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The History of the Empanada – Happy Empanada Day!

Posted April 7, 2017 by Kay Walten in Food,Hyper Local Info

empanadas

Did you know that every single country in the world has their unique version of the empanada? Did you know that the first evidence of a empanada was found in Persia in 100 BC? Empanadas could be older than the Mayan archeological sites in Mexico and the history of this local food is as fascinating. Read on you too will be amazed at the long, detailed and documented history of this very popular snack and stable food. If you love Jamaican patties, samosas, mini calzones, roti, pierogis, turnovers...

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Ken Brownlee Adds Creative Heart and Soul to Wedding Videography

Posted April 5, 2017 by Kay Walten in Destination Weddings,Podcasts

Ken Brownlee

My guest today puts his heart and soul into everything he does. Ken Brownlee is the Founder and primary videographer of Visualmedia Productions in Playa del Carmen. Today he shares funny stories about shooting wedding videos, tips for brides and his favorite food joints. When Ken was a teenager, his parents would drive from Canada to Florida, to get away from the harsh winters. Ken loved spending a month in the water, and didn’t want to return to the cold. He decided, after college, to...

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Fabulous Easter Mexican Recipe – Chipotle Lamb Chops

Posted April 4, 2017 by Kay Walten in Culture,Food

April 5 blog post

Lamb is not as popular in Mexico as pork, chicken and fish, but it is used for festivals, and particularly at Easter. This lamb dish rocks and is best cooked on a charcoal BBQ. If you have a gas BBQ, add a small tray under your wire rack filled with hickory pieces to give this dish a fresh smoked flavor. Grilled Cilantro Chipotle Lamb Chops What You Need 1 1/4 cup fresh cilantro 1 cup of canola or olive oil 8 medium fresh garlic cloves, peeled and whole 4 scallions 2 jalapeno...

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Habanero Chili – Yucatan Peninsula Specialty- Recipes Included

Posted April 3, 2017 by Kay Walten in Food

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On a recent trip to Merida where I joined Chef Mario in one of his cooking classes at the Los Dos Cooking School, we had a long conversation about habanero chilies. I had heard an interesting fact on a US news show that stated the Yucatan is the largest producer of habanero chilies. That fact floored me and inspired a little investigation. This is what I found out from Mario. A distributor in Felipe Carrillo Puerto, just south of Tulum, collects over 4 tonnes of habaneros from small...

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Did you Miss Carnival in the Riviera Maya This Year? Photos Attached

Posted March 31, 2017 by Kay Walten in Events

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Carnival ran from February 14 to March 6 in various Riviera Maya cities. We happened to stumble upon the Playa del Carmen Carnival parade as it marched down Constituyentes Ave. Luckily we had a birds eye view of the party, and a party it was. In all the years that I have seen Carnival parties in the Riviera Maya, this year seemed to take the party up a notch. It is nowhere near the clever costumes and fun of Mardi Gras in new Orleans but the parades this year were great. Cozumel is pretty...

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Podcast with Laura Raikes, Founder of Cocos Animal Welfare

Posted March 29, 2017 by Kay Walten in Podcasts

Laura Raikes

My guest today has a history of assisting animals in need. As a little girl growing up in Wales, Laura Raikes would rescue and adopt cats and dogs to bring them to her family’s farm. She first came to Playa del Carmen 14 years ago on a holiday, and loved it so much she ended up staying. Her love for animals has made a big impact in the Riviera Maya community. Laura’s Animal Welfare organization is named after a kitten she named Coco. Coco was hit by a car on the road and much to...

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How Hacienda Xcanatun Influenced an Extraordinary Folk Art Museum in Valladolid

Posted March 28, 2017 by Kay Walten in Culture

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I love stories. And I particularly love personal, passionate stories. On a recent visit to Casa de los Venados in Valladolid I found out that there is a direct link between Hacienda Xcanatun in Merida and Casa de los Venados in Valladolid. Before we even get to the connection, let me explain these two buildings and businesses. Hacienda Xcanatun is one of my favorite boutique hotels and restaurants in Merida. I have been taking long weekends in the Hacienda for as long as I can remember and...

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Extraordinary Church in Uayma Just Outside of Valladolid

Posted March 27, 2017 by Kay Walten in Culture

march 27 blogpost 2

There is a little village outside the colonial city of Valladolid worth a quick visit. On a recent lunch date in Valldolid we did just this and finally had the chance to step inside the extraordinary church that is at the center of this small town. This destination is not in the guide books but it is an important destination if you love architecture, history and the Maya. It is one of those off the beaten track destinations that makes you want to go deeper into local cultures. Uayma is...

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Prize Winning Vacation Rentals in the Riviera Maya and Soliman Bay

Posted March 24, 2017 by Kay Walten in Ecotourism,Family vacations

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We love beautifully and thoughtfully designed vacation properties and boutique hotels. We have been known to just stop at a stunning property and ask for tour to see if it is worthy for our guests. Just recently we seem to have a slew of properties recognized for their historical significance or their sustainable architecture and design. Interested? Read on to find out which of our properties were recognized for their sustainable design that takes any vacation beyond the usual. Casa Xixim in...

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Chef Daveed Placencia is Cooking Up Something Good

Posted March 22, 2017 by Kay Walten in Podcasts

Chef Daveed Placencia

My guest today fondly remembers his hometown of Mazatlan, a Pacific coastal town, for its amazing seafood. Daveed Placencia now lives in the Riviera Maya, where he owns a private chef service and in-home cooking course. His business is so popular, he has hired four other chefs to help him keep up with all the new business. Daveed moved to Puebla in Central Mexico to study biology, but found himself spending all day, every day, in a lab. He quickly tired of being inside, so when a friend...

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