Traveling with your pet to Mexico requires advanced planning especially if you fly. All of the regulations apply to land and air entries but when you drive, often times there is no one around to check your pet’s papers. I’ll tell you why I comply […]
Securing Your Home for Extended Travel Nothing ruins your beach day faster than a call from a neighbor in the north that you have water running our of your basement or there’s an unfamiliar moving van parked in your driveway. True story; my husband once […]
For Mexican Snowbirds, dealing with mail can be so frustrating,
but deal you must.
In the U.S. we take snail mail for granted. We walk out to our box or stop at the post office and there is mail. We don’t even have to think about how to get or send mail.
This post contains a helpful affiliate link to Traveling Mail, an attractive online mail solution for travelers. Go there first if you have already tried other mail solutions and want a full service solution.
When you fly south, the mail keeps coming, but you can’t rely on Mexican mail service and you can’t forward your mail directly to Mexico. Advance planning is essential.
Here are a few tips for Mexican Snowbirds, dealing with mail.
1) Reduce your snail mail immediately by requesting online statements for everything. Bank statements, utilities, physician bills, insurance bills. Every time a paper copy comes to your US mailbox change it to an online account or call the company and advice them to stop sending you paper catalogs or free magazines and etc. Stop all junk mail or anything that will fill your mail box unnecessarily while you are away unless someone is picking up you mail on a regular basis. Apparently you can’t stop the USPS from putting advertisements in your mailbox but we tape over our mail slot so junk can’t be placed there and stop or forward the important mail to a PO Box while we are away. This is a good idea for everyone to reduce the chance of someone stealing your mail from your mailbox. A locked mailbox is imperative if you can’t check your mail daily.
2) Decide on a plan to have access to your mail. Here are a few options. The plan you choose will depend on who you trust to pick up your mail, how much mail you receive and how urgently you need access to your mail.
- Have a close neighbor or family member get your mail and email important documents to you. You need someone you trust. Remember that email is not secure so don’t forward account numbers, social security numbers, passwords and etc.
- Have a neighbor box all of your mail, leave them prepaid shipping boxes and labels. When full the box of mail can be mailed to a reputable U.S. shipping company that then ships the box to Mexico. Send me an email if you want a company in San Diego for the Baja. This could delay your mail retrieval for 4-6 weeks.
- Have your mail held at the post office for up to 30 days, which is a short term solution at best, if you don’t have important mail. Believe me, you will have something important come in the mail that you didn’t anticipate and you will regret not having someone check your mail.
- Open a post office box and change all of mail to the PO Box and temporarily forward your mail to the PO Box for up to 6 months. If you are gone longer than 6 months then expect your mail to go to “never never land”. This happened to us and it took months to find all of the returned and lost in limbo mail. Highly undesirable option unless you know that you will return within 6 months.
- Open a PO Box and permanently receive all of your mail there. A good option if you travel throughout the year and plan to be out of the country for longer than 6 months. The USPS has an option to send a photo of all envelopes that come to a PO Box called Informed Delivery, which will give you an idea of what needs to be dealt with but not what’s inside the envelope. Expect some surprises that you didn’t anticipate and save the contact information for any company that might send you important mail so you can call and ask, “Hey, what did you send me?”
- In my opinion the best option is to pay a mail service company to deal securely with your mail. Traveling Mail has a good reputation with expats and is inexpensive. They give you a physical address in the location of your choosing. I like this full service solution the best because you can see a scanned envelope and then decide if you want the contents security emailed to you or deposited if it’s a check or shredded. There’s no surprises and no need to burden a friend or family member with retrieving your mail. This is an affiliate link but doesn’t cost you any additional fees.
Follow me by email to receive more helpful tips for Mexican Snowbirds and expats.
Pin it for reference, Mexican Snowbirds, Dealing with Mail.
