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14
Nov 17

You’re Doing Thanksgiving Wrong

If there’s one meal at which family drama is on full display, it’s Thanksgiving. Expectations and emotions run high, and there are a lot of moving parts to cause friction. Even Anthony Bourdain, who is seemingly immune to the criticism of others, feels the pressure to pull off the most anticipated meal of the year. If you’re hosting (and taking seriously) The Big Meal this year, you’ll need to read this before tackling anything related to it. There’s a lot you’re just plain doing wrong.

Below, a list of exactly what you’re doing wrong, according to Anthony Bourdain:

1. You start cooking on Thanksgiving Day.

Preparing your whole meal in one day— even two—is a recipe for system failure. Order your fancy farmer-raised turkey now. Or, if you are going to buy a more plebian bird from a regular market, get your hands on it no later than the Monday before Thanksgiving.

2. You’re not planning well enough.

Plan for three days—that’s right, three days—of full-on Thanksgiving prep. Make a list of everything that needs to get done and follow it. The Tuesday before Thanksgiving, you should be organizing your supplies and tools, making sure you have enough roasting pans, mixing bowls, and storage containers ,and banging out advance vegetable prep.

3. You’re not giving yourself enough time to thaw everything out.

Do not wait until Thanksgiving to lay out your non-perishables and frozen items. The vast majority of holiday turkeys are sold frozen, and it takes about six hours per pound to defrost in the refrigerator. No amount of prayer, salting, or hastily applied hairdryers can speed up this process if you’ve waited until Wednesday to thaw a 12-pound bird. Your microwave isn’t big enough. You can jolly it along a bit with a cold water bath, which thaws the meat at approximately 30 minutes per pound, but do not float your turkey in your bathtub.

4. You’re not saving the stock when it’s all over. It’s liquid gold for cold weather.

Stock is the underrated superhero of the Thanksgiving meal, the product that comes out of nowhere to save almost everything except your pie. You should make stock out of your Thanksgiving turkey carcass—but the use of a good, dark, gelatinous-when-refrigerated stock that you have on hand before the meal is what’s going to upgrade your stuffing and gravy. Buy about five to seven pounds of turkey wings and necks as the base for a deeply-roasted stock, or invest in a couple of quarts of the best-quality turkey stock you can find a few days (or weeks) before the holidays. Use the stock made from your Thanksgiving birds for winter soups and stews.

5. You only make one turkey? That’s cute.

Prepare a stunt turkey and a business turkey. To impress guests, roast and artfully arrange a small turkey, using any and all manner of garnishes and props, including (but not limited to): chop frills, rainbow pinwheels of skewered citrus fruit slices, maraschino cherries, curly kale, lit sparklers, and crisp, new $100 bills and/or gold leaf. While guests admire your artistry (and drink your Burgundy), carve the larger, roasted business turkey in the kitchen. The stunt turkey should be edible, of course. Use it to supplement the meal as needed, or lean on it entirely for care packages and day-after leftovers.

6. You’re throwing away the fat.

Do not discard the copious amounts of grease your bird has generously provided you with; use it to boost flavor. Butter is good, but turkey fat is better for delivering quintessential flavor. Save the grease that runs off the roasted birds and use it for the gravy and as a moistening agent for your stuffing.

7. Don’t try anything crazy. This is not the time for wild experimentation.

Stick with tradition on Thanksgiving.  You have 364 days of the year to experiment with the cuisines of the world, your dehydrator, and your sous vide machine. Give the people what they want on Thanksgiving: the likes of buttery mashed potatoes, savory stuffing with mushrooms or chestnuts or oysters, sweet potatoes with marshmallows, cranberry relish, bacon-enhanced Brussels sprouts, creamed onions, pumpkin or apple pie with real whipped cream, and above all, a straight-ahead bronzed turkey, roasted in the oven.

8. You’re giving it all away at the end of the meal.

A good turkey sandwich, enhanced with a layer of stuffing and gravy, eaten in peace after your guests have gone, is the whole point of hosting Thanksgiving in the first place. By all means, send your friends and family home with care packages—but first, make sure you’ve tucked away enough additional stuff for yourself.

