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Our First Ever ¡Hola! Jalapeño Reader Survey

May 25, 2017
Take a few moments to tell us what you want to read, cook, and learn in our first ever ¡Hola! Jalapeño Reader Survey!

For those of you who are new to the site I want to you to know how happy I am that you are here and say, welcome!! I hope you find lots of good things you want to make and maybe also a respite from your busy, hectic life.

For those of you who have been coming here for recipe inspiration for a while now, I want to say a humongous thank you!! We’ve been through a lot you and me. We’ve shared margaritas, had babies, and learned how to make capirotada.

But I want to know what else you want to read about. I make every single blog post with you in mind so I want to make what you want to cook. Would you like to see more healthy recipes, videos, tips, tutorials? Take a few moments to take our first ever reader survey and let me know!

Thank you so, so much!

Besitos, Kate


Photo by Meghan O’Sullivan Photography


Mexican Fall Shop + Lifestyle Collective Food Awards

October 21, 2016
Mexican Fall Shop

Inspiration for fall with a Mexican feel from colorful scarves to gorgeous table runners all in this Mexican Fall Shop. Plus cookbooks and gift ideas!

¡Hola! Amigos

Fresh back from my Baja trip and I’m full of inspiration. All the colors and textiles and patterns has got my head spinning and I wanted to share some of my new favorite things with you.

I also wanted to let you in on a little project I’ve been a part of with my partners over at Lifestyle Collective. I’ve gathered together with a bunch of food bloggers to find the best of cooking and baking products as well as cookbooks of the season.

First up, my favorites for fall with Mexican Flare!

Mexican Fall Shop

Mexican Fall Shop

For the table:

  1. Jardin de Muertos Placemats from Bobo and Coco Shop
  2. Otomi Runner from Casa Artelexia
  3. Charger Plates from W/R/F Lab

Mexican Fall Shop

For the house:

4. Mi Casa Es Su Casa Papel picado from Ay Mujer

5. Papel Picado Stamps from USPS

6. The Naharon Blanket from Siestas for Fiestas

7. La Mera Frida air freshener from Fuchila Freshners

Mexican Fall Shop

For gifts or for fun:

8. Day of the Dead Cloth Doll from Palooka Handmade

9. Tan Mexican Serape Infinity Scarf from Just Dawnelle

10. Mexican Today Cookbook by Pati Jinich

Now for the winners from Lifestyle Collective Fall Food Awards

Mexican Fall Shop


  1. Best Serveware: Bakers Advantage Deep Pie Dish
  2. Best Casserole Dish: Le Creuset 12 x 9 Covered Rectangular Dish
  3. Best Traditional Kitchen Gadget: Silpat Nonstick Baking Mat

Mexican Fall Shop




4. Best Slow Cooker: Fagor LUX Multicooker

5. Best Flavor: Gaea Fresh Extra Virgin Olive Oil

6. Best Coffee/Tea Maker: BELLA Housewares Ceramic Kettle

7. Best Cast-Iron Skillet: Anolon Vesta Cast-Iron Skillet

Mexican Fall Shop


8. Best Healthy Eating Cookbook: The Happy Cookbook by Lola Berry

9. Best Baking Cookbook: The Peppermint Bark Cookbook by Dominique DeVito

10. Best Fall Cooking Cookbook: Cast Iron Cooking by Rachel Narins

Head over to the AOL Lifestyle Collective page to see all the nominees and meet the judges!

This post contains affiliate links. A small percentage of any purchases made directly from this site will go to supporting ¡Hola! Jalapeño. Thanks so much for shopping! 


Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide + Big News

November 30, 2015
Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Hey! Hey! Happy Holidays!!!

It’s about that time to be checking your list and finding those perfect presents for everyone on it. I’m here to chip in with a few ideas for those on your list who either A: Love to cook or B: Love Mexico or C: Don’t love to cook, but love to read cookbooks and also like Mexico and Mexican food.
Salsa and Mole

