Culture

Here Are 22 Things People Have Done To Latino Food That Will Make You Say ‘No Mames’

Let’s face it, food is great. Eating is great. Meals are great. But you know what’s even better? Effortless food. Whether it’s storing it, cooking it, or eating it, sometimes the lazy man’s way of dealing with food is the best way*. And so, we’ve found 22 food hacks for all you lazy people out there who need to feel seen every now and again.

*Disclaimer: it’s not necessarily the tastiest way. But it definitely saves time and effort. That’s something, right?

1. Buy frozen vegetables.

Instagram / @marencaruso

There are so many reasons why frozen vegetables are a boon for lazy people. They’re healthy, for starters. Plus, you don’t have to chop or wash them – they’re already prepared! And since they’re frozen, you don’t have to worry about them going rotten if you don’t finish them quickly. There are so many good reasons to buy frozen vegetables, we can’t mock lazy people for investing whatever minuscule energy they have into using them in meals.

2. Embrace one-pan meals.

Instagram / @thesecretingredientislove

The oven is a lazy babe’s best friend. Bell peppers, onion and thinly sliced chicken on an oiled foil-covered oven tray cook nicely in an oven. And if you flavor them with taco seasoning, you’ll suddenly have one-tray fajitas. You’re welcome.

3. Heat raw egg with instant noodles.

Instagram / @iawnaek

If you’re keen on adding some egg to your two-minute noodles, then try stopping the microwave halfway through its cycle and add a raw egg, before starting the microwave again. By the time you take out your food, your egg will be fully cooked, and you’ll have a hella delicious instant meal.

4. Use a slow-cooker.

Instagram / @shelbymurdock

Owning an Instant Pot means that you automatically have a way of cooking your vegetables, meat, and whatever else without having to constantly check on your food. Just chuck all of your ingredients in, leave it for a few hours, and voila – you have yourself a delicious meal.

5. Cook bacon in the oven.

Instagram / @the_paleo_games

Just like one-pan meals, all you need to do is line a baking tray with foil or baking paper, lay bacon out on it, and then bake the goods at 400ºF for 20 minutes. Think about it: there’s no smoke, no mess, and no oil spitting at you. It’s a win-win trick.

6. Grate garlic and ginger.

Instagram / @gailpearce_beautifullife

Recipe instructions that call for finely chopped garlic or ginger are the worst. Ain’t nobody got time for that! Try using a cheese grater to prepare your food, instead.

7. Wash your knife in cold water to chop onions. 

Instagram / @minimaali_

Ask any lazy person and they’ll tell you: chopping onions is tear-inducing. However, rinsing your knife in cold water before you start slicing will stop onion juices from spurting everywhere – and preserve your sinuses.

8. Cut mushrooms with an egg slicer.

Instagram / @wohhupfood

Imagine: you’ve been chopping your mushrooms all these years with a knife when you could have been using an egg slicer instead. This trick applies to strawberries, too.

9. Check the ripeness of your avocados through the stem.

Instagram / @mimimal_mimi

Ever experienced the sadness of cutting an avocado in half, and discovering it’s basically rotten on the inside? Well, you never have to worry about that again! If you try to remove the stem from that pesky avocado and the entire stem comes off, then you know it’s too ripe. If there’s still a little stem left, then it’s just right!

10. Use a potato masher to make guacamole.

Instagram / @julietaroldann

Once you’ve found your perfectly-ripe avocado, it’s time to make guacamole! Use a potato masher on your avocado to pulverize it in seconds.

11. Prevent drying in the microwave.

Instagram / @cinema_viknesh_experience

On the one hand, reheating pizza in the oven takes too long. On the other hand, there’s nothing more disappointing than using the microwave and finding your pizza is ruined, rather than heated nicely. But, you never have to worry about that again – if you put a cup of water in the microwave with your pizza.

12. Change the way you cut your meat.

Instagram / @cutbeef

If you slice beef across the grain, it makes it easier to chew.

13. Reduce the ingredients in a cake.

Instagram / @ge_mac_dub2

A standard quick cake recipe asks for butter, egg, oil and cake mix. But, you can swap out the butter, egg, and oil with soda, and still make one hella tasty cake.

14. Skip peeling potatoes.

Instagram / @omars.90

If you’re making mashed potatoes and just aren’t emotionally in a place where you can be bothered to spend precious time peeling, there’s a way around it. Try boiling the potatoes first. Once they’ve cooled, you can pull the potato skin off with your bare hands. It’s easy.

15. Keep your cake for longer.

Instagram / @dessertbynaz

It’s time to rethink the way you slice cake! If you want consistently delicious cake, try cutting and removing slices from the middle, and press the rest of the cake together. By keeping the middle unexposed to air, you’ll keep your cake fresh, for longer.

16. Don’t waste mango.

Pinterest / @The Kitchn

Rather than spending precious time trying to slice mango just right with a knife so that you don’t waste any delicious fruit, consider using the edge of a glass to cut it, instead. All you need to do is cut half off the mango and then slide the piece vertically along the edge of a glass. The edible bit will fall into the glass, and you’ll be left with the skin in your hand to throw away.

