Tag Archives: comida Guatemalteca

Guest blogger!!


Hi, I’m so pleased to tell you that today I am guest author over at Growing Up Bilingual (Raising and Educating Bicultural Kids)!!

You can read my post about Loving Papito’s Culture here.  Paula is originally from Guatemala, too, and I’ve enjoyed checking out her blog.  There are articles in Spanish and yummy sounding recipes that I want to try!

Thanks Paula!!

fabulous fall food: cocido de res


My daughter has been bugging me because I haven’t started to decorate for fall yet….maybe she’s mostly just surprised that I haven’t.  Well, I guess that mermaid party took a lot outta me!!  September was a gorgeous month, but now with the start of October, we’ve also started with the chilly, and slightly wet, weather.  So maybe I’m not decorating yet, but I’ve started cooking for it!!

Day before yesterday we had what Henry and I would probably call the ultimate fall comfort food (for us), I’m talking about a meal, not a dessert!!  I made my mother-in-law’s “cocido de res” ( at least I tried to!!)  I haven’t verified the details of the recipe with her lately, but I do have memories of her making it and how much I love it!!  And love it more every time I make it!!  I guess it could be called a stew?  Well, maybe not, maybe it’s more of a soup with lots of chunks in it….not sure.

Sometimes I cook up the beef in the crock pot then add it to the soup, but this time I just browned some chunks of beef in the pot then added water for broth, and it worked out great.  I’m not sure I remembered the seasonings properly, but I know bay leaf (hoja de laurel) is in there for sure!!  Black pepper, salt, season salt….ok, I couldn’t remember if there’s garlic in there, but I thought not, so didn’t add that.  Now throw in all sorts of root veggie type things, like sweet potatoes, carrots, potatoes, acorn squash and corn on the cob….which I didn’t have so I just added frozen corn at the end!!  (I take lots of shortcuts when I cook traditional meals! )  I also didn’t have a beef boullion cube, so I added some chicken stuff and thought that I had ruined it, but it was fine!  whew!  Now let that all simmer together and prepare some white rice ( I use basmati).  Chop up some onion (white I guess) and lots of fresh cilantro. When serving time comes around, put some rice in each dish, ladle in some broth, add lots of the veggies and top with chopped onion and cilantro!  Oh boy!  That onion and cilantro just kick it up by several notches!! 

One of my kids gave me 2 thumbs up and 2 big toes up for this meal!!!

When we ate the delicious leftovers yesterday we added an avocado! super yum!!

I should probably call Mamita to ask and see if I forgot anything…but we were happy with it and my husband is a sweetie and doesn’t say “this is good, but not a good as my Mom’s!” (he is also a very wise man).

What are your favorite fall recipes that you eat every autumn?  I have lots of dessert recipes, but not so many “real food” recipes!

here’s a bonus photo that I thought I’d just throw in here:  I don’t usually do anything fancy, but this day I thought I’d try and “fancy-up” plain jam and butter sandwiches for the kids, heehee 🙂  I guess they weren’t too embarassed at lunch time! 😉

Sopa Maggi, my way!


A quick cozy lunch for my girlie and I, that was what we needed, after a “long” morning at kindergarten…(haha).  I was so pleased to have a few carefully guarded packages of soup that traveled in my suitcase from Guatemala.  Since it was a lunch emergency, I decided to use my last package of:It just seems like the soups from Guatemala are yummier than the ones I get here…probably a lot more MSG in them! 😉

Follow the package directions to cook up the soup, and then add a few extra ingredients!

I happened to have some cooked chicken (which I don’t usually have!) so I added that to the soup:

Now come my yummy extras: Salsa and tortilla chips!!  (looks like we need a new jug of salsa)…I put that —— on everything!!  Delicious!! 🙂

Refried black beans: frijoles negros


I lived in Guatemala for 17 years…and wouldn’t eat black beans.  My mom tried to trick us into eating them, but I wouldn’t.  About a month before I moved away, I finally tried them (of my own accord) and realized…they aren’t that bad!  I almost liked them!  Crazy, isn’t it?  And even crazier: refried black beans and rice are my favorite meal nowadays!

When I lived in Guate, and after I married Henry, my boss used to tease me and ask if I had prepared black beans for my husband yet…I always said “no way!! we eat McDonalds!”  (and that’s what explains the rapid weight gain after getting married!)  Now I make refried beans about once a week, and am so very happy that my kids eat them!!  Sorry Mom, for being so picky when I was little!  My kids aren’t totally perfect, but they sure are better eaters than I was!! Haha.

Anyways, about beans….and not just any beans.  They have to be black beans.  That’s what they eat in Guatemala.  I think in Mexico red beans are used more, and some other beans in El Salvador…I can’t quite remember which they prefer there….every place has their favorite beans!  Don’t think that I’m such a great cook and spend hours making beans from scratch….sorry to disappoint!  I make them from a can…it’s just easier and faster…and that’s what I’m all about.

