Cinco De Mayo Menu: Mexican Food Ideas and Recipes

Ah, Cinco de Mayo, no better excuse to cook up some Mexican food and enjoy a round of margaritas with friends, but if you're not frequently a host, you may be a little lost when it comes to planning a Cinco de Mayo menu for your guests. Luckily, Mexican food is generally easy to cook and the majority of dishes are universally loved, but here's some ideas to get your Cinco de Mayo menu to get you started. Keep in mind that you don't have to go strict traditional Mexican food.

Cinco de Mayo appetizers:

Appetizers are great way to start off any Cinco de Mayo menu. Aim for finger foods that aren't going to fill everyone up for the main event and are easy to make. These can also help prevent folks from drinking on an empty stomach. Some ideas for Cinco de Mayo appetizers include:

-Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno rolls

-Seven Layer Dip with corn chips

-A Salsa sampler with chips (A few salsa choices: mango salsa, tomato salsa, black bean salsa)

-Quesadillas

-Taquitos

-Nachos

Cinco de Mayo main course ideas:

The main course is, of course, the next logical step in your road to an awesome Cinco de Mayo menu. Mexican main dishes abound, typically involving some delicious slosh of tortilla, cheese, veggies, and meat, but, again, a few ideas to get you started:

-Enchiladas

-Tacos or Taco Salads

-Mexican Lasagna

-Chimichangas or Burritos (The only difference really is one is deep fried the other is not)

-Fajitas

Cinco de Mayo Desserts:

Finally, finish off your Cinco de Mayo menu with a little something sweet. You could go with a traditional Mexican choices below or something a little less conventional like Strawberry Cheesecake Chimichangas.

-Flan

-Tres Leches Cake (three milk cake)

-Empanadas

You can pair Mexican drinks with your Cinco de Mayo menu as well, such as Margaritas, tequila-based cocktails, mojitos, and Mexican beers, such as Tecate or Corona. Don't forget to include a few non-alcoholic selections as well for children or adults who don't wish to drink. Mexican hot chocolate, Horchata, Sangaria, or the Mexican soda, Jarritos. Many of these also can easily have alcohol added to effectively quench all your guests thirsts.

Spring Food Fever

With the arrival of spring, family holidays such as Easter are right around the corner. When families come together, food is usually at the heart of any meeting. Good food can truly enhance any family gathering. Therefore, I offer some of my own family's favorite recipes.

For Easter, ham is the traditional meat of choice. While I stayed within this tradition last year, I put a kid-friendly, modern spin on this meat with a Pinterest recipe featured on Six Sister's Stuff. My two young children, and all the adults in attendance, absolutely adored this fun recipe for Dr. Pepper pineapple glazed ham. The ham is cooked in a roasting pan with a glaze of Dijon mustard, brown sugar, Dr. Pepper, and crushed pineapple.

Serve your favorite vegetable as a side. I make green beans with lemon pepper, olive oil, and garlic. I also made these delicious roasted apple potatoes from baked bree. However, to make the recipe more kid-friendly, I substituted parmesan for the blue cheese. These potatoes were so delicious that there was not a single spoonful left over. If you find you have left-over ham, it can be used for these ham & pineapple sandwiches.

If you have a large family, you know you never want to let left-over food go to waste. Often individuals are left wondering just what to do with all those dyed hard-boiled Easter eggs. You can make an easy and delicious deviled egg pasta salad. For the salad, follow these instructions:

  1. Prepare one box of elbow macaroni according to directions on box. Drain and set aside.
  2. Peel and dice your leftover Easter eggs.
  3. Make your salad sauce using 2 cups of mayonnaise, 4 tablespoons of yellow mustard, ¼ cup sweet pickle relish, and chopped celery and red onion to your liking.
  4. Mix the pasta and prepared sauce together.
  5. Add the diced eggs last so that you can gently fold them in.
  6. Refrigerate and enjoy.

In spring, salads are also a welcome and delicious dish. My favorite spring salad features romaine lettuce and fresh spinach. I add one diced apple, one diced pear, cashews, red onions, and feta crumbles. If you don't like feta, you can easily eliminate the cheese or choose another variety. This is best served with poppy seed dressing. A variation of this is to remove the apple and pear and add fresh strawberries.

