It seems every time I go home I see Mexico in a different light. Last time it was Christmas and everything seemed so beautiful under the twinkling lights, our traditions so rich, and our heritage great. This time, under the sweltering heat of summer things seemed a bit more bleak. Nevertheless, the company and the food were as good as always.

I’m from a small border town in Mexico called Acuña. [I have written about it in previous posts.] I try to visit as often as I can, but this year for some deranged reason I decided to go in August. Due to the 106F weather, going around town delighting in street food was not at the top of my list of priorities. Instead I ate at the family restaurant as often as I could, where there was air conditioning and delicious free food. What else could a girl ask for?  However i did manage to visit a couple of street vendors before the trip was over.

My first stop was at Chilakas Burger. (Yes, Mexicans eat burgers too!) Their signature sauce is made from chile chilaca, which is a mildly spicy green pepper. The chile sauce and the mashed avocado smeared on the bun, gave the burger a unique Mexican touch.

Next I stopped at Helados Aguirre for a mango popsicle. This was not an ordinary mango popsicle, it had mango, chamoy, lime juice, and a touch of cucumber. It was cold, sweet, tart, and a bit salty. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. What amazes me the most about this place is the variety of flavors that they offer and the way they use fresh fruit in their preparation. Some of their flavors include coconut, tamarind, rice pudding, banana, cantaloupe, watermelon, pineapple, and strawberry.

I made a quick stop at Loncheria el Lechon which serves roast pork sandwiches with avocado, onion, mayo, mustard, pickled jalapeños, and tomato.

Finally after a long hot day what could be better than a yuki? Yuki is just another word for snow cone or shaved ice. I really enjoy this particular stand, because they use fresh fruit to make their syrups. My favorite is the tamarind yuki topped with lime juice and chile powder.

So there you have it, another trip to my hometown described mostly in food. This time around I tried to savor the small details of the trip, like the smell of chiles roasting on the comal (cast iron griddle), the joy felt when Mexico won the gold medal in soccer at the Olympics, kids having fun in the sun, and honestly just relaxing. It was nice to be able to take a break from the routine, spend time with loved ones, and eat.

making salsa

The Recipe: Salsa Molcajeteada

This salsa molcajeteada combines pan roasted tomatoes, garlic, and peppers to make a spicy and hearty salsa. They are pureed in a molcajete.

5 from 2 votes

Salsa Molcajeteada

Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 cups
Author Dora Stone


  • 5 Plum tomatoes, small
  • 1 Beefsteak, tomato
  • 1/2 Banana pepper chile güero
  • 1/2 Chilaca pepper
  • 3 Serrano Peppers
  • 1/2 Poblano Pepper
  • 3 Jalapeños
  • 1 Garlic cloves


  1. Heat a griddle or cast iron pan to high heat. Place all of the peppers, tomatoes, and garlic on griddle until they become soft and slightly blackened, about 7-10 min.

  2. Flip peppers, tomatoes, and garlic and continue to char for another 5- 7 minutes.
  3. Remove ingredients from griddle and set aside. Peel most of the dark burnt skin off of the tomatoes and chiles. You can leave a little bit for the smoky flavor.

  4. Start grinding ingredients in molcajete one at a time. Once the desired consistency is reached, add the next ingredient and keep grinding. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
  5. If you do not have a molcajete you can use a blender or food processor. Simply place all the cooked ingredients in the machine and pulse until the desired consistency is reached. I prefer it on the chunky side.

Chef's Notes

Polita has been working for my parents for years. In fact, she was my nanny for some time. This is her recipe, and she likes her salsas hot so be careful!

I love tequila!! I really do, and I hate the negative reputation is has in this country. I’ve been drinking tequila since I was 15 yrs old, with adult supervision of course. My parents decided it was best to teach me how to drink tequila properly, before I turned 18 and went out into the world. I never got drunk off of it, at least not until college, which I totally blame on you eager American college kids. I’ll spare you the drunk college stories for fear of embarrassing myself and others involved. Needless to say, I almost gave up tequila. Thankfully my mom started sending me bottles of sangrita to chase my tequila with, which reminded me that tequila, good tequila, is meant to be sipped and enjoyed. Sangrita is the best tequila chaser you’ll find. It is a combination of hot chiles, orange juice, onion, tomato juice, and just a touch of sugar. You can buy it pre-made, I recommend Viuda de Sanchez, or you can make it yourself.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

Now, let me introduce you to the many wonderful ways in which Mexicans drink their tequila. First there’s the “bandera” or flag, it consists of 3 shots, one of lime juice, one of tequila, and one of sangrita. It is meant to be sipped but can also be shot. It’s called a flag because of the colors reflect those of the Mexican flag: green, white, and red. The shot glasses are not your regular shot glasses either. They are known as “caballitos” or little horses. If you would like to know why, you can visit the Mexican Academy of Tequila for some interesting facts. All you really need to know is that while a regular shot glass fits one fluid ounce of liquor, the “caballito” fits one and a half. Another way to drink tequila is with lime and salt, lick the space between your thumb and your forefinger, add some salt, lick salt, take shot, and suck on a lime. Please don’t call it training wheels, it drives me crazy, yes it’s supposed to lessen the harshness of the alcohol, but tequila shouldn’t be harsh. Surprised? This leads me to the final way of drinking tequila, which is, served in a snifter and sipped.

