Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Texas Beaches~a love affair with the Gulf of Mexico

Texas the state of mind, relaxed~~~~~

Kicking back with family in Texas~perfection indeed.

Few things are a certainty in life. While we moved several times as I was growing up there were a few constants other than family, faith & friends. The Gulf of Mexico was always there somehow. My visits to the Texas Gulf coast might have been punctuated with long absence but my heart was always there somewhere between the sand & the surf. As an adult we've lived other places close to beaches but there is something kind & gentile about the Texas beach towns. Galveston & South Padre are quite past "touristy" these days. (Believe me, I still enjoy a trip to Galveston now & again!) While condos & rapid expansion have gobbled up many coastal communities Port Aransas Texas has stayed much the same. I can only say that; growth hasn't changed the overall character & feel of the town. I like the sight of surf fishing in the early hours, bonfires on the beach in the evening & the noises of countless sea birds at the edge of the sand rushing in for the morning's salty pickings!

Nothing feels so nice on the toes as the soft sand of the misty mornings there.

Everything old is new again in a beach town~I remember these little beach cottages from my childhood. I was glad to see that some landmarks are still just as I remember...well almost! Mermaid's & cute paint jobs not withstanding, these are exactly the same. My love affair with the Texas Gulf Coast? Not over yet, not in this lifetime~

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sangria, shopping & riding about like Miss Daisy!

Mexican Sangria Preparada is a cool drink for a hot day here South of the Border.
**That's half and half red wine (Concho y Toro or nice full bodied red wine) and limonada. Served in tall glasses with the limonada on the bottom and the wine on the top & garnished with lime. In Mexico it's always served with a straw. When the two beverages meet, the limonada is cold & the wine is room temp the demarcation in the glass is obvious. A very pretty drink & one which hits the spot in the Mexican heat!

Lori found some wonderful Mexican artesanias to take back home.

At some point I'm quite certain that our driver Roberto wondered if he had been saddled with the Jessica Tandy character from "Driving Miss Daisy"?? He never complained but I know our schedule & frequent stops for coffee, shopping & other such breaks made him wonder if all American women were like us?

As always, a good time had by all when visiting with one of the Chicas! Like all good things, it had to end! Till next time, mi amiga!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New twist on a Southern Favorite!

Sometimes Change is Good, it just has to be the right change!!!

The whole lack of finding good lemons here in Mexico forced me to get creative when I wanted to bake this favorite dessert. I've blogged a Lemon bar recipe previously, after all Lady Bird Johnson loved these sweet concoctions. However, if Lady Bird had ever been cooking South of the Border even she would have met resistance trying to locate lemons in Mexico!! The Rosemary herb & Orange flavors meld nicely into a subtle sweet concoction. Getting creative sometimes yields a surprisingly nice change. Buen Provencho!

Orange Rosemary Bars

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter
Mix the flour, sugar and butter as for a pie crust. Pat evenly into a 9x18-inch (or equivalent) jelly roll pan. Bake in preheated 350°F degree oven until very light brown, about 15 minutes.
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
3 beaten eggs
6 Tablespoons orange juice and 1 tablespoon finely grated zest of orange
1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
confectioners' sugar
Mix ingredients, except for the confectioners' sugar, in the order given and pour over the baked crust. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven & immediately sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

Friday, May 16, 2008

After all these years...

Still Dancin'

A wise man once said: “Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like its heaven on earth.” that man was Mark Twain. I can say this many years after Mr. Texas to Mexico & I tied the knot, we are still dancing! I can't imagine anyone else I would have gone through the ups & downs in life with & certainly don't imagine I would have followed anyone else to Mexico! In less than a week we will call it 27 years!! (Am I that old already, or was I that young back when???) At any rate, it has been a few since a proposal at Mardi Gras in the Big Easy all those years ago. I wouldn't change any of it!

He still keeps that air of mystery & nope doesn't want to mug for the camera all that much but for another 27 years, I say: Amen!

And...after all these years he still brings me flowers~Happy Anniversary, Baby~ Mister Texas to Mexico!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Cool dessert for warm nights!

Living in Mexico when I find a new recipe, I always have a couple of questions I ask myself. Can I buy, beg, borrow or steal the ingredients! While we have many things we can buy; there are still so many key ingredients to a recipe one can search endlessly for, never quite achieving the intended results. It's truly like an old fashioned game of hide & seek. I bring back copious amounts of key spices, flavorings, etc. from the States but some recipes; however creative I get, seem to fall short of the mark. Currently, I Can find all of the ingredients for this recipe~"Yay!!!" (often the recipes are filed away for another day, another search or a trip to the border!) This recipe however hits the spot, is a Light recipe & gives a satisfying "ice cream brain freeze" to boot! Mr. Texas to Mexico even had 2 portions of this as I served it last evening for the first time! This might be nice next time with a chocolate graham crust too~ Buen Provencho!

Frozen Cherries Jubilee Pie
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons brandy
1 (12-ounce) package frozen pitted dark sweet cherries
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 9 cookie sheets)
4 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream, softened
Preheat oven to 375°. Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Cool completely. Combine butter and honey in a medium bowl. Add graham cracker crumbs, stirring to blend. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 375° for 8 minutes. Cool completely. Place 1/2 cup cooled cherry mixture in a food processor; process until smooth. Place the remaining cherry mixture in an airtight container; cover and chill. Place softened ice cream in a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add pureed cherry mixture, and gently fold in to achieve a swirl pattern. Spoon mixture into the cooled crust. Cover and freeze 4 hours or until firm. Top with reserved cherry sauce just before serving.

Taken from Cooking Light online magazine

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Flat Stanley's return to Mexico~

Flat Stanley donned a sombrero on his journey South of the Border with the "Familia Kincke"!

After a one year absence from Mexico Stanley returned ready for adventures yet again South of the Rio Grande. Good Luck with Flat Stanley as he returns to Texas, Alexa! Your Flat Stanley artistic talents were enjoyed by many here in Mexico.

Flat Stanley returned to Mexico this Spring. Not dark of night, hail, rain or lack of Internet could keep this little Super Paper Guy from visiting here South of the Border. Flat Stanley was emailed to Mexico (yep, high speed travel for Stan) by Alexa Spelbring. She sent Flat Stanley to Mexico as part of her English project from Forest Creek Elementary in Round Rock Texas. Alexa hasn't traveled to Mexico but her big sis Jessica traveled here for a visit a couple of Spring Breaks ago. Not the first time I've blogged about a Spelbring family member.

Of course some everyday things here in Mexico include "having coffee & talking about our daughters"...Starbucks Barristas are wonderful the world over! **In this unbearable heat the java better be cold of course~

Flat Stanley even took a dip in the pool here in Las Misiones. A procedure like that could've be risky had Ziploc not stepped in & saved the day.

Stanley crisscrossed 3 states in Mexico and even traveled across the border at Reynosa braving the military check points throughout Northern Mexico. Flat Stanley may not have seen all of Mexico but he did briefly live "la vida loca" here & seemed to enjoy the Arts, Culture & people of Mexico.

Flat Stanley even had a brief meeting with Eliseo our gardener about the finer points of flora & fauna in Northern Mexico. It goes without saying that Stanley seems to have a greater grasp of Espanol than I & understood the entire exchange...

I have it on very good authority that Flat Stanley's also had a brief tour in Iraq. Stanley just keeps on spreading his cheer around the world. I'm so glad Stanley could visit our troops!
Flat Stanely has certainly put the miles on his little paper passport! Hope he's earning miles with these trips. He's certainly earned his wings! So long Flat Stanley! Adios & hasta la vista, Baby~
For more information on Flat Stanley check out this site: