The table is set....
the decorations are placed...
the Machaca is made.....
the dessert is baked and decorated.
In a few weeks on November 1st to be exact, many families of Mexican Heritage will be setting up altars or using the day to remember their loved ones who have passed on. This day is two-fold for me as this is also the birthday of my beloved Mother, Dora Cota Beltran Tucker. She was an extraordinary lady who was funny and taught me so much. Many things I do are because of her, I get my love of cooking and decorating from her, she was the Mexican Martha Stewart. She could of wrote the book on country living, she did country living before it went mainstream. Today I share with you a little bit of both, the love of cooking and the love of decorating that lives through me in memory of my Mother.
Last year when I saw these sugar skull nampkins at World Market I fell in love with them. I was not sure what I was going to do with them but I think they make a great banner for my hutch. I added some orange Marigolds from Trader's Joes to tie in with the orange ribbon I hot glued to the back of the skull nampkins. I brought out my glittered skull and cauldron full of glittered mini-skulls to set the mood for the celebration. You can read here if you would like to know more about this celebration or read here to read a bit more and to read a true story about a real skull that ended up in our possesion. Here is last years Roger's Gardens Fall Decor and the Dia De Los Muertos Room.
Continuing with the "Dia de los Muertos" theme...I set our farmhouse table with the skull candles I made last year and added the the bleeding black skull from World Market and some plates I picked up at Michaels on clearance. Of course I have to have my white pumpkins to the tablescape....
Right now you can get all their Halloween Stuff for 50% off!! They have a great selection of Halloween items as well as Food and Drinks to celebrate the season. I'm loving my skull turned planter I got atWorld Market, you can use it as a candy dish or do the planter idea. I first saw this idea on Pinterest and I had to recreate it. The open skull at World Market is the perfect succulent planter.
Now on to my Mother's Machaca recipe, it is a family favorite and it is one that my Mother made all the time for our family, especially if we had guests. Everyone always asked her to make it and my family LOVES it too. Without further ado.... Abuelita's Machaca
These are the basic ingredients; Flank Steak, 2 bell peppers, garlic, 2 serrano peppers or 1 anaheim, 1 onion, salt, pepper, oregano, garlic salt and a can of tomatoes. I was able to pick up my spices at World Market, they have a great selection of spices from across the globe.
First you cut the galic in slivers then score the meat and insert the garlic in the scored meat. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and oregano on both sides. Put in oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until each side is browned. Let cool. Once cool shred the meat put into a skillet with oil and saute with sliced onion. Once onion is tender add the peppers, tomatoes, garlic salt, pepper, oregano, ketchup. Lower the heat to low, cover and let cook for 1 hour.
Put in a warm tortilla, roll up and devour...serve with Spanish Rice and a salad or beans. It actually tastes better the next day when all the spices meld together.
Now on to the dessert....while browsing the isles at World Market...I found a great selection to enhance my theme, El Dia de los Muertos. Starting with the Mam Papauls Red Velvet cake mix it includes the frosting too. The black and white skull cupcake liners were a perfect fit for the graveyard cupcakes. When I came across the Amsterdam Cookies I thought they would make the perfect tombstones. I added a few candy bones I had on hand.
The shape of these shortbreads looked like the shape of headstones to me, so I melted the Ghirardelli melting wafers in white and smeared the icing on the wafers. When they were cooled I used a writer pen to write R.I.P. on them and sprinkled them with silver sparkling sugar . Stuck them in the cupcakes and added the bones.
I had some plastic tombstones that I've had forever and put a couple of those on top of a few of the cupcakes. I spinkled them with some green spinkles to look a little like grass. I think they turned out pretty darn spooky-cute.
Not only were they spooky-cute they were tasty too! Not too sweet but just the right amount of sweetness, the girls gave them a two thumbs up. Now here is another thing that is pretty sweet! A chance to win a trip to the Rivera Maya from World Market and inconjunction with the release of the movie The Book of Life, click on the link to enter the Book of Life Sweepstakes. Good Luck!
The Book of Life opened last night in theatres. It stars the voices of Channing Tatum (hubba, hubba), Zoe Saldana, Diego Luna, Danny Trejo, Cheech Marin, Directed by Jorge Gutierrez (El Tigre, Mad TV) and produced by Guillermo Del Toro (Puss in Boots, Kung Fu Panda, Pan’s Labyrith, he also did Mama)