” “Ana Garcia” – La Villa Bonita Mexican Culinary Vacations http://lavillabonita.com Mexican Culinary Vacation Packages in Tepoztlan, Sayulita, and Puebla, Mexico with Chef Ana Garcia Wed, 27 Sep 2017 16:41:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 My FAVORITE Celebration in Mexico: Feria del Huipil y Cafe http://lavillabonita.com/huipilpart1/ Tue, 16 May 2017 20:28:44 +0000 http://lavillabonita.com/?p=2495

Let me introduce you to one of MY FAVORITE CELEBRATIONS IN MEXICO!  This festival is called the Huipil and Coffee Festival in Cuetzalan, Puebla.  We are witnessing this festival with a special week September 28 – October 5, 2017.  It is a combination of cooking in Tepoztlan and visiting the Historic City of Puebla as well as experiencing one of the most authentic and beautiful Mexican festivals in Cuetzalan.  The full itinerary can be found here.

So what is a “huipil?”  A huipil is a traditional blouse that is made by the indigenous women in Puebla.  The festival of the huipil takes place to select a huipil queen for the region.  One young woman is selected from each of 11 towns around Cuetzalan.   She is then judged by village elders on the quality of her blouse, her traditional attire and her ability to talk about her village along with its history as well as preserving traditions in both Spanish and Nahuatl (the Aztec dialect).  This is an incredibly engrossing ceremony that takes place in the town square in front of the cathedral.

Prior to the Huipil coronation ceremony, there is a full day of the “voladores” or flyers who climb an incredibly tall tree that has been placed in the town square and slide down ropes upside-down until they reach the bottom.  A flute player dances on top of the log while the flyers come down and then he or she joins the other at the bottom.  Each village has their own style and you cannot take your eyes off of them.  I have seen this day now three times and I am mesmerized!

Later in the day come the procession of dancers from each part of town.  These extravagantly costumed dancers each have their own personality or character and they come one-by-one into the town square while the voladores continue with their descent.  Each group of dancers accompanies an elaborate wax sculpture that is to be delivered to the cathedral.  As well, in previous years we have been graciously invited by the “mayordomo” or local sponsor of the event to visit his or her house in town where the dancers come to pay their respects before proceeding to the cathedral.

There is a ton of things that we do during the Huipil week like visiting Puebla – the talavera pottery plant, the centro historico for the walking-eating tour, the incredible International Baroque Museum.  We also visit our friend in Libres, Puebla to have a wine and cheese party at his very beautiful little establishment.   I have more to share about this week so more entries will be coming!  We still have space for this year’s event in September and we would love to have you join us!


Have a question?  Want to book space? Want to chat? Fill out the form below:

Recipe for Sopa de Lima or Lima Soup: Cozumel http://lavillabonita.com/sopadelima/ Thu, 21 Mar 2013 17:12:37 +0000 http://lavillabonita.com/2011/?p=1147 Day one #chefanaincozumel sopa de lima - lima soup with bell peppers, chicken and tortilla strips #lavillabonita

On occasion we will leave our comfortable confines at La Villa Bonita and cook in different environments or different parts of Mexico to add to my repertior and give guests a new and different experience.  This year we had cooking sessions on the island of Cozumel.  While big tourism has changed the cuisine offered in hotels, there is a local cuisine that is still delicious and good.  It needs to be elevated and learned.  I was amazed at the amount of Italian cuisine restaurants in both Cozumel and Playa del Carmen.  Such food is great but there is a wonderful local cuisine that is not being appreciated.  When we travel, we always try to elevate the local cuisine so that it is visible and accessible.  When we come back to Tepoztlán we integrate these elements into our repertoire for our culinary packages.

We had a great time with our guests in Cozumel, getting to know or fish providers and the wonderful variety of seafood available in the region and discovering these great local dishes.

This particular dish, sopa de lima,  is very popular in the southeast section of Mexico.  It calls for Limas which are a specific type of lime.  We have them in Tepoztlán in our back yard and they are a different type of lime.  If you do not have them substitute Key Limes and they will work fine but the Lima has a distinct flavor.

Sopa de lima (Lima Soup) 6 servings

1 chicken breast with skin and bone

10 oz. chicken feet or wings or backs

2 garlic cloves, pealed

½ medium white onion

1 clove

1 cilantro sprig

1 epazote sprig (if possible)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 quarts or 12 cups of water

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon olive oil

½ cup red onion, finely chopped

½ cup green bell pepper, finely chopped

2 cups tomato, peeled, seeded and finely chopped

6 Limas or Key Limes or 3 Persian limes, thinly sliced

4 corn tortillas cut into strips and dried for 2 to 3 hours or over night

1 cup of canola oil

1 avocado (optional)


My preferred method of making broth is with a pressure cooker but if you don’t have one you may use a regular stock pot.  Place chicken into the pressure cooker or the stock pot and add garlic cloves, the clove inserted into the onion (so they are not floating around in the pot), cilantro, epazote, dried oregano, water and salt.  Place pot over a high heat and allow for broth to come to a simmer.  Reduce the heat.  Take off the foam that will form with a spoon and repeat this procedure until the broth doesn’t produce any more foam.

