Mexican Food : The treat known as Amaranto


Amaranto is a traditional Mexican candy also know as “Alegría” (happiness, joy, cheer).  A treat who’s ingredients &  manufacturing process have a long standing  history. The candy’s main ingredient is the intensely nutritious grain knows as amaranth, it is so nutritious than it surpass both rice & wheat. Amaranth was a staple food of the Aztecs.  Alegría candy bars contain : nuts, pepitas(pumpkin seeds), rasins, & the amaranth grain  which are “glued” together with pilloncillo(a type of unrefined sugar that usually comes in cones, known to some as “Mexican brown sugar”)

MORE INFO :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pepita

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panela

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amaranth

Night of the Bicentennial Celebrations Mexico (Videos)


The “Colossus” being raised. The “Colossus” is a statute representing every Mexican.

In case you missed the awesome Bicentennial party, you can get the inside scoop and find pics & vids of the extraordinary celebration at http://www.bicentenario.gob.mx/

Mex Bicentennial Flickr channel

http://www.flickr.com/photos/53924008@N06

Mexican National Anthem:Indigenous Languages Versions


Check it out!  Just got this awesome link from @Bicentenario the official twitter page for Mexico’s Bicentenial 2010. The link= a webpage with Audio of versions of the Mexican National Anthem sung in Mexican Indigenous languages!  Is that too cool or what?!  Ever heard any Mexican indigenous languages? Curious to find out what they sound like? You can by clicking this link http://www.inali.gob.mx/bicen/himno_nacional_lenguas.html

The page has versions of the National Anthem sung in : Náhuatl from Central Veracruz , Purépecha, &  Cucapá, among  others.

For those unfamiliar with the Mexican national anthem here’s a video so you can compare the version in Spanish to those in the Mexican indigenous languages. Also lyrics in both Eng & Span can be found at : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himno_Nacional_Mexicano


Mexican Beauties


Check out this beautiful video, it is the intro to Mexican TV show: “Lo que Callamos Las Mujeres” = The secrets we Women Keep. It’s a long running series that deals with women’s issues, and experiences . Each day a new short drama along with its main character is introduced. Sometimes the stories are sad, serious, and other times they’re lighthearted, fun, and romantic. The show’s storytelling serves as  a form of  commentary on important social issues. The show’s purpose is not only to entertain, but to diffuse information on important topics,to incite consideration and action in its viewers. Fun fact about the show: Many of the contestants from “La Academia”= Mexico’s American Idolesque show become cast members of  “Lo Que Callamos  Las Mujeres.”  This is one of the reasons why the show’s popular. Fans of La Academia like to see their favorite singers act. In conclusion, it’s a really a cool show. If  you are interested, you can watch it on TV on the Azteca America network or online, there’s some videos on YouTube just search “Lo que Callamos Las Mujeres”

Spanish:Valentine’s Day Phrases


In Spanish Valentine’s day has a few names:
Dia de los enamorados= Lovers’ day
Dia del amor y la amistad= Day of love & friendship
El Dia de San Valentin= Saint Valentine’s day

For all my fellow incurable romantics out there here’s a video of phrases for U to have some fun romancing in Spanish! Enjoy learning something new just for fun!  Also really handy if U have someone that you’d like to impress by whispering sweet nothings to in Spanish. I’m not up on the rules of indicating pronunciation like the dictionary does, so instead I used spellings that use sounds found in English to indicate something close to what the words should sound like. Of course if you want to really perfect them & get an authentic sound, find a Spanish speaking friend to go over them with you.  But, even if the pronunciation is a teeny weeny bit off, at least you’re somewhere in the ball park & trust me whoever you are trying to romance will get the message. They’ll probably find an accent : cute, and interesting.  ENJOYNESS MUCH!!♥♥♥♥♥

http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xc8atn_vday-spanish2_lifestyle

*oops I got distracted and said “see-eh-loh” = sky instead of “Loo-nah”= moon for I’d bring down the moon & stars for you. Sorry.

