Squash Blossom Soup ~ Sopa de Flor de Calabaza


Life has certainly changed in the past few months with the birth of my first son, Leo Roberto Reyna, on March 22nd of this year.

While I have had far less time to cook and even sit down in front of a computer, I am totally in love with my new kitchen assistant even though he never likes to be set down.

I am excited to think about what next summer will be like with him running around in the garden (and hopefully helping me pick a tomato or two).

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Coconut Berry Popsicles ~ Paletas de Coco y Moras



It’s been quiet over here at Flan & Apple Pie, but that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been doing a fair amount of cooking and baking. I had a really busy school year since I switched from teaching elementary Spanish to high school Spanish, and we have three family weddings this summer, so that means lots of showers and even more cookie baking.

But, I can never pass up the opportunity to participate in my favorite blogging event of the year — Lola’s (Lola’s Cocina) Annual #PaletaWeek. This is the 4th year of Paleta Week, and every year I am impressed by the incredible creativity of this community. The possibilities are truly endless, and this really is the perfect summer treat.

Paletas are simply Mexico’s version of a popsicle, but they tend to include more fresh fruit and juices.

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Vanilla Almond Milk Popsicles with Cacao Nibs ~ Paletas de Leche de Almendra con Vainilla y Nibs de Cacao

So here’s the deal…it’s the 3rd Annual #PaletaWeek over at Lola’s Cocina, and I had all intentions of making green, white, and red paletas to cheer on Mexico in tomorrow’s World Cup game against South Korea, but as I started to make them, I saw a bag of roasted cacao nibs from Oaxaca sitting on my countertop, and I thought, “Hmmm…I bet those would be pretty tasty in vanilla-laced almond milk.” So I stuck some on a spoon with a little milk, and wow! Yes! This is something that had to be shared.

But, I guess the more important question here is, how does one randomly have a bag of cacao nibs sitting on the countertop, and what are cacao nibs anyway?

Well, this spring Roberto and I traveled to Washington, D.C. to partake in the D. C. Chocolate Festival. It was quite amazing, and besides being able to try single origin bars from dozens of chocolate makers, we got to learn about single origin cane sugar with William Marx of WM Chocolate and about growing cacao in an agroforestry system like Agrofloresta in southern Mexico.

More importantly though, all of this chocolately goodness got me to thinking about making my own chocolate from bean to bar. I mean, why not? I had a bag of cacao beans sitting in my basement that I had brought back from my trip to Oaxaca last summer.

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Carrot Cake Horchata Popsicles ~ Paletas de Pastel de Zanahoria y Horchata

Paletas de Zanahoria

It’s 9:19 PM right now, and as I look outside, I can still see a faint blanket of light weaving through the dark outline of the treetops. That can only mean one thing — it’s summer, the season of long days, sticky skin, and sweet treats.

To celebrate this much-anticipated season, my lovely friend, Lola, of Lola’s Cocina, is hosting the 2nd Annual #PaletaWeek.

Paletas are Mexico’s version of the popsicle, but the main difference is that they are made with fresh fruits (and vegetables!). Unlike their high-fructose corn syrup counterparts in the U.S., paletas burst with flavor thanks to the use of peak-season produce. When it comes to food, the final product is always a reflection of the ingredients used to make it, and paletas are no exception.

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