mexican food margaritas

Mexican Food vs. Tex-Mex

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Have you ever wondered what the difference between Tex-Mex vs Mexican food is? If so, this blog post is for you! We recently watched Taco Chronicles on Netflix, which made us think, “What is the difference between Tex-Mex vs Mexican food? So if you’ve been pondering this question just like we have, read on as we delve deeper into this common query.

mexican food tacos

The fifth of May is an important day for many Americans and Mexicans, as it celebrates Cinco de Mayo, or Mexican Independence day. Just like Mexican food and Tex-Mex, this holiday has its own misconceptions. We are going to debunk myths about the celebrations surrounding this holiday. As well as the difference between the two delicious cuisines.

Cinco de Mayo: Why is it celebrated?

Cinco de Mayo is a United States holiday that celebrates Mexico’s Independence Day. However, this is a very famous misconception, as Mexico’s Independence Day is actually September 16, 1810. In Mexico, this day marks the “Battle of Puebla.” This battle was fought on May 5, 1862, between Mexico and France. The Mexicans unexpectedly defeated the French, thus they were able to keep the independence they already had.

cinco de mayo history

Why Cinco de Mayo is really a celebration of Mexican Food:

Two years after Mexico won the Battle of Puebla, the U.S. began celebrating Mexican culture on May 5th. Since then, millions of Americans celebrate this tradition every year. From festive parades and dancing in the streets to large tables of nachos and enchiladas, this celebration is all about food and fiesta.

cinco de mayo dancing

Food and Drink Consumption in the U.S. on Cinco de Mayo:

  • According to the cocktail market, about 126 million liters of tequila were consumed on Cinco de Mayo in 2019. It is also the seventh-largest beer-drinking holiday.
  • The California Avocado Commission says that about 87 million avocados were consumed on Cinco de Mayo in 2017.
  • Fiesta Broadway is the largest celebration of Cinco de Mayo. It is held every year in Los Angeles, California.
  • Mole Poblano is the official holiday dish.
  • There are over 360 tortilla factories in the U.S. that contribute to the production of tortillas.

mexican food margaritas

Mexican Food vs. Tex-Mex: What’s the difference?

In order to truly celebrate Cinco de Mayo, you need to know the difference between Mexican food and Tex-Mex.

  • The term Tex-Mex is short for Tex-Mexican (Texas and Mexican), a combination of both American and Mexican cuisines.
  • The most notable difference between the two cuisines is the ingredients. In almost all Tex-Mex dishes, cumin is the main ingredient, however, most traditional Mexican dishes don’t include it at all. Traditional Mexican plates use ingredients such as chile peppers, oregano, cacao, cilantro, and more.
  • Tex-Mex taco shells are typically hard tortilla shells, while Mexican taco recipes call for soft corn tortillas.
  • If you find cheddar on your Mexican food, then it is a Tex-Mex dish. Mexicans always use white or yellow cheese.
  • Many typical Mexican dishes including enchiladas, tacos, and more belong to both Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisines. However, Tex-Mex prepares them with their own flavors and style.

Iconic Tex-Mex Dishes

Here we’ve listed a few iconic tex-mex dishes to give you some ideas about what to eat during your next Cinco de Mayo celebration!

  • Chili con Carne: Chili con Carne is a classic Tex-Mex dish made of chili, which is chilis, chicken broth, and your own (or others) secret ingredients, and Carne, either chicken, beef, or pork. If you haven’t tried traditional Chili con Carne before, then what are you waiting for?
  • Steak Fajitas: Fajitas are grilled meats usually served on a taco and doused with delicious spices and toppings. A definite must-have during your next traditional Tex-Mex celebration.
  • Queso: Queso has been described as one of the pillars of Tex-Mex cuisine, and is even sometimes referred to as the “national party dip of Texas”. Essentially gooey, melted yellow cheese with green chiles, you’ll be able to find this dish almost anywhere Tex-Mex food is served.

Iconic Mexican Dishes

Mexican cuisine is a diverse and massive array of cultures and ingredients, so it’s hard to list just a few dishes. However, we’ve listed a few traditional Mexican foods here just to give you an idea of what Mexican cuisine offers.

