Holidays & Gatherings

Dining with the Dead ~ A Feast for the Souls on Day of the Dead Cookbook

Hello friends!

It has been a long time since we last made a new post on our dear Yes, more please! blog, but finally we are back and with great news!

We want to present you our first cookbook: Dining with the Dead ~ A Feast for the Souls on Day of the Dead

As you know a few years back we announced that we were starting our mission on writing our first cookbook. It all went well, but it took us longer than we expected. And when I say longer I mean it. This cookbook has been cooking slowly and developing its flavors one recipe at the time. A labor of love, dedication, persistence, and it has absorbed almost all our time (and souls).

It was back in 2016 when we embarked on a singular idea: a cookbook that celebrates the food of Día de Muertos (The Day of the Dead) along with its history, traditional Mexican cuisine, and its relationship to the culture of Mexico.

We began with a trip to Pátzcuaro in Michoacán, México, where we photographed and documented the local traditions and cuisine before and during the Day of the Dead. We encountered events and people of unspeakable beauty and sincerity. Then we returned and gathered and recreated family recipes and created our own versions of over 120 recipes including tamales, moles, delicious beverages, and baked goods like Pan de Muerto (just to name a few). We researched and structured the book with a history of the tradition, its origins in Mexico, and instructions on how to participate in the celebration.

After four years of hard work, from traveling and driving to the State of Michoacán in a small flimsy white car, lots of mileage, short budget and travelling to towns and flower fields, cooking, designing the cover, creating the book layouts, editing photos, more cooking, research, writing, documenting, reading, more cooking, creating and fine tuning recipes from personal memories from travels, more cooking, Mercados, test proofing recipes over and over, dozens and dozens of tamales in our freezer, salsas, sweet pastries, breads, baking, more coooking and our dear old electric stove Mildred calling it quits on the middle of our cooking journey,more cooking, learning that our little casita could not have a gas line installed, asking help from our followers and friends to buy a new stove! (thank you so much! Friends), more cooking, rice, beans, drinks, stories, sources, heated arguments, more cooking, editor fights, reconciliations, smiley agreements, more cooking, great ideas, more cooking, fighting for a hard cover and good paper to print the book, more cooking, sending cookies to our editor, than you baby jesus for professional editing!(our editor is a Jedi when it comes to condense and trim a text), more cooking, lighting photos, Ian’s magical way to shoot and light photos!, more cooking, mole speckles on the walls, more cooking, glossary, professional indexer help, more cooking, plan recipes, drawing storyboards, gather ingredients, sourcing ingredients, cooking them carefully, because there is no more!, more cooking, photo shooting step-by-step, photo-shooting, beauty shots, more cooking, infinite memory cards, three bottles of lens cleaner, eat the left overs of recipes for the rest of the week… months!, and try, try again, and again, does it needs twice that amount of garlic? or Chile?, more cooking, batterie chargers, write recipe notes, cook-set up- photoshoot-write-eat-repeat, more cooking, back pains, learning that you could design a layout in Lightroom for a book of 384 pages, but that your computer video card will crash and heat up sooo bad that it will shut down every 35 minutes!, more cooking, placing a sticky note on the corner of your monitor so you can remember to save evry 15 minutes!, working with caution, working at night because room was cooler and computer won’t heat up so badly during the summers, more cooking, buying a 4 terabyte external drive to be able to save all the rest of the material we generated, more cooking, collaborating with a graphic designer that could translate and make our ideas work in the layouts, more cooking, fights in the kitchen about camera angles, food on the floor-Mariana messed up!, more cooking, finding plates and pots, and pans, to re-create the warmth of a dish, more cooking, finding a real volcanic stone metate in Austin!, more cooking, grinding masa, dramatization, looking for a seller of cacahuazintle corn, sourcing online!, more cooking, budget not even enough and long time gone, more cooking, fonts and design, more cooking, more editor support, tears and joy, and frustration and heat fumes from the chilies, more cooking, vacations? What is that? What-does-that-word-even-means? Can I look it up in the dictionary?, more cooking, …. out of breath now…uff!

After all this work it took a village of three, tres, trois, ëyi, 3, III, focused, passionate, and crazy stubborn people: Ian, Mariana and our editor Aaron… plus ofcourse all the help of our friends and family along the way! They all deserve their own post and I will create a proper letter post to all the gratefulness we have for your help and kindness.

