Tu mamá

Día de la Madre (Mother’s Day) – is fast approaching in the United States. (In Latin America, as many of you know. it’s on a different day.) Are you ready to show your love to your mami on Sunday, May 12th? If you need a little help brainstorming gift ideas, here are some great guides, crafts, and recipes other blogueras have put together.

Image source: craftingeek.me

Image source: craftingeek.me

Craftingeek has dozens of crafts you can make para tu mamá. My favorite is the album scrapbook pictured above.

latinamomme2

Check out latinamom.me for their Mother’s Day Gift Guide and their gallery of Stylish Accessories Para Mamá.

Coffeecake con Frambuesas - Almuerzo con Mamá // Image source: Ericka Sanchez

Coffeecake con Frambuesas – Almuerzo con Mamá // Image source: Ericka Sanchez

Almuerzo con Mamá is a beautiful, bilingual collaboration of free recipes to make for Mother’s Day from several of my favorite foodie blogueras, like the Coffeecake con Frambuesas pictured above.

3amigasguide

The “3 Amigas” strike again with another gift guide bien bella just in time for Día de la Madre. Check it out HERE.

DIY_tissue_flowers_craft-modernmami

These Tissue Paper Flowers by guest contributor Lisa Renata on ModernMami.com almost look like the real thing. So pretty!

picmonkey

Online photo/image editor, PicMonkey, has some really creative ideas for gifts you can make with the help of a good printer. Check those out here on the PicMonkey blog.

How are you remembering your mami this Mother’s Day?

Goodbye Vuvuzela, Hello Caxirola

Image source: SecultBA

Image source: SecultBA

If the sound of buzzing vuvuzelas drove you to distraction, (or up the wall), during South Africa’s World Cup, then the sound of Brazil’s caxirola may be a welcome change.

The hand-held instrument made of recycled plastic which sounds a bit like a rainstick, is based on the caxixi, a woven instrument filled with dried beans that can be found in various regions including Brazil. The caxirola can be played in a number of ways as demonstrated by its Brazilian inventor, musician, Carlinhos Brown. Chécalo!

Unfortunately this story doesn’t end with a “happily ever after” just yet. The caxirola is not being embraced as perhaps Brazil and FIFA had hoped. Just last week, hundreds of the caxirolas which were given out at a game, were chucked onto the pitch. (Now that I think about it, they are a great size, shape and weight to be tossed a considerable distance… they even kind of resemble grenades.)

Still others complain that the sound of the caxirola simply isn’t characteristic of a traditional Brazilian football game – that it’s being forced on them when they much rather prefer the usual chants.

What do you think? Is this better than the vuvuzelas or should we just enjoy the game sans musical instruments?

Read more about the caxirola on CNN.com.

Mi Bolsa Salvadoreña de Frijoles de Café

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

sofa2

Mi cumpleaños fue el mes pasado y mi madre me sorprendió con el regalo de una bolsa hecha de arpillera que una vez llevó frijoles de café de El Salvador. Mi mami fue varias veces para Mayorga Coffee y preguntó si tenían bolsas de El Salvador. Significa mucho para mí que mi mamá pensó en un regalo creativo que se ajuste a mis intereses y estilo, y también que ella fue a tantas molestias para conseguirlo.

Si tuviera que adivinar, (y estoy totalmente adivinando), yo diría que esta bolsa es El Porvenir Cup of Excellence de San Miguel. Este café es descrito como “Aroma/Sabor: Aroma picante, mango, mora, cítricos, florales, miel, chocolate, arándano, melaza.” Yo no soy una gran bebedora de café y por lo general mezclo crema y el azúcar tanto que yo nunca sería capaz de probar todas esas sabores, pero es delicioso imaginarlo.

Mi madre dijo que ella iba a tener la bolsa enmarcada pero es bastante grande y ella no quería cargarme con un objeto enmarcado tan grande. Esta fue probablemente una decisión inteligente, porque el espacio es limitado en las paredes de mi casa.

