Friday, February 12, 2021

Valentine's Pavlova




Valentine's Day is fast approaching and I had 
to have a dessert or two to celebrate.
I decided a heart-shaped pavlova with 
gorgeous red fruit would be perfect, 
and beautiful!




A pavlova is a meringue crust with a 
soft filling, like sweetened whipped cream,
and is usually topped with fresh fruit.  
I have shared a couple of other pavlova's 
over the years.  One is a Christmas one with 
peppermint that is a family favorite.  




Now mind you, we are still staying in 
Cabo, and so the hunt for my ingredients 
began.  I stood in the store with my 
limited Spanish (it gets me around, but 
ingredients can be new) and looked up 
"Fecula de maiz" and sure enough it 
was cornstarch.  We have found a couple 
of grocery stories that we really love, 
La Comer and Fresko, and La Comer 
had what they called a gourmet area, where 
I readily recognized Cream of Tartar.  I 
was surprised and thrilled.  I could have 
substituted vinegar, but even with vinegar, 
there just isn't a big selection here. 



I have made meringues with regular sugar rather 
than super-fine, but the sugar here in Mexico 
is super coarse - as in my chocolate chip cookies 
have a crunch from the sugar.  So I decided to 
whirl the sugar around in my blender and got 
some pretty nice super-fine sugar.  
As you can tell, things are a little more 
complicated here and the Mexican culture's 
taste in baked goods is different than ours.  
Our builder's wife immediately told me I 
would need to import flour as theirs is softer 
than cake flour, but we found a little organic 
store close by that carries King Arthur flour. 



I am not sure I can bake without parchment 
paper, so I brought a supply down with me.  
To make the heart, I folded the parchment 
paper in half and made half a heart, then 
turned it over and copied the other side.  
Then I made sure to turn my parchment 
paper over to the back side so that I didn't 
end of with markings on the back of my 
meringue - yes I have had that happen before.  



With the leftover meringue I piped 
some smaller hearts for accents. 



Meringue is really fun and easy and I haven't 
met someone who didn't love that melt in 
your mouth texture.  
Pavlova Recipe
Heat oven to 230 degrees.  Line pan with 
parchment paper.  
Start with a squeaky clean mixer bowl and 
whip.  Whip 4 room-temperature egg whites 
(with not a speck of yolk in them) until soft 
peaks form.  Then spoon 1 C. of super-fine 
sugar in, one heaping tablespoon at a time.  
Stop and scrape the sides of the bowl as 
needed.  The meringue will get glossy 
white and beautiful.  After you have 
added all of the sugar - don't rush this - 
beat in 1 Tablespoon cornstarch and 
1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar that 
have been blended together with a fork. 
Continue to beat until 
the sugar crystals are almost gone - test 
by rubbing a little between your fingers.  
Spoon the meringue onto the parchment 
paper within your design.  Swirl it and 
make it beautiful using the back of a spoon.  
Use the remaining 
meringue to create meringue cookies if 
desired. 
Place the pan into a 230 F oven for 80 minutes.  
Then turn off the heat and allow to stay in the 
oven for at least two hours or even overnight.  
I took mine out after several hours and let 
it cool, then covered it with plastic wrap 
so I could assemble it the next day.  




Top it with whipped cream or whatever filling 
you desire and then the fruit.  Refrigerate 
until served.  I like it to sit for a while to 
help soften the meringue, but then I would 
top it later with the fruit.  
This pavlova turned out so beautiful and 
white - I think it loved the Cabo climate!  Haha.

 

Chocolate Peppermint Pavlova 



Spring Berry Pavlova


I hope you have a lovely 
Valentine's Day.
Thanks for stopping by.  Give this a try, 
it will melt in your mouth. 




 

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Cabo Eats


I have to admit that I travel for food!  Food is a huge 
component of my joy in traveling and Cabo has some 
really amazing food.
I am continually getting friends contacting me about 
my restaurant recommendations while they are in Cabo, 
so I thought I would do another post on it.  



