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Best Gifts ~ Mexican Cooking Books and Utensils ~ Great Home Cooked Food

Updated on March 14, 2016

Chili peppers


Cooking Books

For people who enjoy making home cooked meals who wouldn't enjoy a new cookbook? Mexican cooking books just might fill in a gap on their cookbook shelf and if one wishes to try their hand at learning how to accomplish making gourmet Mexican food, easy Mexican food or typical Mexican food it can all be gleaned from the pages of a good cookbook.

In the part of the world where we live...that being south Texas...there are many Mexican restaurants.

Sometimes it is nice to be able to stay at home and enjoy similar Mexican dishes and it is not that difficult to learn how to make them.

Take a look at some of the things that are available for purchase.

There is a wide variety of Mexican cookbooks, Mexican cookware and things to make your cooking Mexican food easier and even fun to accomplish.


Nopal is cactus cut and stir fried in cooking.  Great with eggs!
Nopal is cactus cut and stir fried in cooking. Great with eggs! | Source

Making Tostadas

Authentic Mexican Salsa Taquera recipe

Pictures of Mexican food as seen in Mexico!

Spending some years near Mexico...

My teen years were spent growing up in McAllen, Texas which is located in the Rio Grande Valley just north of Reynosa, Mexico.

Back in those days...the 1960s...McAllen was not that large of a town. It has grown substantially since that time!

Most of the adults as well as teens going on dates crossed the border into Mexico for entertainment.

In Reynosa it was another world!

There was a fancy club called Trevino's that had a man-made waterfall in the back and a little dance floor. The drinks were good and anyone old enough to pay money got served.

No ID checks. Personal responsibility was up to the individual.

Other places offered enticements to visit their establishments like great food and décor and also shopping opportunities.

We certainly took advantage of it all over the years!

The Mexican food was delicious and nothing much competed on our side of the border back then to keep us on the U.S. side of the border when going out for an evening of dining, dancing and fun. I am glad to have those memories.

In this year of 2013 the drug wars and violence are undoubtedly dissuading many Americans from enjoying those gorgeous places and tasting those delectable Mexican dishes in that environment, sad to say. Hopefully things will change for the better soon.

Crossing the border is no longer a concern since my husband and I live far north of it now in Houston, Texas.

However, we still continue to love our Mexican food be it eaten in one of the many local restaurants...some of them very near our home ...or alternately, prepared at home in our very own kitchen.

My husband and I have several cookbooks which help us with our home preparations of Mexican food. Yum!

Location of Reynosa, Mexico and proximity to McAllen, Texas

show route and directions
A markerReynosa, Mexico -
Reynosa, Tamaulipas, Mexico
get directions

B markerMcAllen, Texas -
McAllen, TX, USA
get directions

Rick Bayless: Building Blocks of the Mexican Kitchen

Chef Rick Bayless Grills Carne Asada Brava...

(Mexican music) El Jarabe Tapatio - The Mexican Hat Dance

Mexican Everyday
Mexican Everyday

Love watching his cooking show on TV! His recipes sound so good!


Mexican cookware

Obviously having some of the right cookware on hand is a great help when preparing Mexican food.

There is much in the way of Mexican fast food offered at local quick dining eateries. Things like tacos, tostadas, burritos and other things abound.

People that associate just this type of food as being Mexican have no idea just how delicious Mexican cuisine can be.

Not that I am a Mexican culinary expert, but just living as close to the border as I have for many years and then experiencing "Tex-Mex" food ( a combination of Texas and Mexican food unique to this area ) as well as Mexican food from other parts of the country...there is a wide variety of flavors and twists as to how these Mexican food recipes are prepared.

Cooking shows on television with hosts like Chef Bayless nicely teach us how to prepare simple and savory Mexican dishes typical to that country.

Fresh ingredients are acquired from local markets and Mexican food prepared in Mexico can be far different from what most Mexican food franchise owners on this side of the border typically serve to their patrons.

Watching these TV cooking shows puts an entirely different spin on what many people perceive as being authentic Mexican food. It is quite educational!

Rick Bayless and other chefs on television have at their disposal the right cookware with which to prepare their Mexican food recipes. Do you have the correct cookware?


Tomatillos are often used in Mexican cooking.
Tomatillos are often used in Mexican cooking. | Source

Do you like making or eating Mexican food?

See results

Shadiah's Mexican Urban Cooking

Mexican Utensils

After watching a couple of Rick Bayless' videos are you ready to start preparing some delicious Mexican cooking recipes while dining at home?

If you do not already have a Mexican cookbook and a few of these helpful pieces of cookware and/or utensils, why not start that process now?

You can learn to cook with cooking tips from some of the world's most accomplished Mexican chefs and enjoy healthy cooking right in the comfort of your own home.

Do you know others that might like to receive some of these Mexican food products as gifts?

Most people that are home cooks like to experiment with different types of cuisine.

Mexican food ingredients are easy to find in most grocery stores in many parts of the country...and for certain in our part of finding ingredients to complete your Mexican inspired meals is not that difficult.

Ole! Start your Mexican cooking today!!!

