Month: July 2014

Cheese Pretzels: The Most Sublime Snack Ever

Cheese Pretzels: The Most Sublime Snack Ever

Cacique's Oaxaca cheese pretzels I recently created these Cheese Pretzels for National Pretzel Day.  They were the BEST freshly baked pretzels that I’ve ever had, and I’m not trying to brag but it’s the truth. I promise you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Ingredients for cheese pretzels:

• 1 – packet active dry yeast
• 1 – cup warm water plus 1 ½ tablespoons
• 3 – cups unbleached flour
• 1 – tablespoon sugar
• 1 – teaspoon salt
• 8 – cups boiling hot water
• 1 – tablespoon honey
• 4 – tablespoons baking soda
• 1 – egg
• 1 – tablespoon water
• 1 – cup jack cheese (grated)
• sea salt


1. Add yeast and warm water to mixer and allow to sit there for 10 to 15 minutes. The water will become cloudy and slightly foam.
2. Add dough hook attachment to mixer.
3. In a bowl add flour, sugar and salt. Mix to combine.
4. Pour flour mixture into warm water mixture, and turn mixer on to medium speed. Allow dough to come together for about 5 to 7 minutes. The dough will form a ball shape. This means it is ready.
5. Remove dough from mixer, and kneed with hands for 2 minutes.
6. Grease a large bowl with vegetable oil and place dough in bowl. Cover top of bowl with plastic wrap, and let rest in a warm place for 2 to 3 hours or until dough doubles in size.
7. Remove dough from dough, and cut into 8 even pieces.
8. Roll one piece of dough at a time, by rolling it with two hands to form a long skinny snake like shape. Then carefully shape dough into a pretzel by bringing both ends toward the top and twisting once, then fold back down to press into the dough.
9. Place pretzels on a baking mat lined cookie sheet and allow to rise for another 20 minutes.
10. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
11. In a large pot over a high flame add in hot water and bring to a rolling boil. Once water is boiling add in honey and mix to dissolve. Then pour in baking soda. Mix to combine.
12. Slowly dip each pretzel into the boiling water for 30 seconds on each side. Then with a slotted spoon remove pretzels. I did one pretzel at a time.
13. Place pretzels back on baking mat lined cookie sheet.
14. In a small bowl whisk egg and water together creating an egg wash.
15. Using a pastry brush, brush each pretzel with egg wash.
16. Sprinkle 1/8 cup (2 tablespoons) of jack Cheese on top of each pretzel.
17. Top with a tiny pinch of sea salt.
18. Bake for 11 to 12 minutes.
19. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating.
20. Enjoy.

dip pretzels in hot boiling bath

Add Oaxaca cheese to pretzel top

AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa 2014

AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa 2014

East-LA-Meets-NapaThere are only a few events that sincerely steal my heart each year, and AltaMed’s “East LA Meets Napa” is one of them. I love this awesome event for a number of reasons, but the one that really stands out to me is the fact that they donate all proceeds from the event to my local community to help support with health insurance and other services.

AltaMed has been a lending hand in my neighborhood (East Los Angeles) since as far back as I can remember. I have seen their clinics pop up around town, and it gives me great comfort to know they are there if I or any of my neighbors should ever need them.

Then 9 years ago AltaMed started having this annual celebration of bringing delicious food from the East side of Los Angeles and pairing it with some of the best vineyards from Napa Valley. East LA Meets Napa was born, and has been growing every year. This premiere food and wine fundraiser event is one I really enjoy. It is a night of live entertainment, dancing, and of course all the food you can eat and all the wine you can drink! Oh AltaMed how I love you!

A few days ago I had the privilege to preview a few dishes that will be served at the event along with a couple glasses of wine. My tastebuds danced with excitement as I bit into Chichen Itza Restaurant’s panucho , a fried corn tortilla smeared with black bean puree, and topped with turkey and pickled onions. I washed down the meal with homemade aguas de guanabana and chaya! I knew these tastes were just the tip of the iceberg, for the actual event is going to be loaded with many other great dishes as well. With plates being featured from Rivera, Seta, Chalio, Loteria Grill, Portos Bakery, Rocio’s Mole De Los Dioses, and many more.

Here is a little collage of the preview tasting.

a preview for ELA meets Napa 2014

This year the event is going to take place on Friday July 18th, 2014 at Union Station in Downtown Los Angeles. It promises to be a beautiful evening and I’m going to be there!

Get your tickets for AltaMed’s East LA Meets Napa here! Hope to see you there!

