Category Archives: Mexican Culture

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe – #VidaAguacate

This campaign has received compensation from Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VidaAguacate #EchaleLoMejor #CollectiveBias

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe - #VidaAguacate

My mother has always had a very green thumb. At least as far back as I can remember. Everywhere we lived, after a few short months she would manage to turn our pretty green and standard yard–no matter how large or small–into a virtual jungle, full of rich smells and beautiful colors. And most of the time a lot of the matas that she would plant were ones that provided fruits or vegetables for our home.

There were the higueras that everyone envied. The orange and tangerine trees that neighbors would seek permission to pick every year when they were in season. And in Mexico, the aguacate tree she was so proud of! You see, not everyone could grow an avocado tree.

When this tree was brimming with ripe and firm avocados it meant that we’d have aguacate with almost every meal she prepared. There were slices on the side of our huevos rancheros in the morning, guacamole to go with our enchiladas for lunch, and pico de gallo with avocado stocked in the cooler for quick meals any time company would come over.

This last dish is one that’s now one of our favorites at home too. Anjelica makes hers with a few additional ingredients that turn this staple of Mexican cuisine into a great snack for any time of the day or night. For this collaboration with Avocados From Mexico, we knew it would be the perfect nutritious snack to share.

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe - #VidaAguacate

I mean Avocados From Mexico are always delicious and always in season. And they go great with just about everything. Their fresh and savory taste takes pico de gallo to the next level.

They’re also super easy to add into a balanced nutrition plan! No cooking required. That’s always a plus! If you’re thinking about watching your intake of healthy food just a little closer, Avocados From Mexico should definitely be on your shopping list.

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe - #VidaAguacate

Our easy and nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo is one snack you can enjoy anytime. Here’s the recipe to this family favorite that’s always a hit at our house!

Ingredients

● Avocados from Mexico
● 1 tomato
● 1 onion
● 1 lemon
● 1 mango
● A couple of jalapeño peppers
● Cilantro
● Salt

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe - #VidaAguacate

Instructions

● Finely chop the tomato, onion, jalapeño peppers and cilantro
● In a bowl, mix the chopped ingredients
● Cut a few slices of your mango and finely chop the fruit
● Add the chopped mango to your bowl with the rest of your ingredients
● Cut open an avocado in half and remove the pit
● Chop your avocado into square pieces and add to your bowl
● Add salt to taste
● Slice your lemon in half and squeeze it into the rest of your ingredients (to taste)
● Mix all of the ingredients together in the bowl
● Serve

Easy Nutritious Avocado Pico de Gallo Recipe - #VidaAguacate

Love avocados as much as we do? Visit VidaAguacate.com to subscribe and become a part of the Avocados From Mexico Vida Aguacate club.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney – #SoWorthIt #ad

This is a sponsored post in collaboration with JCPenney. All opinions are our own.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

The other day we were recording an episode of our podcast The Little Radio Show, and somehow the conversation turned to the topic of my personal sense of style and fashion. I believe the reference used was “your signature style.” As in what is it? And for a moment I kind of sat there dumbfounded about how to actually answer that question. We settled on flannel and kept the conversation moving, but in the weeks since I’ve kind of still been privately mulling over the question.

Do I have a signature style?

Other than comfort above all else that is? I mean as a teenager I wore the baggy pants, the hooded tees, the combat boots. I even died the front of my hair with hydrogen peroxide and pierced my ear once. Yeah, really! As I got older, things just kind of got more conservative – including my clothes. I lost the earring, let my hair grow back to it’s natural color and then chopped it off into a more clean cut look. I eventually even let go of my combat boots, which I was obsessed with for many, many years. Life was changing and I had to grow up a bit too – or so I thought.

