Look Like A Top Chef – Just Add Milk!

SAN CLEMENTE, Calif. — The holidays are just around the corner and who among us can resist the delightful desserts that sweeten the evenings spent reminiscing with family and friends? From flanes de leche to the traditional capirotada, these Latin holiday desserts remind us of our childhood and happy days past. As we prepare for the holidays, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), the creator of GOT MILK? and TOMA LECHE, has teamed up with Alfonso Ramirez, the Puebla chef who specializes in catering events for top entertainers, actors, athletes and politicians, to bring gourmet holiday dessert recipes to your kitchen with ease. And the ingredient that is most prominent in all the recipes: good old-fashioned milk.

"Latinos' passion for food is legendary and milk is the foundation of many Latin American Holiday desserts," says Alfonso Ramirez, an influential chef-restaurateur who on a typical December evening, delights thousands of guests with his culinary creations. "People can impress their holiday guests with traditional milk-based desserts. My recipes are delicious, easy-to-make and the perfect presentation makes them stunning. Just start with basic ingredients like eggs, flour, cinnamon and of course milk."

Ramirez has adapted his favorite holiday dessert recipes, which traditionally entertain thousands of guests in the most luminary feasts of the season, so that home cooks can equally impress and delight their friends and family during their holiday gatherings.

Ramirez favorite holiday milk-based dessert recipes are available exclusively on www.tomaleche.com. They include ingredients, preparation and presentation ideas to make you look like a top pastry chef. The recipes even include a bit of history behind these traditional (and historical!) gourmet creations. Make sure to try at least two or three. Chef Ramirez makes it look so easy, you may decide to skip the main course! Here is a sample of what you will find:

•Capirotada – This type of bread pudding provides a delicious use for leftover holiday bread. Just add milk and spices and serve in individual portions with caramel sauce and creme fraiche. You'll look like you spent days in the kitchen!
•Crepas de Cajeta – Crepas (or Crepes) were a favorite of Emperor Maximilian and your guests will feel like royalty too with this creamy and festive creation. Crepas cook in minutes and can be garnished with chocolate shavings, whipped cream and the freshest fruits of the season.

"The most traditional Latin-American holiday desserts have milk in them," says Steve James, executive director of the CMPB. "Ramirez' festive desserts are the perfect way to cap off a holiday celebration. For centuries, Latino families have been creative in incorporating milk into celebrations through their recipes."

To learn more about Ramirez' holiday, milk-based dessert recipes, visit www.tomaleche.com.

About Alfonso Ramirez

Chef Alfonso Ramirez is credited with reviving Traditional Mexican's culinary heritage, blending fresh California ingredients; his innovation in cooking has been enjoyed and praised by a great number of individuals throughout the United States as well as Mexico. Born in Mexico, Ramirez was greatly influenced by his mother and her love for cooking. His passion for traditional Mexican pastries he enjoyed from childhood in his hometown of Puebla drove him to recreate many traditional and simple recipes into a gourmet experience. Ramirez began his culinary career in 1972 and has since become a part of an influential group of chef-restaurateurs in America. Currently Ramirez has developed new culinary concepts at Hacienda San Isidro Grill and Luna Restaurant Lounge.

About the CMPB

The California Milk Processor Board was established in 1993 to make milk more competitive and increase milk consumption in California. Awareness of GOT MILK? is over 90% nationally and it is considered one of the most important and successful campaigns in history. GOT MILK? is a federally registered trademark that has been licensed by the national dairy boards since 1995. The CMPB's Spanish-language campaign began in 1994 using the tagline "Familia, Amor y Leche" (Family, Love and Milk). The TOMA LECHE (Drink Milk) campaign replaced it in 2006, following a growing trend in Hispanic food advertising that uses wit and humor to reach audiences. GOT MILK? gifts and recipes can be viewed at www.gotmilk.com and www.tomaleche.com. The CMPB is funded by all California milk processors and administered by the California Department of Food and Agriculture.

Source: California Milk Processor Board