From the time my children were babies, one of the most delightful things to watch were them running to the fireplace on a Christmas morning with eyes of anticipation and excitement. No matter how big they got, my heart was so full to see them wake each other up…and sprint to the living room to open their gifts on those crisp mornings. To this day, my children love the holidays—and I am so happy that this season of the year brings back memories of joy and peace for them.  I am thankful that as a mother, I have been able to nurture such pivotal moments for their lives and to provide an emotional reference for them, so that as adults, they would be drawn back by the gifts that could never ever be purchased, and those are LOVE, PEACE, and HAPPINESS. 

From my own childhood, I can remember the long drives to visit my Abuela, who at the time lived in Tijuana; the latenight smell of fire burning as we sat outside the starlit evenings, drinking Champurrado and eating homemade pan my Tio Jose would prepare. The aroma of fresh tamales as they cooked over the open flame, and the sound of laughter over the joyful rhythm of Los Tigres Del Norte.  It became the soundtrack for my personal holiday memory and it was what I feel in my heart as I prepare for the seasonal celebrations.

In reality, those memories are the things that light my way home for the holidays  Not literally, but figuratively speaking, home is the place in our hearts that remind us that LIFE is not just about things…but rather, they are the moments that we felt the safest, the most loved, and the most at peace.

So now, as we prepare for the holidays—we also prepare to the light the beacon of love, hope, and peace for our children and our family—to the moments that we can all be together, with hearts of gratitude—allowing all the unimportant things be forgotten momentarily—and just be a family.

This year, I’ve added these delicious “Spicy Salmon Avocado Toast Bites” to our holiday gathering, thanks to @kvaroyartic salmon. While my daughter loves all the authentic Mexican flavors, my son loves salmon–so I got creative just to keep everyone happy!  Food should bring us together; so be prepared to figuratively “Light a Way Home” for everyone this season…because nothing says home like food. 

Instagram Reel of the recipe.


This post is sponsored by Sabrosa Raspado. The opinions and text are all mine.

Growing up I always looked forward to our family trips to Mexico.  Interestingly, the days of driving became a part of our long vacation adventures on the road. I always knew that there would be many rest stops along the way, consisting of buying chucherias (or snacks) and antojitos.  I always kept my eyes open for things I enjoyed and cute little tienditas in hopes that my dad would pull over and let us shop around.  Believe it or not, one delicacy that we enjoyed in those days were bags of chips! My parents always had to control our portions or we would go crazy and devour an entire bag all by ourselves.  I knew that we would get the best tacos and Mexican bread when we stopped at the convenient stores along the sides of the road. Those stores were easy to spot for an eager kid like myself—looking for the next best treat!  You could never go wrong just grabbing a quick bite to eat. Food was always fresh to order, prepared right before your eyes.  Another “for sure stop”  was to purchase guamuchiles in Sinaloa. Guamuchiles is a food described best as an “acquired taste.”  

“Mira, mangos!”, my dad would shout as he abruptly veered onto a dirt road, with the load of passengers bouncing in our seats, as our old burgundy Dodge Caravan entered into a rural part of las calles de Nayarit to pick juicy mangos straight from roadside trees.  As we reached Guadalajara, Jalisco I could only think of one thing…”Las Jericallas” (My mouth is watering just thinking about them).  And don’t let me forget to mention the city of Guanajuato, known for the production of some of the best Cajeta in the world.  Streets filled with cajeta vendors pulling you in with offers to sample their recipes, with a small wooden spoon covered with cajeta.  As a child, I secretly accepted every little wooden spoon offered to me from each vendor.

Finally, we would reach our destination, a state called “Michoacán.” Michoacan was “donde tienen de todo.”  It is a place known for its ice cream, Chongos Zamoranos, Paletitas de Tamarindo, Nieves de Garrafa y Raspados de todos sabores!  It was much like finding a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow–reaching the state known for its ice cream, after days of driving under the baking sun, was the reward!  In Mexico, snow cones are referred to as “raspados.”  Raspados are special not only for the flavor, but the process. The craft of making “raspados” can be described as a beautiful art.  Watching a Raspado vendor scrape a huge block of ice wrapped in plastic and cloth to keep it from melting is short of mesmerizing.  After the lightly packed ice is placed into a plastic cup, the vendor carefully drizzles it with the most flavorful homemade syrup!  Perfect for those warm Mexican summer days!  

