It’s never too early to start planning for Día de los Muertos!

This weekend, I visited PaperSource, one of my favorite stores for stationery and gifts. They didn’t have the item I was looking for, but I did find a few other cool things. Being that it’s only June, I was both surprised and delighted to find a few goodies for Día de Los Muertos already in the store! I had to take some photos to share what I found.

Day of the Dead goodies from PaperSource

Día de los Muertos goodies:

I especially love the cookie cutters and stamps. Now that I’ve gotten in the mood early, I’m starting to make a Pinterest board of all the Día de Los Muertos things that I can find leading up to the holiday this year so I can start planning my altar and celebration. Follow along with me on Pinterest and let me know in the comments below, on The Other Side of The Tortilla’s Facebook page, or via Twitter @MauraHernandez if you find anything that I should add to the board!

My Día de los Muertos board on Pinterest

 

Chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream

Posadas navideñas are one of my favorite times of year, but they can also be a stressful time with relatives and friends dropping by with short notice. These chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream are sure to please your crowd, even if you don’t have much time to prepare.

Since we typically head to Mexico for the holidays, it’s not as stressful for me because I usually don’t have to play hostess. But my family threw me a bit of a curve ball this year when they requested I bring a dish of some kind to the posada at my tía’s house the same day that I arrive. I immediately began to think about what I could make that would be simple but authentic and satisfying, and that I could whip up with only a few hours in between the airport and heading to the posada. I decided on this easy appetizer because it has only six ingredients and one of them can be bought already prepared.

Many families celebrate posadas like potluck dinners where everybody is responsible for bringing a dish. But in this case, everyone in our family is assigned with tasks ranging from bringing food to a piñata, being in charge of taking photos and so on. Everybody does their part so that the party runs smoothly, even down to the end when someone is responsible for helping clean up the dishes.

While this recipe isn’t a traditional one, like, say, an ensalada nochebuena, it’s an excellent savory appetizer that you can incorporate into your holiday traditions. I usually have most of the ingredients on hand, and I bet you do too. You can easily make this appetizer a bit healthier and vegetarian-friendly by swapping the chorizo for soy chorizo.

Chorizo and avocado cups with chipotle cream

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 30 minutes

Yield: 30 mini cups

3 cups per person

An easy appetizer for posadas and other holiday parties using Avocados from Mexico.

Ingredients

  • 2 boxes of mini phyllo shells (or a total of 30 mini phyllo shells)
  • 2 avocados
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 4 ounces of cooked chorizo
  • 1/2 cup crema Mexicana
  • 1 chipotle en adobo plus 1 1/2 teaspoons adobo sauce

Instructions

  1. Cook the chorizo, drain grease on paper towels and set aside.
  2. Prepare the crema in a mini food processor or blender by adding the crema, chipotle chile and adobo sauce and blend until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350º F, then bake the shells on a cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Remove them from the oven, add 1/2 teaspoon or so of chorizo into each cup and put back in the oven for 3-5 more minutes.
  5. Score the avocados two ways while still in the skin and scoop out into a bowl. Squeeze lime juice over the avocado and gently toss with a spoon to coat the avocados with the juice.
  6. Once the chorizo cups are out of the oven, spoon a little avocado over each cup, followed by a little crema.
  7. Transfer to a serving platter and serve.
http://theothersideofthetortilla.com/2012/12/chorizo-avocado-cups-chipotle-cream/

For more avocado recipes for posadas or avocado recipes for any time, visit Avocados from Mexico’s website. And check out the blog hop below for holiday recipes using Avocados from Mexico from other bloggers.


Disclosure: This is a sponsored post through Latina Bloggers Connect to promote Avocados from Mexico. We received compensation for writing this post, but all opinions and recipes are our own.

Christmas in Mexico: “Lalo y Santaclós”

I was born with Christmas spirit, I think. And I’m a total sucker for organillo music. That’s why, when my cuñada introduced me to this cortometraje (short film) called “Lalo y Santaclós,” directed by Joseduardo Giordano, I immediately snapped into a holiday spirit mood.

This short film got me so excited about the sights and sounds of Christmastime in Mexico.

YouTube Preview Image
  • Do you have a favorite sight or sound in Mexico that makes you think of La Navidad? Share it with me in the comments.

Pumpkin flan

Pumpkin flan made with cream cheese is a decadent alternative to pumpkin pie or other Thanksgiving treats if you’re looking to add a little Mexican flair to your holiday table.

In fact, pumpkin flan is a dish I’ve added to our family’s holiday traditions only in recent years but it’s often gobbled up faster than the pumpkin pie and other available desserts. There may or may not even have been a fight two years ago over who got the last piece!

This recipe is for small, individual-sized portions, baked in ramekins. You can double the recipe if you have more guests. I like to use these souffle ramekins from Cost Plus World Market that are 3.5 inches across and about 2.5 inches deep. If you prefer to make one big flan, depending on the depth of the dish, you may need to adjust the baking time. It’s also a little more substantial with a thicker consistency than most flan, so it’s best to let it sit out for about 15 minutes before serving.

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Turkey stuffing, Mexican-style

Whether it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, I’m always looking for a way to infuse Mexican ingredients into our family’s holiday traditions. I came up with this turkey stuffing recipe that’s a riff on my mom’s traditional turkey stuffing, but with a little kick from jalapeño chiles and soy chorizo (aka soyrizo).

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Día de los Muertos at the National Museum of Mexican Art in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood

In Chicago, we’re very lucky to have a lot of Mexican food and culture at our fingertips. But one of my favorite places, particularly around Día de los Muertos, is the National Museum of Mexican Art. Located in the Pilsen neighborhood, the museum is free (thanks to sponsors) and open six days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Every year, they have an excellent exhibit for Día de los Muertos. This year’s exhibit, titled “Hanal Pixán” which means “food for the souls” in the Mayan language, is no exception. And it runs until December 16 if you haven’t seen it yet.

Every year, I love going to the museum around Día de los Muertos not only for the exhibit, but also for the calaveritas de azúcar (sugar skulls) that are handmade and decorated by the famous Mondragón family from Toluca, Mexico.

But one of the things I love most about the museum is open year-round: the Tzintzuntzán gift shop, which has all kinds of Mexican treasures from art to books and music to home decorations and more. Especially during Day of the Dead festivities, the gift shop is filled with Día de los Muertos trinkets and goodies—they’ve got papel picado (that is actually reasonably priced), shadowboxes with mini ofrendas, sugar skulls, paper mache food for ofrendas such as paper mache pan dulce, and the list goes on and on.

Below is a slideshow of some of my favorite items for sale in the gift shop during a recent visit.

La Virgen de Guadalupe

Picture 1 of 12

This shadowbox from the museum's gift shop is one of many dedidated to La Virgen de Guadalupe.

The National Museum of Mexican Art is located at 1852 W. 19th St., Chicago, IL 60608.

  • Have you been to the museum? What’s your favorite exhibit or thing you’ve seen in the gift shop?
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