Disclosure: Disney provided me with 4 park hoppers to aid my post.
Disneyland Holidays 2016 is packed with many new features and yet holds on to all the traditional classics: Let’s start with Disneyland’s “It’s a small world”. It is as glorious and beautiful as ever in it’s dazzling illumination. 2016 marks it’s 20th anniversary and it’s not to be missed. Not only does it sparkle in tiny lights it also showcases an animated holiday display every 10 minutes or so. Waiting in line is almost as entertaining as sailing the ride itself. The best time to ride is definitely as the night sets upon the park.
Disneyland during the Holiday season can’t be missed. I enjoy going to the park and walking around in amazement of all the holiday lights with a hot cocoa in one hand and some type of sweet treat in the other; churros, beignet, or gingerbread men. As always, The Haunted mansion is a must see along with the Christmas Fantasy parade and the lit Sleeping Beauty’s Winter Castle with magical snowfall moments.
Then we hop across the entrance to Disney California Adventure where the new “Festival of Holidays” is celebrating time-honored traditions inspired by diverse cultures with music, dance and craft-making plus traditional foods. I was lucky to get a chance to chat with Susana Tubert (DCA creative director) about the daily lineup of entertainment including nearly 50 performances of nine unique shows with special Disney characters, the popular Disney ¡Viva Navidad! street parties, musical ensemble and dance performances.
I also got a chance to cook with Chef Amy and we made Holiday Kugel. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to make and how we celebrated the classic Jewish dish.
A visit to Disney’s California Adventure during the holidays would not be complete if you didn’t stop in to Santa’s Holiday Visit at Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. My son got a chance to chat up Santa and meet his elf Ginger. A professional photographer on site captured the moment and we were able to download the image when we got home.
As always I am so thankful to be able to kick off the holiday season at the happiest place on earth and it really is. Our faces say it all.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Mamma Chia. All opinions are 100% my own.
Yes, the new is Mamma Chia Energy Beverage is EVERYTHING! I am currently smitten. If you know me personally or read my blog then you know I tend to gravitate towards foods and drinks that are good for me. Okay I have the occasional slip up, but for the most part I’m all about feeding my body healthy stuff. Let me tell you about Mamma Chia Energy Beverage. I was shopping the produce section of Walmart and was told they had recently launched Mamma Chia Energy Beverage and have a promotion with an instant $.55 coupon around the bottle’s neck. I looked over at the cold juice section and found it sitting there. I had never tried it so I decided to buy a few bottles and give it a try. I had read it is the FIRST beverage that combines the power of chia with the clean energy of guayusa (gwhy-you’-sa) resulting in a truly healthful, fulfilling and delicious energy beverage that nourishes your entire body and soul. With a statement that bold I was in.
I brought it home and the first bottle I opened left me in “wow!” I absolutely loved the taste. Over the next couple of days I tried all 4 flavors (Blackberry Blast, Cherry Charge, Raspberry Razz and Grape Power). At that point I decided to look further into the Mamma Chia Energy Beverage… I was pleasantly surprised to find out… Mamma Chia Energy are Non-GMO Verified, gluten-free, Kosher and USDA Certified Organic. It’s made with refreshing organic fruit juices and lightly sweetened, one bottle of Mamma Chia Energy (10 oz.) delivers:
More than an entire day’s worth of Omega-3s (2500mg)
25% of one’s daily fiber (6 grams)
4 grams of complete protein
90mg of natural caffeine (about as much in an 8 oz. cup of coffee)
Twice the antioxidants of a cup of green tea
Calcium, powerful antioxidants and valuable minerals
And the founder Janie Hoffman started MammaChia in the kitchen of her small rural farm outside of San Diego. After suffering for almost 20 years with a variety of debilitating autoimmune disorders, it was the amazing chia seed, coupled with other lifestyle changes that finally eradicated her immune disorders and restored her overall health. Isn’t that amazing? Yeah… I’m into it. Get your hands on some ASAP and Enjoy!
Here is a little info and graph to show you the health benefits of Chia Seed: Chia seeds are packed with the richest PLANT-BASED Omega-3s (a vegetarian’s dream). An excellent source of dietary fiber, complete protein and antioxidants.
With that being said now you know why I’m drinking this drink and endorsing it. To you and your health… Cheers!
