Sunday, October 24, 2010


In Mexico we celebrate November 2nd, Dia de Los Muertos (day of the dead) with Pan de Muerto (bread of the dead). The custom is for people to setup altars to honor their loved ones. In these altars they make offerings including their favorite foods. One of these offerings is usually Pan de Muerto.

Although we had Pan de Muerto when we lived in Mexico City, it wasn't our family's tradition to setup altars or even bake it. We've decided to make it our family tradition to bake it.

I found an excellent recipe online at that was posted by Lola. Thank you Lola! Your recipe is simple, easy to follow and delicious.

So after driving around Sandy's neighborhood thanks to a faulty GPS (grrrr....) I finally arrived at my destination. I started the dough at home since it needs to sit and rise for a while. And being that I'm more into cooking than photography, I naturally forgot to take photos of the initial steps. But trust me, it's easy! Here we go...

1/4 cup margarine
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons anise seed
1/4 cup white sugar
2 eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons orange zest
1/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons white sugar

Heat the milk and the butter in a medium saucepan, until the butter melts. Remove from the heat and add the warm water. The mixture should be around 110 degrees F (43 degrees C).

In a large bowl combine 1 cup of the flour, yeast, salt, anise seed and 1/4 cup of the sugar. Beat in the warm milk mixture then add the eggs and orange zest and beat until well combined. Stir in 1/2 cup of flour and continue adding more flour until the dough is soft.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic.

Place the dough into a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size. This will take about 1 to 2 hours.

* This is when I hit the road from my place to Sandy's with "THE dough * Thanks to the GPS, I drove around in circles around her house for waaaay to long.

And that's where the next step came in handy :) ...
Punch the dough down...careful not to miss the don't want to hit the counter me...ouch!

Shape the dough into a large round loaf with a round knob on top, for a traditional look. Or, shape into the desired shape of your choice like skulls...get creative!
Place dough onto a baking sheet, loosely cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for about 1 hour or until just about doubled in size.

Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for about 35 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven. Let cool slightly then brush with glaze.

To make glaze:

In a small saucepan combine 1/4 cup sugar, orange juice and orange zest. Bring to a boil over medium heat and boil for 2 minutes.

Brush glaze over top of bread while still warm.

Sprinkle glazed bread with white sugar.


The result was way better than I expected. We all enjoyed even, even mom and dad were raving. I hope you enjoy it as much. Hasta pronto.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Caldo de Pollo / Chicken Soup

Caldo de Pollo

Hey ya'll, it's me, Sandy.  Are you ready for some healthy, wholesome goodness? (Say yes). Sweet, then let me share this nostalgic Mexican chicken soup with you all.  I remember eating this soup since I was a little girl-back when I didn't even like squash!  Mom brought some of this to my house in August when I got sick and I suspect it has healing powers.  
Anyways, this would have been a perfect dish during those few days when we had rain recently.  But we are providing you with this delicious and healthy recipe now-on this hot Inland Empire day- as preparation for the cold (or at least chilly) days ahead.   The recipe is very simple....we got it right the first time without any boo-boo's (besides cutting up too many veggies)!  

Here are the ingredients:

-3.5 lbs of chicken (with skin)
-2 tomatoes
-3 potatoes
-2 onions
-3 Mexican squash
-3 to 4 carrots
-3 tablespoons of oil
-oregano, just a pinch or two
-salt to taste

Cook the chicken in a big pot with enough water to cover it.  Use medium high heat.

Chop the onions and the tomatoes, then set aside.
Add a few chunks of the onion to the cooking chicken at this time.

Chop up the potatoes, carrots, and squash.
Chop! Chop! Chop!  Good job, Sonia... looking good! ;)

When the chicken is fully cooked, remove from the pot of water and remove the skin.  It should pretty much slide off.  Sonia used a knife and fork to do this so she didn't even get her hands dirty, she's a pro.

Place the chicken back in the pot along with the potatoes, carrots, and squash. Cook at medium heat.  Add a pinch or two of oregano and salt.

After letting the denser veggies cook for about 5 minutes, grill the onions and tomatoes with a bit of oil over medium heat.  As soon as they cook and smell yummy, add them to the pot.

Cook until the potatoes and carrots and just tender. Make sure you taste it and salt to your liking.

Serve hot with corn tortillas and sliced avocado.  Que rrrrrrico!

Please leave comments and questions.  We love the feedback!  Let us know how your caldo de pollo turned out and let us know how much you loved it!  Until next time....

Sandy y Sonia