Culture

Make A Splash At Friendsgiving This Year With These Easy-To-Make Latino Dishes

@tacotraplord / @TheKitchenista / Twitter

Many of us will not be going home for Thanksgiving this year for a number of reasons. Maybe you just started a new job and can’t get the time off. It might just be too expensive to make the trip. Whatever reason keeps you from going home, there is still hope and it comes in the form of Friendsgiving. The holiday really boils down to food, friends and fun conversations as we get ready for the end of the year.

This year, we’ve come up with ways that you can be the most celebrated human at Friendsgiving. It’ll just take a little preparation and cooking but you will not be taking Takis again this year.

One of the easiest ways to score big is to bring some coquito.

CREDIT: @meeleza / Twitter

You might be thinking that this is really a Christmas drink and you wouldn’t technically be wrong. However, why keep this delicious Puerto Rican eggnog limited to just one month and one holiday? It is not as heavy as American eggnog and will make everyone at the party all the merrier.

Arroz is going to be the staple everyone forgets about.

CREDIT: @fcbsnathalie / Twitter

Rice is as important to a large dinner as the cutlery. Plus, it isn’t something most people outside of Latino culture think about when they think about Thanksgiving. It will be as unexpected and well received as you might imagine.

Cuban beans made proper.

CREDIT: @russellmanthy / Twitter

All beans are good and created deliciously, but there’s just something about Cuban beans. The time, love, dedication and spices needed to get this dish just right is something to be admired. You’ll definitely stand out if you show up with this scrumptious dish.

Picadillo is the crown jewel.

CREDIT: @TheKitchenista / Twitter

If someone is already bringing rice to Friendsgiving, this is a good bet. Bring the flavor and the meat to top that rice with. If you really want to be impressive, make a vegan take on the dish and surprise all of the vegetarians who never get remembered on this day.

Pupusas in lieu of utensils.

CREDIT: @tacotraplord / Twitter

Pupusas are meant to be eaten with your hands so make sure someone brings some napkins. You can use the curtido and salsa for the pupusa. Just don’t get offended if some people use it to eat their rice and beans.

Tostones are always a crowd pleaser.

CREDIT: @nrfe01 / Twitter

These savory fried bites of heaven are so simple and so loved by everyone who eats them they you have to consider bringing them. The best part is that the dip you make for it is just a chopped yellow onion in olive oil. It’s just that easy.

Be the person that brings the green.

CREDIT: @vegancuts / Twitter

Speaking of health, salads can be a nice and unexpected addition to any Thanksgiving. If you’re here for the pressure of bringing a bomb salad that people will love, try this vegan Caesar salad by @vegancuts. Trust, you’ll be appreciated.

Taquitos in bulk because that’s how we do.

CREDIT: @jennfax / Twitter

If your Friendsgiving is happening the weekend after family Thanksgiving, use the leftover sweet potatoes (and everything else) to stuff in these babies. They will definitely do the trick.

Stuffed Canoas are the easiest, cheapest option for excited consumption.

CREDIT: @BorikenPDX / Twitter

I mean, it really doesn’t get easier. Ask your mami to make you some picadillo and then stuff a bunch of platanos and roast in the oven.

Just a couple gallons of queso.

CREDIT: @Fox4Natalie / Twitter

There is never a wrong time, or way, to eat cheese. It’s Friendsgiving so you should expect to eat way too much and enjoy a confusing array of food. Adding a little bit of queso dip to the plate will make it all so much better.

Or you can make some homemade salsa picante.

CREDIT: @kintiman / Twitter

This is a more intensive endeavor if you make it right, but you’re reading this to become the MVP, pues, dale. Put in the work and be glorified until the next Friendsgiving.

If you’re displaced from home, bring the taste of home with pan de bono.

CREDIT: @5HCcSogno / Twitter

It’s the pan that I only ever eat when I’m home in Miami, but if a friend brought these fresh baked I’d kiss them on the mouth. So, beware.

Give these delectable croquetas a chance to shine.

CREDIT: @DevourMadrid / Twitter

Panadería? What panadería? Croquetas are pretty easy to make, believe it or not. There are so many variations that you can find online to make sure you make the best version for your friends.

Guava pastelitos will crush the competition.

CREDIT: @TheKitchenista / Twitter

I know about a thousand ways to make these the lazy way, with straight up Pilsbury pastry dough and guava paste, but if you have more time and resources you can try making the dough from scratch.

Churros con chocolate or café.

CREDIT: @tatii0294 / Twitter

Pack your Café Bustelo and whip up some churros to be the main star post dinner. There isn’t a Latino alive who doesn’t have a little cafecito after a feast to keep the party going.

Stuff that cornbread.

CREDIT: “Mexican Cornbread” Digital Image. Southern Bite. 12 November 2018.

We’re not making weak cornbread from a box okay? But you are getting a can of creamed corn and self rising corn flour. We’re not that domestic okay. Combine with a couple eggs and your favorite meats, cheese, chives and onion. Bake in a cast iron and reheat at the party. This is truly a show stopper.