Recipes from Wales 3 – Birdie Food

Article 3 Birdie Food

Featured Recipes: Pwdin Watcyn Wynne, Seed Loaf and Seed Cake

This week we are going to the birds! Or at least what they eat! This weeks featured recipes are made with seed and breadcrumbs, a bird's favorite foodstuffs. So get out your baking pans and tweet a happy tune while you create a yummy treat! And yes you can eat these as well!!!

Pwdin Watcyn Wynne
Ingredients: 10 oz breadcrumbs, 8 oz, chopped suet, 3 oz sugar, 3 eggs, pinch of salt, juice and grated rinds of two lemons

Mix ingredients together and boil in a covered pot for three hours. Serve with the following sauce:
Melt a bit of butter with some brown sugar and lemon zest, along with nutmeg and a glass of sherry or Madeira. Get the mixture hot but do not boil. Serve
immediately.

Bara Carawe – Seed Loaf
Ingredients: 1 lb self-raising flour, a teaspoonful salt, ½ teaspoon caraway seeds, 1 oz sugar, 2 ½ oz margarine, 1 egg and ¼ pint of milk or water.

Sift flour and salt in a bowl, blend in the margarine and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix to a soft dough adding the well beaten milk and egg. Place in a well- greased dish and bake for 1 hour in a moderate oven. Serve while warm

Seed Cake
Ingredients: 2 ½ lbs flour, 2 lbs refined sugar, 12 oz caraway seeds, 2 lbs margarine, 4 teaspoons orange flower water, 10 eggs, ½ pound candied peel from your fruit of choice

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs alternating one by one with the flour, then add the orange flower water, caraway seeds and candied peel. Put in tins and place in a warm over for an hour, then take the temperature down a bit for another hours and then leave on the lowest oven setting until the cake is cooled. This recipe is well over 200 years old, so the terms and ingredients are a bit outdated. Just use your common sense and a bit of imagination and you will have a wonderful dish.

Chinese Food Recipes – Delicious Almond Jelly Desssert

Chinese Food Recipes

Chinese Almond Jelly

This is a really interesting Chinese Food dessert recipe. It is a very refreshing dessert served after a hot and spicy Szechwan dish.

You can choose to make the jelly either soft and spoonable or hard and cuttable into shapes. If you cut the Jelly into diamond shapes you can, for example, present your Chinese Food recipe as a flower, using the diamonds as petals and fruit such as strawberries, lychees or raspberries as the middle of the flower. It makes a stunning table centrepiece and its very edible too!!.

For a vegetarian version of this Chinese Food recipe you can substitute the gelatine with agar – agar. This is a processed gelatine derived from dried seaweed. It is a bit more difficult to work with than gelatine as it has to be dissolved very slowly in boiling water.

Ingredients

For a firm jelly – 6 teaspoons gelatine
For a soft jelly – 4 teaspoons gelatine

800 ml boiling water
200 ml evaporated milk
Half cup sugar
2 teaspoons almond essence (don't use artificial flavour)

Fruit to decorate – try strawberries, lychees, blueberries or raspberries. Or a few slivers of crystallised ginger.

Method

Boil the water. Put 200 ml of the boiling water in a glass measuring jug. Add the gelatine. Stir until completely dissolved. Add the rest of the water, the sugar, and the evaporated milk. Stir thoroughly until the sugar is completely dissolved. Add one teaspoon of the almond essence and stir. Taste. Add another teaspoon of essence if desired.

Pour into a shallow bowl – so that jelly is about 1 inch deep. Chill in refrigerator until the jelly is set.

Once set remove the jelly from the fridge. Using a sharp knife cut the jelly in to diamond shapes. Assemble these in the shape of flower on a flat plate.

Fill the center of the flower with your choice of fruit.

Admire your handiwork and enjoy your Chinese Food Recipe Dessert.

Mexican Food Recipes- Homemade Mexican Pizzas

Mexican Food Recipe

Mexican Pizza in under 5 minutes.

Here is an easy Mexican food recipe you can cook up with no stove, no pots, no pans and no big clean up in under 5 minutes. This is a simple Mexican food recipe with plenty of flavor that will add a serious punch to your home Mexican lunch or dinner menu. These Mexican pizzas are easy, great tasting and kids love them!

