Sunday, May 30

san cristóbal, chiapas

Three years ago around this time, I took a solo trip to Chiapas - a southern Mexican state. Here's a little tribute to the gorgeous city of San Cristóbal.
making a shawl with a back-strap loom.
find-anything-you-can-imagine market outside church...WWJD?  :-0
old church, newly dug graves?  yoooowza
sleeping with 10 strangers in your hostel dorm room? not so nice.
view at the hostel? very nice.

another reason to love Mexico...paint your house any color you want!

Thursday, May 27

nutty for tagua

Ever since I worked for Future Green in Milwaukee waaay back in '07...I've had a small obsession with a little thang called tagua. It's a nutty little seed from a palm tree that is dried and carved/cut into things like...

Baby turtle egg sculptures! Now that's what Morgan would call "ca-yute!" 

The material is more common down in South America but up here they do a little bit of tagua craftin' too. I'm starting to build up my collection of seedy jewelry: red tagua-slice earrings, a gi-normous ivory-colored ring. You know - just the basics. 

And how could I resist this smorgasbord at the arts & crafts market in downtown Cuernavaca?
The family who makes these necklaces were cool with me showing them off on my Etsy website and spreading the love up north! I've also dabbled in making some tagua earrings that I also put up on Etsy.  
Do you love it too? Or am I the only one drawn to large, bordering on obnoxiously colorful jewelry?? Hope it's not just me!

Sunday, May 23

tepoz love

Jaim & I spent a great afternoon in Tepoztlan yesterday - a small market town about 30 minutes from Cuernavaca.  Who's been there?  I ask because every visitor I've had so far has made the journey over to this little pueblo.  On the weekend - food, drink, artisan and (of course) ripped-off-brand-name-item booths pop up out of nowhere.  It's an explosion of bright jewelry, "Gucci" sunglasses, Micheladas and quesadillas galore.  Take a look at the fun we have here in Morelos...then book your ticket to come down and check it out!     

totally awesome wood carver booth
totally delicious, extra spicy Michelada
just strollin'

Friday, May 21

too obvious

The pic below of the tree & the darling hummingbird was way too easy I guess. But at least you've gotten a glimpse of an adorable colibri that lives & feeds right outside my classroom. I am distracted at least 3x an hour by the little sweetie. My goal - to catch him in action on film (aka with my digital camera), sipping nectar from the appetizing flowers in the school's garden.  Yum!

Gotta go install my colibri feeder on the window of my room...I'll get that pic - just. you. wait!  ;)

Thursday, May 20

un feliz cumpleaños

Send Jaim all your sweet vibes for his big 24th today! I told him that he almost caught up to me this year...casi. He'll always have to accept that he's dating a girl/woman who robbed the cradle. But can you blame me??

Monday, May 17

where's waldo - cuernavaca style

Ok - I'll give anyone loads of props if you can find the hidden adorableness in this picture. Leave a comment and we'll see if anyone can get it!  

Sunday, May 16

taco gala

Two weekends ago, I was lucky enough to participate in a Mexican-US birthday party for a director of the school I teach at. Mexican aspects: appetizer, pork rinds. main course, tacos. beer, Corona. USA aspects: there was an unlimited supply of all food & drink. said director is from Ohio.  

If you don't recognize the tacos you see above - it's because they're authentic. Right down to the cilantro, corn tortillas & radishes...these babies are Mexy born. I think it's hilarious that the most common veggie that Mexicans eat is radish...of course...even their produce is spicy. Geeeeez.

Ever seen tacos al pastor? They cook the meat just like the giant skewers of gyro meat you see at dingy Greek restaurants. Turn up the flame for 10 seconds, cut that spicy pork meat, add a little chunk of sweet piña, and you've got a taquito. Delicioso.   
Here's a little preview of some of the beautiful chicks I get to hang out with - waiting patiently for our turn at the taco station.  :D

Tuesday, May 11

real life michelada

If you don't know what a Michelada is yet, shame on you - read my last post!  I just wanted to include a photo of Jaime showing stellar Michelada drinking form.  

