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An Interview with Sweet Life, My Favorite Foodies Series

by Spicie Foodie on January 23, 2012

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In today’s edition of  ”SF’s Favorite Foodies Series” I’d like to introduce you to Vianney the lovely and talented chica from Sweet Life blog. I say introduce lightly because I’m sure many of you already know Vianney and her delicioso blog. Her recipes are warm, family favorites that will surely inspire you to get in the kitchen. Those of you that know her blog know that she is  ”The Margarita Queen”. A well deserved title because her Margarita recipes are extensive, creative,  perfect for entertaining or for a fun night in. Without further ado, let’s get to know Vianney a little better and what inspires her beautiful recipes.

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1. Can you tell us a little bit about your blog?
I began my blog to chronicle my adventures in baking. Little did I know my daughter would become the baker in our home and leave little for me to chronicle. I began sharing my favorite plates from my childhood and was really surprised by the reaction. People really enjoyed learning how to make the recipes that are close to my heart like frijoles de olla, sopa de fideo and migas.

2. Why do you like to (cook/bake) spend time in your kitchen?
When I got married I wanted to impress my husband with new dishes and flavors. I enjoyed experimenting with spices, techniques and trying new cuisines. When I became a mother I wanted to hand down my mom’s recipe, share our culture and introduce my girls to their heritage. I love to spend my days in the kitchen with my girls giving them a bit of my childhood through plates of Mexico. These are the moments, memories I cherish.

3. Have you always liked spending time in the kitchen?
Yes, growing up my parents both worked two jobs. During the week we kids had to jump into the kitchen to create meals. I often found myself scanning my mom’s cookbooks for cookie recipes to bake. On the weekends is when the kitchen really excited me as my mom is a whiz. She loves to cook and took advantage of her weekend to create wonderful family recipes.

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4. What is your most special or memorable kitchen moment, be it a happy or a disastrous memory?
I have so many, but one in particular includes my mom. I made empanadas con queso y cajeta. I was so worried, nervous, excited to share them with my mom. She is my kitchen idol and I wanted her to be proud of me. She loved them, even asked for the recipe. All day I had the goofiest grin on my face, such a BIG moment for me. Disasters in our home happen at least once a week; we embrace them as a learning experience to help my girls learn to transform a disaster dish to a new creation.

5. On your blog you say “I’m a proud Texan and blessed to be Hispanic.” Growing up in your Hispanic home when it came to food what side was embraced most, the Texan or Hispanic or a mix of both?
Hispanic. I was a teenager when I first tasted a brisket. We begged my dad to make one outside and we slowly began trying Texan food. My dad would grill tripas on a disco (a grill made from a disk from a farm tractor) in our backyard. There were always frijoles on the stove, nopales, queso and fresh salsas. When I moved out I buried myself in Texan food, learning all I could. I realized this is where I was raised, is will never compete with my Heritage only adds to the flavor mix.

6. What is your favorite authentic Texan food to cook/bake, and what is your favorite authentic Mexican food to cook/bake?
Texan food is brisket. I have finally after so many years conquered this feat of producing a great brisket that I can serve with pride. There is so many elements involved in creating a great brisket; wood, heat, cooking time, cooking temperature. I am very impatient, so I had to learn to be patient and let the wood take over and smoke my brisket. Mexican, oh the list is endless from mole to pozole every region has their own version. Chile rellanos, yes I am obsessed with poblanos. A lot of people push chile rellanos aside worried about the fat from frying, but they have many options. Filled with vegetables, beans, cheese or drizzled with a sauce made from nuts.

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7. What is your favorite spice and why?
Comino, one of my go to spices.

8. What food or ingredient repulses you, and why ?
Eggs. I love eggs with papas,chorizo con salsa or mixed into a recipe, but plain sunny side or scrambled I can’t seem to enjoy them. My mom says even when I was little I was not fond of them, so she would add beans, vegetable or salsa.

