Sunday, May 17, 2015

Ixchel's Kitchen IBook

Ixchel's Kitchen cookbook is now available as an Ibook!
This cookbook was created in 2010 as a fundraiser project for La Gloria English School. 200 copies were printed and sold out in a month. It took me 6 months to compile, test recipes, edit and promote and we raised over $4000. Now it is available in a new form, which is really convenient if you like to use your iPad in the kitchen like I do. 


Over a hundred recipes from Isla Mujeres establishments (Casa Sirena, La Bruja, Barlito, Villa la Bella, Qubano, Olivia), residents of the island and longtime Isla visitors. Recreate mouthwatering memories of your travels to Isla Mujeres such as Cochinita Pibil, Ceviche, Chiles Rellenos, Tequila Shrimp and Pepitos. Explore some new recipes, as well, like Margarita Ice Cream, Mojito Body Scrub and Cuban Picadillo.


A variety of delicious drink recipes are included plus suggestions on how to throw a fabulous Isla themed Fiesta (Hey, you've got to do what you can when you can't get to the island, right?). Learn the difference between tequila and mezcal, perfect the art of creating beautiful Mexican paper flowers, become a gourmet salsa chef. With all of this newfound knowledge, you may well become the most interesting man (or woman) in the world.


Beautiful color photos and easy to follow recipes. Please contact me with any questions at
Ordering info:
1) You send me $10 via Paypal to (there is no I in Moongrl)
2) I will email the pdf file to you.
3) You can then open in Ibooks and/or as a pdf file and start cooking! It's that simple
Please be respectful and do not share the copy that I sent to you with others. It took me 6 months to create this and I now have three college kids (two biological and my 'Isla Daughter). Thank you.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Coconut Oil

I'm not going to tell you that coconut oil is going to cure everything that's wrong with you, but there are a few great uses for coconut oil that I have found to be easy and beneficial and thought that I would share.

1) Deep conditioner for your hair -- melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in the microwave and comb it through dry hair. Pull your hair up in a clip and let it sit for an hour. Go ahead and slather a thin layer of oil on your face, too. Take a shower, and shampoo (twice, for good measure) and condition as normal. Much less expensive than commercial conditioner, too. Saturday morning at the coconut spa.

2) Make up remover. It's natural and very moisturizing.

3) In place of oil for making popcorn. That's right...I know this is going to totally blow your mind, but I make popcorn on the stove. The old fashioned way. Microwave popcorn tastes horrible and chemical to me. Try it. You'll never go back.

4) In place of oils when baking. It's supposed to be healthier. Can't hurt.

Please share any uses of coconut oil that you have found!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Isla Mujeres Feb 2013 Part 3

Hair of the Dog Poker Run
Benefitting Isla Animals
This was a blast! We had to 'run' to different bars and at each one we received a cocktail and a card. Bloody Mary at Jax, Margarita at Sunset Grill, Grapfruit Mojito at Ixchel, Coronita at Avalon and Sangria at Fenix. Yes. We completed the run. Our cards sucked but it was so much fun and we got to hang out with some really fun people.

Me and Inge

The bar at Ixchel - you can see all of the Poker run participants in green shirts. Since we were staying there that night (yes, I get around), we went upstairs for a bathroom/photo op.

We were all too tired (sloshed) to walk all the way down the beach to the bridge to Avalon, so we cut through the ocean!

I hadn't been out to Avalon since about 2006(?) when some friends were staying there and invited me to hang out for the afternoon. The bar was a really nice place to have a drink. Nice view of the beach. It made me think of that long ago afternoon and my friend Al, so I raised my beer and sent him a 'cheers' in heaven.

Me and Jeff -- he's a blast!

The official poker run tshirt.

Chilequilas from Tacos Tumbras. Second only to Alexia y Giovanni, but they were closed. No worries.

This is the view from Ixchel Penthouse 709 (partly). There was a wedding at Sunset Grill and we had massages on the balcony as the music and festivities drifted upward.

I seriously just sat up from where I was lounging on the beach and snapped this. Viola. Perfection.

