Month: July 2011

BNB (Bacon, Nutella, and Banana) croissant sandwich

BNB (Bacon, Nutella, and Banana) croissant sandwich

I have a confession to make.  You see this sandwich pictured above, I eat it often and more than anyone should admit.  I’m trying to cut back, but it’s so banana fresh, salty, sweet, flakey, and chocolatey.  Usually I have it on a big croissant, but recently Thomas came out with pre sliced sandwich croissants that are slightly bigger than my palm and only 160 calories.  The way I look at it…. I am cutting back with the perfect sized croissant sandwich.  Now I could enjoy the best of both worlds and not feel guilty about it.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for BNB croissant sandwich:

1 – Thomas sandwich croissant

1  to 2 – tablespoons Nutella (depending if you want to spread on both sides of croissant)

1/4 –  sliced banana

4 – slices of thick sliced cooked bacon


Take your croissant and spread nutella on one half or both.

Then take a few slices of banana and place on top of nutella.

Then take your scrumptious bacon and place on top of banana.  Top with other half of croissant.  That’s it your done.

Sink your teeth into happiness

No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with a sample of  Thomas sandwich croissants to aid this recipe. The recipe and opinions are my own.

Trufflepalooza 2011!

Trufflepalooza 2011!

Erika serving her truffled shumai.

I was lucky enough to be invited to the exclusive truffle party of the year.  Erika Penzer Kerekes of “In Erika’s Kitchen” is one of the nicest ladies on the planet.  I don’t know anyone who is generous enough to open up their home to a bunch of food bloggers and knock our socks off with all her amazingly delicious creations.  Believe me when I say, she does it right.  Sponsors were clamoring to donate their goods to the most sought after private party according to LA WEEKLY.  Piles of Fiji water kept the crowd hydrated. Cases of Wente Vineyards wine filled everyone’s glasses.  Most importantly Sabatino Tartufi’s truffles, truffle oil, salt and honey were all the rage. Posted below are a  few pictures from the party, keep in mind these pictures don’t do any justice to how scrumptious the food was.

The menu:

Truffled egg salad,  Emery’s Salad with pancetta and truffle vinaigrette, creminelli “tartufo” salami and fabrique delices truffled pates truffled puff pastry straws,  creamy wild mushroom soup with truffles,  truffled radish tartines,  open faced filet mignon sandwiches with truffled butter,  truffled twice baked melissa’s potatoes,  truffled pork and shrimp shumai, roasted california figs and goat cheese drizzled in truffle honey,  truffled pacific rockfish brandade,  crostini with fresh ricotta thyme and truffle honey,  crepes with truffled duck confit,  truffle butter spaetzle,  truffled chocolate truffles,  truffled rice pudding,  and rice krispies treats with truffle salt.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley and Mando Lopez

My pal E. Sanchez of Nibbles & Feasts and I toasting to all the deliciosa comida.

Thank you Erika for hosting such a fabulous party!

Presley’s Pantry veggie gourmet empanadas/pockets!

Presley’s Pantry veggie gourmet empanadas/pockets!

People say I cry at the drop of a hat.  It’s true, I’m sensitive when it comes to a good love story or a sad story with a happy ending.  I call them passion tears.  I love when a person or family gets one up on life.  It makes my day, and it also makes me cry.

Recently I was shopping at Superior to pick up all the best latino products I usually stock my kitchen with when I noticed the “Maseca te paga la cuenta” (Maseca pays the bill) banners draped all over the market.  I stopped and just stood there staring at the banners, then I felt a little ball growing in my throat and my eyes welled up. I got so happy teary eyed knowing that someone could win right then and there. It was a reflective moment for me as I gathered the details of this great promotion that Maseca is offering to their customers.  You see from June 27th until August 8th 2011 at participating supermarkets in Southern California, North Carolina, Dallas and Houston Maseca representatives are randomly showing up on a daily basis and identifying a winner. This is how it works, if they see a Maseca product in your basket when you are in the check-out line they will pick up the bill for all the groceries in your shopping cart!  Can you imagine how happy that would make a family?  It makes me all mushy teary just thinking about it.

Then I started to think what would I do if I won the prize and Maseca was paying for all the food in my cart? I’d have a 40 person dinner party for my family and closest friends. I would make fancy gourmet vegetarian empanadas/pockets and WOW them with the homemade Maseca masa. Showing them all how easy it is to make something from scratch, and how the difference in taste is monumental.  I’d also have a box of tissue near by to wipe my tears of joy.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for veggie empanadas/pockets:

2 – cups Maseca Amarillo

1/2 -cup flour

1 1/4 – teaspoon baking powder

1 – teaspoon salt

1 1/2 – cups warm water plus 2 tablespoons

1 1/2 – cups sauteed onion

1 – pound grated colby jack cheese or jack cheese

1 1/2 – cups boiled Idaho potato (diced and fully cooked)

1 – cup grilled corn

1 – cup Lindsay whole black olives

1/2 – cup red chile sauce

1 – cup green chile salsa

2 – cups vegetable oil

Let’s make the Maseca masa/dough.  In a big mixing bowl add Maseca Amarillo, flour, baking powder, and salt.  Mix with a fork to combine.  Then add warm water and mix with hands till soft and dough comes together, but is not sticky.