The best sangrita recipe is spicy, sweet, and savory. It is the best chaser to any tequila. A vegan recipe.

All of these ways of drinking tequila would be greatly improved if you invest in a good tequila. Try Corralejo or Don Julio Blanco for margaritas, the “bandera”, and the salt-shot-lime version, or for any other mixed drink. Don Julio (my lover), also comes in Reposado, Anejo, and 1942. Don Julio 1942 is for sipping, and while quite expensive you should definitely try it t least once. If you’re looking for a surprisingly smooth tequila try Clase Azul, plus it comes in a really unique bottle. I hope this helps and maybe persuades you to try tequila one more time before vowing never to touch it again.

The Recipe: The Best Sangrita Recipe

0 from 0 votes


Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 1 quart
Author Dora Stone


  • 2 cups Tomato juice
  • 1 1/2 cups Orange juice, fresh
  • 1/2 cup Lime juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp, Onion white, large, minced
  • 1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce, vegan
  • 4 tsp. Valentina, Mexican hot sauce


  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients, whisk them together, and season.
  2. Refrigerate.

Chef's Notes

Serve cold. The quality of the sangrita depends on the quality of the tomato juice, so get a good one.



conos de cajeta

         I’m beginning to think maybe I should call this a Mexican food blog. It’s my last couple of days in Mexico and I’m sad to leave, but sooo looking forward to Cali. Everytime I come home I try to eat a little bit of everything, like the tacos al pastor they sell on the corner in front of Merco (a grocery store), the yukis (shaved ice) in front of the car wash on Hidalgo street, the mangonadas (mango and chile popsicles) at the Paleteria Aguirre (ice cream shop), and the elote en vaso (steamed mexican corn served with a chile mix, crema, butter, lime juice, and cheese), they sell outside of the Narvaez Hospital. Well, you get my point, I could go on and on. It’s not a coincidence that all the foods I just named are street foods, street food is king in Mexico. In fact, some of the best food in Mexico is street food. Of course there are nice restaurants, cafe’s, and taquerias (taco shops), but there’s just something about simple, hot, just made, delicious food, that’s hard to resist. It’s the ultimate non-processed fast food.

Mexican corn

Food truck assembling my corn deliciousness



Once I leave Mexico, it seems that I spend the rest of the year, in my kitchen, trying to recreate every Mexican dish possible. This week’s recipe is a simple salsa and a couple of cocktails. Chips and salsa in Mexico are not quite like chips and salsa in the U.S. Don’t get me wrong, I actually like both versions, but they’re just different. You can make your own authentic chips and salsa in less than 20 min. or as they’re called in Mexico: totopos con salsa.

Fruit cups sold on the street.

Sweet potato candy


Man in crutches pushing and ice cream cart


Carnitas sold by the kilo

For the chips, buy a pack of corn tortillas, not the frozen ones please, and cut into quarters. Fry them in 350F oil until golden brown. Remove the chips from the oil and sprinkle them with salt.

chile de arbol salsa

The Recipe: Chile de Arbol Salsa

chile de arbol salsa
0 from 0 votes

Chile de Arbol Salsa

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Author Dora Stone


  • 8 Tomatillo, husks removed
  • 3 Garlic, cloves, unpeeled
  • 1/2 oz (3/4 cup) Chile de Arbol
  • 1/2 Onion. white chopped
  • 2 tbsp. Cilantro, chopped


  1. Heat cast iron pan or griddle to high heat. Place tomatillos and garlic cloves in pan. Let the tomatillo’s skin burn and blacken on all sides. The garlic needs to be only lightly toasted on each side, about 1 -2 min.
  2. Remove garlic from pan, peel, and set aside.
  3. Once the tomatillos are soft and mostly black, remove them from pan and place in a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 5 min.
  4. Bring 3 cups of water to a boil in a small sauce pan.
  5. Remove the stem and seeds from the chiles. Place them in the pot of boiling water and simmer from 5 to 7 minutes or until chiles are soft.
  6. Drain the chiles from the water.
  7. Place the tomatillos in the blender with the garlic, onion, cilantro, and chile de arbol. Blend, season, and add water is necessary to thin out sauce.

Chef's Notes

As an alternative you can place the tomatillos under the broiler in your oven for 15 to 20 min. until blackened and soft all over.