Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Seattle Art Museum Welcomes Back Their 14th Annual Celebration of El Día de los Muertos.

The Seattle Art Museum (SAM) is an institution where artists from all around the world are welcomed to exhibit their pieces of art. When it comes to celebrating important festivities from many different cultures, they are one of the leaders in our precious city. 

Around this time of the year, SAM celebrates with the community one of the most important festivities in Mexico, El Día de los Muertos, or, The Day of the Dead.

I had the opportunity to hear from one of the people involved in the organization of this event and here is what she shared:

"This event has been happening here at SAM for several years and has solely been driven by artists and their perspective of this important Latino celebration. The community response has been fantastic. People love it. In the Future we hope to expand it to include more Spanish-speaking cultures and presentations involving different mediums such as photography and others" - Said Sandra Jackson-Dumont, SAM's Kayle Skinner Deputy Director for Education + Public Programs | Adjunct Curator.

From October 29 through November 11, visit the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park, from 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, to see a beautiful "Tapete" (Sand painting) created by Mexican artist Fulgencio Lazo. The piece is inspired by Oaxaca's traditions for celebrating this important date. 

On Friday, November 2nd, SAM will host a free, family -friendly artist reception with live music from La Banda Gozona, a Calavera Mask-making activity, food, poetry, and many more fun activities! This is a FREE Admission Event. 

As we say in our Latino community: Don't forget to invite your sister, your brother, the cousin, your aunts, and uncles; your neighbor, EVERYONE! Let's show how much we appreciate events like these!   

Fulgencio Lazo working on the making of a Tapete. Photo by Sara Gettys/Yakima Herald-Repulic

About the artist Fulgencio Lazo:

Born and raised in Oaxaca, Fulgencio studied at the at the Universidad Autónoma "Benito Juárez" of Oaxaca, the Taller de Rufino Tamayo and at the Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle. He has lived and worked in Seattle as a painter and printmaker since 1990. Fulgencio has had numerous exhibits in Mexico, Japan, and the United States, including installations at the Seattle Art Museum and Tacoma Art Museum. He is currently on the board of directors of Seattle Print Arts and maintains a studio in both Seattle and Oaxaca.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Quick Recap: Día de Los Muertos Festivities in Seattle

During this past weekend, "La Calaca/The Death" payed a visit to the Seattle Center. Many of you probably know that during November 1st and 2nd, in Mexico we celebrate El Día de los Muertos/The Day of the Death, and although these dates are celebrated in many different ways depending on the region or state, I believe the Seattle Center has done a good job at capturing the essence of these festivities. 

"Day of the Death"

"Tapete" - Sand painting.

You could buy a decorated chocolate skull or you could decorate your own. Of course we chose to decorate our own. 

Pan de Muerto/Bread of the Death ready to eat it with hot chocolate!  

"Altares/Altars." We set them up with pictures of our deceased, their favorite food, and drinks because we believe they will come to visit in the middle of the night looking for them.

This is an example of how an altar is set up at the cementery.

Lots of food, candles, and "papel picado."

We also like to mock the death during these days. 

Many dance, and music groups showcased the beauty of our culture.
Face painting as "La Calaca" has to be part of this tradition too.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Who Can Say No to a Gorgeous Jelly-Filled Doughnut? (Guest Post)

I have mentioned before how much I love Twitter. It has given me the opportunity to meet so many interesting, fun, smart people and made many new friends. Today, I am honored to share a guest post with one of those friends, Deanna Morauski who besides having some amazing cooking skills, will be featured on the Live Well Network this month! (see show details below).

Who can say no to a gorgeous jelly-filled doughnut? It's not only a perfect treat but it is a work of art – art you get to eat. Simply perfect. 

Raspberry Jelly-Filled Doughnut Recipe


2 packages of yeast
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 cup warm water (not over 110 degrees)
1 cup warm milk (not over 110 degrees)
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, softened
1 teaspoon salt
5 cups flour (approximate)
2 cups raspberry jelly (homemade or store-bought)
2 cups powders sugar
(And enough oil for deep fryer)

Dissolve yeast and sugar into warm water and give a quick stir. Cover witha  clean towel and allow to sit for about 20 minutes or until foamy. This will give yeast batter a good start.

Whisk in milk, eggs butter and salt until well-mixed. Slowly stir in flour one cup at a time until dough becomes medium-firm.

Kneed until dough becomes smooth and elastic. Only add flour as needed during this process the dough should be able to be formed into a ball easily. Cover and allow to sit in a warm place again for about an hour or until dough ball has doubled in size.

Remove towel and when dough has doubled in size, punch it down. Let it rise again for about an hour in a warm lace covered by the towel again. (or covered with saran wrap in the fridge overnight).

After dough has doubled in size again, use about 1/2 cup of dough at a time to form into balls. Flatten the dough balls a bit and place on a baking sheet coated with non-stick spray. Allow to sit for about an hour in a warm place until doubled in size for one last rise.

During last half hour of waiting for dough balls to rise, place shortening in deep fryer and turn on to 350F to preheat.

After dough balls have doubled in size, place two at a time into deep fryer to cook. Fry the first side for about 3-4 minutes until deep golden brown then flip to cook other side until it is also a deep golden brown (about 3 more minutes).

Place cooked doughnuts onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a few layers of paper towels. Allow to cool.

Using a pastry bag and a pointed decorating or pastry tip, squirt the jelly of your choice into each doughnut. Use a sifter to sprinkle bottom side of each doughnut and then the tops with generous amounts of powdered sugar.
Deanna and Joey Fatone. 

