Monday, May 5, 2014

Cinco de Mayo & Husband’s Choice

Today is “Cinco de Mayo”, which, of course, is Spanish for the 5th of May. We have seen all the recipes and celebration ideas for the day, but do we know what the celebrations are all about? Of course it’s a day for eating great Mexican foods, but there is a fairly serious background to the holiday.

Cinco de Mayo commemorates the May 5, 1862 victory of the Mexican army over France at the Battle of Puebla, a small town in central Mexico. This battle took place during the Franco-Mexican War, which went on from 1861 to 1867. During this battle the loss of French troops was approximately 5 times the Mexican losses. This victory invigorated the Mexican troops, who finally received US assistance after the end of the Civil War.

The holiday, however, appears to be celebrated more in the United States than in Mexico, where it is not a federal holiday. In fact, in many places it is just like any other day. but it is celebrated primarily in the state of Pueblo. Here we celebrate in areas of high Mexican-American population with parades, mariachi music and festivals. And with great food!

Many people think this is a celebration of Mexican independence, but it is not. The Mexican Independence Day is September 16.

How do you plan to celebrate? We’re having a Mexican meal tonight – burritos, refried beans, nachos. Sounds good!
Here comes the new Husband’s Choice recipe. You must try this one! It’s so incredibly easy and delicious, warm and full of fruity, nutty goodness!

This recipe called for a 4-quart slow cooker, so I pulled out my vintage 1960s model because it was the perfect size. This one, however, does not have the handy-dandy removable crock, so it’s a bit more difficult to clean. I love how they considered ease and convenience in the updating of our favorite small appliance.

IMAG0211Here it is, ready for action.
IMAG0209Ready to “bake”.
SDC10337After 3 hours – yum! Just look at that cherry nutty goodness and try not to drool…
SDC10338Time for dessert!


1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple (undrained)
1 (21 oz.) can blueberry or cherry pie filling
1 (18.25 oz.) box yellow cake mix
cinnamon to taste
1/3 cup light tub margarine
1/3 cup chopped walnuts

Grease the bottom and sides of a 4-quart slow cooker. Pour in pineapple, then pie filling – do not mix. Sprinkle dry cake mix over top. Sprinkle with cinnamon, then dot with small margarine chunks and sprinkle with nuts. Cover and cook on High for 2 to 3 hours.

Makes 15 servings.

Notes: My changes included using pineapple in juice, a no-sugar-added cherry pie filling and a sugar-free cake mix. We had this with a dollop of whipped topping – delicious! It’s a definite keeper recipe.

The “Fix-It and Forget-It Diabetic Cookbook – Exclusive Edition” by Phyllis Pellman Good with the American Diabetes Association was published in 2005. This big hardcover book is available at Amazon starting at $3.44 (used). Shipping rates vary.

There are hundreds of recipes in this book, from almonds to zucchini. It also includes a weekly menu plan and answers to questions about diabetes. But even someone who doesn’t suffer with diabetes can benefit from the delicious recipes in this cookbook. The best part is that the recipes are easy to prepare, and most of them do not require unusual ingredients.
So what’s happening this week besides Cinco de Mayo? If you check the “Holidays” page you’ll find listings of daily, weekly and monthly observances. Just a few this week are: 

Tomorrow, Tuesday,  is *No Homework Day, National Teacher Day and *No Diet Day. 
Wednesday will be the Great American Grump Out Day (do you know one or two??) and School Nurse Day. Thursday is VE Day and *No Socks Day. Friday is Child Care Provider Day and Military Spouse Appreciation Day, and on Saturday we’ll observe the Letter Carriers’ Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. So place those bags of food beside your mailbox and help out a lot of folks! Sunday, of course, is Mother’s Day  - it was on May 10 last year, and I posted some information about the history of Mother’s Day if you’d like to go to the archives and read it. Sunday will also be *Eat What You Want Day and *Hostess Cupcake Day.
Your comments and suggestions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!

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