Highland Haus

24
Oct 17

Halloween Treat Alternatives

Traditional Halloween treats include all oour obvious favorites: Snickers, Reese’s, Twix, Skittles, and the (yummy) list goes on and on. But this year you should stray from tradition and pick up some not-so-typical treats for the youngsters in your building. Trust us, they’ll get plenty of the tooth-rotting goodness, but they’ll welcome the alternative Halloween treats we gathered here. Many of these items can be purchased in bulk for an affordable price at your local dollar store:

Bubbles
Play Doh
Bouncing balls
Glow sticks
Cookie cutters
Keychains
Slap bracelets
Temporary tattoos
Notepads
Crayons
Stencils
Stickers
Slinky’s
Halloween rings
Book marks
Ink stamps

Highland Haus

10
Oct 17

Add Color to Your Space without the Commitment of Paint

Living in an apartment can mean limited décor options. Painting your walls in your favorite shade of green or blue may not always be ideal. In fact, it may go against your lease. And even if you did have the option of painting your walls, losing your deposit is something you would risk. So, how do you add color to your space without going against your lease agreement?

With a quick visit to your local crafts store and a little DIY, you can add color and personality to your apartment in no time with very little impact on your walls – and your wallet. If you’re not sure what color is best suited for your space, check out these tips on using the color wheel for inspiration.

Large Painting
If you have a large empty wall in your living room, consider creating your own piece of art. Have fun and mix and match the colors to go with your space. Next, measure the width of your wall to determine how big your piece of art should be. Then, head out to your local art store and purchase a canvas that will best fit the space, painters’ tape (you can determine how wide the lines should be), acrylic paint and a foam brush.

Create a geometric design on the canvas using the painters’ tape. This is where you can have fun – it doesn’t have to be perfect. Next, cover it with the paint. You can use different colors. Let it dry. Once the paint is dry, carefully remove the tape, and voila – your very own art piece.

Fabric Wrapped Canvas
Similar to the large painting, you can easily use an artist’s canvas to add color to your wall. Head out to your local crafts store and purchase a yard of a fabric that you love. Consider using a fabric that will add that pop of color, as well as one that will add texture to your space, like a textured silk. Wrap the fabric around the canvas – like a present – and use a staple gun to secure the fabric in place. This is great because all you need is one hole, which betters your chance of getting your deposit back in the end.

Highland Haus

27
Sep 17

Fitness Center Etiquette

Our 24-hour Fitness Center is a great perk of apartment living, adding to your quality of life in more than one way. But your gym etiquette (or lack thereof) could make the wrong impression, turning off neighbors, potential friends and even management. Here are some tips so you make a good impression in your apartment community’s fitness center.

Dress appropriately
Workout clothes should be worn, not flip-flops or bathing suits. You never know who you’ll meet in your gym—a potential employer, a future date, or simply a new friend. It’s always beneficial to make a good impression, even when working out. Ripped or dirty clothes tell something about you, as does wearing something too revealing, provocative or downright offensive.

Leave Work Behind
You’ll want to be friendly at the gym, but the less you talk about work at the gym, the better. Most people go to the gym with one of two things in mind: getting a good workout, or decompressing from a stressful day. You certainly don’t want to be the one to wreck someone’s fitness regime or their chance at a little peace of mind.

Be Mindful of Conversation
If someone approaches you and starts a conversation, you may certainly oblige them. But if you’re short on time, do be honest and let them know. Tell them you’d love to talk more, and suggest another time. A nice, short friendly conversation is appropriate: just be sure to follow up.

The same goes if you don’t want to connect with a neighbor in the gym. Good etiquette includes being courteous and respectful. Perhaps you should bring your earplugs and iPod. It’s an easy signal that you want to work out without talking.

Great Gym Etiquette Guidelines
Follow these basic gym rules to avoid irritating anyone:

return free weights where they belong
don’t hog the cardio machines
(typically most machines have a 30 minute limit unless the room is empty)
turn off lights, fans and TVs when not in use
wipe off equipment after use

Besides boosting your health, the Fitness Center is a good place to meet your neighbors . . . so you’ll want to ensure you’re on your best behavior as you’re trying to get in your “best” shape. When you work on your manners and leave a good impression at the gym, it could pay off in more ways than just your physique.

Highland Haus

6
Sep 17

Benefits Of Choosing a First Floor Apartment

When it comes to apartment hunting, you might think you want the highest floor and the best view, or to be away from the noise of residents coming and going or talking outside. You may also estimate that you’ll be safer from the risk of theft.

For these reasons, first-floor apartments tend to get a bad reputation. But is it really justified? There are actually many benefits to renting a ground floor apartment!

Moving in is much easier

Avoiding the stairs makes moving in so much easier. Trying to lug heavy furniture up narrow stairwells is a hassle, even for pros. It’s not much better trying to cram your belongings into an elevator. First floors do away with all these challenges.