Thus, the flavor of certain drinks and the aroma of special meals, always remind me of driving through Mexico with my family. Living in California, you can easily find Mexican food restaurants and a variety of dining options to satisfy one’s palette.  On the contrary, it is not easy to find delicious “raspados,” because to qualify as authentic snow cones requires rich flavors.  It was not until recently that we discovered Sabroso Raspados.  They have so many exciting flavors such as Fresas con Crema, Coco con Crema, Mango Chamoy, Pina Colada, Mango Chili Lime, and Tamarind Chamoy.  

Abuela especially enjoyed las Fresas con Crema flavor.  She said it was “very tasty” and “refreshing.”  Mom really loved the Tamarindo Chamoy.  It brought back memories of her childhood in Michoacan; she said the flavor was “pretty genuine” with just the right amount of chamoy.  My personal favorite was Mango Chili Lime, because of the rich mango flavor balanced with the tanginess of the chile. 

If you want to taste the authenticity for yourself, Sabrosa Raspado is available at your local Vallarta and Northgate Supermarkets.   I cannot wait to try out the other flavors and share them with Abuela, mom, and the rest of the family.  We had a great time talking about our old family trips, and reminiscing about the food and treats we ate along the way.  It is just a part of our culture:  Family, food, and fun!  

SAVE $2 on any one Sabrosa Raspado product.

Coupon valid July 7-31, 2021.

Sabrosa Raspado is now available at the following retailers: Vallarta, Cardenas, Northgate, Numero Uno, Jons, Big Saver, and Super A Foods. 

“This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by La Morena.”

If you are like me, I am always asking my family “what do you want for dinner?”  The typical response is “I don’t knooooow!” It’s a challenge to keep meals interesting, and at the same time, plan a meal that we can enjoy together. To make things easier, I have been taking simple family favorites and giving them a little upgrade.

So I gathered a few ingredients:  Chicken, Chipotle Peppers, Cheese, Tortillas, AND Chicken Tinga Quesadillas were born! The blend of spices and the “earthy” taste of the chipotle peppers was a hit!  My kids absolutely loved them, and I know your family will too!  

#VivaLaMorena #WeCanWithLaMorena 

Ingredients for Chicken Tinga Quesadillas 

4 lbs of chicken

1- 1 /2 onion

3 garlic cloves 

1 can of La Morena Chipotle Pepper

4 tomatoes

1 cup of water

1 tsp oregano

2 Bay leaves



Flour Tortillas

Monterrey cheese or Mexican blend cheese

Ingredients for Chipotle Sauce

¾ cup of sour cream

¼ cup of mayonnaise 

1 tsp of lime juice

Salt to liking

3 tablespoons of La Morena Chipotle Sauce


  1.  In a large pot, cook chicken with ½ an onion, 1 garlic clove, and salt.
  2. Shred chicken one it has cooled down.
  3. Roast tomatoes and garlic cloves.
  4. Blend tomatoes, 2 garlic cloves, 2-3 chipotle peppers with 1 cup of water. (Add some of the chipotle adobo sauce.)
  5. Set sauce aside for later use.
  6. In a large pan, fry 1 medium onion.
  7. Add oregano and bay leaves and continue frying until the onion is translucent.
  8. Add shredded chicken.
  9. Add chile sauce.
  10. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
  11. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Directions for Chipotle Dressing

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice and salt.

Chipotle Dressing

Assembling quesadillas

  1.  Preheat griddle or pan on medium low heat.
  2. Place the tortilla on the griddle and add 2 tablespoons of chicken and a handful of cheese over the tortillas.
  3. Place a second tortilla on top.
  4. Flip carefully with a spatula once the bottom tortilla is crispy and golden and repeat with the other side.
  5. Remove from the griddle and drizzle with chipotle sauce, cotija cheese.
  6. Serve with some pico de gallo and some lime slices.
  7. Enjoy

For video of our Tinga de res, click video below:

If there was such a thing as a “green thumb” in the kitchen, like in a garden, my mom would have it!  Growing up, my mom was able to make culinary masterpieces with just about anything she found in the kitchen.  In Spanish, we call that magic touch “Sazon.”  As a matter of fact, she still has it!  When I was younger, my mom owned a beauty salon.  Meal prepping was an essential skill when planning family dinners because her work hours were long.  Planning meals for a working mom requires quick thinking and creativity.  So many times, I would receive a call to “pull the chicken out of the fridge,” just in time for when she arrived home.  My mom would quickly transition, and assess what other groceries she had at her disposal.  Most Latino homes always seem to have the basic-traditional ethnic ingredients.  For my mom, that was enough para sacra la del apuro.   She would begin to bake the chicken and gather the assortment of pastas and veggies.  And as a final ingredient, like a runner racing to the finish line, with every ounce of commitment and dedication,  she would grab the McCormick mayonesa–and in her last strides—giving the meal what she always referred to as the perfect touch!  

Meals were always quick and easy!  Someone was always sure to ask her for her recipes.  She would verbally give them out often, but it was not until recently, that I’ve encouraged her to begin writing them down.  

She has never been secretive about the things that make her meals so delicious.  Now she enjoys sharing with others.  Perhaps it would have been a great idea for her to carry little cards with her recipes on it to hand out. LOL But hey, now we have YouTube. 🙂

Enjoy a family favorite.

Click on the link to watch our Youtube video on this recipe.   We share a very pretty way to serve this side dish.


2 bone-in chicken breast halves

2 large baking potatoes,peeled

12 oz bag of mixed veggies or 1 can

1/4 head of a lettuce, chopped

1 tbsp of salt (Personal preference)

1 teaspoon of pepper

1 tablespoon of paprika

2 cups of McCormick Mayonnaise with lime juice


  1. Season chicken breasts with salt, pepper and paprika.  Bake for 1 hour at 365°F.  Shred chicken after it has cooled down.
  2. Boil potatoes until soft or cook in microwave for 5 minutes. 
  3. Cut potatoes into cubes.
  4. Cook veggies according to instructions on package.
  5. In a large bowl add the chicken, potatoes, veggies, lettuce and mix.
  6. Add McCormick Mayonnaise with lime juice and mix.


Layer over a bed of Romaine lettuce leaves, Sliced tomatoes and jalapenos.  Top with cilantro.

You might be thinking, what the heck are Empasosas?  It’s a term my daughter came up with by putting together Empanada and Samosas.  We all know what empanadas are but what about Samosas? They are a fried or baked pastry with a savoury filling, such as spiced potatoes, onions, peas, cheese, beef and other meats, or lentils. … a popular entrée, appetizer, or snack in the local cuisines of the Indian subcontinent. 

Below you can find my Empasosa recipe.


Start by making the dough for the Empasosas because you will need it to rest for one hour.  The following dough recipe has been adapted from Sonia’s (La Pina En La Cocina’s ) recipe.

Ingredients For Dough

4 C of flour

1 ½ tsp salt

½ C unsalted butter (room temperature)

¼ C apple cider vinegar (You can use white vinegar.)

1 C room temperature water


  1. Combine dry ingredients.

  2. Cut in the butter until you have small crumbs.

  3. Mix in the vinegar.

  4. Gradually mix in ⅔ C of water.

  5. Only add more as needed.

  6. Knead dough on a flat surface for 5-6 minutes.

  7. Cover dough and let it rest for 1 hour.

While the dough rests, you can begin making the filling.

Ingredients For Filling

3 potatoes

1 tsp curry

¼ tsp cumin seed

¼ tsp coriander seed

1 tsp salt

3 tbsp chopped cilantro

4 tbsp flour

4 tbsp butter

Directions For Filling

  1. Peel and chop up potatoes into cubes.

  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a skillet and add the potatoes.

  3. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally.