We have had a place down here in Cabo for 16 years 
and so we have definitely tried many, many places.  
When my family comes, they have their favorites, 
so we can't explore much, but after they leave, or if 
we are here by ourselves, we like to try new places.
 Hubby and I ventured out to 
a new place that we had walked by 
Tres Sirenas - Three Mermaids.
The above is Coconut Shrimp, served in a sliced in 
half coconut shell and the center was filled with a ruby 
red mashed potatoes - colored with beets - but it 
didn't taste like beets.  The plate was surrounded with 
gorgeous pink bougainvillea blossoms - delicious and beautiful.

They started us off with this fantastic
 empanada appetizer - 
included in your meal.  

We could have had several of those 
for a meal!



We also tried a prepared at your table Lobster 
Caesar Salad.  Of course, they accented it with 
rose petals.
We loved the atmosphere so much and the beautiful 
dishes, and the food also didn't disappoint.  Right 
away I knew that this was where I wanted to 
eat for my birthday dinner when friends came. 
They made me feel like a mermaid!




Everything they did was so beautifully presented. 
This was their crab or lobster enchiladas.  The beautiful 
purple blossoms make it look like a dessert.  This picture 
also shows the gorgeous dinner plates.  I highly
recommend this place for special occasions. 




Our favorite breakfast place, which is a family favorite 
is down on the beach, where you can take your 
sandals off and dig your feet into the sand - 
The Office.  
We love to say we are "at the office" as we 
enjoy our breakfast here.  I can't resist the 
fresh fruit on a half pineapple.  Again, this is 
always adorned with fresh flowers.  I just love that. 



My second favorite is their green chilaquiles with 
chicken.  They have the best green sauce.  One of 
our friends asked if we could buy some sauce and 
they happily sold us some for three or four dollars 
in a to-go coffee cup.  We enjoyed that later on 
tacos and quesadillas at home. 


Hubby's favorite is the shrimp omelette.  I always 
have to have a bite of his.  It is so amazing. 



We found out they even will serve you bacon wrapped 
shrimp for breakfast if you want, so we got an 
order and split it three ways.  
The family loves this place so much that we usually 
go there twice in one week. 

(We don't choose this place for dinner though, 
as it is too much of a drinking beach party at night.)




Another breakfast favorite is from Solomon's Landing 
down on the marina.  This one is about a 20 minute 
walk from our home.  This restaurant was recommended 
by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, although 
this is a nice restaurant on the marina.  If he hadn't 
recommended their Strawberry Stuffed French Toast, 
we would probably never have found this.


 My husband specializes in breakfast foods and he 
had been making stuffed French toast for years, 
so of course we went home and tried to recreate this. 

I posted a copy-cat recipe for this one.  
Click here for the recipe. 



When we had friends here we got up every morning 
to watch the sunrise.  We had the landscapers fill 
some of the planters with sand, so although we 
are up on a cliff we have little sandy beaches. 


After sunrise, we would all go on a walk, either down 
to the beach or up the hills.  Most breakfasts are 
simple, at home, make your own style breakfasts, 
but they often feature fresh squeezed orange juice. 



Lunches are usually at home also, but we do have 
a couple of favorite taco shops we love to visit. 
My favorite is Asi Y Asado tucked into a little open 
air space almost right across the highway from 
Costco.  Their grilled shrimp tacos are my favorite. 



A while ago they had added hamburgers to their 
menu, and everyone was reluctant to order one 
since their tacos are so wonderful, so on our 
way to the airport to drop friends off, we 
decided to try one and split it.  The waiter 
asked if we wanted bacon, onions and mushrooms 
on it.  I said sure!!!  It was delicious, so now 
I know where to get a good hamburger.



A new find this year is a funkier taco shop called 
La Lupita.  Their tacos tend to be more stylized. 

We have only been for lunch, but we loved it 
and it seems like the atmosphere would be nice at 
night.  They are located close to The Office and 
Tres Sirenas. 