Divide masa/dough into 13 equal parts, then roll each part into a 2 inch ball. Keep masa/dough covered with plastic wrap and a damp towel to prevent masa/dough from drying out while you are making the empanadas/pockets.

Take a piece of plastic and cover working area of the tortilla press (I have an insane homemade wooden one from Mexico, but they sell them made of plastic and they work just as good). Then place a ball of masa/dough in the center and press down to make a circle.

Let’s fill our empanada/pocket…. Start with a tablespoon of sauteed onions, and place on one side of masa/dough. Then take a nice hefty pinch of cheese (a little under 1/4 cup) and place on top of onions.

Then add 5 or 6 cubes of boiled Idaho potato, a teaspoon of grilled corn, and break the Lindsay black olive in half and place on top. Drizzle with 1/2 teaspoon red sauce.

Then gently fold half of masa over to close empanada/pocket. Press down with fingers all along the edge to seal both ends together.

Once edges are sealed. Fold 1/4 inch of edge in to make a perfect fold.

Place empanada on a cookie sheet lined with foil and topped with plactic wrap while you assemble the rest and are ready to fry. Remember to keep them covered as you do not want them to dry out.

Add vegetable oil to a large frying pan and place over a medium high heat. Allow to get hot.  Add up to 3 empanadas/pockets at a time and fry on each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oil and serve warm with a teaspoon of green chile salsa poured over the top….. Mmmmm! Que delicioso! Give it some sour cream for an extra knock out punch! That’s it your done!

This is a sponsored post as part of the Maseca te paga la cuenta promotion.  All opinions and recipes are my own.


How to make the sauteed onions: In a large frying pan over a medium flame add 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, and allow oil to get hot. Then add 1 sliced onion, 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Fry on each side for a 5 minutes or until onion is limp.


How to make the red chile sauce:

1 – large onion peeled

3 – garlic cloves peeled

1.5 – ounces new mexico dried chile

1.5 – ounces california dried chile

1 – large dried passilla chile

3 – tablespoons salt

4 – cups water

In a big pot add water, 2 tablespoons of salt, all chiles, onion, and garlic cloves. Bring to a boil.  Boil for 20 minutes. Water will turn dark brown.


Remove chiles and garlic cloves from water. Discard onion. Do not discard water, you will be using it in the next step. Remove stems from chiles, then add to a blender along with 1 1/2 cups of water from the pot, garlic cloves, and a tablespoon of salt.  Blend for 2 minutes.

Once blended get a bowl and take the blended chile and put through a strainer. It will be thick. Add a little bit of water from pot to chile strainer and scrape with a spoon. Use up to 1/2 cup of water for the entire  scraping process. It’s time consuming but your red sauce will be clean and not too thick.


How to make green chile salsa:

5 – tomatillos

5 – guero chiles (yellow chiles)

5 – serrano chiles

5 – jalapeno chiles

2 – garlic cloves (browned/fried)

1/2 – onion (browned/fried)

1/2 – cup water (from water chiles boiled in)

1 – teaspoon of vinegar

1 – teaspoons vegetable bouillon (I use Knorr)

1 – teaspoon black pepper

Fill a pot halfway with water and place over a medium high flame.  Bring water to a boil.  Add all chiles.  Boil for 15 minutes. Then add tomatillos and continue boiling for 20 minutes. Remove from flame. Once chiles are boiled remove from flame but DO NOT discard water… you will need it to blend chile.

In a frying pan with a little oil add onion/ garlic cloves and fry till browned.  Set to the side.

Let’s get blending.  In a blender add chiles (discard stem), browned garlic cloves, onion, water from the pot the chiles boiled in, vinegar, vegetable bouillon,  black pepper and tomatillos.  Blend until chunky smooth about 1/2 minute.  Pour into a bowl.  Set to the side.


NO-BAKE cookie crusted Ice cream chocolate almond strawberry surprise, a la chingon!

NO-BAKE cookie crusted Ice cream chocolate almond strawberry surprise, a la chingon!

Ok so here’s the story 14 or 15 odd years ago Ben and Jerry’s use to make this delish ice cream called “Cool Britannia”.  I loved it, it was my favorite.  Vanilla ice cream with chocolate covered shortbread and pieces of strawberry.  I was seriously in love and had it often.  Like most real true love stories there’s always a tragic twist.  Cool Britannia got discontinued, and my heart still aches over the love lost.

Today I was dreaming up a no bake dessert that would be perfect to celebrate the ice cream month, and keep me from turning on my oven. Then I thought of shortbread crust, maybe some chocolate, had to be vanilla ice cream, oooooohhhhhh and strawberries.  I realized the hole in my heart was calling out to Cool Britannia.  Except I added almonds to this yummy combo just to mix it up a bit, because I’m nuts that way.  Here’s a simple dessert that won’t heat you up, it’ll just COOL you up!

