Dia De Los Muertos

Dia De Los Muertos

Feliz Dia De Los Muertos

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Dia de los Muertos

Mexico’s

The Day of the Dead

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Always be the DEATH of every party!

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The cute little donkey planter that I bought at an antique mall in Georgia.  He holds the Mexican Heather that border our landscaping in the front of our house that I planted myself.

(The Day of the Dead)

Buenos Dias!

November 1, is Mexico’s Day of the Dead, a holiday about honoring the deceased.  Other than my immediate family and some close friends pretty much everyone that I have ever loved is dead so these kind of holidays and traditions have always appealed to me.  I love how the Asian cultures honor their dead, they don’t forget about them, they keep them close.

Here is my little Dia de los Muertos

I painted the wine glass above at an art class.

I think this is the fastest growing holiday in America now because of our Hispanic population. 

But hey, I’m game!

I especially love saying it, Dia de los Muertos!!

My kids hate how I say it, like it’s my dying breath.  The best way I know to explain how I say it is for you to picture this:

I am alone in a rental car driving through the outskirts of Mexico on dirt roads with no GPS and no cell phone reception.   I get lost, as I am trying to find the nearest town or farmhouse, my car suddenly stalls.  I decide that I need to start walking to try and find some help.  I come across this deserted ghost town, tumbleweeds blowing by.  I hear an eerie noise in the distance that I just can’t place.  Suddenly I have a feeling that I am being watched so I turn around and standing there is man.  He looks ill as he wanders over to me staggering.  I’m frightened but I don’t move.  Then he starts to speak, very slowly and softly,

“Dia de los Muer tooooooosss……..”

Then he falls toward me.  As I jump out of his way his body falls to the ground and that is when I see the knife sticking out of his back!

I scream a blood curdling scream as the camera pans away from me to illuminate the entire ghost town with me standing over his body.

The following day the local police find my deserted car on the side of the road, but I am never to be seen again.

CUT!  END SCENE!!

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So now you know how I love to say it and why my kids hate it.

Did I mention that I had a flair for the dramatics??

I seriously doubt that Dia de los Muertos is about having frozen margaritas and salsa and chips but we all have our own special ways of doing things.

Ole!!

Julie

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Our Weekend of Painting Wine Glasses

2014

For our anniversary in June our daughter Veronica gave us a free wine glass painting class.  We finally decided to cash in our groupon and go before it expired.

It was a lot of fun. 

We each painted two but we did collaborate on one of them.

With Halloween approaching we wanted to do something seasonal to help us get into the Halloween spirit.  (Not that I ever need help in that department).

I painted a Dia de los Muertos wine glass.

  (The Day of the Dead)

Also Gordon and I each painted an Alfred Hitchcock wine glass for our Rear Window Halloween that we have planned.

The Art Studio/Karate Studio

Julie and Gordon Selfie

We had a great time.  We were there about 2 1/2 hours.   Our wine glasses actually turned out pretty good.  The paint dries fairly quickly.  When you have finished painting your wine glasses you need to let them sit for a good 24 hours.  Then you place them into a cool oven, turn the oven to 325* and let them “cook” for 40 minutes.  Immediately turn off the oven and let cool for 1 hour before opening the oven door.

Here are our wine glasses.

When you bake them you want to place them upside down on the oven rack.

We are so proud of them!

Oh and guess what?  They are dishwasher safe!

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Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

Hermoso Y Deliciosa

I have always wanted to make one. 

I received in the mail a recipe card for this cake decades ago and just never got around to making one.  I finally decided that I wanted to for Dia De Los Muertos.  It did not disappoint!  I am very happy to pass this recipe to you so that you can give it a try as well.

Gracias,

Susana

(Susana was my Spanish name in 7th. Grade back in 1975 in Charlottesville, Virginia. 

There was no translation for my name, Julie, so I was given the name Susana, (Susan).)

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This one is for Yo!  🙂

The lovely Skull cookies I purchased. 

There is no way that I am talented enough to paint then to look as nice as they do.

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I also made the Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake into individual mini loaves in order to give as gifts.

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The Ingredients for Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

(I did double the recipe which is why you see so many ingredients here.)

I will write the recipe as it is written on the card.

Although I did use authentic Mexican Chocolate instead of the Semisweet Chocolate Baking Squares the recipe calls for.

Ingredients:

1 (8 oz.) package semisweet chocolate baking squares, chopped. 

(I used real Mexican Chocolate, it has cinnamon in it and I used more than the recipe called for.  I just eyeballed the amount that I wanted.)

1 cup butter, softened

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

4 large eggs

1/2 cup chocolate syrup  (I used a bit more.)

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2/1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup buttermilk

Powdered Sugar (optional)

Garnish:  toasted sliced almonds

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This is my Grandmother’s old SunBeam Mixer from the 70’s that I still use to make my delicious goodies.  🙂

I veered off the recipe instructions a bit.  The recipe suggests to “Microwave chocolate baking squares in a microwave-safe bowl at HIGH 1 minute and 15 seconds or until chocolate is melted and smooth, stirring at 15 second intervals.”

I however, didn’t.  I’ll show you what I did as I proceed with this recipe.

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-Beat butter at medium speed with a heavy duty electric stand mixer 2 minutes or until creamy.

-Gradually add granulated sugar, beating 5-7 minutes or until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears after each addition.

Adding the Eggs one at a Time

The Mexican Chocolate

(If you have a Latin or Spanish Supermarket in your community you will find real Mexican Chocolate there.  If not you can always substitute it with regular chocolate.)

This is where I veered off the recipe…….