Getting in and out is easier/more convenient

Not having to deal with stairs and elevators is always appealing to the senior population. If you’re shopping for an apartment for a parent or elderly friend, the first floor deserves a serious look. Apartments for disabled renters are typically on the first floor, too, to be near the parking.

Heat rises: you’ll be cooler in the summer

If you live in a southern state, you know how brutal the summer months can be. Living on an upper floor can be tough. Your cooling bill is higher just trying to keep the place comfortable. You don’t have that problem to the same degree in a ground floor apartment.

Lower cost

There’s no denying it: many people prefer an upper-level apartment for security reasons. Choosing the first-floor apartment, then, can mean paying less in rent each month.

Because heat rises (see above) you could also have a lower utility bill. A westward-facing window could offset this, however.

You don’t have neighbors below you

When you live in an upper floor unit, you have neighbors below you, hearing your every move. However, when you’re on the first floor, you don’t have to worry about how walking about in shoes, moving furniture or letting your kids or dog run around a bit affects the neighbors. This is especially true if you have small children. With today’s trend toward hardwood floors, this is more of an issue than ever.

Courtyards and gardens

Living on the ground floor allows you easy access to the courtyards, gardens and green space of your apartment community. It’s like having an extended patio.

Proximity to your car or bike

Not having to climb stairs or wait for an elevator is a real blessing, especially when you’ve worked a long day or come home with lots of groceries. And if you forget something in your car or apartment, it’s only seconds instead of minutes to retrieve it.

If you enjoy cycling, it’s great to step outside and jump on your bike. And if you have to store your bike inside your unit, think of the hassle you save by being at ground level. You might even find that easy proximity to the great outdoors serves as a catalyst for all sorts of outdoor activities, from swimming to walking.

Pets

Pets can manage stairs, but they don’t necessarily love them. And other residents don’t necessarily love sharing an elevator with animals. Being on the ground level solves all the above, plus gives you quick and easy access for early morning or late-night dog walks. A fenced patio at ground level is a huge bonus for you both to step outside

Proximity to the mailboxes

Your mail comes nearly every day. It’s pretty nice to quickly step out and grab it.

There’s a lot to be said for ground floor apartments. If you’re on a tight budget, first-floor apartments can give you a good bang for your buck. A landlord’s first priority is to occupy all the units, and that can be a good bargaining chip for you regarding price on a first-floor unit. There are many beautiful and affordable first floor units out there; it just takes a little searching to find the one you love.

Highland Haus

23
Aug 17

Your Dishwasher Can Be Used For Other Things Too

Though it sounds crazy, your dishwasher is capable of washing so much more than just your dishes. Learn how this cleaning powerhouse can sanitize, clean, protect and extend the life of things other than dishes!

Shoes

Like our title says, you can put the sneakers in the dishwasher. (Just don’t combine them with your dishes). Shoes get a lot of wear and get dirty very quickly. If you have little kids running around who like to get their feet dirty, this is a tip you’ll definitely want to use.

Before putting a pair of shoes in the dishwasher to be cleaned, give them a once-over to look for any extremely dirty spots that may need scraped or scrubbed off before going in the wash. Make sure the open part of the shoe is over the rungs of your bottom dishwasher rack and that the bottom part of the shoe is facing up. After that, run the dishwasher with your normal dishwasher detergent. Remember to turn off the “heat dry” option or you might end up with a shrunken pair of shoes. Remove them from the dishwasher once the cycle is finished. Let your clean shoes dry overnight.

FUN FACT: You can also clean your flip flops on the top shelf of the dishwasher.

Keys

Think about it – your keys go wherever you go and can get touched by a lot of hands. Your keys are probably covered in germs.

It’s not recommended to put key fobs in the dishwasher, but simple metal keys can be put in your silverware holder for a wash cycle. They’ll come out shiny and sanitized.

Dog Supplies

Dogs love their toys. They love them so much that they’ll claw and drool all over them. Needless to say, they need a little extra cleaning from time to time.

Most of your dog’s supplies can be run through the dishwasher. Skip the detergent and just use a little vinegar instead. Soaps often contain chemicals that are harmful to pets, but vinegar works as a disinfectant. Their dishes, plastic toys, collars and leashes (not made of leather), can all be cleaned in the dishwasher without the “heat dry” setting.

Makeup Brushes

These brushes pick up a lot of gunk after each use. Then, they get used again each day without a thought. A quick cycle in the dishwasher gets them clean and extends their lifespan.