Then came fatherhood and career moves, and with that the need to pay even more attention to my choice of clothing. I mean you can’t really serve as a spokesman for an organization in jeans and tee-shirts, or chanclas. Although if you could I’d be all over that, jajaja! But seriously, I think my appreciation for classic, well made clothing started then. I began to notice the little details in how a pair of slacks were made. The stitching on a suit and how it made all the difference in the world. How the right pair of shoes could say so much about one – even if the intention in owning them was not to give any impression at all.

I noticed how sleek a good pair of cufflinks could look, and how the right tie could give a man just a little extra boost of confidence. I guess you could say my sense of fashion is all about looking good and feeling great.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

That’s how I’ve felt in the new gentleman’s line, Collection by Michael Strahan – available now at JCPenney. It’s made up of expertly tailored pieces and refined fabrics that are comfortable to wear and perfect for making a great impression.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

For this feature of the Collection line I decided to focus on the details that can really make a guy feel dapper. After scouring through the entire collection I settled on a tie, socks, and cufflinks.

That’s one of my favorite reasons for shopping at JCPenney. You can find so many brands for every single occasion, and it’s so easy to grab everything you need in one single store. For me, it’s definitely worth my time and effort. Plus they always have great deals and coupons to keep things affordable. Y’all know I’m all about saving!

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

I honestly couldn’t make up my mind about the tie because there were so many to choose from, but now I’m kind of certain I made the right choice. Look how regal it looks! 🙂

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

These cufflinks immediately caught my eye when I saw them. Anjelica gave them her vote of confidence immediately too.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

Then we had to find the right pair of socks to make everything come together. I think these pretty much get the job done.

Getting ready for a very dapper Christmas with JCPenney - #MSXEverywhere #SoWorthIt #ad

You can’t help but to feel like a million bucks when the wife gives you that look. Like “hey, there’s that guy I married!”

I couldn’t possibly do this entire line justice in one single post, so please take a look at the following video that really captures the depth an essence of Collection by Michael Strahan at JCPenney.

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Tamale Festival Houston

Yes, it’s as delicious as it sounds. Anjelica and I spent the better part of our Saturday this weekend walking around Houston’s very own Tamale Festival Houston, which as you might imagine specializes in one very tasty and traditional Latino dish: tamales!

They had spicy tamales, pork tamales, chicken tamales, strawberry tamales, jalapeño and cheese tamales, Puerto Rican tamales. Wait, let’s stop there for a minute. The Puerto Rican tamales were boiled and then grilled. Pretty tasty if you ask me, and they were pretty popular too considering they were quite different from the rest of the selection available from various vendors. They actually had a line – which I stood in for about 30 minutes in order to get a taste of these larger-than-“normal-Mexican-tamales.

The verdict. They were well worth the wait.

Although after stuffing myself with so many varieties of tamales – not to mention the pork skewer, the corn in a cup, and the pupusa I just had to have – I was pretty full.

The good news is they had live music and other entertainment to keep us busy on a full stomach. One of the bands we stuck around to hear was Metalachi. If you haven’t heard of them before you probably soon will. They bill themselves as the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi, and as you might imagine they were quite unorthodox. An interesting hybrid between both genres that didn’t actually sound like either – save for a few moments when one of the band members serenaded an audience member to one of Vicente Fernandez’s classics, or when the crowd joined the band in singing Every Rose Has It Thorn.

That was pretty fun.

Oddly enough I didn’t end up taking any pictures of tamales. I’ve been practicing taking better pictures of people so that’s what I ended up with. A couple of shots from our DSLR camera of some of the people who were there with us celebrating all of the tamale goodness.

Tamale Festival Houston
Metalachi: the world’s first and only heavy metal mariachi band.
Tamale Festival Houston
They put on a pretty good show.

Tamale Festival Houston

Tamale Festival Houston
Not my best work, but a work in progress I would say.
Tamale Festival Houston
I bought champurrado from her, and it was pretty delicious.

Now, we’re definitely looking forward to next year!