Calabasita Pizza A La Parrilla could be the pizza you never knew you needed till now, especially since it’s made on Flatout Flatbread! This easy to prepare pizza can be made in a few minutes when you want to feed the family FAST! Lucky for us Flatout makes a pizza crust, so that’s half the battle. You can easily find it in the deli section or bread aisle of your favorite supermarket. Just top with melty cheese and grilled veggies, and you got yourself a winner!
1- zucchini (sliced)
1/2 – onion (sliced)
1/2 – corn on the cob
1 – Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust Rustic White
2 – oz jack cheese (sliced or grated)
1/2 – tomato (diced)
3 – cilantro sprigs
Heat up grill until hot.
Brush zucchini, onion, and corn with olive oil
Lightly brush Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust with olive oil.
Place vegetables on grill and allow to cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until cooked through with char marks. Corn will cook for 15.
Place Flatout Flatbread on grill. Cook on one side for a minute or so. Then flip it over and place cheese on top. Allow cheese to melt.
Remove from grill.
Place charred zucchini and onion on top of cheese.
Shave corn kernels from cob and sprinkle on top of zucchini and onion along with tomato cubes.
I’m making the best of the end of my summer. I know technically it’s not summer anymore, but I live in California and it sure feels like it. I made this Nectarine, Berry, Jamaica Flatout Flatbread Cobbler with all the delicious fruits I could find at the market. Make it for your family, and watch everyone smile. The best part is I used FLATOUT Flatbread to make this dessert which is high in protein and low in carbs. It makes me feel better knowing I made a healthy dessert for me and mine.
Ingredients for Nectarine, Berry, Jamaica Flatout Flatbread Cobbler:
1/2 – tablespoon butter
1 – Flatout Flatbread (I use the original or Hungry Girl traditional white)
1/8 – cup sugar
1/4 – cup water
1/8 – cup Jamaica (hibiscus) dried petals
1/4 – cup blueberries
1/2 – cup cherries (pitted and cut in half)
1 – large nectarine (pitted and cut into thin wedges)
colored sugar sprinkles
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. ( I used my toaster oven since it is such a small baking dish. )
Butter a small baking dish 6×4. Brush remaining butter on Flatout Flatbread.
Cut Flatout Flatbread to fit inside of baking dish.
Save scraps for the top. Cut out tiny shapes with scraps and set to the side.
Place big piece of Flatout Flatbread inside baking dish and place in the oven for 7 minutes to crisp up a bit.
While Flatout Flatbread piece is baking start making the filling.
In a sauce pan over a medium high flame add sugar, water and Jamaica petals. Bring to a boil. Add in blueberries, cherries, and nectarine wedges. Mix to combine. Cook for a total of 10 minutes.
Remove baking dish from oven. Pour in cooked fruit filling. Top fruit filling with FLatout Flatbread scraps and sprinkle tops with colored sugar sprinkles.
Place baking dish back in the oven for 10 minutes or until Flatout Flatbread tops are crisp and filling is bubbling.
Remove from oven and serve over a scoop of ice cream.
Do you ever want a quick snack? When that happens to me… here’s the answer to all my cravings. These easy to make Strawberry Chipotle Cream Empanadas can be made in minutes and better yet with Flatout Flatbread. You won’t believe how great they taste and how fast you’ll be enjoying a delicious homemade snack while watching your favorite program or chatting with your family and friends. The combo of strawberry and chipotle drizzled over cream cheese is the best thing to ever happen. Promise.
Ingredients for Strawberry Chipotle Cream Empanadas:
1 – Flatout Flatbread Pizza Crust Rustic White
1 – tablespoon cream cheese
1/2 – teaspoon adobo chipotle sauce
1 – teaspoon strawberry jam
egg wash (1 egg and 1 tablespoon water whisked together)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees ( I use my toaster oven )
Using a 2-inch or 3-inch circle cookie cutter, cut out two circles of Flatout flatbread from pizza crust.
(Optional) Cut out a strawberry design in the center of one of the circles.
On one of the Flatout Flatbread circles place cream cheese in the center.
Top the cream cheese with adobo chipotle sauce.
Spread the strawberry jam over the adobo chipotle sauce.
Brush the sides of Flatout Flatbread circle with egg wash. Then brush the entire Flatout Flatbread circle (the one with the cut out) with egg wash.
Place the cut out Flatout Flatbread on top of the other.
With a fork press down along the edges to enclose.
Place empanada on a non-stick baking mat lined cookie sheet and bake for8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Society Culinaria on behalf of Cacique. All opinions and the recipe are my own.