Fantastic costumes at Carnivale Celebration on the Square

Tarzan and Me. Yep, we're a 'thing' LOL

Coronation of the Carnival King and Queen (Tarzan and me...again) ;)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Isla Mujeres - February 2013 - Part 2

Day Two/Three-ish. Staying at Casa Sirena, meeting up with friends, going to the beach, just having fun and doing whatever we want to do!
Crepes with yogurt, granola and fruit for breakfast. Casa Sirena has the BEST breakfasts!!!

Good Morning, Isla!

This is Lia, my friend Nelsy's baby. We met up for lunch with Nelsy, her mother Gloria, sister Conchi, also friends Maggie, Ann, Gail and Jackie. We feasted at Qubano.

Nelsy is a proud Momma. Little Lia is so cute!!
After our Ladie's Lunch we went shopping with Gail and I bought a really cool bag from her friend's shop on Hidalgo. It's turquoise (my color!) and made from agave fiber. It's about the size of one of those large paper bags that you get from the store (remember..before plastic?) with handles and it's the perfect tote bag. I use it almost every day to take food/ etc to work. Then we went back to Gail's house and checked it out. Very nice! Great location. Jealous. :)
Towel Lizard!
Coco Poo Poos. Yes, I know they look vile, but they are delicious! Coconut rum, ice cold from a martini shaker, topped with chocolate whipahol.

We had a late dinner at Bally Hoo. Oh, how I love their shrimp tacos. And for the record, I like 'em with a little tamarindo sauce and a touch of habenero. Sweet and spicy. Mmmm....We ended up going out to dinner with a girl that we met who was mad at her husband, so she ditched him and went out with us.

"We're taking your wife out to dinner. You got a problem with that?" Said the Viking Princess.

Chicken Enchiladas for breakfast at Casa Sirena. Fresh fruit served as first course. Hot coffee and fresh OJ. A wonderful way to start the day!

Festive Carnivale decor at Casa Sirena

One of Josefina's cats at Casa Luz Spa

Cute decor at Casa Luz

Pam and Kitty (Artsy shot!!!!)

I just ADORE  a penthouse view!

Hello, Gorgeous

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Ixchel's Kitchen ~ Isla Mujeres Cookbook on CD

Over a hundred recipes from favorite Isla Mujeres establishments (Casa Sirena, La Bruja, Comono, Villa la Bella, Qubano, Olivia), residents of the island and fellow Islaholics. Recreate mouthwatering memories of your travels to Isla Mujeres, such as Cochinita Pibil, Ceviche, Chiles Rellenos, Tequila Shrimp, and Pepitos. Explore some new recipes, as well, such as Margarita Ice Cream, Mojito Body Scrub, and Cuban Picadillo.
The CD is available for $15, which includes shipping and handling (if you need to be handled) to US or Canada. Additional CDs (Christmas gifts!!) are an additional $10 when ordered at the same time. Delivery to Mexico can probably be arranged. Email me. Paypal is my favorite, and you can pay with Mastercard or Visa through paypal. If you would like to make arrangements to mail me a check, please email me at

Please remember, I'm a one woman show with a huge circus to run, so I will get these mailed out to you as quickly as is humanly possible. Thank you!


Plenty of delicious drink recipes are included and suggestions on how to throw a fabulous Isla Party (hey, you've got to do what you can when you can't get to the island, right?). Learn the difference between Tequila and Mezcal, perfect the art of creating beautiful Mexican paper flowers, become a salsa gourmet chef. With all of this newfound knowledge, you may well become the most interesting man (or woman) in the world

Fish Filet Veracruz, Yucatan Shrimp. Tortilla Soup, Swiss Enchiladas, Chilequiles, Tic n Xic


Drunken Beans, Divorced Eggs, Elote, Ceviche, Bimbo Dogs, Pepitas, Pickled Purple Onions, Chorizo Chipotle Dip


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summer Strawberry Pie

Summer Strawberry Pie

This is a wonderfully fresh pie and the crust is rich and crumbly. Don't fear the crust. It's super easy to make and you don't even have to roll it out. It's like playing with Play Doh.

The crust recipe is from an ancient Church lady cookbook from Oklahoma so you know it's good. Some of the recipes are credited to women who go by 'Mrs.' and then their husband's name (like Mrs. Joe Smith) and some of the recipes call for 'oleo'. There are lots of jello salad recipes. Yuck.

