What's Cookin' at The Jalapeno Cafe
year I am not going to make tamales. Instead
I am ordering about 8 dozen from Luna's
Bakery. If you have a Mexican bakery(panaderia)
or tortilla factory near you, you can place
your order for tamales a few weeks before
Christmas. Just don't wait until the last
of the best Christmas meals I have ever
made, have been prepared using Mexican recipes.
Most of the dishes, such as enchiladas,
beans and rice can be made ahead and re-heated,
plus the recipes are easy to expand for
large groups. The deserts can be made ahead,
too. One year, I was in Mexico a few weeks
before Christmas and went to a hardware
store. I found some handmade tin cookie
cutters that the store sold only at Christmas
time. The oversized cutters were for making
Christmas Bunelos. So I made bunelos, cutting
the shapes with my new cutters. After I
fried them, I dusted them with powdered
sugar. They were the perfect ending to the
meal. If you go to Mexico, go to a hardware
store. I like them better than the souvenir
you are checking my recipe pages because
I have been adding more recipes . I have
added some great enchilada recipes that
I found in an old cookbook from the El Paso
area. I will keep adding recipes right along,
until I have about 20 in each category.
I have over 200 recipes on the site now
and hope to double that before long. If
you have any recipes, especially border
recipes, please send them to me and I will
included this crazy picture of a man dressed
in a Santa suit. I left it large so please
be patient while it loads. You can right
click on it to copy it, then add some funny
captions to it. Even make a funny Christmas
card. Make someone smile!
you, your family and friends have a happy
to the Jalapeno Cafe
we talk about the meals we ate as children,
we tend to remember the simple everyday
foods. I come from a large family, and one
food we all loved was Ranch Style beans.
Everyone in Texas is familiar with the black
can with white letters, and if you drive
through Ft. Worth, you can still see the
big sign on the old Ranch Style Bean factory
from the freeway. For those of you who never
have eaten Ranch Style Beans, they are pinto
beans cooked in a chili gravy. Many companies
have tried, but none could ever match the
rich Tex-Mex flavor of Ranch Style Beans.
I don't think the beans are made in Ft.
Worth anymore, the company was sold to one
of the big food conglomerates, but you can
still buy them at the supermarket for 55
cents a can. I served these beans to my
kids and then to my grandkids. In fact,
I sent a package of Texas food to my homesick
grandson, who is attending college in Rochester,
NY. I put in a can of Ranch Style Beans.
He later told me that he opened the can
and ate all the beans without even warming
them. I have been in supermarkets in the
upscale areas of Dallas and seen women with
dressed in Chanel and Gucci buying their
Ranch Style Beans.
goes better with chicken fried steak, cream
gravy and mashed potatoes than Ranch Style
have never eaten Ranch Style beans, give
them a try.
Return to the Jalapeno
I hope you like the
new recipe format. I have to confess, that
I haven't added any new recipes lately. My
husband was ill in September and had to have
emergency surgery. Then came the September
11 tragedy, so I am glad for a new month.
I did cook three new recipes though. Two were
keepers, (Chile con Queso with Spinach and
Pork Tenderloin with Quince and Jalapenos).
I will be adding these recipes soon. The other
recipe was for a corn and shrimp fritter.
I liked the recipe but it would be better
without the shrimp, simply as a vegetable
fritter. So said my food tasters too.
Check out the
Hot Stuff page. I have added a link to
a page with some of my Texas
Postcards. I am going to add another page
with Large Letter postcards too. Hope they
bring a smile to your face.
an image that was sent to me for Halloween
last year. This image begs for a good caption.
Hope you have some fun with it. I am leaving
the image large so you can copy it, so please
be patient while it loads
If you check the recipe
section, you will see a big change. I finally
finished putting the recipes in order by category.
I changed the format so that each recipe stands
alone. This way if you want to print one,
you can print only that one recipe and not
the whole list print. Hope you like this.
I have added many new recipes, mostly Mexican
type. Some of the listing are a little skimpy,
but I will be adding more recipes right along.
The types of recipes I will add are more Mexican,
Border and Southwest and hot foods. If you
have any favorite recipes, send them along
and I will post them. I am very interested
in the old ranch and border recipes.
My most requested recipes
now have their own categories:
On another subject,
I have decided to start taking pictures of
some of the foods I prepare, so I'm shopping
for my first digital camera right now. The
old saying "A picture is worth a thousand
words" is so true. One glance can tell
you the same that that 3 pages of explanation
is setting out to do.
Look at the Recipe
of the month page. I have listed some recipes
from the movie,
Here is: The
All Jalapeno Dinner.
There is a Mexican take-out
place in the Oak Cliff section of Dallas where I
live that makes the best-grilled chicken I've ever
eaten. They rub the chickens with an achiote and
garlic marinade before putting them on the rotisserie.
The cooked chicken has an orange colored coating
that looks so good and tastes delicious. We always
buy the family pack which is a whole chicken, along
with pinto beans, rich with jalapenos, tomatoes
and onions, Mexican rice cooked with mixed vegetables,
fresh salsa and flour tortillas. Doesn't that make
you hungry? I love finding a place like this that
serves simple, well prepared food that the food
editors and gourmets don't know about. People in
the neighborhood have discovered it though, because
the place is always packed.
Sunday, we were grilling steaks and chicken breasts,
so I decided to see if I could achieve the same
effect on my chicken. I took two packages of Goya
Sazon powder, mixed them with a tablespoon of soy
sauce and little lime juice. I rubbed it on the
chicken breasts about 20 minutes before grilling.
The taste was great, and the meat had that same
wonderful orange color. Even the steak eaters had
to taste the chicken. Try it. Look in the Mexican
Food section at the supermarket, near the chicken
bullion cubes for this condiment. It is called Sazon
Goya (con culantro y achiote). It comes in an orange
box similar in size to a bullion cube box.
I always use this condiment to make Mexican rice.
I have put my rice recipe in the
recipes section where I have just added three
Return to the
Let me introduce myself.
I am Carol Blakely and I live in Dallas, Texas.
I am a "foodie," a walking repository of recipes,
food lore and cooking tips. I started cooking when
I was seven or eight years old, and I've never stopped.
I've baked, boiled and fried my way through hundreds
of cookbooks. Once, I was so engrossed in following
a Joy of Cooking recipe that I laid the open cookbook
on a hot burner of the stove. I may be the only
person who has ever cooked the Joy of Cooking.
Over the years, I've tried French, Italian, Chinese,
Vietnamese, Cuban and many others types of cooking.
But I always return to my favorite, and that is
Mexican Cuisine. There is such a variety of foods
and flavors. Mexican food is so visual with the
warm colors of the chilies and cheeses. Every dish
is a treat to both the taste buds and the eyes.
To get started, I am adding
a section with FEATURED RECIPES. I plan to change
it every month. I'm launching this page with three
I can't wait to share some
of my favorite recipes with you and try some of
your recipes, too. It's going to be fun learning
new things about cooking and chili peppers, meeting
lots of interesting people and, of course, using
Look for my monthly newsletter
starting in July. I will have more recipes in the
newsletter. If you aren't on the mailing list, be
sure and sign up at the bottom of the Café's
Last of all, I would thank
you if you clicked on the Top 100 Food Sites and
cast a vote for the Jalapeno Café.