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Stay Home For The Holidays - Recipes

Cooking at Home

Cooking for the holidays is a tradition that stretches back to several generations. Holidays are frequently associated with food. Food is essential for the holidays for many reasons. For one, when people typically gather, food is usually apart of the gathering. When people get together, they enjoy eating together and using this time to have fellowship with others. Another reason why food is important to the holidays is that food has a meaning. The types of food we eat on holidays have a lot to say about the particular holiday. It is custom to eat certain foods for certain holidays. It is a tradition to eat the same foods for the same holidays. For example, the Fourth of July typically has foods like hamburgers, hotdogs, other grilled meats, French fries, pasta salads, and fruits. It makes sense why these types of foods would be accompanied by a warm holiday occurring in July. Just like we tend to eat heavier foods for holidays that occur during the colder months. For Thanksgiving, for example, turkeys are common. Having a feast of various dishes is a tradition for a holiday like Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is perhaps because of the history of how Thanksgiving began.

What Food Symbolizes

Food symbolizes many things. Food symbolizes the history. This is evident in the traditional holiday foods we eat. Food embodies family values and cultural values. Different families will select certain foods for gatherings depending on their family values and culture. Because food can have family, cultural, and historical meanings, food brings us together. Food brings family members together because they share the same type of liking for a particular food. The same can be said within a culture of people. Apart from family values when concerning food, is passing down family recipes. Certain recipes have been cooked for generations. Passing down recipes keeps these family values alive. It holds a bond between the generations. Each generation can learn about each other and learn about why these family recipes are so important. A sense of family and togetherness is preserved in these family recipes.

Holiday Traditions

Holidays this year will look different than what they traditionally look like. The pandemic has transformed nearly every area of our lives. The holiday season will not go untouched. This year people may not be gathering with family and friends like they typically do, but traditional holiday foods will probably still be cooked and ate. However, Family traditions can still be kept alive. Talking with family members over the phone and sharing holidays plans are a way we can remain connected even in a pandemic. Remain positive in knowing holiday traditions that involve gathering with the family will return. Let's move forward into a new year with hopeful expectations that certain family traditions will reappear in the coming year.

The recipes

The recipes shared this holiday season are ones that the whole family will enjoy. Some of these recipes are traditional dishes, some are creatively put together and others are for vegan lovers. This holiday season try something new in the kitchen. You will see too why these yummy recipes are holiday favorites.

Menudo : Shared by Daniel Ruiz

Ingredients:

·4-5 lbs. Beef Tripe; Honeycomb or Otherwise

·2 Pigs feet; Neck bones or stock bones can be substituted.

·108 oz. can Posole (Hominy)

·16 oz. Red Chile Puree; use more if you like it spicy

·1 White Onion

·2 Carrots, Large

·2 Celery Stalks, Large (There should be roughly equal amounts of celery, onion, and carrot)

·2 Bay Leaves

·Salt and Pepper to taste

Equipment:

·10 QT Stockpot or larger

·Sharp knife·Cutting board

·Large spoon·Cheese cloth

Directions:

1. Prepare the beef tripe. Cut it into uniform bite/spoon sized pieces. Once complete, place the prepared tripe into the stockpot—season well with salt and pepper.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Thoroughly wash the carrots and cut the stem end off. Wash the celery stalks and peel the onion, leaving it whole. Place the veggies into the stockpot with the tripe. Using large pieces of veggies prevents them from breaking down as much over the long cooking time. Also, it can be easily removed when the tripe is done. Open can of Posole and set aside.

3. In a large piece of cheesecloth, make a sachet bag. In it, you will place the pig's feet, bay leaves, or any whole spices you may want to use, such as whole peppercorns. The pig's feet are full of small bones. If cheesecloth is not used, you risk biting down on a bone rather than Posole's kernel. The feet can still be enjoyed once removed from the sachet. The feet or bones should not be omitted. They bring added body and flavor to the broth. Place the sachet into the stockpot with the other ingredients.

4. Pour enough cold water into the stockpot to cover the ingredients by about 3 inches, and then cover the stockpot with the lid. Place stockpot onto the burner and set to HIGH.

5.Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about 3 hours or until the tripe is tender and is no longer firm and chewy. Tripe should not be mushy. Periodically check and stir your Menudo, be sure to skim off any scum that forms on the surface of the cooking liquid. After 2 hours of cooking, I recommend checking the tripe for tenderness every 20-30 minutes until perfect.

6. Once the tripe is where you want it, add the whole can of Posole (including the liquid) to the stockpot. You may need to use a bit of water to rinse the bottom of the can to get it all out. At this time, add the chile puree. Depending on how hot your chile is and how hot you like your Menudo, this part is flexible. I like mine hot, so I used 3 cups of extra-hot.

7. Increase the heat and simmer the Menudo for about ten more minutes. Now is the time to check and adjust the seasoning. Add salt or other spices like whole oregano to the Menudo in small increments until it is just right.

8. The Menudo is now ready. Ladle it into bowls and serve finely diced onion, a teaspoon of whole oregano, a lime wedge, and a bread roll or saltine crackers. Enjoy it on a cold day or after a night of drinking.