About Deanna:

You can see Deanna on Joey Fatone's new show "My Family Recipe Rocks" on the Live Well Network this month on October 27th. She will be making four scrumptious recipes throughout an entire episode filmed at her B&B, The Old Hen. Follow along on her Facebook page or on Twitter for updates .

Deanna’s love for baking and cooking began as she sat upon a baker’s stool as a little girl. Her love for people grew in the midst of church potlucks. She expresses her loves today creatively through speaking, writing for her foodie blog, television appearances as well as hosting guests, including celebrities, at her award-winning inn, The Old Hen Bed & Breakfast in Snoqualmie Valley, Washington.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

From Merengue to Jazz Vocals. Juan Luis Guerra On a Duet with Mr. Tony Bennett!

I had read earlier on Twitter, that Juan Luis Guerra would make an appearance with David Letterman on the "Late Night Show" singing a duet with the legendary Mr. Tony Bennett. I was, obviously, immediately curious about how Juan Luis Guerra's voice would sound singing something entirely different to what I usually hear him doing. His style falls into the Bachata, and Merengue rhythms. One of my favorite songs composed by him is "Ojalá Que Llueva Café." You can listen to it here:

So yes, I stayed up late (which I regularly do) and finally, there they were, Tony Bennett and Juan Luis Guerra. I really loved what I heard but, why don't you better judge for yourself? Enjoy this clip from the show! 

It's easy to notice how Juan Luis Guerra is really enjoying this performance.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Last Minute Opportunity to Attend a Screening at the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

The Seattle Latino non-profit organization Entre Hermanos has set aside a few complimentary tickets to community members for the screening of "Gay Latino Los Angeles" TONIGHT at 9:15 PM at the Northwest Film Forum for the Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival.

Interested parties need only to select a ticket and enter HERMANOS in the promo code. That's it!

For more information on the festival and the film go to: Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival 

Low resolution trailer of Gay Latino L.A.

The Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán is Coming to Tacoma!

This is HUGE news! The Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán is the best mariachi in México. I would actually dare to say that it's the best one at an International level, and it's coming to Tacoma.

It was founded in 1987 and from 1950 it has been under the direction of Rubén Fuentes, a Mexican classical violinist and composer.

They have played at many festivals around the world and with amazing figures like Linda Ronstadt and Plácido Domingo.

This is really a unique opportunity that I hope you don't miss this November 11, 2012 at the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts! 

Mariachi Vargas de Tecatitlán with the Queretaro Philharmonic Orchestra

Mariachi Vargas de Tecalitlan performing El Cascabel during the 15th Annual Mariachi Vargas Concert in San Antonio, Texas on November 21, 2009

Friday, October 12, 2012

Cuban Zombies are Coming to Seattle!

I am serious!
When I first read about this movie a year ago, I was very curious, and eager to see it but, I was not very sure about having to travel to New York or Miami to be able to do so. Luckily I will not have to go too far to see it. Tonight at midnight "Juan de los Muertos/Juan of the Dead" will make its debut in Washington state at the Seven Gables Theater in Seattle.  

So who is coming with me? If you are brave enough to do it, get your tickets at: 4th Annual Seattle Latino Film Festival.

See you at the movies! 

Image from the Huffington Post 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

4th Annual Seattle Latino Film Festival

I still have the memories in my mind of the 1st Seattle Latino Film Festival. It's as if it were yesterday. In 2009 I met one of the co-founders of this festival, filmmaker Lonnie Tristan Renteria who talked me into becoming a volunteer to help the Festival become one of the most important displays of high quality Latino films. It was honestly one of the most wonderful experiences of my life!

For three years it was a three-day festival, but this year it has been extended to ten days! Imagine my surprise and happiness when I learned about the opportunity of seeing some of the best movies produced by Latino filmmakers here in my city. 

After that first year, it became very difficult to keep participating as a volunteer and work also made it almost impossible for me to attend all the screenings. But, this year would be different, I said to myself, this year I really had to try to make it. 

On Sunday, I decided to take my little seven-year old granddaughter to what looked like a fun movie for kids: "El Secreto del Medallón de Jade." I thought it could be a very neat experience for her to see movies in Spanish at the movie theater. She loved it!

After the screening, I had the pleasant surprise of seeing the co-founder, executive and programing director of the Seattle Latino Film Festival, Cuban writer Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco. We started talking about how everything started and how difficult it has been to keep the festival going but that he wouldn't surrender because it's something that Seattle needs to have, and I absolutely agree. In the three years of the Festival's existence, the films that I have had the opportunity to see are not only of a great quality they also have great content 

With Jorge Enrique Gonzalez Pacheco, co-founder, executive director and chief programmer. 

After seeing "El Secreto del Medallón de Jade," I saw the movie "Cápsulas." The film was written, produced, and directed by Veronica Riedel who happens to be the first woman to direct a film in Guatemala. 

Here is a preview of it:

First Female Film Director, Guatemalan Veronica Riedel, and I.

Later that night, I saw "Salsa Tel Aviv." A Latino film produced in Israel that talks about immigration, the sacrifice of a mother, and my favorite subject: salsa dancing! 

Here is a preview of this film:

On Monday night the film of my choice was "Urte Berri On, Amona / Happy Birthday Grandma."  A Spanish production that started as a comedy to later turn into a thriller. How's that for interesting movies uh? I shouldn't be surprised though, the Latino humor can be quite different from the American humor. If you are curious about it, here is a preview of such movie:

There are still a few more days of Latino movies ahead before the festival closes this year. If you are curious about a particular movie let me know, it would make me very happy to share this experience with you my friends!

For a list of all the films and schedules go to: Seattle Latino Film Festival