Salsas and Moles by Deborah Schneider (Hardcover $11.98), is a collection of 60 authentic recipes for what we all know is the most important part of the meal. A good salsa or mole sauce brings an entire dish together and this book has everything from basic pico de gallo to a Salsa Fresca with Queso y Pintos.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Tacos: Recipes and Provocations by Alex Stupak and Jordan Rothman (Hardcover $18.24). This newly released cookbook from Chef Alex Stupak and NYC food writer Jordan Rothman is what you might imagine a chef-written cookbook on tacos to be; experimental, aspiring, and beautiful. Not something you’d necessarily cook from every night of the week but one you’d defiantly want to read.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor by  Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack, Veronica Gonzalez-Smith, and Evangelina Soza (Paperback $19.05). This book offers a look inside the inspiration that fuels food blogger Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack’s style; classic Mexican home cooking that has been passed down for generations.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Tamales: Fast and Delicious Mexican Meals by Alice Guadalupe Tapp (Hardcover, $15.37). If you think making tamales takes tons of people and time to prepare than this book is for you. It’s loaded with time-saving tips to simplify the labor-intensive process so you can have homemade tamales more than once a year.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Yucatán: Recipes from a Culinary Expedition by David Sterling (Hardcover $41.16). Named 2015 Cookbook of the Year and 2015 Best International Cookbook by the James Beard Foundation. This in-depth look into the food of Mexico’s Yucatán peninsula should be a part of every cookbook lover’s collection.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Homesick Texan’s Family Table: Lone Star Cooking from My Kitchen to Yours by Lisa Fain (Hardcover $19.99). The follow up book by beloved blogger Lisa Fain with classic Tex-Mex comfort food that you will crave again and again.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Absolutely Avocados by Gaby Dalkin (Hardcover $14.97). Renowned food blogger Gaby Dalkin is the queen of avocados which she proves by taking them way beyond toast and guacamole with this book. Here you’ll find avocados turning up in everything from breakfast to brownies.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Oaxaca al Gusto by Diana Kennedy (Hardcover $41.79). The cuisine of Oaxaca, Mexico is not easily defined but no one is more prepared to capture it than Diana Kennedy. Her expansive knowledge of Mexican culinary traditions spans fifty years of research and this latest book is a culmination of her life’s work.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Latin Twist by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Vianney Rodriguez (Hardcover $19.12). Spanning twenty countries this book is ultimate Latin American cocktail guide. Latina food bloggers Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Vianney Rodriguez have teamed up to gives us traditional drinks from every country as well as some new unique spins of their own.

Mexican Cookbook Gift Guide

Mexico: The Cookbook by Margarita Carillo Arronte. More than just a book this is a tome with over 600 authentic recipes that Arronte has complied in her 35 years of travel throughout Mexico.


Now to the BIG NEWS part: some of these cookbooks could be yours! I’ve teamed up with Luisa Navarro from Meeexiiicooo to pull together the most amazing giveaway we’ve ever done. Not only are we giving away cookbooks but jewelry, pottery, food items, Christmas decorations, and more! Make sure to follow both of us on Instagram (@meeexiiicooo and @holajalapeno) because starting December 1st we will be giving away a new prize every day until Christmas. Good Luck and Merry Christmas!


How to Make Paper Flowers for Day of the Dead

October 29, 2015

Day of the Dead is coming up on Sunday and Monday. We set up our alter last weekend and are beginning to decorate it with candles, incense, and pictures of loved ones who have passed. Today I will place a little jar of salt on the alter to represent the earth and to cleanse the spirit. The final piece will be the colorful addition of large paper flowers.

How to Make Paper Flowers

In Mexico, enormous fresh marigolds in red, orange, and yellow are used to decorate the graves and alters but paper flowers are also popular and are often strung together to make elaborate garlands which are draped overhead and along the edges of the gravestones.

Paper flowers for Day of the Dead

I am not, not, not a crafter so believe me when I tell you they are very simple to make. All you need is one package of colorful tissue paper and some pipe cleaners. 15 sheets of tissue paper and 15 pipe cleaners should make about 15 flowers.

Paper Flowers Materials

Take one sheet of tissue paper and cut it in half, then cut that piece in half two more times until you have several sheets that are about 8-inches long x 4-inches wide. This doesn’t matter too much—the bigger the sheets, the larger the flowers. Stack 8 pieces of cut tissue paper together (you can use all the same color or multiple colors).

Getting Started

Starting on the short end make a 1/2-inch thick fold.

The First Fold

Flip the tissue paper over so the folded side is down and then take the folded piece up and fold it again so now the fold is on the top, like an accordion. I wonder how many times I can use the word fold in a sentence, hmmmm.

The Second Fold

Keep working your way up, folding back and forth until all the tissue paper is folded.

Accordian Fold

Bend the pipe cleaner around the middle of the stack and twist to secure. This will be your stem.

Stem Attached

Cut each edge, either in a triangular shape or rounded.

