Halloween has many unusual and somewhat creepy traditions. We dress up, ask for candy and scare each other, however, one of the most iconic traditional practices of this holiday is carving a pumpkin. Better known as a “Jack-o’-lantern”, pumpkin carving has become one of the most recognizable customs of the Halloween season.
Every year my family and I would go on a hunt to find the most massive and plump pumpkin, I took this tradition very seriously as a child. I loved spooning out all of the seeds and watching my dad create the most elaborate, and sometimes frightening, faces on our “Jack-o’-lanterns”. When Halloween night came, we set our pumpkin next to the front door with a candle illuminating its ghoulish face. With the holiday around the corner, I recently became curious on how about this widely popular Halloween tradition originated.
Pumpkin carving traces back to the legend of Stingy Jack. According to an old Irish folktale, Stingy Jack invited the Devil to a drink. Refusing to pay, Jack convinced the Devil to turn himself into a coin to purchase their drinks. Rather than paying for drinks, Jack decided to keep the coin for himself. Jack eventually freed the Devil. As his punishment, the Devil gave Stingy Jack a burning coal ember place in a hollowed-out turnip. With this being his only light, he was forced to roam the Earth for all eternity.
Irish children began to make their own versions of a “Jack-O’-Lantern” by carving devilish faces into vegetables to frighten away Stingy Jack. European immigrants brought this custom to the United States, and the old folktale soon turned into the widely popular Halloween tradition.
It’s that time again! Everyone’s most beloved fall drink is back in season. To celebrate the return of Pumpkin Spice Lattes, this easy and delicious recipe from our friends at allrecipes.com will “spice” up your day. In only 10 minutes, you will be enjoying one of fall’s most popular drinks.
1 cup milk, divided
1 tablespoon white sugar (add more for sweeter taste)
1 tablespoon pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup brewed espresso
1. Whisk 1/2 cup milk, sugar, pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and vanilla extract in a small saucepan over low heat. Simmer for 5 minutes.
2. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup milk and pour milk mixture through a fine-mesh sieve to remove pulp.
3. Return milk mixture to saucepan and simmer, whisking, 2 minutes.
4. Add espresso and whisk foamy, 1 minute.
Learn more about this sweet recipe at allrecipes.com
Here is another delicious recipe courtesy of Real Simple. Blueberry tart is a great dessert in the summertime and will only take about 15 minutes of hands on time for you to cook!
Flour for the work surface
1 8-ounce sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 large egg, beaten
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar
2 cups blueberries
- Heat oven to 375° F. On a lightly floured surface, unfold the sheet of pastry and roll it into a 10-by-12-inch rectangle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Using the tip of a knife, score a 1-inch border around the pastry without cutting all the way through. Brush the border with the egg and sprinkle with the granulated sugar. Bake until golden and puffed, 18 to 22 minutes.
- Using the tip of a knife, rescore the border of the cooked pastry without cutting all the way through. Gently press down on the center of the pastry sheet to flatten it. Let cool to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile, with an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the cream, lemon zest, and 2 tablespoons of the confectioners’ sugar and beat until smooth. Spread the cream cheese mixture evenly within the borders of the pastry.
- Arrange the blueberries in a single layer over the filling and sprinkle with the remaining tablespoon of confectioners’ sugar.
More about this amazing recipe can be found at Real Simple
Here’s a delicious recipe that we are reposting from our friends over at All Purpose Sweets in San Antonio. If you’re in San Antonio, go check them out!
Photo via wikipedia.org
Tex-Mex is one of the more well known regional cuisines in the United States, yet it has some critics. It is sometimes blamed for the creation of fast food Mexican joints such as Taco Bell or Taco Bueno. Defining Tex-Mex is complicated. Is Tex-Mex a cuisine all it’s own or is it a regional Mexican cuisine found in the southern United States?
Photo via wikipedia.org
Chopping all the ingredients for a meal is often what takes up most of the total cooking time. I enjoy the entire process of cooking, from the prep work to plating, but I’m always looking for little tricks to speed up the prep process. Here are a few tricks I came across recently that have saved me a lot of time. Read More…
Everyone has a different sense of taste. Some love raw veggies, others hate them. Some like the taste of chicken, others don’t. Here’s a list of five divisive foods that receive substantial opposition.
In Texas cilantro is not an uncommon ingredient. Many people love the pungent herb, but just as many despise it–so much so that there are websites dedicated to the hatred of cilantro (i.e. ihatecilantro.com). Even Julia Child despised it, saying, “Cilantro and arugula I don’t like at all. They’re both green herbs, they have kind of a dead taste to me.” Read More…
1. Myth: Eating eggs raises your cholesterol and is bad for your heart.
In recent decades eggs have been condemned for their high cholesterol content and their potential for increasing risk for heart disease. Recent research has suggested a different story. According to an article by the Harvard School of Public Health, eating 1-2 eggs a day can actually lower your risk of heart disease due to the presence of protein, vitamins B12 and D, riboflavin, and folate in the yolk. Read More…
Keeping with the breakfast theme this week, it seems appropriate to delve into the classic American breakfast–bacon and eggs.
Meet Edward Bernays, the father of public relations and the man we have to thank for making bacon and eggs the iconic american breakfast. During World War I, Bernays was part of the propaganda effort on behalf of the Allies. He believed that, “if [propaganda] could be used for war, it can be used for peace.” Read More…
1 small rotisserie chicken. I typically buy the ones that H-E-B has already prepared, but you can make your own if you wish.
2 cups red cooking wine
1 8 oz carton heavy whipping cream
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
Fresh parmesan or pecorino cheese, grated
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 T olive oil
Spaghetti noodles (or any other type of noodle)