It’s all about Serenades!!♥♥♥♥


SOOO ROMANTIC!! A  practice that is not only very popular in Mexico, but in every Spanish speaking country I think… Is that of romantic serenatas=serenades. In these countries serenades are preformed for: birthdays, anniversaries, just to say I love you, say I’m sorry, to propose marriage, or to confess ur love/ask someone to be ur guy or girl.  A classic serenade is preformed with a  Mariachi band, a guitar trio or soloist, also it is customary to wake  ur loved one with your song at dawn. As time goes on the tradition has taken on new forms, but I’m so happy that it’s still alive & well. It’s a very: cool,beautiful, special part of our culture, that I’m very proud of. Modern serenades: Now a days people will opt for pop music,Rnb, punk, rock, Banda music..etc for serenades. Another modern take on the serenade is that of surprising the recipient in public places during the day. A very common question about serenades “What about the neighbors?” With a classic serenade, I guess there might be a neighbor or two that gets annoyed with music so early in the morning, but for the most part it’s a well accepted and embraced tradition enjoyed by almost everyone. I mean come on, you’d have to be  a total scrooge to make a fuss about it 🙄 A serenata makes those directly involved & those around them happy, makes them feel warm inside, brings out the romantic in everyone, love is always beautiful, it’s just a really cool thing to behold. The neighbors or whoever is around will end up cheering the person giving the serenade on & root for the girl to come out. Once the couple is together on lookers will chant “Beso, beso, beso!”= a Kiss,a kiss, a kiss! Really cool right?! If you get a serenade it’s one of the most wonderful gifts u can receive. A pro serenata(hired musicians) is not cheap lol, if u decide to play and sing by yourself or get friends into the act it takes a lot of hard work, and earnest effort. So it’s really touching that someone would care so much as to prepare such an awesome surprise for you. With the Valentine’s day holiday coming up I wanted to take this post as an oportunity to honor this kickbutt tradition & share it with those who are new to it.

Enjoy these awesome serenade vids posted by crazy romantics on YouTube.

*Serenade scene from popular novela “Rebelde” (Rebel) Although the guys went all out,with spectacular fireworks & hired a full mariachi band… They had messed up big time, & the girls were still way ticked off at them, so their serenade efforts were shot down. 😳

*Cheating! Come on dude u gotta sing! Just going straight for the sugar 😛 He’s got some really cool friends to hook him up like that. The heart costumes are just too adorable.

A 60’s rock theme serenade. Very cool & original 8)

Althought it’s kinda embarrassing to be ambushed @ work or school, it’s all good, cuz  it’s so flattering to be in the spotlight & have witnesses that turn green with envy @ ur totally cool romantic moment. :mrgreen: Ooh loving the flower petals and votive candles on the desk, makes for a very romantic ambiance.

Ummm the girl did not come out during this serenade. Well… U win some, u loose some. A+ for effort though guys ❗ It really takes dedication to bring out your whole set up & rock out in the wee hour of the morning.

When u decide to go Banda with ur serenade, it quickly evolves into a party!! 😀 Lmao the camera’s shaky cuz the camera guy was dancing along.

Mexico’s April Fools day in December


In Mexico Dec 28 is “Dia de los Santos Inocentes”=Day of the Innocent Saints. On this day the Catholic church remembers the child saints mentioned in the bible who were killed in Bethlehem during Herod’s killing of children in order to prevent  Jesus Christ from becoming King.

In the middle ages there was also  people who celebrated a pagan holiday “Feast of Fools” along the way both merged & in order to celebrate innocence of the children who soul’s where called to heaven & Herod’s foolishness in his thinking he had prevented Christ’s reign people celebrate “Dia de los Innocentes” in a manner very similar to April Fools.

On this day news papers print  funny fake news, friends play pranks on each other, such as the placing of a little white paper doll indicating the “innocence” of the person marked.  Another  very popular way to joke on this day  is the “borrowing trick.”  If you lend something to someone everyone knows that on this day it is fair game to play finders keepers.  Of course if  it’s an items the person really needs or if the person is unwilling to play along in order to avoid any altercations items are given back.  However ,for those willing to play along if you lend an item,  you forfit it . In exchange the prankster gives a basket of candies with the following note: “Inocente palomita que te dejaste engañar, sabiendo que en este día nada se debe prestar. ” = Innocent little dove you have let yourself  be deceived, knowing that on this day lending is not advised.

