Month: July 2012

Cooks For A Cure! Breast Cancer Awareness with KitchenAid!

Cooks For A Cure! Breast Cancer Awareness with KitchenAid!

 

That’s a picture of me and you can clearly see mypink KitchenAid hanging out on my counter in the background.  That lovely pink beauty was purchased a few years back to support the fight against breast cancer. At the time I wasn’t blogging but wanted to contribute somehow.

This year, now that I have a blog, I used this vehicle to spread the message to you. I am so honored to have joined KitchenAid in The Cooks For A Cure fight against breast cancer.  I decided to have a Treasury Wine Estates tasting paired with gorgeous cheeses and invite my dear friends. It was a success, I helped raise some money for breast cancer and everyone enjoyed the tipsy party all in the name of a good fight!

If you are interested in donating to breast cancer, please send check donations to:

Susan G. Komen for the cure, P.o. Box 650309, Dallas, TX 75265-0309

Or help spread the word and tweet it to your followers.

 Tweet: Join @KitchenAidUSA in the fight against breast cancer, host a fundraising party from 7/20-7/29. Info:http://ow.ly/bOGkv#cookforthecure 

Thanx to all my friends that helped in the fight! Big Pink Hug!

Avocado Tacos and a Red Salsa

Avocado Tacos and a Red Salsa

  

Is there a dish that your Grandma use to make you when you were little?  Something special that your Momma has learned from her Mom and will now pass it down to you?  For me it’s Avocado Tacos.  The simplicity of these tacos is the beauty of it.  You can taste the creamy-ness of the avocado, the tang of the cheese and the tasty salsa all wrapped in a crispy corn tortilla shell…. and that’s all you need.

Avocados from Mexico is sending me to Blogher in New York City in less then a week to find out what other bloggers think when they hear the words Avocados and Abuelita (Grandma) together?  What a fun trip.  I can’t wait to hear what people have to say.  In the meantime I will savor what comes to mind when I hear the words Avocados and Abuelita together ….. Avocado Tacos with a Red Salsa!

Stay on top of all the action on twitter by following the hashtags  #ILoveAvocados     #AmoLosAguacates

 All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for Avocado Tacos:

10 – corn tortillas

2 – ripe Avocados from Mexico (sliced 1 inch thick)

1 – round of jalapeno queso quesadilla (sliced 1/2 inch thick)

toothpicks

1 – cup vegetable oil

Ingredients for simple red salsa:

water

4 – tomatoes

14 – chile de arbol

3 – garlic cloves

1 – tablespoon salt

Let’s start with the simple red salsa.  Fill a medium pot halfway with water and place over a medium high flame. Bring to a boil and add tomatoes and chile de arbol. Boil for 30 minutes. Remove from flame. With a slotted spoon, remove tomatoes and chile de arbol (remove stem from chiles) and place in a blender. Add 1 cup of the water the chiles boiled in to blender as well. Then add garlic and salt. Cover and blend till smooth. Pour into a bowl and set to the side until tacos are ready. This portion can be made the day before if desired.

Taco time! Over an open flame heat corn tortillas till warm and pliable. Remove from flame and stuff with a piece of Avocado and cheese. Fold in half and close with a toothpick. Repeat until done with all tortillas.

Pour vegetable oil in a frying pan over a medium high flame and allow to get hot.  Then add tacos and fry on each side for 3 to 5 minutes or until crisp.

Then remove tacos from oil and let drain on a paper towel lined plate.

Remove toothpicks. Dress your tacos with red salsa, and eat one of the most incredible tacos of all time.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Avocados from Mexico and Latina Bloggers Connect. The recipe and opinions are completely my own!  Yes, and without a doubt #ILoveAvocados #AmoLosAguacates

“Cherry Social” with Whole Foods Market Cherries. Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding Recipe

“Cherry Social” with Whole Foods Market Cherries. Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding Recipe

Eating fruit at it’s peak in the season is the best gift Mother Nature provides.  This luxury of sweetness can only be found in a piece of fruit at the height of it’s ripe/maturity.  Right now the spotlight is shining brightly on Cherries! Whole Foods Markets are celebrating their 3rd Annual Cherry Fest by bringing the best cherries to their stores for us customers to sink our teeth into. When this type of opportunity is conveniently placed at your fingertips you take it and run.  I bought several bags, around 6 pounds worth.  I thought “I can eat them all by myself or I could be a friend and invite some pals over for a Cherry Social.”  I decided to do the latter.  We enjoyed some in their natural glory and with the other I created a few dishes to serve at my gathering of friends.  The Cherry Menu:  Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, Chicken Cherry Salad Sandwiches and Cherry Watermelon Sangria!