Eso deja la pregunta de qué hacer con la bolsa. He visto a algunas personas que reciclan estas bolsas de café en almohadas, bolsos, y alfombras – pero me decidí a poner la mía en el sofá hasta que decida qué hacer con ella.

sofa1

Parece bien así, ¿verdad? ¿O crees que debería hacer algo diferente con ella?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

My birthday was last month and my mother surprised me with the gift of a burlap bag which once held coffee beans from El Salvador. She went multiple times to Mayorga Coffee and asked if they had any bags from El Salvador. It means a lot to me that she thought of such a creative gift that fits my interests and style, and also that she went to so much trouble to get it.

If I had to guess, (and I’m totally guessing), I’d say this bag is the El Porvenir Cup of Excellence variety from San Miguel. This coffee is described as “Aroma/flavor: spicy aroma, mango, berry, floral, citrus, honey, chocolate, cranberry, molasses.” I am not a big coffee drinker and I usually mix in so much creamer and sugar that I’d never be able to taste all those notes, but it’s delicious to imagine.

My mother said she was going to have the bag framed but it’s pretty big and she didn’t want to burden me with a large framed object. This was probably a smart move because wall space is limited at my house at this point.

That leaves the question of what to do with the bag. I’ve seen some people recycle these coffee bags into pillows, purses, and rugs – but I decided to just lay mine on the back of the sofa until I figure out what to do with it.

It looks kind of good just like that, doesn’t it? Or do you think I should make something with it?

________________________________________________________

Update: After posting this, a friend (from Mexico), asked if “frijoles de café” is how you say “coffee beans” in El Salvador, because she knows them only as “granos de café.” It turns out that “frijoles de café” is just my very literal and incorrect translation from English. I have always called coffee beans “frijoles” and Carlos, for whatever reason, has never corrected me. Maybe this is his payback for me laughing at his English.

Another interesting note, after I posted this, Carlos kept referring to the bag as a “costal” (a new word for me.) “Costal” is the word for “sack” and is more accurate than calling it a “bolsa” or “bag.”

Conversation Hearts en español! (Giveaway!)

ConversationHearts_Latinaish

Over the weekend I shared on Facebook that I discovered these Spanish-language Conversation Hearts at Target and I asked if I should give away a bag here on Latinaish. As expected, the answer was an overwhelming “¡Claro que sí!” so here is your chance to win a bag of Spanish candy hearts for Valentine’s Day! See the rules (below) for how to enter.

(Random fact: The brand name is Brach’s, a company started by a German immigrant in the United States but the package says these particular candies were made in Argentina. Interesting!)

conversationhearts_latinaish_2

—GIVEAWAY CLOSED. CONGRATS TO: JEN E!—

GIVEAWAY RULES

Prize description: One lucky winner will receive a 1 lb. bag of Brach’s Spanish Sayings Conversation Hearts in Classic Flavors.

Approximate value: $2.50

How to Enter:

Just leave a comment below telling me what Spanish word or short phrase you would want on the candy heart someone gives to you, or what you would put on the one to give to your valentine. (Please read official rules below.)

Official Rules: No purchase necessary. You must be 18 years of age or older to enter. You must be able to provide a U.S. address for prize shipment. Your name and address will not be shared with any third parties. This prize was purchased by Latinaish.com and will be shipped by Latinaish.com. Please no P.O. Boxes. One entry per household. Make sure that you enter a valid E-mail address in the E-mail address field so you can be contacted if you win. Winner will be selected at random. Winner has 48 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected at random. Giveaway entries are being accepted between February 4th, 2013 through February 7th, 2013. Entries received after February 7th, 2013 at 11:59 pm EST, will not be considered. I will try to have the prize shipped so it arrives before Valentine’s Day but I do not make any guarantees that it will arrive on time. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. If you win, by accepting the prize, you are agreeing that Latinaish.com assumes no liability for damages of any kind. By entering your name below you are agreeing to these Official Rules. Void where prohibited by law.