Kickin Cherry Peanut Butter Blondies

Kickin Cherry Peanut Butter Blondies

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the wonderful Tabasco family. It is my pleasure to be a Tabasco Tastemaker. The recipe and opinions are my own.

kickin cherry peanut butter blondies

Are you ever surprised by a secret ingredient? A few months ago I spent some time on Avery Island, the home of Tabasco. Like most food trips I was able to taste some of the best foods I’ve ever experienced. At the time of the trip I was very ill with a bad cold and cough, but I was still able to appreciate what I was eating. Even though it was only at a fraction of it’s full capacity, it was still marvelous. I can only imagine had my palate been 100% those days… it would have knocked me off my feet.  Never the less the experience was not wasted on me. I learned from some of the best chefs in Louisiana how to combine tabasco into foods I would never expect to find it in. For instance we had a delicious sweet potato hand pie served with bourbon ice cream and candied pecans that was glazed in a sweet tabasco sauce. I could taste the undertones of the tabasco, but was so surprised at how well it worked against the other flavors. This odd but successful pairing made me want to experiment with the hot sauce in a dessert of my own.

Last week I pulled up along side a road at the sight of a cherry stand. I got off the car and sampled a few sweet cherries before buying a few bags to take home. When I arrived in my kitchen, I wondered what I was going to make with the divine fruit? Then I thought the time to combine a spicy element to a sweet one was now upon me. I started off by pitting a few cherries then boiling them in a sugar water base, smashing them with a masher, and adding tabasco and jam. The mixture was sweet with a bit of a kick to it. Once I had my kicking cherry base, I wanted to spread it in a peanut butter sandwich, but thought it to be too simple. Before long I was making a batter for a batch of peanut butter blondies, and added the kicking cherry base right on top. I baked them and was thankful my tastebuds were not plagued with a cold, because I was able to savor every nuance of my blondies and they were quite amazing.

cherries and tabasco

Ingredients for kickin cherry peanut butter blondies:

  • 1/2 – cup cherries (pitted and stems removed)
  • 1/4 – cup sugar
  • 2 – tablespoons water
  • 1 – teaspoon Tabasco Original Red Sauce
  • 1/4 – cup cherry jam
  • 1 – stick butter (8 tablespoons) (melted)
  • 1/2 – cup peanut butter
  • 1 – cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 – egg
  • 1/2 – tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 1/4 – cups unbleached flour
  • 1/4 – teaspoon salt


  1. In a small sauce pan over a medium flame add cherries, sugar, and water. Mix to combine allowing sugar to dissolve, then smash with a potato masher. cherries boiling in sugar watercherries being mashed
  2. Pour tabasco into cherry mixture, and allow t cook for another 3 minutes. adding tabasco to cherry mixture
  3. Then mix jam into mixture. Remove from flame and set to the side to cool.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Line an 8×8 baking pan with aluminum foil (allow a 1 inch overlay to hang out of the pan for easy removal of the blondies) and spray with a non-stick baking spray. Set to the side.
  6. Place butter and 1/4 cup of peanut butter (reserve the other 1/4 of peanut butter for a later use) in a bowl and microwave for 30 seconds to melt. Then stir the two together. The liquid should be smooth.
  7. In a mixer, add brown sugar and peanut butter/butter mixture together and mix until fully combined about 2 minutes.
  8. Add in egg and vanilla. Mix to combine.
  9. Slowly pour in flour, and mix until batter comes together. Do not over mix.
  10. Scoop batter into the 8×8 prepared pan, and with the back of a spoon smooth it out evenly to each corner of the pan. peanut butter blondie batter in pan
  11. Drop by heaping teaspoons 1/4 cup peanut butter onto the top of the batter.
  12. Then use 1/4 cup of cherry mixture, and drop by teaspoon by the peanut butter. scoop cherry mixture on top of blondies batter IMG_2497
  13. Using a knife swirl the two together. peanut butter and cherry mix swirled together
  14. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Or until the edges pull away from the sides of the pan.
  15. Allow blondies to cool for 2 hours.
  16. Remove from pan and cut into squares. yumz
  17. Enjoy!


Delectable Fresh Peach Crumble Bars

Delectable Fresh Peach Crumble Bars

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Maseca. However, the recipe and all opinions are my own.

Fresh peach crumble bars made with maseca #masecanosgusta

What type of effect does that crumbly little bit that sits on top of coffee cake, or fruit crisps, or crumble bars have on you? I’ve come to accept those scrumptious crumbs as my weakening kryptonite. I have zero will power or restraint when a crumbly beauty is near, especially if a fork is within hands reach. Forget about it.