Yucca is a must for any kind of pot luck gathering.

CREDIT: “Yucca puree” Digital Image. PETA Latino. 11 November 2018.

You can use them to make all sorts of dishes. Puree them to make them look like a better version of mashed potatoes. It is a root so you can treat them like any other root veggie.

Or make some unforgettable Yucca fries.

CREDIT: @sall3n / Twitter

Only you know your audience. Maybe fried food is not appropriate for your friends or it might be the thing they need most. Use these yuccas as needed. Easy and beloved.

Dessert must: arroz con leche.

CREDIT: @PatiJinich / Twitter

Use any milk you choose to make this dish. If you have some lactose intolerant amigos joining the party, you might want to skip the regular milk and use any of the many alternatives to make this dish everything for everyone.

And, of course, flan.

CREDIT: @505Nomad / Twitter

The bottom line is that whoever goes home with an empty plate is the winner. We hope this helps you be that person.


READ: 15 Latino Sides To Impress Everyone At Your Friendsgiving This Year

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The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

Entertainment

The McDonalds Happy Meal Was Invented By A Latina And Here’s How It Got Started

David Paul Morris / Getty Images

Did you know that the first ever Happy Meal was created by a Latina? That’s right, in the mid-70s when Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño was operating various McDonalds in Guatemala, she invented what she dubbed the “Menu Ronald”. The “Menu Ronald”  was invented to help parents keep their kids satisfied when the family went out to eat. The original “Menu Ronald” included a hamburger, small fries and a small sundae. Naturally, word eventually got back to McDonald’s headquarters in Chicago they decided to adopt the practice as their own. They hired a white American man to develop the idea (and subsequently take credit for it) and voila! The Happy Meal was born.

It’s unfortunate that Fernández de Cofiño’s recognition has been lost to the American public, but it’s still inspiring to know that there were business-minded Latinx people in history whose achievements still impact our lives today. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve decided to celebrate the underrated Latina entrepreneur Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño for the marketing genius that she was. We’ve documented the evolution of Happy Meal toys from the idea’s inception and launch in the 1970s, to its continuing legacy today.

Take a look below for a nostalgic blast from the past!

1. 1979: The Very First Happy Meal

via Pinterest

Although the original concept of the Happy Meal was invented by Yolanda Fernández de Cofiño, the first official launch of the American Happy Meal happened in 1979. However, the gift wasn’t half as elaborate as it was now. According to records the toys were “a McDoodle stencil, a McWrist wallet, an ID bracelet, a puzzle lock, a spinning top or a McDonaldland character-shaped eraser”.

2. 1984: Ronald and The Gang

 thegoodtoyshop via Ebay

McDonalds Happy Meal toys evolved from spinning tops and erasers to more complex toys. Like, the above “Ronald and the Gang” wind-up cars that were defitenly a step-up from McDonald’s earlier toys. They weren’t as sophisticated as the toys would eventually get, though.

3. 1987: Mc-Transformers

Reddit User gnarrdan

The Transformers/McDonalds mashup was innovative in its day because it was blending the IP of two successful brands. Instead of McDonald’s using its Happy Meal to market other products, it was using its Happy Meal to market other products that were marketing McDonalds. It was a win-win situation.

4. 1988: McNuggets Buddies

EBAY USER MCJANTONE

In 1988, McDonalds hadn’t yet started to do marketing tie-ins with kids’ movies. Instead, they had prizes like “McNuggets Buddies”, which were chicken nuggets dressed in various outfits and costumes. This lasted until the mid-90s.

5. 1994: Sonic the Hedgehog

@NascaronReddit/Twitter

By the mid-90s, the powers-that-be recognized that there was a lucrative market to tap by using Happy Meals to advertise kid-oriented products directly to kids. It was around this time that the entertainment industry really began to see the potential for promoting movies and TV shows through fast-food chains. And if you look at the advertisement above, the Happy Meal only cost $1.99. Those were the days!

6. 1996: 101 Dalmatians

EBAY USER KINGDADDY50

Never the one to pass up an opportunity to advertise, Disney quickly hopped on board the McDonalds train as a means to promote their movies. One of the first Disney x Mcdonald’s ventures were the release of literally one-hundred-and-one collectible dalmatian figurines through their Happy Meals.

7. 1997: “Walt Disney Masterpiece Collection”

Youtube via FastFoodToyReviews

Off the success of their 101 Dalmatians toys, Disney and McDonalds continued their partnership by releasing tiny VHS boxes equipped with a a little toy character from the movie. People really began to see collecting fast food toys as a hobby around this time.

8. Mid-90s: “Teenie Babies”

EBAY User BDK84

Even McDonalds wasn’t immune to the Beanie Baby craze that swept the nation in the mid-90s. Convinced that they would one day be worth thousands, collectors flocked to the Golden Arches to get their hands on miniature versions of the popular plush toys. Unfortunately, most of the “Teenie Baby” toys aren’t worth anything these days.

