Friday, May 30, 2008

Greetings From Mexico!

Well, we have arrived back to good ol' Colorado safe and sound! Mark and I had a great time on our vacation to San Jose Del Cabo! Some of my special GF food made it through customs, and some did not; but all in all, I was not disappointed! Along with eating; we snorkled, went fishing (we caught Mahi Mahi!), shopped and sat on the beach!

I was worried that I might have to survive on Lara Bars, but thanks to my Triumph Dining Cards and the fact that Mexican food is commonly GF, I did alright! I discovered that the more touristy restaurants were more risky. The more authentic we went, the better off I was. (Of course I knew that before hand, though.) The day we got there was my birthday, and my best friend Shealyn brought along the Pamela's White Cake Mix and the Pamela's Sprinkle Frosting Mix to make me my favorite cake GF! How thoughtful is she! Nobody actually believes that my favorite cake is a boxed Funfetti, but it is true! This Pamela's stuff comes so close to the real thing, I wanted to cry!

I did end up having a problem with some chips that were fried in a common frier, but other than that, things went pretty well. Listed below are a few of the restaurants we went to and dishes I ate.

Marco Polo Restaurant (Inside the Royal Solaris resort)

I ordered the 'Tepid Provoleta with Thin Vegetables, Fine Herbs and Balsamic Glaze' which was a simple dish of sauteed veggies with broiled Provolone cheese over the top, Fine Herbs sprinkled a bit and a sweet Balsamic glaze. It was simple, but sooo delicious! Who wouldn't like eating a plate full of crispy melty cheese!

Second course for me was the simple 'Grilled Mahi Mahi over a bed of Parmesan Risotto and julienned veggies'. The name says it all, and it was sooo good.

Dark room, sorry about the picture!!

Desert was a 'Mango Creme Brulee' which was a bit disappointing. Before even starting the meal, I had the server and the chef both have a look at my dining card (it was a bit difficult since it was an Italian restaurant with Spanish speaking employees!), and they reviewed each of my selections to make sure they were ok. Well, I get the dessert, and the waiter says "by the way, it has a cookie on the bottom". I looked at him and said "I cannot eat a cookie"..."Sorry", he said. Well, at least he told me before I dug in!

We also ate at a place called Cactus Taco, which was a very authentic, off the beaten path kind of place. I am kicking myself for not having my camera at the time to take a picture! They were surprised to see us there, they kept looking at us very confused as to why we were there! We only saw Mexicans there, the menus were all in Spanish and only one employee spoke very little was great!!! Fortunately, our friend Alison speaks Spanish well, and was able to help translate. All of their menu items contain strips of cactus in them, looking similar to strips of green peppers. A bit crunchy, too. I ordered the chicken cactus tacos the first day, and the chicken cactus combo plate the next day. They were so simple, but absolutely the best Mexican food I have ever tasted. Full of onions, cactus, jalapenos, chicken, etc with a little bit of authentic queso blanco over fresh made corn tortillas. In the center of the table, we got little bowls full of 3 different sauces. One was a pineapple salsa with habanero peppers (I couldn't handle it!), a milder pico de gallo and a very liquid guacamole. I noticed that all authentic taquerias have very liquid guacamole, only the tourist areas had chunky guac. I'll have to learn more about making this, it was really good! We also had some great homemade Horchata.

We were able to buy some concentrated horchata at the grocery store there, and somehow, we were able to get it past customs-- but only just barely! They almost confiscated it. I'm glad they let us have it, it is the best!

Most of our other meals we cooked in our kitchen ourselves. We did visit a buffet some days, but I had to be sooo careful there, so I didn't eat anything too exciting. I mostly ate tropical fruits with plain yogurt. I am not complaining, I cant get that fruit here for less that $3 each!

All in all, we had a wonderful time!

Do you have a recipe for homemade Horchata? I would love to try it!


Elle said...

ooooh, everything's gorgeous! I love the shot of the boat in the water. It sounds like you had a fabulous time. And Happy Belated Birthday!

AMY VIG said...

Thank you for reminding me! I've been meaning to look into homemade horchata. I'll let you know when I have something!

Simply...Gluten-free said...

Sounds lovely. If I had to choose on nation's cusine to eat the rest of my life, it would be Mexican.

Ginger Carter Miller, Ph.D. said...

I'm glad you had a safe and good time! Loved the pics!

The Good Eatah said...

It looks like you had so much fun! The restaurant with the cactus sounds awesome. Happy beladed B'day, Tiffany!

cutekittypunk said...

hi - I'm Shealyn's sister - i have two recipes for Horchata.

2 tbsp white long grain rice
2 tbsp toasted, slivered almonds
4 cups water
1/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks

rinse rice. put rice in a 2-qt measuring cup or bowl, add almonds, water, sugar, and cinnamon sticks. Microwave 100% high 11-12 minutes or until water begins to boil. cover and set aside 30 minutes. discard cinnamon sticks. pour mixture in blender. process about 2 minutes until rice and almonds are blended. refrigerate 1 hour before serving. strain and pour into glasses over ice, if desired.

i have variations but you gotta email me for those - shealyn can give you the address.

recipe 2
1 cup uncooked rice
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 sticks cinnamon/canela
1 quart water
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla

ice cubes

in a blender, grind up rice for 2 minutes until it resembles course meal. transfer rice to a bowl and add almonds, canela sticks, and water. stir the mixture well, cover loosely and let is sit overnight. transfer the mixture to a blender in two batches and puree until the grittiness disappears, about 2-3 minutes per batch. strain into a pitcher through several layers damp cheese cloth. Don't skip on this step or the drink will taste chalky. mix in sugar and vanilla until sugar dissolves. to serve pour into tall glass with with ice. leftovers keep refrigerated for several days.

Tiffany said...

Yay for Shealyn's sister!! You are the best, thanks so much! I've had some pretty bad homemade horchata before, so I wanted to make sure that I got a tried and true recipe :)

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