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Where to get free tacos on National Taco Day, Oct. 4

Americans love tacos. We ate 4.5 billion of them last year — that’s 490,000 miles of tacos! But like so many foods, the origins of the taco are unknown. Some historians theorize they date to the 18th century silver mines in Mexico, because the word “taco” referred to the charges the miners would use to excavate ore. These pieces of paper were wrapped around gunpowder and inserted into holes cared into the rock — Not totally unlike a delicious flour tortilla wrapped around perfectly seasoned beef, cheese and tomatoes and inserted into your mouth. Whatever it’s origins, here are places you can celebrate National Taco Day, Oct. 4 on the cheap: Baja Fresh: JoinClub Baja and get a free taco. Chuy’s Tex-Mex: The Austin, Texas-based chain will give away a crispy beef taco with any order for $1. Chuy’s is also offering $1 Mexican beers. Del Taco: Raving Fan club members get two free…

Chipotle announces highly anticipated arrival of queso

Cheese lovers rejoice! Starting today, you can finally add queso to your Chipotle burrito bowl. Earlier this month, America’s favorite fast, casual Mexican chain announced that starting September 12 queso would be available on its U.S. menu nationwide. “Although queso was the number one requested menu item, we never added it to our menu before now because we wouldn’t use the industrial additives used in most quesos,” said CEO Steve Ells in a press release. The new Chipotle queso is what they’re calling a “complex and slightly spicy flavored” cheese sauce. It’s made from aged cheddar cheese, tomatillos, tomatoes and several varieties of peppers. And, staying true to their core mission, no preservatives were used — except for lemon and lime juice, which are used for flavor, but can also serve as a natural preservative. Customers can order queso on their entrée (for about $1.25), or on the side as a dip for tortilla chips…

Simple watermelon salsa is sweet, mildly spicy

Who would have thought watermelon and jalapeño would be such a delicious pair? What’s better, is that this quick condiment only requires six ingredients. I’ve been experimenting with a lot of watermelon lately, so get ready for quite a few juicy recipes coming up.. This one was one of my favorites, since it’s a perfect match-up of sweet and spicy, combined with saltiness from the chips. I’ve only tried it as a salsa so far, but I could see this going great with grilled chicken or fish, or atop a grilled vegetable dinner. Watermelon Salsa Serves 6-8: Prep time 10 min Ingredients 4 cups watermelon (seedless, or seeds removed and chopped) 1 cup cucumber, chopped 1 cup red onion (about 1/2 large onion, chopped) 2 medium jalapeños (remove seeds for less heat, chopped) 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped 1 lime, cut in half salt (to taste) Directions Add watermelon, cucumber, onion,…

20 margarita recipes to make right now

A classic cocktail that needs no introduction. Try these twists on the basic lime blend — because one is only better than the next. Pink Lemonade Margarita  BLOOD ORANGE MARGARITAS FOR A CROWD pineapple coconut margarita WATERMELON & BASIL MARGARITA Blackberry Lemonade Margaritas Sunset Margarita (Mango Pineapple Margarita) Champagne Lemonade Margaritas Fresh Peach Margaritas SPICY PINEAPPLE MARGARITAS Margarita Moscow Mules Best Blue Margarita Spicy Grapefruit Jalapeño Margarita JACK’S ULTIMATE FROZEN MARGARITAS Skinny Sparkling Cherry Margarita POMEGRANATE MARGARITA RECIPE SILVER CADILLAC MARGARITA LAVENDER MARGARITA Raspberry Mango Margaritas Prickly Pear Margarita rosemary ginger margaritas

History of Mexican Salsa

Salsa has been around for thousands of years. Its history can be traced to the Aztecs, Mayans and Incas who used various combinations of chilies, tomatoes and other spices as a type of condiment atop turkey, venison, lobster and fish to give their food more flavor. Salsa didn’t spread outside of Central American cuisine until the Spaniards arrived and conquered Mexico — between 1519 and 1921. Even then, the tomato-based condiment didn’t have a commonplace name. It wasn’t until 50 years later, in 1571, that a Spanish priest, missionary, and grammarian gave it the simple name salsa. Directly translated from Spanish, “salsa” simply means “sauce.” Today, salsa is a mix of Old World and New World ingredients. The tomatoes, tomatillos, and chillies are native to the Western Hemisphere, while many of the added spices such as onions and garlic have Old World origins. An increase in the popularity of spicy foods…

Homemade horchata adds authenticity to your Cinco de Mayo feast

In the Southwest, horchata is sold in convenience stores right alongside Coca-a-Cola. It’s sold in strip malls, Mexican taquerias and even makes a regular appearance at simple family gatherings. But I must admit, growing up in the Northeast, I was too long sheltered from the taste of this sweet, cinnamon-laden Mexican rice milk. I now order the creamy, cinnamon bespeckled beverage every chance I get, and rarely have I had a Northern friend in my presence who has tried it before. I encourage them to take a taste, and they are instantly hooked. Here’s my recipe for homemade horchata because sometimes in the Northeast, it’s just too long before you can find the good stuff. Double (or triple!) the recipe, and serve this up at your Cinco de Mayo feast for a taste of authenticity. Horchata Serves 6 Ingredients 1 1/3 cup uncooked long-grain white rice 2 cinnamon sticks 4 cups water, divided evenly in 2 2 cups milk (I…