9. When you want to treat yourself or loved ones what do you prepare or splurge on ?
When I have loved ones coming into town I want to spoil them with dishes that they may not normally make for themselves. I splurge on a feast with a dish catered to each one of my family’s favorite flavors. I know my little sister loves queso fundido, so I buy a great bottle of tequila. My dad loves tostadas so I invest in a wonderful local cut of pork. My mom enjoys ensaladas so I source local citrus and homemade fresh queso. I want them to feel loved, enjoy a great meal and feel special. We have a blast.

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10. When you go out to eat what do you go for?
At the moment we are working through a list that we complied from Texas Monthly “best of.” This list includes Texas, Authentic Mexican and Tex-Mex. What I love is each spot listed has history; some have been in business for generations. Some weekends we travel hours to visit a spot on our list, so one weekend we will enjoy Texan fare the next Mexican food. My girls are in charge of our list so they plan, investigate and map our trips.

11. What food is your food vice? You know, one you sneak in a little extra of when no one is looking.
This is so embarrassing, but I love Pringles. Sour Cream Pringles. I had them for the first time when I was in High School and they are my weakness. I NEVER buy them, because honest truth I will devour the entire tin. Funny thing is every time our family travels together for a long distance everyone knows to buy a can of Pringles for me. I will take over the driver’s seat willingly late at night as everyone sleeps to eat Pringles.

12. Who are the people that inspire your culinary journey? (be it a professional, enthusiast or novice)
My mom for sharing her Mexico with me, my daughter (12) for her passion and dedication to absorb every detail in preparing herself for culinary school, Chefs that has helped me along the way from Rick Bayless, Fany Gerson, Roberto Santibanez, Diana Kennedy etc..etc.. and blogs. Every day I find another blog I love, that excites me or teaches me something new. The passion that you find on the internet is amazing; people who love to cook never fail to inspire me.

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13. Do you like to listen to music while you cook? What do you listen to?
I did listen to music when I was a newlywed, but with my girls the noise would be too much. We are loud in the kitchen, lol. On days when I find myself alone I do listen to Enrique Iglesias (first album) or the 80’s.

14. What is your goal or what do you hope to accomplish with your blog ?
My goal is to share my love for food, being simple as frijoles or my obsession for margaritas. I hope to leave my family a place they can turn to for family favorite recipes and give my girls inspiration to continue to cook. I hope to continue to meet new food lovers, connect with friends and have fun.

15. Anything else you would like to say or share with us, tips or advice for fellow blogger ?
Advice, have fun. Share what you love, your passion and try not to get too wrapped up in comparing yourself to other blogs. Your blog is your space. Share with us your recipes, your connection to food, your food memories and we will follow along.
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Recipes pictured can be found here:
- Bolillos
- Avocado Dulce de Leche Muffins
- Cumin Chicken Hominy Stew
- Hominy Quesadillas
- Pumpkin Margarita
- Lime Flan
- Prickly Pear Margarita
- Frijoles de Olla
- Tamarind Tequila Molleja
- Apple Margarita

Now that your mouth is watering go on and visit Sweet Life for more amazing recipes. Gracias Vianney, it’s been a pleasure!

 

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{ 56 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Rosa January 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM

A great interview! I love Vianney’s blog.

Cheers,

Rosa

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2 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 8:52 AM

Thank you Rosa!

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3 Tina@flourtrader January 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

I enjoyed this interveiw and it was good getting to know a fellow blogger. Also, the advice in number 15 is is very helpful. I like this series!

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4 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 11:24 AM

Glad to hear it Tina. I agree that was great advice from Vianney :)

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5 Leslie @ La Cocina de Leslie January 23, 2012 at 10:37 AM

I love Vianney’s blog! She is such a sweet person and an amazing cook & photographer. I call her “la diosa de las margaritas”! Wonderful interview! :)

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6 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 11:25 AM

Totally agree! Me encanta your nickname for her :) Thanks!