Makeup brushes can go in the silverware holder to be cleaned and sanitized. Once a month is usually enough for this thorough cleaning. Ensure that the brushes are completely dry after you clean them.

Garden Tools and Hand Tools

It’s pretty obvious that your garden tools can pick up some dirt after each use. Other metal and hand tools with plastic handles can also be cleaned in the dishwasher.

After the dishwasher cleans off the grit and grime, do not use the “heat dry” option and remove the tools immediately to dry by hand. Drying by hand lowers the chance of rust forming on the tools.

Plastic Children’s Toys

It’s no wonder that your child’s toys might need a quick wash to get rid of all the germs they pick up: those toys get around.

Plastic kids toys of all kinds can be placed in the dishwasher for an easy sanitation. If you have a bunch of small plastic toys (legos, small game pieces, blocks, etc.), they can be put in a mesh bag so they don’t get lost and fall through the racks.

Important: Turn off the “heat dry” option to avoid any melted toys.

As you can see, your dishwasher works to clean more than just your dishes. Save a few minutes and use it to clean and sanitize other items around your house, you’ll be glad you did!

Highland Haus

15
Aug 17

Cooking Hacks

Living in such a fast-paced, exciting urban area, it’s easy to get carried away with experiencing everything it has to offer—especially the restaurants. But dining out every meal can burn a large hole in your pocket, fast, and can put you in a compromising position with your health & weight. Some argue cooking at home is inconvenient, time-consuming and soaks up what little space you have in your city side apartment. Luckily there are ways to hack the system and cenare all’interno (dine inside) on little money, with no fancy gadgets necessary, and save yourself some calories to boot.

Here are some genius at-home cooking tips from the experts at Food & Wine.

Breakfast:
Poaching the perfect egg is easier than it looks. The secret is starting with a simple household ingredient: distilled white vinegar. First, soak your eggs in the vinegar for about five minutes. Crack our egg into a small dish or bowl, making sure not to break the yolk. With a pan of simmering water on the stove, slide your egg from the dish into the water. You’ll notice it immediately begin to cook; use a spoon to move it around the water to cook evenly. After about four minutes, remove it from the water with your spoon and your egg is perfectly poached and ready to eat.
Fresh, homemade pancakes are delicious and fun to make, but they often leave a big mess in your kitchen that you won’t enjoy cleaning up later. Make it mess free by throwing your ingredients in a zip-lock bag and mix your batter either with a whisk or kneading it by hand. Gather the batter into one corner so it resembles a cake-icing bag and cut the tip. This provides you with the ability to make perfectly round pancakes, just the size you want, or even create other shapes like hearts, diamonds, or whatever you come up with!

Lunch:
Deviled eggs are a summertime staple and a beloved treat among folks of all ages. But the only thing worse than having bits of shell stuck to your hard-boiled egg, is mangling the egg whites while trying to make your precious picnic favorite. Using a simple household teaspoon will help you effortlessly peel your hard-boiled egg and make your life simpler. Take the cooked egg and hit the bottom of it (the widest part) on your counter or hard surface. Gently peel away only a small portion of the shell. Take the teaspoon and slide it under the thin layer of skin that sits between shell and egg. Carefully move the spoon around the egg to remove the skin and shell. Voila!
The hardest part about eating kiwi is cutting off the tough skin and wasting most of your fruit in the process. Similar to the hard-boiled egg, cut off the stem-end of the kiwi, only about 1/8 of an inch. Then take your teaspoon and slide it under the skin, moving it around the whole thing until it lifts away. You can gauge your progress by using your thumb and feeling for the spoon underneath the skin, careful not to press it into the fruit. Pinch the kiwi out of its skin and there you have it, effortless fresh fruit.
Sandwiches always taste better on a fresh baguette from the local bakery. But if you’ve had your loaf long enough that it begins to sag and the ends are hard, it’s no longer fresh and appetizing. Or is it? Next time your baguette has gone stale, run some water over the loaf to lightly coat it. Throw it in the oven at 450 degrees for 5-7 minutes. When it comes out, the exterior should crackle and crunch when you press it, and the inside should be soft and fluffy.

