Every time I hear the word “posadas” it transports me back to my childhood years with my family and friends when we celebrated #LasPosadas in our humble and low-income neighborhood. Yes, I was raised in a very humble environment where I didn’t have a luxurious lifestyle, but what made it all better was keeping alive these traditions that bring so many families together. Nowadays I honestly feel this is more important than all the wealth in the world because we distance ourselves from what truly is important and its traditions like these which unite and remind us where we come from.

I loved this time of the year as a child because we were usually out of school and it meant connecting with friends for longer periods of time (playing outside) after performing the #LasPosadas ritual, eating authentic food such as champurrado, tamales, ponche with fruit, buñuelos that mothers cooked with so much gentleness and love.

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Las Posadas in English means “the inns”, which is a Mexican Christmas tradition based on the biblical journey of Mary and Joseph and their search for a safe haven, or “inn” to stay before the birth of Jesus. The 9-day long tradition takes places from December 16-24 each year, friends, families and neighbors participate as “innkeepers” and host a Posada at a different home each night.

When I was young I loved going to all of my friend’s homes because every family that was hosting the posada had a different dish with a peculiar good taste. It’s known that the evening’s host family provides the traditional Las Posadas food, which is an essential element to the festivity.

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At the end of the night children are given “aguinaldos” or small bags filled with treats and candies which symbolize the celebratory journey during the posadas. Usually on the last day of Las Posadas a piñata is torn open with a stick! That was fun too. Want to learn more about #LasPosadas visit HERDEZ® Las Posadas page.

To this day when I do participate in posadas my favorite dish is the savory tamales. And I know tamales can be eaten any other time of the year, but I prefer to have them only during the holiday season because they hold such a strong meaning to me. Tamales are like sacred to me and I won’t eat them any other time of the year.

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HERDEZ® truly understands the value of #LasPosadas too so I love that I get to participate with them in this campaign as they highlight a tradition that is so ingrained in our culture. HERDEZ® products are always a must have in our Mexican household and I can’t think of a better salsa to add to my tamales that my mom prepares with so much love. She was so kind to share her recipe with me which I will share with all of you in case you are eager to make tamales this holiday season. My favorite are the cheese and “rajas de jalapeño” tamales. I am a cheese-lover so these do it for me, topped with some salsa verde from HERDEZ®! YUM.

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Since HERDEZ® understands the symbolism behind #LasPosadas they are holding a photo contest on Instagram. The Share in the Magic of #MisPosadas contest lasts from December 7th – January 6th and you should all participate.

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Each week, a fill in the blank question relevant to the holiday will be posted for fan to answer with a photo. Three top winners will be selected as well as honorable mentions. Prizes are as follows:

Grand Prize: Dinner prepared by a personal chef for up to 4 people in your very own home!

2nd Place: $250 Gift Basket

3rd Place: $200 Gift Basket

Honorable Mention: Custom T-shirts

To enter in the photo contest simply submit a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #MisPosadas to answer the weekly fill in the blank question.

GOOD LUCK and you can’t celebrate #LasPosadas without all its traditional food so here’s my favorite tamale recipe prepared by my mom in her very own Zacatecas, Mexico style.

Ingredients

30 dried corn husks

Tamale dough

4 cups instant corn masa for tamales

2/3 cups shortening

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

Cheese and Jalapeño filling

2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1 medium white onion, sliced

1 can (12 oz.) sliced jalapeños chiles, rinsed and drained

½ lb. Oaxaca, asadero-style cheese or string cheese, cut into 3 x ¼-inc strips

Instructions

1. Pull 1/4-inch strings from reserved husks to wrap tamales, or use twine; set aside. Cover corn husks (including pulled strings) with warm water and let stand until pliable, at least 30 minutes.

2.Meanwhile, in large bowl, mix 2 cups of the broth and remaining tamale dough ingredients. Beat with electric mixer until well combined.

3. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Cook and stir onion in oil 2 to 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in chiles; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until hot.

4. Drain corn husks; pat dry with paper towels. Place 3 level tablespoonfuls dough on each corn husk; slightly spread out, making indentation in center with back of spoon. Place 1 to 2 strips cheese and onion and chile on center of dough; fold dough around filling. If corn husks are too small, overlap 2 husks. Fold bottom one-third of corn husk over filling; fold sides in toward center. Tie tops with corn husk strings.

5. In 5-quart Dutch oven, place round cooling rack. Pour boiling water in Dutch oven, almost touching rack. (Water should not touch tamales when they are added.) Place 6 empty tamale husks on top of rack. Stand tamales inside pots, leaning against sides all around. Cover; reduce heat to medium. Simmer gently 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes or until tamale dough becomes firm. Add more water if needed during cooking time. Let stand uncovered 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully unfold each tamale by removing string and opening husk.

Servings

2 dozens

I want to hear from you. What holiday traditions do you have and how does HERDEZ® fit in? Share personal or family activities and recipes showcased during this holiday season and this season brings your family together.

Do you love this recipe? Love authentic Mexican food recipes? Then I highly encourage you to check out HERDEZ® website to find out delicious HERDEZ® brand recipes and ideas to bring your family and friends together during this beautiful #LasPosadas season.

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