Icebox Insider: Flor Jamaica, Hot Peppers and Sauces, and Peanut Butter for the Hubby

You can learn a lot about a person from what's in their refrigerator -- and get some inspiration for stocking your own, too.

This past spring, Jacob Katel started looking in interesting people's refrigerators and found... well... some interesting things.  We're picking up where he left off with a new series: Icebox Insider.

First up, who is the owner of a fridge chock-full of fresh chile poblano, jalapeño, Tabasco of every kind, light sour cream, peanut butter (hint: it's a favorite of her hubby, Tomas Avazian,) and Mission yellow corn tortillas?

This icebox owner is Que Sabor host Maggie Jimenez, who has a love of home cooking and

traditional Mexican cuisine.  With a full house that includes two daughters, a husband of Armenian descent, an adorable shitsu pup, and always a house guest or two, one can never be too prepared when it comes to the grocery list. This refrigerator delivers the goods, numerous and diverse!

"I love to cook very homemade Mexican dishes," she explains.  "I respect recipes as they are."


named best dressed for the People en Español by the top fashion critic in

Hispanic entertainment, recently invited us for a look inside her LG. 

After a refreshing greeting of cranberry- and pomegranate-tasting hibiscus tea, we inquired about her shopping routine.  There are the obligatory trips every two days or so to Publix or Whole Foods, but she has an even better source for traditional products like this.

"They arrive like gypsies," she jokes, speaking of her mother and four sisters.  "The whole family brings me everything from Mexico when they visit!"

Here's the dossier:

The Box: LG three "French Door" Refrigerator with Ice and Water Dispenser (24.7 Cu.Ft.) featuring contoured doors, hidden hinges, and recessed LED lighting. It also comes with an integrated ice and water dispenser

and a 4-compartment crisper with humidity-controlled drawers.

The Sauces: Tons of Tabasco -- including original and chipotle -- are a staple of the chile shelf. ("Of course, I'm from Mexico," she shares. "And my husband loves chile more than me!") There's also Spanish and Chinese hot sauces...  Even buffalo sauce for chicken!

The Produce: Green is queen.  She takes poblano chiles and prepares them "rajas," or roasted, stuffed with corn, cilantro, and Chihuahua cheese.  Very traditional, very tasty.  Then there's zucchini, jalapeño and bell peppers, limes, avocados, lettuces, chayote, prickly pear cactus, shredded cabbage, red onion, carrots, tomatoes, and portobello mushrooms.  For fruit, there's fresh strawberries. If you can grow it, it's in the crisper!

The Proteins:  Chicken, chicken, chicken.  Paola, her youngest,

like any kid, loves chicken nuggets.  Elder daughter Nicole, grew out

of her picky eater stage, and now enjoys tacos de pollo.  Dairy is huge

in this household.  Greek and American yogurts, and gouda, fontina,

and smoked mozzarella cheeses... Sour cream is obligatory. Jimenez prefers light

to regular.

The Beverages: Lot of juices including orange, lemonade, and citrus punch, as well as Bolthouse Farms vanilla chai tea.  There's Mexican beer of course, like Corona and Modelo.

The Prepared and Packaged Foods:
Fresh pico de gallo and black beans are staples in this refrigerator, as are boiled pastas, like penne, awaiting easy saucing for the kids. Mission yellow corn tortillas, whole wheat bread, and pita represent for the grains...

To see Jimenez in action on Que Sabor and for recipes (en Español) including many of the ingredients above, click here.

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Jackie Sayet