Buena suerte!

Disclosure: This is not a paid or sponsored post. Brach’s was not contacted by Latinaish.com and Brach’s does not necessarily endorse Latinaish.com. All opinions are my own.

Salvadoran-style Birthday Cake

salvadorancake

Being married to Carlos over these past 15 years, one thing I’ve learned is that American birthday cake and Salvadoran birthday cake are very different.

Carlos will eat American birthday cake, but he doesn’t really like it.

Today was Carlos’s birthday and for the past few weeks, all he’s been talking about is Salvadoran birthday cake. I got the hint and asked him plenty of questions about it so I could make him one. Carlos says that growing up in El Salvador he always got a cake from a bakery called Flor de Trigo on his birthday. The cake part was moist but didn’t have a strong flavor, the frosting was only very slightly sweet. The cakes were usually layer cakes with fruit decorating the top.

I did some research, (even found the Flor de Trigo website!) and this is what I came up with.

cakecollage2

The cake is a white cake (from a box mix just to save some time), and the “frosting” is a homemade whipped cream. Sliced almonds decorate the sides, and the fruits I chose were strawberries and apricot. Carlos gave me muchos besos and said it’s just like a Salvadoran birthday cake. Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try!

Salvadoran-style Birthday Cake

Ingredients:

1 box white cake mix (I used Duncan Hines Classic White)
1 quart heavy whipping cream
1/2 to 3/4 cup white sugar (more if you prefer sweeter)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 cups sliced almonds
1 pint fresh strawberries, washed and sliced
1 can apricot halves, drained and sliced
1 can (12 oz.) “apricot cake & pastry filling” (I used “Solo” brand)

Directions:

1. Make cake according to package directions. If you have two round pans, use those. If not, you can do what I did – Put it all in a well greased 13 x 9 glass baking dish. Once baked and cooled, carefully turn onto a clean surface and slice in half to create 2 square layers. (Since the edges get browned while baking, slice those off so it’s uniform on all sides.)

2. This is how you make homemade whipped cream. (I recommend making this and assembling the cake the same day you plan to eat it.) First, it’s best if you have a large stainless steel bowl, but a plastic mixing bowl will work. Metal is better because you can get it nice and cold. Cold is your friend when making whipped cream! … Whichever bowl you’re using, stick it in the freezer along with the metal beater(s) from your electric mixer. The heavy whipping cream should be kept in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it. To make the whipped cream – pour the quart of whipping cream into the bowl. Turn your mixer on high and beat until stiff peaks form. Add a 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and sugar according to your tastes, (1/2 cup to 3/4 cups makes it just barely sweet by American standards.)

3. Put one cake layer on a base – this will be the bottom layer. (Ideally your base would be the bottom of a cake container which you can cover with a dome lid.) Spread the can of “apricot cake & pastry filling” on the top of the bottom cake layer. On top of the “apricot cake & pastry filling”, spread a layer of whipped cream. Top with the top cake layer.

4. Frost the entire outside of the cake with the whipped cream. Carefully toss the sliced almonds onto the sides of the cake.

5. Decorate the top of the cake with the sliced apricots and strawberries. (This recipe will work great if you decide to use different fruits or a different “cake & pastry filling” – so get creative! Other options include fresh or canned pineapple, fresh kiwi, canned fruit cocktail, and other kinds of berries.)

6. Cover cake and refrigerate for a couple hours then serve!

¡Feliz Cumpleaños! (or as I like to say, “Sapo Verde!“)

Noche Buena Fireworks

Image source: gmarvinh

Image source: gmarvinh

This past week I wrote my weekly column for Fox News Latino about the tradition of Christmas Eve fireworks in El Salvador, and the injuries it causes each year.

While doing research for the article I came across several videos which, despite the serious subject matter I was writing about, I found really amusing. It’s funny when people have a good time with fireworks and don’t get hurt, so I can definitely see why people continue to buy them and set them off.