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7 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 12:33 PM

Vianney, first of all thank you for allowing all of us to get to know you more :)

I love that your mom is your kitchen idol, and the story about the empanandas. Comino is also one of my favorite spices. Don’t even get me started on chips- no self control, lol. It was hard just choosing a few of your recipes to post, because you have so many mouthwatering ones. The advice you give is wonderful and something we should all keep in mind.

Abrosos amiga!

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8 Yvette ~ Muy Bueno Cookbook January 23, 2012 at 1:32 PM

Lookie lookie here — I know Ms. Vianney! Ok, maybe I don’t know her in person, but I sure feel like I do. I love that we are a small cyber world and close Latina amigas sharing the food we love. Great interview chicas!

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9 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Thanks Yvette that is so sweet of you :)

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10 Mercedes @BeChicMag January 23, 2012 at 2:04 PM

That margarita looks delish!

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11 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

The both do to me:)

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12 Heather @girlichef January 23, 2012 at 2:46 PM

She is one of my favorite people…thanks so much for this fun interview :)

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13 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 4:03 PM

Its my pleasure Heather :)!

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14 Laurita January 23, 2012 at 2:48 PM

My mouth is watering! I love comida mexicana and Tex Mex fare. They’ve become among my top favorite food genres and I tend to pig out excessively when I have access to it. Great post!

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15 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Vianney’s photos and recipes are all so mouthwatering. I’d love to “pig out” on her food :) Thanks!

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16 Kiri W. January 23, 2012 at 3:26 PM

Great interview! I love the blog, it makes me drool every time ;)

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17 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 4:04 PM

Thanks Kiri :)!

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18 Pachecopatty January 23, 2012 at 4:21 PM

Beautiful photos and a very interesting read! Nancy, I enjoy your favorite foodies series!
I follow Vianney’s blog and love all her recipes but her very creative margaritas probably were the first thing that caught my eye! Interesting to learn more about you Vianney, love the pringle story and can relate to craving those salty treats;-)

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19 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 5:05 PM

Thank you Patty. I’m so glad you have been following Vianney’s blog :)

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20 Eliana Tardio January 23, 2012 at 7:26 PM

Great interview and amazing pictures! I love them all, including your logo! beautiful!

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21 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 8:04 PM

Hi Eliana, Thank you so much :)

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22 perudelights January 23, 2012 at 7:28 PM

Beautiful interview, and the pictures are amazing. I love Vianney and her blog. She is a lovely and caring friend, and even though my expertise is not Mexican cooking, I like her recipes and all the ideas she gives us. I´m a huge fan.

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23 Spicie Foodie January 23, 2012 at 8:03 PM

Thank you! So glad to hear you are already a fan of Vianney. She is a lovely person and talented cook :)

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24 Eva Smith of Tech.Food.Life. January 23, 2012 at 9:10 PM

Wonderful interview of Vianney! Sweet Life is one of my favorite food blogs too. She won me over with her margarita recipes & lime flan recipe. Great feature.

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25 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Thank you Eva!

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26 Cristina-ColombianaenCA January 23, 2012 at 9:38 PM

I enjoyed this interview. I love her blog, her recipes and her pictures. It’s a great blog!

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27 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Thank you Cristina!

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28 Presley's Pantry January 23, 2012 at 10:28 PM

Vianny rocks….. I have never met her personally, we just leave comments on each other’s blog. :) I always admire her great recipes and her down to earth attitude…. my kind of friend. Great interview!

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29 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Thank you Presley!

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30 Liz January 23, 2012 at 11:06 PM

Wonderful questions…I learned so much about a fabulous blogger~ Off to say hi to Vianney.

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31 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:56 AM

Thanks Liz!

