Monday, July 6, 2009

Aprovecho, A Mexican American Border Cookbook

MariachisLa Llorona
Chile ColoradoEnchiladas
Chiles RellenosMenudo
Cafe KahluaMargaritas
Mango CakePiloncillo Bread
These photos represent some of the wonderful recipes and reviews that can be found in the Aprovecho A Mexican American Border Cookbook.

Hello everyone. I hope you had a fantastic holiday weekend with fireworks and barbecues and some great family time. There’s nothing like the holidays – any holiday – to bring a group of family and friends together to enjoy each others company.

We kind of celebrated the 4th on Friday, July 3rd. Both Lily and Bob had to work on Saturday. Initially we planned a great barbecue, some swimming and going downtown to watch the fireworks display at the Downtown Street Festival. Boy, were we WRONG! So much for the 5 P's. (Proper Planning Prevents Poor Perfomance.)

We’ve reached our so-called monsoon season here in El Paso and wouldn’t you know it, just as the charcoal was beginning to smolder and getting to just the right temperature, we had a deluge of rain. So cancel the outdoor BBQ, cancel the swimming and cancel the fireworks.

We opted for another indoor grilling. Hamburgers, hotdogs and chicken and pepper skewers. We also had some of Bob’s Chile con Queso, some wine coolers and a most delicious Piña Colada Cake. My Piña Colada blog post will be up later this week, so you’ll see the recipe then. Lily and I have managed to come up with several recipes where you can enjoy the flavors of pineapple and coconut. Some will contain the traditional rum some will not.

It’s been a while since I wrote about my Aprovecho A Mexican American Border Cookbook, so I thought I’d do a post about that here and a post about my Mi Chita's Mexican Chocolate Recipes ecookbook on the chocolate blog.

The Mexican American Border cookbook came about a few years after having a website called APROVECHO, THE MEXICAN KITCHEN on the Internet. Having collected a ton of recipes from my mother and grandmother (plus all the ones I had been collecting on my own), I decided to put them online for my children and family to enjoy. My children and my husband contributed to the design of the website. There was a lot of data input, research, technical complexities of working HTML (which at that point in my life I had never even heard of) and design. A huge undertaking for someone who was not familiar with the whole “writing for the Internet” scene.

To make a long story short and to get back to my cookbook, I worked the website for seven years – mostly on my own. I wrote a few articles for outside publications and had the good fortune to have a publisher be interested in producing a cookbook from my recipes.

Publishing is NOT an easy task. As the years roll on it’s becoming more and more difficult to achieve print publication as almost everything is being produced digitally. This is why I ventured into experimenting with producing my Mexican Chocolate Cookbook as an ebook. But despite the problematic adventure, we still had the Border cookbook published first in hardback and then in paperback. A nice legacy for my children.

The Aprovecho cookbook is a tribute to the traditions and recipes handed down from my mother and grandmother. Their un-orthodoxed manner of teaching me how to cook without the use of recipes or measurements is what taught me that creating meals doesn’t necessarily come from a book or from someone’s idea of what a dish should look like. It comes from the heart. It stems from what you want to offer the family table at a time when all are gathered around to share their most precious gift, the gift of time and love.

From these sentiments grew the website…from the website blossomed the cookbook. A true cultural celebration for past, present and future generations.

The book contains more than 250 recipes. Recipe samples are:
Chocolate Mejicano, Café Mejicano, Agua Fresca, Horchata, Margaritas, Sangria, Piña Coladas, Rompope (Eggnog), Vampiro (Mexican Bloody Mary)

Tequila French Toast, Huevos Rancheros, Menudo

Chile Con Queso, Jalapeño Poppers, Steak Tampiqueña, Chile Colorado, Chile Verde, Enchiladas, Tacos y Taquitos, Fajitas, Christmas Picadillo, Ensalada de Nopalitos (Cactus Salad)

Galletas de Mantequilla, Kahlua Cake, Mango Cake, Piloncillo Bread, Polvorones, Sopaipillas

And of course: Salsas and more salsas.

Also included are sections called “Did You Know”: Mariachis, Legend of the Poinsettia, Legend of La Llorona, La Virgen de Guadalupe, Juan Diego, Matachines and (couldn’t leave this one out) Mexican Beers.

