4th Annual Magazine Launch Party

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For a pre-Thanksgiving feast, more than 60 students, staff, faculty, administrators, alumni, media communications professionals and guests gathered at the University Center Conference Room A for a Taste of StMU.

Now in its fourth year, the magazine launch party showcased 16 new layout designs and a bountiful buffet of main dishes and desserts.

The winner of the Professionals’ Choice award was Jessica Valles (see magazine), whose partner chef, Beatriz Quesada, made “Watermelon Cake.” The winner of the People’s Choice award was Michelle Kafie (see magazine), whose partner chef, Cindy Kafie, made “Vanilla Cake Pops.”

This year’s menu included tres leches, tiramisu cake, cheesecake, apple crumble, beer-roasted chicken with mashed sweet potatoes, meat and cheese lasagne, Reese’s Peanut Butter chocolate pie, German chocolate cake, monkey bread, rosemary chicken and lemon dressing salad, jambalaya, spaghetti and meatballs, vanilla cake pops, white cheese enchiladas, peanut butter blossoms cookies and watermelon cake.

The graphic design students thank All Events San Antonio, the sponsoring organization, as well as HI Cookery, the Marianist Province of the U.S., Aramark and UC staff, and the St. Mary’s Bookstore for their generosity in supporting this important educational and networking event. See Flickr photo album.

3rd Annual Magazine Launch Party

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The Taste of StMU magazine launch party expanded to a new location with a new sponsor, new donors, a new scholarship, a new university president and two new student design winners for the third annual event on Wednesday, November 28, 2012.

St. Mary’s alumnus Jose Trevino of All Events San Antonio sponsored the launch party, establishing the Taste of StMU scholarship to honor the winner of the “Professionals’ Choice” award.

Rachel Grahmann (see magazine) won the scholarship and Professionals’ Choice award as determined by a committee of professional consultants who work in the fields of graphic design, marketing and food catering. New University President Tom Mengler presented her with a certificate along with a St. Mary’s University bookstore gift card. Her respective “chef,” Kristina Garcia, received a commemorative award plate imprinted with the Taste of StMU logo.

Over 70 alumni, faculty, staff and guests attended the event and voted Nick Canedo’s magazine as the winner of the “People’s Choice” award. He also received a bookstore gift card while his “chef,” Kirsten Acosta, received an apron imprinted with the Taste of StMU logo.

The magazine launch party gave graphic design students the opportunity to showcase what they have learned throughout the semester by editing and creating their own 20-page edition of Taste of StMU magazine, complete with ads, photographs and stories. The chefs featured in their magazines provided the food for the event.

On the menu were banana lumpia, red velvet cupcakes, chocolate chip muffins, chicken fettuccine alfredo, blueberry cheesecake, fideo, Hershey’s chocolate cake and bizcochuelo con durazno.

The event also featured a trio of live jazz musicians on piano, saxophone and bass, and a slideshow was displayed which showcased magazine covers and short videos produced by former students—a number of whom were in attendance.

The graphic design class thanks all those who supported the event. See Flickr photo album.

Doritos Casserole

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Doritos Casserole
Story and Photos by Fernando Armendariz 

It’s a cold winter day in London.

Feeling homesick, St. Mary’s International Relations Major Juls Forbus decides to Skype with her mother; however she stops as she smells the cooking of her flat mates.

Curiously, she enters the kitchen expecting to find a gourmet meal.

To her surprise, she discovers only Doritos and other ingredients.

Forbus, originally from Houston, presently lives in a residence hall on campus and will graduate in December 2011 with her bachelor of arts degree.

While at St. Mary’s, she was extremely active in the Tri-Sigma Sorority, Organization for Conflict Diplomacy and participated in the London Study Abroad Program in fall 2010.

After receiving her degree, she hopes to return to London and study for a master’s degree in international relations; ultimately, she hopes to practice family law.

Forbus chose to attend St. Mary’s due to the funding she was awarded, student-teacher ratio and the sense of community she felt.

“What I like most about St. Mary’s are the deep connections I’ve developed with my peers, teachers and the immense opportunities I’ve been given such as studying abroad,” Forbus says.

After learning about the dish while studying abroad in London, Forbus returned to the U.S., tried the recipe and was pleasantly surprised with its taste and ease of preparation; it quickly became one of her favorites.

When preparing this dish, Forbus suggests, “You can never have too much cheese!”