Dinner:
Oyster Bars do all the work for you—and for good reason–it’s hard to shuck an oyster shell. However, you can save money by eating the delicate meat at home, and with this tip you won’t kill yourself trying to pry it open. If a stubborn one is giving you trouble, pop it in the microwave for about twenty seconds. The heat will help expand the oyster shell and make it easier for you to crack it open. Then, using a knife, insert it at the hinge, where the top and bottom shell meet. Once the knife is partially in, use a turning motion of the wrist to open it the rest of the way, almost as if you were turning a door knob. But you’ll want to make sure your wrist does not bend, and that your whole arm is creating this motion. If that still doesn’t work, though, throw in the towel and head over to Ryleigh’s before you hurt yourself.
Dinner parties aren’t complete without decadent gourmet cheeses as an appetizer. But cutting these soft cheeses smoothly and cleanly is sometimes difficult and can mangle your expensive Brie. Using simple unflavored dental floss will solve that issue. Just as you would floss your teeth, wrap the ends around your fingers so the string is taut, and slide it down the roll of cheese until it breaks through the other side, a clean cut. For triangular cuts, place the floss at the ends of the triangle, long-ways. Criss-cross the two ends as the string moves along the cheese smoothly. And there you have it, clean cut cheese for your party platter.
Poaching salmon is one of the healthiest ways to prepare this delicious fish. An easy and mess-free way to poach salmon is by placing the filets in a zip-lock bag (add seasonings and lemons, if desired) and lowering them into a boiling pan of water. After a few minutes, remove the bag from the water with tongs, and pinch the ends of the salmon while still in the bag. If it begins to flake away, the filet is cooked and is ready to serve medium rare. For medium or medium well, place the bag back in the water for a few more minutes.
Now that you have a few cooking hacks under your belt, you can skip the pricey plated dinner and host your own gourmet meal right in your apartment home.

Highland Haus

26
Jul 17

How to Get Rid of Mosquitoes

The beautiful weather in the summer makes you want to be outside all day and all night, but your enjoyment of the outdoors can easily be ruined by the appearance of mosquitoes. These bloodsucking flying pests seek out human hosts to feed on, but you have a few options to help keep your cookouts and pool days bug-free.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rob_swystun/

The easiest way to get rid of mosquitoes is to eliminate the places they can breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around standing water, the bugs need only a small pool or puddle (around 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch deep at a minimum). Look for and drain any flower pots, decorative buckets or dishes, and even tarps that might cover your grill or yard items; if the tarp is loose, water can pool in the folds.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/teo/16560278/

If there are troublesome spots that seem to fill with water no matter what you do, look for “mosquito dunks,” or “mosquito bits.” These come in a small ring or handful of pellets that you drop right into the water, and they kill off the mosquito larva. They contain a biologic pesticide, mostly a bacteria that feeds on the larva, and are safe for children, pets and other wildlife.

If you are already in the midst of an infestation, there are a couple of ways to keep the bugs at bay.

Using essential oils, or burning a candle loaded with essential oils, is a time-tested method to keep insects away. Look for citronella or lemon eucalyptus oils, available as an oil, a spray or in candle form.

However, there might be an easier solution that could help keep flying bugs from pestering you. An electric fan could be the key to keeping your cookout bug-free. Mosquitoes and flies are not the strongest flyers, so a simple oscillating fan can help push them away from people and food. Additionally, mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide that we exhale, as well as other scents released when we sweat. A fan might help disperse these fumes, so you will be less of a target for the biting insects.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jeepersmedia/

If all else fails, it’s time to reach for the bug spray, which can give you a few hours respite from the bloodsuckers. Look for sprays that contain DEET or picaridin, two formulations that are reported as highly effective scientific studies and customer reviews. Picaridin is recommended especially if you find that a spray with DEET irritates your skin. Look for products that contain 15 to 30 percent DEET or 20 percent picaridin. Follow the safety instructions on any bug spray you buy and apply.

11
Jul 17

Summer Cleaning

Maybe you waited a little too long for spring cleaning, or maybe the warm weather and outdoor activities set back all your progress. Either way, use these tips to try to conquer the clutter and survive the summer.

Clean out your fridge

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jacopast/

When you are piling up the meats, plates and condiments for a backyard barbecue, take stock of what you are bringing outside, and what you are leaving. Can’t remember how old that bottle of mustard is, and whether it is from this summer or the one before? Ditch it and pick up a fresh bottle, you and your guests’ taste buds will thank you. Did you buy that jar of relish for a family member who was in town, but no one in your house will touch the stuff? Ditch it. Check the fridge and freezer for items that have seen better days, odds are that you’ll never use that frozen chicken breast from 2014.

Make sure your tools are up for the job.

