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From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa has been awarded the honor of "WINNER" in the "Cookbooks: International" category of the 2014 International Book Awards!


Scroll down to read what others are saying about From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa and don't forget to leave your own review.   Thank you!

Reviews – why would you take the time to write one?

Suppose you just finished a book that was well written, kept you engrossed in the pages and you hated for it to end.  You are excited about the book and want to pass that information on to your friends: 1. that you did like the book; 2. why you liked the book.  How many of us have told our friends, “I am reading a wonderful book, I bet you would like it too”.  A review passes on your information to others.

From an author's point of view, I get excited reading that you liked my book.  It makes me feel sort of 'warm and fuzzy'.  So much time goes into researching and writing a book that we want some feedback.  Of course, we really want positive feedback.  This positive feedback, in the form of a review, helps us get our book out there to the public.  Meaning … we sell more books.  It also lets us know that our time was not wasted; that we produced a good product. 

In my case, selling more books means giving more to the cooks represented in From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa. 

Therefore, I ask you, if you have read this book, please leave a 'review' on this blog in the comments section on any page.  If you can give it a 5 star rating, then please leave a review on  You need not have purchased the book on Amazon, just have an account with them. 

Thank you!!! 


Carlos Santiago March 1, 2013 at 6:16 PM
A cookbook I can finally use on a daily basis, the recipes are fast and I don't have to spend a lot of money or time in the kitchen. Each recipe either has a story or description so I can decide whether to cook it or not. I love just reading the introductions to each recipe. She adds humor and real life to Mexican cooking. The cooks in the book are inspirations themselves and I enjoy reading their stories too. I am thrilled with this book, and making it part of my Christmas gift giving. Thanks Karina!

Maria Campo (Mary Field)  March 1, 2013 at 6:19 PM
I received this book yesterday and couldn't put it down...the "real life" way this book is written is beyond words. The true stories of the individual cooks in this book are an interesting lesson for all of us. I can't wait to try the recipes, thankyou so much for this cookbook!!! 

With “From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa,” Karina Ann Betlem has created a totally unique, very entertaining book that is described as a cookbook, but is so much more. The author is American-born but has lived in Mexico with her family for the past three years in a place called Colonia Francisco Villa, commonly known as Pancho Villa. After sampling the incredibly tasty meals of the area, she had the interesting idea to approach seventeen residents (all outstanding cooks) of Pancho Villa and pick their brains for authentic Mexican recipes that have been handed down for generations. Each section begins with an entertaining biography of the cook, followed by several of their best recipes. The recipes are set forth in easy-to-understand language that even a not very talented cook like the writer of this review can understand. You can almost taste the great flavor of the beef/chicken/seafood dishes and mouth-watering desserts as you read over the recipes. Best of all, the ingredients are inexpensive but nutritious items that can be easily found in any supermarket, including those in America. Some of my favorite recipes are special shrimp in garlic sauce, beef with coke (with the ingredients including potatoes, olives, chiles, black pepper, carrots, and Coca-Cola!), and a dessert called Mango Snow. In addition to the recipes, the author’s positive personality, friendship with the locals, and love for the area and its food shine through. And there are even many pictures of the smiling cooks in their kitchens, as well as some of the town, that give this book its own special flavor. An outstanding effort. I recommend it most highly

What an amazing cookbook!! The recipes are so easy to follow and most everything can be purchased within the States.
I love that Karina has included tidbits about each of her featured cooks, herself, and her own family. It makes you feel as though you were in the kitchen with them when they made each of their creations and as she wrote. I have discovered that for everything I have tried, they do come out the way that I think they should. There isn't any of that second guessing like most of us have to do when we try something from somewhere and think 'ewww is it suppose to do that'? Not here. Awesome recipes. Awesome stories. Awesome author! Can hardly wait for the next one! Thank you Karina, for taking me along on your journey through Mexico and Mexican cooking! 

I received your book as gift and began reading it the same day. I am Mexican, a single mother of 2 teenagers and have a full time job, working 12 hours per day. I am impressed and excited that you have many recipes that are easy and are traditional old-fashioned home cooking. I have made many of the recipes in just the 3 weeks I have had the book. I no longer need to stop on the way home at 8:00 in the evening to buy a prepared meal for my kids. We all appreciate your book, Karina, and we are eating much healthier. Gracias

I have just about every cookbook imaginable and so of course, I needed to buy this one. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When I got the book, the cover was beautiful, so I started flipping through it. I didn't get very far and decided I needed to start at the beginning. I read it all afternoon, forgetting I needed to prepare dinner for my family. I had read a recipe earlier called Chicken with Slices of Mushrooms and since I had all those ingredients (actually not many ingredients at all) I decided to test it out. Karina said it was easy, fast and I wanted to give it a try to see if that was really true. Well, it WAS! My family devoured the chicken and I have earmarked it to make again soon. Most cookbooks are about just the recipes, but From the Kitchens of Pancho Villa is also about the people. I felt as if I was getting to know these cooks that she obviously cares very deeply for. Their individual stories are inspiring and many times humorous. I will no longer use my pressure cooker without thinking of the lid embedded in the ceiling! As I said before, I had no idea what I was getting myself into, well, I will tell you. I keep this book in my kitchen and I will not be happy until I have made every recipe in it! I am going to give this cookbook to everyone on my birthday list this year, and if they don't already have it on their own, my Christmas list too. Thank you Karina for one of the best cookbooks in my collection - I will use it well. 

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