Posole: Shared by Carmen Ruiz

Ingredients:

·4-5 lbs. Pork Butt, Bone-in

·108 oz. can Posole (Hominy)

·16 oz. Red Chile Puree; use more if you like it spicy

·1 White Onion

·2 Carrots, Large

·2 Celery Stalks, Large (There should be roughly equal amounts of celery, onion, and carrot)

·2 Bay Leaves

·Salt and Pepper to taste

Equipment:

·10 QT Stockpot or larger

·Sharp knife

·Cutting board

·Large spoon

Directions:

1. Prepare the Pork Butt. Debone the roast by cutting along the seams and the bone, leaving as little meat on the bone as possible. This step may be skipped, but cooking it whole will increase cooking time. Cut the removed pork meat into large 3-4 inch cubes. Take the time to remove SOME of the excess fat. Remove any silver skin if present. Once complete, place the prepared pork into the stockpot—season well with salt and pepper. Add the bone. The bones should not be omitted. They bring added body and flavor to the broth.

2. Prepare the vegetables. Thoroughly wash the carrots and cut the stem end off. Wash the celery stalks and peel the onion, leaving it whole. Place the veggies into the stockpot with the tripe. Using large pieces of veggies prevents them from breaking down as much over the long cooking time. Also, it can be easily removed when the pork is done. Open can of Posole and set aside.

3. Pour enough cold water into the stockpot to cover the ingredients by about 3 inches, and then cover the stockpot with the lid. Place stockpot onto the burner and set to HIGH.

4. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Cook for about an hour, and be sure to skim off any scum that forms on the surface of the cooking liquid. Remove the chunks of pork and place them onto the cutting board. Cut the pork into bite/ spoon sized pieces. Discard any large amounts of fat that remain. Return the meat to the pot and continue cooking for another hour or until the pork is tender. Periodically check and stir your pork. **Why not just cut the pork into bite-sized pieces from the start? By the time we get the goodness out of the bone, the meat will be overdone and mushy. Trust, the extra step is worth it**

5. Once the pork is where you want it, add the whole can of Posole (including the liquid) to the stockpot. You may need to use a bit of water to rinse the bottom of the can get it all out.

6. Increase the heat and simmer the Posole for about ten more minutes. Now is the time to check and adjust the seasoning. Add salt or other spices like whole oregano to the Menudo in small increments until it is just right.

7. The Posole is now ready. Ladle it into bowls. At this time, I like to add a few tablespoons of a cooked and seasoned red chile puree to my Posole. The whole pot can be seasoned with the chile as well. Just add about 2 cups of red chile puree to the pot when you return the cooked meat to the pot after cutting it. Posole can be served with finely diced onion, a teaspoon of whole oregano, a lime wedge, and a bread roll or saltine crackers. Enjoy it on a cold day or anytime.

Forbidden Rice: Shared by Lynda Ferris

Ingredients:

* 1/2 head of garlic (about six cloves), peeled

* 1 (6-inch) square parchment paper* 1 (6-inch) square aluminum foil

* 1 to 2 tsp. vegetable oil

* 1 cup of black rice, medium grain

* 1 ½ cup of water* 1/3 lb. of bacon, cooked, chopped

* 1 small onion, finely chopped* 1/8 tsp. of black pepper, ground* 1 t. of soy sauce or tamari, to taste

* 2 scallions, coarsely chopped

Plan of Action:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

2. Put the parchment paper on top of a sheet of foil. Place the garlic in the middle and drizzle with vegetable oil. Bring the foil up and around the garlic and bake for about ½ hour, or until the garlic is caramelized. Cool and mince.

3. Add the black rice and water to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover, turn the heat to low and cook for about 20 minutes until all of the water is absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from the heat and let stand, covered, for an additional 10 minutes.

4. While the rice is cooking, fry the bacon in a large, deep skillet over moderate heat until crisp. Transfer the bacon to a plate covered with a paper towel to drain.

5. Pour off all of the fat in the skillet and add back to 1 or 2 tsp of the grease. Add the onion and cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring, about 5 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the bacon, black rice, black pepper, and roasted garlic, and cook until warmed throughout.

6. Transfer to bowls, season with soy sauce or tamari, garnish with scallions and serve.

Raw Pecan Thumbprint Cookies: Shared by Shayla Kummer

Ingredients:

Cookie:

* 1 1/2 cups of dried mulberries

* 1/2 cup of cashews

* 1 1/2 cup of almond flour

* 2 TS. Of vanilla

* 2 TS of cinnamon

Sauce:

* 6 strawberries

* 1/2 cups of chia seeds

* Juice from half a lemon

* 4 dates

Toppings:

* Pecans

* Dash of cinnamon

Plan of Action:

1. Mix all cookie ingredients in a good processor or high-speed blender until all ingredients are evenly mixed.

2. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.

3. Begin shaping the dough into the desired form (get creative!) — (The thicker, the better!

)4. Press thumb in the middle of the cookie, creating an excellent bowl shape for the sauce to sit in.

5. Place formed cookies on a baking pan and let your cookies chill in the fridge for 20 minutes.

6. Blend all of your sauce ingredients in a high-speed blender.

7. After cookies have chilled for 20 minutes, remove from fridge, pour the sauce into your cookie, and top with pecan and dash of cinnamon! Enjoy!