Celebrating Mexico @ Mexique!

December 22nd, 2010

Lately I’m not one for restaurants with modern decor and fancy food, I just want good ole comfort food with good friends, wine and conversation… my evening at Mexique was modern and fancy with some good food and new friends… it was lovely!  I was invited by the Mexican Tourism Board to celebrate the addition of Mexican Cuisine to the UNESCO list.  The chef, Carlos Gaytan, used traditional Mexican ingredients in his beautiful, artistic and modern dishes.  A quick review of our menu…

Ceviche: Ahi Tuna, Avocado Mousse, Chipotle Aioli, Mango Habanero Galette-  The first course was actually my least favorite.  It was good.  I love avocado and tuna but I was underwhelmed.

Mole y Maiz: Jamaica Braised Pork Belly, Mole Teloloapan, Fresh Corn Tamal, Butternut Squash Foam-  This course was great.  The mole sauce worked perfectly with the pork belly.  As always, I thought the foam was unnecessary… does anyone like foam?

Carne Asada: Grilled Flank Steak, Fingerling Potato Salad, Spinach, Asparagus, Roasted Red Pepper Chipotle and Goat Cheese Fondue- The courses just kept getting better.  The sauce was excellent.  I loved that Chef Carlos was very open about how he made his dishes.  I jotted down his recipe and can’t wait to try it.

Tequila: Chef Carlos served tequila as a digestive before dessert.  I unfortunately did not catch the name but it was good.

Chocolate Tamal: Warm Rare Chocolate Tamal, Pistachios, Papantla Vanilla Ice Cream- The grand finale was this amazingly fudgy chocolate cake dessert.  The chocolate was very intense but the vanilla ice cream helped balance it.

Overall, I really liked the meal.  I met some new foodies and saw some old friends.  At times, I would have preferred less promotion so I could really focus on the meal but it was a lot of fun.  Plus they sent us home with an amazing Mexican cookbook… Can’t wait to explore!

Disclaimer: This dinner was sponsored by the Mexican Tourism board and I was invited free of charge.

Christmas Cookies for your Dog!

December 19th, 2010

What do you do special for your pets over the holidays? Do you make a special meal? buy them presents? My family had stockings for our birds and every year Santa would bring them presents…

This year, I wanted to make Sam (Juan’s family’s dog) a special treat… He loves cheese… I decided on Cheesy Dog Treats… let’s see what he thought…

What? A person? but it smells like cheese… what is Ginny giving me?

mmm… well, my initial impression is favorable. It is a light flaky cookie with a hint of cheese.

Ginny, these are good!

Um, if you aren’t going to give me some more, I’m going to go back to staring out the window.

Later when Sam was given a choice between peanut butter and the cookies, he chose the cookies. They were a hit! Also, they are pretty good for your own consumption. You may want to add some salt but they were delicious in my Butternut Squash with Grains of Paradise Soup.  I halved the recipe but used three cups of flour.  I also did not use the garlic.

Christmas Cookie Favorites!

December 16th, 2010

What is your favorite Christmas cookie? Is there one that you have to have every year? Here are a few favorites…

Chocolate Crinkle Cookies: I love these! delicious bites of brownie cookies. They are really easy if you need to bring something to a holiday party because everyone loves them and they pack easily!

Peanut Butter Hershey Kiss Cookies: These are my family’s favorite!  One year I didn’t want to make them in an effort to save some calories.  Well, my family was not to happy so I had to make them anyway.  The key is to not over cook them so they remain soft.

Depression Bars: It really is not Christmas without these… delicious!

Macarons: These are not traditional Christmas cookies but this year I have visions of red and green macarons. I’ll keep you posted on what transpires.

Truffles: A great gift idea! or for private consumption!