17. Stop washing dishes.

Instagram / @jennymorrischef

If you wrap your dishes in clingfilm before you put food on them, it means you can eat with the knowledge that you’ll have zero cleaning to do afterward. All you’ll have to do is throw out the plastic wrap!

18. Cook two pizzas on the one oven tray.

Instagram / @_sarang82

Cut your two pizzas in half, and then lay the straight edges of the pizza against the edges of the oven tray. You’ll fit way more pizza on there.

19. Use a sieve to mash potatoes.

Instagram / @homemadewhole

Push your boiled potatoes through a sieve, and just watch it mash itself. It’s that easy.

20. Reheat pasta with an added hole.

Instagram / @ollunchbox

If you make a hole in the middle of your pasta before you put it in the microwave, that’ll allow your food to heat up quicker. To be honest, you don’t have to do this trick with just pasta – it’ll work with most leftovers that you put in the microwave.

21. Microwave two bowls of food at the same time.

Pinterest / @shay

Elevate one of your bowls in the microwave by putting a mug underneath it. That’ll make enough room for two bowls to be heated at once. Heck. Yeah.

22. Stop washing knives.

Pinterest / @Nichole Hill Alred

Try cutting a cake with dental floss. You get a cleaner cut, and there’s no knife to wash afterward!

What are your lazy person tricks that you use in the kitchen? Let us know about them on Twitter by clicking the icon at the top of the page!

Food Crimes Committed In The Past Decade That Will Crack You Up

Culture

Food Crimes Committed In The Past Decade That Will Crack You Up

New Smyrna Police Department/Shutterstock

Ever crave a meal so bad you’d kill for it? 

When it comes to meals, some people literally don’t play. We learned that several times over in the past few years. Particularly this year when craze over Popeyes chicken sandwich sparked mayhem across the country. At the height of their craze, Popeyes stores routinely hit with long lines and sold out sandwiches which surprisingly unleashed a world of wild in various states. In fact, in November of last year, a man by the name of Ricoh McClaine fatally stabbed a customer in Maryland who had cut in front of the lines to purchase his sandwich. Fortunately, our list of food-related crimes are a bit lighter and funnier than cases of murder. Below, find a series of stories in which desperate food cravings led to desperate crimes. From a man who stole food from his own mama to to a woman who went ham at a taco store. We literally rounded up the best stories we could find online about food crimes. 

Check them out! 

That time a guy from New Mexico was arrested for stealing his mom’s pozole

mitú

It’s true. According to the Albuquerque Journal, a 23-year-old man texted his mother that he would drop by to eat. Ray’s mother told police she asked him not to go to the house. When she arrived, Ray entered through the back door, opened the fridge and ran off with a large pot of pozole. “He opened the door and grabbed that big pot of pozole I had made for my kids. He knew I had made it,” said Ray’s mother to the Albuquerque Journal.

When an Indiana woman was dining and dashing with chalupas and charged with felony theft.

Taco Bell

Los Amigos, an Indiana restaurant specializing in “authentic” Mexican food, took a woman named Jennifer Peru to court because she refused to pay for a chalupa that she claimed wasn’t a real chalupa.

On its surface, we can understand why Culver was confused. The chalupas that are sold at Taco Bell are described as  “a fried tortilla shell, in the shape of a small boat, filled with lots of flavorful ingredients”, and Culver may have been used to that version. But according to Los Amigos’s menu, their chalupa is “a flat tortilla with refried beans, topped with cheese and guacamole salad”. To no one’s suprrise, there is quite a stark contrast between the way a fast food joint approaches making Mexican food in comparison to the way a local, mom-and-pop store would make one. 

According to court records, Culver tried to sneak out of the restaurant by walking “briskly” past the cash register with her two children in tow. But the restaurant manager caught up to Culver in the parking lot before she could make her great escape. After being asked to pay her $11.73 bill, Culver responded that she’s “not paying for that [expletive]”. Because the manager wasn’t one to mess around with, he called the cops on the dine-and-dasher and reported her for theft.  Ultimately, a jury convicted Culver of a level 6 felony theft, resulting in 120 days on electronic monitoring, and 14 months of probation, and fined a cumulative total of $485.

When a Mexican man was caught stealing trompo Meat from a taco shop. 

Pinterest

One man’s hunger and deep love for tacos resulted in one of the best WTF?! moments caught on camera. Video footage recently surfaced of a man in Mexico City stealing, of all things, a trompo of el pastor meat from a small taco stand. Crazy right?

In the video, an unidentified man dressed in black clothing is seen slowly exiting a white car; he scouts the area and a few seconds later approaches the unattended taco stand, grabs the trompo, and drives away with the meaty bounty.

The case of the 14 meth burrito orders

Back on Feb. 3, 2018, Renteria was pulled over in the Angelino Heights neighborhood by Los Angeles Police officers after multiple witnesses reported a white Chevrolet Tahoe driving erratically. When police asked for his license, Renteria didn’t have it on him and was then allowed to search for his registration and insurance. While he couldn’t provide the correct paperwork, police determined the vehicle was registered to Renteria legally but found that his license was expired. That’s when Renteria let police search the vehicle. They would soon find a black garbage bag filled with 14 “foil-wrapped, burrito shaped” packages.