Pie Crust:

1 1/2 c flour
1 1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp milk
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 c oil

Combine flour, sugar and salt and mix with a fork. In a separate small bowl combine oil and milk and then add the liquid to the flour mixture and mix with a fork. Press into pie pan with your fingers as evenly as possible. This is kinda fun. Flute the edges and bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Take it out and cover the edges with foil and put back in oven for 5 more minutes. Let cool.
Pie Filling:

1 Qt strawberries, washed, hulled and cut in half if they are large (save one for garnish)
1 1/3 c water
1 c sugar
3 Tbsp cornstarch

Combine 1 cup of the berries with the sugar and 1 cup of the water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for about 15 minutes. Squish them a little while they're cooking.

Combine the other 1/3 cup of water with the cornstarch in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Add to berry mixture in saucepan and cook over low heat until it thickens and clears (about 5 minutes). If it doesn't get really clear, it will still be good, so get over it and move on with your life. Remove from heat and stir occasionally and let it cool for a few minutes.

Arrange fresh berries in pie shell so they are all standing up and pretty. Like this:

Pour berry mixture over the pretty berries and refrigerate until chilled. Add strawberry garnish and serve with fresh whipped cream.

Submitted by Mrs. Johnny Depp

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Isla Mujeres - February 2013 - Part One

This trip was all about celebrating my best friend's birthday and cramming as much fun as one possibly can into 6 days. I was up to the challenge.

Leaving me in charge of Happy Hour at the Sky Bar at Casa Sirena? Stellar idea!

Isla is fantastic in February. Don't get me wrong, I love it year round - even in the dead of summer when it's so hot you have to stay in or near the water, I don't care. February brings cooler temps, Carnivale, and Pam's birthday.

Miss Pamela -Photobombing the ocean

Sliders at Qubano....Oh, Baby. It's hard to decide what to eat here because all of the food is amazing and so is Vivian.

The Vivian Salad at Qubano. One of my favorites.

I could hang out here all

This guy had an interesting tat. Good people watching on the beach

Late lunch at Barlito...The 'One Eyed Cajun' panini in the foreground. WOW! Pulled pork, three kinds of cheese...and yes, I had beets because Tiffany said if I eat them all, my pee would be pink and that's called Princess Pee. Like I wouldn't go for that.

Enjoying lunch at Barlito. Love the sitting Brad and Tiffany. Total Love/Food Fest

We stayed at Casa Sirena the first few nights and room hopped between room 1 (my fave!) and room 5. Casa Sirena is so comfortable and makes me incredibly happy. Everything from the delicious breakfasts to the evening happy hours are the best. I always meet fun people while staying there. And of course...there's Steve. Steve is the magic behind the perfection.

Towel puppy at Casa Sirena

We were lucky enough to score an invite to Bruce and Kathryn's Anniversary party. It was so nice to see them and everyone else. Kathryn looked amazing, don't you think? 

Brian and Brenda - gorgeous as always

Lovely Ladies -Jackie, Ann and Maggie

The always handsome and charming Daniel and Manuel. The lady in the background was obviously swooning from being in the close proximity of these two. Who can blame her?

Here comes trouble...Carmita and Inge. Queens of Isla

The Couple of Honor, Kathryn and Bruce with the Carnival dancers.
Fantastic dinner at Olivia with Pam, Lolo, Steve, Dennis and the "Terrible Ten" from Florida. That's shy Chef Chris in the foreground. That's right....we had dinner with twelve men and Lolo. And one of the guys is a Food Network Chef. Yeah...I know.

We ditched the guys after dinner and went to La Terazzo with Lolo, where we met THE creepiest guy on earth, Chet. After we recovered from the skeeziness, we continued to laugh about him for the rest of the trip and now use the term 'Chetty' to describe something totally heinous and repulsive. Sample of conversations - he just walked up to the bar and started talking to us like this - this was not after an evening of hanging out. This was opening line (and it got worse) Chet: So, you having fun? Pam: Yep. Chet: You wanna make out? Pam: Uh...NO!. We also ran into the lovely and extremely unChetty Nicole, who was there classing up the place.

That was pretty much the first day or so...stay tuned for more adventures and the food...oh, we're going to get a little crazy with the food.

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Some of these entries are vintage travel reports and have been restored from a lost blog. I hope you enjoy them.