san antonio events

Hosting the Perfect Mardi Gras Party!

Hosting the Perfect Mardi Gras Party! 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

It’s that time of the year where “The Big Easy” turns into a big party! Planning to bring some of that Cajun celebration back home? Here are some tips for you to recreate one of the world’s biggest parties for you and your friends.

Purple, green and gold are the traditional Mardi Gras colors. No Mardi Gras party is complete without the use of these three special colors. Make sure you have purple, green and gold decorations around to make it look like you are in New Orleans. Research some Mardi Gras music and play it at your party to enhance the Fat Tuesday atmosphere.

Have beads for your guests. We all know that the beads are synonymous with Mardi Gras, so provide your guests with beads to wear as they walk in. Mardi Gras beads are inexpensive, so it will be a good investment for your party.

It’s not a real Mardi Gras party without food! With New Orleans located right by the water, seafood is a staple for almost every Cajun recipe created. Cook some seafood gumbo, jambalaya, etouffee or red beans and rice for your guests.  Make sure you do not forget the King Cake for dessert! What is a true Mardi Gras party without one?

Here is a great crawfish etouffee recipe for you and your guests:

Crawfish Etouffee

Serves 6-8

  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • 2 pounds crawfish tails
  • 1 cup of crawfish fat , if available or 1 cup butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)

Melt the ½ cup of butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven and sauté green onions until tender; about 10 to 15 minutes. Add parsley, crawfish tails, crawfish fat (or butter), and salt and pepper to taste. Cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes. If thicker gravy is desired, dissolve cornstarch in a small amount of water and add to sauce. Serve over steamed rice and enjoy your Cajun meal!

 

 

 

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.

The Importance of Giving

The Importance of Giving 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

When we’re young, we all we’re taught to share. We shared our toys, markers, little brothers, etc. But what about giving? The holiday season should serve as a reminder of just how fortunate we are and how much we can give to others. When you learn the importance of giving, your life will be changed forever. Here are just a few reasons why giving is so important.

–          You’re making a difference in someone’s life

First and foremost, you’re showing someone or something that you care and that their needs are important to you. Whether you’re volunteering at an animal hospital, cleaning up a park or giving your time to a nursing home, you’re leaving that area better than you found it. Time is an easy thing to spend on a person or place in need.

–          When you give,  you inspire others to give

Have you ever watched someone give or had someone give to you and you immediately felt the need to pass on that same charity? That’s the idea behind “paying it forward.” The best way to get others on their feet and helping their community is to show them how it’s done.

–          It just feels good

Lastly, giving to others just plain feels good. The sense of accomplishment and the feeling one gets after helping others is indescribable. It’s a good feeling putting another’s needs before your own, and it’s something that you can’t buy at a department store on Black Friday.

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!

 

The Joys of Pinterest

The Joys of Pinterest 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

This week, I’d like to introduce you all to Pinterest, you may have already heard of the internet-phenomenon but in case you haven’t:

(From Pinterest.com) Pinterest lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.

Best of all, you can browse pinboards created by other people. Browsing pinboards is a fun way to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.

This doesn’t sound like something I would normally find too appealing, however, if you search for the right things, it’s an easy way to find and save inspiration for future events and menus! For any bride-to-be, I suggest browsing through Pinterest for things like centerpieces, flowers and reception décor to give to your wedding or event planner to help them better understand your vision. Users have uploaded literally thousands of pictures to look though so you’re sure to find something you like. Another idea is to browse through the engagement or wedding photos section. Find some shots you like and give it to you photographer so they know what type of style you’re looking for!

I like using Pinterest to find recipes for the home. There’s usually a picture of the dish and a link with the recipe. It’s easy to simply “Pin” the recipe to my board so I can come back to it whenever I’m ready. I can also follow some of my friend’s and family’s pinboards to see what they are “pinning” to draw inspiration for my next great culinary masterpiece.

The possibilities are endless on what you can find on Pinterest. I definitely recommend setting up an account! Happy pinning!

 

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!