Let me start by saying I object to calling anything or anyone FatHead but this pizza crust made with cheese and almond flour is a low carb replacement for high carb pizza crust and the name has stuck, recognizing the original creator, despite many variations. […]
Jalapeño Poppers Deconstructed, Easy Low Carb Appetizers are easy to make with none of the fuss of traditional jalapeño poppers but all of the flavor. Mmmmm, cheese, bacon, jalapeño, and olives. Oh my! Caution food porn ahead. I love every type of jalapeño popper, bacon […]
Prepare this Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup on the weekend and freeze it for later or if you have the time you can make it in the morning and toss it in the Instant Pot or a slow cooker. Either way you return to a delicious soup in the evening. You can cook this recipe on the stove top without a slow cooker, simmer for 40 minutes.
I made a double batch and froze one batch for later.
If you freeze a batch then thaw the meal overnight in the refrigerator and dump it into the Instant pot on the slow cooker setting in the morning with a 6 cups of broth or chicken stock. I use generous tablespoons full of spices every time I use the slow cooker because the spices mellow after a few hours or simmering. I want to taste all of those fragrant Mexican spices.
Serve Instant Pot chicken tortilla soup with tortilla strips, cilantro, sour cream or la creme, diced avocado, crumbled cotija or shredded cheddar cheese and lime wedges.
A Weight Watcher’s friendly meal, but use fat free sour cream (not a fan) and go easy on the cheese and tortilla strips. The soup is loaded with vegetables, fiber and flavor. Soup fills you up faster than tacos!
Paleo diets exclude legumes, the pinto beans, but a real food diet would welcome them. In my opinion legumes are an inexpensive, healthy source of protein and fiber so I include them in my lower carbohydrate real food diet.
Vegetarians and vegans can modify this recipe by leaving out the chicken and using vegetable broth. The spicy soup and vegetables are the best part of this recipe anyway.
Instant Pot Chicken Tortilla Soup
An Instant Pot recipe that can be made in a slow cooker or simmered on the stove top. Easy, healthy real Mexican flavored soup loaded with vegetables and fiber. Double the recipe and freeze 1/2 before cooking for a ready to cook slow cooker dinner.
- 6 cups low sodium chicken broth or stock
- 1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts and/or thighs
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans substitute kidney or black beans
- 14 ounces fire roasted tomatoes 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes
- 14 ounces canned fire roasted tomatoes substitute 2 cups fresh
- 1 cup diced onion
- 1 cup corn kernals frozen, fresh or canned
- 1 cup sliced fresh carrots
- 1 cup sweet peppers, poblano or bell pepper
- 1 cup chopped cilantro divided, 1/2 cup cooked, 1/2 cup raw to serve
- 3 cloves garlic minced 1 tablespoon dried
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 avocado
- 1 cup crisp corn tortilla strips or tortilla chips crushed
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 fresh lime
- 1/2 cup crumbled cojita cheese substitute any cheese
Sauté onions and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil until soft on the sauté setting. Add remaining ingredients and use the slow cooker low setting for 6-8 hours or high setting for 4 hours.
Serve with diced avocado, tortilla strips or chips crushed, additional chopped cilantro, sour cream or la creme, and lime wedges.
To freeze this before cooking as part of a weekly meal prep, combine all soup ingredients except canned tomatoes and broth. Let the meal thaw overnight in the refrigerator and toss into the Instant Pot in the morning with the canned tomatoes and broth. To cook this on the stove top, simmer 40 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
Pin it for later. You might like my Pinterest Board, Instant Pot Mexican Recipes.
This chili spiced sheet pan pork tenderloin, apples and brussels sprouts would be a guest worthy, easy meal. All the work is done in advance and the clean up is a breeze. A chili rub on the pork and brussels sprouts pairs well with sweet […]
Sheet Pan Chipotle Chicken Fajitas, an easy weeknight family meal. Try it tonight. I am loving sheet pan meals. Once the weather turns hot in Baja, I will abandon the oven meals, but they’re perfect for autumn days in Nevada. These sheet pan chipotle […]
Host a Mexican tapas party to celebrate being back on the Baja.
Let’s get together.
Ideas for hosting your own tapas party
Make it a potluck
You could suggest a small bite category or theme to each guest or be surprised when your friends intuitively bring a variety of dishes with no predetermined theme. I think potlucks so are magical because they always come together beautifully.
