Glowing, radiant health is the new black. Our Green Table is serving it up, for the whole body! Healthy recipes and tips, the latest on eco-friendly food and "skin food"products and a head's up on ingredient safety are all woven into family-centered stories and discoveries. Bring informed, aware and empowered looks good on everyone!

Abrazos! xox Penny

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Holy 'Mole, I loved living in Mexico!

We lived in Mexico when our kiddos were little, really little. Our daughter was only a year old and our son, just four. We moved there young, I'll tell you, and for the most part, young worked. Otherwise, we couldn't have survived it all with such great memories intact! While we waited some nine months(Phew...that got old!) for our belongings to pass through customs, which included our daughter's crib and son's bed, our bed, all our baby things and toys, dishes, clothes, you name it...we had some great adventures and discovered a way of living that has stuck with me since.

The first discovery involves people. I love 'em and find a friendly face most everywhere. As a teen, I lived for about four months in Colombia and got a taste of how warm and welcoming people can be. Living in Mexico for as long as we did took that one step further. Blunders with language and customs aside, and I made many, you can cut through to a person's heart pretty quickly and most are good. I met delightful people there from all over the world.

The second thing I discovered was how to live and shop "in the moment". Perhaps things have changed a lot a since we lived there ( I am not talking about what's on the news recently...we sure had some big worries living there, too) but when we did, the "grocery" store was nothing more than a small bodega for mainly canned chiles, rice and beans, boxed milk, jars of crema de cacahuete and cajeta, an addictive goat's milk spread which alone was worth the trip to Mexico. Everything else was fresh...from a stand, stall, cart or corner shop. There were bakeries for bread, rolls and dulces, stalls where the tortillas were stacked fresh and warm, just waiting to be slathered with sweet butter and a sprinkle of sal. Carts passed by our house some filled with fruits and veggies, others with gorgeous whole fish like huachinango glistening on the ice. A weekly "farmers market" was over on the next street, too, and so every day, I went "hunting" for dinner. It was "fresh or else"...or actually, "fresh or not at all!"

In addition to finding fabulous people, I also found fabulous food, every day, and we ate well and stayed healthy. And, we cultivated some food of our own, I mentioned in an earlier post, we also had two chickens there, Georgie and Roadrunner. We "inherited" them from a family that was moving back to Denmark and those sweet birds were a highlight of our stay there. I have also mentioned that I became "hooked" on Mexico's coffee. Our kiddos used to put on plays starring The Coffee Mother. Guess who that was?! One of my other food obsessions (mmm..there were many!) was avocadoes. Love 'em and got hooked on their buttery deliciousness. To this day, I have several a week. Usually they don't last long enough to make guacamole, but when they do, here is the recipe I use.

Lean and Clean Guacamole

3 very ripe avocadoes
1/2 red onion, minced
juice of one whole lime
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon sea salt and some fresh black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro
dash of cumin

Cut avocadoes in half and discard pits. Scoop flesh into bowl and break up into chunks. Add rest of ingredients. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serves 2-3.

And here is a recipe for homemade tortillas.

Soft Corn Tortillas
1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup good, fresh masa harina
1 heaping tablespoon flour of choice (buckwheat flour is good here)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
Let stand for 1 hour and then cook like you would a crepe. Use a 6 inch cast-iron crepe pan, heat and add small amount of butter. When it sizzles, add a scoop (about 2 tablespoons) of batter. Shake pan to distribute batter evenly and cook over medium heat for about one minute or until surface of the tortilla dulls. Lift corner to see if underside has browned and then flip and finish cooking, about 30 seconds.

Let cool slightly then add some guacamole, cheese, whatever you choose and devour! Or, do as we did and eat warm with sweet butter and a pinch of salt.

And, here is a wonderful Margarita from NYC's fabulous Blue Smoke!

Blood Orange Margarita Recipe from Blue Smoke, via New York Magazine, March 29, 2009

FOR THE BLOOD-ORANGE PURÉE:4 blood oranges, peeled, segmented, and seeded, 1 tablespoon simple syrup (combine an even ratio of sugar and water in a bottle and shake until sugar is dissolved) 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

FOR THE MARGARITA: 1 lime wedge and coarse salt for rim, Ice, 2 ounces puro blanco tequila, 1 1/2 ounces fresh lime juice (approximately 21/2 limes), 3/4 ounce orange liqueur, 1/2 ounce simple syrup, 3/4 ounce blood-orange purée, 1 lime wheel (optional), 1 blood-orange wheel (optional)

FOR THE BLOOD-ORANGE PURÉE: In a blender, combine the orange segments, simple syrup, and lemon juice and purée until smooth. (Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use; the purée will keep for up to two days.) FOR THE MARGARITA: Moisten the edge of a rocks glass with a ¼-inch wedge of lime. Sprinkle a good amount of salt on a plate and press the outside rim of the glass into the salt. Chill glass in freezer for a few minutes. Fill cocktail shaker and glass with ice. Add the tequila, lime juice, orange liqueur, simple syrup, and blood-orange purée to the shaker and (1) shake vigorously. (2) Strain into glass and (3) garnish with orange and lime wheels!

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