Halloween Party Hosting

Halloween Party Hosting 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

If you’re looking to entertain your guests this Halloween, I suggest picking a particular theme to your party. Too many colors and decorations could leave your guests downright scared! Here are some fun party ideas to ensure your space looks neat and organized, but still spooky and fun!

Candy Corn Theme

If Halloween brings out your sweet tooth, get inspired by the holiday’s most popular candy. Stick with colors like orange, yellow and white and feel free to go a little more traditional in the décor and menu. The environment should be more fun and light, rather than dark and scary. Games are a must and a “Guess How Many Candy Corns Are In The Jar” makes for a great activity and a gorgeous centerpiece to your refreshment table. I also recommend offering your guests a candy bar. Pick bright candies to fill jars of all different shapes and sizes. If you choose to have alcohol at your event, think about creating a signature drink and naming it, “The Candy Corn Cocktail” to really tie in your theme.

Ghoulishly Glam

If you’re looking to throw a little more style and sophistication into your Halloween party, use upscale colors like green and purple. Try finding some purple flowers in shades of plum and lavender to accent your tables. Draping your furniture in white linen gives the impression of a haunted house and protects your furniture from any unforeseen spills. Use lots of strands of lights to light your event and use a couple of black lights to add just the right amount of lowlights and flair. For this event’s signature drink, get a giant glass dispenser to serve your very own “Witches’ Brew.”

Blood Red

Want to raise the goosebumps on the back of your guest’s neck? Get inspired by deep reds and blacks from all of your favorite vampire movies. Give your space a spooky atmosphere with candles and low-lights. Try to find red treats and décor which will pop when you use black fabric to cover your tables and chairs.  For the signature drink, put a red concoction into a giant clear punch bowl and label it, “Vampire’s Blood.” For an extra fright, fill up two or three rubber gloves with water and freeze over night, plop these in the punch bowl for a decoration that’s sure to leave drinks cold and guests impressed!

Whatever theme you choose for your Halloween event in San Antonio, having clear and concise vision will help steer your party in the right direction. We hope everyone has a wonderfully spooky October!

Some things will never go out of style

Some things will never go out of style 150 150 Pedrotti's Ranch

Apple released the iPhone 4s yesterday, much to the dismay of those hoping for an iPhone 5. While I am an avid iPhone user myself, I can’t help but wonder what drives our society to crave the latest and greatest in all areas of our lives. It’s unavoidable. As long as we continue to buy the newest in technology, corporations will continue to market and sell it. It got me thinking about a few things that will never be updated and how much I appreciate their simple charms that don’t need to be updated:

Rock n’ Roll – Punk, alternative, metal or progressive, call it what you like but good ol’ Rock n’ Roll will never go out of style. Whether you’re jamming in your car or cleaning your house, any classic rock anthem is sure to get at least some part of your body moving.

Blue Jeans – I can’t think of another article of clothing that I would rather be in than a classic pair of denim blue jeans. Levi’s and Wrangler ads consistently depict the classic look as a symbol of the American lifestyle. I don’t think the easy look of jeans and a t-shirt will ever go out of style.

Baseball caps – You want to know the best accessory to go along with your jeans and t-shirt? A baseball cap. As long as the great sport of baseball is played, players, fans and even those who aren’t fans, will sport the too-easy look of wearing a cap. How can you update the cap? You can’t. It’s perfect.

Watching and playing sports – One of my favorite childhood memories is sitting in the living room after an amazing Thanksgiving Day lunch and watching football with my family. After the turkey coma wore off, we would all go in the backyard and toss the ball around. From playing catch to a game of flag football, everyone was outside playing a sport and having a great time.

Home-cooking – I can’t think about a Thanksgiving meal without salivating at the thought of recipes passed down through the ages. Generations of tried and true methods of mixing, pouring, seasoning and tasting leave every family with the perfect meal on any special occasion. The best part of it all is that it brings any family together at the table to enjoy tradition.

Some things (the best things) will never go out of style and to update them would just be a crime. As updates in technology leave us in the dust, we should all just throw on our pair of jeans, watch a football game and dream of the joys of our grandmother’s kitchen.

X
X
X