*Dia de Los Inocentes is not only just a Mexican holiday it’s celebrated through out the world in various Hispanic/Catholic cultures.

Christmas in Mexico means Posadas


Posadas are a big part of a traditional Mexican Christmas. Posada  means “shelter” or “inn” in Spanish.  The posadas are  a celebration of the Nativity. The posadas  are celebrations that are what is called a “Novena” = a ninth, because it is held 9 days before “Noche Buena”.  Literally in Spanish Christmas Eve is called  “the Good Night “(Holly Night).  The posasadas consist of a reenactment of Mary & Joseph on their journey in search of shelter. Whole neighborhoods participate in posadas. As the Christmas season approaches people meet in anticipation to plan their neighborhood posadas, raise money, &  appoint the different duties.  A different neighbor will schedule a night for the Posada to be held at their home, beggining with 16th of December and ending with the 24th =Noche Buena.  Each house has a  Nativity scene.  *It is also common for posadas to be held at schools as Christmas  parties/festivals  & all teachers, school children  & their families take part in them. THE REENACTMENTS: The neighbors choosen for that night to host the posada at their house will play the inn keepers. The rest of the neighbors will be the “Peregrinos” =the Pilgrims looking for shelter.  The neighbors chosen to represent the main parts of the  Peregrinos: that is Mary & Joseph(usualy teenagers) carry statutes of Mary and Joseph on their journey. In some posadas however they will dress up and play the parts in that  manner instead. Some are so dedicated to holding a good posada that  authentic costumes and a donkey are procured for the procession. Everyone walks through the neighborhood in a choral processsion. The leader of the procession will have a candles inside of a paper lamp shade that looks like an accordion but open at the top and it is called a “Farolito” or little lantern.  Others may also have small candle sticks.  The posadas are know for their bright colors and magical twinkling lights.  Usually a neighbor who is able to play guitar will accompany the group, for those enough lucky to raised the fund or get a group to help out,  a set musicians (sometimes Mariachis) are their accompaniment. They go along singing the same simple little song at each home they stop at :

The Posada Chant (translation from http://a-magical-christmas.com )

Outside: (The Pilgrims)

In the name of heaven, I ask you for shelter
because my beloved wife can continue no longer.

Inside: (The Inn Keepers)
This is no inn, continue on your way.
I am not about to open. You may be a scoundrel.

Outside
Don’t be inhuman. Have mercy.
For the God of the heavens will reward you.

Inside
Go away, and don’t bother us
because if I get angry I will hit you.

Outside
We come exhausted all the way from Nazareth;
I am a carpenter by the name of Joseph.

Inside
I don’t care what your name is. Let me go back to sleep,
I am telling you, I am not about to open.

Outside
The queen of heaven is asking for shelter,
just for one night, dear landlord,

Inside
Well, if it is a queen who is asking?
How is it that at night, she travels so alone?

Outside
My wife is Mary, she is queen of Heaven,
and she will be mother of the Divine Word.

Inside
Are you Joseph, your wife is Mary?
Come in, pilgrims, I did not recognize you.

Outside
May God reward your great charity, good people,
and fill the heavens with happiness.

Inside
Blessed be the house that shelters this day,
the pure Virgin, the beautiful Mary!

Final Verse Upon Entering.
Enter holy pilgrims.
Pilgrims, accept this corner; Although the dwelling is poor,
I give it to you with all my heart.
Let us sing with joy, joy.
Let us reflect together, that Jesus, Joseph and Mary,
have come today to honor us. (Repeat)

After reaching the home that was chosen to hold the  posada * the home that is suppose to be the inn giving shelter, a rosary is prayed there around the Nativity scene . Last but not least, before the reenactment can be complete baby Jesus in placed in the manger in the Nativity scene. Along with the Rosary, traditional Christmas hymns are sung. After prayer the party  begins. At the party there are performances, folkloric and non there is dancing and eating and great fun and merriment. There is a piñata which is the big attraction for the children. * Piñatas originally came from Europe, but were adopted for celebrations where children are involved. There are many diffrent varieties of piñatas, but of course a star shape is popular for Xmas. Beside candies , peanuts and oranges are very popular stuffing for piñatas. While waiting for the piñata to be broken the children often sing  ♪”La piñata tine ca-ca- tine ca-ca, cahuates de a  monton” = The piñata filed with with pe-pe ,filled pe-pe, pe-nuts by the ton. ♪ Besides the piñata colorful farolitos= little paper lanterns are what help to make the posadas a colorful and festive time.

