Which Foods are Common for Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Which Foods are Common for Mexico’s Day of the Dead

Mexico welcomes departed souls that come back to earth, at Day of the Dead celebrations. This occurs every year on November 1 and 2nd. Families gather at their homes and cemeteries to remember their relatives. Many Americans have seen Skeletons when reading about the celebration, and automatically think it is Mexico’s version of Halloween, but it is not meant to be scary, it is a time to reflect and honor the deceased.
Many Americans have no idea of how much effort is put into this holiday. Women spend hours organizing flowers for gravesites. Music can be often heard, because families play the deceased favorite songs. Food is a very important part of honoring them.

In homes, families make alters and cover them with flowers and burn incense for the spirits to enjoy. Usually there are photos of the deceased and statues of saints. Also on the table are fruits and vegetables along with other foods that are later given away and eaten. The food is made to please the spirits, so naturally the best foods to make are the ones that the deceased enjoyed the most on earth. Families make the deceased favorite dishes. It is popular to see Moles and Tamales made for the Day of the Dead celebration because they are hard to make dishes and are usually for special occasions.

Breads are common in Day of the Dead celebrations. The breads are sweet and rich with eggs, but they vary in different regions of the country. Bakeries hire extra workers to make more bread during this time. The breads are made into different shapes. Bread that is round shape is the most common, but they can also be shaped as people and animals to represent the deceased.

Sugar Candy skulls are popular amongst children. It is a big treat for them similar to Christmas and Easter candies. Sugar skulls are traditional folk art that is from central and southern Mexico which is used every year to celebrate Day of the Dead. Vendors sell many colorful sugar skulls the week before the celebration. The skulls are made by the sugar being pressed into molds and then dried. Once the skulls are dried, they are decorated with colorful icing and even sometimes with non-edible items such as colorful feathers and sequins. Although the skulls are popular, traditional Halloween candy is now competing with the sugar skulls making the skulls hard to find in the South of Mexico.

Besides the sugar skulls, chocolate is another common favorite. Pumpkin candies can also be found where there are children celebrating the day. It consists of big green Mexican pumpkins that are grown for specifically making the candy.

It takes much planning and hard work to take part in this event. It makes the families proud to remember and honor their family members. If ever in Mexico, try to visit during this time of year. It is beautiful to see how much love and respect people have for their loved ones that have passed away.

What are some Foods Eaten around Easter in Mexico

Foods Eaten Around Easter in Mexico

Mexico has many Easter customs. Many of these customs derived from Spain. These customs vary throughout the different regions and cities. Catholics are forbidden to eat red meat on certain days during Lent, so meals that exclude it are consumed during these times. Dishes that involve fish become popular. The Nopal is also a popular food eaten during this time.

Nopal is a type of cactus that has flat leaves. It is very flexible. Part of it is considered a vegetable, while the other being a fruit. The nopal can be made fresh, canned, or dried. There are many dishes that include nopal. Salads with added shrimp are great when fasting during Lent. Eggs with nopal are common. They can also be put into tacos. Nopal is rich in fiber and vitamins. Romeritos is another vegetable eaten during Lent. It is a green leaf that resembles rosemary. It is made with whole shrimp with a touch of chile sauce or powder.

Naturally since corn is a popular vegetable in many Mexican dishes, it is eaten a lot during Lent. Chacales is a dish made that is dried white corn that is broken into pieces and prepared into a soup. One other vegetable that seems to top all other vegetables in popularity is the Italian squash. The squash is cut and placed in a cloth which is then laid out in the sun until the squash is fully dried. Once it is dry, the squash is fried with tomatoes and onions. Cheese is placed on the top of the vegetables and not served until it the cheese completely melts.

Fish is an easy way to fast from meat during this time of year. It can be prepared in many different ways. A fish soup that is made around this time includes lima beans with the fish in pieces. Shrimp is also eaten. Shrimp can be served raw, or even made into shrimp patties. These patties can be covered with a traditional Lenten sauce called Pipián. Pipián is made of different spices, and also pumpkin seeds.

One of the most well-known desserts served around lent is known as capirotada. Capirotada is a Mexican bread pudding. This pudding varies from home to home. It usually consists of toasted French bread, cheese, milk, butter, peanuts, and raisons. It is soaked in syrup that includes water, brown sugar, cinnamon, and a variety of other ingredients. Another dessert that is popular around Easter time in Mexico is Empanadas. They are turnovers with a flaky crust that is filled with fruit in the middle. Some fruits inside are cherry, and strawberry. They come in a variety of flavors, but the favorites are apricot, apple, and blackberry.