  4. Set aside.

  5. Melt butter in a skillet (4 tbsp).

  6. Add flour (1 tbsp at a time) and mix thoroughly for 3 minutes or until you get a nutty aroma.

  7. Add salt and make sure it’s mixed well.

  8. Add cumin and coriander. Mix.

  9. Add curry and mix well.

  10. Mix in the potatoes until fully covered.

  11. Sprinkle cilantro and mix.

  12. Set aside.

Assembling the Empasosas

  1. Have a baking sheet ready.

  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

  3. Divide your dough into equal portions (12-20 depending on the size you want them.).

  4. Roll them into balls.

  5. Using a rolling pin, roll out the balls to about 4 inches in diameter.

  6. Add the potato filling as desired down the center.

  7. Fold over and press the edges down with a fork.

  8. Place on your baking sheet.

  9. Brush with egg wash  before baking.

  10. Bake for 22-25 minutes.

  11. Cook on broiler just for a minute to brown further.

IMG_7816 2

Story time about Empasosas.


“This is a sponsored blog; while the views expressed here were genuinely mine, consideration was paid to me by Juanita’s Foods.”


Tamales season is definitely here.  It reminds me of the days where all of my Abuela’s children along with their families, would gather Christmas Eve at her house in Tijuana, B.C.  Everyone in the family, from the youngest to the oldest, was assigned a job in the kitchen as we prepared for the evening meal. Everyone awaited the nightfall, anticipating una alumbrada outside as the family gathered enjoying tamales, champurrado, buñuelos, and a warm ponche navideño.

 I was always tasked with spreading masa onto the corn husks.  Something about getting the texture of the masa all over my hands, arms, face, table, and the floor was frustrating; but this was the tradition.  I did not particularly enjoy the process of making tamales because it is a very involving recipe. We made enough for 5 or 6 families to eat all night long, including the extra tamales for el recalentado and some to take back home with us.  It felt like a never-ending job. Although I loved traveling to Tijuana, seeing all the family together, and opening up presents at 9 pm (because Latinos do not wait until midnight), I knew it came with a lot of work!  This is what Navidad is about in a Latino family–making tamales alongside the women in my family, listening to their stories, and getting to know them more in depth.  I never believed that a day would come when I would actually miss those moments. You never thought that those moments would one day be the memories we would talk about as an adult with my own children.  With a soft voice and nostalgia in my heart, now I share with my own children, “When I was a kid during Christmas…” stories.

 I am glad that I have these memories to share with my children and with a heavy heart, we attempt to recreate the holidays despite missing many loved ones who are no longer with us.  What does this teach us? It teaches us that time is of the essence.  Our moments with our family members are precious, and with the help of Juanita’s, we can cut down on the time it takes to prepare those meals. Incorporating Juanita’s allows me more time to spend talking about those wonderful moments and even showing my family all of the old home movies of our past holiday family gatherings.

 We know that Juanita’s makes the #1 bestselling Menudo and Pozole in the U.S.  They offer a selection of flavorful soups, sauces, and stews made with the best quality ingredients…ready to heat and serve so families can spend less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying each other–when our time is limited due to external factors.  But did you know they also offer Pork Chile Verde? Perfect for TAMALES!!!  Here is a quick and easy tamales recipe we enjoyed preparing, as we are encouraged to savor every second together as a family laughing, chismiando, and just being together — saving us time on the daunting task of making tamales, up to our copetes in masa. LOL

 Here is the link for you to see what other products you can use to make life easier in those moments when time is essential.  


PREP TIME:  2 hours
COOK TIME: 1- 1:15 hours
SERVINGS:  36-40 tamales


 9 pounds of masa for tamales

1/2 teaspoon of baking soda

2 teaspoon of baking powder

1 cup of Juanita’s Foods Pork Chile sauce (You can also add beef broth.)

4 cans of Juanita’s Foods Pork Chile Verde

Corn Husks



  1. Soak corn husks in warm water to soften them.
  2. Simmer Juanita’s Pork Chile Verde for 5-10 minutes.  Medium heat. Set aside.
  3. Combine masa, baking soda, baking powder, pork chile sauce in a large bowl.
  4. Mix for 4 minutes or until smooth. (We mixed it in 2 batches.)
  5. Pat dry the corn husks.
  6. Take a corn husk on your hand with the wide side facing you.
  7. With a spoon, spread masa from the bottom up to the center of the husk.  About 3 tablespoons.
  8. Add 2-3 tablespoons of Juanita’s Pork Chile Verde to the center of the masa spread.
  9. Fold one side of the corn husk over the other.
  10. Fold the bottom of the corn husk up.
  11. Place another corn husk on the opposite side to prevent the masa from spilling. (Optional)
  12.  Fill a large steamer pot with water (¼ of the pot.)
  13. Once it has come to a boil, place tamales standing upward.
  14. Add corn husks on top of the tamales and place lid on the pot.
  15. Cook on medium heat for about 1 hour.
  16. If the corn husk can be peeled off easily, they are ready.