Cutting the sides side is cut

Then fan out the paper.

ready to unwrap

Now pull one layer of tissue paper at a time towards the middle, carefully peeling the pieces of paper apart to create a puffy flower.

Unpeeling the flower One side done Unwrapping the flowers

Continue with the remaining pieces of tissue paper to make as many flowers as you like. You can even make gigantic ones to hang from the ceiling using full sheets of tissue paper.

Finished flower

For those of you celebrating Día de los Muertos, I hope your hearts are full of celebration this weekend. Cherish these days; share family stories, eat sweet yeasty bread, and leave a flower or two for those who can no longer walk with us on this earth, but who are waiting to show us the glorious world on the other side.

Paper Flowers for Dia de los Muertos


One More Thing

Did you love this post? I want to know! Leave me a comment and snap a photo for Instagram. Tag @holajalapeno so I can see your beautiful creation! Your feedback is super important to me. If you run into trouble shoot me a message on Instagram and I’ll walk you through it.

Also, don’t forget to sign up for my weekly newsletter, lots of good stuff there too!


For posterity’s sake

June 14, 2015

For whatever reason, last Saturday I set about taking pictures of the kids. Not the get-together-and-say-cheese type, but close-ups. I wanted to capture the details that are most likely to be forgotten, the things I’m mostly likely to take for granted. The far less glamorous (but just as beautiful) aspects of day-to-day parenting. Here’s what Saturday, June 6, 2015 looked like.

7am: Somehow Louisa woke-up with her tap shoes on.


8am: Peanut butter and jelly on a hot dog bun.


9am: Bike ride to Papa’s studio.


9:30am: Someone got a splinter.


9:45am: Hiro wins the right to push the elevator button (Louisa gets to push the one inside).


10am: Time-out for fighting.


11am: Flav-Or-Ice Snow Cones.


2pm: Back downtown to watch the Soap Box Derby.


3pm: Louisa helps Hiro ride his bike back home.


4pm: Picking out flowers at the greenhouse.


5pm: Time to plant.


7pm: Going for one last ride.


8:30pm: Going for one last ride.



The Sunday 10 | 10 Valentine’s Gifts for Real Men

February 8, 2015

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and if you’re lover is anything like mine they are not going to settle for some drugstore cologne and a kiss on the cheek. My man’s creative, cares about the way he looks, and has interests beyond beef jerky and beer. I’ve not settled on this year’s present, but here are 10 that any grown-ass man would appreciate.

1. Lululemon men’s athletic shirt: these shirts will stretch to the max and never tear or lose their shape whether your man does yoga or MMA.



2. Moleskine sketch book for drawing, journaling, or love poems.



3. Luchador IPhone Case {from Fine Art America}: Protect your phone, fool!




4. Robusto Handheld Weights {from Hock Design}: for keeping those guns tight.



5. Custom Map Money Clips {from Uncommon Goods}: Keep your money together + learn geography




6. Sun Noodle Ramen Kit: The Professor would happily eat homemade ramen everyday of the week. These fresh ramen kits are made by the same company who provides noodles to Momofuku and Ivan Ramen Slurp Shop and are available in markets across the country.



7.Navy Le Laboureur Moleskin Work Jacket {from The Shopkeeper Store}: this handsome jacket is simple yet sophisticated.


8. Aether Cone: a portable music player that learns your tastes over time. Super simple to use and looks cool too.



9. DIY Peanut Butter Pretzel Cups: You don’t have to spend a lot of money. A homemade sweet treat is always appreciated if it’s made with love.



10. Basil Hayden’s Kentucky Bourbon: A fine bourbon for a fine man.



The Sunday 10 | 10 Easy Classroom Valentines

January 31, 2015

Valentine’s Day is quickly approaching and for all of you with school-age kids that means so is the big Valentines Day party. The traditional message hearts are cute or you could go the store bought Valentines Card route but here are ten adorable ideas from some very creative crafting bloggers that might be even more fun and (as long as you have a color printer) pretty easy to pull off.