The woman who got her RV stuck in a Taco Bell drive-thru.

 Photo by Kennewick Police Department.

In Washington, Police arrested a woman after suspecting her of being under the influence while driving. According to the Kennewick Police Department, the woman drove her RV the wrong way into the Taco Bell’s drive-thru in December. When the RV couldn’t make the turn around the drive-thru’s corner it got stuck in the building’s corner. 

The drunk man who brought a knife fight to Taco Bell but did not deliver.

New Smyrna Police Department/Shutterstock

In 2014, a drunk man went to Taco Bell to attent to his munchies and got served with an order of handcuffs.  According to WFTV, Gabriel Harris rode his bicycle through the drive-thru of a Taco Bell in FloridaWhen he was told the restaurant was closing he refused to leave until he was served. It wasn’t until police showed up that he pulled out a knife and was ultimately arrested.

Street Vendors Left Confused As Los Angeles Changes Regulations On Street Vendors

Culture

Street Vendors Left Confused As Los Angeles Changes Regulations On Street Vendors

streetvendorsla / Instagram

On most city streets in Los Angeles, you’re never too far from the nearest taco cart or fruit stand. Whether it’s a vendor selling you al-pastor tacos or a paletero greeting you with an elote, street vending is as much a part of the city as the sunshine and palm trees. According to city officials, there are an estimated 50,000 vendors in Los Angeles county alone. For years, many of these vendors faced fines, harassment from police and no real way to regulate vending on city streets. 

All of that is about change as the city of Los Angeles has started to roll out its Sidewalk and Park Vending program that was unanimously passed last year by the Los Angeles City Council. As of Jan. 2, the city has begun accepting permits for legal street food vending that will require vendors to have proper business licenses, health permits, and a $291 fee to operate that will go up to $541 on July 1. Under these new rules, all L.A. street vendors will be required to buy a permit with the city, or ultimately face fines. 

While the new program is being praised, it seems that street vendors are getting the short end of the stick.

One week into the program rollout, many have no clue about the new fees and where to apply for them, let alone afford them.

This ordeal goes back years but street vending took a huge step forward in 2018 when the L.A. City Council approved an ordinance to fully legalize it, following California Gov. Jerry Brown signing bill SB946 to make it easier for sidewalk vendors to operate legally. While the bill was championed at first, what followed was confusion across the state about how to enforce laws when it came to street vendors. Brown left it to California cities to develop their own regulations and rules on how to properly enforce and regulate street vending laws.

The city of L.A. is considered a leader when it comes to street vending regulation so with this month’s new program rollout, other cities across the state are looking at it as an example. But the most obvious roadblock might be educating and informing vendors of their rights and what is needed for them to abide by the law.  

Rudy Espinoza, the Executive Director of Leadership for Urban Renewal Network and an activist who has worked for years to legalize street vending in Los Angeles, agrees that L.A. street vendors have been left in the dark. 

 “The big takeaway is that there has been a huge lack of investment in education and that is a big concern of mine,” Espinoza told the Los Angeles Downtown News. “I think a lot of street vendors, many who are in Downtown, don’t know what the rules are and there has to be a serious investment to reach them.”

Community organizers have tried to their best to inform vendors of these changes but many in the city have yet to hear about them nor can many afford these new permits. 

One of biggest issues that has arisen in the rollout of the program is simply the cost of permits. According to Curbed LA, street vendors and community organizers made the case to city leaders to lower permit fees “from $50 to $200, depending on a vendor’s age or ability to pay,” but to no luck. There was also the issue of translation for non-English speaking vendors who attended city council meetings focusing on these permits. 

“We’d like to hear what the councilmembers are saying at the moment because it’s a decision that will affect our lives,” Mayra Hernandez, a street vendor who attended a meeting back in November, told Curbed LA. “And we don’t know if it’s good or bad because we can’t understand.”

This lack of fluid communication has seemed to follow into the new program rollout as many vendors have questions, mainly if they will be able to afford the $541 permit fee. According to a 2015 report by the Economic Roundtable, Sidewalk Stimulus: Economic and Geographic Impact of Los Angeles Street Vendors, LA street vendors “generate on average $204 a week or $10,098 a year in revenue.” This would essentially mean that vendors would have have to use almost three weeks of work to pay for the pricey $541 fee.

 “$541 is a huge part of the rent for people here,” Ramon Lopez, who lives in MacArthur Park, one of the most busiest street vending sections of LA, told the California Globe. “It’s what they make in nearly a month. It buys groceries for a long time.

This leaves a big question mark on the viability of the new street vending program and if the pricey fees will only encourage some vendors to not comply with regulations.  

Street vending plays a big role in the economy of L.A. outside of just vendors’ pockets. They help create foot traffic in city streets and other small businesses that creates a ripple economic effect on those local communities.

With these new regulations in place, the question is now if these businesses can afford to operate legally? That is a question on the minds of many community leaders and street vendors that fought for these regulations for years. 

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