Cinco de Mayo will be here in 2 hours or earlier for East Coasters. Here are a few recipes you can use for your Celebrations tomorrow.
We will start with Appetizers including Salsas and conclude with Rice, Empanadas and Lemonade.
Mango Salsa which makes use of fresh Mangoes, Limes, Red Bell Peppers and Jalapenos if you wish.
Nachos – start with good quality chips, Cheese Sauce with Jalapenos (if desired) and serve with Salsa and Guacamole.
Salsa Cruda – incorporates diced fresh Tomatoes, Jalapenos or Serranos, Cilantro, Lime Juice and a little Salt.
Beef Empanadas are more traditionally an Argentine Dish but they can also be found in Mexican Cooking. The Empanada can be filled with whatever you please – diced Steak or Chicken or Ground Beef along with Tomatoes, Onions, Cheese and maybe some Chilies.
Sparkling Lemonade – we first had this in Acapulco and I have been making Lemonade this way every since. It is delicious, refreshing and a great accompaniment to any meal.
Categories: Beverages, Condiments, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Family Fun, Food Festivals, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Main, Mexican, Tropical, Tropical Food Tags: Appetizers, Avocadoes, Chlies, Cinco de Mayo, family dinner, holiday recipes, kids cooking, Limes, Mexican, National Food Days, Rice, Tomatoes
Below are the directions for the common method of roasting your turkey. Following is the overnight method. I have done the overnight method for over 20 years and the turkey comes out juicy, tender and delicious. An added benefit is that you don’t have to rush to get the turkey in the oven on Thanksgiving morning. One note though, this method is good if you are going to have an early dinner, say by 3 PM. If your Thanksgiving Dinner is going to be in the evening, then follow the traditional method.
Also, most recipes will tell you to roast the turkey with the breast side up – if you do this whatever fat and juices (and there won’t be much) will drip down to the bottom of the bird and into the pan. If you roast your turkey, breast side down, the juices from the dark meat (and there will be plenty) will drip into the breast. Just turn it over 1 hour before completion to brown the skin.
- Remove giblets and wash turkey inside and out.
- Rub with Olive Oil or Butter and a combination of sage, white pepper and paprika (garlic optional), inside and out.
- Stuff if desired. Close the openings to keep stuffing from falling out.
- Truss turkey by tying together the legs and wings.
- Place on roasting rack in pan, breast side down.
- Roast at 325 degrees according to the time table on package.
- One hour before it should be done, remove from the oven and turn the turkey over, breast side up.
- Return to oven and continue roasting until the breast is brown and the turkey is done. (175 degrees on meat thermometer)
- Allow to sit at least half hour before carving. (This will set the juices)
- Follow directions 1 through 5 above.
- Place in oven set to 200 degrees just before going to bed. (Preferably, not before midnight.
- About 1 ½ hours before serving time, increase the oven temperature to 350 degrees and follow steps 7 through 9 above.
Mrs. Cubbison’s Stuffing Mix
Sauté all or some of the following in ¼ lb. Butter:
Diced Onion (at least one)
Several ribs of celery, diced
You can also add a peeled and chopped apple, a little curry powder (about 3 Tbsps.), raisins or nuts and a couple of beaten eggs.
Do not add any liquid as the dressing will absorb moisture from the vegetables and the turkey.
DO NOT PUT THE STUFFING IN THE TURKEY until you are just ready to cook it.
REMOVE ALL THE DRESSING FROM THE TURKEY AFTER IT IS ROASTED. (If the dressing is left in the turkey, food poisoning can result)
Funny that November is recognized as the following Food Month –
- Georgia Pecan Month
- Good Nutrition Month
- National Peanut Butter Lover’s Month
- National Pepper Month
- National Pomegranate Month
- Raisin Bread Month
- Vegan Month
Honoring many types of food, but not of all things the Turkey. Why not? November is Thanksgiving and Turkey is the main highlight of most families dinners on Thanksgiving. So like October which I have declared ‘The Month of the Pumpkin’ I am now declaring November as Turkey Month. Everywhere you go, there are turkeys for sale, Frozen Turkeys, Fresh Turkeys, Heritage Turkeys, already prepared Turkey Dinners, etc.
Before we go any further does anyone know why the Turkey is called the Turkey? What did the Indians call the Wild Turkey that was prevalent when the first Pilgrims came over? Does anyone know? And why did the Europeans call Turkeys, Turkeys? Well it seems that the Europeans thought the Turkeys were related to Guinea Fowl which were transported to Europe via Turkey. Therefore, they called the Wild Bird they found in the New World, Turkeys. That name has stuck to this day.