The  main event for the adults is the Ponche, a  Punch known as “Ponche con Piquete” =(punch with a sting). The punch is served  hot  & contains  seasonal winter fruits,  cinnamon sticks, &  with a shot of alcoholic spririt.

On Christmas Eve: Families attend Mass(Misa de Noche Buena) at midnight. When Mass is done, everyone reunites in the homes of  family &  friends to have dinner. For some it is traditional to reunite & celebrate at  grandparents homes. Others alternate as to who’s home will hold the Christmas dinner. *  Guest, even last minute ones are ALWAYS welcomed.  Big families reunite to spend this special night together, have a big feast, bond and give thanks for being together. FOOD: Tamales are very popular, but there are a varity of things prepared along with or instead of such a dish.  Pozole(hominy),  chilles rellenos(stuffed bell peppers)buñuelos(fried tortillas sprinkled with sugar)turkey, among many others are the fair for some who opt out of Tamales.  Each family has a different Christmas dish they prefer.

This was a city(goverment) organized posada hence the picture taking and camera crew.

People asking for posada @ a neighborhood restaurant. Posadas really are beautiful for their inclusion of whole neighborhoods.

Xmas Songs in Spanish


In  Spanish carols are called “villancicos”(vee- yahn see- kohs). Today’s  villancico is : “Mi Burrito Sabanero” = My little savanna donkey. The song speaks of a little boy  from the countryside who is on his way along with his  helper & companion, his donkey to visit baby Jesus. This song was actually written by Venezuelan composer Hugo Blanco. It  became  a hit & is still a Christmas  favorite in many Spanish speaking countries including Mexico. This villancico was popularized by famous acts such as : by  Topo Gigio in Mexico (* Topo Gigio was originally an italian show base on a little mouse puppet . The version in Spanish  blew up big in Mexico) Throughout Latin America the villancico was popularized by Venezuelan children’s singing group “‘La Rondallita'”

LYRICS TRANSLATION

With my my little Savannah donkey  I’m on my to Bethlehem.  x2

If you see me, if you see me  I’m on my way to Bethlehem. x4

A little bright morning star is my guide & illuminates my path.  x2

If you see me, if you see me  I’m on my way to Bethlehem. x4

With my cuatrico (four stringed guitar) I ‘m singing as  my donkey goes trotting along. x2

If you see me, if you see me  I’m on my way to Bethlehem. x4

Tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki ta!

Hurry my little donkey for we are almost there.

Tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tu!

Hurry my little donkey we are going to see Jesus.

With my my little Savannah donkey  I’m on my to Bethlehem.  x2

If you see me, if you see me  I’m on my way to Bethlehem. x4

A little bright morning star is my guide & illuminates my path.  x2

With my cuatrico (four stringed guitar) I ‘m singing as  my donkey goes trotting along. x2

Tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki ta!

Hurry my little donkey for we are almost there.

Tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tuki, tuki tu!

Hurry my little donkey we are going to see Jesus.

With my my little Savannah donkey  I’m on my to Bethlehem.  x2

If you see me, if you see me  I’m on my way to Bethlehem. Repeats untill end.

Mexican Comfort Food: It’s definitely Caldo weather


“Oh the weather outside is frightful….”  Romantic chilly weather is upon us and our tummys and bodies are in need of warmth, love, &  comfort.  Today ,one of my absoulute favorites!  A wonderful meal for the Winter time blues.  The heart warming, soul satisfying dish that is : “Caldo de Res” = Beef Soup. I’d love to say you’ll never taste anything yummier, but then I’d be lying, because I honestly can’t decide what my favorite Mexican dish is =D   It’s all sooooooooooooo good.

