Saturday, July 29, 2017

"Ordering Up a Little Mexican!"

* Illustration by Andy Ward * Story by Jeff Siegel
~from Texas Journey magazine

Here we are once again, at the KardKorner, where the order of things is not in any particular order!  We simply discuss and enjoy any subject that comes to mind.

Today, we're serving up a bit of news regarding the controversy between "Authentic Mexican" foods and "Tex-Mex" foods.  I receive the Texas Journey magazine every month or so, and it's always loaded with fun sites to see in your travels, and, good foods to eat.  The July/August issue even posted a fascinating article about the Norman Petty Recording Studios and museum in Clovis, New Mexico, honoring the late Buddy Holly.  Hopefully, one day, I can visit this cool city and browse through the museum while listening to his music and gazing at the memorabilia.

As I scanned through the various articles, my eye caught a bright, kind of slimy looking cartoon of what I perceive to be a burrito.  The illustration is shown above, and, the article is entitled "The Whole Enchilada", by Jeff Siegel.   I found this story to be a delightful defense mechanism for "Tex-Mex" foods, confirming my real confusions about the difference between "Authentic" and "Tex-Mex".  I eat Mexican food a lot from various restaurants, and I fix it at home, also.  Is my Mexican food considered authentic?  Probably not!
*  Yum...what's this?

* My Taco Salad * June 23, 2017 * photo by Suzanne

As you can see, I used items purchased from my local grocery store, even though I cooked the taco meat and prepared the salad myself.  OOPS!  I forgot to hide the flour tortillas from my photo, which can only mean I did not make them from scratch.  And, Pace Picante sauce?  Well, honestly, it's a staple in my house!  I'm guessing then, that my taco salad is of the "Tex-Mex" variety!

Having moved to Texas from Chicago years ago, where he exclaims, "The only taco I'd ever seen came from a box in the grocery store", Jeff shares this sentiment in his article:  "Not only did those first Tex-Mex meals give me great pleasure, but they introduced me to flavors and ingredients I didn't know existed.  I discovered cumin, coriander, chile powder-and salsa."
You go, Jeff!

Now, I moved to Texas from Kansas City years ago also, and, although I remember Mexican restaurants all through my life, I only discovered a few years ago that my mother is not a fan of Mexican foods, so, I guess that's why we did not eat out at Mexican restaurants while I was growing up.  After I left home to be on my own, somewhere in the late 1960's, Taco Bell came to Kansas City!  Taco Bell offered the most affordable Mexican food, and, I lived on it at $.19 per taco!  I was happy to see 'The Bell' in Texas when I arrived, where I saw my first burrito...who knew they were flour tortillas wrapped around mushy beans, with a little cheese? lol!  Well, all kidding aside, I must confess, I still whip through a Taco Bell line, and pick up some tacos and a taco salad from time to time!  But, NO burritos, please!

* photo by Suzanne * Haltom City, Texas

Jeff Siegel, in his article, states that many folks see Tex-Mex as "inauthentic"  Mexican food. He says one expert at Mexican cuisine views Tex-Mex as watered-down Mexican cooking!  One of Jeff's own Texan friends admits that he doesn't have any favorite Tex-Mex restaurants.  According to the friend, "It's nothing but grease smothered with rubber cheese!"

Hey!  I resemble that remark!

* King Ranch Chicken casserole, prepared by Suzanne
 * photo by Suzanne

King Ranch chicken is one of my favorite Mexican dishes.  I did fix it myself with fresh ingredients, cooking the chicken, cutting up onion, garlic and olives.  I even stir in cumin and drop fresh Cilantro leaves on top!  I  know, I know...I used Doritos to layer it, packaged shredded cheese and canned green chiles to put this scrumptious meal together.   And, oh-again, with the Pace Picante sauce!
 But...YUM!  I don't get complaints!

* LOL*
Cute, huh!