After this odyssey and hard work we finally finished writing our cookbook! We are happy and proud to present you “Dining with the Dead: A Feast for the Souls on Day of the Dead” . We ended up with a big beautiful book of 384 pages with more than 500 photos and over 100 recipes with step-by-step instructions. We thought we had finally reached the peak of the iceberg when our editor sent us the e-mail we all had been dreaming of: “I just sent your book to the printer, congratulations”… music to our ears, it felt like when Moses standing on the ocean with its cane opening a wide road of possibilities!. By the beginning of March 2020, the book was finished and at the printer….And then, Covid-19 struck, shaking the whole world, the lockdown began, and the printing process was frozen.

Now, as the world slowly starts opening-up, we thought we were going to start at where we left by just re-sending the book to the printer and keeping on with the project, but the publisher of our book was greatly affected by the pandemic and is working at a 25% capacity. So, our new and final hurdle remains—to get “Dining with the Dead” printed!

Earlier this year, our editor encouraged us to try to find a way to rekindle our project.

So today, we have a new challenge. To make our book a REALITY, we are working with our editor on a KICKSTARTER crowdfunding campaign, more likely (Kickending, since our project is already done heheheh). When we reach our goal, we hope to soon have our book in the hands of readers who want to understand, love, appreciate, and celebrate this rich and beautiful Mexican holiday, and the traditional Mexican cooking that revolves around it. Hopefully, by reaching our goal in the middle of July, the book will be printed this Fall before the holiday.

Please help us by making a PLEDGE!, and by SHARING our Kickstarter campaign to as many people as possible. We are excited by the possibility that with your help, Dining with the Dead will be the first Día de Muertos themed COOKBOOK, one that we hope will reconect first, second, third, any past, present and future mexican generations with their roots, families and heritage and introduce Mexico’s wonderful food and traditions to people from all cultures.

Please check the following link to see the first released book content, recipes, photos, our campaign video, images and some mockups of the book and its content. There are also some great rewards from photo prints and some special items we design to complement the campaign, please click on the following link:

Its great to reconnect with all of you. Let’s cook!

Thank you for your time, consideration and all your support.

Here is the link for sharing:



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Carne Asada Tacos on 5 de Mayo, or 6 de Mayo or any other day…

Originally posted: 05, May 2015 | Revisited: May 3rd, 2018


Ok let’s make something clear, 5 de Mayo nothing to do with the Mexican Independence which actually is celebrated on September 15th at midnight.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates The Battle of Puebla-La Batalla de Puebla, May, 5th 1862 in which the Mexican Army, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguin, battled the French forces. The Mexican Army was outnumbered by the French army which was almost double in size and well armed. Against all odds, the Mexican army won the battle. It had been almost 50 years since the French had been defeated. After the Battle of Puebla no other Country in the Americas has been invaded by another European military force…

There is a lot of pride in this important battle as you can imagine; maybe that is what Cinco de Mayo is all about, “Mexican Pride”… and well I won’t blame any Mexican-American who wants to celebrate such a win, or any American who wants an excuse for buying Mexican beer, tacos, and guacamole, as long we leave history aside from the matter… A little of general history to know the real origin of 5 de Mayo facts, does not hurt.

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Braised Short Ribs in Pomegranate and Tempranillo


Perhaps you are the kind of person, like myself, that loves and cherishes the wonder that is a cut of perfectly braised beef. If you have inhaled the Parisian air in October and experienced the fragrance of succulent Beef Bourbignon from the plate resting on your table then you know it can surely be counted as one of the great culinary blessings in life. If you have not yet had a truly fine plate of braised beef or if , in fact, you simply must prepare it for yourself then this recipe shall more than satisfy. Short ribs provide a fantastic cut to which this treatment can justly be applied, having a sufficient richness and flavor.

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Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse


Chocolate, who can’t resist chocolate specially at this time of the year?…Dreaming of luscious chocolate desserts, this Chocolate Avocado Coconut Mousse recipe it’s the ticket for a simple crowd pleaser dessert. You would not believe how free of everything this mousse is. It should be called “Chocolate Freedom”. The truth is, If you want to make a dessert suited for all guests, taste good for all palates, and diverse diets you are at the right place.

For me, Chocolate Mousse is the perfect ending dessert for a dinner party. You can prepare it ahead, its no fuss, looks gorgeous, and suits all crowds. This recipe, especially suits guests with diverse diets: dairy-free, gluten-free,  sugar-free, nut-free, grain-free, egg-free, all free diet situations. I feel people with food sensitivities are often neglected, or end up with fruit as a dessert, why not go the extra mile? On the other hand for the cooks at home its always a little stressful to think or trying to cook or bake with un-familiar ingredients, well I got you covered, this recipe is also easy on the Cook. Simple ingredients, a few simple steps and your guests will appreciate you going the extra mile. Its is always nice to make the effort to make a happy ending dessert for everyone especially during the holiday season.