Run over to Whole Foods Market, grab a few bags of cherries in their peak season sweetness and make these recipes.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

For the Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding, I bought all the ingredients at Whole Foods Market.  WFM makes my all-time favorite store bought cookie sold in their amazing bulk section, Amaretti Cookie.  I love the flavor sooooo much I incorporated it into the bread pudding thinking Cherry and Amaretto work wonderfully together and boy was I right. Hee-hee!  I also used their chocolate pound cake and Greenlee’s Best Cinnamon Bread (also sold in store).  This Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding was made in a pyrex dish then spooned into cupcake holders to serve individually.  Topped with a fresh cherry.  Enjoy.


Ingredients for Chocolate Cherry Bread Pudding:

1o – Amaretti cookies (crushed)

5 – cups chocolate pound cake (cut into 1 inch cubes)

5 – cups Greenlee’s Best Cinnamon Bread (cut into 1 inch cubes)

2 – cups semi sweet chocolate chips

1 – cup sliced almonds

2 – cups fresh cherries (pitted and cut into 4 pieces)

1 1/4 – cups sugar

4 – eggs

1 – teaspoon cinnamon

1 – teaspoon almond extract

1 – teaspoon vanilla

3 – cups half and half

1 – cup whole milk

5 – tablespoons unsalted butter (melted and brought back to room temperature) plus a little extra to butter your dish.

 All photos taken by Nicole Presley

Preheat oven to 300 degrees fahrenheit.

Crush Amaretti cookies and cut pound cake and cinnamon bread into cubes.  Combine all in a big mixing bowl.

Next add in chocolate chips and sliced almonds.  Mix well.  Set to the side.

  

Wash cherries and pitt them all.  Then slice each cherry into 4 pieces.  Set to the side.

Generously grease a 9 x 13 inch glass baking dish, now take 6 cups of  bread cubes and place in baking dish, arrange neatly to make your first layer.  Then add all cherry slices.

Place remaining bread cubes mixture on top of cherries and press down to compact dish. Set to the side.

With a electric mixer, beat sugar and eggs together on high for 4 minutes.  Next add cinnamon, almond extract, vanilla, half and half, milk and butter.  Beat for 2 minutes.  Carefully ladle egg/half and half mixture over prepared bread cubes.

Once egg/half and half mixture is poured in, gently  press down on bread cubes with both hands to make sure they are soaked in egg/half and half mixture.

Now in a large baking dish or roasting pan (15 x 10 inches) fill 1 inch deep with hot water to create a water bath, then place the 9 x 13 inch prepared bread pudding dish in the middle of the 15 x 10 water bath (you want the bath to go halfway up the side of the 9 x 13 inch dish) and place in oven for 1 hour.

As soon as the bread pudding is ready, remove from water bath and and let it cool for 1 hour.

Spoon bread pudding into cupcake holders for individual servings.  Top with a cherry and sprinkle with Amaretti cookie crumbs if you have any left. 🙂  Place in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 hours or overnight.

  


       

Scroll down for the Chicken Cherry Salad Sandwiches!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Whole Foods Market. However all opinions and recipes are my own. I genuinely love Whole Foods Market. 🙂
Salad Series: Chicken Cherry Salad Sandwich

Salad Series: Chicken Cherry Salad Sandwich

I’m a big fan of sweet fruit paired with poultry, and love a good salad sandwich.  Bringing cherries and chicken together for a yummy sammie is the best thing you can do in these hot summer months when the kitchen is the last place you want to be.  I used some left over chicken, fresh cherries, red onion and nuts.  Pair this little number with a rindless parrano cheese or cheddar cheese and serve on a multi grain bread.

Ingredients for Chicken Cherry Salad:

2 – cups chicken pieces

1 – cup Whole Foods Market cherries

1/2 – cup thinly sliced red onion

1/4 – cup pecans (coarsely chopped)

2 – tablespoons dijon mustard

1/3 – cup mayo

salt and pepper to taste

2 – tablespoons toasted sesame seeds

choice of bread and cheese

Mix chicken, cherries, red onion, and pecans in a bowl until combined.

Then add mustard, mayo, salt and pepper.  Mix well.  Sprinkle with sesame seeds and mix again.

  

Then spread it on bread and add cheese and or avocado…. whatever you like.  Even enjoy it on crackers or chips.

Scroll down for Cherry Watermelon Sangria!

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Whole Foods Market. However all opinions and recipes are my own. I genuinely love Whole Foods Market. 🙂
Cherry Watermelon Sangria

Cherry Watermelon Sangria

Summertime goes hand in hand with Sangria.  They meet up year after year like best friends on holiday.  A crony of mine told me Beringer White Zinfandel on ice was his favorite way to enjoy a summer night.  I invited him over for my Cherry Social, and wanted to make sure he really enjoyed his White Zinfandel that evening, so decided to take it up a notch and make it into a Sangria.  I might as well have served him liquid gold…. He loved it.  Everyone else at the gathering loved the Sangria as well.  The cherries sweet-tart flavor and the White Zinfandel blend together perfectly, and the candied sweetness of watermelon pushes this Sangria to a new height.  Enjoy it this evening for a taste of summer on holiday.