Short video of our process:

In the age of social media, we are constantly being reminded to “Live Your Best Life!”  

IMG_6646In fact, I think we are more conscientious about what is happening around us from day to day, whether it is in the news, or on a social media feed.  With one click, we can learn what is happening all the way in China, and we also know what our best friend is eating for breakfast. How amazing is it to be flooded with information at the tips of our fingers and be able develop such an awareness of how we live our lives!  But have you ever thought how that pace of processing information can potentially cause us to miss out on some of the most important things? I have to really sift through what I consume daily because I am trying to do my best to live with intention and create thoughtful memories with my family. I think I developed that quality from my Dad—who was a constant storyteller.  He loved to travel with us as a family and sharing his perspectives allowed me to see life through a different lense. He loved talking about art, history, religion and even politics. So you can say that over time, I sort of inherited the ability to record what I feel in my heart and capture vivid pictures in my mind—with the ability to share those experiences with the most careful detail.  

Because Living Your Best Life to me means that you are challenged to extract the lessons that life is teaching you–through each experience, both good and bad–and some sad.  A few years ago, my sister and lifelong companion—passed away.  Her passing was sudden—and it has been difficult to process.  On an occasion, I experience a deep sadness merely at the thought of her.  Fortunately, as the days pass, I have learned to cope with her loss by remembering.  We had the most amazing memories because I grew up sharing a room with her, laughing into the night talking and sharing stories.  We often recorded improvised soap operas with my father’s large VHS camera.  I can still hear her random laughs of joy when she would see something funny!  Those memories make me happy!

For Mexicans/Latinos—I think part of coping with death culturally and historically, has been through the practice of remembering our loved ones through a season called Dia de los Muertos

For many families, it is an important season to remember those who have passed from this life.  Traditionally, families set up a beautiful altar in dedication to those loved ones with Mexican Marigolds placed throughout, including some personal possessions or items that they loved while they were alive.  The most significant tradition is the preparation of a special meal that they once enjoyed. What a beautiful way to honor those who are no longer with us. It not only provides us with peace, but also gives us a sense of connection to those who impacted our lives so deeply.

I know that death is a part of life, but I have often asked myself–why do we wait to honor our loved ones in death–when we can so in life!   For that reason, I have made an explicit effort to enjoy each moment I have with my mom and my Abuela.  I love seeing her water her plants in her garden, or spending time cooking and eating together. I have been truly gifted with the opportunity to learn from her, and laugh together–and to share those experiences with everyone. 

IMG_6473One of her favorite things to do is grocery shop! I am not sure why, but I think it is just one of those funny and unique things that make her so special. Recently, we went to Vallarta Supermarkets, to walk the aisles and shop as she prepares for Dia de Los Muertos.  My Abuela is like a kid in a candy store–her eyes brighten as she walks through the aisles. My Abuela loves the fresh selection of Pan de Muerto from the Panaderia section. She particularly enjoys the fresh fruit and vegetables from the produce section. She carefully picks through the ears of corn, looking for just the perfect piece for my Abuelo.  As she passes la Floreria, she stops and gazes as theIMG_6509 selection of flowers, and leans forward and picks the perfect bouquet of Marigolds to add the final touch. She is preparing a small altar at her home, as she does every year in dedication to his life and the years they spent together.  Perhaps, it is her way of coping with the loss of Abuelo since his passing almost 17 years ago.  

