Isabel Orozco-Moore is a food blogger and photographer who showcases delicious Mexican food recipes at her blog Isabel Eats. A first-generation Mexican-American, Isabel grew up eating authentic, home-cooked Mexican cuisine every day. It wasn’t until she grew up and moved out, however, that she developed a deep appreciation for the fantastic food she’d eaten daily (and taken for granted). She also became more adventurous, trying dishes that she once refused to give a second shot. Soon, a deep and abiding love affair with Mexican food developed.
We recently sat down with Isabel to talk all things Mexican cuisine and learn more about the recipe she whips up when she’s got a serious craving for a sweet treat.
1. Tell our readers a little bit about your background and how you were first introduced to Mexican cuisine.
I was first introduced to Mexican cuisine by my family. Both of my parents were born in Mexico and immigrated to the U.S. later in life in hopes of building a better future. I grew up eating homemade Mexican food prepared by my Mom and Dad every day. Pinto beans and corn and flour tortillas were everyday staples. Whether it was breakfast, lunch, or dinner, there was always a pot of beans on the stove!
I don’t have a culinary background and am pretty much a self-taught regular home cook. I started the blog as a way to stay connected to my family and my Mexican culture when I was living far from home. It’s become such a fun place for me to document my family’s recipes as well as to share and celebrate all types of Mexican and Mexican-inspired food with people around the world.
2. What is it that you love most about Mexican food?
I love how Mexican food is full of vibrant and bold flavors that are made from very humble and inexpensive ingredients. Corn, fresh and dried chile peppers, tomatoes, garlic, beans, oregano — these are all easy-to-find ingredients, and they’re magically transformed into some of the most robust flavors in the world!
3. What do you think is the secret to fantastic Mexican cuisine?
I think the secret to great Mexican food is using fresh ingredients to add loads of flavor to dishes, as opposed to putting melted cheese on everything like you would typically see in restaurants.
Things like fresh cilantro, lime juice, different types of chile peppers, tomatillos — all of these ingredients can greatly enhance the flavor of so many recipes, especially when roasted!
4. Tell our readers a bit about the recipe you chose and why.
The recipe I’m sharing is for one of my all-time favorite Mexican desserts — Tres Leches Cake! It’s a light sponge cake that is soaked in a mixture of three different types of milk (whole milk, evaporated milk, and sweetened condensed milk) and then topped with fresh whipped cream.
I chose it because it’s a good representation of what I feel like Mexican culture is all about — community and celebration! This cake is typically served at celebrations like quinceñeras, birthdays, baptisms, weddings, graduations, all of them!
Tres Leches Cake
Here are the ingredients for Tres Leches Cake:
For the cake:
cooking spray, olive oil or butter, for greasing
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 large eggs, whites and yolks separated
1 cup granulated sugar, divided
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3/4 cup whole milk, divided
1 16-ounce can sweetened condensed milk
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
For the topping:
1 pint heavy cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon clear vanilla extract
Get the full recipe instructions for Isabel’s Tres Leches Cake.
Mexican Food Recipes
Isabel Eats contains a wide variety of delectable and easy-to-craft Mexican food recipes, from chicken enchiladas to pinto bean soup and sopapillas. Her website also includes a variety of yummy and easy Mexican desserts if you’re jonesing for a sweet treat or need to prepare something for a special occasion. From dulce de leche to fresas con crema and capirotada (Mexican bread pudding), get ready for mouthwatering treats. And if Isabel’s recipe inspires you to dream of travel to Mexico? Check out our Mexico Family Vacation Baja Adventure.