Even though Lent is a time to fast, that doesn’t mean the people doing the fasting cannot enjoy what they eat. There are many more foods that are eaten during this time. Some dishes date back from many centuries ago. It is no surprise as to why these dishes are still popular.

What are some La Quinceanera Foods

What Are Some La Quinceanera Foods

La Quinceanera is a celebration that takes place on a Hispanic girl’s fifteenth Birthday. This is a big event for the young girl and her family. Families are known to save money for the big party. The party involves the girl wearing a special gown usually in the colors of white or pale pink. Music, catered food, and even limousines are common for the event. La Quinceanera is also a spiritual celebration. La Quinceanera is celebrated in Mexico and other South American countries. This celebration signifies the girl’s journey into womanhood.

Food is part of the big celebration. Usually the party is catered so the food may vary from each catering service. This event has been compared to weddings, since it has similarities. This event usually has a fancy cake. The cake is either made by a family member or ordered at from a local bakery. It is usually the same color as the rest of the party decorations. There is also a doll placed at the top. It almost looks similar to a wedding cake. A popular design for La Quinceanera cakes is one that has a staircase that goes from tier to tier. Fourteen dolls, seven on each side, are placed as if they are climbing to the top, where the main Quinceanera doll is. Some cakes even have a fountain that cascades amongst the tiers. Besides cake, other foods that are seen at La Quinceanera include mole, cabrito, arroz, picadillo, and pan de polvo.

Picadillo is a dish that is made with ground beef and can be served alone. It is also a filling that can be used in tamales, and tacos. Cabrito is a roasted goat kid that is about three months of age. It is a regional specialty of the city Monterrey, in Mexico. Cabrito can be served as the main meat for the dinner. Mole is a chocolate sauce that can be added to many different dishes. As for desserts, Arroz is a rich and creamy rice pudding that can often be found at the event. Pan de polvo is also a favorite dessert at the party. It is Mexican shortbread cookies. The cookies contain cinnamon and anise. Party favors are also given to the quests. These may include treats inside of the favors. Mints are popular as they are in wedding favors.

Champagne is served for the toast. Non-alcoholic beverages such as sparkling soda water are served for the under-aged attendees. Sometimes it is encouraged that the young girl tries the alcohol as another rite of passage. Other drinks that are served at the Quinceanera are wine, beer, and hard liquor. These are typical drinks that you would find at wedding receptions.

La Quinceanera has been a celebration for more than 400 years, starting in Latin America. It is a celebration that even United States born Hispanics do, which reminds them on their heritage. It is a time to reflect, while getting a bit teary-eyed, and looking forward to the future. Food at the La Quinceanera is important. These foods are traditional and unique. They add flavor to the already happy event.

BARLEY AND BLACK BEAN BURRITOS

BARLEY AND BLACK BEAN BURRITOS

Makes 4 medium burritos

Burrito mixture

1 15oz can black beans, rinsed and drained

1 jalapeño pepper, quartered lengthwise and diced

1 tomato, diced fine (salsa-like chunks)

1 cup uncooked pearl barley

2 cups vegetable broth

¾ cup frozen corn

5 scallions, chopped

Juice of 1 fresh lime

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

½ tsp ground red pepper

1 garlic clove, minced

Serving

¼ cup chopped cilantro

Soft flour tortillas

Shredded cheddar cheese

Lettuce leaves

Sour cream or yoghurt

Place all ingredients of burrito mixture into slow cooker; stir well. Cover and cook on LOW for 4 to 5 hours. Stir in cilantro.

Heat tortillas, spoon burrito mixture into each and cover with choice of toppings.

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WARM QUINOA SALAD

WARM QUINOA SALAD

1 ½ cup quinoa, rinsed

3 cups water or stock

1 onion, chopped

5 cloves garlic, chopped

¼ cup chopped fresh basil

10 cocktail tomatoes, cut in fours

1 can brown or adzuki beans, rinsed well

4 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp lemon juice

2-3 avocados, diced

sunflower seeds

pepper to taste

Combine rinsed quinoa, water, onion, and garlic in medium casserole and microwave on HIGH for 16 minutes. Allow to rest 5 minutes.

Transfer quinoa to large salad bowl. Add chopped basil, tomatoes, beans, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, 1 Tbsp olive oil and pepper.

Toss avocado in rest of olive oil and lemon juice.

