Cravings: Candied Fruits
: Candied fruit, or fruta cristalizada as it is known in Mexico, is manufactured using the techniques imported by the Spaniards in the 1500s. A laborious process of repeatedly submerging fruits in scalding water and sugar syrup gives entirely new personalities to commonplace pleasures such as pineapples, figs, orange and lemon peel, even squash.
Best Way to Blow Your Diet: Paris Café Pâtisserie
: In the dictionary, “temptation” is a 10-letter word, but at the Paris Café Pâtisserie it is only six letters: p-a-s-t-r-y. Eric Lenoir, cafe owner and pastry chef, learned the art of pastry making as a youth, while baking at his mother’s side in Paris, France. He has worked worldwide, including being a chef in Las Vegas and Ecuador, and starring in his own TV cooking show in California.
Behind the Scenes at a Tortilla Factory
: Few things in Mexico are as emblematic and timeless as the humble corn tortilla. Made by hand since pre-Columbian times, this thin, unleavened flat bread is the star ingredient in popular dishes such as chilaquiles, enchiladas, quesadillas, tostadas and tacos. The process of making tortillas has remained essentially the same since its origins. Corn kernels are soaked in limewater, causing their skin to peel.
Art from Shards
: Step past the mosaic gateposts of A Broken Art and enter a world of creativity. Glittering glass covers part of one worktable, and along the wall piles of colorful pottery pieces invite touching and arranging.
"Lifestyles" Cover Art Now Limited-Edition Print
: Talented artist Laurie Chase was inspired to paint “Beach Club Punta de Mita” because it epitomized to her the “essence and beauty of the Vallarta playa.” This enchanting painting was featured on the cover of the Winter/Spring 2008 issue of this publication. Subsequently, Chase produced a limited edition of 95 signed and numbered Giclée prints.
A Song to Vallarta
: In the "Best of Vallarta 2008" issue of Vallarta Lifestyles magazine (Spring-Summer 2008), we pay tribute to Pita Garduño's own tribute to Puerto Vallarta: a song she composed to express her enduring affection for her homeland. This short video is included as bonus content in the digital edition of Vallarta Lifestyles. (Quicktime video)
360 Spotlight: Elements of Design
: "Defining the Home" its modus operandi, this unique concept in home decor is an eclectic mix of Mexican designer furniture, lighting, artistic accessories and interior design services.
Adopt an Alebrije
: Most alebrije artists tend to focus on small pieces, primarily due to practical reasons. Indeed, the amount of time required to complete these intricately painted woodcarvings increases exponentially with size, and focusing on a single piece often prevents artists and their families from generating income through the sale of smaller items in the interim.
Advocating for the Animals
: Vallarta's abandoned companion animals now have a light at the end of the tunnel, efforts being made on their behalf by the new government-registered SPCA of Puerto Vallarta.
Chiles Secos: The Essense of Mexican Salsa
: An essential element of Mexican cuisine, hot peppers, or chiles, can be used and purchased either fresh, canned or dehydrated (secos). In fact, chile seco is a term used for a broad variety of peppers that are allowed to mature and dehydrate.
: While chicken is a mainstay of many a diet, my own included, I rarely treat myself to duck, considering it a special occasion poultry. And, truth be told, when I do indulge it’s either in Peking Duck or Duck a l’Orange – not only because I love them both, but until recently they were the only duck dishes I knew!
Escape to Yelapa
: It’s easy to take Yelapa for granted, at least for those who live in Puerto Vallarta year round. After all, seeking refuge at this laid-back village by the sea is as simple as hopping on one of the water taxis that aim for it on a daily basis and enjoying the picturesque 45-minute coastal ride.
Behind the Scenes at Peyote People
: During a recent photo shoot and interview with Peyote People owner, Kevin Simpson, we couldn't resist his very interesting and detailed accounts surrounding some of the pieces he and his wife have collected during their travels around Mexico. This short video, included as bonus content in the February 2008 digital edition of Vallarta Lifestyles is the result of such accounts.
Giving in Banderas Bay
: Give, Donate. All around Bahia de Banderas, from El Tuito in the south to San Pancho in the north, opportunities abound for residents, as well as vacationers, to help others. There are charitable and non-profit organizations designed to enrich the lives of children, the ill or incapacitated, seniors and abused women, while other groups focus on animals, among others.
Waiting for Liz
: The sunset displayed such colors, it seemed as though the celestial artist had three margaritas more than I did. He’d surely get an extra tab for the reds and yellows. The sea-scented air diffused my colleagues’ cigar smoke. The heat and humidity were taking a toll on me, despite my rolled-up sleeves. Some of them wore hats, good to sweep away the sweat.
Hot Spot: Lázaro Cárdenas
: Bucerias may mean “place of the divers,” but along Lazaro Cardenas in this fun town on the Riviera Nayarit it should mean “place of the diverse!” The avenue runs parallel to the ocean, a block to the east, and both daytime and evening offer many attractions.
: While it’s native to tropical Africa and an essential ingredient in several Asian cuisines, not to mention Worcestershire sauce, we like to think of tamarind as our very own. Widely popular in Mexico, tamarind grows wild in tall trees that produce 3- to 8-inch-long, brown, pea-like pods containing a soft acidic pulp and many seeds. When fully ripe, the shell becomes brittle and easily broken.
: Step under the gaily striped awning of “Hikuri” at Coral 66 in the fishing village of La Cruz de Huanacaxtle and enter an extraordinary world – a microcosm created by Aruna Piroshki, Wayland Combe-Wright and their daughter, Kaerolik.
Discovering Off-Malecon in Vallarta
: Every city has its hidden corners, its unseen treasures. While sculpture is featured on the Malecon in Puerto Vallarta, those who know the city suggest that you not stop there. In fact, some of the more interesting corners are off the main drag. This piece focuses on Vallarta’s off -Malecon sculptures, as well as tidbits and stories related to them.
Bucerias Art Walk
: An amazing array of arts set out along a charming cobblestone street is what made the Bucerias Art Walk a triumph in its inaugural 2006-2007 year. This season the art walk in this Nayarit pueblo on the beach is back, with more artists, more events and more special plans designed to entice visitors to come enjoy the abundance of excellent talent and fine crafts.