How to Make Mexican Rice

If you are searching for what could possibly become your recipient's best gift of the season, especially if he or she likes to make and serve home cooked meals, consider purchasing Mexican cooking books, cookware and utensils that will make their life easier. And then ask to be treated to one of their Mexican inspired breakfasts, lunches or dinners.

Buena consumición! (For those of you needing a translation...Good eating!)

One of the many songs I heard when spending time in Reynosa, Mexico years ago and one that I really like.

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 2 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Patricia,

      So glad you enjoyed this. I have used tomatillos in a fresh salsa. Just put them in a search engine for recipes and you will probably find thousands of them. We like Mexican food also. Thank you for the votes and shares. Sending wishes of angels back to you. :)

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 2 years ago from sunny Florida

      Now I am starving. I love love Mexican cuisine. there are a few good places not far from here where we can get some (actually folks there who are Mexican and can prepare authentic dishes).

      At our flea markets we have many offerings of Mexican foods like tomatillos which I have not purchased as do not know how to use them. I will have to research as well as review your hub.

      I learned so much

      Voted up++++ shared and pinned to Awesome HubPages

      Angels are on the way once again this afternoon ps

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Always Optimist,

      I can appreciate that Mexican food is not as popular in your part of the world as it is over here. I guess proximity to the country has something to do with it plus the large Hispanic community of people who live in the U.S. making that type of food so popular. We have come to really like eating it and making some of the dishes. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Always Optimist profile image

      Always Optimist 4 years ago from India

      MS Peggy W, Mexican food is not very popular here and thus not many Mexican eating joints here. I liked the picture of red chilies on top as I like to eat red chilies in my food. Interesting reading . Voting it up and interesting.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Suzanne,

      Back in the 1970s when my husband was transferred from Houston to central Wisconsin, we purchased a tortilla press. Never did figure out how to successfully use it. They always came out too thick. Ha! My parents once had the right kind of cactus growing at one of their homes and we learned to use the nopales like you do...similar to green peppers. They were good chopped up along with onions and sauteed and added to scrambled eggs. Haven't thought about that in years! Thanks for the memory. Good luck on learning how to cook good Mexican food. It is nice to have a neighbor be able to give you a hands on lesson. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Brett,

      We also love Mexican food. I agree that cookbooks make great gifts for those who like cooking. Some of them have such pretty photos that they can serve as a visual feast in addition to the "how to" aspects of turning out a dish. Thanks for the votes and shares. Not sure how a pin will go to that "Awesome Hubbers" group board instead of our own boards?

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 4 years ago from Texas

      Thanks the great information! It's just what I need. My local Sak N Save sells all kinds of interesting ingredients for Mexican food because there is a large Hispanic population in the area. I always buy my fruits and veggies there because they have the best selection, and I have talked with some people purchasing some of the more exotic items and gotten some good ideas. I have suggested to the manager that they should stock some Mexican cookbooks so that gringos like me can buy more stuff with confidence! I have tried Nopales and use them like green peppers in various dishes. I tried to make tortillas, but that was a disaster! :D Luckily, a nice Mexican family moved in down the street from me, and my new friend, Juanita, is going to help me learn how to cook Mexican food! :D

      Voted up and awesome!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 4 years ago from Thailand

      Hey Peggy, your invite to the 'Awesome Hubpages' group board has been sent! ;-) ... hope it helps get you some traffic.

      This is another great suggestion! I previously came across your Italian recipe book hub, but also LOVE Mexican food. So long as it is for people that like cooking, this is a great way to give a household many wonderful evenings!!!

      Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and awesome.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Indian Chef,

      Many years ago when I was a child in Wisconsin, we did not get much Mexican food up there either. Of course that has undoubtedly changed by now. I remember when we first moved to Texas and had our first nachos, we removed the little bit of jalapeno pepper on it and still thought that it was spicy hot. Now I buy jalapeno peppers at Costco in huge plastic jars and use them freely. Perhaps someday more Mexican type foods will come to your part of the world. Thanks for your comment and the share.

    • Indian Chef profile image

      Indian Chef 4 years ago from New Delhi India

      Peggy, this looks nice. I did buy tortillas today but we do not get quality Mexican food here. I haven't tried much of Mexican food though I would love to. Voting up and sharing on Hubpages.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Rajan,

      Mexican food is very popular especially in Texas where we live. I think that it is readily available almost everywhere now in the U.S. When I was a child in Wisconsin, we had never eaten it until my parents moved to Texas in 1960. Nice to know that you have enjoyed some of least that which would be considered fast food...the tacos and burritos. Thanks for your votes and the share.

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      I've tried a few Mexican dishes while I was in the U.S. and I did like them especially the tacos and burritos. Interesting and useful hub.

      Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi moonlake,

      It was also in the 1960's when we often went to Reynosa. Sadly because of the drug wars, it has become very dangerous to cross into those border towns. Some people still do it, but my husband and I have no inclination to do it again until things become safer and who knows when that will be? Too bad...we certainly had a lot of fun back then! Thanks for your comment.