I myself have never handled anything more serious than sparklers and since I didn’t grow up with fireworks being set off right in front of me as Carlos did, I have a healthy fear/respect of them. That being said, I know some of you will be setting off some pretty impressive cuetes tomorrow night, so I just wanted to take a moment to remind everyone to be careful and to keep small children at a safe distance while you’re celebrating. If you talk to your family in El Salvador on the phone, remind them too. Christmas is not as fun at the hospital. Have fun, pero con cuidado!

Un Nacimiento Bilingüe y Bicultural

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

El miercoles en la página Facebook, durante una conversación sobre nacimientos, una amiga y lectora de Latinaish.com, (“Lady Amalthea”), me mencionó que tenía un nacimiento que quería compartir con todos. Originalmente habíamos planeado compartirlo en la página de Facebook, pero cuando me mandó la foto ví inmediatamente que era muy especial y tenía que ser compartido aquí.

Dale un "click" para ver la foto en grande. Hay muchos detalles! (Click the photo to see it full size. There are a lot of details!)

Dale un “click” para ver la foto en grande. Hay muchos detalles! (Click the photo to see it full size. There are a lot of details!)

En las palabras de “Lady Amalthea”:

[Mi nacimiento es] un pueblo bicultural y bilingüe. He incorporado piezas que mi esposo y yo trajimos de Ilobasco, El Salvador y algunas casas de “Christmas Village” que hemos recogido juntos, como el Teatro de película, y la estación de tren. Mi esposo americano mantiene el argumento de que el nacimiento es algo fuera de control y que no es una escena de la natividad correcta, con los soldados, cachiporras, los animales de todo el mundo, etc., pero cada vez que mi hermana me manda más figuras para agregar, mi esposo no puede esperar para ver cuál es esta vez y donde yo la voy a poner! Mi esposo aún me convenció añadir un tren eléctrico para dar la vuelta alrededor del pueblo!

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

On Wednesday on the Facebook page, during a conversation about nativities, a friend and reader of Latinaish.com, (“Lady Amalthea”), mentioned that she had a nativity that she wanted to share with everyone. We originally planned to share it on the Facebook page, but when I saw the photo I immediately knew it was very special and had to be shared here.

In the words of “Lady Amalthea”:

[My nativity is] bicultural and bilingual. I incorporated pieces that my husband and I brought from Ilobasco, El Salvador and some Christmas village houses we have collected together, such as the movie theater, and the train station. My American husband keeps arguing that it’s getting out of hand and it’s not a nativity scene at all, with soldiers, cachiporras [cheerleaders], animals everywhere, etc., but every time my sister sends me more figures to add to it, he cannot wait to see which one it is this time and where I am going to place it! He even talked me into adding an electrical train to go around the village!

Mixing Traditions for a Bicultural Christmas

(Free Gift Tag! Go ahead and print this image to attach to gifts for familia y amigos!)

(Free Gift Tag! Go ahead and print this image to attach to gifts for familia y amigos!)

Most of you know that I write for several websites each month. I usually share those links on the Latinaish Facebook Page, but I wanted to link this one up here for those who might not be on Facebook since this particular post is so relevant to my usual content on Latinaish. I also took the opportunity to make a bicultural/bilingual gift tag for your Christmas gifts (see above!) Feel free to print it out and use it!

Now for the post:

Mixing Traditions for a Bicultural Christmas

Fifteen years ago I married Carlos, a Salvadoran immigrant who spoke little English. Because we were young, pregnant, and poor at the time—instead of moving to our own place—I moved Carlos into my parents’ house where I was still living. From the outside it didn’t seem like the most ideal situation, but living with my English-speaking Anglo parents turned out to be a unique opportunity for Carlos to get a crash course in English and American culture.

Of course, living in such a situation made our diverse backgrounds that much more apparent—especially during holidays, and especially during Christmas…[READ MORE HERE]

Lista de Deseos

Today is Spanish Friday so this post is in Spanish. If you participated in Spanish Friday on your own blog, leave your link in comments. Scroll down for English translation!