-Stir in melted chocolate.  (I didn’t melt my chocolate, I chopped it very finely and just added it to the batter.)

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Stir in Chocolate Syrup and Vanilla until smooth. 

(Mexican Vanilla would be perfect here!)

Dry Ingredients

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Combine Flour, Cinnamon, Baking Soda, and Salt

Add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. 

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Pour batter into a greased and floured 10 inch (14 cup) tube pan.

I used my Grandmother’s old Bundt Pan.

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Make sure your oven is pre-heated to 325F.

Ready to go into the Oven

Bake for 1 Hour and 10 Minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean.

(Just remember that all oven’s are different and to check and monitor your cake so that it doesn’t burn.)

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Cooling on a Wire Rack

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Remove from pan after about 20 minutes then let sit on rack for a good hour and 30 minutes until cooled completely.

In this photo you can see some of my chocolate chunks. 

That is why I didn’t melt the chocolate in the microwave.

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I sprinkled the cakes with powdered sugar but you can do whatever you like. 

That is the beauty of cooking and experimenting and creating.

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My Mini Mexican Chocolate Pound Cakes

I love giving the gift of food every holiday and this holiday was no different.

I got out my mini-loaf pans and greased them with Crisco, then adding the flour coating the entire mini pans.  I did this by holding it over the sink so that flour didn’t land everywhere in the kitchen.

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Once again I chopped the Mexican chocolate very finely.

Creaming the Butter and Sugar and Eggs, then adding the chopped Chocolate, and the other ingredients.

That Spatula is Calling my Tongue!!  ( I get to lick it!)

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Ready For The Oven

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Last of the batter goes into this pan which created a very nice and shallow little cake.

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Allowing Everything to Cool

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Beautiful Mini-Loaf Cakes, just add Powdered Sugar

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This is just my way of celebrating the holiday.

In the same way that I have Halloween decorations, Thanksgiving decorations, Christmas decorations……

…….I now have started a collection of Dia De Los Muertos decorations.

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Mexican Nuts

I found this recipe at Jules Food online.  Click on link below:

http://julesfood.blogspot.com/2011/06/spicy-mexican-glazed-nuts.html

I came across this recipe when I was searching for a spicy nut recipe that I wanted to make for Dia De Los Muertos. 

This recipe was everything that I was looking for in a spiced nut recipe.  I have included her food blog link above if you would like to check out her other recipes.

I did change up her recipe a bit for my own tastes, but I will include hers and tell you my changes.

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My Dia Wine and Dia Wine Glass

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Ingredients for Mexican Spicy Nuts

3 cups raw mixed nuts

(she used almonds, pecans, macadamia and walnut)

I used Almonds, Pecans, Pumpkin Seeds, Pepitas

1/3 cup sugar

1 egg white beaten until white and fluffy

1 T. chili powder

(she used real Mexican chili powder, as did I)

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 to 3/4 t. salt

1/4 t. ground cumin

1/4 t. cayanne pepper

1 T. Honey

2 T. Agave Syrup

Garnish with some small red hot peppers.

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I doubled this recipe because I wanted to make quite a lot to give away as well as to keep.

In a bowl combine sugar and spices.

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In a bowl whisk egg until white and frothy. 

Add nuts into egg white and then add the sugar/spice mixture and stir until everything looks evenly coated.

I added the leftover Honey and some Agave Syrup to the nuts mixture.

Spray Baking Sheet with a Non-Stick Cooking Spray

Pre-Heat Oven to 350F, Place Rack in the Middle

Spread nuts evenly unto prepared baking sheet, and bake until golden about 20 minutes.

TIP:  Jules took them out after 15-20 minutes and stirred and separated the nuts, then returned to the oven for approximately 10-15 minutes longer.

Let cool thoroughly then place into an airtight container.

Garnish…..

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Nigella’s Roquemole Dip

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This is a Nigella Lawson recipe. 

I have always wanted to try it so I thought I would incorporate it into our Dia de los Muertos celebration.

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We used Florida avocados and our backyard key limes from our tree.

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I used regular and blue corn chips.

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The Recipe:

  • 3.5 ounces of Roquefort Cheese
  • 1/4 Cup Sour Cream
  • 2 Ripe Avocados
  • 2 Jalapeno Peppers, chopped
  • 3 Spring Onions, chopped
  • 1/4 t. Paprika
  • Blue and Corn Tortilla Chips
  • (We also used some of our key lime juice to the dip.)

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  1.  In a bowl, crumble or mash the blue cheese with the sour cream.
  2. Mash in the avocados.  If they are ripe, a fork should be all you need.
  3. Roughly chop the sliced jalapenos and stir them into the mixture along with the finely sliced spring onions. 
  4. Arrange in the center of a plate or dish, dust with the paprika and surround with tortilla chops.  Dive in.

(Write up and recipe by Nigella Lawson)

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I think that my dip looks like Nigella’s.  🙂

Adios,

Julie

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The Gift of Dia De Los Muertos

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I bought a cookie Dia De Los Muertos kit to give my niece Kate.  She lives in Ireland. 

Well, the kit was old so I had to throw out the cookie dough mix that was included in the kit.  So Gordon and I made our own sugar cookies, then iced with with our own royal icing, packaged them up and mailed them to Ireland for Kate to share with her sisters.

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We used a skull cookie cutter.

DDLM 2_small Dia de los Muertos cookies and kit_small

To:  Kate (my niece) 

We included the black icing and the paints with brushes for the girls to decorate their own cookies.  It ended up being a delicious art project.

We included some festive napkins and drinking straws in the package as well.

Who wouldn’t be excited to receive an art project that you eat?

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Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

Si, Julie

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