Benjamin Franklin thought that the Turkey should be the National Bird but the Bald Eagle has and probably always will be the Bird Symbol for the United States. However, three States including Massachusetts have adopted the Turkey as their State Bird.
Most of us will be making or Eating Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner. There are many ways to cook Turkey; Smoking, Frying, Barbecuing but the traditional and most ways to cook Turkey is still to roast it fully packed with Stuffing. But preparing Turkey for Thanksgiving Dinner is not the problem. It’s what to do with the leftovers that presents challenges. The best and probably favorite way is the ‘Turkey Sandwich’. My preference is with Mayonnaise, Pickles and Lettuce. Some like to put Stuffing and Cranberries on their Sandwiches, but whichever way you make it, I would venture to say that the Sandwich is the favorite way to use Turkey Leftovers.
Another use, though probably not usually thought by most people is a Turkey Frittata turkey-frittata/. The Frittata can be made for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner and is a good way to use up those little pieces of Turkey that fall off the bone or crumble from the slices. The Frittata is an omelet with Meat, (Turkey) Vegetables and usually some kind of Cheese. The Frittata is very tasty and a great use for leftover anything, including Turkey.
Another good use for Turkey leftovers are Turkey Croquettes. /turkey-croquettes/ Great for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner the Croquette can be varied to suit your individual taste palette. Either good old American, Italian, Mexican or even Asian. With just one or two additional ingredients the flavors can be easily varied.
One more use for leftover Turkey is the Turkey Pot Pie. turkey-pot-pie/ Delicious and warming in the cooler weather of Fall!
The above are just a few of the things that can be done with Turkey Leftovers. You can probably come up with more ideas on your own.
And don’t forget! November is ‘Turkey Month’!!
Categories: Asian, Breakfast Ideas, Cooking for Everyone, Cooking for Kids, Dinner Ideas, Holiday Ideas, Holiday Meals, Holiday Tidbits, Italian, Leftovers, Lunch Ideas, Main, Mexican, National Food Days Tags: Appetizers, family dinner, holiday recipes, Leftovers, National Food Days, turkey, Turkey Leftovers, Vegetables
Mother’s Day was instituted as an official holiday in the United States in 1908. Since then, it has become a very commercial holiday which is observed with the giving of flowers, gifts and taking Mom out to Brunch, Lunch or Dinner. In addition, Mother’s Day is one of the biggest days for commercial florists with Mother’s Day vying right there with Valentine’s Day as the biggest day for selling and giving flowers.
The United States however, isn’t the only country that has a Mother’s Day. In fact, Mother’s Day goes way back to ancient times. Even though many other countries have long had a day to honor Mother’s many countries have emulated the way in which it is celebrated in the United States. Below is a list of countries and the day on which they observe or celebrate Mother’s Day, starting with the earliest (in the year) and ending with the latest (in the year)
In the United States, the second Sunday in May is designated as Mother’s Day. Of all the Days in the World on which Mother’s Day is observed, the second Sunday in May, by far is observed in more countries than any other. However, there is a Mother’s Day celebrated in almost every month of the year starting in February and ending in December.
The other countries in which Mother’s Day occur on the second Sunday in May are:
Anguilla, Canada, Italy, Philippines, Switzerland, Aruba, Chile, Dominica, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Taiwan, Australia, People’s Republic of China, Ecuador, Japan, Austria, Estonia, Iran, Latvia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Tanganyika, Bahamas, Estonia, Bangladesh, Colombia, Ethiopia, Liechtenstein, Tonga, Barbados, Croatia, Fiji, Macao, Trinidad, Croatia, Cuba, Finland Malaysia, Saint Lucia, Tobago, Belgium, Curacao, Germany, Burma, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Turkey, Belize, Uganda, Bermuda, Cyprus, Gold Coast, Netherlands, Bonaire, Czech Republic, Greece, New Zealand, Samoa, Botswana, Denmark, Grenada, Pakistan, Samoa, Uruguay, Brazil, Papua, new Guinea, Saint Maarten, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Peru,Slovakia, Zambia, Iceland, South Africa, Zimbabwe, India,Africa, Sri Lanka, Suriname.
On a side note I get two Mother’s Day each year as I have two sons and a daughter-in-law living in Thailand and they always observe Thailand’s Mother’s Day, August 12th which is also Queen Sirikit’s Birthday.