See that smoothie bowl. Does it make you wish you were diving in? It should. I don’t even know how to tell you how dreamy this bowl is and it’s also become my back to school lifesaver. This simple berry banana avocado smoothie bowl can be attained in a few minutes and makes the perfect morning breakfast when time is not on your side. Not to mention it makes you feel like you’re eating the foods of the gods. I probably felt that way since I used Cacique’s yogurt smoothie in Strawberry Banana flavor. Cacique’s yogurt smoothie is rich in protein, a greatsource of calcium and probiotics (25% of Daily Value), and low in calories and cholesterol. For those of you watching your gluten, all Cacique’s yogurts are gluten free with the exception of the three with cereal: Strawberry Banana w/cereal, Prune w/cereal, and Pecan w/cereal. Once I blend my Cacique yogurt smoothie with more berries, fruits, and ice, I like to pour it in a bowl and add more flavors and textures to the top. Me and my family then eat it like a bowl of cereal, or have it as a late night treat. Either way this smoothie bowl is all about feeling better than fine.
Ingredients for berry banana avocado smoothie bowl:
1 – Cacique yogurt smoothie Strawberry Banana
1 – small banana
1 – cup strawberries
1/2 – avocado
1/4 – cup blueberries
1/2 – cup fresh cherries (pitted)
1 – cup ice
Place all smoothie ingredients in a nutribullet or blender and blend until smooth.
Pour into a bowl.
Decorate top of smoothie bowl as pretty as you wish.
I love to make mashed potatoes when I have a nice bounty of Idaho potatoes in the house. I usually make mashed potatoes for dinner and whatever is left-over I put in the fridge for a batch of potato flautas the next day. I feel it works best if you use cold mashed potatoes, but you can also make a fresh batch of mashed potatoes and use them right away. Either method is going to give you delicious easy to make potato flautas. Instead of frying my flautas, I bake mine. Baking them eliminates a lot of grease (making them healthier for you), and it keeps the potatoes in place. Once I pull them out of the oven, I serve my potato flautas a top a bed of lettuce, and dress them up in guacamole, crema, and pico de gallo. It’s a beautiful vegetarian meal that takes minutes to make.
Ingredients for Potato Flautas:
6 – small Idaho Potatoes (peeled and chopped)
5 – cloves of garlic (smashed and peeled)
4 – tablespoons butter
1 – teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
1 – teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
12 – tortillas
1 1/2 – cups grated monterey jack cheese or the cheese of your choice.
crema or sour cream
pico de gallo
Watch video above for instructions!!!
Peel Idaho potatoes and chop into rounds.
Smash and peel garlic cloves.
Add potatoes and garlic to a pot and cover with water.
Place pot over a medium high flame and boil for 20 minutes or until fork tender.
Drain potatoes and garlic. Set to the side.
In a pot melt butter, then add in drained potatoes and garlic.
Mash with potato smasher until combined.
Sprinkle in seasoning salt, black pepper, and ground chipotle pepper. Mix to combine.
I suggest putting mashed potatoes in the fridge overnight, and using the next day.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take a flour tortilla and lightly brush on one side with a dab of olive oil.
Then flip the tortilla over and on the side that is not brushed with olive oil, fill the center with a few teaspoons of mashed potatoes.
Top the potatoes with two tablespoons of grated monterey jack cheese.
Then roll the tortilla around the potatoes to create your flauta.
Place the flauta seam side down on a aluminum foil covered baking sheet.
Repeat until the desired amount of flautas are made.
Then place in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes until flautas are crispy and browned.
Remove from oven and serve with guacamole, crema, and pico de gallo.
Disclosure: This post is compensated by Balance Bar. All opinions are my own.