  • Tacos: Tacos are a hugely popular Mexican food all over the world, and for good reason. At its most basic, tacos are small tortillas filled with cheeses, sauce, and fillings such as meat, beans, or vegetables. Traditionally, a Mexican taco is very basic, and rarely contains more than just meat and some sauce and few toppings.
  • Enchiladas: Enchiladas were made for cheese lovers! A large tortilla stuffed with veggies, beans, and meat, then covered in cheese and baked, this mouthwatering dish is a Mexican classic and one you won’t want to miss.

 We hope you learned a thing or two, about Cinco de Mayo! Enjoy your feast, and don’t forget to let us know what you make at home.

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Guide to Traditional German Must-Eats

Bist du hungrig? In German, this phrase means “are you hungry?” We want to know! If you have ever visited Germany, you came across delicious pretzel stands, pints of beer in traditional beer steins, bratwurst the size of your forearm, and much more. With so many different flavors and dishes to try it’s hard to narrow down the list of what not to miss out on. We are sharing our favorite traditional German food to try on your next getaway to Deutschland.

beer garden in Germany

Our favorite traditional German foods:

  1. Laugenbrezel
  2. Bratwurst
  3. Kartoffelpuffer
  4. Spaetzle
  5. Pork Schnitzel
  6. Knodel
  7. And last but not least, Apfelstrudel

Learn more about each of these dishes here:

laugenbrezl pretzel german food

Laugenbrezel – German Soft Pretzels

If you went to Germany and did not try a laugenbrezel, then you need to go back someday. Thick and soft with a browned exterior, German soft pretzels are simply irresistible. As well as quite famous not just in Germany, but around the world!

  • According to many popular legends, pretzels were first created by Christian monks.
  • Pretzels are considered a good luck symbol in Germany.
  • National Pretzel day is celebrated on April 26th in the U.S.
  • Pretzels were brought to the states in the 1800s by German immigrants.

While traditional German pretzels require a couple of special ingredients, you can make them like the pros, here


bratwurst dish

Bratwurst

Bratwurst (Brat – finely chopped meat, wurst – sausage) is one of the most typical street foods in Germany. While you can find them all over the country, this meal is most commonly found in stands all over Berlin. Here are some other fun facts:

  • The bratwurst sausage originated in Germany in 1313.
  • It is commonly served both on a stick and in a bun, which makes it the perfect on-the-go meal.
  • Bratwurst is made from pork, beef, and veal.

Learn how to make the perfect bratwurst, on a stick or in a bun, here.


potato pancake

Kartoffelpuffer – Potato Pancake

There isn’t a holiday or festival in Germany that doesn’t include Kartoffelpuffer, German potato pancakes. What’s not to love about a delicious treat?

  • Kartoffelpuffer is prepared differently than many other potato dishes as it is grated from raw potatoes, not boiled potatoes.
  • The most traditional way to eat these potato pancakes is with a side of applesauce, which adds sweetness to its savoriness.
  • In order regions of Germany, Katoffelpuffer is known as Reibekuchen and Kartoffelpfannkuchen.

Making this dish is simple and easy. Check out the recipe, here.


egg spaetzle dish

Spaetzle – Egg Noodles

While the photo above may look like yummy scrambled eggs, it’s actually another type of food in the egg family — noodles. Interested in learning more?

  • If you don’t have a spaetzle maker handy, you can use a colander or cheese grader to make spaetzle at home.
  • Spaetzle is one of the most popular traditional dishes in Germany, as well as in Austria, Switzerland, and Hungary.
  • The dish is prepared very similar to macaroni and cheese.
  • It can be topped with anything you like, and it serves well as a side or the main course.

Make spaetzle at home with these easy steps, here.


pork chops german food

Pork Schnitzel – Pork Chops

Who doesn’t love making pork schnitzel? This German-style pork chop is juicy, incredible, and so easy to make. Here are some things you may not know about pork schnitzel:

  • Schnitzel is not actually the type of food, but the name for how the pork is prepared.
  • Another name for schnitzel is schweineschnitzel.
  • Hammers are used to thin the pork before coating it in breadcrumbs to make a crispier crust.

