December 11, 2014

Season's Eatings in our Multicultural Family by Tanya M. of Mom's Small Victories

If you've been around my blog you might notice how obsessed I am with two things, books and food. Well the holidays are no exception and really a time to indulge in our favorite desserts. We have a rather international family, my side from India and my husband's side covers Mexico, Puerto Rico and Spain. It makes for some seriously delicious treats that I thought I would share with you.

Indian Treats

You've all heard of chai I'm sure. Growing up, "chai" just meant a cup of tea. My parents would make chai in the afternoons, adding a hint of spices, milk and sugar. Chai just warms my heart and soul and still no one makes it like they do. Isn't it true it just tastes better when someone makes it for you? It must be the extra love they put into each cup. Chai isn't just for holidays but a daily treat. Personally, I drink it more in the winter and every cup reminds me of home. I don't make mine this fancy but thought I'd share a recipe and this lovely picture with you for the "Best Chai Ever".

Photo Credit: The Best Chai Ever from The Hathi Cooks
Photo Credit: The Best Chai Ever from The Hathi Cooks

My favorite snack to eat with chai is chivda, a sweet and savory mixture of crunchy cereal, peanuts, raisins and spices. Again, not just a holiday treat and I eat this by the bowl fulls (or 3) especially when my mom visited and made me a big batch. This recipe uses the same sort of ingredients my mom does but she doesn't fry the cereal or nuts so it's healthier and fantastic!

Photo Credit: Corn Flake Chivda from Aayi's Recipes
Photo Credit: Corn Flake Chivda from Aayi's Recipes

Hispanic Treats

When I think of Christmas with my in-laws there are three treats that immediately come to mind. First, Mexican Hot Chocolate. Before we had kids, we would go to Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. We'd come home and my mother-in-law would whip up some creamy, rich Mexican hot chocolate for us to eat with bunuelos. My father-in-law-would divide up the presents and each person could open one. Though we don't go to Midnight Mass anymore, my husband and I have continued the tradition of hot chocolate and dessert after church and opening just one present on Christmas Eve for our kids. Here's a picture and recipe I found for Mexican hot chocolate, don't you want to drink that up!

Photo Credit: Mexican Hot Chocolate from The Minimalist Baker

Every Christmas, my mother-in-law bakes up big batches of Bunuelos, a cinnamon-sugar fried tortilla of incredible goodness. It takes her a lot of time to make them and it's usually a 2-person job so we really only get to savor these at Christmas. I haven't tried to make them myself yet because she loves to spoil us and makes them. Uh oh, I just realized she won't be here for Christmas this year! I better try a simpler version of Bunuelos with premade tortillas until she gets back but don't you just want to bite into these homemade ones!

Photo Credit: Bunuelos from Allrecipes
Photo Credit: Bunuelos from Allrecipes

 Finally, our cocktail of choice for the holidays is Coquito, Puerto Rican spiced egg nog. Served in a small cordial glass, it is hard to drink just one! With a hint of coconut and extra milk, we make a bottle for ourselves and one or two bottles for hostess gifts. Our family uses a carton of egg nog in place of the coconut and condensed milks but this picture and recipe are oh so pretty!

Photo Credit: Coquito from Always Order Dessert/a>
Photo Credit: Coquito from Always Order Dessert

Those are our favorite holiday treats in our Indian and Mexican household and a few ways we enjoy the treats of both cultures.

What are your favorite holiday treats?

Thank you, Tanya, for sharing!  I love Chai tea and bunuelos!  Visit Tanya at Mom's Small Victories.

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