Carols vs. Parrandas

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I miss parrandas. If you don’t know what they are, they are carols in Spanish. But, not really. The difference between them are stark. First of all, when I think of carols I think of a group of people perhaps wearing Christmas sweaters, singing Carol of the Bells and We Wish You A Merry Christmas.

When I think of parrandas, this is what I picture:

There’s an actual parranda song that basically states: open the door, feed me and give me rum. Um, yeah, just a tad bit different than carols. In the song they sing above, there’s actually a line in it that says “if you don’t give me something to drink, I’ll cry”. Don’t get me wrong, these are my type of carols! But they are slightly different, don’t you think?

They’ve always gotten me in the mood for Christmas. But there’s a catch. Did you see how many people were out there singing? There’s a well-known fact that some people will tag along a parranda, without an instrument and not knowing how to sing for one simple reason: the food.

I’m thankful that when I’ve been accosted visited in the past, I’ve gotten a heads up. This is necessary because these people will show up at your house at 10:30 and 11 o’clock at night (if you’re lucky. I’ve had people at my doorstep at midnight)! No way you’re going to let them sit out there making noise and possibly having the cops called on them. This is what they are counting on. How else will they get in your house to drink your rum and eat your food. Pretty cool, eh?

This year, I was ready for them. But, I’m kind of glad they didn’t come because this crockpot chicken enchilada soup was gone well before 9 p.m.

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I would love to take full credit for this recipe but, the credit goes to Skinny Taste and the pin I was blessed to come across a few months back. What I will take full credit for is the addition of one entire Avocado from Mexico (you’re welcome!) and the bed of rice I put this bad boy onto. I love that I can have it as a topping or as a soup. And even better? It’s perfect for those chilly nights in the winter.

Crock Pot Chicken Enchilada Soup © Skinnytaste.com Servings: 6 • Serving Size: 1 1/2 cups + cheese • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts Calories: 260.9 • Fat: 6.6 g • Protein: 25.4 g • Carb: 29.9 g • Fiber: 6.7 g • Sugar: 4.1 g Sodium: 572 mg (without salt)  Ingredients:

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups low sodium fat-free chicken broth
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tsp chipotle chili in adobo sauce (or more to taste)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (plus more for garnish)
  • 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 14.5 oz can petite diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups frozen corn
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 8 oz skinless chicken breasts (16 oz total)
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions, for topping
  • 3/4 cup shredded reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • fat free sour cream (optional)

Directions: Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, 3-4 minutes. Slowly add the chicken broth, tomato sauce and chipotle adobo sauce and bring to a boil. Add cilantro and remove from heat. Pour into crock pot. To the crockpot, add drained beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, oregano and stir.Add the chicken breasts; cover and cook on low heat for 4-6 hours. Remove chicken and shred with two forks. Add chicken back into the soup, adjust salt and cumin to taste. Serve in bowls and top with fat free sour cream, cheese, scallions and cilantro.

I cut up an entire avocado, sprinkled it with adobo and then made sure that with each bite of my soup, I savored a piece of avocado. I ate so much I spent the rest of the evening on the couch, unable to breathe and yet wanting more.

I know Christmas is about giving so, I did share my soup although if some parranderos would’ve shown up at my doorstep, I would’ve gladly called the cops on them myself so that I could ensure leftovers. Thankfully, if they show up now, I can head over to the Posadas recipes page where celebrity Chef Pepín shares some of his favorite recipes.

Have you ever been part of a parranda or posada? Have you ever been visited by one?

Disclosure: this post was sponsored by Avocados from Mexico (which should totally send me a case for, um..review) and Latina Bloggers Connect. All opinions and thoughts are my own and the yummy recipe is Gina's from SkinnyTaste.com. 

Stilettos and Sponsors (#SMLatinas)

You heard me tell you all about BlogHer, about how I do some of my follow ups and about my favorite party last week. I was going through emails, Tweets and pictures today and thought I should put up a note about the Kick Off Your Heels party. Don't worry, I know you're all busy with the Manic Mondays and whatnot.

I wanted to let you know that sometimes parties like that (and parties that you might attend) come together because there's one person with an awesome idea. That would be the fantabulous Ms. Latina herself, Migdalia.  Following that, though, it takes sponsors who not only believe the wild and crazy ideas that you have but are just as excited (if not more).  So I could not let the wave of conferencing pass without sending my deepest thanks to some pretty awesome people.

If you saw my pretty sexy leg with the cool Stiletto tattoo, that was all Glitter Tattoo NY. I'm kinda mad they're not in my town although I suspect Corena would get sick of me calling and requesting special stencils for random use. Like for bachelorette parties or how cute would it be for a babyshower?! The possibilities are endless!

During the course of BlogHer, if you saw me and thought: how is she still wearing lipstick?! Well, that's because I was sporting some Outlast All-Day Lipcolor my friends!  I will say it has passed most tests though I am still looking for a subject to try out the whole "kiss proof" claim (wink wink). CoverGirl hooked me up and I am glad they did because I may or may not have left my lipstick bag in the hot car back in Florida when I flew out that morning.

And when I heard that Avocados From Mexico would be sponsoring this party I just knew I was going to walk out of there either sick from eating too many aguacates or hunched over as I carried a sack of them back to the hotel room. Alas, neither of those things happened. But, I found another site to supplement my Avocado Obsession where I can get recipes, coupons and more AND, I got these babies:

I have considered wearing them since I got back but I'm afraid my child will attempt to eat my ears as I've recently discovered (thanks to my unselfish sharing) that the frog princess loves avocados as much as I do. So much so that tonight she had the nerve to ask me for aguacate at bedtime. I'm sure there's a book in there somewhere!

All in all, I am so happy that I was able to attend this party. But, along with feeling all the good feelings towards my fellow Bloggy friends, I was reminded about the relationships that we maintain with brands.

I am thankful to these brands along with HP and Sweet Pickles. And not just because of the goodies in the bags but because of the opportunity to develop long-term relationships both with other bloggers and with them.

Disclosure: As a member of the Stiletto Media Blogger Network, my trip to the VIP Latina Blogger Event was sponsored, but as always, my thoughts and words are my own.