Day of the Dead Blood Orange Margarita Recipe

Blood Orange Margaritas
makes 8 strong drinks

2 1/2 cups silver tequila
1 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1 cup freshly squeezed blood orange juice
1 cup cointreau
1/4 cup simple syrup

Stir all ingredients in a pitcher. Put out glasses, a bowl of ice and lime & blood orange wedges, for garnish. Let guests pour over ice and enjoy.

We like an especially tart margarita, if you like something sweeter, increase the amount of simple syrup, up to 3/4 of a cup.

Margaritas can be made the night before and refrigerated.

Day of the Dead Churros with Dulce de Leche Sauce Recipe

Buy churros at a nearby bakery, or bake frozen churros (we like the ones at Smart & Final), following the directions on the box. Be sure to roll them in plenty of cinnamon & sugar.

Homemade Salted Dulce de Leches Sauce

1 cup whipping cream

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/2 cup white sugar

1 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, we like Maldon

Combine whipped cream, brown sugar and white sugar in a sauce pan, over medium heat. Cook until reduced by half and thick. Take off heat and add sweetened condensed milk and sea salt. Serve with hot churros. Enjoy.

Sauce can be made one week in advance and refrigerated in an air tight container. To reheat, place sauce in a medium saucepan over medium low heat, until hot.

Day of the Dead Enhanced Rice & Beans Recipe

Spiced Bean Recipe
serves 8

1 sweet onion, diced or sliced
1 red onion, diced or sliced
4 cloves of garlic, diced or sliced
2 T. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. cayenne pepper
4 T. olive oil
2 (15 oz) cans of black beans, drained
2 (15 oz) cans of pinto beans, drained
1/2 cup chicken broth, optional
salt and pepper

Sautee sweet onion, red onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne in olive oil over medium heat for ten minutes, until softened. Add black beans and pinto beans. Add chicken broth, or 1/2 cup of water, and simmer for 15 minutes until flavors are blended and beans are heated through. Add salt, pepper and any additional seasonings, to taste.

Herbed Rice Recipe
serves 8

1 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup scallions, sliced, white and light green parts only
5 cups of cooked brown rice

Add cilantro and scallions to freshly cooked brown rice. Fluff and serve.

Beans can be made the night before and refrigerated in an airtight container. Reheat on the stove over medium low heat. Rice is best freshly cooked.

Day of the Dead Pumpkin Mole Stew Recipe

Pumpkin Mole Stew with Chicken, Poblanos and Kobocha Squash
serves 8

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, pastured organic if possible, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
6 poblano peppers, seeded, cored and sliced
2 medium kobacha squash, roasted and cubed (butternut squash also works)
1 cup prepared pumpkin mole*
2-4 cups chicken broth
4 T. olive oil
salt & pepper

Season chicken with salt and pepper. Heat a large stock pot over high heat for two minutes. Add 2 t. of oil and wait one minute. Add sliced chicken thighs to pot, reduce heat to medium high, and stir until all sides are nicely browned. You may have to do this in two batches, so as not to crowd the chicken. Remove chicken from the pot onto a plate. In the same pot, heat 2 T. of olive oil over medium high heat and add the sliced poblano peppers. Saute for 5-7 minutes, until softened. Add the prepared mole to the pot, with the poblanos, and cook 3 minutes. The mole should break up and coat pans. Whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth and stir until mole is incorporated into broth. Add browned chicken and roasted squash into the pot. Add more broth, if necessary, to cover the chicken, squash and poblanos. Bring stew to a boil and then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove one piece of chicken and cut to make sure chicken is cooked through. Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with corn tortillas, hot sauce and bowls of chopped cilantro, crumbled queso fresco & lime wedges.

* We get our moles downtown at Grand Central Market in a spices stall. If you can't make it downtown, any prepared mole will do.

Stew can be made a day or two in advance and refrigerated in an air tight container. For the party, reheat stew on the stove over medium heat until hot all the way through. Serve hot.

Day of the Dead Nachos Recipe

Oozy, Gooey, Melty Nachos Recipe
serves 8, make more for hearty eaters

1 bag of tortilla chips
1 (15 oz.) can of refried beans
12 oz. blend of grated monterey jack and cheddar cheese
assorted toppings

Spread a bag of tortilla chips over a tin foil lined cookie sheet. Top chips with refried beans and cheeses. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes, until cheese is melted and gooey. Remove from oven and top with your favorite toppings. We like sour cream, salsa, guacamole, pickled jalapenos, chopped cilantro and scallions. Basically everything but black olives! Cut the nachos into four sections and then stack each section onto one another on a serving platter. Serve hot and enjoy!