Serve quinoa in salad bowls topped with avocado and a handful of sunflower seeds.

Enjoy!

 

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TABBOULEH YÉ-YÉ

TABBOULEH YÉ-YÉ

1 cup medium bulgur

2 cups boiling water

1 can white beans, rinsed and drained

1 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped

cherry tomatoes, halved

1 English cucumber, diced

½ red onion, diced

Vinaigrette

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

juice of 1 lemon

3 cloves garlic, crushed

several dashes of Tabasco sauce

Put bulgur in a casserole, add boiling water and cover for 15 minutes.

You may heat the casserole on lowest setting to help bulgur absorb all the water.

In a large salad bowl, mix all the salad ingredients.

Add bulgur and vinaigrette. Toss and serve.

You may top with crumbled feta cheese.

 

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QUINOA SALAD WITH BOCCONCINI AND OREGANO

 

Serves 5-6

2 cups (dry weight) quinoa

2 zucchini, diced

Grape tomatoes, halved (cherry tomatoes are a bit too big)

Red onion, diced

½ – 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed

Red and yellow bell peppers, diced

Bocconcini cheese, diced into pieces (mozzarella works as an alternative)

Vinaigrette

Balsamic vinegar

Extra virgin olive oil

Spoonful of Dijon mustard

Oregano (more for fresh, less for dried)

Minced garlic

Salt & black pepper

Cook quinoa well beforehand so that it has time to cool. Thaw out the peas at the same time.

Chop everything and toss into a bowl. Mix vinaigrette in a small bowl or mixer, then combine with salad. Throw cheese on top, combine.

Eat.

 

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POTATO, APPLE, & KALE SALAD

 

Makes 4 sides or 2 mains

(via GoodFood)

3 celery stalks

½ bunch of kale

2-4 multicolour baby potatoes

1-2 apples

3 Tbsp whole grain mustard

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

6 Tbsp olive oil

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.

Medium dice the potatoes; medium dice the apples and toss with some vinegar to prevent browning. Small dice the celery, peel & mince the shallot.

Remove & discard the kale stems; roughly chop the leaves.

In a bowl, combine as much of the shallot as you’d like with the mustard and remaining vinegar. Whisk in olive oil until well combined; season with S&P to taste.

Add the potatoes to the pot of boiling water and cook, around 15 minutes, until tender when pierced with a fork. Drain thoroughly and transfer to a large bowl.

Add the apples, celery, kale, and as much of the vinaigrette as you’d like. Toss thoroughly to combine.

 

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PANZANELLA

PANZANELLA

1 crusty baguette, diced and dried overnight

6 slices bacon, chopped

6 ripe tomatoes, chopped

1 yellow pepper, diced

1 small white onion, chopped fine

2 Tbsp shredded basil leaves

1/3 cup olive oil

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, crushed

In a large frying pan, fry bacon till crisp and set aside.

Toss cubed baguette in the remaining bacon drippings and fry for 2 or 3 minutes, set aside.

Mix the tomatoes, pepper, onion and basil in a large salad bowl.

Add the bread cubes and mix lightly.

Combine the olive oil, vinegar and garlic.

Dress the salad with the vinaigrette and toss well.

Garnish servings with the reserved bacon.

 

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GREEK SALAD WITH ORZO

GREEK SALAD WITH ORZO

1 cup of orzo

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tbsp dijon mustard

¼ cup fresh mint leaves, chopped (1 ½ tbsp dried)

2 tbsp dried oregano

1 tbsp dried thyme leaves

½ tbsp black pepper

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 small red onion, chopped

1 medium cucumber, unpeeled, diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 cup pitted black olives, sliced

½ lb. Feta or seasoned tofu, crumbled

1 can chickpeas

Cook orzo as per instructions. I tend to bring a pot of water, covered, to boil, then turn off the heat and add the pasta, and cover again. Stir every 5 minutes (or whenever the lid starts dancing), until al dente. Drain, and run cool water over the pasta.

Mix oil, vinegar, mustard, and herbs/spices in a measuring cup. Adjust to taste.

Combine orzo, tomatoes, onions, cucumber, garlic, olives, Feta/tofu, and chickpeas in a large pot.

Mix vinaigrette into orzo & other main ingredients. Stir well, and serve.

Makes approx. 4 servings. I tend to add a lot more olive oil than indicated (to coat the pasta and other ingredients), as well as much more garlic than legally required (because I can). Suffice it to say, the vinaigrette is to taste.

 

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