Month: May 2012

I pledge to be a Positivity Ambassador!

I pledge to be a Positivity Ambassador!


Positivity comes in many forms:  It could be the feeling you find in the warm of a bath or the sunny out-look you wake up with in the morning or the sensation you get at the end of a yoga class, it could be anything that makes you grin from ear to ear.  Today the positivity I am overflowing with is the actuality that I,  Nicole Presley,  has been chosen to be a Positivity Ambassador for 2012!  This means I will be able to celebrate the small gifts that are sometimes missed and shed a big spotlight on all things happy and forward thinking!

Where should we start?  Summer is around the corner and I would like to be healthy and fit.  Have you heard “El Paso Positivo” song?  It’s got me jumping and dancing.  Perfect way for me to get in shape with a little movement in my steps.  “El Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno” knows I need some help in the exercise department, maybe that’s why he has made it so easy for me to enjoy this song along with the fantastic dance moves.  Here’s a video of the Maestro’s cousins getting down to the sound of El Paso Positivo.  They have the right attitude and I intend to join them in getting this body in shape this summer.

But wait!  El Maestro just sent me another bit of information as a gift.  He said ” If you are going to be working out hard by dancing El Paso Positivo or bike riding with your son or diving into a swimming pool for an aquatic workout, then you should drink MILK after your routine.”  Apparently milk helps muscles to recover after a GOOD physical activity.  Plus it’s loaded with minerals which will assist in avoiding muscle cramping…..we all know those suckers hurt.  Thank you Ol’ wise Maestro del Vaso Medio Lleno, I appreciate the advice.  I think I’ll have chocolate milk just so I could feel a little naughty, but still know I’m doing the right thing for myself and my family!

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Processor Board and Latina Mom Bloggers.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Hash Brown Crusted Chorizo Jalapeno Quiche!

Hash Brown Crusted Chorizo Jalapeno Quiche!

Alright, here’s the story.  I have a breakfast blog called “The Two Good Eggs” I co-write with my good friend Ericka Sanchez (Nibbles and Feasts).  A couple of weeks ago we filmed a video for our breakfast blog and this is what we made: a super mouth watering delicious Hash Brown Crusted Chorizo Jalapeno Quiche.  Check out our video for the recipe by clicking here.  This is a delicious dish to make for the man in your life.

Happy Father’s Day!

Photo by: Luz Gallardo

Having a PAR-TAY with ROTEL!  Plus a GIVEAWAY.

Having a PAR-TAY with ROTEL! Plus a GIVEAWAY.

I hear the word ‘party’ and my eyes light up.  I don’t need a reason to celebrate, something as easy as a game day with some friends is reason enough for me.  I instantly go into food mode, start craving all the fiesta foods that are not usually on the table.  Dishes that only a celebration can bring on.  Stuff that is reserved for a small serving but at a party can be a divine indulgence.  Now it’s an absolute necessity to have a party…. Let’s Spring into Summer with a game day.

Food: I wanted something easy to prepare and could be left on the table for the guests to help themselves.  In order to invite some zesty-ness into the menu I would have to use my beloved RO*TEL.  The vine ripened red tomatoes blended with green chiles and a savory mixture of spices always brings out the PUNCH in dishes.  I knew it would knock the socks off my guests.  I decided to make mini shredded beef tostada bites, creamy cheesy corn dip, and turkey chorizo chili beans to top our hot dogs off with!  The bounty of finger foods was a SMASH!

Ingredients for mini shredded beef tostada bites:

3 – tablespoons olive oil

1/2 – teaspoon chipotle powder

1/2 – teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 – teaspoon salt

1/4 – teaspoon black pepper

24 – mini corn tortillas

5 – cups shredded beef (I cooked a small roast in a crock pot, then shredded it)

fresh lime juice from 2 limes

salt and pepper to taste

2 – cans of original RO*TEL (drained)

Preheat oven to 375  degrees fahrenheit.

In a small bowl combine olive oil, chipotle powder, garlic powder, salt and black pepper.  Then take a corn tortilla and lightly brush with oil mixture. Place in a muffin pan, and continue till all are done. Bake in oven for 15 to 17 minutes or until crisp.  Set to the side.

Then in a dish combine shredded beef, lime juice, salt, pepper and RO*TEL. Mix well and serve with tostada cups. Top with cheddar cheese or guacamole.

And the guests were hungry… After a long day of playing horse shoes and cards we were ready to eat.  Some of my friends had never tried RO*TEL before and were surely happy to discover it. 🙂



Would you like to have a game day with friends and RO*TEL snacks yourself?  I have a gift set for two lucky readers.

  • Two cans of RO*TEL Diced Tomatoes & Green Chiles
  • Recipe Cards
  • Chip-and-dip serving bowl
  • Green chili string lights
  • Outdoor game set

How to win the Summer Party Kit:

Like Presley’s Pantry on Facebook!

