Photographic Adventures in Paradise
Step 2 Add the Ice to glass approximately 80% full.
Step 3 Measure a shot of tequila in a shot glass or jigger. Pour the shot into the margarita glass. I bought LARGE shot glasses as they seem to work better and add more pizazz to the drink.
Step 4 Measure a shot of Grand Mariner or Cointreau and add it to the margarita glass. I also suggest a LARGE shot glass for this very important step.
Step 5 Fill half of the remaining empty space in the margarita glass with the lime juice. This will be about 1 to 1.5 oz.
Step 6 Fill the remaining empty space in the margarita glass with soda water, squirt or lemon-lime soda, depending on your personal taste. Stop pouring when the liquid reaches about 1 to 2 centimeters from the top of the glass. This will be about 1 oz.
Step 7 Add a splash of Grand Marnier or Cointreau to the top of the beverage and garnish with a lime wedge.
Step 8 Put on your favorite tunes on the audio rack and turn the music up. Put your feet up, take a sip of this heavenly concoction and close your eyes to fully take in the moment.
Life is Good – Enjoy!!!
Tips & Warnings
* Typical shot glasses measure 1 oz. Yours may vary. * Jiggers measure 1 1/2 oz. Other citrus flavored sodas may work well in this recipe. * To make a blended margarita, simply add the above ingredients in their appropriate portions in a blender with ice. Mix for about 1 minute, or until the liquid is blended to your preference. * Jimmy Buffet playing Margaritaville on your home audio system may lead friends, neighbors, relatives and passer-bys to believe that you are a drinking establishment. You may need to buy more alcohol, chips and salsa. If that’s no problem – then get out some more glasses!!! * Don’t Drink and Drive. If you insist on driving, give me your drink. It would be such a tragedy to waste a perfectly good Cadillac Margarita. I do promise to take good care of it.
The things I do for my friends and readers…………….
To celebrate our 6th Anniversary we enrolled ourselves in a cooking school over in Puerto Moreles…..
These are our experiences of a wonderful day………..
The sign outside the school which is housed in a beautiful old Mexican Hacienda in the heart of Puerto Moreles
The outdoor chalk-board at the entrance to the property
The view from the street
Opposite view from the street
Susie pointing at the “cooking school” part of the sign
The grand entrance-way to the front veranda of the Little Mexican Cooking School
The dinning area on the veranda
Catriona Brown the proprietor and our hostess…..
Our first task was to make some miniature tortilla’s
Then cook them for 20 seconds per side….
Then we took our 3 tortilla’s over to the counter……and….
squished the edges to form a bowl for the re-fried bean paste
Adding the re-fried beans……these would be taken to the kitchen where fresh lettuce and a dollop of sour cream were added, we would enjoy them later. That’s Dave from Montgomery, Alabama to my left.
Next we started to make 2 different salsa’s….I worked on one called “Salsa Verde Asada” using the charred ingredients previously prepared. Here is the recipe……..
1/2 lb. tomatillos, charred
2 serrano chiles, charred
1/4 white onion, charred
1 clove of garlic, charred
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
In a molcajete place the chiles and garlic and begin mashing to a paste. Add the rest of your charred vegetables and continue
mashing to obtain a smooth salsa. Taste for seasoning, add salt if needed. Transfer to a serving bowl.
Add cilantro and serve
Here I am mashing the above ingredients in the molcajete………….
Chef Pablo Lopez Espinosa de Los Manterros
After preparing the salsa’s we were invited to join Chef Pablo in the kitchen to learn more……he had already given us a quick education on the various spices that we would be using on today’s menu…..
We started pealing, chopping, squeezing, cubing the various ingredients for next several dishes that we would be served later that day…
My tasks were to squeeze the limes, and make the custard for the desert tort…..
We all persevered without any cuts or major screw-ups…..
The beginning of our delicious soup…..
As to be served for lunch…..with a chile oil drizzle and some cilantro paste….
Next the chef prepared a marinade for the “Camarones Al Achiote” he would bake later on…..
When finished, this is how they looked….
Catriona later offered us a taste of various Tequila’s after explaining the various grades of the liquor, where it comes from and the plants it is distilled from.