9. 1997-Now: Barbies

EBAY User PERFECTSHIP

In 1997, McDonald’s started a lucrative partnership with the Barbie line of toys that would last until today. What young girl doesn’t have memories of getting this in their Happy Meal box (whether they liked it or not) while their brother got a Hot Wheels car? It’s safe to say the ’90s weren’t progressive, gender-wise.

10. 2004: Hello Kitty Keychains

Youtube via Lucky Penny Shop

Into the 2000s, McDonald’s took advantage of the Hello Kitty trend by offering plush Hello Kitty key chains in their Happy Meals.

11. 2015: Minion Fever

Ebay user BOB_THE_SPY

Do you remember the time when you couldn’t escape “Despicable Me” minion merchandising, no matter where you went? Well, that included McDonalds. Nowhere was safe.

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

Culture

This Glass Gem Corn Is Blowing Minds All Over Twitter Right Now And I Want Some ASAP

While the Internet might call it “Ghey Corn,” this rainbow-colored corn variety is officially dubbed Glass Gem corn. Not only are there a rainbow of colorful kernels, but they’re also shiny, prompting the ‘Glass’ description. The person responsible for our new favorite, gay-friendly corn is a man by the name of Carl Barnes, who passed in 2016. Barnes enjoyed his life in Oklahoma and cultivated his own personal seed bank passed down from his Cherokee ancestors. Barnes chose to save and replant the seeds from the cobs with the most color, and eventually developed strains of vibrant corn.

One day, Barnes decided to move and asked his friend, Greg Schoen, to protect the seeds. Schoen grew a small handful of the seeds and was shocked when he peeled back the corn stalk to reveal rows and rows of shiny, rainbow-colored corn. Schoen was so excited, he posted the image to his Facebook, and it promptly went viral. Soon, the two cultivated enough seeds to sell online, and people around the country have grown gorgeous varieties.

Green thumbs around the world bought satchels of the precious seed and the following season, were “blown away.”

Credit: @watermicrobe / Twitter

While Schoen may have initiated the first viral sensation over Glass Gem corn in 2012, Ameet Pinto’s viral post has become Mother Nature’s best queer bait yet. With over 7k likes, “I STAN GAY CORN” is the most liked comment. Then, “Taste the rainbow.” 

Some people literally cannot believe this is corn, accusing Pinto of creating a jelly bean cob.

Credit: @mr_plantgeek / Twitter

“Those are just jellybeans ur not foolin me!!!!!” commented one unbeliever. Someone else seems to think that a profitable venture would be to sell the kernels as jelly beans as a scam. Still, others are bringing the negativity to this rainbow party, assuming that because the cob looks different from the mono-crop, that it must be a GMO frankencorn. “Glad to see people trying to live in Chernobyl,” tweets one disbelieving Shane. 

Glass Gem corn is not a GMO crop.

Credit: @Rainmaker1973 / Twitter

In fact, this variety likely healthier than the corn you might buy at a store, which may have been genetically modified rather than artificially selected. Barnes artificially selected the prettiest corn from his crop and decided to grow from those seeds the following year.

When folks hear the story of Carl Barnes, it just adds a whole new depth to the color.

Credit: @CwdickD / Twitter

“Fun fact about these is that they were discovered by a dude who was half-Cherokee and he started growing a sh**load of different corn types to reconnect with his heritage,” tweeted one person. As Barnes was artificially selecting which corn kernels he’d store as seeds for the next year, he grew closer with his Cherokee heritage.

For those of you expecting rainbow colored popcorn, don’t.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

All that’s left of the kernel when you pop the corn is usually that brown kernel skin that gets stuck in your teeth. In the case of Glass Gem corn, you can sort of make out the varying colors of popped kernels, but the popcorn itself is the same color as regular Joe Schmoe popcorn.

The Glass Gem corn isn’t that sweet.

Credit: @SlowFoodUSA / Twitter

According to Pinto, the corn isn’t sweet like yellow corn, so it doesn’t make for good fresh esquites or elotes. All popcorn comes from different varieties of corn that you have to dehydrate to turn into cornmeal or popcorn. “We’ll be eating some colorful popcorn this winter,” Ameet tweeted.

There’s even a Facebook group for Glass Gem growers to share their growing tips and cooking tips.

Credit: Glass Gem Corn / Facebook

In case you were wondering, the Facebook group “Glass Gem Corn” says you can prepare creamy Glass Gem polenta by following these instructions: “Pour into a shallow pan to cool. Cut into squares and lightly brown in a sauté pan.” We don’t know how you do it but keep on making gay polenta, please.

All in all, the Internet is pretty a-maize-d by the gay corn.

Credit: @DonConklin5 / Twitter

“Corn says lgbtq rights,” tweeted one stan. We’re with them. This is one of those moments that we’re allowed to be in wonder over how indigenous folks cultivate the land.

READ: Oaxaca Is Mexico’s Cultural Capital And Home To Its Largest Indigenous Communities, Here’s What You Need To Know