Newspaper Articles

Mexican Cooking "A Hit" With Cowsills
February 27, 1969
Lowell Sun
Lowell, Massachusetts


MERIENDA would mean tea-time in England, coffee-break here - but in Mexico it means chocolate time. Hot, spicy Mexican Chocolate is a favorite with the whole Cowsill family.

Keeping watch over the teen scene as such a stimulating activity that it can hardly be termed work.

Take a recent week as an example and allow some name and place dropping please. That’s part of the fun.

MINI-MOM to FANS, known as Barbara Cowsill more formally, claims that it is difficult to look young when you’re singing with kids and even harder to feed them a proper diet. Barbara Cowsill sings with six of her children in the rock-folk-country group called The Cowsills. The other singers are Bill, 20; Bob, 19; Paul, 16; Barry, 13; John, 12; and Susan, 9. Dick Cowsill, 19 (Bob’s twin brother) now in the United States Army, usually helps his father William (Bud) Cowsill, who manages the group. They take care of all “behind the scene” activities, but do not sing with the family group.

Barbara cooks for the family whenever they are off-tour long enough to prepare a meal. The kids like plain things like roast beef and chicken for dinner. Milk is their favorite beverage – at the rate of 12 to 16 quarts a day. When it comes to snack time eating between rehearsals, they love the same kind of food all the other kids do – the highly flavored Italian or Mexican foods.

Barbara says: “People who have invited the family to dinner find that the kids eat like horses and they don’t invite us back too often.” This growing family is probably still trying to catch up from the hard days of just two years ago when they were dodging bill collectors, chopping up furniture for firewood and subsisting on chocolate and marshmallows. It is easily understandable that snacks for this family have to be filling.

Leave it to an American family to convert Mexican fare to American tastes. Barbara has filled taco shells with chopped frankfurters in a spicy sauce flavored with chopped dill pickle, topped with the usual shredded lettuce, inions and Cheddar cheese. A hot tasty Mexican bean dish goes a long way for their hearty appetites. The Mexican favorite is refried beans. Barbara's brood finds this combination more to its liking. It is a medley of lima and kidney beans, tomato, onion and green pepper with chili seasoning.

Large cookies make a big hit in Mexico and with the Cowsills good appetites. Make them into edible canvases by painting designs typical of those you will find in the art of Mexico. They're brushed on with egg yolk paint. The egg yolk keeps the color from soaking into the cookie. Use a muffin pan as a palette to hold the different colors.

Mexican dishes reflected the native crops: they also satisfy the native sweet tooth. Rich Cinnamon Tea Cakes are served with hot Mexican Chocolate. The chocolate favored by the Mexican is extremely dark and rich.

Another snack idea: Serve ice cream with a quick Mexican Chocolate Sauce. It contains cinnamon, the spice you find in many Mexican desserts. Serve it with either of the cookies suggested and you have a catchy combo.


1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 cup (6 ounce package) semi-sweet chocolate pieces.

In saucepan heat milk: add corn syrup and cinnamon. Stir in chocolate pieces until sauce is heated and smooth. Cool before serving. Makes approx. 1 cup.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 3/4 cups sifted regualar all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 confectioners sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Cream butter, gradually add 1/2 cu sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in vanilla. Sift together flour and 1 teaspoon cinnamon: gradually add to creamed mixture. Chill several hours for ease in handling. Shape into balls 1-inch in diameter, place on baking sheets.

Bake in preheated 350 degree oven 15 minutes. Cool on wire rack.

In a small bowl combine 1/4 cup sugar and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Sprinkle cinnamon and sugar mixture over cookies. Makes 3-4 dozen.


4 squares (4 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate
2 squares (2 ounces) unsweetened chocolate
4 cups milk
1 stick cinnamon
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 egg white, beatten until foamy

In the top of a double boiler over hot water melt chocolate. In saucepan heat milk with cinnamon stick to serving temperature. Gradually pour milk into chocolate: stire in sugar and vanilla. Add egg whites.

With a wire white roll the handle of the whip in the palm of your hands back and forth until foam forms, or beat with mixer.

Remove cinnamon stick and serve. If drink begins to separate, beat again. Makes 5 cups.

Note: Mexicans like their chocolate strong flavored. You may prefer to add more milk then the recipe calls for


2 tablespoons butter
6 frankfurters chopped
1 package (1 3/4 ounces) taco seasoning mix
1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
1/4 cup chopped dill pickle
2 cups coarsely shredded lettuce
1/4 cup chopped onion
12 taco shells or 12 tortillas, canned or frozen prepared to package directions
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded Cheddar cheese

Melt butter: brown frankfurters. Stir in seasoning mix, tomato sauce and pickle. Heat until thickened and at serving temperature.

Toss together lettuce and onion. Fill shells with meat, then lettuce and top with cheese. Serve immediately. Makes 12 tacos.


1/4 CUP (1/2 stick) butter 1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
3/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
1 medium tomato, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 package (10 ounces) Fordbook lima beans
1 can (1 pound) kidney beans, drained
1/4 cup chopped pimiento

In saucepan melt butter: saute onion and green pepper until tender. Stire in chili, salt and mustard.

Add tomato and lima beans; cover and bring to steaming point. Add kidney beans and pimiento: cover and simmer 5-7 minutes until lima beans are tender and kidney beans are heated through. Makes 6 servings.


Welcome your amigos with tasty Tacos Americas. Accompany with a hot Mexican bean casserole and colorful butter cookies. Ice cold milk is the just-right beverage for spicy Mexican foods.

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