in and helps.  Along with the sliders I served an arugula and watermelon salad.  So refreshing on a summer evening.
Esther and Anne enjoying a good laugh.
Melinda waiting for the special dessert to be served.  I surprised the ladies with a frozen zabaione with fresh blueberries.  It was an instant hit.  See my next post for the recipe!
Next year I may have to do a sangria and tapas party.  You just never know what I will come up with.
Happy Summer!