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Recipes and Crafts to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 — celebrate with tasty foods, colorful crafts, and fun family projects.

Margo Gothelf · 29 days ago

  • cooking
  • art
cindo-de-mayo-papel-picado

The Crafting Chicks

The best part about the middle of September isn't the weather changing or the leaves turning colors, but the start of Hispanic Heritage Month. Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15, and anyone can get in on the celebration. Honor the achievements and heritage of Hispanic Americans with some of these crafts and recipes just for families. 

Hojalata Tin Art

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Babble Dabble Do

Crafters, painters, and aspiring artists of all stripes, get ready to fall in love with Hojalata. Hojalata, which translates to tin, is a form of Mexican folk art made with tin plates. The tin plates get carved and then embossed with colors to display a unique design. The best part about the Hojalata technique is it can range from extremely detailed works of art to super simple pieces. Beginners can try it out for themselves using Babble Dabble Do's pie tin method. 

Paper Bag Piñatas

Paper Bag Pinata

Somewhat Simple

Nowadays, you can pretty much find a piñata in any kind of shape or size. Want a piñata shaped like a baseball? No problem! How about like Baby Yoda? All set. Given the wide range of options today, you might be surprised to learn that the Mexican piñata has its origins in religious symbolism: Traditionally, the piñata had seven different points, each representing a different sin, while the sweets inside represented the pleasures of life. While its religious symbolism may have faded away, the piñata is still a colorful folk-art favorite. Want to make your own easy piñata from materials you probably already have around the house? Somewhat Simple has got you covered.

Papel Picado

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The Crafting Chicks

If you can cut designs into tissue paper, you are already halfway to making a papel picado. The traditional Mexican banners are displayed during holidays like Christmas or Dia de los Muertos and celebrations like weddings or quinceañeras. The Crafting Chick shows you how you can make your very own papel picado by cutting delicate designs into tissue paper. You don't need to be a wizard with scissors to create intricate patterns. Spoiler alert: it's just like making a paper snowflake.

Egg Shaker Maracas

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Happiness Is Homemade

Have a few extra plastic Easter eggs lying around the house? If yes, then you can easily make your own maracas. While you are probably familiar with the little noisemakers, you might not know where they originate from. Turns out, no one does, exactly: Many Latin American countries — from Chile and Colombia to Venezuela and Puerto Rico — all claim to have invented these popular instruments. But even if no one knows exactly where they came from, it's clear they're here to stay: Maracas play a foundational part in Latin American music. Make a pair of your very own with leftover plastic eggs: Fill them with dried beans, popcorn kernels, or beads, create handles from plastic spoons and some washi tape, and shake them around to hear the maracas at work.

Tissue Paper Flowers

Don't you wish you could find a way to make your flowers last forever? While we figure out how to make that happen, substitute the real ones with Mexican paper flowers that will last a lifetime. Paper flowers are used in many Latin countries to celebrate festive occasions, especially during Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. The holiday even has its own signature flower, "the flower of the dead," which looks similar to a marigold.

Tres Leches Cake

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Mexico in My Kitchen

Why use just one kind of sweet cream in a cake when you can use three? That's pretty much the idea behind the tres leches cake. The cake starts with a light spongy base and then gets soaked in three different types of milk. When the milk absorbs into the cake, it gives the dessert a rich, almost caramel-y taste. This tres leches cake recipe from Mexico in My Kitchen includes plenty of ways even small bakers can help, from poking the baked cake all over with a toothpick or fork (to let the delicious milk mixture really sink in) to decorating the finished cake with fruit and icing.

Churros Mexicanos

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Mexico in My Kitchen

It's no surprise that churros are a mega-popular street food in Mexico. I mean, it's pretty much fried dough topped with loads of sugar, so what's not to like? Over the years, churros have evolved into decadent creations and are stuffed with different flavors like chocolate and topped with cinnamon and sugar. But the most authentic churros keep it simple with just the dough and the sugar. Mexico in My Kitchen will guide you through the true way to make street churros, just like they serve in Mexico. 

Tostones

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Dominican Cooking

Tostones are a staple food throughout Latin American culture. While the simple food has the same base of twice-fried unripe plantains no matter where it’s made, it tends to have a different name depending on their country of origin. In Haiti, they are commonly known as bannann, while in the Dominican Republic, they are called fritos verdes. Regardless of what you call them, you will quickly fall in love with the flavor after one bite. 

Mofongo

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Dominican Cooking

Mofongo is a quintessential Dominican dish made by mashing fried green plantains with garlic and pork cracklings. The mixture is then shaped into a ball and served out of a pílon, also known as a mortar dish. The best part about mofongo is it can be eaten at all times during the day. This classic comfort food is popular for lunch, dinner, or a late-night snack.

Flan Mexicano

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Mexico in My Kitchen

Among the most popular traditional Mexican desserts, flan takes your tastebuds on a texture adventure. The silky dessert has an egg base and is cooked in a slow water bath, resulting in a smooth yet jiggly custard. While the texture may be unfamiliar, the flavors will light up in your mouth. The smooth custard is typically topped with a caramel layer, resulting in a super sweet and smooth bite.