There are four dedicated chapters on “How-To’s”: Making Cascarones (Confetti-Filled Eggshells), Making a Star Piñata, Making Sugar Skulls for Dia de Los Muertos, and everyone’s favorite – Making Tamales.

I hope you take the time to explore the Aprovecho Cookbook. If you follow the link below, Amazon will let you take a peak inside.

If you do preview the Amazon Aprovecho book, let me know what you think. Hasta luego mis amigas(os).

For a good laugh...You may be from El Paso if....

1. You buy salsa by the gallon.

2. Your Christmas decorations include sand,
candles and 100 paper bags.

3. You think a red traffic light is merely a suggestion

4. You MUST visit Chico's Tacos when you come to town to visit.

5. You know what "dry heat" means.

6. You complain about a humid day when the relative
humidity reaches 20%.

7. Most of the restaurants in town have the first name "El or Los."

8. Every restaurant serves refried beans and rice with your meal.

9. Everything you eat includes green chilies, jalapeños or both.

10. You think 60 tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard.

11. You notice your car overheating before you drive it.

12. Your house is made of stucco and has a "swamp" cooler on the roof.

13. You no longer associate bridges (or rivers) with water.

14. You can ride an ATV or 4x4 down the dry riverbed of the "mighty"
Rio Grande instead of using the levee.

15. During a rain, you see more water on the street than there is in
the Rio Grande.

16. You know 1/2" of rain means the streets will be flooded.

17. You know a mere 1/4" of snow will shut down the entire city but
the next day it'll be 60 degrees again.

These things make El Pasoans unique. But, while I can poke fun at myself, I still have to face certain realities that exist in this town. Our sister city of Juarez, Mexico, population over a million, has approximately 1200 troops patrolling the city. Talk about third world. The insane drug cartel wars have once again increased in intensity after a short lull. In the month of June (2009), there were over 200 murders in the city, most related to the cartel wars. More than 30 of these murders were teenagers either from Juarez or El Paso visiting relatives in Juarez. The total murders having occured in Juarez this year reach over 800. This does not even take into account the murders of women that continue to go on day after day but have been low keyed to give publicity to these savages battling over their "drugy" territories.

If you're a person of faith, say a prayers for our neighbors across the border. If you're not, then please just send some positive vibes this way. Thank you y hasta luego. :)


Ben said...

Oh I am sorry to hear about your ruined plans :( Here in Ohio we had some beautiful weather that allowed us to have a wonderful day :-p I have to get your cookbook, it has a lot of recipes I want to try.

Gloria Chadwick said...

Glad to see you promoting your cookbook!! Reading your post just gave me an idea. I'll make one of your recipes and blog about it, like you did for me with FFSA.
I love #11... lol. :)

Reeni♥ said...

I bought your cookbook! It's beautiful and I love all the informative tidbits throughout the book. It's a good read and the recipes sound delicious! I haven't had a chance to make any of your recipes yet but I will! Maybe I could blog about it and include the recipe and link to your book - with your blessing, of course. I'll let you know when I make something. I know about what's going on in Juarez - it's very sad - especially all those women being murdered.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

This looks like a wonderful cookbook. I'm not going to be around next week, so I think I'll order it when I return, but I will definitely be ordering it - I love Mexican cooking and I love cookbooks that include inherited recipes, so this is a no-brainer for me.

JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

I am sorry to hear that it rained on your parade :-( But it sounds like you made the best of the situation. We lucked out - it was forecasted to rain here too, but at the last minute the forecast changed and it was a great evening!

I am glad you re-wrote about your cookbook! Maybe you want to do a giveaway through the Foodie Blogroll to promote it? Let me know!

Kelly said...

I loved your cookbook. It really carries a lot of your personality through from the blog and I felt like I was cooking with a good friend in my kitchen with me. I'm glad my library purchased it so others can enjoy it as well. I loved how you included recipes from locals as well in the cookbook.

Ivy said...

You are so talented Teresa. Your cookbook looks wonderful.

Mommy's Kitchen said...

All those recipes look good. The ones that stood out to me are the menudo and the cafe kaluha. Yummy. Is this your cookbook? I am in need of a great mexican inspired cookbook. Where can it be purchased Teresa>

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