Up at the crack of dawn to get my boy ready for school, then I’m off to get my daily exercise in. Usually by the time I’m done I have a conference call scheduled for work or a grocery run waiting. My day quickly unravels from there. Yes, I’m that woman that runs around like mad. Always doing something for either work, my son, my mom, my husband, or simply for play. It’s safe to say I’m a lady on the go, with very few moments of idle time. On many occasions I will be out running in the streets or working on a project with a deadline and just need something to snack on especially in the late afternoon when we all want a little treat. I usually keep Balance Bars in my purse to be able to fill up on something sweet yet nutritional that will carry me over till my next solid meal. Balance Baris a snack that allows women to crave freely – It has the flavor we want, but with the nutrition our bodies need. Balance is packed with lean protein and is an excellent source of fiber, each new bar is 190 calories or less. Plus Balance Bar is packaged in regular (reg. has two mini bars in the same packaging…bonus two for one!) and mini bars, which makes it perfect for easy enjoyment to keep up with my on-the-go life. I’m loving all 4 of the new flavors… Chocolate Caramel Peanut Nougat, Chocolate Peppermint Patty, Dark Chocolate Pecan Turtle and Dulce De Leche & Caramel. Yes, you read right… DULCE DE LECHE (they are serving me latin flavors… I like that)! If you’re wondering where you can buy these tasty bars… make your way on over to any Walmart store or buy them off Amazon.com!!! Not only do I have my purse supplied with Balance Bars my Mom does too, and she says to me the other day “Balance is the gateway to help you snack smarter and indulge guilt-free!” There you have it folks, words out of my Momma’s mouth.
What’s in my Purse? Balance Bar!!!
GIVEAWAY ALERT: From July 6th to July 15th, 2016 (midnight PST) enter for the chance to win by leaving a comment below: When is your favorite time of the day to snack on a tasty treat? Giveaway includes: one (1) box of mini Balance Bars!!!
HASH BROWNS LOADED WITH RAJAS HAVE ARRIVED! Yes, They are so fricken delicious I can eat them day and night. None of this would be possible without my beloved Idaho Potato. I have totally ruined the regular hash brown for my family, claiming they will never go back to the old days of having them served plain. Watch the video to see just how easy they are to make… I promise. Also just a side note they are vegan and gluten free but beyond delicious for everyone to enjoy.
Ingredients for Hash Browns Loaded With Rajas:
1 – pasilla chile
2 – idaho potatoes
1/3 – cup onion (sliced)
1/4 – teaspoon chile flakes
1/4- teaspoon oregano
1/2 – teaspoon black pepper
1/2 – teaspoon seasoning salt
1/2 – teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 – vegetable oil
Place pasilla chile over and open flame and char on all sides.
Place in an airtight ziplock or container for an hour to stem in it’s own heat.
Carefully peel charred skin away from chile under running water.
Destem and deseed chile and cut into thin strips making the rajas. Place to the side.
Peel idaho potatoes, then grate them.
Add grated idaho potatoes, rajas, onion,chile flakes, oregano, black pepper, seasoning salt, and garlic powder to a bowl. Mix with hands to combine.
In a large frying pan over a medium flame add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and allow to get hot.
Place half of the potato shred mixture into the pan and form into a circle using a spatula.
Fry on both side until crisp, about 5 to 7 minutes in each side.
Remove from pan and allow to drain on a paper towel lined plate.
Just the thought of this sandwich makes my mouth water. I’ve uploaded all the photos thinking how much I love a good spicy egg salad recipe and how this one sits pretty high on my list of happy things to eat. I love that it is sprinkled with all my favorite flavors: pepitas, jalapeños, and chipotle powder. What makes me extra happy is I have found the ideal companion to my egg salad in Flatout bread. Flatout is a blank canvas that allows the salad to shine in all its eggy glory. Every Flatout bread variety is low in fat, a good source of fiber and of course perfect for wraps, pinwheels and super easy sandwiches. With Flatout less is more…less calories, carbs, time. I can focus all my attention on the spicy egg salad and feel assured the Flatout Foldit is going to work perfectly.
Find your own Flatout Bread with this store locator by clicking here!
Ingredients for Spicy Egg Salad:
6 – eggs (hardboiled)
1/4 – cup red onion (diced)
1/8 – cup pepitas
1/8 – cup cilantro
1/8 – cup pickled jalapeño (plus extra slices for garnish)
1/3 – cup mayo
1 – tablespoon spicy mustard
Salt and pepper to taste
4 – Everything Flatout Flat Bread
Peel shell off hardboiled eggs. Then cut eggs in chunky pieces. About 16 pieces per egg. Place in a mixing bowl.
Add in red onion, pepitas, cilantro, and pickled jalapeños. Mix well.
Scoop in mayo and mustard. Mix to combine.
On one side of flatout flat bread place cilantro and avocado slices.
Scoop one fourth of egg salad mixture on top of avocado slices.
Sprinkle lightly with chipotle powder, and garnish with more jalapeño slices if you enjoy your salad a little more spicy.