Serve pork schnitzel at your next virtual dinner party, and learn the recipe here.


knodel german food

Knödel – Boiled Dumplings

Knödel is a staple side dish to many German meals. Making these dumplings is very easy! But did you know that they very different than any other dumpling? For starters, Germans make these dumplings by poaching or boiling them and then add egg and flour. Here are some more interesting facts:

  • Knödel does not require yeast, unlike many other doughy foods. This is what gives it its uniqueness.
  • The dumplings are traditionally quite large, and can even be as large as tennis balls.
  • Present-day, many Germans include plums and apricots in their dumplings for flavor.

Learn how to make the perfect knödel, here


apple pie german food

Apfelstrudel – German Apple Pie

This delicious dessert originated in the 18th century, during the Austro-Hungarian empire. However, Apfelstrudel is very much popular and traditional German food, today. Here are some other things you may not know about this apple dessert:

  • Traditionally Germany people eat Apfelstrudel warm as it contains a rich creamy apple filling. However, many people also eat this dessert cold. It all depends on your preference.
  • Apfelstrudel has its own English name which is apple strudel.
  • Apple strudel also has its own U.S. holiday on June 17th. Bakeries throughout the country love to celebrate this holiday with delicious pastries for everyone.
  • The term strudel is German for “whirl or swirl,” due to its form once baked.

Make the perfect apfelstrudel for dessert, here.


 Don’t forget to let us know what you are cooking up at home. Have you ever made any of these dishes? We can’t wait to experience them in Germany with you. Guten Apetit!

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Yoga: The Perfect Way to Start Your Morning

What do you do to stay mindful and calm during periods of stress and uncertainty? Here at CuddlyNest, one of the things that help us stay connected, grounded, and mindful together is yoga. That’s why twice a week, all in different parts of the world, we get together virtually through AtréYoga Studio, to practice.

yoga in the morning

Start Your Morning with Yoga

For this week’s Workout Wednesday, we invite our community to join us in our practice, by starting with Surya Namaskar – Sun Salutation. This is the perfect flow to start your day off on the right foot. Learn the correct positions and form for each pose provided here, by yoga instructor, Anna Paloma, and follow along on our IGTV and Facebook Watch to practice the Sun Salutation with our CuddlyNest Community. Namaste!

yoga poses

1. Standing Mountain Pose — Tadasana

Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Press your palms together in prayer position.

2. Upward Salute — Urdhva Hastasana

Inhale as you sweep your arms out to the side and overhead. Gently arch your back and gaze toward the sky.

3. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold forward from the hips. Bend your knees if necessary.

4. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as you lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor. Keep your fingertips on the floor.

5. Four-Limbed Staff Pose — Chaturanga Dandasana

Exhale as you step or jump back into Plank Pose (High Push-Up Pose), with your hands under your shoulders and feet hip-distance apart. Continue exhaling as you lower your body toward the floor. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides. If needed, come to your knees for Half Chaturanga.

yoga outside

6. Upward-Facing Dog Pose — Urdhva Mukha Svanasana

Inhale as you draw your chest forward and straighten your arms. Draw your shoulders back and lift your heart to the sky. Press through the tops of your feet, lifting your thighs off the floor and fully engaging your leg muscles. Keep your elbows tucked in toward your sides.

7. Downward-Facing Dog Pose — Adho Mukha Svanasana

Exhale as you lift your hips and roll over your toes, placing the soles of your feet on the floor. Your heels do not need to touch the ground. Ground down through your hands and the soles of your feet as you lengthen your spine. Lift your belly and sit bones toward the sky.

8. Half Standing Forward Fold — Ardha Uttanasana

Inhale as you step or jump both feet between your hands. Lift your torso halfway, lengthening your spine forward so your back is flat. Your torso should be parallel to the floor.

9. Standing Forward Fold — Uttanasana

Exhale as you fold your torso over your thighs. Bend your knees if necessary.

10. Upward Salute — Urdhva Hastasana

Inhale as you sweep your arms out to the side and extend up once again. Gently arch your back and gaze toward the sky.

11. Mountain Pose — Tadasana

Exhale as you come back into Mountain Pose. Bring your hands into prayer position.

Repeat this sequence five times for a full practice.

