When in Mexico 🇲🇽

Embracing the Challenge of 7 New Recipes

Tackling 365 recipes in a year might be possible, but cooking 7 new ones each week? Now, that's a real adventure 🌟. Especially when H and I found ourselves in Mexico 🇲🇽, in the most minimalist Airbnb I've ever seen. On a Sunday night, H took me to the nicest grocery store in Merida, Chedraui Selecto. I prepared a grocery list for 12 recipes — just in case I couldn't find measuring cups, weigh veggies, or simply couldn't find the ingredients needed. I was so happy I found everything needed for 7 new recipes that week 🛒.

Growing up in Mexico 🇲🇽, my mom spoiled us with her food, and I mostly stuck to baking, leaving the savory dishes to her. To be honest, cooking Mexican food always seemed daunting to me. I always saw my mom not following specific instructions, adjusting ingredients to taste. I wanted to stick to specific ingredients and exact amounts.

To this day, I still find myself shying away from making Mexican dishes, sometimes feeling a bit intimidated 🍴. In college, my friends considered me a great Mexican cook, but the truth is that I heavily relied on my grandma Titi’s beans, El Comal’s flour tortillas from Tijuana, and my mom’s ready-packed meats and salsas. Flying to Milwaukee with Southwest was a must in college — one suitcase for all the frozen Mexican goodies and another for my clothes, just so we could host what my friends called "bean burrito night" 🌯.

Today, I love challenges like this past week where I had no choice but to adapt and make Mexican recipes. Luckily, Mexican food doesn't usually call for an extensive ingredient list, which would have made it a bigger challenge to simply buy ingredients for our week in the Airbnb without wasting food.

For my non-Spanish speaking readers, I’ve translated the recipes that made it to this week’s “Impress Someone” list. See below ⬇️. I hope to launch a ValeCooks website soon, where I’ll post recipes you can always go back to.

This was the only thing I found to measure ingredients at the store

Recipes Made So Far This Year:

Goal: To try 7 different recipes each week 🗓️, aiming for a total of 365 this year!

 Number of New Recipes Tested as of 1/28: 35

Weeks Achieving 7 or More New Recipes: 4 out of 4

This Week’s Recipe Test Summary

Impress Someone🌟
  1. Horchata De Arroz en Casa from Enchilame esta gorda 🥛

    • I loved that this recipe uses condensed milk instead of sugar. Sweet and creamy!

  2. Salsa de Aguacate Para Tacos from m.a. kitchen🥑🌮

    • I used 2 chile serranos instead of 6. Add a few first and taste for spiciness. 🔥 

  3. Agua De Limón Con Chía (Limeade with Chia Seeds) from epicurious

    • The texture of the chia seeds in the drink was absolutely delicious!

  4. Chicharron en salsa verde from Madeleine Cocina 🐷💚

    • Tasty and so delicious. A true comfort dish!

Would Make Again 👍
Would Not Make Again 👎

These recipes didn’t live up to expectations or just weren’t to my taste.

Translated Recipes


  • 300 g of rice

  • 500 ml of water

  • 750 ml of milk

  • 100-120 ml of condensed milk

  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon


  1. The first step is to wash the rice thoroughly until the water runs clear.

  2. Next, place the rice in 500 ml of cold water and let it soak covered for at least 6 hours. Soaking is important to soften the rice grains.

  3. After soaking, pour the rice along with its soaking water into a blender, add the milk, the sweetener, and 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon.

  4. Blend thoroughly until all the ingredients are perfectly mixed, and you will notice the mixture’s color turns much whiter.

  5. The next step is to taste for sweetness. If you prefer it sweeter, you can add more sweetener and blend again.

  6. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve to remove any rice remnants, and it’s ready to serve. Pour the horchata over plenty of ice and enjoy its delicious flavor.


  • 2 ripe avocados

  • 1 bunch of fresh cilantro

  • 6 green chilies (I only used 2 chile serranos)

  • 1 small clove of garlic (peeled)

  • ½ lemon (juice)

  • ½ medium onion (optional)

  • salt (to taste)


  1. In a blender or food processor, place the garlic, a bit of cilantro, ½ glass of water, a pinch of salt, the onion, and the chilies.

  2. Process for one or two minutes until everything is well integrated.

  3. Add the avocado pulp to the blender, another bit of cilantro, and process until the sauce reaches the desired consistency. Note: Personally, I like the sauce to have a "rustic" consistency, meaning there are little bits of avocado and cilantro left, which is why I only give the processor a couple of pulses.

  4. Place the freshly made avocado sauce in a container, add the lemon juice, and adjust the salt to taste.

  5. Serve to accompany your favorite tacos.


  • 300 g green tomatoes (about 10)

  • 1 serrano pepper

  • 1 clove of garlic

  • 1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil

  • 2 tablespoons chopped onion

  • 100 g chicharrón (pork rinds)


  1. In a pot with water, boil the green tomatoes with the serrano pepper until the tomatoes are cooked through.

  2. Drain the tomatoes and pepper, and blend them with a bit of the cooking water (about 1/4 cup), the garlic clove, and the cilantro.

  3. Heat a pot with the oil, sauté the onion for 1 minute, and then incorporate the blended mixture.

  4. Cook for 3 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

  5. Finally, add the chicharrón and cook for a couple more minutes.

I’d love to hear your thoughts, suggestions, or any recipe request you might have.

See you next week. Keep cooking! 👋 

Vale from ValeCooks