Category Archives: Latino

Horchata – Mexican Rice and Almond Drink

Mexico has a great tradition of sweet refreshing drinks. My favorites are horchata, tamarindo, and jamaica “ha-mike-ah”. This was my first time making horchata and it turned out well. I’ll probably do it again, but I might cut back on the almonds because they’re hard to get and this recipe takes a lot of them. I also really didn’t enjoy blanching and peeling almonds by hand. Definitely buy blanched almonds if you have the option.

There’s a wide variety of horchata recipes, but you can find the one I used at the Homesick Texan blog. I liked this recipe because it doesn’t use powdered cinnamon or milk. Powdered cinnamon tends to float on top of liquids and adding milk to horchata just doesn’t seem authentic.


Iced Hibiscus Tea – Agua de Flor de Jamaica

I first encountered this drink in the Yucatan province of Mexico. It was called “Jamaica” and I loved how refreshing it was on a hot day. It was available at almost every restaurant and I drank it at every chance. Although it’s a tea, it tastes more like a juice. Jamaica is pronounced “Ha-mike-ah”  and the name of the drink comes from the Spanish word for hibiscus, Flor de Jamaica (flower of Jamaica).

I was so excited come across this drink again in Laos. We were eating lunch at the Vang Vieng Organic Farm and they served us some of this juice. Since then, we’ve discovered that one of James’ co-workers grows this flower on her small farm. So now we have access to an unlimited supply! The Lao name for this drink is “nam som podee” – which means “sour juice, just right”. Some people also call it “nam krajiab” which is the Thai name. Continue reading

Guava Jam (mermelada de guayaba)


We love guava season! Here’s what’s so great about guavas:

  • They taste like a tropical version of a pear
  • When made into jam, the whole house smells lovely
  • Half of them are a beautiful shade of pink on the inside

Here’s what’s not so great about guavas:

  • Since they’re small, peeling them for jam takes a long time
  • They’re prone to worminess (because they’re so sweet)
  • They’re full of seeds

So, making jam out of guavas can be a long process, but for me it’s totally worth it. Continue reading

Chile Peanuts

img_1945This has become a favorite snack in the last year. Peanuts are grown locally and they’re best if you roast them yourself. Otherwise they lose some of their crunch (and they’re more expensive). You can remove the garlic cloves after cooking or leave them in. I leave them in because I love eating a whole soft clove covered in chile and salt. Continue reading

Black Beans and Rice

This is a really common meal for us.  It’s simple, tastes great, and is healthy!  Top with shredded cheese and chopped tomatoes if you like.



1 C dry black beans, soaked overnight

1 3/4 C water

1 small onion, roughly chopped

3 garlic cloves, cut in half

1 t salt

1/4 t cayenne pepper (or chili powder but more of it)

2 t whole cumin seeds

  1. Start cooking the rice.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a pressure cooker and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Adjust the spices and salt
  4. Serve over rice and garnish with cilantro

Homemade Refried Beans and Burritos

These refried beans were delicious.  Try them in a burrito by serving on tortillas and topping with guacamole, shredded cheese, and cilantro.  James and I were so happy to eat this meal!  It makes good leftovers too. Continue reading

Mexican Chocolate Cake on the 4th of July

Yesterday for the 4th of July, we got together for a cookout with our American (and Canadian!) friends.  It rained, so we ate and grilled on a patio at our friends’ house and had a wonderful time.  We ate grilled chicken, potato salad, fruit salad, and chips.  For dessert there was apple crisp, brownies, and this chocolate cake. Continue reading