I have been in a cooking frenzy the last couple of days, working on project after project. Then at a certain point, I realized I needed a reward treat for my cooking efforts. Don’t misinterpret what I’m saying… everything I’ve been creating has been lovely and delicious, it’s just that I needed a crumbly mouthwatering topping in my mouth. I had a big basket of fresh peaches on the table, and the earning desire of the taste of corn. I though how can I get all these desires into one dish, and make it fast? The answer my friend is Maseca. I used it as my base flour and built around it. I made fresh peach crumble bars from start to finish in under an hour, and I was pleased as peach punch! Give it a try. Make it for the next family function you’re attending, or make a batch and plan a picnic, they are that delicious and deliver all the crumbles you’ll ever need.

maseca and peaches

Ingredients for fresh peach crumble bars:

  • 1 – cup Maseca corn flour
  • 3/4 – cup almond meal
  • 1/2 – cup corn meal
  • 1 – cup unbleached flour
  • 1/2 – teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 – cup sugar
  • 16 – tablespoons butter (2 sticks) (melted)
  • 4 – large peaches (ripe, peeled, cored, and cut into wedges)
  • 1/2 – cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 – teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit.
  2. Line a 8×8 baking pan with wax paper allowing an inch to stick out over the edges. This will help remove the bars once baked.
  3. Combine Maseca, almond meal, corn meal, flour, salt, and sugar to a mixer. Mix on low for 1 minute to combine dry ingredients.
  4. Pour butter into dry ingredients, then mix on medium to combine. Mixture will be crumbly and appear like little peas.
  5. Press 2/3 of mixture into the bottom of prepared 8×8 pan. maseca mixture in baking pan
  6. Top with fresh peach slices. Lay peach wedges on maseca mixture
  7. Then sprinkle peaches with brown sugar and cinnamon. sprinkle brown sugar over peaches
  8. Top peaches with remaining crumble mixture by crumbling over the top. crumble topping over peachescrumble topping on peach bars
  9. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  10. Remove from oven, and cool for 1 hour. Cut into 9 generous servings. fresh peach crumble bars made with Maseca flour as the base
  11. Enjoy!
Mango Toasted Coconut Flan For Family, Friends, And All Things Good!

Mango Toasted Coconut Flan For Family, Friends, And All Things Good!











I have this thing with mangos, I usually eat them plain, and when I do, I imagine myself somewhere tropical, relaxing and happy…. paradise basically.  That visual leads me to think about all things good. I realize I surround myself with people who are positive and are making a difference in life, however big or small. I am extremely fortunate to know soooo many people who keep my bubble extraordinary with inspiration. In honor of all my family and friends who bring all things good to the table, I’d like to salute you with my latest creation: Mango Toasted Coconut Flan, it is the perfect dessert to celebrate any and all positivity. Allow me to give a few of my loved ones a shout out! For all of you I forgot to mention… please forgive me, for my feeble little brain is tired from a big load of work this week, but I love you all anyway.