Ingredients:

1 can Refried Beans (makes more than 1 Mexican pizza)

Taco bell sauce (use desired amount)

Cheddar Cheese (use desired amount)

Mozzarella Cheese (use desired amount)

Olives (use desired amount)

2 Pre fried flat corn tortillas (per Mexican pizza)

How to prepare ingredients:

Beans: I recommend fat free either "Rosa Rita" or "Taco Bell" are excellent fat free brands. The only difference between "regular" and "fat free" is that there is no lard added in the "fat free" reducing fat and calorie content.

Taco bell sauce: I personally make use of the extra packets I get from the drive through,

or you can buy it at the grocery store.

Cheddar Cheese: grated

Mozzarella Cheese: grated

Olives: chopped

Pre fried flat corn tortillas: These are bought already prepared. Do not try and fry up a corn tortilla at home this will not taste nearly as good.

Building the pizza:

Heat the refried beans in a microwave safe bowl for 2 ½ to 3 minutes and then spread on a pre fried flat corn tortilla.

Spread "Taco Bell" sauce over beans.

Add desired amount of shredded cheddar and mozzarella cheese.

Place another pre fried tortilla on top.

Spread desired amount of cheddar and mozzarella cheese on top.

Spread Taco Bell sauce on top

Place chopped olives on top.

Heat in microwave 30-45 seconds.

Cut into 4 pizza slices up and down and then across.

Enjoy

There you have it a totally new Mexican food recipe you can easily make at home. That wasn't hard now was it =)

Irish Food Recipes for St. Patrick's Day – Corned Beef and Cabbage

St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Recipe. Corned beef and cabbage has become a St. Patrick's day staple in the United States! Although, its not quite as popular in Ireland as many would think, corned beef is one dish that many will eat on our around March 17th! The following is a recipe that I've used for cooking corned beef and cabbage. Feel free to improvise and enjoy!

St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Ingredients

– 4 lbs Corned Beef

-1 Bottle of Irish Stout

-1 Onion – Halved and Cut in Wedges

-3 Garlic Cloves – Minced

-1 Bay leaf

-1/4 Tsp Ground Cloves

-1/4 Tsp Ground Allspice

-1/4 Tsp Pepper

-1 Head Cabbage (cut into wedges)


St. Patrick's Day Corned Beef Cooking Directions

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Farenheight. Cook the corned beef for 8-10 minutes. Once browned, pour the stout over the meat and then add the onion, bay leaf, garlic, cloves, allspice, and pepper and then cover and cook over a medium heat for 1 1/2 hours. At this point, add the cabbage and cook an additional 30 minutes. THen, remove the meat and cabbage and let cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting. Next, bring the remainder of the stout mix to a boil and cook for approximately 10 minutes and use as broth after removing the bay leaf. This recipe makes approximiately eight servings.

Big Chef Takes on Little Chef: Heston Blumenthal Tries to Spice Up an out-of-date Menu

Little Chef is in trouble and in their desperation they have called in Heston Blumenthal, he of the bacon and egg ice-cream fame, to turn around the fortunes of the company by completely redesigning the entire menu and bringing it into the 21st century.

Little Chef vs. The Fat Duck

Little Chef is a quintessential British eatery, everyone has memories of visiting one on a long drive on holiday and the symbol was one of the most recognisable road signs on the motorway. But it is quickly losing appeal and in 2007 the company went bust and had to be rescued by a new investment.

On the contrary The Fat Duck restaurant is considered one of the top eating establishments in the world and Blumenthal is often regarded as the most inventive and exciting chefs in Britain and his scientific approach to cooking means that anyone wanting to eat at his restaurant has to book months in advance.

But is a man renowned for unusual and expensive food the correct choice to help a place that for decades has sold cheap but filling meals?

British Twist – Lancashire Hotpot with Oysters and Meat Cooked in Hay

Although he was filled with energy and enthusiasm to rise to the challenge, the mission of trying to make eye catching food but on a commercial scale that can be produced quickly and cheaply soon looked like an impossible feat. Especially as he only has six months to finish it and he usually takes two years to perfect one dish.

The first problem he notices is that not only is the menu enormous but it has more reference to Asian and European food than it does British. So Heston’s idea is to create British classics with a twist, foods that people recognise but will still be exciting enough to rope in the punters. So he came up with cooking scrambled egg in water bath, Lancashire Hotpot with oysters and meat cooked in hay.

Britain’s Top Cook Defeated at the First Hurdle

The initial trial didn’t go down well as both the company and the customers did not seem impressed with the menu Heston has spent weeks creating. This almost went against everything the research had suggested as the people interviewed seemed to say that they preferred the original selection. So after the opening episode it’s now back to the drawing board for Britain’s top cook as he is defeated at the first hurdle.

