family christmas traditions

Pumpkin Seeds at Home

After Halloween we’re left with pumpkins of all sizes here and there. Here’s a simple pumpkin seed recipe. Everyone at home loves this pumpkin seeds recipe.

Ingredients:

– Pumpkin seeds

– 1 tsp of butter

– 1 pinch of salt

Directions:

– Heat up oven at 345 F.

– Take the pumpkin seeds out of a pumpkin. Wash them throughly and place on a round baking pan or big plate where you can spread them out well. Let them air dry for about 4-6 hours or overnight.

Heat the butter until it melts and add the salt. Mix well. Add the seeds to the butter mixture. Cover a baking pan with a baking sheet. Place the seeds on the pan making sure they are well spread appart.

– Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until seeds are brown.

– Enjoy! 🙂

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Ponche de Navidad, a Mexican Christmas tradition.

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Buñuelos and ‘Ponche de Navidad’ [with or without Tequila], guests of honor at Mexican Christmas family gatherings. This week we celebrated a Posada with Norma and her family. She prepared this warm, inviting drink, gave me the recipe and shared some of this tradition’s story. Common Mexican middle of the road knowledge says this tradition started when during colonial times, the Spaniards brought this recipe from Europe to Mexico. Since then, on the Posadas (“novenas”) and “Nochebuena” (Christmas Eve) nights Mexican families in Mexico have shared time around this Ponche de Navidad in expectation of Christmas Day. Today, families continue this old tradition whether in Mexico or abroad. Before going home, kids receive ‘bolos’, or treat/loot bags with the following goodies: Animal crackers, peanuts and Mexican spicy candies. 🙂

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Mexican Buñuelos go very well with the drink. (Do not mistake Mexican Buñuelos for Colombian Buñuelos , another Christmas tradition in that country.)

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Ponche de Navidad Recipe 😉

Start boiling enough water  (calculate 2 cups per guests) with enough cinnamon sticks (1 stick per 2 cups of water.) When it boils add abundant amount of fruits (below), brown or white sugar, and a Tequila shot (optional).

  • Fruits cut in big chunks or slices: Oranges, pears, apples, tamarinds, guavas, sugar cane pieces, tejocotes (or kumquats, if you can’t find tejocotes)
  • Notes: 1) Alternative to adding the Tequila shot to the pot, you may add it to the cups, as you serve. Guests often prefer to decide if they’ll want it with Tequila or not. 2) Sugar Cane and Tamarind are often found at Whole Foods or international markets.

Hopefully you can try this easy Ponche de Navidad recipe. If you decide to make it, do let me know how it goes! It’s also great for any cold winter night..