Follow Presley’s Pantry on Twitter!

Like RO*TEL on Facebook!

Tweet:  I just entered to WIN a @ro_tel Summer party kit via @PresleysPantry !  Wanna win one? Enter here! #FiestaROTEL

You can have up to 4 total entries each; however, please note that you have to comment back and let me know which of the actions you took, so that I can keep track of them.

Open to U.S. Residents only.  No PO Boxes, please. Must be 18 years or older to enter.  Contest ends May 31, 2012 at 11:59 PM, PST and two (2) winners will be randomly chosen from all entries through

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post.  All opinions and recipe are my own.




Sunday morning breakfast is what comes to mind when the word “Chilaquiles” passes my lips.  It is the breakfast that I have been enjoying since I could identify a date and time.  The old traditional Mexican dish has made me and my family come back time and time again and beg for more.  This simple dish is super easy to make and is not only enjoyed in the morning but really could be eaten at any time of the day…and it is!  What I love most about Chilaquiles is I usually have all the ingredients on hand and can whip them up whenever I get a hankering for the comfortable dish that tastes like enchiladas.  Some people make them with red chile, and some people prepare them with green chile, and if you serve both types on a plate side by side they are called “Chilaquiles Divorciados.”  I’ve had them smoothered in mole too. Wowsa…. my mouth just watered.  All sauces are a great compliment to the fried corn tortilla triangles that are pleading to be topped with cheese.  I tend to use a variety of cheeses on mine, but traditionally Queso fresco holds court on this recipe.

The next time you are having a brunch with friends or making a cozy breakfast for 2, I highly recommend Chilaquiles.  YOU HAVE to make a side of refried beans for this dish. Or team up your chilaquiles with a sunny side up runny yolk egg.  Actually I sometimes put egg right into the mixture while it’s cooking and mix it all up.   Avocados can be the best friend and title Cilantro the mascot.  Don’t forget the CREMA as the final step to bring this whole meal together…. drizzle it right up on top and now we’re talking. Crunchy. Cheesy. Creamy. Spicy. Delicious!

Ingredients for chilaquiles:

12- corn tortillas (cut into 8 triangles per tortilla)

3/4 – cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup chopped onion

1 – cup enchilada sauce

1/3 – cup grated enchilado cheese

1/3 – cup grated jack cheese

1/3 – cup crumbled queso fresco

3 to 4 – tablespoons crema

1/8 – cup cilantro leaves

Avocado slices


In a large frying pan over medium flame add oil and allow to get hot.  Then add 1/4 the amount of tortilla triangles and fry on either side till hard, crisp and golden.


Remove from pan on a paper towel lined bowl to drain.  Repeat with remaining tortilla triangles till all are fried.  Set to the side.

If there is still a puddle of oil in the pan discard it.

In the same pan add chopped onion and saute over a medium flame for a minute or two.


Then add crisp tortilla triangles back to the pan and mix in the onion.

Next pour your enchilada sauce over the top and mix well.  Let them cook for a few minutes to dry out the sauce a little.


Then top with enchilado and jack cheese.  Mix to incorporate and allow to melt in.

Remove from pan and top with queso fresco, crema, cilantro, and avocado.

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Advisory Board. The opinions and tips are my own.

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley
Chicken Enchiladas in Avocado Cilantro Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas in Avocado Cilantro Sauce

It’s a real head scratcher when I come across a person who says they don’t enjoy Avocados.  I just don’t understand.  I can’t comprehend it cuz I LOVE Avocados.  It’s a wonderful thing Avocados from Mexico are available year round because going through guacamole withdraws wouldn’t be good.  Avocados are a winter fruit and have their peak season from September to May.  Perfect timing.  I’m not alone on this you know, Chefs and gourmands praise the Mexican Hass Avocado.  I sometimes will walk into my kitchen and warm a flour tortilla, slice an avocado open and make myself a Avocado burrito with just a dash of salt….Mmmmm….

Recently I was digging around my bag of tricks in order to submit a recipe to this great contest called “Aguacate Lindo y Querido Recipe Contest” going on RIGHT NOW!  You can join too if you have an original Avocado recipe and get it in before May 25th, 2012.  Just click here to enter the contest.  The Grand Prize is a $500 dollars plus a trip to Houston for a private cooking lesson with Mexico’s spectacular celebrity Chef Aquiles Chavez.  Did that spark your interest?  Here’s what I made!

Ingredients for Avocado Cilantro Sauce:

2 – jalapenos

2- huerito chile

3 – tomatillos

1/2 – onion (fried)

3 – garlic cloves (fried)

3/4 – cup water

2 – teaspoons salt

1 – teaspoon black pepper

1 – teaspoon vinegar

1 – cup chopped cilantro

2 – Hass Avocados from Mexico

Fill a pot with water halfway and place over a medium high flame.  Bring to a boil.  Add jalapenos, hueritos, and tomatillos and allow to boil for 20 to 25 minutes or until chiles are soft.  Set to the side.