For more on Mother’s Day see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mother’s_Day
It is nice to be aware of other people throughout the world and what better way to lelarn about them than to inform ourselves about their cultures than through Holidays and the food associated with them? Every culture in the world has their holidays and customs and food is almost always a part of them. A Holiday or Celebration occurs in almost every month of the year starting with January.
April starts out with a bang on April 1st – ‘April Fool’s Day’ which is not really a Holiday but a day to play harmless pranks on your friends or relatives. It seems that April Fools Day or All Fools Day is observed in many countries around the world and actually goes back to the 14th Century. At least as far as we know!
Another day which is not really a Holiday, but still creates nice thoughts is April 3rd, ‘Find A Rainbow Day’. Wouldn’t this be fun to observe with your children by creating pictures of rainbows or to make food rainbows using vegetables of different colors? This would be a good way to get your children to eat their veggies!
Passover or Pesach begins at sundown on April 6th. Passover is the observance of the Jews Exodus from slavery in Egypt. Because only unleavened bread was eaten during the exodus, Matzos, which is unleavened bread is the only breadstuff eaten during the 8 days of Passover. The Seder which is a meal which includes the reading of the Passover Story and traditional foods which include Matzos, Bitter Herbs, Gefilte Fish and so on. It sometimes takes a little ingenuity to figure out a variety of things to do over the eight days of Passover. To this effect, Matzo Brie or Fried Matzo which is similar to French Toast has always been a popular favorite. Another thing that is fun to do with Matzo is to dip it in chocolate and make it a confection. Matzo and chocolate as unlikey as it seems do really go well together.
Easter is April 8th and even though Easter Eggs and Easter Rabbits really have no relation to the original meaning of Easter, they are still items that Easter is celebrated with, especially for children. The Easter Egg and Easter Rabbit are symbols of Spring and probably go back to Pagan Days when Mother Earth was worshiped. All the Christian religions observe Easter as the Day of Christ’s Resurrection from the dead. Ham is a popular entrée for many Easter Dinners. Another popular items is to bake a break that actually has hard-cooked Eggs wound into the dough before it is baked.
Thursday, April 12, 2012 – Sunday, April 15, 2012. In Thailand, the New Year is celebrated as Songkran, also known as the Water Festival. There is a lot of celebrating done during this time and you have to to be careful if you do not want to get soaking wet as you walk down the street from the water guns that celebrants carry and use.
April 22nd is Earth Day and even though this should happen all year round, more attention is paid to what is happening to our planet. Recycling is encouraged and tree planting occurs. There are many more days in April, not all of them Holidays, but days with special meanings attached.
April 27th is Arbor Day and this day is usually observed with the planting of trees at various locations. It would probably be more advantageous to combine Arbor Day with Earth Day as similar events happen on each of these days.
There are many more holidays around the world in April; most of them are related to the country’s Independence or fallen heroes from past wars. For those who are interested in these days, just check out the internet or your local library and the information will be there.
We could go on and on with April Holidays, but most of us will mainly be interested in the days that relate to us or our culture. If your special day is not mentioned here, please let me know and I will include it next year.
In addition to the above Holidays there are many days that are dedicated to different things, such as National Cheese Day or National Pretzel Day. Almost every day in April is a National Food Day of some sort. For more information on these days keep watch on a daily basis for some interesting tidbits and recipes related to the Food Days.
What better way to observe any Holiday than with food. President’s day is no exception and since President’s Day coincides with Lincoln and Washington’s Birthdays, a dessert to observe each Holiday would be perfect. Lincoln’s Birthday is February 12th and Washington’s is the 22nd of February.
Since Lincoln grew up in a Log Cabin, logs are often associated with the 12th President of the United States and a child’s toy was even named after him. ‘Lincoln Logs’ are and were a favorite childhood toy which helped children develop coordination and creativity. Hopefully, even with the electronic era, they are still being enjoyed by children of all ages.