*If at all possible, drink your spicy beer in Tepoztlan, Morelos (come visit me and I'll take you to this pueblo mágico).
*Get your Michy in an oversized cup with sauce dripping down the sides.
*Ignore your girlfriend while she secretly takes pictures of you.

Bien hecho, Jaim...bien hecho.

Thursday, May 6

you say chamoyada, i say michelada

If you haven't hear me complain about it's hot here. Yes, hace muchisisísmo calor. For me at least, Miss Wisco 1984, it's quite awful to head to school for my 8am class in 80 degree weather (that will become 95 by 10am). My solution - put up with it/sweat/seek shade at all times.  Aaaaand - end a long day with a cold beer. You can get a bottle of Corona for 9 pesos (75¢) at a little convenience store - delicious and economical! It's not surprising that Mexicans have a plethora of variations on a simple glass of beer.  

You have the classic lime & salt combo of course...I recommend extra citrus with only a dash of salt to combat any limey bitterness.  However, let's get serious and talk about any Mexican's favorite thing besides beer - chile.  Chile powder on mangos, three types of chile peppers for your's a scary obsession they have...and it's contagious.  I've been pushed over the salsa-lovin' edge by the following beverage:
Technically it's called a Chamoyada, but we call it Michelada...and it. is. amazing.  Here's how to make it happen.  Get to your local Mexican grocer (you have one, riiiight?) and pick up: Mexy beer, chamoy sauce, chamoy powder, those baby limes, salt, & banderilla candy.  
Coat the rim of your glass with some sweet & spicy chamoy powder (use a little lime juice to get it to stick).
Add two tablespoons of your chamoy sauce, the juice of one little lime, and a pinch of salt.  
Stir the ingredients un poquito & then pour, baby, pour. 
You'll have a lovely, crisp, delicious, sweet & slightly spicy concoction that's perfect to wind down another hot, south-of-the-border type of day.  The picante tamarind candy is mostly just for show but it does make for a handy straw for anyone (see subject below) who likes to gulp their spiced-up beer.
Let me know if you're brave enough to give a Michelada a try!  
Anyone think they have a recipe that can top this Mexican delicacy?

Monday, May 3

tribute to rompope

If you think that eggnog is only for should chat with a savvy Mexican about rompope.  This delicious drink, with the consistency of thin pudding, is (in my opinion) the Mexy version of eggnog and is something that you can drink all year long.  Before bed, after a yummy breakfast of empanadas (another post altogether), afternoon snack, whenever the craving strikes!  Que delicioooooso!  Rompope is on my mind because I just got back from a weekend in Arcelia, Guerrero (Jaime's home pueblo).  Every time we're there, Jaime's Aunt Yolanda (aka Mamá Yola) has a styrofoam liter of rompope in the fridge for us!! 

There are legendary rompope makers in Arcelia (a small town where everybody knows everybody's business).  There's the sassy lady who sells her creamy drink for 150 pesos per liter ($12) - escandaloso!  But then there's trusty Don Agapito who will stop by your house with his cart and sell you a liter for a measly 30 pesos (roughly $3).  
I asked Don Agapito if I could take a quick picture (had to document this adorable g-pa) and he started being cute, asking us how should adjust his hat.  To the side is one look; if he tilts is back...totally different look.  He chose to angle it to the right and put on a serious face for his blog fame.

Now, I am not usually the type of person who eats/drinks things off carts on the street (tacos, fruit, churros...) but for rompope I make an exception.  You got to to be able to enjoy this homemade cup of goodness.  In Arcelia, they like to add some jello to the mix (which you can get from Don Agapito for the equivalent of 25 cents).     
Jaime's mom - or Mamá Yadi as she has me call her - said she used to make rompope and promised me that we'd try to make it one of these days.  So hopefully I'll be able to share the full recipe and preparation techniques with ya'll so that you won't have to travel to dusty Arcelia to taste this Mexican wonder.  One cup and you'll never go back to eggnog from a milk carton - guaranteed!