Later, we will arrive home, unpack the bags of groceries from the car, and settle in.  With no words, and only a deep determination in her eyes, my Abuela pulls out that special elote and bright marigolds that she found at Vallarta Supermarkets, and slowly walks to the living room.  With a steady pace, she moves towards the corner of the living room where she has placed a framed picture of my Abuelo–and with the most delicate movement, care and consideration, she gently places the plate with the single ear of corn before the framed picture.IMG_6564  

There are some things that my Abuela has taught me with words, and other things, that she has taught me with her actions.  It does not matter how elaborate the altar, or how simple the gesture in one’s celebration–but rather, it is at the core—about keeping someone alive in our hearts.  I know that deep down, My Abuela does miss my Abuelo. And in the season of remembrance, such as Dia de Los Muertos, the altar represents resilience to live with purpose, even despite the loss of those we have loved, because it is a part of life.  She has taught me that to live–is to honor those who are no longer with us–by truly Living our best life!

Today, as I think about those special people we have lost in our lives, I personally celebrate my sister.  I know that one day we will meet again.  My heart tells me that one day I will be able to hug her again and tell her how much I have missed her.  Until then, I will continue to live with the intent to honor her with my life and to place upon the altar of my heart–Everything I do…in dedication to her.

We remember you today Eli.
We remember you today Tio Jose.
We remember you today Abuelo. 

Thank you Vallarta Supermarkets for sponsoring this conversation–and for accommodating us culturally and as a community–by having everything we need to celebrate Dia de Los Muertos!

This post is sponsored by La Banderita Tortillas.  All opinions are my own.


I love the transition from Summer to Fall.  Outside the leaves are changing colors, evenings are cooler, and the sunsets arrive earlier.  It means that the holidays are upon us, Christmas and Thanksgiving just around the corner. It marks the season of family, culture, and time to remember.   Dia de los Muertos is especially enjoyable because every year, as we place beautiful candles, set pictures of our loved ones, and delicately place beautiful cempasuchil flowers around, it signifies our appreciation for precious memories of people of significance in our family. As we gather around the kitchen to prepare Nopales Guisados con Carne Ranchera, we are always reminded of the stories of my Abuela’s grandparents.

Growing up in a small pueblo in Mexico, there is a fair expectation that even the children helped in the cultivation of the family farm.  Abuela was in her early teens, approximately 14 years old when she became a significant help to her parents at home.  Abuela’s labor included clearing the tierra from weeds, tilling the soil by hand, and planting seeds each season.  During those particular times, it was an all day event that involved the entire family;  so with the anticipation of laboring under the heat of the open air, her mother would wake up en la madrugada to prepare for the day by packing essentials for lunch.  In those times, all they could afford were tortillas and chiles.  On special occasions, they would be able to purchase some fresh meat from their local carniceria, but those moments were rare.  With their almuerzo packed, and after a brief morning cafecito, as a family they would begin their long journey up to el cerro.

From dusk until approximately midday, when the sun hung mightily over the open blue sky,  Abuela’s father would signal everyone that it was time to rest.  It was their reward for laboring so intensely in the tropical heat, as the clouds from the Michoacan skies began to roll in for the typical afternoon drizzle.  Everyone would take cover under the large trees and tejaban, which became their temporary refuge for their lunchtime rest.  They would make a fire between a couple rocks and place a metal pan over it.  The crackling from the fire and the smell of freshly burnt wood filled the air.  As they cleaned the prickly thorns from the cactus they had cut from just a few feet away, the pan sizzled with the meat as it seared.  The sounds and smells became like a virtual melody.  

Did anyone bring las tortillas?  

Of course someone packed them en el moralito (satchel).   Everyone would gather around the wood burning stove to enjoy the Nopales con Carne that was thoughtfully prepared.  After they were finished, they rested.  Resting after a good meal was required because it allowed for a moment to replenish the strength needed to continue working until the setting sun. As the sun slowly rested its face upon the distant horizon, the family packs up as it was time to end their work day. As they made their way back down from el cerro, dinner was already on their mind.  

Things have not changed very much for hard working families.  The days come and go quickly, and seasons pass steadily; those moments as families become more distant as we work to get through life daily.  When it comes to those whose heritage is characterized by meals shared with the people that make up your familia–mealtimes become a significant part of life.  In my house, I can feel the warmth of family as everyone eats, randomly different people reaching for a freshly warmed tortilla, combined with the low murmur of how everyone’s day was is shared.  It is the balance of appreciation for unity as well as the gratitude for the labor of preparation, that solidifies what it means to enjoy a delicious meal together. Personally, the times spent with my family is never wasted.  I especially enjoy when my mom and Abuela share stories of their youth during a meal, because it is in those moments, history comes alive–and old forgotten recipes are remembered. Somehow, our meals keep us connected to our memories of family–and those memories keep us connected to who we are.

