Today I’d like to introduce to you to the 3 beautiful and talented ladies behind Muy Bueno Cookbook. Muy Bueno is one of my favorite blogs because of the family traditions and love behind each mouthwatering recipe. But it doesn’t end there, the photography is gorgeous and stories behind each dish interesting. When you visit Muy Bueno you feel like you are at a friends house, you feel the warmth of the food. You will also feel the need to quickly step into your kitchen and cook some of their delicious recipes for your family. That is how I felt after reading Veronica’s Chicken Tortilla Soup recipe. After you’ve read this interview make sure to stop by Muy Bueno and see my guest post about that scrumptious soup. Please help me welcome Yvette, Veronica and Vangie. (Please note that photos link to the recipes.)
1. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
Muy Bueno: Three Generations of Authentic Mexican Flavor is written by me (Yvette), my sister Veronica, and our mother, Vangie. Our blog takes readers south-of-the-border for down-home Mexican comfort food with time-tested favorite family recipes and treasured food traditions. Most of our recipes are intertwined with stories, cultural history, and our family background.
2. Is there a special significance to your blogs title?
Our grandma/mother (Jesusita) used to say, “Siéntate a comer, esta muy bueno” (Sit down and eat, it’s very good), to family and friends just before they sat down at her table. When we hear those two words it brings a smile to our face because it reminds us of her and her memorable meals. She used to say, “Muuuuy Bueno” with a smile, raised eyebrows, and a twinkle in her eye as if to say, bienvenido (welcome).
3. What is your favorite food to cook or bake, and why?
Yvette: I am an enchilada lover! Red or green chile is what I often crave – I love spicy food. Luckily my husband loves enchiladas too and doesn’t complain about my addiction.
Veronica: I am obsessed with the taste of mole. There are so many varieties and I think I could spend a lifetime testing them all, red and green.
Vangie: Green enchiladas, they have been a favorite with my children, family and friends.
4. What is your most special or memorable kitchen moment, be it a happy or a disastrous memory?
Yvette: Just recently I was testing our fresh pumpkin filling recipe for our pumpkin empanadas. It was very nostalgic for me because it reminded me of my grandma. I steamed my children’s jack-o’-lanterns to make the puree. I used to save my carved pumpkins every year for my grandma to steam. The smell of the pumpkins steaming with cinnamon, cloves, and piloncillo (Mexican brown sugar) took me back to my childhood — It was a wonderful warm fuzzy feeling.
Veronica: My first attempt at making mole from scratch was a disaster. I turned my kitchen upside down and I think I used every pot and pan in my kitchen. However, all was said and done it was a work of art. I made so much I ended up freezing most of it.
Vangie: I made my first cake at the age of 12 (cake mixes were fairly new I guess, so I was anxious to try one). My parents owned a small neighborhood Mom and Pop store so I had availability to the mix. After I mixed it according to the instructions and poured them into the pans, I didn’t think they were full enough and they would come out flat. My mother told me that they would rise as they baked. At the time she was washing and hanging clothes outside on the clothesline. I guess I didn’t believe her, so when she went to hang the clothes, I went into the store and grabbed another box of mix and mixed it as fast as I could and filled the pans to the rim. Well you guessed it, they overflowed and the oven was a mess, I got the biggest scolding, and had to clean the oven, so that taught me to listen to my mom.
5. What is your favorite spice and why?
Yvette and Veronica: Cinnamon. The aroma of it brewing in the kitchen reminds us of grandma’s house. It was a sign that she was in the kitchen baking something amazing.
Vangie: There are so many to choose from, but I really like the smell of cinnamon and cloves, especially in winter. It makes the house smell so good. It’s also good for drinking, on a cold day.
6. Do you like to listen to music while you cook? What do you listen to?
Yvette: I listen to Latin Pop, drink some wine, and dance in the kitchen when no one is watching. If my children are home then it’s all about them in the kitchen. They both love to help me in the kitchen, so while Latin pop music is softly playing in the background I am usually a referee between my daughter and son. I try to keep the peace by assigning jobs to them. Anyone who has children knows what I’m talking about ;)
Veronica: Yes, yes and yes…I love listening to music while I cook. I like to have a glass of wine while I’m cooking too. Cooking with a glass of wine and listening to great music is second only to having a kitchen full of family and friends in the kitchen eating and drinking with me.
Vangie: I love to listen to music; I love to listen to the oldies and to Christmas music at this time of year.
7. When you want to treat yourself or loved ones what do you prepare or splurge on?
Yvette: Kinda funny, it’s usually non-Mexican food – like steak and crab legs.
Veronica: Splurging for me means a great steak and champagne.
Vangie: I love to bake; I love to bake empanadas (turnovers) with pumpkin or sweet potatoes.
8. We obviously know that your grandmother and mother have inspired you. But is there another foodie that inspires you? (Be it a professional, enthusiast or novice)
Yvette: I am amazed with the photography on What Katie Ate — Her photos are stunning and inspire me to want to photograph. I am also a huge fan of Chef Marcela Valladolid. She is a young Latina who has her own cooking show, Mexican Made Easy. She is a huge inspiration.
Veronica: Diane Cu from White on Rice is a foodie whose work I love. Not only is her work breathtaking, but she is a loving and caring human being. One day when I grow up I want to take gorgeous photos, travel the world, and have a garden where I can draw from for new recipes just like her.
Vangie: I really like Paula Dean. She reminds me of what I went through as a single mother raising my own children. I often made food to sell to make ends meet. I admire how far she has come.
9. What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
Yvette and Veronica: We both often get cravings for Lays potato chips drenched with limejuice and hot sauce. It requires no cooking which makes it all that more dangerous.
Vangie: Homemade pastries, especially carrot cake or brownies.
10. Your blog was started as a project that would lead to a cookbook publication. Would you like to share the great news with everyone?
We started our blog journey in hopes of gaining an online presence; thankfully we are on that road. We also just signed a book deal with Hippocrene Books and look forward to our cookbook being published October 2012. The Muy Bueno cookbook is our way of preserving our favorite family recipes and most memorable stories.
Anything else you would like to say or share with us, tips or advice for fellow blogger?
Our blog and future cookbook is a true passion. Our advice for fellow bloggers is to write what you are passionate about and everything else will fall into place. Stay true to who you are.
Check out these top 5 recipes:
1. Green Enchiladas
3. Pumpkin Empanadas (easy recipe is on our site) but the FRESH pumpkin puree recipe will be in our cookbook
4. Brisket Tacos
Photography by Jeanine Thurston