When we came back from visiting our family in Guatemala at Christmas time, I squeezed 2 precious cans into my suitcase…

They taste soooo good!  These have already been refried, and are all ready to eat.  I haven’t been able to buy these where I shop, so I buy the whole beans and start with them.

I learned something new about canned beans when I was there.  I was in the kitchen one day, and my sweet little sister-in-law was going to prepare some canned refried beans (we were in a hurry!  usually they cook them from scratch) she opened a big can of them, then flipped them over, grabbed a very large knife and whack! whacked 2 holes in the bottom of the can!  It surprised me…I had never seen this done, and she seemed so at home with that large knife…and then she held the can over the pan and blew into the holes, and out popped the beans and into the pan!  Slick trick! 🙂

I was determined to try this little trick when I got home.  So I packed my cans of refried beans, flew for a day to get home, and waited for the right moment…

When the craving for beans came apon me, I grabbed my biggest knife and whack! whack!Oh, I guess that first I opened the tin…  If you should be fortunate enough to have a can of refried beans, this is a handy way of preparing it!Not sure if it matters what order you do it in, oh wait, yes, because you should be whacking it with the knife over the pan, but since I had my camera in one hand, I had to set the tin down on the countertop!

So really, you should already have your pan sizzling full of onions and garlic….plenty of chopped onions and garlic browning up in oil!Then whack your can!  (Children, do not try this at home. Let your parent do it, so if they accidently whack their hand with the knife, they are responsible to get themselves the necessary first aid.  I am super squeamish about first aid, so I whack very carefully!)Now invert the can over the pan, and give a big puff and blow through the knife holes!And the contents should plop out just like this!  Doesn’t that look appetizing?Now mash it up…

Add some more oil…you will need this to brown them up a bit more and start the final step…making the “maleta” (that means suitcase).I am so not an expert…I’ve seen experts flip this around, brown it a bit, then flip the frying pan in the air to flip the maleta over….it looks great, but no photos of that part!

Here’s a photo of the “maleta” of refried beans that we ate on New Years Eve…(this was several cans of beans)Prepared by my husband for the kids’ New Years’ Eve brunch out on the patio (enjoying perfect outdoor weather I must add…)Yum!!  I love these beans!

Here’s how I serve them back here in Canada:I don’t usually make rice how I learned in Guate, usually I make plain basmati rice, then serve them with (bought) salsa and sour cream or lately, cream cheese and tortilla chips (and sometimes scrambled eggs).  It’s my favorite meal and I could eat it every day….if it wasn’t for certain side-effects of beans….anyways…..Here’s my baby and her plate of beans…she really loves them, she was just sitting there waiting for me to finish photographing her food so she could eat it already!!!  Hmmm….I’m thinking of lunch now…wonder if I have any cans of beans in the cupboard….?

When I make them from the whole canned beans, I just cook them up with the onions and garlic, then use one of those little hand-held blender things (for making beverages and stuff) and blend up the beans in the pot.  Sometimes I add oil and fry them up a bit, and sometimes not.  Add salt!! that is necessary, even if you skimp out on the oil.

Since I’m trying to get my iron up, I’ve been trying to eat liver pate on toast in the mornings…well, the other day, I thought, maybe I should add some refried beans to my liver toast…and some cream cheese!  So I did, but I felt like I was having to choke it down…was I just getting tired of liver?  The only way I was able to eat it, was to smother my liver-bean-cream-cheese toast in Dorito chips…And it still wasn’t that good.   Later on that day, Henry looked at the liver pate in the fridge and told me that it had gone bad….I guess that explains it…and explains why my stomach felt “off” the rest of the day…

oh well, I ingested a fair amount of iron that day, what with the liver and beans and all….

I think I might just stick to the refried beans, though.

Hope this (first part of the post) has made you want to try some yummy refried beans!!  Hey…I just remembered the black bean volcano that I made for my son’s bday party…wonder if I have a photo…nope, couldn’t find it…I’ll post it another day…when I hear back about how many people love refried black beans!!! 🙂

How do you eat/prepare beans?  Do you have a Bean Tradition in your family?  Do your kids eat them?

Avocado tips, or “secretos del aguacate”

Avocado tips, or  “secretos del aguacate”

When I was young, I would never eat an avocado.  Yucky green squishy stuff!  But I did like to look at them.  I have a very vivid picture in my mind of sitting in my high school classroom, gazing out the window at one perfect avocado hanging from a branch right outside the window.  And gazing and gazing at it.

But now that I’m older and wiser, I love eating them.

My husband taught me a few tips on how to tell if they are ready to buy and eat.See that little brown belly button?  Ha ha, it’s the end of the stem, well, anyways, you can flick it out with your finger and see a peek of what’s inside.  So if it’s light green and fresh looking…go for it!  If it’s dark green and stiff looking, don’t buy it!