In a small frying pan over a medium flame add oil and allow to get hot.  Then add onion and garlic cloves.  Fry until golden brown.  Set to the side.


In a blender add all ingredients listed for sauce, and blend well.  It will be thick, spicy and most importantly Avocado delicious! Set to the side.


What you need for the chicken enchilada:

3/4 – cup vegetable oil

12 – corn tortillas

1 1/2 – cups shredded cooked chicken

1/2 – cup chopped onion

1 – cup queso quesadilla (grated)

Preheat oven to 325 fahrenheit

In a small frying pan over a medium low flame add vegetable oil and allow to get hot. Then add corn tortilla and fry for about 30 seconds on both sides.  Remove from oil and add a handful of chicken to the middle, along with a pinch of onion and a small handful of queso quesadilla.  Roll tightly and place in a baking dish.  Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and ready to be put into the oven.  Bake for 30 minutes.




Once they are done. Remove them from the oven and place on plate.  Then slowly pour avocado cilantro sauce over the top.  Garnish with queso fresco and cilantro.  Serve with rice and beans!

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Avocados From Mexico. However, all opinions expressed are my own.  
All photos taken by: Nicole Presley and Mando Lopez
Sweet Mango Up-Side Down Cake for my Mom!

Sweet Mango Up-Side Down Cake for my Mom!

That’s a picture of my Mom.  I have always been insanely attached to her.  She is the center of my world and if you know me, there is a good chance you know my mom too.  We are inseparable.  She is my best friend.  She is my confidant.  She is the strongest woman I know.  I respect her more then anyone or anything.  I just LOVE her.  I always want to make her happy or let her know how special she is to me.  This momma’s day we will celebrate with a sweet mango up-side down cake.  She loves mango, and up-side down cake. So why not combine the two?  This is for my Momma and maybe yours too…. Sweet Mango Up-Side Down Cake!


All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for sweet mango up-side down cake:

1 – box yellow cake mix ( prepare according to package, replace water content with the same amount of a mango orange juice instead)

3 – mango’s (peeled and sliced)

1/4 – cup melted butter

1 – cup packed brown sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit:

Prepare cake mix according to box. Set to the side.

Peel mangos with a potato peeler, then slice into 1/2 inch spears.  Cut around the bone.  Set to the side.



Pour melted butter into a 9 x 13 metal cake pan. Then sprinkle brown sugar over butter. Next arrange mango slices.

Then pour the cake batter right over the top.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the  middle comes out clean. Then remove from oven let sit in pan for about a 5 minutes, then place a heat proof plate on top of the pan and flip it over and remove pan. Now you got sweet mango up-side down cake.

 Happy Mother’s Day!

Just call me a “California Latina Dairy Diva”

Just call me a “California Latina Dairy Diva”

Recently I joined the ranks of The California Latina Dairy Divas.  Mind you, I don’t take this title lightly.  I have always been a big cheese girl and to be a part of this group nearly brought me tears of joy knowing I would be a component of the huge Hispanic dairy celebration.  Born and raised in the heart of East Los Angeles, California I feel I have been celebrating Queso Fresco and Crema my whole life along with all my neighbors around me, no wonder California is the number 1 Hispanic dairy state.  Of course it is, most Latinos use Hispanic dairy in our everyday diet, it’s practically as common as water.  It would be odd to open the fridge and not see a round of Queso Fresco sitting there waiting to be used in a variety of ways.  Actually when I was pregnant a few years ago Hispanic dairy was my savior.  It was one of the few cheeses I was still allowed to consume because it’s made with pasteurized milk….. Life was golden. I felt like I had one over on everyone else.  In other words, it has never left my life not even for a minute.

Let me share a couple of ways we use Hispanic dairy in my casita.  Well first of all crema could be poured on almost anything.  It is like a cross between sour cream and creme fraiche, except with a thinner consistency.  I will use it on savory foods and easily incorporate it into sweet desserts as well.  Try mixing crema with sugar then pour it over strawberries or a bowl of freshly cut mixed fruit for a homemade bionico.  That’s just one of many uses.

Oh QUESO FRESCO how I love thee!  I use queso fresco in many of my dishes.  I will crumble it and sprinkle it on refried beans.  I ALWAYS use it in my enchilada casserole.  I make gourmet veggie quesadillas then make rajas con crema on the side.  I garnish hard tacos with queso fresco or slice a chunk into my shrimp non fried tacos as well.  I absolutely love stuffing chile rellenos with Hispanic cheese.  Try it…. simply divine.  On those cold days when I have a bowl of chicken tortilla soup or fideo sitting in front of me, I will chop up pieces of panela cheese and add it to my serving.

Que Viva California Hispanic Dairy and The Latina Dairy Divas!  

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with the California Milk Advisory Board. The opinions and tips are my own.