The Basics

Whipped Cream: Make it at Home

You want whipped cream that is foamy, airy, and delightful with gorgeous waves? Here are some tips: Make sure that your heavy cream is really cold. Use a bowl and beaters that are clean and dry. Same goes if you choose to use an electric mixer, or if you beat the cream by hand with a whisk. It is a plus if you can chill them for a half hour before beating the cream. But don’t sweat it if you couldn’t spare the time!

Crepes: Basic Recipe

Crepes can be found in Mexico in both sweet and savory forms. And oh how much they are loved. Inherited from the short reign of Maximilian and Carlota in the 1860s, French cuisine has had a big influence on Mexico’s kitchens. My sister Alisa, who is a French trained Mexican pastry chef, shared her favorite recipe with me. I have found it to be the very best, and I am sharing it with you, in turn…

Crepe Pans

You can use absolutely any pan or skillet that you have handy for making crepes. The one condition is: if you are a beginner at make crepes, it needs to be non-stick. Yes, you find that crepes can be made on stainless steel pans. Yet, it is much trickier to find the right level and distribution of heat, and more constant greasing of the pan is required for the batter to not stick. Crepe batter is very thin and delicate.

Ice Cream Makers

You can use almost anything to serve ice cream. We love ice cream so much around here that we have collected all sorts of ice cream scoops! Just as you can use many kinds of scoops to serve, there are many ways of making ice cream at home. The best part of making your own ice cream is that you can choose whatever flavor, whatever consistency and whatever mix.

Vanilla Beans: Five Ways to Preserve

You can make a vanilla bean go a long way. You can extend its exuberant properties and multiply its uses by flavoring other basic ingredients with it. My favorites are salt, sugar, simple syrup, oil and vinegar. In turn, the resulting vanilla salt, vanilla sugar, vanilla syrup, vanilla oil and vanilla vinegar can be used for long periods of time and in so many ways.

Tamalera

Yes, you can improvise and steam tamales in a seafood or lobster steamer, a Chinese steamer, any steamer, or even a pasta pot if it has an insert that sits above the bottom. However, the tamaleras are one of a kind. No wonder: Mexicans have been steaming tamales since pre-Hispanic times, so it’s no surprise the Mexican tamalera outdoes all other steamers when it comes to cooking tamales.

Tortillas: Make Flour Tortillas at Home

There are so many ways that you can have and enjoy tortillas de harina at home. You can make them the traditional way, the fast-track-modern way (if you have an electric tortilla maker such as the REVEL…), or buy them ready made at the store. Different from corn tortillas, which rule Mexico’s south and are made with a base of nixtamalized corn, flour tortillas rule Mexico’s north and are wheat flour based.

Vinaigrette: How to Emulsify

We’ve all heard that word here and there: “emulsify.” Why do we need to emulsify a vinaigrette? It is simple, emulsify is just a sophisticated word used for saying that you are making ingredients that would not naturally mix together, like water (or vinegar or wine or citrus juice) and oil, come together.

Unflavored Gelatin: How to Use

Are you tired of the clumps and lumps when you make your own flavored Jello? Yes? No? What?! You don’t make your own flavored Jello? You should! It is healthier than the already flavored ones sold at the store and you can decide what ingredients go in it! It is tastier, exactly for the same reason, since you can choose your flavors, you can choose your own favorite ones.