Read the recipe very carefully, and please, do not make faces; yes I can see you from here frowning about avocado and chocolate. I was one of those people as well. Now I’m converted. To be honest, once you try this combination I know you’ll be converted too. Let’s talk a little about it.

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Salted Date and Pecan Pie


It seems so obvious but these two are a natural match. During the holidays, dates are added to breads and other confections for sweetness but the pecan pie is really the best use of my date. The prospect of complementing a roasted salty pecan with this fruit got me excited from the start. In a pecan pie I want richness, balance of flavor, creamy crunchy texture, and a buttery crust. The trick is doing it all without hitting a oversugared level of super sweetness. The dates in this recipe get us there and in my opinion with a little more character than the traditional pecan pie recipe, of which I am an enthusiast. I add flake salt to the finished top layer after glazing with maple syrup to create the final note, the one that gives balance and complements the natural caramel sweetness of the date filling.

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Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie with Pecan Crust A feel good alternative Gluten Free and Sugar Free


Its coming… It’s here… the most wonderful time of the year, you can drop the ball, and roll around with it or you can just keep it simple and delicious.

No guilt trips, no counting calories, just decide what makes you feel good before, during and after you eat it. I think that will be my mantra for the season and the year to come. I do not know if I will survive but I know that at least by asking this question it will make me chose better options with happy endings and no regrets like this Pumpkin Cream Cheese Pie with Pecan Crust. To tell you the truth, when I was creating the recipe I was a little skeptical about if was going to be a recipe that will stand up side by side to all the goodness on a Thanksgiving table. Because after all it is “that time of the year” to be grateful and enjoy.
Trying a slice, this delicious creamy pumpkin pie that made me feel good while eating, before, during and after. I was hooked.

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French Onion Bagel Soup


Soup season it’s here and the soup I’m craving: French Onion Soup, a classic of classics, deep mahogany broth, soft sweet onions, and that crusty bread soaking all the juices and keeping afloat the most amazing crusty cheesy cloud on top of the soup. A wintery elixir. There is something cosmic about a cold day and simmering pot of soup on the stove. The House is warm with a cozy smell, a sweater, some crusty bread, warming your hands by holding the cup is just one of the best feelings…wiiihkkk…Now can you hear the wicked record on the back?… I just remembered we live in Texas.

This “El Niño” is driving me crazy. Almost 6 months of summer here in Austin to much Summer for me I wish I could be in Yakutsk for the weekend and then come back to be able to appreciate this Texas weather… But for now I’m just in need of cool down so I can make soup, lots of soup.

Dreaming with cold weather while the thermometer reads 80 F… I’m making soup anyway…We will crank down the AC just for tonight and pretend it’s cold outside… Adjust your AC accordingly.  Now with the right temperature (thermometer reads 70F), Lets cook!…

Well, here we are revamping the unrevampable, and I thought about giving this classic French onion soup a little twist. I used a bagel instead of the crusty bread. Yes, a crusty chewy pumpernickel bagel toasted, with a bellybutton that helps the steam escape from the soup and let’s the oozing cheese talk to the soft onions below. The good thing about using a bagel is that stays crunchy for longer and it madly absorbs the oniony broth.  It is ridiculously good and satisfying.

Through out the recipe you will find a couple of tips and tricks that I’ve learned to use when making onion soup. I know they will help you make the best onion soup you can make, or to improve the one you already make.

For now, this is all what I can tell you about one of my favorite soups…

Just relax and cook. I promise all your efforts will be rewarded on the first spoonful, and there will be no words just slurps.

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Day of the Dead Amaranth Skull Cookies


This year to celebrate Day of the Dead, I decided to make some cookies utilizing ingredients that were more commonly used in more traditional Mexican cooking. I used Amaranth and an assortment of seeds and dried fruits to decorate the cookies. Amaranth has being cultivated in Mexico by the Aztecs 8,000 years ago. It was a great source of nutrition for them. The real value on amaranth was and is its seeds. These tiny little seeds are loaded with 12 to 17% protein and are high in lysine and essential amino acids. Amaranth seeds are also high in Calcium, Iron, Magnesium and many more minerals and vitamins. I think we should start looking at this plant and its nutritional value with wider eyes. Puffed amaranth seeds taste like a nutty popcorn. They are soft, tender and hold a great natural flavor.


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