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    DC-Metro; Bisbee,AZ; Ajijic, Mexico; Gulfport FL; Ajijic, Mexico tambien

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  1. Great hard-to-find condiments

    This is my go to condiment. Straight from the squeeze bottle onto fajitas, sandwiches or into a stew pot. Also mixed with mayo, or mixed with cherry preserves next to grilled fish and meats. My husband likes the dulce version better for straight from the bottle uses.
  2. Goat

    Goat birria is very popular in Jalisco. There is a neighborhood in Guadalajara Centro called Nueve Esquinas (Nine Corners) with about a dozen goat birria places. Makes for a fun tasting day. Guadalajara is about an hour from our home in Ajijic (Lake Chapala). All things being local here in Mexico, here in Ajijic almost all the birria is beef (sometimes pork). However, a 25 minute drive from our home to the small city of Jocotopec, the birria is goat again. Jocotopec's main plaza is lined with about a half-dozen birria de chiva joints. Without fail we take our first-time visitors to Joco for goat birria and without fail all have loved it. Birria is stew-like, but is made in a recipe-specific contraption in which the seasoned and marinated raw meat cooks over the water, not in the water. As the meat steams and breaks down, its drippings fall into the water which becomes a super flavorful broth. This is a multi-hour process. When it is served, the vendor ladles the broth into the bowl then shreds some goat meat into it. It is topped with raw onion, cilantro and a very vinegary salsa, all of which you add at the table. Served with fresh hot corn tortillas. When you go to these birria joints you will see local women arrive with large empty pots to buy only the broth to take with them to use in other recipes. I tried twice to make it at home and was not happy with the results. Recipes recommended using a rack to separate the meat from the water/broth but I don't think that equaled what the professionals use. I am happy to eat at the friendly birria joints.
  3. Favorite Homemade Sauces for Pasta

    We go the simple route especially when using a quality fresh pasta. Grape or cherry tomatoes, garlic, crushed red pepper, fresh basil....if I have some Italian sausage I'll start the sauce with that, otherwise just olive oil. But one thing we started doing years ago was to finish our pasta with toasted bread crumbs and fine lemon zest. I 'toast' the bread crumbs in a dry skillet and hit it with the zest then throw it on top of the pasta.
  4. That paella I was going to make today........well, our power went out at 9AM on Friday. One never (usually) knows the why or the when it might come back. By 4PM we found out it was widespread based on a walk around town and then a car ride, farther afield. Being it was Good Friday, when stores and businesses are closed, we figured the chances of it coming back on before Easter were low. So we made the paella for Friday dinner. Power came back on while it was simmering.
  5. DH is bringing wine...but HOW (and WHY) does one make that clear? Don't really care if they serve it or not,...why should I? Yes, I am an over-thinker!
  6. This is a small village and area. Everyone shops at the same stores. Yes the honey is local but it is sold on street corners (in large tub-like containers). There are 3 stores that sell decent wines (and one of them is Walmart-Mexico!!). It would be a stroke of chance if I found something 'special' in a local store that they have not seen or know about (they have lived here 5 years seasonally). DH still wants to bring wine. I bring my spiced pecans. It will be overkill IMO, but DH says, why not?
  7. We're the new kids on the block...not that new, 10 months but this couple lives elsewhere full-time.
  8. @Anna N....you expressed my sentiments better than I did. I mean, if all we're having is wine and cheese and it's only us 2 couples, I figure they've covered the basics. I personally don't like gifted flowers (have to run around find a vase, etc.). House plant...they are seasonal residents here, so no. I always try to bring something homemade, but maybe the pecans aren't the best choice. I was going to make them and put in a nice bag/ribbon.
  9. I guess it's been a long time since we've been invited to a 'new' couple-to-couple meet-up for wine and cheese. We always bring wine to group events. Our bottle gets put out with several other bottles. I think if it were us inviting 2 'new' folks for an early evening glass of wine and some cheese, I'd have both a red and white opened (to cover all the bases). Another bottle from the only other couple?? Just seems odd (to me)....should I bring some cheese, too
  10. Their email invitation to us was "stop in for some wine and cheese."
  11. We're the relatively new kids on the block. We've met most of our neighbors and have been to their homes and they have been to our home, always for group get-togethers. We always bring a bottle of wine and they have likewise brought bottles to our parties. A part-time couple has invited just us for wine and cheese. We have never socialized with them before, neither at our home or at other neighborhood get-togethers. This is probably Etiquette 101, but my DH and I disagree on what to bring. I think it would be awkward to bring a bottle of wine; he thinks it's pretty much mandatory. IMO bringing a bottle may send a message that: we don't expect them to have a good-enough wine; we are trying to impress them or embarrass them; or we simply drink too much . This is for wine and cheese at 4PM (they selected the time). We are all retired. I was thinking I'd bring some homemade spiced pecans instead of wine. It's not a financial burden for us to bring wine, it just seems odd to me. What do you do? PS: If it was a couple we knew, we'd be likely to bring a half-opened bottle since most of us are pretty casual. But these folks seem a bit more formal and we don't really know them.
  12. My Mexican oven and I getting jiggy with each other. I gambled on madeleines and they came out perfectly. Will share the batch with my gardener and his family. I'm not sure they really like the anglo bakes that I give them, but they are appreciative that we think of them at the holidays. While I'm not religious in the least, our village puts on a live Passion Play that is quite the production. Buses pour in from Mexico City and beyond. For the devout, Good Friday's 4+ hour long Play which ends with a steep climb to "Calvary Hill" is the high point. For us, it's Saturday night when locally made life-size paper mache' effigies of Judas, covered with large firecrackers are hung in the trees in our Plaza and then ignited at 11PM. At midnight all the church bells toll for a solid 30 minutes.
  13. Canadian waiter filed discrimination suit after being fired, citing his culture is the reason for his demeanor. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/food/wp/2018/03/26/hes-not-rude-just-french-says-canadian-server/?utm_term=.e2b83902eaba
  14. We are leaving our Mexican home for several weeks, just after Easter. I like to get all the proteins out of the freezer in case there's a power outage while we're gone. As luck would have it, I have most of the ingredients for a paella. It's not an authentic paella but it's the first one I ever made back in 1980 from Pierre Franey's 60 Minute Gourmet cookbook. I was a novice cook and we both worked, so it was my go-to cookbook for many years.
  15. Anyone using a LP Gas stove?

    All we have in Mexico is LP gas. Have used since 2008. I like it. Every home in our village uses it and have never heard of an explosion. We have a large stationary tank but many swap out tall gas cylinders. Here's how we know when a gas truck is nearby for a refill. Zeta Gas Jingle