How to create the perfect Horchata

A Delicious drink from Mexico
I fell in love with this delicious drink!

While eating at one of the many taquerias in Cabo, I was introduced to a wonderful refreshing drink called the Horchata (pronounced or-CHAH-tah, with a silent ‘h”). I loved it so much I wanted to learn how to make it myself. There are a variety of recipes. My favorite place to go to look for recipes of course is Pinterest!

Horchata drink on a menu
Horchata drink on the menu

I found a couple of different recipes. This first one if from The House of Nash blog. She describes the drink perfectly and gives a very authentic recipe. Give it a try! Click here!

Trying new foods is one of our favorite things about traveling! What is the most unique food you have tried? Let us know!

In the mean time try out this beautiful resort in Los Cabos called Vidanta. We have rooms for vacationing in 6 different locations through out Mexico! Start looking here!

Spa at Vidanta
One of the spas at Vidanta resorts

Forget store bought Guac…try this instead!

A Mexican molcajete
Love this version of the molcajete!

On our second night out in Los Cabos it was recommended that we try a restaurant called Metate where I first laid eyes on these adorable animal styled mortar and pestle bowls called molcajete (molka’ xete) in Spanish. I decided right then I wanted to take one home! Travelers tip: decide on that special souvenir before you buy a whole bunch of nothin!

Doggie style molcajete
This fun doggie style molcajete was at our favorite sit down restaurant called Metate

I found lots of plain ones and super big ones, but I wanted the animal faced one and of course it had to fit in my suitcase and not put me over my weight limit!

My traveling buddies kept their eyes out for that special bowl the whole week we were there. Flash forward to our last shopping day. This was it. I had to find my special molcajete or all would be lost! I got confused on about how many vendors and shops we went into. Most of the molcajete’s were plain ones and some were so big I could have worn them as a hat, had it not been made of stone! Daylight was waning, I was starting to lose hope. “Have we been down this street?”, I asked my weary friends. They shook their heads as if to say “no, we haven’t and we are done looking!” I gave my best “puppy eye” look and they followed me into another street laden with vendors and merchandise that nobody needed but everybody wanted. The boys stopped in a promising shop while my girlfriend and I wandered into a store front a few doors down. We looked through the small shop pretty quickly as I could tell they didn’t have what I was looking for, when something caught my eye in the far corner. It was stone, gray and had a pestle, but as I got up close, alas, again…it was just a plain one (insert sad face). At just that moment the boys came sauntering down the street towards us with wide, silly grins on their faces. They looked triumphant! My eyes shone with hope! “What did you find?” I asked excitedly. They unwrapped their package very carefully. They held it up like the Lion King holding his first born son. A pig faced molcajete, just the right size and at a bargain price (they said victoriously)! The search was over! The prize had been found. I could go home a happy camper!

curing a molcajete
Curing a molcajete

But wait! How does one use this cool pig molcajete? Well, you’ve come to the right place. I will tell you along with how to make a simple but delicious guacamole!

Here is How to Cure a Molcajete:

  1. Wash the molcajete with water then clean with a wire brush.
  2. Use the pestle to grind up several cloves of garlic into a paste. Spread it all around the inside of the mortar. …
  3. Let the molcajete rest 24 hours.
  4. Rinse away the paste from the molcajete.
  5. Done!

Simple but yummy Guacamole from Tastefoodblog

Guac in a molcajete
Doesn’t it look amazing?!

Guacamole

Active Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes
Makes about 2 cups

1 small red or green jalapeño pepper, stemmed and seeded, finely chopped
1 garlic clove,  chopped
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, plus extra chopped leaves for garnish
3 to 4 large ripe Hass avocados
2 tablespoons coarsely grated yellow onion with juice
Juice of one lime
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt, or more to taste
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 to 3 dashes hot sauce, such as Tabasco (optional)
1. Combine the jalapeño, garlic, and red onion in a mortar. Press on the ingredients with your pestle, and grind them around the mortar in a circular movement, 3 to 4 times. Add the cilantro and gently bruise the leaves with the pestle.
2. Add the avocados, yellow onion, and lime juice and mash to form a blended but chunky consistency. Mix in the cumin, salt, black pepper, and hot sauce, if using, and taste for seasoning. Serve garnished with additional chopped cilantro.

Heading to the Cabo area?

Please check out our beautiful accommodations located in San Juan del Cabo and several other locations located throughout Mexico. We can accommodate up to 8 people or as intimate as the two of you! When you are ready to reserve, CLICK HERE!

Beach access
Beach access

5 Ideas to add to your Cabo “Bucket list”

There is so much to do in the Los Cabos area. But if you only had a few days, I would suggest hitting these places.

  1. The first must do is to eat dinner at Metate restaurant. It is authentic, fresh Mexican/Latin food. Kind of like a “farm to table” type of place. It doesn’t open until 6pm so keep that in mind and they do take credit cards and speak English. The restaurant is an open air type concept, even the food was cooked outdoors! We could watch them prepare our whole meal. The waiter was very excited to learn that this was our first visit and that we would love to try anything he recommended. The ambiance was wonderful. Even in November I didn’t need a sweater. We sat under the trees, with soft lighting bringing a glow to the fun table settings, which included ceramic pigs! A few friendly dogs wandered through as well. Music was playing in the background and we just relaxed and enjoyed!
Metate Restaurant
This is place is great for some amazing food!
Colorful decor at Metate
Fun and colorful decor at Metate
Our appetizers
Delicious appetizers to start off with

2. The next thing I would recommend is a Sunset Dinner Cruise to visit the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. (Here is one example) There are so many to choose from. The one we choose included drinks and live music plus a wonderful dinner. We left the dock about 5:00pm, just as the sun was starting to set. We traveled toward the Arch and saw pelicans and sea lions, even more as we got closer. So one side of the Arch is facing the Pacific Ocean and the other side is surrounded by the Sea of Cortez. Hence the name “Lovers Beach” for the calm side and Divorce Beach for the rougher side! Other folks were out as well. Kayakers, smaller boats, larger boats, all enjoying the sunset. Definitely a must do in Cabo!