Why we practice with AtréYoga:

  • Their instructors are clear and precise, always focusing on a rectangular position of the mat for asanas and clear instruction during yoga training.
  • Metaphors and examples are used to guide the asanas and make them easier to understand.
  • Whether you’re a beginner or advanced yogi, anyone can participate and learn thanks to the visual cues and guidance from the instructors.

Come join us for the next session!

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margarita pizza

Five Traditional Italian Dishes You Can Make at Home

Are you looking for the perfect meals to whip up this week? Look no further because we have prepared a menu of five traditional Italian dishes that are easy to make and will leave you wanting more. Before you start cooking and become the next master chef, it’s important to learn a thing or two about where traditional Italian dishes come from and why they are an integral piece of Italian culture. Let’s start with the origin and ingredients.

italian dishes

Before we get cooking, let’s learn about traditional Italian dishes and cuisine:

Restaurants around the world have adapted certain plates and recipes to create their own version of Italian food. However, when it comes to traditional preparation, it’s important to know the correct methods and ingredients in order to make your Italian dishes just right. Or Perfetto come Italia, as the Italians say.

  1. Italians don’t use very much garlic.
    While you may find garlic bread at the top of most menus in Italian restaurants around the world, traditional Italian restaurants don’t serve garlic bread.  Rather, bread is typically served plain. Italians avoid overusing garlic in their dishes. They prefer to rely on flavorful and fresh ingredients.
  2. Spaghetti and meatballs is not an authentic Italian dish.
    Don’t worry, we’re not denying spaghetti and meatballs is delicious, however, it is not an authentic Italian dish. Italians actually rarely serve meat in their pasta.
  3. Pepperoni means “bell pepper” in Italian.
    If you have ever walked into a pizzeria in Italy and asked for a pepperoni pizza, you were probably surprised when a pizza with bell peppers was brought to your table.
  4. Naples (Napoli) is the most popular city in the world for its pizza.
    The word pizza was first documented in A.D. 997, with pizza as we know it originating in Naples, Italy.
  5. On average, an Italian eats about 51 pounds of pasta a year.
    You heard that right! In North America, a person eats around 15 1/2 pounds of pasta to compare. Yet, we think the more pasta, the better.

italian dishes caprese salad

A Traditional Starter: A Caprese Salad with Pesto Sauce.

Juicy and full of flavor, the Caprese salad topped with a pesto dressing, is a staple in any Italian meal. Originating from the Island of Capri in the 1950s, this salad is simple to prepare and requires only a few fresh ingredients. Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper, basil, and homemade pesto sauce to dress. Learn how to make the famous Caprese salad with pesto, here.

italian carbonara dish

A Hearty Pasta Dish: Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

If you have ever had pasta in Italy, you probably tried spaghetti alla carbonara. One simply hasn’t lived until you’ve had this meal. The real key to making traditional carbonara is making it with guanciale, not pancetta. This recipe requires only spaghetti, eggs, peppercorn cheese, guanciale, and pepper. However,  if you can’t find guanciale in your local market, pancetta is perfectly acceptable to use. Indulge in a plate of carbonara, here.

margarita pizza italian dish

A Classic: Pizza Margherita.

Learn how to make a classic Margherita pizza from professional Italian chefs in Napoli. You can turn your kitchen into a cheesy paradise in just under thirty minutes. All you need is flour, yeast, olive oil, mozzarella cheese, fresh tomatoes, and basil and a lot of love to make a pizza like the pros. Find an authentic recipe, here.

florentine steak

A Delicious Main Course: Bistecca alla Fiorentina.

For all meat lovers, you will not want to miss having Fiorentina steaks at your Italian dinner. It’s a known fact that at least one person in every Tuscan home knows how to make this steak. With just a couple, easy steps, you can learn how to traditionally make Bistecca alla Fiorentina, too.

italian dishes tiramisu

A Must-Have Dessert: Tiramisù.

An Italian feast isn’t complete without an incredible dessert. Tiramisù is a classic. With no need to bake, and requiring just a few minutes to prepare, it’s the perfect dessert to any dinner. The coffee biscuit and mascarpone cream are simply irresistible. You’ll have to try it for yourself after learning the recipe, here.

Now that you know how to prepare these five traditional Italian dishes, enjoy and Buon Appetito!

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