* Tex-Mex food, as defined in Wikipedia, is a fusion of United States cuisine and Mexican cuisines, deriving from the culinary creations of Tejanos.  It is most popular in Texas. *


Jeff admits he has been served a few greasy, plastic-cheese-topped enchiladas with orange Minute Rice and canned refried beans! I can attest to his experiences by saying that I have had some pretty sleazy guacamole, also, in my day!  You know...the pale green, without substance guacamole that doesn't appear to have real avacado in it!  Is there such a thing as fake avacados?


Well, to prove a point...anyone's point, regarding Tex-Mex vs Authentic Mexican cuisines, I conducted a short survey to collect opinions on the subject!  Yes, I did!

I asked 8 people to participate in my survey, and I got 7 really great responders!  My subjects live in several different states, and vary in ages from 13 to 70!  

*Thank you all very much...I love your answers, and appreciate your help!

1.  7 out of 7 people said they do like Tex-Mex food! 😋

2.  Everyone agrees that there are Tex-Mex restaurants in their area. 🌮

3.  I found that the most popular Tex-Mex food item is Enchiladas (4 out of 7), followed by, tacos (3 out of 7).  Other favorites include Nachos, Fajitas, Huevos Rancheros, and, on the healthier side,  one person only prefers (for Tex-Mex) a dish of black beans, pintos, and tomatoes, as long as the recipe doesn't contain fatty, unhealthy ingredients. 🍅

4.  Most of my subjects will eat Tex-Mex at least once or twice a month, possibly even weekly.  However, one subject confesses to having Tex-Mex about once every 3 to 5 years! 😏

5.  One of my subjects does not eat Tex-Mex prepared at home, whereas 3 subjects do.  Three of my subjects say that their Mexican dishes prepared at home are actually Authentic Mexican dishes!  In fact, I have eaten some of the authentic Mexican dishes from one of the homes, and, I have to say, it's unbeatable! 👍

*  Other Mexican dishes prepared at home by Suzanne and Rusty

We have (upper left) Deb Wise's 'Mix Up Tamale Pie" from Southern Living Magazine (looks pretty wicked) * (upper right), Red Pozole from "Mexico in My Kitchen" *  bottom left, fresh Cilantro and Coriander seeds from my kitchen * Corn and Black Bean Salsa, which according to the  Nutrition Twins, boasts a bundle of nutrients with its combo of beans, corn, onion, cilantro, and tomato."

So, my dear readers, looks like it's "curtains" for this post!   In conclusion, I believe that if you raise the peppers, tomatoes and Mexican herbs yourself to use in your Mexican dishes-make your own salsa and tortillas...then, you are entitled to dub your dishes as "Authentic"!   I sincerely hope you enjoyed this information as much as I enjoyed putting it together!   I apologize for the know how us 'long-winded' folks can go on.  Thank you so much for coming by!
Please stop in and say hello!

 I really must thank:
Texas Journey (magazine for AAA members)
Jeff Siegel, for his wonderful article "The Whole Enchilada"
Andy Ward for the illustration on the article
Google and Yahoo images
photos by Suzanne
Foods shown were prepared by Suzanne and Rusty
A HUGE thank you to my subjects for your help!

OH NO!  What's this? 

* photo by Suzanne * July 23,2017 * Haltom City, TX
Chuy's Mexican Restaurant

* Years ago the building above was a steakhouse, but I can't remember the name of it, lol!  Now, it is a Mexican restaurant, and, they opted to leave the Hereford cow on the building for 'old time's sake'.  It's really cool, but, the restaurant leaves much to desire!  I will say no more!

We're rocking at 96° here in the Lone State, with a real feel of 111°-hope you all are staying cool, wherever you may be!  Wishing you good health, love and joy!

* See you next time!

*That's my story and I'm sticking to it!"


  1. Hi, Suzanne!

    Wow, the heat is on in your part of Texas! 96° with a feels like heat index of 111° is sizzling hot. It's very unpleasant here, too, and we haven't had any rain to speak of for almost two weeks. The pond next to our building is drying up again!