Ingredients for Cherry Watermelon Sangria:

3 – cups of chopped watermelon

2 – cups Whole Foods Market cherries (pitted and sliced in half)

2 – liters of lemon lime soda

4.5 – liters of Beringer White Zinfandel

 

In a large jug add watermelon and cherries.

 

Then pour in lemon lime soda.  Top with White Zinfandel.  Mix well.

Pour over ice and enjoy

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post by Whole Foods Market. However all opinions and recipes are my own. I genuinely love Whole Foods Market. 🙂
Salad Series: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chinese Chicken Salad

Salad Series: Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chinese Chicken Salad

I’ve been known to sing silly songs.  I make up my own lyrics and improvise where my mind draws a blank….  isn’t that part of the creative process?  Either way I think of David Bowie’s song “Changes” everytime I eat or make Chinese Chicken Salad….  I like to say “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Chinese Chicken Salad” in the same way he sings “Ch-Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes.”  Anything to get my Bowie fix for the day.  Picture me on this hot day in a pair of cut off Levi’s (very 70’s) with the little strings hanging, an old Ziggy Stardust t-shirt eating my Chinese Chicken Salad filled with mandarin oranges, ramen and almonds!

Ingredients for Chinese Chicken Salad:

1 – head of green cabbage (chopped)

1 – bunch of cilantro (just the leaves are needed)

7 – stalks of Dole green onion

1 1/2 – cups sliced almonds

1 – cup of Dole mandarin oranges

3/4 – cup grated carrot

Favorite Chinese Chicken Salad dressing

1 – package of instant ramen noodles (crushed and uncooked)

Left over grilled or rotisserie chicken pieces (2 to 3 cups)

 

Cut cabbage in half then slice cabbage very thinly, until all is sliced. Add to a big bowl. Wash cilantro and add leaves to the cabbage bowl.

  

Next cut off the stringy ends of the green onions and a small portion of the green ends. Then thinly slice and add to the cabbage bowl. Pour almonds on top of green onion. Mix well.

  

Add mandarin oranges, carrots, and salad dressing. Mix well.

Then top with ramen, and chicken and give it a final mix.

  

All photos taken by: Mando Lopez
Caramel Cinnamon Milk

Caramel Cinnamon Milk

AdvertisementThis post is sponsored by got milk? in partnership with local California organizations that educate kids about the importance of proper nutrition and healthy lifestyle.

CMPB (California Milk Processors Board) needs a round of applause. I love this organization, not only do they talk the talk they walk the walk. I know you’re thinking I’m throwing confetti on CMPB because this is a sponsored post, but let’s be real here, that is not the case. They really are supporting causes that speak to my heart and inner child. Recently they have partnered up with 3 different Golden State community based organizations: Think Together, The Bay Area Community, and Central Valley Afterschool foundation. CMPB will help raise money for these organizations which support afterschool and summer programs offering families wholesome real simple food options to encourage a healthy lifestyle.   They hope to raise a total of $50,000 from July 9, 2012 to August 5 , 2012.  Here’s the awesome part, they don’t just expect that you will donate, they have come up with a clever idea of making these irresistibly cute vintage looking glasses and selling the pair for $15 dollars (Click here to order your own), that includes shipping and handling. That’s an unheard of price for such stylish glassware. These uber cool glasses coincide with the GOT MILK “Science of Imitation Milk” campaign they have going on, where they compare REAL MILK to the imitation stuff. You will see on the glass a laundry list of all the ingredients that go into imitation milk vs. the two that go into real milk. It’s not pretty by comparision.

What to pour in my new milk glasses? I made caramel cinnamon milk to sip on a warm day and to show off my new glassware. 🙂 Enjoy!

Ingredients for Caramel Cinnamon Milk:

3 – cinnamon sticks

2 – cups water

3 – tablespoons spreadable caramel ( I like to use cajeta)

1 – glass of cold milk

In a medium saucepan over a high flame add cinnamon sticks and water. Bring to a boil. Allow to boil for 10 minutes. Remove from flame and pour cinnamon tea into a bowl. Then mix caramel into cinnamon tea. Mix until completely dissolved.

  

Then pour into a popsicle mold and freeze over night.

Remove from freezer and slowly pull a caramel cinnamon popsicle from tray. Pour a nice big glass of cold milk and place popsicle in milk and allow to melt for about 20 minutes. Then take a sip of a refreshing cold caramel cinnamon milk.

        

As part of the Foodbuzz Featured Publisher Program, I received a stipend and got milk? glassware in exchange for my participation in this program.