If you are using the pressure cooker place the top of the pressure cooker and cook for another 45 minutes on medium high.  If you are using a regular stock pot, cook for 1hr and 30 minutes on medium high.  When chicken broth is ready take the chicken breast out. Allow it to cool enough to shred.


In your soup pot place the olive oil and red onion and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes or until transparent.  Then add the green pepper and tomatoes and cook for another 2 minutes.  Add the chicken broth with slices of lime.  Save a few fresh slices for serving.  Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 to 10 minutes and take the lime slices out.

Corn strips

In a sauté pan add the canola oil on high heat.  When it is hot add the corn strips and then fry until golden.  Take out and place on paper towels to drain.

In a soup bowl place the shredded chicken, tortilla strips and a slice of avocado and a fresh slice of lime.  Ladle some of the chicken broth and enjoy.

If you would like to print out this recipes click here for the PDF version.

Where am I? http://lavillabonita.com/where-am-i-2/ Sat, 26 Dec 2009 14:17:00 +0000 http://lavillabonita.com/2011/where-am-i-2/ Many of you may be wondering where I am! I am still here! I have been traveling very much over the past 5 months on projects with my sponsors, television appearances, and in furtherance of my own telelvision series in the US. All in all, it has been a crazy year but we are all looking forward to a great 2010. I can tell you I am very happy to be home and looking forward as well to receiving guests at La Villa Bonita in January and February. Time to get back to what I do best — teach my traditional Mexican family dishes to my guests and open windows into the richness of Mexican culture.

We had a great response to our sale for Christmas and New Year sale but it was restricted because of very high airfare over the holidays. We did notice, however, a great drop in airfare for January and February from hubs in the US and Canada. Since we are finally home and want you to join us, we extended our $875 USD off per room sale to January and February dates. It is almost like getting your airfare for free! Escape the cold at LVB this winter!

Peace, Love, and Good Food

Ana Garcia

Happy 4th of July from La Villa Bonita http://lavillabonita.com/happy-4th-of-july-from-la-villa-bonita-2/ http://lavillabonita.com/happy-4th-of-july-from-la-villa-bonita-2/#comments Sat, 04 Jul 2009 18:49:00 +0000 http://lavillabonita.com/2011/happy-4th-of-july-from-la-villa-bonita-2/

My son said that I could get a temporary “green card” to celebrate the 4th of July if I made a cake with him for a party we are attending. We made a vanilla chiffon cake with a layer of lemon curd plucked from our trees, raspberries and blueberries for the stars and stripes and a whipping cream icing.

More coming up soon on kids and cooking!

Peace, love and good food!

Chef Ana

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Grapefruit Curd Experiment http://lavillabonita.com/grapefruit-curd-experiment-2/ http://lavillabonita.com/grapefruit-curd-experiment-2/#comments Sat, 31 Jan 2009 18:19:00 +0000 http://lavillabonita.com/2011/grapefruit-curd-experiment-2/
Many people have asked me what I do in my down time when I don’t have guests in the culinary packages. One of my hobbies is to do my own canning and investigation of traditional methods of preserving fruits and vegetables. I have done lots of jams, jellies, compotes as well as preserves. So, this week I decided to do something with my funny little grapefruit.

In our citrus orchard on the property we have lots of different varieties. The previous owner was British and enjoyed her citrus. As a result we have many fruit-bearing trees that produce at different times of the year. We have 3 different types of lemons, 2 types of oranges, 5 types of limes, 3 types of grapefruit, and calamondines (I will do a blog soon on my calamondine liquor which is reposing right now!). A lot of these varieties are old, non-commercial varieties that are not prolific in size or quantity but have very distinctive properties that may not exist any more in the supermarket.

I have this strange little grapefruit tree that grows right next to our compost area(good place to grow, right?). It produces very small yellow grapefruit smaller than a baseball. They were so small that I doubted they had any usable juice. I opened them up and they had a enough juice to put it to use in something. I first used them as an “agua fresca” as we call them here which is juice of pretty much any fruit with a bit of sugar and water as a refreshing drink to accompany lunch with Robb and the boys. It was very good and didn’t need much sugar. I decided on a whim to make grapefruit curd and see how it would turn out. I have made lemon curd from my orchard lemons before but never grapefruit. It should have a distinctive taste.

For a printer friendly PDF version click here.

For this recipe you will need 1.5 cups of juice, 2 sticks of unsalted butter, 2 cups of sugar, 12 egg yolks and your zest.

Zest All Grapefruit

Squeeze Grapefruit with Help of Small Person in Pajamas

Separate Yolks

Beat Yolks and Add to Saucepan on Low Heat

Add the Sugar and Whisk

Add the Juice and Whisk

Stir on low heat for 10-15 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Do not bring to a boil.


Add Butter Slowly

Add Zest and Stir

Cool and Add to Ball Jars with Help of Small Person in Pajamas

Seal Ball Jar in Hot Water as with any Preserve

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