4.18.2016

Eat.Drink.Cook.Mexico. // Wine Tasting in Valle de Guadalupe

Join us for a full day of eating and drinking in Baja California’s wine country. Our small group provides a social and light-hearted way to savor the best experiences offered in Valle de Guadalupe. We’ll start the day off visiting a few of Valle's top wineries where we'll have our tastings. After we have had our fill of Baja wines we'll head on over to our dear friend's restaurant where they'll have prepared us a spread for us to feast on. During our meal we'll have a chance to chat with the owners and Executive chef. More INFO.

Eat.Drink.Cook.Mexico. // TJ Tacos & Beer

Join us as we eat and drink our way through Tijuana's best of the best! We'll take you to our favorite food spots where you'll get try a variety of seriously delicious eats and after we'll make our way to a few of the local breweries for craft beer tastings. Yum! More INFO.

4.12.2016

Sal de Gusano Deliciousness

My recent travels to Oaxaca have introduced me to some very interesting ingredients, sal de gusano being one of my all-time favorites.  Sal de gusano, or "worm salt", is quite literally ground up sea salt, worms and chiles.  These aren't just any worms, they are maguey worms which are actually caterpillars that feed on maguey and agave plants.  I know it sounds a wee bit scary but I promise it's really very good.  I've been adding it to just about everything.  Its smoky and spicy flavor paired perfectly well with my burrata and strawberry dish.  Serve it as a salad or dessert - either way  your guests will love it!

Ingredients: 

Sliced strawberries
Sal de gusano
Extra virgin olive oil
Balsamic glaze

Preparation: 
  1. Cut burrata pieces into halves (or quarters depending on the size) 
  2. Top the burrata with strawberries slices
  3. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil and balsamic glaze on the cheese and strawberries
  4. Sprinkle on the sal de gusano and serve!

4.11.2016

Oaxaca // National Geographic

We are so excited to see that Oaxaca was named number 2 in National Geographic's article "100 Places That Will Change Your Life".  They're not kidding, Oaxaca is seriously magical

4.08.2016

Party Favors // Toilet Paper Rolls

Who doesn't love a good party favor?!  I know I do.  They take me back to my childhood when you'd be handed a goodie bag at the end of a birthday party. I couldn't wait to see what was in mine!  They'd be filled with stickers, candy, toys, confetti and such.  They weren't ever anything fancy but it didn't matter - it was a goodie bag!!  Luckily for my guests I love to give them just as much as receiving them.  Goodie bags can be as simple or as elaborate as you want to make them.  Either way your guests will love them.

A customer reached out to us this week requesting Mexa-themed party favors for her Cinco de Mayo fiesta.  She wanted something colorful, festive and affordable.  For the vessel we decided to use toilet paper rolls.  They're free, durable and a fun alternative to bags.  We filled them with a variety of items ranging in price from $1-$10.  Most were filled with the $1 items and just a handful had the $5-$10 items.  By doing this we kept costs down and made it more exciting for her guests.  Once they were filled it was time to decorate them.  Check out how easy it is to make these toilet paper roll party favors using crepe and tissue paper!
Interested in having Casa Artelexia make your custom party favors? Contact us.

4.06.2016

Claudio Limon

We may be a wee bit obsessed with artist Claudio Limon's works. The pink Otomi mural he recently did for Hotel Matilda in San Miguel is leaving us swooning over his whimsical Mexican pop-art style. Check out some of our favorite insta pics of the hotel and a handful of his illustrations. See more of his works here and here!

4.05.2016

Meet SuperMujer Dolores Wiarco Dweck of Lola's Cocina

Meet Dolores Wiarco Dweck. I first met Lola when she came to Casa Artelexia and we quickly became amigas, sharing a love for Mexico, cooking and travel. Most recently, we spent the weekend together at the #WeAllGrow Summit where she presented on the panel "An Inside Look Into the World of Food Content Creators," and now I get to share with you all a little more about the amazing woman she is!

