There’s nothing worse than getting into a dinner rut, but once the school routine kicks in, it tends to happen. The same four or five meals end up in a rotation that can soon have the whole family feeling less than thrilled about sitting down to supper. So when Old El Paso Canada sent me a fabulous assortment of Dinner Kits and kitchen gadgets to help me break out of the dinner rut, I couldn’t wait to embrace the challenge.
As it happened, September 16 was El Grito de Dolores, or Mexican Independence Day, the biggest holiday on the Mexican calendar. What better way to break out of the dinner rut than to celebrate the holiday with a Mexican feast? I decided to serve up scrumptious Old El Paso hard and soft tacos complete with homemade guacamole and all the fixings. My foolproof guacamole recipe, which simply combines one mashed avocado, a few tablespoons of salsa, a spritz of lime juice and a bit of chopped fresh parsley, lets me enjoy my favourite Mexican topping in a flash!
The boys and I had a great time feasting on tacos together, but of course it’s not really a party without a special dessert! I wanted something fun and fitting with our Mexican theme, but it was still a weekday so I also wanted something quick and easy. Fortunately, my recipe for Tres Leches Cake fulfilled both requirements!
Tres Leches Cake
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 1/4 cup water or milk
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1 cup milk
- 1 can sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup rum or 1 tbsp. rum flavouring
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/8 cup rum or 1 tsp. rum flavouring
- 2 tbsp. icing sugar
- 1 cup unsweetened coconut toasted
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans toasted
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of a 13" by 9" cake pan.
Beat cake mix, water, vegetable oil and eggs together for about two minutes and pour into pan. Bake 35 minutes until toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.
Let cake stand five minutes. Pierce top of cake approximately 30 times with a long fork.
Mix together one cup whipping cream, milk, sweetened condensed milk and half cup rum in bowl. Carefully pour over top of cake. Cover and refrigerate at least three hours.
When ready to serve, beat remaining whipping cream, rum and icing sugar together until stiff peaks form. Spread over top of cake and top with coconut and pecans. Store in refrigerator.
I toasted the coconut and pecans myself under the broiler; an easy job that takes less than a minute. But it does require careful monitoring as nuts burn quickly! Since my boys were going to be eating the cake too, I used rum extract instead of actual rum, but for an adult gathering, using rum turns the cake into a delicious and unique dessert. And it was the perfect finish to our El Grito celebration!
To help you throw a Mexican celebration of your own, Old El Paso is providing a little inspiration with a fabulous giveaway! One lucky Mommy Kat and Kids reader will win an Old El Paso prize pack containing serving dishes, kitchen gadgets, a Mexican cookbook and Old El Paso dinner kits, a $75 value! To enter to win, just leave a blog comment about a recent or upcoming event in your household that you’d love to celebrate with a little fiesta!
Mexican Independence Day may be over, but that doesn’t mean that we have to sink back into a dinner rut. The wonderful thing about life is that there’s always something to celebrate! Whether your child had great results on a test or your family worked together to clean up a room, take those little accomplishments and use them as a reason for throwing your own fiesta! It’s a great way to ensure that you don’t end up in a boring routine and with easy dinner kits from Old El Paso, a spontaneous party doesn’t require a lot of time and planning either. Give it a try and shake off your dinner rut tonight!