  • 2 large handfuls of Doritos chips
  • 1/2 c of Hormel pre-made, microwaveable chili meat
  • 1 1/2 c shredded cheese of your preference
  • 1 small sized tomato
  • diced onions (optional)
  • dollop of sour cream (optional)
  • sliced jalapeños (optional)

Warm up Hormel, pre-made, microwaveable chili meat for one minute and let cool. Dice tomato. Lay out the chips so that they completely cover a microwavable plate (may overlap in some areas). Spread chili-meat over the Doritos, creating an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the chili meat and Doritos. Add the diced vegetables (and optional onions) on top of the cheese. Warm nachos in microwave for two minutes or until cheese is melted thoroughly. Add a dollop of sour cream (optional) and serve the nachos while warm. Makes one serving.

Queso Flameado

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Queso Flameado
Story and Photos by Larry Machado 

Kevin Alaniz does not cook often-yet he is an awesome chef, due to his ability to make queso flamed.

He is confident that if anyone were to taste it, they would think he were an awesome chef, too.

About the only thing more puzzling than Alaniz’s mastery of queso flameado is how simple he made it look in its preparation.

Originally from southern Texas, Alaniz comes from a home of educators, where both his parents are involved in teaching at his hometown, Brownsville, Texas.

Alaniz, a junior majoring in communications at St. Mary’s University, also plans on becoming involved in teaching–“the family business” as he calls it–after he graduates.

After high school, Alaniz felt that a small family environment was key in choosing a college which is why he chose St. Mary’s.

Aside from cooking and eating queso flameado, Alaniz’s favorite food is the potato.

He says that he eats and enjoys any type of potato regardless of how it is prepared: fried, baked, mashed or smashed.

Yet, the reason why he chose queso flameado to share is because it is simple to prepare and good to eat–and, most importantly it is a cultural dish with Hispanic ties.

Despite his love for potatoes and his respect for queso flameado, Alaniz interestingly would not select either of these if he were stranded on an island and could only choose one food item to eat for an entire year.

The winner of this battle would be macaroni and cheese. Yes! The ol’ mac and cheese combo.

In fact, mac and cheese wasn’t his first reply to the question, rather, Alaniz asked if Dr. Pepper would count as a food item?

Perhaps this satirical confusion stems from how he views food and the cooking process as a whole.

Alaniz claims that, by nature, he is a very structured and organized person and why he enjoys cooking (when he actually does cook) is because it allows him to break away from his mold of organization.

In fact, one of Alaniz’s most memorable moments involving food–hilariously and ironically–stems from a total lack of structure.

One day when attempting to bake a cake, Alaniz accidentally added a wrong ingredient. Instead of using all-purpose flour, he added powdered sugar.

As a result, “The cake never cooked,” he says.

While this was an embarrassing moment, Alaniz also has some fond memories of cooking as well; some of Alaniz’s most cherished memories involve him and his father making tortillas from scratch using grandma’s recipe.

Alaniz rates his queso flameado four out of five stars and offers the reader this bit of advice when preparing the dish: “Plan on making more because it is so good you won’t be able to stop yourselves from getting seconds.”


  • 1 package of Mexican Chorizo
  • 4 oz of Oaxaca melting cheese
  • 1/2 chile habañero
  • 1/2 onion
  • 1 package of tortillas
  • 1 bushel of fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F. Cook 3 links of chorizo (take out of plastic casing) in an cast iron skillet until browned. Make sure to break apart the chorizo using your cooking spoon, until it looks like ground hamburger meat. (Approximately 3-5 minutes). Remove most of the grease from pan; however, leave a small amount in there. The small amount of leftover grease will be used to sauté the onions and chile habañero in the next step. Slice 1/2 of an onion finely, as well as, 1/2 of a chile habanero and add to the pan with the chorizo and leftover grease. Cook all contents together until both the onions and chile are sauteed, and then remove from flame. Cut the Oaxaca cheese into cubes about 1 inch in size and place into the skillet with the contents. Mix well. Place the cast iron skillet into the oven until contents are bubbling (approximately 5-10 minutes). While waiting for contents to bubble, begin warming up tortillas. Remove contents and serve immediately in tacos preferably using two spoons to scoop up your gooey queso. Makes 6 servings.

Welcome to the Taste of StMU

Welcome/bienvenidos to the official Taste of St. Mary’s University (StMU) blog showcasing the work of graphic design and multimedia students.  We are gradually building an online cookbook as well as a community of students, staff, faculty, family, friends, Marianists, alumni, local businesses, media professionals and foodies through this special project.

Recipes, photos, videos and announcements will be posted hereafter. We encourage you to subscribe to our blog so you can get a Taste of StMU!