Below you will find a simple, yet delicious variation of the meal my Abuela shared with her parents in the days of her working their Ranchito.  Today, and especially in this season, we enjoy making this dish in remembrance of my great grandparents.  Sitting around, telling their stories gives us a glimpse of who they were–and that is what is special about Dia de Los Muertos. While Dia de Los Muertos is a time to create altars and remember our antepasados, we find that the true altars are the ones we have placed upon our hearts, as we remember the beautiful memories of those who have passed on from this life–by enjoying the foods that remind us most about them. 

We hope you enjoy this very special dish!

Saquen las tortillas!




PREP TIME:  30 Minutes




2 Pounds Flank Steak
10 Nopales Cactus
1 Medium Onion
1 Cup Cilantro
4-7 Arbol Chiles
2 Tablespoons of Chicken Flavored Bouillon
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
La Banderita Tortillas (Corn or Flour)


  1.  Brown meat with salt and pepper to liking.
  2. Once meat has browned to your liking, cut into strips. 
  3. Cut 10 noplaes into stips (Cleaned nopales).
  4. Boil nopales in water for about 5 minutes.
  5. Strain nopales and rinse.
  6. Cut onion into slices.
  7. Fry onion in oil until translucent.
  8. Add arbol chiles and cook together for about 1-2 minutes
  9. Add nopales to the onion and chile.  Cook for about 1-2 minutes.
  10.   Add meat strips.
  11.   Add chicken flavor bouillon.
  12.  Mix well.

You can serve as is or serve as tacos.


Taco assembling:

  1. Heat La Banderita tortillas (Cors or flour) on griddle.
  2. On top of the tortillas add 2-3 tablespoons of carne con nopales.
  3. Top with Cilantro and beans.







“We inherit from our ancestors gifts so often taken for granted.  Each of us contains within this inheritance of soul.  We are links between the ages, containing past and present expectations, sacred memories and future promise.”
– Edward Sellner

We have inherited so much from our ancestors, from simple salutations, our clothing and attire, or the way we celebrate holidays and special occasions.  We naturally tend to forget the impact and influence our ancestral origins have on our daily lives.  As time passes, there is a gradual move and a growing distance from our roots of origin in the evolution as a culture with each generation.  That is the reason why it is so important to continue to share family stories, recipes, and traditions to our family and extended family members.  I have heard it said that if we know where we come from, we may better know where to go.  To take it a step further, if we know who we came from, we may better understand who we are.  It is so crucial to our success as a culture, to identify the efforts to preserve the characteristics that bridge us to our ancestral roots, because it keeps us connected as a community.  We are thankful to Rumba Meats for sponsoring this recipe post and in helping us ensure that future generations not only benefit from preserving beautiful family recipes, but also for investing in the developmental of our community by partnering up with United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI) to award 25 $1,000 scholarships this year (Rumba Meats Scholarship).  If you have a child going to college soon, it is never too early to start thinking about scholarships.

Remembering my personal college experience, I can honestly say that the demand of academics allowed me virtually no opportunity to socialize with my family, let alone sharing time in the kitchen learning how to make a family recipe.  Not only was I a full time student, but I was working two jobs in order to pay my tuition.  Regrettably, I look back and acknowledge that a part of me missed out on valuable family events.  While the idea of going to school and working is part of life, we also find ourselves placing family time on the altar of sacrifice.  Now that I am older, I am able to reflect upon those missed opportunities with a gratitude for the time that I am able to spend with my mom and Abuela now.  My hope is that in the midst of carrying on our daily life responsibilities, that I can now provide my daughter, Jezreel, the loving nudge to remember the importance of heritage, as she begins her first year of college.  Like many parents, they are able to look into the eyes of their children, and see a subtle reflection of themselves.  In that reflection, there also lies the lessons and hardships experienced in dismissing heritage and culture as unimportant.  I hope that through my experience I can help her see the value of family and culture–even in the times where she may feel overwhelmed with subsequent responsibilities or life pressures.  There is always time!