This is seriously lethal , so hearty, stick to your ribs, finger licking good. A must try dish!  Caldo de Res is made with beef shank &  or ox tail,  hearty veggies. This is the way I know caldo and like “Caldo de Res”  to be:  carrots, corn, potato, and  zucchini.  That is truly authentic caldo de res  to me. Recipes will vary, according to region and family, but me personally, I’d be wary of those who try to tell you to add weird stuff like  can of diced tomatoes, cabbage, or the like. To me  that is not real caldo. Seriously that sacrilege.   But that’s just because I grew up with the a set of specific ingredients in my caldo. I actually grew up with a recipe that’s pretty universal and basic. I’ve seen it over and over in other recipes and I swear by it.  You can  research a bit and find a caldo that you’re happy with. Most recipes will  all pretty much follow the same basic caldo structure .  Last, but certainly not least: a  very, very important accoutrement.  A real hearty & satisfying caldo can not be complete without  Sopa de Arroz =Orange Rice .  Having this caldo on a chilly day or any day for that matter (* truly there is never a wrong moment for caldo) is like a big o’l comfy hug, a nice warm blanket that envelops your body,  a warm fuzzy feeling of yummy happiness.

*ALSO: You can consider it  an extra, but I seriously can’t eat my caldo with out it.  Get yourself  a lime, (NOT a lemon. Lime) sprinkle a dash of salt all over your hot bowl of caldo and squeeze on a splash of lime. Now mix your clado about so that the flavors can marry.  While you most certainly could eat this with a slice of bread, a tortilla would be a 1,000 times better.


CALDO DE RES RECIPE from Allrecipes.com

  1. Cut the meat from the beef bones into about 1/2 inch pieces, leaving some on the bones. Important to add the bones so that the stock will have flavor and good consistency.
  2. Heat a heavy soup pot over medium-high heat until very hot. Add the oil, tilting the pan to coat the bottom. Add the meat and bones, and season with salt and pepper. Cook and stir until thoroughly browned.
  3. Add 1 onion, and cook until onion is also lightly browned. This the time to add in your garlic, but be careful it doesn’t burn. Stir in broth. The liquid should cover the bones by 1/2 inch. If not, add enough water to compensate. Reduce heat to low, and simmer for 1 hour with the lid on loosely. If meat is not tender, continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so.
  4. Pour in the water, and return to a simmer. Add the carrot and 1/4 cup cilantro, and cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the potato, corn and zuchini. Simmer until vegetables are tender. Keep an eyes on your veggies as not all of them will cook all the way at the same time ,since some are softer than others to begin with. It helps  if you chop them up into uniform sizes, but if you are going for rustic look, make sure and check on them as you go along.  * Potatoes are prone to getting mushy and falling apart. Add whatever you think might cook faster last.
  5. LAST BUT NOT LEAST serve  some orange rice in a bowl and add  your soup , top of with salt a squeeze of lime and enjoy.

Sopa De Arroz(Orange Rice)

From LasRecetasDeLaAbulea.com

1 cup uncooked rice

3 tomatoes

medium sized piece of onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 bullion cube

Tbs of oil (olive or veggie works)

Saute the dry rice in oil over low heat for 5 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and saute another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and stir in the stock. You can chop the garlic or leave it whole and pull it out.  You leave onion whole you can heat it a little with the rice garlic and or just leave as is.  Place the onion and tomatoes in a blender, puree and strain.  Next add 3 cups of water and the bullion (chicken stock can be substituted for the bullion and water, but this particular recipe called for bullion). After the rice has come to a boilo,cover tightly and finish cooking over your lowest heat for 30–40 minutes or until the stock is absorbed.

Mixes for the Rice and Caldo are available if you are not able to make them from scratch.

You can find it  @ www.alegrofoods.com/

P.S.  They have a sale going on , use code “xmas09” and get a 20% discount on everything in the store. Offer ends Jan 03 2010

You can find other Mexican food, products, snacks and much more at this website, including stuff that mentioned on this blog.