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays – #VivaLaMorena #ad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

This holiday season – or anytime really – the perfect recipe for any breakfast, well at least for me anyway, are huevos con chorizo. They just hit the spot, and get your day off to an excellent start. It’s been a dish I have been wanting to feature here for a very long time.

For me huevos con chorizo go perfect with jalapeños… but then again don’t jalapeños go great with everything? In our family, this dish is a tradition my mom created with us, her children. Now we carry that tradition on to our families as well. Huevos con chorizo is usually served with whole jalapeños in vinegar that most of the time are already waiting on the table in a jar or something.

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

Having the jalapeños waiting at the table is a actually a tradition in it of itself. When you sit down at the table to have a meal the first thing you do is reach over to grab a jalapeño. Or is that just me? I know growing up my dad did this every single time he had a meal. “Y los jalapeños,” he would jokingly exclaim when they were not already placed on the table. We knew he was kidding, but not really.

#VivaLaMorenaSweepstakes

This holiday season I know we’ll be eating plenty of them with every meal.

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

They go great with every dish. Con posole, tamales, tostadas, tacos, tortas, fajita, and, of course, hevos con corizo. They’re kind of the perfect all American Holiday breakfast feast.

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

I invite you to pick up La Morena® jalapeños at your local Fiesta like we did this for this collaboration. Why La Morena®? Because their peppers are trusted, high quality, ingredients you can depend on. They’re sure to create delicious meals that will bring your friends and family together this holiday season.

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

Huevos con Chorizo for the Holidays - #VivaLaMorena #ad

Here’s our recipe for huevos con chorizo.

INGREDIENTS

3 eggs
Salt
Mexican chorizo
Jalapeños

INSTRUCTIONS

1. In a skillet, cook three to four table spoons of Mexican chorizo

2. Heat until the chorizo is separated and chopped.

3. Crack three eggs and add them to the skillet.

4. Add salt to taste.

5. Cook for a few minutes until eggs are cooked all the way through.

6. Serve with a side of beans and tortillas.

7. Add La Morena jalapeños to your dish.

And enjoy!

Now it’s your turn. What is the one thing that is never missing from your family holiday meals?

Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando

So this past month I was in Orlando. I was there for the 2016 Latinos in Tech Innovation and Social Media (LATISM) national conference, which this year was themed around the idea of influencers being Agents of Change. It had been a couple of years since I had attended this event, and I can honestly say it was as though I had never left.

Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
With my friend and YouTuber Rocio of RisasRizos

From the camaraderie of being among my peers from all over the country – and even some attendees from Latin America and Puerto Rico, to the important discussions we continued as a community on topics like immigration, education, health, access to technology, and more, reuniting with the LATISM network really felt like being in familia.

I also had the privilege of serving as a speaker. The panel I participated in was titled “American Latinos & Their Role in Multicultural America.” As you might imagine, we discussed the role of our Latino community in the new U.S. mainstream culture, as well as the impact of assimilation and acculturation on our community identities.

Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
My panel at LATISM.
Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
Deep in conversation with the audience.

It was a great conversation. For me, the best part was listening to everyone’s perspective on their own relationship to their culture and identity. It’s something I often think about on an ongoing basis.

And going back to the idea of influencers being Change Agents, I think that was a very poignant message. Especially given the current political climate and the next four years that so many in our community are concerned about.

I think for me it was definitely a good reminder about why we started the Juan of Words journey to begin with. It was never about becoming a business – although I’m not complaining that it has. It was and still is about creating a positive space to celebrate our own culture in our own way. I’m glad I made this trip, and I’m glad I was able to truly listen to what other Latino Change Agents had to say.

Our best moments are definitely ahead.

Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
The beautiful Disney Coronado Springs Resort where LATISM 2016 was held.
Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
A bunch of us who were there from Houston representing our city!
Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
Hanging out at the gala with Lizza of xoxolizza.
Recap: LATISM 2016 in Orlando
My buddy and Tejana Vianney of Sweet Life Bake!