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      We love Mexican food. We use to go to Juarez in the 60's we lived in El Paso and crossed the border often. Juarez never was completely safe but sure not the way it is now. Enjoyed your hub. Voted up.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi K9,

      Rick Bayless makes Mexican cooking look like so much fun and he does it with so much ease. I like watching him as well on television. Thanks for leaving a comment on this hub.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello LadyLyell,

      Mexican cooking is no more difficult that any other kind and if your husband loves eating it...just think how pleased he would be if it was cooked by you. Just a matter of getting the ingredients! Good luck if you decide to try it. Thanks for your comment.

    • K9keystrokes profile image

      India Arnold 5 years ago from Northern, California

      I really enjoy good Mexican foods, and over the years have become a huge Rick Bayless fan.I don't think there is a single thing about Latin cooking he doesn't know. I enjoyed your hub very much! These cook book selections just might make a grand stocking stuffer this season,...deciding which to choose will be the challenge!



    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi SanneL,

      We just had a Mexican style breakfast this morning. Eggs Rancheros...corn tortilla, black beans, fried egg, a bit of cheese and salsa topped off with sliced jalapenos (in my case). Will keep us warmed up and fueled for the day! :)) Thanks for your comment.

    • LadyLyell profile image

      LadyLyell 5 years ago from George, South Africa

      My husband loves Mexican food but I have never tackled the task but now I feel inspired.


    • SanneL profile image

      SanneL 5 years ago from Sweden

      Mexican food is very popular in my home, and we love chili peppers and use a lot of them!!

      Great hub! Will bookmark for future cooking.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello texasgirlfw,

      Most of us living in Texas end up loving Mexican food as do people in other parts of the country. Yum! :))

    • texasgirlfw profile image

      texasgirlfw 6 years ago

      Good idea, I love mexican food.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello graveyard-rose,

      Mexican food is great! Do you cook any of it at home? Mexican cooking books make some great gifts for those that like to prepare foods at home. Easier to control the ingredients, spices, etc. that way. Thanks for the comment.

    • graveyard-rose profile image

      Heather Marie 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Great hub! MEXICAN FOOD IS MY FAVORITE.. You can keep your turkey or ham! Give me some mexican! lol

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      Glad to hear that you enjoyed this best gifts hub about Mexican cooking books for people who enjoy making home cooked meals. Thanks for commenting.

    • Cheryl J. profile image

      Cheryl J. 6 years ago from Houston, TX

      Great hub. Another great gift idea for the upcoming holiday.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Steph,

      Most often we make Mexican breakfasts. Occasionally fajitas on the grill... I need to check my Mexican cooking books and bone up on some recipes that I have used sucessfully in the past. I remember an enchilada one with green chilis that was good. Maybe it is even time to try some new recipes! Here is to good home cooked meals! Thanks for the comment.

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I LOVE Mexican food, but my home cooking never tastes quite as good as in the restaurants. Maybe its because I use a little less lard? ;-)

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky,

      As to "great"...well...probably not the case, but thank you. Will eventually slip in a good travel hub like I enjoy doing. I'm going after the Amazon ads now as an experiment and seeing how it affects the income from writing here. Check back in a few months and I'll let you know the results if you are interested.

      Thanks for commenting on this Mexican cooking books and best gifts hub. You must have friends that enjoy cooking or eating Mexican food? Do you like Mexican food Micky?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      You have never eaten Mexican food? Are there not those type of places in England?

      True story...When my family first moved from Wisconsin to Texas back in the 1960's we were not used to spicy foods and there were no Taco Bells or other fast food Mexican franchises up there. The first time we tried nachoes, the little strips of jalapenos were removed and just where they had been placed was almost too hot for us to enjoy. Now...years later, I love jalapenos (which are a type of hot pepper) and eat them frequently.

      Thanks for looking at this hub about best gifts of Mexican cooking books and more for home cooked meals.

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 7 years ago

      Another great hub! Everything you do is great. I'll send this link out to some friends!

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      It is amazing how some human beings can change something nice and have to do it instead of enjoying it as well. Thank you for your lovely memory trip and description of Mexican food. I have never tried it.

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello oceansnsunsets,

      Glad you liked this! Do you have an assortment of Mexican cooking books? We have a couple that we enjoy using. We also love making home cooked meals. Thanks for the comment.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 7 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Great hub idea! We love Mexican food and cooking it has become something we like to do more and more as well. Thanks!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Stephanie,

      Having Mexican daughters-in-law to cook for you is the best of all worlds! Do they use cookbooks or do they do it from old family recipes handed down over generations?

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi DiamondRN,

      Oh, I agree! Cumin and cilantro certainly spice up home cooked Mexican meals! Mexican cooking books certainly list them as frequent ingredients also. Thanks for the speedy comment.

    • Stephanie Henkel profile image

      Stephanie Henkel 7 years ago from USA

      Hi Peggy,

      We love to eat Mexican food when we're in Texas and when we've crossed the border into Mexico. I haven't cooked it much myself because I can sometimes prevail upon my Mexican daughters-in-law to cook authentic Mexican food now and then. Nice hub!

    • DiamondRN profile image

      Bob Diamond RPh 7 years ago from Charlotte, NC USA

      Life would be so boring without Cumin and Cilantro, Peggy.