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Posts Tagged ‘cooking’

Flag of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Image created...

(Photo Source: Wikipedia, Public Domain)

In the fall, the streets in Albuquerque and surrounding communities are lined with ristras—long (or short) collections of red chile pods tied together. Ristras are used for ornaments, and (if natural) may be used for cooking throughout the winter and into the spring.

Green chile is not gathered into ristras, but rather is roasted. The pungent odor travels hundreds of feet around the outdoor fire roasters. Hungry New Mexicans buy the now black and green pods by the sack and store or freeze them for later use.

In the winter, flu and virus epidemics make local residents hunger for the red and green delights they have stored away. One local eatery that specializes in New Mexican cuisine is Flying Star, a café chain that has been in business about twenty-five years and is “still cooking.”

Graburritos (a linguistic pun that tells customers what to do with this dish) are big, thick rolled burritos stuffed with scrambled eggs and covered with cheese and red chile, green chile—or both. For just a little more, a graburrito may be “smothered” with additional melted cheese and a double portion of  freshly prepared chile sauce.

Does chile really stop the winter flu and colds? Are graburritos medicinal? No scientific data exists at this time, and none is projected.  Albuquerque au pairs and host families may wish to conduct their own research!

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Svenska: En smoothie år 2009

(Bluebery smoothie, Wikipedia, Public Domain)

It can be a challenge to make fresh fruits and vegetables a regular and well-loved part of a young child’s diet, but fruit smoothies are a favorite for children of all ages. Below is a “generic” smoothie recipe that allows a cultural au pair to make quick and flexible smoothies for home lunches and snacks. Be sure to supervise young children carefully, if they help make their own smoothies.

First you need a blender.

  • For each smoothie serving, peel and slice one banana and place it in the blender. (Tip: If the banana has been frozen, it will chill and thicken the smoothie).
  • To the banana add a handful of seasonal or frozen berries (e.g., blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries, singly or as a mixture).
  • Add liquid to cover the fruit. Fruit juices of various kinds (e.g., apple, orange, grape) work well. Soy, almond, or rice milks are another possibility. Experiment with less liquid to make a thick smoothie, or more liquid to make a thin smoothie.

Extra nutritional supplements may be added as desired, to personalize a smoothie. Young children may prefer the plain ingredients above. Older children, who need extra energy for school athletics or other activities, may develop a taste for added ingredients below.

  • Wheat germ increases available B vitamins
  • Bee pollen (watch carefully for allergies with young children) is favored by some to increase general nutritional content
  • Protein powder (e.g., soy, rice, or whey protein depending on desire or sensitivity) adds amino acids that support protein synthesis
  • Spirulina or other greens powders add minerals
  • Juice blends (e.g. ginger and Echinacea) provide gentle levels of herbal ingredients

Blend all ingredients until well mixed. For further information and ideas, you may also enjoy visiting Smoothieweb.

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