Usando el Horno

Since it’s the holiday seasons, I’ve had the urge to bake quite a bit. I mean, who can resist making something delicious when bombarded with pictures of Christmas sweets and treats on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest?! The thing is… it is not common to actually use the oven. Maybe because it’s too hot? Maybe because there is a panadería  on every corner?



Me, with the final product of granola!

When using the oven for the first time at a friend’s house, I had the wisdom to check the oven before turning it on. Lucky that Jess and I checked because we found a storage unit of pots, pans, and even plastics inside the oven. After removing said items, we made granola and black bean brownies that night with total success!


Meet Jessica – amiga and mastermind behind Among the Stone Cactuses blog




Anyway, back to baking… As most of you probably know is that I have been gluten-free for almost five years. Wow that makes me feel old. I do not have Celiac’s Disease, since my body is slowly but surely growing out of the sensitivity (yes, true story as I can now have occasional bread without negative reactions!). I have been baking and cooking gluten-free since January 2008 which means that  I have tried endless amounts of mixes and recipes. Pretty sure I have bought every kind of expensive flour there is in this world. My favorite cookbook was given to me by my brother-in-law and his wife and since then has forever transformed my idea of baking gluten-free; it does not have to be expensive, unhealthy or complicated. For me, I have settled on oat, almond, and corn flours as the most economic and best tasting flours available.  I’d like to add amaranth flour to that list once I work with it some more. Amaranth is not only healthy, but also really available here in Mexico.


So not only do I bake gluten-free, but another challenge was thrown my way when we moved from sea-level Seattle to about 7,000 ft in Puebla. I have no experience with baking in high altitude as I have lived my whole life on the West Coast. My baking sure isn’t perfect, but here are some tips I learned along the way…


  • Add 4 tbsp of liquid to the recipe
  • Add 25°F to baking tempurature
  • Reduce baking powder by 1/4 tsp
  • Decrease baking time by 5-8 mins (for every 30 mins of baking)


Hope this helps someone out there in blogland! I am going to start posting some recipes as I come along them. Until then, you can enjoy this wonderful blog, Cooking in Mexico!


Current bug bites: 0!!

Days till Navidad: 3!!

Today’s high temp: 70!!


Feliz Navidad,

Chelsea Beth


PS- If you are late on your Christmas cards ( like I am) and are sending out New Years cards, our address can be found here.


2 thoughts on “Usando el Horno

  1. Hi Chelsea and Neal.

    Feliz Navidad. I love reading your blogs, and it sounds like you are really enjoying yourselves in Mexico.

    We’re glad to hear you are both healthy again. I’m sure cooking at 7000′ has been quite a challenge, Chelsea. It’s a good thing you checked the oven before you turned it on, as those plastic containers would have left quite a mess.

    Christmas here will be very quiet for us. Your Grandpa’s health isn’t the greatest, so he’s not up to doing anything except sit in his recliner, watching TV, sleeping, and playing Free Cell on the computer.

    Love to you both.

    Grandma and Grandpa O

  2. Pingback: Paquete de Texas con Amor | Go Team Jander!

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