For what could have been a very dull nostalgia trip Big Chef Takes on Little Chef was surprisingly pleasant viewing. If there’s any downside it’s that you don’t really get to see the thought process that goes into making a new dish, which is a let down for a mind that must be so interesting. Also those who are used to constant confrontations one these types of documentaries would have been let down.

As the bald one isn’t as foul mouthed or intense as his contemporaries there were few fireworks in the first 60 minutes, apart from his occasional discussions with the company owner. By the end a culture clash had been sparked between the Little Chef employees and Heston’s head chefs while he was away for the day that was quite exciting.

The James May of the Cooking World and a Swearing Scotsman to come

Parts two and three might raise the stakes a little and as a way of starting the Great British Food Fight season this was a good choice. The schedules also have back to basic chef turned slobbering food nazi Jamie Oliver and the James May of the cooking world Hugh Fernley-Whittingstall launching new campaigns on pork and chickens respectively.

Then there’s swearing Scotsman Gordon Ramsey who will no doubt be doing more of his monosyllabic instructional recipes (Mince. Basil. Pan. Chop. Cook. Eat. Now) and probably going for a record attempt for the most four letter tirades in one minute.

Custard and Pear Tart with Streusel Recipe: Recipe for Single Crust Pear Pie with Vanilla Custard and Crumble

This pear tart is a rich treat not to be missed. Made with creamy vanilla custard that bakes in your oven and sweet ripe pears; sure to become a holiday favorite.

Pears have long been a symbol of the holidays and this custard pear tart is a great addition to any holiday table. Pears are found in songs, in old tapestry and paintings, artificial pears appear in almost every store covered in glitter or adorned with dew drops. No matter where you look, they seem to be there. Why not on your dinner table too?

Pears have a delicate flavor that is easily overpowered by other ingredients. They are also delicate, easily bruised and quick to become over ripe. Many cooks shy away from using pears because of these traits but when paired with the proper foods, they can be a wonderful addition to a meal.

This pear tart is quick to assemble and can be refrigerated overnight making it a great time saver for busy holiday cooks.

Custard Pear Tart with Streusel :

Ingredients:

  • 1 deep dish 9″ to 9 1/2″ pie crust (unbaked)
  • 5 large ripe bartlett pears
  • 1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander

Streusel Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar (packed tightly)
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 4 tbsp butter

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 425
  2. Prepare pears by first slicing each pear in half lengthwise. Next remove seeds and stem. Finally, cut thin slices of about 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. Arrange pears on bottom of pie crust
  4. In a large bowl, mix condensed milk, vanilla and eggs. Stir well
  5. Add butter, cinnamon and coriander
  6. Beat on low speed with an electric mixer for 1 min
  7. Carefully pour custard over pears
  8. Place in center of preheated oven and bake for 12 min
  9. While pie is in it’s initial baking, make steusel
  10. Combine flour, nutmeg and brown sugar in a med bowl
  11. Add butter and cut with pastry knife until coarse crumbs form
  12. When pie has baked for 12 min, remove pie from oven and sprinkle with crumb mixture
  13. Reduce oven temp to 350 and continue baking for 45 to 55 min until a sharp knife inserted in center of tart comes out clean

Custard and Pear Tart with Streusel is a rich dessert that needs no addition but if you are a fan of whipped cream, a dollop of home made vanilla whip cream goes quite well.

Home Made Vanilla Whipped Cream :

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pint whipping cream
  • 2 tbsp vanilla flavored syrup (the kind you use for coffee or tea)
  • or use
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Method:

  1. Chill bowl you will be using for whipped cream for 5 to 10 min in refrigerator
  2. Be sure cream is very cold (Don’t let it sit out on the counter. Keep cream chilled until you are ready to use it)
  3. Pour cream into med bowl that has been chilled
  4. Add syrup or vanilla extract. (If you are using sugar instead of vanilla syrup, add sugar after you have begun beating and cream begins to thicken)
  5. Beat on med speed with an electric mixer or by hand with a whisk
  6. Continue until cream forms a soft peak. Be sure to check the thickness often, if you beat the cream too
  7. long, you will end up with vanilla butter.
  8. Refrigerate immediately
  9. Whipped cream will hold it’s firmness for several hour if kept cold. Don’t try to hold overnight, the cream will begin to separate and become runny.

