|Exploring the Culinary Traditions of Mexico
a profile of Kathleen Dobek
Kathleen Dobek writes Cooking in Mexico, a WordPress blog that explores authentic Mexican dishes, new combinations of traditional Mexican ingredients, and favorite recipes from north of the border.
She and her husband Russ settled in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle twelve years ago, after over twenty years of vacation travel through much of Mexico. Each one of those trips came with new eating adventures and collected recipes. Kathleen is still exploring the culinary traditions of Mexico, with the wish to introduce the great variety of New World ingredients and contemporary dishes of this country to the foreigners who visit and live here.
A former chef at the Pecos River Conference Center outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kathleen spent much of her early working years in the food business, starting out as a nursery school cook in Austin, Texas, then a cook at the Mt. Angel Nursing Home in Mt. Angel, Oregon.
She also worked for several summers cooking for Wild Oats natural food store in Santa Fe, while winters were spent in Mexico. Living in Texas and New Mexico helped establish a fondness for chiles, beans and tortillas.
Kathleen does the cooking and writing, Russ does the sampling and eating, calling upon his extraordinary sense of taste to offer suggestions and opinions on recipe adjustments. He is also the prime seafood purchaser and coconut opener.
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Vera Bakery in Bucerias Satisfies the Sweet Tooth
For the pastry and sweet lover, Vera Bakery in Bucerias, on the North Bay, is a gem. Sparkling fruits and cloud-like whipped cream garnish cheesecakes, tarts and éclairs. Chocolate abounds in brownies, chocolate chunk muffins and chocolate mousse cake. Savory food is available.
New Farmers' Market in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle
La Cruz de Huanacaxtle, north of Puerto Vallarta on the Bay of Banderas, can now add a farmers/craft market to its list of attractions. Held every Sunday from 10 am until 2 pm, it is quickly growing each week, both in increasing numbers of vendors and visitors from the bay area.
How to Clean and Disinfect Fruits and Vegetables in Mexico
This is not a pretty topic, but it’s something not to be ignored: how to clean fresh fruits and vegetables. For those of us who live in Mexico, the practice of soaking all fresh produce in an antibacterial solution is necessary.
Roasting and Toasting, Peeling and Eating Poblano Chiles
The chile poblano is my favorite chile, the most delicious of all of Mexico’s chiles, and is used in some of their most famous dishes, such as Chiles en Nogada and Chile Relleno. Any cook who wants to master Mexican cooking will need to learn how to prepare the chile poblano.
Restaurant Los Gallos for Tacos y Cortes
Restaurant Los Gallos 'Tacos y Cortes' comes highly recommended by Cooking in Mexico if you are a meat eater. We are always looking for affordable meals, and this one met our criteria. The price came to under $50 pesos per person, plus beverages and tips.
Qué es la Jicama?
Jicama is an oddly shaped tuber that resembles a cross between a potato and a large turnip is a favorite snack in Mexico. When you see street vendors selling small plastic bags or cups of fruits and vegetables sprinkled with lime juice and chile powder, you will probably encounter jicama.
Beer Bank Brings Micro-Brews to Puerto Vallarta
Micro-brew aficinados, your day has come! Beer Bank, a recently opened cervecería in Puerto Vallarta, is selling over ninety-five different beers, including those from micro-breweries in Baja California and other great beer brewing countries.
Shopping in a Mexican Street Market
Mexico's street markets offer a wide variety of kitchen implements and utensils that will add authenticity to your Mexican cooking. During a stroll through the street market in La Cruz, we found enough kitchen wares to stock a cocina mexicana, all reasonable priced, colorful and useful.
Selecting Sustainable Seafood
How to shop for seafood within the framework of sustainable development is becoming more challenging. How can we make informed, wise decisions that will not deplete the oceans of their bounty, but rather leave enough marine life for future generations?
Carnes del Mundo in Bucerías - a World of Meat for the Meat Lovers
For meat lovers, the selection does not get any better than the offerings at Carnes del Mundo in Bucerías. Kyle and Irma Quast have any meat you are looking for, so the next time you have a hankering for meat, you know where to go. It’s well worth the drive from Puerto Vallarta.
Mayahuel, the Goddess of Tequila, Dwells at Casa Magna Marriott, Puerto Vallarta
For six years, some of the finest tequila distilled in Mexico has been bottled exclusively for the Casa Magna Marriott Resort in Puerto Vallarta. Sold only at Casa Magna, this tequila is a sublime experience for lovers of the distilled spirit of blue agave.
Tostada Express - Tasty and Affordable
Affordable, tasty lunches abound in Puerto Vallarta, as Cooking in Mexico continues to discover. This week we ate at Tostada Express at Plaza Peninsula. Prices range from $10 pesos for a ceviche tostada to $35 pesos for a shrimp tostada or burrito, all served with salsas that do Mexico proud.
El Coleguita: The Perfect Setting for a Sunday Afternoon Meal
A more perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon meal could not have been found anywhere else but at El Coleguita in La Cruz de Huanacaxtle. Perhaps the most beautiful view of the Bay had coupled with an amazingly generous seafood plate. The tequila poured, the gentle breeze wafted, and we dined.
Our Favorite Place for Lunch in Mascota
On our quest for great lunches, we found ourselves in Mascota recently, and turned up a winner in the lunch department. Tacos de Ollita serves traditional Mexican dishes that are worth the drive. After lunch, Mascota offers visitors a leisurely afternoon of sightseeing and activities.
Tongue and Lip Tacos in Bucerías. Try It, You'll Like It!
For the adventuresome gourmand in Mexico, there is a new eating experience around every corner, including every corner of the Bucerías plaza. We didn't have to go far to find Tacos de Cabeza, a street stand that offers an assortment of beef parts, including tongue, lips, cheek, eye and brain.
A Grocery Shopping Adventure in Bucerías, or Who Put Lips in My Tacos?
When one is grocery shopping in Mexico, each town has a unique flavor, and Bucerías is no exception. Exploring its little stores can provide an entertaining morning. Just take a shopping bag and your Spanish-English dictionary, and you'll be rewarded with food items you may not have seen before.
An Incomparable Dining Event at the International Altruism Festival, Puerto Vallarta
The Sixth Annual International Altruism Festival at the Marriott Casa Magna Resort in Puerto Vallarta was a great success, providing funds for twenty-five participating non-profit organizations and allowing guests to sample food prepared by the Banderas Bay area's best restaurants.