We kept passing this place and 

it was always busy so we decided to give 

Cabo Cantina a try.  It is a sports bar and grill, 

but we went early and they were just playing 
extreme sports videos, so it wasn't too loud and crazy. 
The Carnitas were superb.  They were the best we 
have found here in Cabo and a very generous portion.



Their specialty, served all day long, is Billionaire Bacon. It is a sugared and spiced bacon, but extra thick. They offer a BLT wrap with it.  We may have to try that. 


I got the two lobster tails and two shrimp special. 
I would never have tried the bread, as I was already 
getting full, but after hubby tried a bite, we realized 
a bite of buttered lobster on the crusty bread tasted 
like a lobster roll - yum!


We hardly have a decent Italian restaurant at home, but 
here in Cabo, there are so many to try.  We tried 
The Italian Job
this year, and loved everything from this giant calzone 
to their fabulous Carbonara and creamy Gnocchi.  
Put this one on the list too!
Our other favorites are La Dolce - the Gorgonzola Filet!
Pizza Nostra - the foccacia, lasagna and Fragola Salad
Salvatores - their giant lasagna, shrimp scampi, bruschetta, 
and sea bass pasta.



Recommended by a friend's daughter - 

 is Marea by Night located at the Montage. 

It is located right up from the beach at 
Santa Maria Beach, and is definitely a 
special occasion atmosphere and price.
The shrimp cocktail was superb.



We followed that with lobster tails that were huge.  
We could have probably shared one. 



Not to be missed is their light as a feather 
Pavlova with fresh fruit and Coconut Ice Cream.

You can see why we have to go walking each morning - 
up and down the hills of Pedregal.


We also got some new Pickle Ball courts here in our 
community, so we are learning that now too - 
that should give us a little exercise. 




Thursday, December 24, 2020

Shabby Chic Christmas Eve


One of my most exciting times of Christmas 
is setting the table for our formal 
Christmas Eve Dinner.

This gorgeous shabby chic horse was a new 
find this year, and he sets the tone for our table. 


These shabby chic candlesticks are ones we have 
had for years.  They look great with our horse. 


We always put on the fancy plates and flatware 
for our dinner.  This year everything is in silver and white. 


I bought this silverplate flatware from 
Horchow years ago, and wish they still 
sold it.  


We will have 20 for dinner this year, 
that includes three high chairs. 



We always set up in "the Great Hall", 
so we can sit together.  Just a few minutes 
of clearing out other furniture and the 
great room is perfect for seating a lot of 
people. 


My husband just loves all of the Christmas decor.  
Everyone that comes over, he asks them to come in 
and see everything.  That is so sweet of him. 


I added some greens and some white roses 
to the table for a little color. 



The best is when the children, especially the 
grandchildren, are so appreciative. 


What a year, culminating with hope by being 
able to see The Bethlehem Star.  May you feel the 
love and joy of Christ's birth in your heart 
year round.

Stay healthy and well!

I will be posting with






Monday, December 14, 2020

Dressed up Tea Service


I just love silver, and the history and beauty of it.  
Of course, I never had a tea service of my own, 
so years ago, I found this one on Ebay.  It was reasonable, 
and just needed a little cleaning and polishing. 


It usually sits on a table in my living room, but this 
Christmas I moved it into the kitchen in the beautiful 
display area under my baking cabinet.  I figured since 
it is metal, it would be pretty safe with little ones. 
I decided to dress it up a little bit with ornaments, 
trees and lights.  I have received so many comments 
on it.  The kids have seen it for years, but there 
was something magical about dressing it up a little, 
that they noticed it. I think adding the lights really helped. 

They are just fairy lights threaded through, and sparkly 
mirrored ornaments pick the lights up too. 


I added trees in white and gold, and another beautiful 
white and gold ornament. 


I think I may have to dress up the tea set for other holidays too. 
Thanks for stopping by - is there anything that you 
usually have around the house that you dress up 
for Christmas?


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