Image source: Matt & Megan

Image source: Matt & Megan

Esta semana yo estaba ocupadísima y todavia me quedan cosas en mi “to-do list” (“lista de cosas por hacer” – Me gusta que en español “to-do list” parece a “todo list”, porque tiene todo lo que tengo que hacer.)

Una cosa en mi “to-do list” es escribir mi blog post de Spanish Friday, también escribir mi “wishlist” (cosas que quiero por Navidad), para Carlos. Dejame explicar que no soy el tipo de persona que anda dando mi “wishlist” a todos, esperando que me compren algo – pero Carlos me lo pidió porque tiene miedo de comprarme algo que no me gusta, (como las flores fibra ópticas que me compró por nuestra primera Navidad.)

Entonces, voy a matar dos pájaros de un sólo tiro – Aquí está mi blog post de Spanish Friday, y también unas ideas para Carlos cuando ande buscando mi regalito de Navidad.

Mi Lista de Deseos

(Bueno, Mi Lista de Deseos que podemos comprar con el dinero en nuestro presupuesto y los deseos que son apropiados por publicar.)

#1. Pijamas de franela de cuadros

#2. Una camiseta de Chicharito (si no te gusta lo de México aunque me gusta mucho el jersey negro, está bien una de Manchester United.)

#3. Un certificado de regalos para la tienda Books-a-Million

#4. Cilantro acondicionador para el cabello de MALIN+GOETZ

#5. Una camiseta de La Selecta Playera de El Salvador (marca mitre, nombre: Agustín Ruíz)

#6. Global Warming por Pitbull, (CD, versión explícita)

#7. Una pelota “Ludo” (pero todavia no está disponible)

#8. “S” Shakira Eau Florale, (el perfume de la botella rosada que me compraste el año pasado)

#9. Una visita al Museo Nacional de Historia Americana en Washington, D.C., y despues a comer pupusas.

#10. Traerme una pizza (hongos y aceitunas negras), una caja de trufas de chocolate, y mirar la película “The King & I”, “French Kiss” o ” Ever After: A Cinderella Story” conmigo.

Y tú? Qué tienes en tu lista de deseos?

[ENGLISH TRANSLATION]

This week I was very busy and I still have things on my “to-do list” (I like that in Spanish “to-do list” looks like “todo [everything] list” because it has everything I need to do on it.)

One thing on my “to-do list” is to write my blog post for Spanish Friday, and another is to write my “wishlist” (things I want for Christmas) for Carlos. Let me explain that I am not the type of person who goes around giving my wishlist to everyone expecting them to buy me something – but Carlos asked me for a list because he’s afraid of buying something I won’t like, (like the fiber optic flowers he bought for our first Christmas.)

So, I’ll kill two birds with one stone – Here’s my blog post for Spanish Friday, and also some ideas for Carlos when he goes looking for my Christmas gift.

My Wishlist

(Well, My Wishlist of things we can afford on our budget and that are appropriate for sharing here.)

#1. Plaid flannel pajamas

#2. A Chicharito jersey (if you don’t like the Mexican jersey, although I love the black one, Manchester United is fine.)

#3. A gift certificate for the store Books-A-Million

#4. Cilantro hair conditioner from MALIN+GOETZ

#5. A La Selecta T-shirt for the El Salvador Beach team – (brand mitre, name: Agustín Ruíz)

#6. Global Warming by Pitbull (CD, explicit version)

#7. A “Ludo” ball (not yet available.)

#8. “S” Shakira Eau Florale, (the pink bottle of perfume that you bought me last year.)

#9. A visit to the National Museum of American History in Washington DC, and then to eat pupusas.

#10. Bring me a pizza (mushrooms and black olives), a box of chocolate truffles, and watch the movie “The King & I”, “French Kiss” or “Ever After: A Cinderella Story” with me.

How about you? What’s on your wishlist?