Not only did she start the super awesome blog Lola's Cocina, focusing on recipes, cooking in Mexico, and travel, but before that she spent her post graduate studies immersed in Mexican culture, focusing her graduate thesis research on Oaxaca's emerging culinary tourism industry before earning her Master of Business Administration (MBA) and Master of Arts (MA) in Latin American Studies. 

Growing up a Mexican-American in Southern California and spending summers in Acambaro, Guanajuato, where her father grew up, Lola spent much of her time in the kitchen cooking with her mother, grandmother and aunts, learning family recipes and developing her love for food from an early age. 

On top of blogging, Lola teaches cooking classes and workshops that celebrate Mexican food and culture, using her knowledge of food and passion for cooking to inspire others.


The Good Stuff
What is your favorite comfort food?
Avocado slices on a warm corn tortilla with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of homemade salsa morita.
What is your go-to drink?
Mint tea. One of my goals this year is to drink at least 64 ounces of water every day. I grew a little tired of plain water after day one so I’ve allowed for herbal teas with no caffeine or sugar and have been making tea with the mint from my garden and drinking it daily.
Describe your style in 3 words. 
Comfortable. Classic. Cultural.
What do you like to do for fun?
One of my passions is cooking and sharing my love of Mexican food with others. I also really enjoy traveling with my husband, son, friends, and family – sometimes that means a trip abroad and sometimes it means discovering hidden gems in my own backyard. To unwind, I enjoy practicing yoga.
What's one of your favorite quotes?
“There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.” – Madeleine Albright

Down to Business
Tell us a bit about your business & how you got started?
After completing grad school in 2013 I thought I’d be working for a large multi-national firm and putting my dual degrees (MBA and MA in Latin American Studies) to work. Everything was derailed when I found out that my husband had a job opportunity in Colorado and that I was pregnant. I figured I could either get a job in the interim or I could work on a passion project that I had put off for many years. That’s what prompted me to compile decades of cherished family recipes that I had been collecting and start my food and travel blog. I remember that when I finally committed to the name, Lola’s Cocina, I wanted it to be something that could grow to be more than a food and travel blog. Since 2013 I have also begun to teach Mexican-inspired cooking classes and am in the process of launching gourmet food products inspired by Mexico.
What projects are you working on right now?
Right now I’m finalizing the new product packaging for my specialty food line and have some private cooking classes and demonstrations in the works. I’m also focusing on more travel stories and interviews for my blog – I find so many cool places and meet such interesting people all the time. I just need to sit down and start writing!l
Who has been your biggest inspiration? 
My parents. Despite being brought up in challenging circumstances, my mother managed to maintain a warm and loving household while working full-time to raise six children. Because of her influence, I strive for a work-life balance and understand that career success means nothing if it comes at the expense of my family and values. My father was the only one of eleven children to migrate to the U.S. from Mexico in search of new opportunities.  He worked tirelessly as an engineer and eventually as a small business owner, but always made his family a priority. He instilled in me a sense of adventure, independence, and an appreciation for my Mexican heritage.  Both parents taught me to never fall victim to my circumstances and to value hard work, education, and family. I also believe that they are responsible for the travel bug that's alive and well in me!
What do you enjoy most about having your own business?
The flexibility to work on projects that I enjoy, travel, and spend time with my family.
How do you juggle being a mom, wife and running your business?
I ask for help when I need it. When I had my son two years ago it was hard for me to accept that I was only able to be about one-tenth as productive as I was before becoming a mom. When we moved to Colorado I had no friends or family so I found a bilingual daycare where we send our son two days a week so that I can work on projects those days. I also have a lot of support from my husband. I’ve attended women’s conferences in the past where these powerhouse female panelists talked about how they’ve reached these high profile positions because they are with someone who is supportive of their goals. Now I realize what they meant. It's also important for me to take time for myself – usually that means distressing at yoga a few times a week so that I’m re-energized as a mom and wife and refocused on my business.  

Follow her on Instagram: @Lolascocina or visit her website.