So in an effort to infuse the recognition of culture and heritage into her daily life, we have helped her find a work life balance that also enables her to spend time with us occasionally.  It remains our goal, to embellish her life with these sort of sprinkles of reminders, so that one day she will have her own beautiful stories about cooking with her mother and Abuela.

This particular blog is our first intentional recipe that we created just to spend time with my daughter, Jezreel.  The recipe is Burritos De Pancita De Res En Salsa Pasilla.

My hope is that by reading this, you are encouraged to celebrate your heritage AND at the same time, embrace the inevitable changes in our lives knowing that the fingerprint of our love, family, and culture remains embedded into the experiences we share at home and in the kitchen.

Con Cariño,


Abuela’s Kitchen



PREP TIME:  30 Minutes
COOK TIME:  2 Hours


3 Pounds of Rumba Meats Honeycomb Tripe
1 onion
4 garlic cloves
3 bay leaves
1/4 cup of vinegar
salt (personal preference)
4 tomatoes
5 pasilla chiles
1 ancho chiles
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons of chicken flavor bouillon
1 cup of toasted almonds and pealed

Instructions for prepping the tripe:

  1.  Remove the tripe from the package.
  2. Add vinegar to the tripe and set aside for 5 minutes.  Rinse.
  3. Place tripe, 1/2 an onion and 2 garlic cloves in a large pot with 8-10 cups of water or until the trip is covered.
  4. Cook tripe for 2 hours and drain.

Instructions for making the chile sauce:

  1.  Boil the tomatoes, chiles (deseeded and deveined) until soft.
  2. Place almonds in hot water for about 15 minutes and peel.
  3.  Blend tomatoes and chiles.
  4. Strain the Chile sauce.
  5. Place Chile sauce back in the blender and add the almonds.  Blend.
  6. In a hot pan add 1 tablespoon on lard or cooking oil.
  7. Add Chile sauce and let simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Add honey comb  and chicken flavor bouillon.
  9. Simmer for 10 minutes on medium heat.
  10. Stir every so often.

Assembling of the burrito:

  1.  Heat up a flour tortilla on a skillet.
  2. Add beans, rice, tripe and lettuce.
  3. Fold the shorter sides of the tortilla inward then fold the longer sides towards the middle.


No one is given a manual on how to raise a child.  And even when one has gone on to higher education and picked up a few pointers on child development and child rearing from psychology class, it’s not enough to prepare you for what lies ahead. The moment you are finally able to stare into the eyes of your first born child, you know that things are not going to be the same and a task has been given to you… a gift.  For some, that might not have been the initial sentiment but regardless, that child–that life, is still a gift.


DSC_6883My first born, Jezreel graduates from high school today.  So many feelings and flashes of moment come in and out. And as those feelings go from happiness to sadness and then to feeling orgullosa, I can’t help to think how blessed I have been to have been granted the ability to work from home and be able to be part of every stage of both of my children’s lives.


I am so grateful to God for giving me the privilege to raise 2 beautiful children.  Yes they have their moments and quirks but it has been such an honor to watch them grow.  I can’t say I was the perfect mother, or that we are the perfect family, but God is perfect and chose me to be their mother.  


Whatever phase you are in as a parent and at whatever age you became a parent, that was the perfect timing for you.  And if it came too early, you have an amazing opportunity to use your experience to help your children through their journey.


I do have one point I would like to share as a mom which I came to understand and still trying to really adapt to my life with my son, it is to feed your kids’ passion, guide them with the experience you have gained along the way while they explore and pursue their passion into life.  Don’t guide them to feed the “parental ego” or because we want to compete with the Jones’. Guide them to be the best version of themselves.


DSC_5961Parenting is not an easy task and as you have heard, it takes a village…and it doesn’t end at High School graduation.  That is actually the beginning of a whole new set of life challenges. Thank you to all who have help me, Jezreel and the rest of my little family along the way.


Congrats Jezreel!

I love you.


Keep seeking God.

Keep coming to us and

Keep on shining.


You have one life.  

Enjoy it and live with integrity.


Adelante mija.