1. I’m Nuts About You Mason Jars from Lil’ Luna


Nuts About You Jars from Lil’ Luna


2. Bag of Chips from Eighteen25

q&cheesy chips

Bag of Chips from Eighteen25


3. Pink Heart Cake Pops from A Mummy Too


Pink Heart Cake Pops from A Mummy Too


4. Love Bugs from Shanty 2 Chic


Love Bugs from Shanty 2 Chic


5. Valentines Day Bookmarks from Lu Bird Baby


Valentine’s Day Bookmarks from Lu Bird Baby


6. Tiny Animal Valentines from Sweet C’s Designs


Tiny Animal Valentines from Sweet C’s Designs


7. Whoopee It’s Valentines Day from Paging Supermom


Whoopee! It’s Valentines Day from Paging Supermom


8. Friendship Bracelets from Dandee


Friendship Bracelets from Dandee


9. Heartfelt Valentines from Parents


Heartfelt Valentines from Parents


10. Tic Tac Toe Valentines from Nest of Posies


Tic Tac Toe Valentines from Nest of Posies


Breads, Breakfast, Recipes, Uncategorized

The Sunday 10 | Brunch Recipes

December 21, 2014

Santa Clause and Rudolph have come down the chimney, every stocking stuffer and gift has been torn open, and guess what? It’s only 7am! The next most logical thing to do is have an amazing Christmas brunch prepared (because opening all those presents can be exhausting). I’ve gathered 10 recipes from some of my favorite food bloggers to help you get ready.

Gingerbread Granola from Minimalist Baker

Gingerbread Granola from Minimalist Baker

Gingerbread Granola from Minimalist Baker

Fennel-Spiced Turkey + Bacon Sausage with Crispy Parmesan Home Fries from The Pig and Quill

Fennel-Spiced Turkey + Bacon Breakfast Sausage with Crispy Parmesan Home Fries from The Pig and Quill

Fennel-Spiced Turkey + Bacon Breakfast Sausage with Crispy Parmesan Home Fries from The Pig and Quill

Challah French Toast with Kahlua Coconut Créme from Tori Avey

Challah French Toast with Kahlua Coconut Créme from Tori Avey

Challah French Toast with Kahlua Coconut Créme from Tori Avey

Toasted Brioche with Whipped Goat Cheese and Asian Pear Compote from Salt and Wind

Toasted Brioche with Whipped Goat Cheese and Asian Pear Compote from Salt and Wind

Toasted Brioche with Whipped Goat Cheese and Asian Pear Compote from Salt and Wind

Jelly Doughnuts from Smitten Kitchen

Jelly Doughnuts from Smitten Kitchen

Jelly Doughnuts from Smitten Kitchen

Grain-Free Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Fleur de Sel from So….Let’s Hang Out

Grain-Free Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Fleur De Sel from So.....Let's Hang Out

Grain-Free Dark Chocolate and Pumpkin Butter Cinnamon Rolls with Fleur De Sel from So…..Let’s Hang Out

Breakfast Potatoes from What’s Gaby Cooking

Breakfast Potatoes from What's Gaby Cooking

Breakfast Potatoes from What’s Gaby Cooking

Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie from Tasty Yummies

Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie from Tasty Yummies

Orange Cranberry Coconut Smoothie from Tasty Yummies

Aebleskiver with Vanilla and Jam from The Sugar Hit

Aebleskiver with Vanilla and Jam from The Sugar Hit

Aebleskiver with Vanilla and Jam from The Sugar Hit

Cranberry and Walnut Challah from Top with Cinnamon

Cranberry and Walnut Challah Bread from Top With Cinnamon

Cranberry and Walnut Challah Bread from Top With Cinnamon


Sunday Rocks|10 Best Children’s Books for Christmas

December 7, 2014

This has been a great year for picture books. It was really hard to come up with the list of our top 10, but with some help from the kids we finally whittled it down to the ones we read over and over and over (and over) again.

All these books have fun (and in most cases gorgeous) illustrations and extraordinary writing. Not all of them are new this year (although most are). We tried to pick our most current favorites but some that were written in the last two or three years were just too good to pass up.

If you are in need of a kid-friendly gift this Christmas any book on this list will be truly loved.

Goldilocks and The Three Dinosaurs

Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems • It was tough to pick our most favoritest Mo Willems book. The Pigeon Needs a Bath is his most recent book and That is Not a Good Idea from 2013 is pretty amazing too. But when you find your whole family quoting from a book you know you’re on to something good. Willems rendition of the classic Goldilocks story is hysterical and clever and silly and all the things that make his books so loved.

10 Best Children's Books

Journey by Aaron Becker • A 2014 Caldecott Honor Book, Journey, is whimsical and magical and a book you can easily lose yourself in. The illustrations are beautiful and intricate and come together to create a story that can only be limited by the imagination.

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold

Black Dog by Levi Pinfold • This book is one of our all-time favorites and one I have discussed here in the past. Its imagery and text encompass the idea that fear only grows unless confronted and whatever it is usually isn’t worth being frightened over in the first place.

