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Mexican Hot Chocolate

I was a little perplexed as to what constitutes authentic Mexican Hot Chocolate. Thankfully a reader from Mexico explained to me that unlike other hot chocolate “drinks” in the Mexican repertoire, it traditionally was a mixture of cocoa beans and sweetener. Yet nowadays folks generally use sweet chocolate bars as a base, which are made from coarsely ground chocolate with a dose of cinnamon and…

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Atole

My recent trip to Mexico was probably my fifth or sixth in my life and I thought I’d tasted almost everything I could, so it was odd on this trip that I’ve never heard of, or tasted, atole. Although it was served at breakfast in a steaming cauldron, when I asked when people in Mexico drank it, a local chef told me “All the time.”…

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Food Blogger Camp, part 2

There’s nothing that can kill a great trip more than a bad airline experience. But since Twitter has now become the airline’s biggest public relations headache, I won’t complain about anything. Okay, except for the guy sitting in front of me for the 12-plus hour flight, who kept insisting that if he just leaned forward, then slammed his body backwards, his seat back would go…

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Food Blogger Camp, part 1

Yesterday was the best day of my life. Okay, it was the best day of the year. And since the year is only a couple of weeks old, there’s probably going to be a few other contenders in the next fifty weeks. But still, yesterday would be pretty hard to beat. To any ‘normal’ person, they might think that lazing in the sun for a…

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How to Buy Vanilla and Vanilla FAQs

We all use vanilla frequently in our baking, and vanilla is reputedly the world’s most popular flavor. But many of us who use vanilla know little about it, except that it smells and tastes great…and sometimes seems outrageously expensive for such a tiny bottle. Fortunately a little goes a long way. I keep several bottles on hand, using vanilla from Madagascar and Mexico (the real…

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