    Next, I'd like to thank you for telling me about the Norman Petty Recording Studios and museum in Clovis, NM, established in honor of Buddy Holly. I just looked it up on a Google map and saw that it is close to the Texas border in East Central NM. Shucks, when Mrs. Shady and I stayed in El Paso three summers ago and drove to Carlsbad Caverns, we could have continued up the road to Clovis and visited that place! I'd like to see it someday.

    Well, as you know I am one of the "subjects" in your Tex-Mex cuisine survey and probably the least typical of your responders. As I think back to my own youth, I can't remember my parents ever taking me to a Mexican style restaurant. Perhaps there weren't any in York at the time. I do remember Mrs. Shady #1 making meals like the ones you showed and described here, and Mrs. Shady #2 has also served this type of food from time to time. The thing about Kathryn is that her father owned a restaurant in Baltimore and mentored her in the art of cooking. He taught her to think outside the box and not be afraid to experiment. She loves to create her own variations of traditional recipes. She is a great believer in making meals from scratch but, of course, has relied on packaged mixes and canned goods from time to time. I must say that the foods on display in your pictures look delicious, especially the Corn and Black Bean Salsa.

    As much as I dislike eating meat, I do love to dine at Longhorn Steakhouse, but only because I like their fish, their salads and their baked potatoes. Sometimes I will order a deluxe chicken salad, but I never order steak. :)

    Thank you very much for explaining the difference between Tex-Mex and authentic Mexican, dear friend Suzanne. I hope your temperatures cool down soon. I think summer is actually going by fast this year and I am already looking forward to autumn.

    Take care and God bless!

    1. Hi Shady! I'm with you on the steakhouse foods. I always look for the grilled chicken or salmon. I never order a steak, and I have never eaten chicken fried steak in a restaurant! I do eat hamburger, but, I try to choose the low fat packages!

      I was so excited to get the responses from my survey, yes-you being the least typical of them, lol! But that's what it's all about! I needed to have the pros and cons no matter what! We never went out for Mexican food as I was growing up, and, seldom went out at all for dinner. Mom prepared almost all of our meals at home.

      I would love to wander over to Clovis, NM to scout around and see the Buddy Holly museum. I had planned to make my way to Santa Cruz, since it is a bit closer to home, but my path went in a different direction this summer. Maybe some other time.

      Bravo to Mrs. Shady for trying out her own versions of traditional recipes! In the past few years, I have become much that way. However, I have always been pretty good at "throwing" something together from practically nothing, also. It's fun to try new recipes though.

      Thank you for coming by, Shady. It's definitely a hot summer night in Texas! I agree, the summer is passing us by quickly, and, autumn is waiting in the wings! I am starting to work on getting Scootie's school supplies, and, although he won't admit it, he is pretty excited. He loves driving by his school, I think he really feels at home there! I am so glad!

      Thank you again, dear friend, for generously participating in my survey. Every answer is a great contribution! Have a great Sunday, Shady! ♫

    2. Oops, Shady. I meant Las Cruces, NM-not Santa Cruz. A blonde moment, I suppose, haha!

    3. Three years ago, shortly after we started the drive from El Paso to Flagstaff, we stopped at a McDonald's in Las Cruces and had a cup of coffee. (No hamburger, though :)

  2. Hello, I am a fan of Tex-Mex or Mexican food. My son and his girlfriend like it too. My hubby will eat it only when he is outnumbered when we pick out a place to eat. I do enjoy the homemade foods in restaurants than a Taco Bell. Thanks for sharing this post and info. Have a happy weekend!

    1. Hi Eileen. I, too, prefer Mexican food prepared and served to me on a plate. And, I'm grateful that my stomach and system can still handle the spices, but not too hot! It is fun trying new recipes at home, but there's always the mess to clean up. Thank you for coming by and leaving your comment-I'm glad to know that you like Mexican food too! Have a nice weekend!

    2. I wanted to thank you for your visits and comments on my blog. Enjoy your day!


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