Extra Yarn

Extra Yarn by Mac Barrnett, Illustrated by Jon Klassen • Mac Barrnett and Jon Klassen are like picture book gold. They have written and illustrated some our most beloved books and Extra Yarn is no different. It is a story that shows how some ordinary yarn can turn a cold, colorless town into something extraordinary.

And Then It's Spring

And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano, Illustrated by Erin E. Stead • If you live in a cold climate like we do where winter seems to last forever then you will identify with Julie Fogliano’s tender story about the anticipation of spring.

Have you Seen my Dragon

Have You Seen My Dragon by Steve Light • This is no ordinary counting book. The story takes you on an intricately illustrated adventure to find a young boy’s dragon counting everything from hot dogs to traffic lights along the way.

A House in the Woods

A House in the Woods by Inga Moore • We love this story but the pictures…the pictures! Moore’s illustrations are so lovely and inviting just looking at the book brightens your day. This book is like a ray of sunshine that warms your heart.

My No, No, No Day!

My No, No, No Day by Rebecca Patterson • This book is a favorite of my 2-year-old who maybe, just maayyyybbbee, identifies with its main character, Bella, who let’s face it; is pissed off.

Queen Victoria's Bathing Machine

Queen Victoria’s Bathing Machine by Gloria Whelan, Illustrated by Nancy Carpenter • This delightful book weaves history into a beautifully written and illustrated tale of a frustrated and sweltering monarch who just wants to go for a swim.

Silver Buttons

Silver Buttons by Bob Graham • What happens in a moment? This masterful picture book aims to find out. The entire book takes place in the moment a baby takes his first step and shows everything that is happening in a city during that split-second momentous occasion.



Sunday Rocks|The 10 Best Cookbooks for Christmas

November 30, 2014

It’s important to give good gifts. The problem is it can be hard to find just the right thing. Don’t know what to get? No sweat, I’ve got you covered. I can guarantee you anyone even remotely interested in food would love to have a kick-ass cookbook. Here are some of my favorites this Christmas.

Homemade Decadence

Homemade Decadence by Joy Wilson is numero uno on my list. Who doesn’t love Joy the Baker? I don’t know a single person who wouldn’t love to have this one on their shelf.


Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi is a no brainer. This most recent release from the man who brought us such revolutionary books as Jerusalem and Ottolenghi should not be missed.


My Sweet Mexico by Fany Gerson is not a new release (the book came out in 2010) but I still do not own it so this is a gentle plea to my husband who may or may not be reading this that I would like this book. Besos!!!!


Mexico, The Cookbook by Margarita Carillo Arronte is a new release and it is gorgeous. More than just a book this is a tome with over 600 authentic recipes that Arronte has complied in her 35 years of travel throughout Mexico.


Heritage by Sean Brock is the highly anticipated first cookbook from the auspiciously talented chef. His restaurants have transformed Southern cooking and this book will no doubt do the same.


Seriously Delish by Jessica Merchant is from the woman who brought us Chocolate Fudge Pistachio Cake Donuts and Cider Bourbon Jam Cocktails (with Ginger Beer). You are bound to find at least 150 recipes in this cookbook that you will want to make.


Cookbook Book by Florian Böhm and Annahita Kamali is more of a coffee table book than one you might cook from. It is a book about cookbooks featuring the most seminal cookbooks from the last 100 years.


The Kitchn Cookbook by Sarah Kate Gillingham and Faith Durand is filled with recipes, tips, and kitchen wisdom from the all-encompassing, venerable site The Kitchn.


A Boat, A Whale, and A Walrus by Renee Erickson is a compilation of menus and recipes from the chef of Seattle’s Boat Street Cafe and The Walrus and the Carpenter. If you are a person who loves to read menus, then this book is for you. Or if you love Seattle, then this book is for you. Either way, it is full of inspirational recipes with an emphasis on great ingredients.


Easy Gourmet by Stephanie Le. This cookbook, from the writer of i am a food blog, has a little bit of everything; from breakfast to pasta, from American classics to Asian. Chicken Pot Pie Buns anyone?

On the Horizon:

Here are two more books that should be on your pre-order list. These are both due to come out in the spring.


Food 52 Genius Recipes: 100 Recipes That Will Change the Way You Cook by Kristen Miglore


Latin Twist: Traditional and Modern Cocktails by Yvette Marquez-Sharpnack and Vianney Rodriguez