A great dessert for Lincoln’s Birthday would be a chocolate ‘Lincoln Log’ cake roll. The cake roll is made with a chocolate sponge in a very shallow pan and then rolled in a clean cloth dusted with powdered sugar while it is still warm. Once it has cooled down and ‘imprinted’ the roll shape, you can unroll it and spread a filling such as sweetened whipped cream or ice cream on it and then re-roll it, garnish it and serve or refrigerate until serving time. This dessert is best served the same day it is made, but you can save the leftovers for a day or two in the refrigerator. For the recipe, please see the http://www.sylveeeskitchen.com/recipes/baked-goods/cakes-frostings/lincoln-log-cake/
Cherries are often associated with Washington, not because he cut down the Cherry Tree (he really didn’t), but because he did like Cherries and Cherry Pie was often served at Mt. Vernon, Washington’s home. Another dessert that George Washington liked was trifle, an English dessert. We all know what Cherry Pie tastes like and it is really quite easy to make or you can just purchase one at your local bakery. But think how much fun it would be for you and your children to make something different, such as trifle. Trifle is made with sponge cake, fruit and custard. It can easily be made with purchased sponge cake, canned fruit and an easy to make custard. Or you can go all out and make your own sponge cake and use fresh berries. It is certainly different that the desserts that most of us eat and it is delicious and again, can be a good family cooking project. Try the recipe below and see for yourself.
6 Half Inch Slices Pound Cake ½ cup Toasted, sliced Almonds
4 Tbsps. Seedless Blackberry Jam 1 cup Whipping Cream
1 16 oz. can Fruit Cocktail 2 Tbsps. Powdered Sugar
1 batch Custard Sauce (Recipe below)
- Toast Cake slices under the broiler or in a toaster oven until lightly browned.
- Spread each of 4 slices with 1 Tablespoon of Jam.
- Cut each jam covered slice into 4 pieces; cut the remaining Cake slices into 8 pieces.
- Drain the can of Fruit Cocktail; spoon one fourth of the Fruit over the Cake cubes in each of the dishes.
- Spoon ½ cup of Custard Sauce over the Fruit Cocktail in each dish.
- Sprinkle 2 Tbsps. Toasted Almonds over the Custard in each of the dishes.
- Whip the Cream until soft peaks form; add the Sugar and continue whipping until stiff.
- Spoon the Cream into a pastry bag fitted with a star tip and pipe rosettes on top of the Trifles, or spoon dollops of Cream on top.
Yield: 4 Servings
1 cup Milk 2 Tbsps. Sugar
1 large Egg ¼ tsp. Vanilla
- Heat the Milk until steam starts rising.
- Beat the Egg and the Sugar until well blended; slowly add the Hot Milk to the Egg Mixture.
- Pour the Custard into the top of a double boiler; set the pan over gently simmering water. (Water should not touch the bottom of the top pan)
- Cook the custard, stirring constantly until it coats the back of a metal spoon; remove from the heat immediately and place the pan in a bowl of Ice Water. Stir until the Custard is cool and add the Vanilla. Refrigerate until ready to use.
YIELD – 1 ½ Cups
We all want our children to be well-rounded and aware of other people throughout the world. What better way to introduce your children to the variety of cultures than through Holidays and the food associated with them? Every culture in the world has their holidays and customs and food is almost always a part of them. A Holiday or Celebration occurs in almost every month of the year starting with January.
Chinese New Year’s usually occurs in January although sometimes it does occur in February. This year, 2012, it starts on January 23rd and is the Year of the Dragon. There are 12 Zodiac signs that signify each of 12 years in the Asian Culture. In addition, the Dragon has five different elements that are associated with it and give an added dimension to the Dragon personality. They are Earth, Wind, Fire, Water and Metal.
In February there is Valentines and Groundhog Day. For most of us, Valentines is a day for Romance and anything with hearts on it is usually part of the celebration along with sweets and roses.
March brings in St. Patrick’s Day and Mardi Gras in some cultures throughout the world. Easter also sometimes falls in March, though most of the time it comes in April.
April is the month in which Passover occurs in the Hebrew Calendar and is also usually the month in which Easter occurs. Passover and Easter are usually both around the same time and often overlap each other.
May brings in May Day which is still celebrated in some areas of the world. In Hawaii, May 1st is Lei Day. The second Sunday in May in the United States is Mother’s Day. In Mexico, the 5th of May is celebrated as Cinco de Mayo which is the day that the Mexican Army defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla. May is a wonderful month and is full of flowers and promises of summer to come.
June is the month of weddings and the third Sunday in June is Father’s Day.
July of course is the celebration of the Independence of the United States. Wonderful celebrations occur on the Fourth of July with picnics, festivals and fireworks. Bastille Day which occurs on July 14th in France is also a cause for celebration.