A tasty and simple meal for everyday: Lasagna with Meat & Sauce – #BalanceYourPlate #ad

This is part of a compensated campaign in collaboration with Stouffer’s and #WeAllGrow Latina Network. All opinions expressed are my own

A tasty and simple meal for everyday: Lasagna with Meat & Sauce - #BalanceYourPlate #ad
An easy and delicious meal for any day of the week.

To be quite honest, we’ve never really been that traditional when it comes to sharing our meals together as a family. Sure, when we’re together we eat together. Although that only happens around a dinner table every once in a while. Usually when we’re visiting family or friends. The rest of the time, it’s a little bit like organized chaos.

Now that I’ve given you that colorful visual let me explain.

No es que no disfrutemos estar juntos, it’s that we’re pretty comfortable just being comfortable. Because of habit I do generally like to sit at the table when I eat. Usually reading something online, browsing my phone, or just gathering my thoughts in silence. Edgar will join me from time to time, as will Anjelica, but they’re much more at home eating TV-dinner-style while watching something funny or family friendly in the living room. We’re still in the same room together – most of the time – just a little more spread out.

It works for us.

Since a few years ago now, the other thing about our meals that we’ve updated is what exactly we’re consuming. We don’t buy a lot of sweets. We don’t have a microwave at home so we don’t buy any microwaveable meals. We don’t buy sodas of any kind. Instead we opt for water or other less sugar-infused beverages. We do eat meat and dairy. We just prefer to find the best farm to table options available.

That’s not very hard to do at all these days.

Which is why this quick and easy meal idea seemed like the perfect one to share as something that you might find us breaking bread over on any given day. It’s Stouffer’s Family Size Lasagna with Meat & Sauce, and now it’s part of the company’s newly announced “Kitchen Cupboard” initiative. In a nutshell, Stouffer’s is shortening and simplifying some of its recipes so they only include ingredients that we as consumers can recognize and find at home. Think vine-ripened tomatoes, freshly made pasta, and real mozzarella.

Lasagna is one of our favorite family dishes.

A tasty and simple meal for everyday: Lasagna with Meat & Sauce - #BalanceYourPlate #ad
Lasagna is one meal we can all agree on.

We love pasta so lasagna just makes sense because you can make it whatever you want. In fact, I used to make a mean lasagna back in the day. I haven’t made it in a while, but Stouffer’s just makes it super convenient to pop that bad boy in the oven and be able to feed our entire little army! No, pero en serio, the fact that we can get an individual or family-sized lasagna to go and to pair with any sides we choose is something we take advantage of at least once a month.

Because it’s pasta and tomato sauce, our side dish of choice is usually a salad. The freshness of a good spinach salad is the perfect balance for a hearty meal.

A tasty and simple meal for everyday: Lasagna with Meat & Sauce - #BalanceYourPlate #ad
A quick spinach salad with other fresh ingredients.

A tasty plate like this one will usually inspire us to sit around the table together.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Stouffer’s. The opinions and text are all mine.

Jarritos – The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp

This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Jarritos. All opinions are my own.

If you know me, then you know how excited the following ad called The Journey by Jarritos must have made me when it first came out a few days ago. I don’t honestly remember when I first learned about it, but I do know that as soon as I saw it the video really touched me. Not only because of the overall theme that rejects human labels, which I totally agree with, but also because personally I can relate 100 percent to the stories of the individuals featured in this beautiful production.

As you know, my story is one of immigration.

Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
Me at 7 years old.

My family has always kind of been split in a way. Not 100 percent American. And not 100 percent Mexican either. And yet 100 percent both at the same time. If that makes any sense, jajaja! It does, if you’ve grown up the same way I have.

The first memories of my childhood reside in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas. Hot, sandy summers, surrounded by my brothers and sisters, playing in the dark open yard in the evenings with my father, teasing my aunt when her and my uncle would come to visit, walking to bring home drinking water from a nearby well with my mother, and even playing with livestock that we considered more domesticated animals than slaughter.

Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
My family on my sister’s 15th birthday.

There are also other memories, though, when I think back to those days.

My dad working extra long days, being underpaid because he was undocumented. My mother cleaning our white neighbors homes and getting paid $15 in cash because she did not have “papeles” either. I didn’t know what those papers meant then, but I did know that because we didn’t have them, every time the green and white migra trucks would drive by we either had to hide or pretend our parents and elder sisters were not home. They didn’t have the legal authority to be here, according to the law, and I guess you could say they were illegal.

Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
My dad in 1986.
Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
My mother around the same year, I believe.

In the decades between then and now, I have made a conscious decision to reject the word illegal to describe any person. I don’t believe any human being is illegal regardless of his or her status in any nation.

But back then, we believed it. We understood that our place in this country was in the shadows. That our rights were not the same as those who had not crossed the rivers and the deserts to get here. And even though I myself had never done either of those things, and was actually a citizen of the United States by birth, I still believed it too, for a very long time.

Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
Celebrating a birthday in our Houston apartment.
Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
Birthdays have always been a big deal for our family.

That self-awareness loomed in my subconscious all of the time, for a very long time.

I would question myself when praised by others, especially if those others did not look and sound like me. Of course they were just trying to be nice to me. Of course they were just trying to make me feel more confident in myself. Of course they saw me as different as not as good as them. When I got older and worked my way into jobs that people thought were great opportunities for someone as young as myself, I still carried that feeling of inferiority with me.

I’d stay quiet as much as possible. My goal was always to stay under the radar, and when called upon all I could do was muster enough courage to say something perfectly nice and almost subservient. “Yes, of course.” “You’re right.” “I understand.” “Thank you.”

It was all I could do to not rock the boat. To not out myself as different. To not ruin the opportunity I had been granted that I believed I should have been so grateful for. So grateful I was perfectly content to work longer and harder than anyone else to keep.

This was my mentality for a long time, and it took a lot of living to finally come to the conclusion that I, just like my parents and my family, had as much right as anyone else to be here in this country and to take advantage of any and every opportunity that came my way. And no, not just that landed at my feet, but that I worked my ___ off to earn!

It was a wake up call at some point in my life. One that I now try my best to share with others who find themselves in this same predicament. Yes, I am the child of immigrant parents.

But am I illegal in any way? Absolutely not!

Because of this belief. Because I value human dignity above all else, I encourage you to watch and share The Journey video as well! I encourage you to share this message and encourage anyone feeling ashamed or embarrassed because of labels used to describe them to stand up and reject the words that others try to use against us.

This is a nation of immigrants, and we all deserve rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness!

Jarritos - The Journey: Our Journey! #BetterTogether #sp
A more recent picture of my parents on one of their visits to the D.C. area.

El Chavo Del Ocho Store Haul

El Chavo Del Ocho Store Haul

I’ve always been a huge fan of El Chavo Del Ocho. It’s probably one of the first Spanish-language television shows my entire family fell in love with. By that, I mean my entire family on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border. It didn’t matter if we were at home in our apartment watching Chespirito in Houston, or if we were sitting around the black and white television in el rancho with all of our cousins, just laughing at the hilarious entertainment that ensued. El Chavo Del Ocho is still one of my all time favorite television shows.

It’s so timeless, in fact, that Edgar and I also enjoyed watching the show together many moons later.

This week, I had the huge privilege to receive at my doorstep a big box of goodies from Grupo Chespirito. As you might imagine, this included a bunch of show-themed items likes tee-shirts, caps, socks, and even mobile phone cases. All bright and colorful products that a week earlier I had selected myself from the El Chavo Store online.

I knew this package was coming, but when it got here I just couldn’t contain my excitement. I literally tore through the box and inventoried every single item inmediatamente. It was pretty hilarious.

Once I composed myself again, I recorded the following video to show you – alright to show off a little too – all of the items that completely made my week this week!

If you like this video, make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel to get even more content!