At the end of last summer, maybe you left out your barbecuing tools, or just a stray spatula or pair of tongs. Depending on where you live, the fall and winter might have left your tools warped, rusted or broken. Now it’s time to treat yourself to some new tools. This also applies to any other gear that may have spent the winter outside and has been rendered unusable. If your grill has succumbed to rust, it might be time to get a new one.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/gspiccies/

In the same vein, look around your kitchen and house for things that may have seen better days. Is there Tupperware or other food storage containers in your fridge or cabinet that might have taken on some funky odors? Are your other containers a jumbled mess of missing lids and mismatched pieces? A simple refresh of your food storage containers can help you become more efficient and safer when it comes to your leftovers and packed lunches

Prepare for mosquitoes and flying pests

While not technically summer cleaning, everyone knows the warm weather brings an increase in flying pests. Whether they are out for your food or your blood, use these tips to try and keep them away.

The easiest way to get rid of mosquitoes is to eliminate the places they can breed. Mosquitoes lay their eggs in and around standing water, the bugs need only a small pool or puddle (around 6 inches in diameter and ½ inch deep at a minimum). Look for and drain any flower pots, decorative buckets or dishes, and even tarps that might cover your grill or yard items; if the tarp is loose, water can pool in the folds.

Using essential oils, or burning a candle loaded with essential oils, is a time-tested method to keep insects away. Look for citronella or lemon eucalyptus oils, available as an oil, a spray or in candle form.

If you find that mosquitoes and flies are becoming an unbearable nuisance, a lot of experts are offering up a simple solution: an electric fan. Mosquitoes and flies are not particularly strong fliers, so a ceiling fan or rotating fan should be able to disrupt them on their path to you or your food. The fans also help dissipate your human odors and the carbon dioxide that you breathe out, two ways mosquitoes know where you are. Finally, that fan will provide a welcome breeze to get you through even the hottest days.

2
May 17

Nontraditional Ways to Celebrate Cinco de Mayo

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo. This holiday commemorates a military victory that took place during the Franco-Mexican War in which the outnumbered Mexican troops halted France’s army. Festivities in U.S. communities with high Mexican-American populations tend to be bigger than those in Mexico (Cinco de Mayo is a minor holiday in its native country) and are often full of parades and historic reenactments of the battle. In fact, the prevalence of Cinco de Mayo in the U.S. just goes to show how much of an influence Mexican culture has had on its neighboring country. If you’re observing the holiday, here are four ways to honor it:

1. Color your home
Mexico celebrates Cinco de Mayo with colors galore, including, of course, red, green and white. Bring the joy of the holiday to your home by sporting bright and saturated tones. While the colors of the Mexican flag are a good place to start, yellow, pink, orange and blue are also up for grabs.

One way to bring the brilliant hues into your home and also enjoy spring, is to decorate with fresh Cinco de Mayo flowers. Any brightly colored bouquet will make a beautiful addition to the festivities.

2. Prepare an authentic meal
The conflict that took place on Cinco de Mayo in 1862 is also known as the Battle of Puebla, named after the town where the event occurred. Many celebrations of Mexico’s victory include dishes native to the area, such as mole poblano. After all, according to Business Insider, Puebla is the foodie capital of Mexico, so whipping up traditional cuisine is both a tasty and appropriate way enjoy the day.

Chicken tinga, chalupas and molotes are all other iconic foods to try on Cinco de Mayo. Do some research into ingredients that are native to Puebla to plan your menu.

3. Go to a museum
To truly understand the history of Cinco de Mayo, or to better appreciate Mexican culture, consider seeking out a Mexican-American museum or cultural center in your community. See if the locale is holding any festivities or hosting special exhibits. If not, you can still learn a lot from the material already available.

This is also a great celebration option for families with kids, as your little ones will have the opportunity to explore a new culture. Call the museum ahead of time to see if it has programs for kids. You can also create a worksheet before going to the museum for your children to fill out while you’re there.

4. Enjoy local festivities
In addition to observing Mexican culture by visiting a museum, you can experience Mexican-American traditions by checking out festivities where you live. Whether it’s attending a parade or watching a re-enactment of the Battle of Puebla, you’re sure to find something new and exciting if you live in a diverse community.

If your town doesn’t observe Cinco de Mayo with as much flair, you can watch parades on TV or online to enjoy the celebrations.

5. Attend a concert
Discover another part of Mexican culture by attending a concert. Not only will seeing live mariachi give you more insight into Mexican culture, but it also supports the artists and can be a fun time – few things are more energizing than live music.

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