August is a wonderful summer month with vacations, picnics and beach outings. On August 12th in Thailand Mother’s Day is celebrated. The manufacturer’s make T-Shirts which are purchased by many people in Thailand. The theme for these shirts is ‘Love Mom’ and I am fortunate to have several of them which I received from my Thai based son and wife. August 12th has been chosen as Mother’s Day because this is the Queen’s Birthday. Someday when a new Monarch is reigning then Mother’s Day will change accordingly.
September in the United States is Labor Day which for many signifies the end of summer and the beginning of another work or school year. September 16th also Mexican Independence Day. Late September or early October is also the observance of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year and Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement.
October brings in All Hallows Eve or Halloween as it is known in Western Countries. The Day after Halloween is known as the ‘Dia del Muerte” or the Day of the Dead in many Latin based countries.
November brings in Veteran’s Day in the United States and of course Thanksgiving which is represented by Turkey Dinners and the pilgrims who created the first Thanksgiving Day in the United States.
December is probably the month most waited for by many people, especially children. During December we have Chanukah, The Festival of Lights and Christmas and Kwanza.
There are many more holidays celebrated throughout the world and in this series I will do
my best to cover them all. Most holidays are cause for celebration and celebration means food for at least 90% of the holidays or observances throughout the world.
Look monthly for our coverage of current holidays and the food customs that accompany them. The first one to look for will be the Lunar New Year which is observed in most Asian countries and is recognized
even in Western countries.
You can also read about the Year of the Dragon and gain a couple of recipes by going to http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Year-of-the-Dragon&id and reading my article on The Year of The Dragon.
ENTERTAINING FOR CINCO DE MAYO
Cinco de Mayo is the Fifth of May and is a Mexican national Holiday which celebrates the Mexican Victory over the French at Puebla in 1862. Cinco de Mayo is a time for celebration and fiestas throughout Mexico and throughout much of the United States. Cities such as Los Angeles, Phoenix, Chicago and Colorado have Cinco de Mayo Festivals. For those of us who do not live near where these festivities are planned or who like to celebrate at home, Cinco de Mayo is a great time to have your own party, whether it be for family, friends or your children. Your party can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like to make it. Sometimes though, simple can be best. When one tries to be elaborate, many complications can get in the way, so the following paragraphs will be a guide to a simple Cinco de Mayo Celebration at home either in your house or backyard.
Let’sstart with the decorations. The first thing you would want to buy would be the center piece of your party and that is a Pinanta. A pinata is made from paper maiche and comes in many different shapes and is usually filled with candy and other treats. The Mexican Flag is Red, White and Green and much of the Paper Goods that are made for Cinco de Mayo will be made in those colors but there will also be additional varieties that are very colorful. You can keep it simple and purchase solid shades so that leftovers can be used for other parties or you can go all out and buy paper goods that are made specifically for this event. Following is a list of paper goods and other items that you may wish to purchase for a Cinco de Mayo party:
- Tablecloths & Napkins
- Paper or Plastic Plates and Cups
- Cutlery to Match
(these can be made from crepe paper)
Flag (small paper ones for favors or party bags)
- A piñata ]to fill with goodies and for the children to break
- A Punch Bowl
The next item to think about would be the food you serve. A great way to serve food for a large crowd is to have a ‘build your own taco bar’ Purchase or prepare the meat fillings and set them out in warmers or chafing dishes for guests to help themselves. You would also need a variety of condiments. Listed below are suggested fillings for Tacos and Condiments to go along with them.
- Carne Asada (Beef)
- Tomato Salsa
- Carnitas (Pork)
- Shredded Cabbage or Lettuce
- Shredded Cheese
- Diced Tomatoes
Crema (Mexican version of Creme Fraiche)
Grilled Scallions (Green Onions)
Of course you are going to need tortillas for your tacos. Authentic tacos are made with soft shells which you can just steam, microwave or heat up on a hot grill or over a gas flame. If you like crispy shells (best made with corn tortillas) you can do them ahead of time or purchase them already made.
Most of the meat items and condiments can be made or prepared ahead of time. If making the meat items ahead of time, undercook them slightly so that when you reheat them they won’t get overcooked. Shredded Cabbage keeps better than shredded lettuce and is actually more authentic than lettuce. Salsa keeps well for many days, but guacamole is best made right before serving as the avocado has a tendency to darken. Non Alcoholic Beverages such as Virgin Strawberry Margaritas or horchata can be served.
Other Menu Items which you may wish to have are:
- Fruit Salad
- Rice & Beans
Watch our website (Recipe Section) for Mexican Recipes you may wish to try.