Tuesday, May 05, 2009


Cinco de Mayo has come to represent a celebration of the contributions that Mexican Americans and all Hispanics have made to America.”
~ Joe Baca

Rembrandt tulips
~ Favorite taco fillings make a simple festive salad

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cup organic chicken broth
3 Tbsp. chopped parsley
1/2 tsp. coarse salt
1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 cups shredded iceberg and/or romaine lettuce
1 lb. diced ripe tomatoes
1 can (16 oz.) drained and rinsed black beans
1-2 diced avocado sprinkled with fresh lime juice
1 cup finely diced red onion
1-2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1 heaping tsp. Dijon mustard
1 large peeled and sliced shallot
  • Place chicken breasts in medium sauce pan. Add chicken broth and enough water to cover by 2 inches. Bring to simmer over medium high heat, reduce heat and cook until chicken is white throughout but still moist, 10-15 minutes. Let cool in liquid until cool enough to handle.
  • Remove poached chicken from broth and shred. In medium bowl toss shredded chicken with parsley salt and pepper.
  • In wide shallow bowl, layer lettuce, tomatoes, black beans, chicken and avocado. Scatter red onion over avocado and sprinkle cheese around the inside of bowl in a wide ring.
  • Combine red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper, Dijon and shallot in a blender. Blend until creamy and taste adding more vinegar if needed.
  • Drizzle dressing over salad and serve with favorite crispy corn chips. (6 servings)


~ Best served warm from Mexican Light Cooking
2 1/2 cups low fat milk
1 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/3 cup sugar
(if using sweetened coconut, reduce the sugar to 2 Tbsp.)
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
pinch of salt
1 whole large egg plus 1 lightly beaten egg white
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • In medium saucepan, warm milk over medium heat until bubbles appear around the edges, 3-5 minutes. Add shredded coconut and half the sugar. Remove the pan from the heat and let the coconut steep in the milk 20 minutes. Transfer coconut mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.
  • Combine remaining sugar with cornstarch and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually whisk in coconut puree until well blended then beat in the beaten egg and egg white. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, whisking, 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla.
  • Let pudding cool slightly for 10 minutes and serve warm, which is traditional in Mexico. Or spoon into serving bowl/bowls and chill. (6 servings)


Rembrandt tulips

Although Rembrandts are officially classified as a distinct group, in catalogs they are not normally listed separately. They are, in fact, forms of Darwin or Cottage tulips, or of another old class called Breeder tulips, that have been infected with a virus by aphids, which carry the disease from pant to plant as they feed.
The virus causes and attractive "breaking' of the main color, so that it seems to be feathered and striped. This phenomenon has existed since the early days of the garden tulip ~ and it was greatly admired, as can be seen from the Dutch flower paintings of the seventeenth century, many of which featured Rembrandt tulips in the foreground.
~ Tulips - A Romantic History with a Guide To Cultivation
(Ann Bonar)


Frances said...

Hi Joey, I knew you would come up with something delicious on this festive day. This seems like a nice healthy alternative to the dip of the same name sans sour cream. The tulips are spectacular!

Gail said...

Hi Joey, The colors of the tulips are the perfect hot for a cinco-de-mayo celebration! ...and you've identified the type that ended up in my garden. Fascinating history! I am going to look for more of these Rembrandt tulips to add to the garden mix!

The coconut pudding will make Mr I so happy! Thanks, Joey! I hope you're having a good spring~~ gail

Monica the Garden Faerie said...

Ooh, both the taco salad and coconut pudding sound yummy! Happy Cinco de Mayo.

Bren said...

OH MY GOODNESS... this is a wonderful entry for May 5th. We had Mexican for dinner and then I made a big taco salad for dinner. YUMMY!!!

Love the tulips - are they in your garden?

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

Hi, dear Joey. This sounds scrumptious. I copied the coconut pudding recipe and will print out and make. My daughter is here, so perfect timing! Thank you! The tulips are beautiful and so celebratory! Lovely post for Cinco de Mayo. Abrazos! xoxo

Tyra in Vaxholm said...

Hi Joey, haha, so I learned something new today again, blogging is amazing isn't it? Cinco de Mayo and to go with the new knowledge some absolutely delicious food.


xoxo Tyra

Nutty Gnome said...

The mexican sounds scrummy even though I don't much like coconut!

The tulips are beautiful - and I never knew that was how they got the markings. You learn something new every day!!!

beckie said...

OHHH! Coconut pudding-yummmm.These tulips are jsut the colors to celebrate Cinco de Mayo. Thanks for the interesting info on the Rembrandt tulips. :)

Roses and Lilacs said...

Hi Joey, what a lovely color combination. I used to have some similar tulips that I loved. A big bed of them that stood out from a distance.

I was just reading about the virus that causes the color streaking. Only one of the original virused heirlooms in still in commerce.

George Africa said...

Hello Joey;

Your comments about tulip breaking virus reminds me of the importance to keep tulips planted some distance from lilium. I once had a very nice planting of some Oriental lilies named 'Journey's End' and also 'Casacade'. These were originators stock so the real McCoy and they were beautiful.

One fall, my loving wife planted tulips amongst the lilies. In two years the lilies were completely gone. These develop the streaking on the petals and other signs of pending doom too--then they are history.

Just a thought at fall tulip planting time.

George Africa
Vermont Flower Farm

The Vermont Gardener

marmee said...

your amazing looking tulips are so firey looking...lovely specimens.

Kathryn/plantwhateverbringsyoujoy.com said...

Joey, dear, we made the pudding!! It is as delicious as we imagined and more! Thank you!! More soon! (We will keep you posted!) Kathryn & Antonia

joey said...

It's good, light, and satisfying, Frances, perfect fare for our svelte figures :)

As you might have guessed, Gail, I have a passion for Rembrandt tulips ... poised for the camera and hard not to capture a beautiful shot. I agree, we must keep our significant others happy ... Coconut Pudding is an easy out :)

Hi Monica! Hope your day was great also. As you can see, the hour is late ... long hours in the garden and life in between has me twirling!

Yes Bren, these are my tulips ... I love spring bulbs and don't have enough time to focus on all the stars blooming now. I'm sure you are in the same frenzied mode ... your tended garden shows!

I'm delighted that you & Antonia enjoyed the pudding, dear Kathryn. I know you smell my coconut posts :) Trust more will follow my craving ...

Yes thanks for dear blogging friends like you, Tyra.

There is more to life than coconut, Nutty! I think the history of these beauties is fascinating and glad you enjoyed the post.

Hi dear Beckie and thanks. Hope you are finding time in your busy life to enjoy this glorious month of May.

I did not know that, Marnie ~ thanks for sharing, dear friend.

Wow George ~ thank you for the input ... I had no idea! I know how busy you are on the mountain and appreciate precious time to visit.

Thanks Marmee ~ I adore spring bulbs ... hate planting in the fall yet so happy when I see them each spring!