Watermelon Salad with Lemon Chia Dressing

The Original Texas Tastemaker Sweet and tangy poppy seed dressing has certainly had a long run in the spotlight. Made popular by Helen Corbitt back in the 1950’s, poppy seed dressing is still a regular offering on most summer fruit salads. (FYI inasmuch as I could have googled this Helen Corbitt factoid, I knew this […]


Tart and Juicy Ruby Red Grapefruit Pie

A Signature Regional Dessert One of the glories of our Rio Grande Valley autumns is the harvest of the Ruby Red grapefruit. They are what every little grapefruit should aspire to be. Sweet, juicy and deep red on the inside, blushing like a peach on the outside. Use them for your pie if you can […]


Mexican Hot Chocolate Brownies

Better than Any Powdered Mix Mexican hot chocolate is different than the powdered cocoa mixes we consume here in the U.S. In chocolate growing countries, many communities have a molino or mill that will grind the chocolate nibs into your house recipe, including the spices and amount of sugar that you like. Out of the […]


Refreshing and Different Celery Lemonade

Celery Can Make A Refreshing Beverage Celery Lemonade is an incredibly refreshing beverage on hot, dry summer days. I served this recipe to some visiting chefs from the Culinary Institute of America, and they were quite impressed! If you don’t care for celery, try substituting cucumber for an equally thirst quenching drink. And really, you only […]

Main Dishes

Pork Carnitas (Pork Pieces prepared Cauldron Style)

Pork Carnitas are a Traditional Weekend Treat Lots of little mom and pop taco stands serve carnitas on the weekends. The name simply means “little meats” and they are considered an affordable indulgence. The milk added in the last stage of cooking gives each piece of meat a scrumptiously crisp crust. Carnitas can be enjoyed […]



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Mint Lemonade for The Free Spirit

Mint at My Grandmother’s House The leafy carpet of fresh mint growing around a twisted black ebony tree in my grandmother’s yard was thick and lush. Ants and spiders trailed under the green coolness, and the cats would bat around the lizards that hid there.  In the Spring, red and white amaryllis pushed their way […]


A Pachamanca in the Village of Huilac

The turns on the narrow mountainside road were so sharp, our tour bus would stop on the hairpin curves, back up, and then reposition itself to continue up the steep muddy slope. We were all holding our breath. We rode the bus until the road faded into a dusty path, and then we continued on […]

Main Dishes

Making True Ceviche Using Passion Fruit Juice

Making Authentic Ceviche I always wondered about the Peruvian claim to the origin of ceviche, a marinated seafood cocktail. In our part of the Gulf of Mexico, ceviche is always made with either lime juice, sour orange juice, or vinegar, all of which are products of the Old World. I wondered if the original recipe […]