When they are ready to eat, they should be fairly soft when you lightly press the outside.  They should look darker greenish, even blackish and a bit wrinkly on the outside.  Too hard, and bright shiny green on the outside, and they are not ripe enough!

Henry showed me how to slice one open, right in half, then whack the knife into the seed (pit) and give it a quick twist, thus yanking out the pit easily.  Oh yeah, don’t even try and peel it!  Do this with the shell or skin on!  Then after the pit is out, you can use your knife to score the inside of each half, kind of in a tic tac toe or plaid pattern, then easily squeeze the cubes out of the skin.  (Am I explaining this right?  I didn’t take photos of this process!)  No messy peeling and slippery slicing!!

(The photo above has hard unripe avocados…with a little sign I made for our Cinco de Mayo celebration.  They took a few more days to ripen up enough to eat)


This last trip to Guatemala, I learned another secret for the preparation of avocados!! (for the preparation of guacamol in particular! I mentioned that we say “guacamol” a lot in Guatemala, as opposed to “guacamole”, right?) My sister-in-law told me about it, and said that she and her sister had tested it out to see if it really would help delay the avocado from turning brown.

The secret is: to let none of the avocado touch metal!  So only use wooden or plastic or glass utensils & bowls in the preparation of guacamol.  Here is my little photographic step-by-step I took while making guacamol last night for supper:

Rip or squeeze open the avocado, don’t cut it with a knife:Pull that little green alien apart!  Yes, it can be a bit messy….at least, I made a mess…Then squeeze/scrap it all into a bowl, and fish out the pits.  Start mashing it up with a wooden or plastic utensil.

I know Mexican guacamole has other ingredients, like onions and tomatos and garlic and such added, but this is the way I learned that it’s usually eaten in Guatemala.  So grab a lime or two and squeeze it in!  Add a few pinches (or tons) of salt and mix away.

Remember to use a wooden or plastic spoon for serving!!

  We love eating guacamol this way, and last night we tried out some “new” tortillas.  They were pretty ok, I guess.  They didn’t rip up like the usual corn tortillas we can get around here.

And that’s what I have learned about avocados!  I hope this helps you out a bit, the next time you feel like preparing these green fruit thingys.  If you have other “secrets” for avocados, I’d be interested to hear (read) them!!! 🙂

P.S. If you have never tried a fresh avocado, I hope this has encouraged you to take your life in your hands and try one out!  They really aren’t as bad as all that green squishiness looks!!!  (just put lots of lime and salt on them! haha!)

Guatemalan food: comida Guatemalteca: color inspiration


I’m still thinking about the food we ate on our Guatemalan vacation!

Funny enough, we prepared Mexican tacos (one version, as I’ve noticed there are tons of versions!).  Fresh corn tortillas with beef, cilantro, onion and lime! Yummy!

A cousin prepared an awesome bbq picnic for us….the beef was melt-in-your-mouth and the salsa and guacamol were true Guatemalan style!For years I’ve been dreaming about the cheese fondue in Guatemala….ahhh….wonderful!I especially had my heart set on cheese fondue at an old favorite restaurant NAIS…here’s a shot of the black bean soup at Nais…..And for dessert….some cute pink cupcakes at a family birthday party!Just posting these photos has made my mouth water!!  I wish I could have a taste of all this food today!! YUM!

Some Culture…¡y qué cultura!

The ancient Mayan culture has left some interesting relics…I mostly enjoy seeing the pottery, and even more than that, finding my own bits of ancient pottery.  Didn’t have time for all that on this last trip, this was about all we had time for, check out the artifacts:

La antigua cultura maya nos ha dejado unos reliquias interesantes, disfruto de ver las cosas de barro y cerámica, pero más que nada me gusta encontrar mis propios pedacitos de barro antiguo.  Esta vez no tuvimos tiempo para todo eso…mira y verán lo que tuvimos tiempo de hacer:

We didn’t spend long looking at the pottery, because we had some other things to do here…..guess what and where we were!

No pasamos mucho tiempo viendo los artefactos porque tuvimos algunas otras cosas que hacer…..¡adivinan qué y donde estabamos!

I think you´ve guessed…….ya adivinaron, verdad?

Did you know that in Guate you can get any fast food you want delivered to your house?!  Free of charge.  I embarassed my kids by trying to get a photo of the McD’s delivery guy, just so you all would believe my incredible story!  Pharmacies also deliver medicines and school supplies to your home, nice, eh?

¿Sabian que en Guate se puede pedir cualquier comida rapida para entrega a domicilio gratis?  Les dió verguenza a mis hijos cuando estaba tratando de tomar esta foto de la moto para probar que lo que digo es cierto. ¡jaja!  Tambien las farmacias tienen entrega a domicilio para las medicinas y hasta útiles escolares, chilero, ¿no?

Some Culture…¡y qué cultura!