In order of fineness they are: Blanco which is aged for only 3 months, Reposato, aged 3-12 months, Anejo, aged 1-3 years, and Extra Anejo aged 3-6 years.
Our table setting after the chef finished preparing our meals for 7, which we helped prepare earlier
A few pictures of the picturesque landscaping surrounding the hacienda….
We had a great time from start to finish. We hope that if you’re visiting or living in the area you will take advantage of this little treasure of a place in Puerto Moreles.
The cost was 109.99 USD per person (including the IVA tax) and that included the lessons from 10am to 3:30 ish, plenty of beverages to keep us all hydrated, tequila shots, lunch, ice cold beer, and great company with our classmates, instructor/chef, hostess, and the 2 ladies doing the prep work and serving us all day long……..Oh ….one last thing a great “goodie bag” as we left!
The school has an excellent web site chock full of information about the school, gift shop, and hacienda, click HERE to visit it
This is not fast, but it is dog-gone gooooooood……..
Family Recipe from Harmony Price
Stuffed Cabbage Rolls
**This is how I remember helping my Grandmother make these when she would make them for me. It was always a very special treat, and I made it for the first time on my own this Christmas.
This recipe makes a lot of rolls, great for a gathering. You can easily cut recipe in 1/2. These also freeze really well!
2-3 heads of “as large as you can get them” cabbage
1 1/2 lb of ground chuck
1 1/2 lb of ground pork
1 1/2 C of rice
1-2 sweet onions (Vidalia)–depending on how big/small they are and how much you like onions
1 additional large sweet onion
1t of thyme
1t of rye seeds (optional)
2 cans of crushed tomatoes
1 64-oz bottle of V8 – original is best, but if you are watching salt content, they do have low sodium. ***this was Grandma’s “secret ingredient”!
2-3 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 350*
First start with cutting around the core at the bottom of the cabbage-careful not to go too deep, then start separating your leaves from your head of cabbage. I found this to be somewhat difficult without tearing the leaves, and the goal is to have whole leaves. I then stuck the whole head of cabbage into the microwave for a min or two, on high, and I was then able to remove the leaves with great ease, not tearing any, and they were soft enough to not need blanching before stuffing.
If needed after you separate all your leaves, blanch them in small batches in a large stock pot of boiling water for just a couple mins. However, putting them back in the microwave worked better, and I did not have the extra, unneeded moisture on the leaves.
At the bottom of each leave, cut out the large vein. This will insure easier rolling later.
Set leaves aside.
Combine ground pork and ground beef. Chop 1-2 sweet onions, add to meat mixture, along with 1 egg, thyme and s&p. **I also added a splash of chicken stock** Mix well and set aside.
In the roasting pan layer your small and torn cabbage leaves along with the sliced additional large onion until the bottom of pan is sufficiently covered.
In front of you, lay out 1 large leaf. Using a 1/4 cup measuring cup, scoop out meat mixture and gently pat together in hand to make almost like a football. Place onto cabbage leaf towards bottom center. Roll over just enough for meat to be covered, then turn in sides of leaf, then continue rolling the rest of the leaf—not too tight.
Place each roll seam side down, and tightly together to ensure they do not come undone during baking. Some people use toothpicks to help keep rolls together—personally, I’m not a fan.
**NOTE, As your leafs get smaller, you will need to use 2,3 or 4 leaves together to make one “sheet”. This is why I used more heads of cabbages, to be able to use only the larges of leaves.
Once the pan is full of rolls, pour over both cans of crushed tomatoes, 2 cups of chicken stock, and start with 1/2 of the V8.
Cover with remaining leaves, then place lid onto roasting pan, and bake in oven (middle rack) for 2 house on 350*.
As you periodically check on your rolls, you may need to add more moisture, continue to add the V8 as needed. I did use use up all of the V8 as well as the additional cup of chicken stock.
**Also, be sure to have a drip pan at the bottom of your oven to catch any boil over!!!**
There are a few variations of this recipe, my mom’s side of the family for instance, would add bread crumbs to the meat and vinegar to the sauce.
Thank you Harmony………………