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32 Carrie at Tiki Tiki January 23, 2012 at 11:31 PM

Love this! Love the interview and Sweet Life always!
Great questions…

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33 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Thank you Carrie :)

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34 Magic of Spice January 23, 2012 at 11:33 PM

What a wonderful addition to the series! She, as you know is one of my all time favorite people and bloggers. I absolutely loved getting to know Vianney a little better :)
Hugs to you both!
P.S. Margarita Queen indeed :)

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35 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Thank you Alisha :)

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36 vianney January 24, 2012 at 12:03 AM

Thank you all so much for your lovely comments and Nancy for sharing her beloved space with me today! I was so excited when Nancy sent me the invite. The Spicie Foodie blog was one of the first blogs that I followed as a newbie food blogger. Nancy features amazing recipes, is a talented writer, a photo tutorial expert but, her support is truly a blessing. Thanks amiga for your support y carino!

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37 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

It has been my pleasure Vianney! I’ve loved your blog from the very first day I stumbled on it. Keep up the fantastic work :)

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38 Sujeiry January 24, 2012 at 2:09 AM

Margarita Queen! Love it! Like Vianney, I also want to be the best cook for my (future) husband and have always envisioned myself baking with my (future) daughter. Great interview!

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39 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Thank you! Yes, she really is the “Margarita Queen” :)

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40 Helena January 24, 2012 at 2:13 AM

A great and fun interview! Love learning more about Vianney :) Thank you for sharing.

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41 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Thank you Helena :)

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42 li January 24, 2012 at 2:25 AM

great interview & great blog!

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43 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Thank you!

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44 Comiendo en LA January 24, 2012 at 4:29 AM

Great interview and nice to know more about Vianney! I love the pictures of the food!

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45 Spicie Foodie January 24, 2012 at 10:59 AM

Thank you! Me too, her photos are gorgeous!

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46 Bren @ Flanboyant Eats January 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM

Great interview on Vianney…. all those fun facts about her cooking are fun… I had no idea her kid was the baker! Not sure how I missed that as much as I read her blog! Love the margaritas and sopa de olla pics.

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47 Spicie Foodie January 25, 2012 at 7:46 AM

Thanks for stopping by Bren!

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48 Trix January 25, 2012 at 3:39 PM

What a great interview!! So thoughtful. The photos are gorgeous and I really need to go check out some of those recipes. Thanks for putting another great feature together!!!

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49 Spicie Foodie January 25, 2012 at 3:58 PM

Thank you Trix :) Go on I know you’ll love Vianney’s recipes!

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50 Blanca Stella January 25, 2012 at 11:49 PM

What a great way to pass down your heritage through food and loved the story behind your inspirations, now when I read your blog, I’ll get a richer perspective of all these delicious meals you prepare. Your pictures are beautiful too. I’m hungry now!

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51 Ramona January 26, 2012 at 8:07 AM

Really enjoyed the post/interview. It’s always fun to get to know our fellow bloggers. Well done.:)

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52 Spicie Foodie January 26, 2012 at 10:49 AM

Thanks Ramona!

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53 Carla @ All of Me Now January 26, 2012 at 9:45 PM

I love interviews! And this one is so genuine and interesting. Love the advice for fellow bloggers!

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54 Spicie Foodie January 27, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Thank you Carla. I couldn’t agree more, Vianney give great advice :)

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55 Viviana Hurtado/The Wise Latina Club January 30, 2012 at 10:21 PM

What a terrific interview, but this line was the hook, line, and sinker: “When I became a mother I wanted to hand down my mom’s recipe, share our culture and introduce my girls to their heritage. I love to spend my days in the kitchen with my girls giving them a bit of my childhood through plates of Mexico.” Our recipes are as much a history as what you find in the books in the library, but I think our oral histories are in more danger of being lost forever: just think if you didn’t like to cook, or if you had decided to specialize in French cuisine. You are passing along a love and passion for good food as well as pride, knowledge of who they are.

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56 Spicie Foodie January 31, 2012 at 8:05 AM

So well said Viviana. Thank you for stopping by.

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