I’m taking my tapas party on the road to Fiesta Friday, my favorite virtual potluck. The cohosts this week are Petra @ Food Eat Love and Vanitha @ Curry and Vanilla.
Do everything yourself
I like to include a meat or meat substitute appetizer, a seafood dish, crisp crudités – carrots, jicama, cucumbers, a creamy dip like hummus, lettuce cup salads, a cheese course and fruit for dessert. Serve Mexican wines and/or a tequila specialty drink. Always have a non-alcohol beverage available, make it special. Here are a few ideas for mocktails.
A few ides to try
Peel and eat shrimp with citrus ponzu:
Boil and chill fresh shrimp. Mix together orange juice, lime juice, fresh basil and soy sauce for dipping.
Fruits and veggies:
Slice jicama and melon, arrange on a platter, add a squeeze of lime and a dusting of chili powder. Watermelon slices pair well with spicy foods too.
Thread mozzarella cheese onto toothpicks with fresh basil and cherry tomatoes , drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. An easy salad alternative.
Broiled Parmesan artichokes: Wrap water packed or oil package artichoke hearts with serrano jamon, sprinkle with Parmesan or aged cotija cheese and broil until golden brown.
Ideas from the Web
You might like my Pinterest page “Tapas” where I’ve organized and saved recipes for small bites and traditional Spanish tapas.
Gastroteca Azul, a quick restaurant review.
We have a new upscale Mediterranean restaurant in my village, Gastroteca Azul. The chef, Mario Lopez is using local ingredients, inventive preparations and engaging flavors to create a gourmet experience in Loreto Bay, Mexico. I have to say that the best meals I’ve eaten outside of my kitchen have been at Azul. The wine list is delicious and pairs well with the menu. I never miss out on his amazing desserts. Azul is my go to restaurant for date night and to impress my out of town guests.
I confess, I’m picky. Don’t bury my food in melted cheese, rich cream sauce or overwhelming salsa. Give me fresh fruits and vegetables, lean meats and/or seafood and don’t skimp on the flavor. I thrive on a Baja-Mediterranean style diet with real food and an abundance of fruits, veggies and seafood. Chef Mario understands healthy food and it’s apparent in every meal he creates.
Finally the recipe!
I have openly stolen and re-created Chef Mario’s Chorizo y Champiñones appetizer. Never fear, I always tell him when I see him at the Sunday produce market that I’m stealing his ideas. I’m also free with my newest recipes ☺️. I haven’t seen any of my genius recipes on the menu yet but I remain hopeful. Ha Ha The Chef uses portobello mushrooms and a dash of sherry. I added scallions and cilantro for a fresh green flavor. Adjust the herbs to your taste.
You can make this simple Mexican tapas recipe with any readily available spicy meat. For example: Spanish or Mexican chorizo, any flavor of spicy sausage or vegan chorizo for vegetarians. I love the mushrooms but you could substitute carrots or bell pepper to create an equally delicious topping. I have used this topping as a taco filling, with tortilla chips and on sliced baguette.
Chorizo and Mushroom Tapas
Mushrooms mingle with spicy Mexican chorizo for a perfect tapas on baguette slices or tortillas. Use as a taco or tostada filling. A fiesta in your mouth.
- 4 ounces chorizo, either ground texture or firm Spanish style chopped.
- 1 pound of mushrooms, any variety
- 1/4 cup sliced scallions, green only
- 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
- Sliced baguette
- Step 1 Brown chorizo and drain any oil. Add rough chopped mushrooms and simmer on medium heat until the mushrooms are soft and have released their water. Stir in scallions and cilantro just before serving.
Check out my Pinterest Board, Tapas for more great ideas.
Try this easy Mexican Corn, Chic Pea Salad as a vegan main course or a side dish to any meal. Perfect for #MeatlessMondays. Healthy and inexpensive protein source. I cook chic peas most weeks in Baja. I haven’t seen canned chic peas and I prefer […]