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for no-bake crust:

10 – ounces Lorna Doone shortbread cookies

4 – tablespoons sugar

1 – stick of room temperature butter


Add cookies to a food processor. Pulse till powdery/crumb texture.

Add sugar and butter. Pulse till all crumbs come together to form a dough.

Take a 9 inch springform pan, and butter the bottom, press the cookie dough into the bottom.  Then place in the fridge for 30 minutes to firm.


Ingredients for ice cream surprise:

2 – cups semisweet chocolate chips

1/2 – gallon vanilla ice cream (I used haagen daz)

1 – cup coarsely chopped almonds

2 – baskets strawberries

Take ice cream out of the freezer, and place in the fridge to soften while cookie crust firms for 30 minutes. Once cookie crust is firm,  place chocolate chips in a double boiler to melt chocolate. Once chocolate is melted place on top of crust and spread to cover entire crust.

Place back in fridge to firm for 15 to 20 minutes. Then take out ice cream and chocolate covered crust and fill with half of the half gallon of ice cream. Spread it out evenly, and sprinkle top with almonds. Place ice cream back in fridge and place ice cream surprise in freezer to firm up for 30 minutes.

Once ice cream surprise is firm-ish take out of freezer and take ice cream out of the fridge, then add the second half of the half of gallon ice cream to almond layer. Spread even. Cover top with plastic wrap and place in freezer for 5 hours or overnight.

Strawberry time!

Once ice cream surprise is ready to be served chop up strawberries and reserve on the side.  Now pull ice cream surprise from freezer and remove plastic wrap. Release springform pan and cut into desired serving.

Top with strawberries and take a whirl around the gorgeous taste of ice cream a la chingon! 🙂



I have been a busy bee this past week.  Catering dinner for a rock band, and not having a minute to relax.  When the french food celebration presented itself at Elysian Park, well how could I resist?  It was my first day off and I was ready to explore.  I found myself going from booth to booth seeking out my options.  Should I have the chicken mushroom crepe or the nutella crepe?  I settled on the chicken mushroom crepe, as if one wasn’t enough it was so good I had to order another.  With a semi full belly I knew I needed to satisfy a sweet tooth.  That’s when the heavens pointed me to Les Macarons Duverger….. OH MY YA YA’S. In one word. SPECTACULAR!  I polished off a pistachio macaron, salted caramel macaron, and blueberry lavender macaron within a couple of delicious minutes. French macarons are one of my favorite treats, and for a long time you could not find them here in Los Angeles, not until the last couple of years have they started to pop up more and more.  Les Macarons Duverger definitely are one of the best I have tasted here in the states.  Perfect in every way and gluten free.  Turns out they are now being sold at farmers markets all over town, and some fancy gourmet markets too.  That’s music to my ears…. I now know where to buy my macarons.   🙂

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

In the SNACK of time: Raspados Zacatecas

In the SNACK of time: Raspados Zacatecas

Snackas of the day: Raspado de fruta natural from Raspados Zacatecas.  When I think of shaved ice or raspados I instantly picture a bright colored corn syrup made of dye and glucose being dispensed from a pump.  That is not the case at Raspados Zacatecas.  They make big jugs of natural fruit juice laced with chunks of fruit inside.  Pick a flavor and they will soak your shaved ice in a fruity fruit juice.  My flavor of choice is coconut strawberry.  I slurp the juice from the straw and when the straw gets clogged with fruit I turn to a spoon.  NO ONE in this city of angels makes such a healthy raspado.  Venture to East LA to try the best, but if you find yourself there on a hot Saturday or Sunday be prepared for a long line.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Bastille Day! Toasty Ham and Cheese Baguette. Figs add a sweet.

Bastille Day! Toasty Ham and Cheese Baguette. Figs add a sweet.

I wish I was in FRANCE right now.  I wish I could be there enjoying the Bastille Day parade!  Eating with a smile on my face.  Enjoying the simpleness of a toasty ham and cheese baguette all in celebration of La Fete Nationale!  Now that’s the way to start your morning.  The last time I was in Paris there was a lovely bakery right outside of my hotel that made me a loyal customer day one.  Every morning they make delicious coffee, pastries sent straight from heaven, and this simple baguette with ham and cheese on top.  Mmmmmm.  I crave that toasty baguette all the time.  I may not be in France for the glorious celebration July 14th, but the least I could do is make the toasty toast, and I will.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for toasty ham and cheese baguette:

1 – 8 inch piece of french baguette

1 – tablespoon room temperature butter

6 – slices comte cheese

2 – slices ham

Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil. Then take baguette and slice down the middle making two pieces. Place on cookie sheet and spread butter on both pieces of bread.

Then neatly place ham on bread, then top with slices of comte cheese.

Then place under broiler on high for 6 minutes or until golden bubbly crisp.  That’s it, your done…. Enjoy for breakfast with fresh fruit or a cup of french pressed coffee.

J’aime Paris!