Marianas Mexican Recipes

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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Tinga Verde de Res-Green Beef Tinga

Revisited: May 1st, 2018

Hello!, We are back, with an amazing recipe for Tinga Verde de Res-Green Beef Tinga.

Where have we been? Very busy with our project, giving it our best. We have learned a lot through this journey. Writing a book is not easy and it takes your all and a little more, and some more and right when you think you are done… it needs the last effort. Often it seems like you are never done. After nearly a year things are moving along and soon we promise to give you the full disclosure and we are certain it will be worth the wait.

As you can read our sanity is not 100% restored yet, but we hope to return to form and post a recipe weekly. I hope you had the chance to try previously posted recipes in the meantime and now you must be ready for the new ones!.

The focus of the blog has always been very diverse in nature and based on seasonal, local ingredients. I enjoy new takes and variations on classic recipes, like my Root-a-touille (a version of Ratatouille made with root vegetables), or pancakes made with nutty delicious buckwheat flour, our French onion soup using a crisp bagel, and even a refreshing vegan version of ceviche substituting cauliflower for fish. Recipes also include some fundamental techniques, from how to make beans from scratch, and the popular Chilaquiles Manifesto which is quintessential in my Mexican cooking heart. I think you will be seeing more Mexican recipes in future and the occasional twist on a classic and or borrowed inspiration from other cuisines. I have many suppressed cravings and new recipes I intend to share with you in the upcoming weeks and months.

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Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes

sopes-de-pollo chicken sopes_yes-more-please!

Antojitos Mexicanos…These are the “small bites” in Mexican street food. Go to the fair or the Tianguis (street market) and they are the perfect food for an impromptu craving. Sopes de Pollo – Chicken Sopes is one of them. Take corn masa dough and create a small fried or grilled pattie and you have the foundation to add any kind of toppings you like; shredded chicken, beef, pork, picadillo, chorizo, requeson~Mexican Ricotta, refried beans, mashed potatoes, calabazitas, poblano rajas, mushrooms, infinite filling possibilities. Top them off with a simple tomato salsa, shredded lettuce or cabbage, onions, radishes, crema and queso fresco or cotija cheese, and these little sopes, will be a highly crave-able meal.

In Guadalajara, Jalisco, where I’m from, these fresh corn masa patties are called Sopes de Masa, or pellizcadas which translates into “pinched”. Why? Once these masa patties are cooked, on the comal or fried, the edges of these round patties are pinched all around to create a border-leap that will hold the fillings and topping goodness.

This masa pinching is done by an experienced cook, a grandma or an aunt, cooks that have developed Moctezuma fingers, with digital prints deleted by the generational hard work in the kitchen. Since these patties are piping hot, you need this kind of strong digital numbness to achieve the results. Lucky you, this is not the only way to make sopes, I will provide you with an easy solution using two spoons. You get to keep your fingerprints.

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Guajillo Pork Chops


When I saw these succulent Porterhouse pork chops at the butcher shop, I knew they were coming home with me. Porterhouse pork chops are the Cadillac of chops. Divided by a “T” bone, these chops combine some of the best cuts of the tenderloin and the loin surrounded by a generous and beautiful ribbon of pork fat and their double thickness these chops are as luscious and succulent almost like having almost a steak. Thinking of how to prepare them, I could almost hear them whispering “Guajillo and garlic” to me, so there Guajillo Pork Chops for diner it was.

Chiles are one of my favorite ingredients in Mexican cooking, especially dry chiles. They work miracles in the kitchen. Dry or fresh, these beautiful capsicum fruits are not only about spicy heat;
fresh chiles can brighten up and give a spicy-sass flavor to any dish along with a bright loud note. Dry chiles add a pleasant intense depth of flavor from smokey-sweet, to spicy and fruity, floral and fruity notes with a pleasant hint of spice. Dry chiles are a must have in your pantry.
Dry Guajillos are the perfect example I just described. Guajillos, when slightly toasted, fried or hydrated, bloom with the most aromatic, intense color and mild fruity heat flavor. This effect is irresistible and best used with pork because the meat’s flavor still shines through.

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Enfrijoladas are one of the most beloved humble dishes made out of beans in Mexico. I almost can imagine some Mexican grandma in a hurry trying to make a meal with ingredients for two that will serve four or six with the beans she had. So Bad-a-bim! …she created a sauce, in order to stretch the beans, for all to eat. Aren’t these kinds of recipes the ones that everybody loves the most?…Serendipity in the kitchen can work love spells, just like this recipe.

Imagine fresh corn tortillas smothered in a smooth velvety bean sauce that has been seasoned and tinted with dry chiles. This dish features smokey anchos and a bright flavor guajillo chiles, sauteed onions and a couple of garlic cloves, all seasoned and blended to create a light and velvety bean sauce. Enfrijoladas are the cousins of enchiladas, only lighter. This velvety sauce, has a mild spice flavor, that in combination with the earthy and creamy bean texture make the most luscious bean sauce.

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Oaxacan Frittata


Frittatas are the best way to transform simple ingredients into a magnificent meal. It’s the goodness of pie without the crust. With their lightly crusty edges, creamy soft centers, easy comfort, and the fact that almost every ingredient can play and sing along embedded in custardy creamy eggs, frittatas are the perfect Summer companion, and this Oaxacan Frittata is the one you want this summer by your side.

This Frittata is all about the Oaxacan Jewel tomatoes I grew in my little garden. I love how the combination of custardy eggs and “Quesillo” a.k.a Oaxaca Cheese, compliment the flavor of the tomatoes with out masking them. Even when cooked, the tomatoes hold their fresh and juicy flavor. The melted strings of Oaxacan cheese along with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt make this Frittata the object of my Summer affection.

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Ceviche Verde


To hot to cook fish? Let the Limes do it. This Ceviche Verde, is refreshing, light, green, tangy, zesty, crisp and crunchy vegetables, tender tuna marinated in lime juice, surrounded by creamy avocados… are you with me?…Yes!

Ceviche is an original dish from Peru. Peruvians are the kings of making the best out of fresh fish. To corroborate this statement you need to know about Peruvian Chef Gastón Acurio.  Chef Gastón has placed Peru, their culture, and Ceviche at another level in his country and internationally, all through a labor of love that started in the kitchen, that for me, no other chef has achieved with his cooking.

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