Monday, June 29, 2015

Fiesta Always - With Tequila And Fun Friends

"Fiesta Always - with Tequila and fun friends" - the wise words Lucinda Hutson autographed into our signed copy of her lovely book: !Viva Tequila! Cocktails, Cooking, and other Agave Adventures.

Last week we had the delight of hosting "A True Fiesta with Guest Chef and Author Lucinda Hutson."

Everyone who attended had an absolutely amazing time - which seems to be Lucinda's specialty! We worked hard in the kitchen to prepare her delicious recipes ahead of time, so by the time class started, we had a beautiful spread of amazing fiesta foods we could enjoy with uninterrupted story-telling and tequila fun! The majority of the recipes in Viva Tequila come together quickly and are best made in advance - so the host can enjoy the party too! All of the recipes had Lucinda's unique spin but one very important ingredient in common - Tequila! 

Highlights of our fiesta menu included:

Queso Sabroso (Snookered Goat Cheese) 

Queso Flameado (Melted Cheese Flambeed in Tequila) 

Corn Salsa Prontisimo (with Avocado, lots of fresh lime juice, and Tequila!) 

Negros y Pina a la Criztina (Black Beans and Pineapple Spiked with Mezcal) 
A delightful spin on a pot of nourishing beans! 

And my personal favorite:

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

CCKS Takes Yucatan

CCKS takes Yucatan!                                                                                               By Liz Bernier aka "Liz-tastic'"

In March 2015, we set off on our very first CCKS Culinary Tour to Mexico. We met at the airport in Cancun and then set off on our adventure. After stopping to get some chips in flavors that can only be found in Mexico, we arrived at Casa Marlene in Valladolid, where Rosalini, the daughter of the owner, greeted us.  We settled in and then sat by the pool to enjoy some fresh guacamole, watermelon juice (one of our favorites, we drank it every day), and some cold beer. We relaxed for a bit before getting ready to walk to the town center for dinner. 

We walked into the center of town, where there is a beautiful park surrounded by a yellow wall and has benches and couples’ chairs throughout where you can stop and watch the other park-goers. The park was speckled with vendors selling various treats, mostly sweets. 

We enjoyed a delicious dinner at a local restaurant with chaya (the Yucatan version of spinach or kale, but with a much sweeter flavor) margaritas and refreshers. We then took a walk back through the park and stopped for marquesitas, which are crepes filled with nutella, caramel, cheese, or a combination. They are rolled up into a cigar shape and they harden, so they are crunchy and the perfect after dinner treat! 
The next morning, we woke up and had breakfast at Casa Marlene. Breakfast always started with Mayan coffee, a plate of fresh fruit, and some sort of fresh fruit juice (it was melon juice this time). They would then make us a delicious savory breakfast, this usually consisted of a variation of eggs with some beans, tortillas, vegetables and hot sauce.