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Simple ways to spend your Valentine’s Day

Simple ways to spend your Valentine’s Day 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Valentine’s Day is here and if you’re stuck trying to find an elaborate way to do something with the people you love, just keep it simple. We have a few suggestions to help you keep your Valentine’s Day simple, yet fun at the same time:

Go on a picnic. Prepare a nice meal for you and your date, go to the park and enjoy the scenery. Just spend time together by chatting and having a laugh. You could even go for a stroll in the park after the meal.

Spend the night inside. Celebrate the day by cooking your partner’s favorite meal and have a candlelit dinner. After dinner, cuddle up and watch your favorite movie together with your favorite snacks.

Give your girl flowers. Although it may be cliché, it is still romantic to send your Valentine a box of chocolates and flowers. Don’t forget to make it personal by adding your own silly love note with the gift.

Are you with the kids? Make Valentine’s Day treats with them. Create handmade Valentine’s Day cards and bake some Valentine’s-themed goodies to handout to friends and other family members. The children will surely have fun decorating.

Happy Valentine’s Day from all of us at Pedrotti’s North Wind Ranch!

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Celebrating Thanksgiving at the Pedrotti’s household isn’t just any old holiday dinner, it is a marathon of tastes, smells and delights that will surely be used as leftovers for days to come. For this week’s blog post, I wanted to share one of my dad’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes: Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake.

Crust:

  • 1 ¾ cups of graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 stick melted salted butter

Filling:

  • 1 – 8 ounce package of cream cheese (room temperature)
  • 1 – 15 ounce can of pureed pumpkin
  • 3 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
  • ¼ cups of sour cream
  • 1 ½ cups of sugar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 2 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat Oven to 350 degrees

For Crust: In a medium bowl combine crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon.  Add melted butter.  Press down flat into a 9 inch pan.  Set aside

For Filling: Beat cream cheese until smooth.  Add pumpkin Puree, eggs, egg yolk, sour cream, sugar, and the spices.  Add flour and vanilla.  Beat together until well combined.

Pour into crust. Spread out evenly and place in oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let sit for 15 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.

Veteran’s Day

Veteran’s Day 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Every year on November 11, Americans honor all of the soldiers, past and present, and their dedication to our nation’s freedoms and liberties for Veteran’s Day. A simple thank you to a veteran will do, but if you’re looking for some other ways to celebrate Veteran’s Day, we’ve listed some ideas for you and your family:

– Check your areas local event listings to see if there is a Veteran’s Day parade or ceremony. The Veteran’s Day National Committee organizes a number of events throughout the country that are free to attend. A full list of regional locations can be found on the Department of Veterans Affairs website. (https://www.va.gov/)

– Take part in a flag-raising ceremony. Stand and join in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and the singing of the National Anthem. Local veterans’ organizations, such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars, often participate with military banners and American flags.

– Make a donation. Whether it’s time or money, making a donation to a military charity, veteran’s center or hospital is another way that you can honor veterans. You can find a list of military-related charities on the Reconnect America website. (https://www.military.com/giveback/)

– Make cards with your children thanking veterans or current soldiers and take them to a VA Hospital.

– If you have any veterans in your family, host a celebration in honor of them. Allow them time to tell any stories they have and put together a scrapbook or shadow box with their military memorabilia.

Finally, to all of the veterans, we at Pedrotti’s would like to extend a huge, “Thank You!” for all that you do for our great nation.

Día de los Muertos

Día de los Muertos 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Whether you call is All Souls’ Day, Day of the Dead or Día de los Muertos, today we celebrate and pray for those who have left this world before us. Always planned the day after All Saints’ Day, Día de los Muertos is most popularly celebrated in Mexico, where it attains the quality of a National Holiday.

Día de los Muertos celebrations in Mexico can be traced back to as many as 3,000 years when it was customary to keep skulls of loved ones on display to symbolize death and rebirth. Many communities all over the world have kept up this tradition of honoring the deceased with festivals and celebrations ever since.

Many visit cemeteries of loved ones to be with the souls of the departed and build private altars containing the favorite foods and beverages as well as photos and memorabilia. Families usually clean and decorate graves where their loved ones are buried and decorate them with ofrendas, which often include orange Mexican marigolds. These flowers are thought to attract souls of the dead to the offerings. Families also place ofrendas in homes with candies and other favorite foods of the deceased as a welcoming gesture. Some also leave out pillows and blankets so the deceased have a place to rest after their long journey. Small shrines or altars are also built in the home and contain symbolic elements such as crosses, candles and pictures of the Virgin Mary, deceased relatives and other persons and an ofrenda. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar, praying and telling stories about the deceased.

Probably the most recognizable symbol of the holiday is the skull. Many celebrants make masks out of chocolate and sugar, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead. Other holiday foods include pan de muerto, a sweet, egg bread which is shaped into objects such as skulls and rabbits.

Today, even if you’ve never heard of the holiday before, take some time to remember and honor your deceased loved ones. Send a prayer their way or have a dinner with friends and family to remember those lost. If you’re feeling really festive, make skull masks with your kids or decorate sugar skulls to commemorate the holiday!

 

World Food Day

World Food Day 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

This Sunday marked World Food Day. In honor of this wonderful holiday, I’ve found some interesting dishes from around the world that I’d like to share with you all. I admire the creativity in some of these dishes, but thinking about them definitely makes me appreciate the wonderful food we make right here at home.

One popular dish in Asia is fugu, which is basically the internal organs of a pufferfish, including the liver, intestines, and reproductive organs. I didn’t know one could eat pufferfish as I thought they were poisonous. The poison in fugu is over twelve hundred times deadlier than cyanide. This dish must be absolutely delicious for people to eat it.

Although quickly becoming accepted around the world, jellyfish doesn’t exactly sound like a food with the most appetizing texture. It’s a common in areas like China, Korea, and Japan. Most of the organs are removed, the jellyfish is compressed, and finally it’s salted. It arrives at your house in neat little packages, ready for cooking.

The Japanese candy maker Lotte teamed up earlier this year with Ghana, the popular chocolate manufacturer to introduce the first ever chocolate flavored Ramen. I love Ramen, and I love chocolate, but I can’t say I’ve ever thought about combing the two as a delicious treat. Maybe I can whip up a serving for Ashley and I for dinner!

Originating in Scotland, the European treat, haggis, features minced sheep liver, heart and lungs, mixed with stock, spices, oatmeal and various other additions. These ingredients are boiled in the animal’s stomach for hours. While this treat doesn’t sound the most delicious, I must give them credit for being resourceful.

Have you tried any of these dishes? I can’t say I’ve ever even seen any but I’d like to know what they taste like! Have you ever tried any other strange dishes from other continents? Please share with us!

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