The Ultimate Kitchen Appliance – the Kenwoood Chef!

Kenwood is that wonderful British company that have been producing great kitchen appliances for years. The name Kenwood has become synonymous with the “Chef”, the ultimate kitchen appliance. It is a machine that can be used with a variety of attachments, thus allowing it to perform a really wide variety of functions in the kitchen. First introduced in 1950, the Kenwood Chef has become a household brand and a trusted multi-functional appliance still of immense use in all kitchens. The Kenwood Chef has four different attachment points, allowing you to beat, mix, and prepare various ingredients, and also perform other tasks such as liquidising, juicing, mincing, and pasta-making. This really is the ultimate kitchen gadget!

Get lean cuts by using the Kenwood Chef mincer attachment!

The Kenwood Chef will allow you to mince meat leaner than lean. Buying minced beef from your butcher or supermarket is a quick and convenient way to get the main ingredient needed for so many recipes, but it is usually easy to see in the meat packet that a certain amount of fat is also minced in the process. Many supermarkets today offer varieties of mince, showing the different percentages of lean content included, but none ever get to the bright red mince I remember my mother preparing when I was young.

By trimming all the fat from a prime piece of round steak you will have a pure beginning point. Popping on the mincer attachment to your Chef is the next step to getting pure lean mince. You know exactly what cut of meat has gone in, and you can have it as lean (or fatty!) as you wish. You can even grind up more than you need and store it in smaller portions in the freezer. Then it is ready to go when you once again fire up the Kenwood Chef to prepare for that great Bolognese sauce that will go with your homemade pasta!

Mama mia – Homemade Pasta via Kenwood Chef!

Let Kenwood transport you to Italia with the pasta maker attachment for the Chef. Readymade pasta from a box is quick and tasty, but it doesn’t compare to the fresh homemade variety of pasta Italian folk take for granted. The pasta maker will take the work out of this job. A variety of styles including spaghetti, lasagne, tagliatelle, rigatoni and macaroni can be made from the Kenwood Chef pasta maker. This attachment suits all Kenwood Chef and Kenwood Major models, and the continuous slow speed output makes it easy to use. So what are you waiting for?

Trendy Kitchen Gadgets

Time spent in the kitchen preparing meals can seem like a lifetime without the proper gadgets. For any kitchen diva that enjoys preparing healthy meals for her family or for the diva that enjoys making gourmet type meals to showcase her culinary skills there are kitchen gadgets to accessorize their kitchens and aid in those preparations.

Many of the gadgets found in the kitchen stores today are colorful, unique, and patterned to add lively d├ęcor to the kitchen. They are designed to simplify the cooking world and decorate the kitchen. Useful gadgets can cut cooking preparation time cut while allowing the cook to feel better about being in the kitchen by allowing them to see the beauty in the products.

Companies like Sur La Table make gadgets which are designed to cut down some of the prep time for meals. The Garlic Shake and Chop is one of those gadgets. With the Shake and Chop, cooks can put a clove of garlic into a shaker with tiny blades and within a few shakes, they have chopped garlic. This makes chopped garlic easier and safer than having to chop by hand.

Another new idea is The Chop to Pot by Joseph Joseph. This is a cutting board that allows you to chop the vegetables and then folds up to make it easier to pour the veggies into the pan or skillet that you intend to cook them in. This folding cutting board is a unique idea that could change the way we work in the kitchen.

It seems that every company makes a dish designed for something special, especially in the baking world. Doughnuts have to have a hole in the center, so what does a baker need other than a doughnut pan. These pans allow the baker to pour the batter into the pan in the shape of a doughnut and then bake them.

Also, filling a cupcake can be challenging and hard work. By using the Cuisipro Cupcake Corer, filling a cupcake can be simple. The corer takes the center out of the cupcake so that filling can be inserted in. This frees up some of the time that it would take to otherwise fill the cupcakes.

There are new juicers out now that are combined with a pitcher to make the process of making homemade orange juice much easier. Many companies make these and a quick search online will allow you to compare the different styles and will help you to choose just which one is right for you.

Tableware has also been improved upon in the last few years as well. There are brighter colors, bolder patterns, and even slanted or triangle shaped bowls to accessorize with. These colorful dishes and innovative kitchen gadgets are designed for adding convience and ambience to the kitchen.