I think we can all agree that cheese and tomatoes are one of the best food couples. They appear together in many different recipes, making delicious dishes like enchiladas, pizzas, and pastas. This recipe, however, is unique in that the cheese and tomato take center stage as the main ingredients. My mother used to make this recipe when I was a kid, and so it brings back happy memories from my childhood when I cook it. It reminds me of how my Dad would always come back from work carrying a bag of groceries from the market and another from the bakery. When the tomatoes where in season, he would buy the juiciest ones available and we would seat outside on the porch and eat them with a sprinkle of salt.
Sweet bread has a culture of its own in Mexico, and is a tradition that has been embraced and deeply loved for generations. We have primarily Spain and France to thank for that, as their influence is why we have such a passion for sweet pastry and breads plus a love for that classic combination: coffee and bread. The shapes and flavors of Mexican sweet breads amount to more than a thousand, each one with its unique and sometimes picturesque names, like: bows, braids, kisses, brides, bicycles, stones, baldies, lovers, bricks, yoyos, and rails, just to mention a few. We obviously cannot forget to mention the famous “Conchas”, which resemble a seashell and come in many flavors.
Spaghetti and other types of pasta were introduced in Mexico in the mid 1800s, where they were a dish reserved for the aristocrat classes of the time. Today, even though several types of pastas are available everywhere in Mexico, it is still not a meal that we see cooks prepare on a regular basis (the exceptions are fideos and the other pastas used to prepare soups common for midday meals). Instead, pasta dishes, such as this recipe for spaghetti with cream, are often reserved for special occasions (christenings, weddings, birthdays, etc.), usually on a menu that has many elaborated and sometimes non-traditional dishes. Pastas, whether dried or fresh, are more commonly found in the stores of urban neighborhoods. Spaghetti with cream is also very popular as a side dish for Christmas and New Year’s dinner.
In Mexico, we don’t just eat fruits, but we enjoy drinking them, too. Yes, we make all types of “Aguas Frescas” using fruits, herbs, and even grains and seeds. All of these drinks are very delicious, and I’m glad to be able to recreate many of them even though I am so far from Mexico. In this case, no one will have trouble preparing this agua fresca, since the ingredients are common in many kitchens. And besides, who doesn’t have an extra pair of ripe bananas lying around? With this recipe, instead of making the usual banana bread, you can fix yourself a quick refreshing drink with them.
Like many mothers, I always try to please my son when he is craving something special for dinner. A few days ago he told me that he wanted to have pasta for dinner, and just this week I teamed up with Barilla® to try some of its recipes inspired by our Latin flavors. Barilla®recipe website has recipes surprisingly fast and simple but very tasty. And this is a great advantage for modern mothers who have a busy life with their daily work load and children activities. This is not a traditional Mexican recipe, but that does not mean that Mexicans do not like to eat pasta. On the contrary, pasta arrived in Mexico during colonial times, and is now very common on restaurant menus and at home dinner tables, usually to accompany a good Milanese (a combination that kids love).
5 de Mayo is often taken as another excuse to gather with friends, have lots of beer, drink Margaritas, and eat guacamole with tortilla chips. Just like we use Saint Patrick’s Day to drink even more beer.
However, the victory at the battle of 5 de Mayo was of great significance for the Mexican-American people of that time.
General Ignacio Zaragoza, leader of a poorly armed force of Mexican soldiers, won the battle of 5 de Mayo against the undefeated French Army. The French Army, double the size of Zaragoza's men, was considered the most powerful army in the world.