The Arch of Cabo
Mike and I enjoying views of the Arch of Cabo
The calm side called "Lover's Beach"
The calm side called “Lover’s Beach”. Through the rocks is “Divorce Beach” the rougher side

3. Definitely visit the town of San Jose del Cabo! More of the artsy section of Cabo is the sister city of Los Cabos, San Jose del Cabo. There is a beautiful downtown area with shops, restaurants, a town square and a charming church which just happened to be hosting a wedding! Lot’s of folks dressed in their wedding best! We had a great time people watching! We found a recommended place to eat some tacos and enjoyed the wonderful atmosphere of the place. Later we found a vendor selling churo’s. Wow, so good!

Mission Church is San Jose del Cabo
The Mission Church in San Jose del Cabo

4. Another town I would highly recommend for a visit is Todos Santos, the home of the famous “Hotel California”! It’s about an hours drive by car from Cabo San Lucas through the countryside. The day we arrived they had just finished up a bike race. The town was full of people, vendors and cyclists. It was a fun atmosphere from the get go! We found a small bakery that was serving up yummy pastries. The local community center featured a step into the past. We explored a school class room set back in time along with what a typical home would have looked like back in the day. We continued along the coast exploring several beaches. These beaches had soft sand and mountain peaks. Waves were crashing up onto the beach. Sometimes a rogue wave caught us by surprise! We watched the sun set in the peaceful surroundings.

Rustic beach at Todos Santos
This is a public beach in Todos Santos. The beach was very soft to walk on but there are no facilities. Keep that in mind when planning your visit.

5. And last, but not least, take a visit to the Glass Factory in Cabo San Lucas. While you are there take in a glass blowing demonstration, look at all the beautiful blown glass and take home a unique souvenir!

Glass Factory in Cabos San Lucas
One of the amazing displays of glass at the Glass Factory

Hope this article gives you some ideas about what to add to your “bucket list” when visiting the Cabo area. And of course we hope you will stay in our favorite resort, the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We have member access to all of the Vidanta resorts through out Mexico and can arrange your stay at one of these beautiful resorts. Visit our page HERE to get started!

Vidanta
Beautiful master room at Vidanta

Why it’s absolutely ok NOT to pre-plan everything for your next trip

I must confess, I’m a listaholic. I write a list before I go to the grocery store, I write a list of TO DO’S at the start of each week, and I most certainly write multiple lists when I’m getting ready to go on a trip. Packing lists, excursion lists, daily calendar lists, the lists go on and on!

I’m a fairly new traveler, but we’ve been on a few cruises, taken trips to various places and I can honestly say I’ve learned that everything doesn’t have to be pre-planned. (I see you shaking your head!) I’m serious! Let me give you some examples of a vacation that was completely planned and one that, well…, wasn’t.

Bermuda
Enjoying my first steps into Bermuda waters

We took a Norwegian Breakaway cruise with some friends to Bermuda leaving from New York. This cruise was unique in that we sailed directly to Bermuda, the boat stays for a few days and then sails directly back. It’s called a destination cruise. I did my research, which I really enjoy doing, and made a list of all the places we should go, when we should be there and when we needed to move on! So note to self…..things take longer than you planned, the weather can change, not everyone wants to do everything you’ve planned and people get sick!

I’ll use the first day as an example. You’ll notice that I have listed a helmet dive at 9:30am, (learn more about our Helmet Dive HERE) a ferry ride to St. Georges at 2:00pm, walk a self guided tour, enjoy a beach and all before lunch! (I’m really laughing at myself here!) Well, as it turned out, all of us got a bit sea-sick during the ride out and back to our dive area! So by the time we got back, everyone wanted to go back to the ship and recuperate! What??? We have a schedule to keep people! Suffice it to say we didn’t do much else that first day (sad face here).

Helmet Dive
The small boat is the Helmet dive boat, the huge ship in the background is the Norwegian Breakaway

In contrast to the Bermuda trip, last November we took a trip to Los Cabos, Mexico for the first time. I researched the area and things that I wanted to put on my bucket list, but I didn’t book any excursions ahead of time. (I know, I know…) However, what a wonderful time we had each day! We didn’t have a set schedule. If something sounded fun, we did it! One day we literally spent 6 hours at the Vidanta resort pool! It was amazing! Some days we left the resort and some days we didn’t! Before we would go to bed each night, I felt like I wanted to know what we were doing the next day but I bit my tongue and tried to be relaxed about the schedule and low and behold we did everything on my bucket list!

Los Cabos, Mexico
Such a relaxing trip to Los Cabos, Mexico

So lesson learned: A little planning is ok, but don’t over plan. Keep things relaxed and most especially include some down time!

When trying to decide where to stay in Cabo, please consider staying with us at the Vidanta Grand Mayan. We also have access to the 6 other Vidanta resorts throughout Mexico. Just let us know when you would like your amazing week and where! We will take it from there! This link will take you to all the details!