  • My Mom: For taking up a new artistic endeavor and who is creating cool embroidery hoops that I am currently trying to hang all over my house. I admire that she is constantly evolving her expressive eye. Love you Mom, you’ll always be my hero.
  • My friend Ana: For bringing the Latina/o community together for your new #WeAllGrow summit. What you do for the Latina blogging world can never be repaid! Can’t wait to join in on all the fun in February 2015!
  •  My friend Tonantzin: For giving birth to a beautiful baby girl… what a gift! *tears of happiness*
  • My Brilla: So proud of all the music you make. It is difficult to put into words how much you mean to me. In the simplest form… you are my shining light.
  • My cousin Sara: For getting accepted to UC San Diego! You go girl.
  • My foodie bff Ericka: Who continues to prosper and works for some of the largest brands in the market. I’m very proud of you, and applaud your drive. Love you friend, and I love the facelift you gave Nibbles and Feasts.
  •  My other friend Erika: For launching the innovative artisan fruit sauce called Not Ketchup. Who does that?!  So awesome.
  • My Friend Melissa: For bringing Hungry Food Love into the world of video and who is doing amazing at it. Get em Tiger!
  • My Friend Ruby: For expanding her blog into a family affair with GUBlife… All your talents are being recognized!
  • My cousin Gabbi: You are my sweetest… I see you like my little brother, and your calm gentle spirit is a key to my happiness.  I love you Gabbi.
  • My friend Dara: For jumping into a prestigious new job…. as a head honcho. She’s the boss! L.A. misses you, and so do I.
  • My friend A-dre: For leaving her job after 10 years, and heading towards a better direction in her career.  I couldn’t be happier for you!
  • My Uncle Ron: Thank you for cutting my hair like David Bowie when I was 8 years old…. for building up my self confidence, and introducing me to original thinking at a tender age.  I could walk on the moon when I’m with you.
  • My new friend Mille: For planting some deep roots and buying a new home. Hooray!
  • My lovely friend Ji-young: For starting her new successful clothing company percée, and still maintaining her job as a lawyer.  You’re a rock star Miss Moon.
  • My friend Sara: For moving back to Texas where you are happiest. I miss you Purple Hair.
  • My primo Amp-Dog: Who has found the light at the end of the tunnel and is now in love.
  • My buddies Stephen and Art: Congrats on finding the perfect loop to monetizing Latino Foodie, and doing it WELL.  Your voices are paving the way to the top.
  • My beautiful Kathy: a.k.a. Crafty Chica for continuously working hard and being a badass in everything you touch.  I love all the happiness and glitter you bring!
  • My friend Maya: For being the hottest Latina on Vine.  Work it…. Yass!
  •  My bratty friend Jeshua (whom I absolutely adore, please don’t tell him I said that): For conquering all the angles of the arts.
  • My dear friends Ford and Lacey:  Congrats on the purchase of your new home.  Can’t wait to come swimming!
  • My friend Louise: For always having the best attitude.  Your beauty transcends inward, outward and through your breathtaking work.  Stay strong pretty lady.
  • My chola friend Denise: For doing exactly what you want, and only producing quality work.  PearMama is ROCKING!  I only have admiration for you sista!
  •  My pretty boo Monique: For starting a cool new automotive blog Motor Chicas, never talking bad about ANYONE, and only bringing your best to our friendship.  I’m lucky to have you and Carlos in my life.
  • My cousin Janine: For being one of the kindest persons I’ve ever met. Your genuine spirit is celebrated within me.  I am grateful to have you in my life. Oh, and thanks for always helping us with our dorky videos.
  • My friend Maura: For being the Google + guru, the queen of The Other Side Of The Tortilla, and making Latina Mom.Me one of the best sites on the web.
  •  My sister-in-law Sonia: For working hard for the last 30 years and deciding to taking the summer off to be with her kids.
  •  My cousin Justine: Who is about to go explore Europe for the first time.  I know my Uncle Robert wouldn’t want it any other way.  Bring back all your stories.
  •   My cherished friend Kristen: For always being there when I need her most. Thank you for being my adopted sister, and for coming up with the greatest retirement plan ever. <3
  •  My friend Carmen: Who has made a business out of her fitness life style. You’re looking amazing.
  •  My friend Christy: Who is about to marry the love of her life.  We are saving the date!
  •  My friend Tracie: Geez Trace!  Congrats on your 8th wedding anniversary. You have a beautiful Pham fam!
  •  My friend Lisa: Who’s jewelry is some of the coolest I’ve ever seen.  I need more!
  •  My beloved Grandpa Sando: Who just turned 90! I’m lucky to still have him just the way he is,  beautiful and grouchy.
  •  My friends Mario and Isela: Who just adopted a teenage boy.  Your hearts are pure gold.  Cheers to expanding your family!
  • My twin cousins Jayleen and Darleen: Congrats on the new additions to the family. You are both amazing Moms!
  • Carlos and Marina: Congrats on getting engaged, you two are the perfect pair. Amor por vida!
  •  My Auntie Rosie: Congrats on joining into the social media world.  I love that it allows me to stay close to you, when we can’t be near. Love you Tia!
  •  My friend Rachel: For her healthy recovery and who is thriving with The Art Muse once again.  I never doubted for a moment that you wouldn’t be back on your feet running at full speed. You’re a princess warrior!
  • My sister Erikah: You have raised two wonderful children.  You’re an amazing Mother!  Thank you for always caring for our father.  I appreciate it.
  •  My friend Lisa: Who’s new blog, Atypical Familia, is flourishing.  You’re nothing but inspiration and strength.
  •  My friend Denisse: For all the giving work she does with The Orphaned Earring. You’re our earth angel.
  •  My friend Eddie: For being a great teacher to the local kids in our neighborhood, and putting on the coolest radio show on the weekends. You’re a wealth of knowledge… Thanks for sharing it.
  •  My Brother Rich: On finding new love, and keeping everybody smiling with your corny jokes. Love you brother.
  • My beloved Dodgers:  For kicking ass, and going to the world series this year (fingers crossed!). #itfdb You boys make me so happy.
  •  My friend Tony: For continued success in cinematography.  Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, thank you for sharing your eye with us!  Miss you.
  •  My friend Andrea: Congrats on moving to a better job, having the cutest new pants ever, and making jumping on a bed look like the happiest place to be.
  •  My friend Lucy: Who’s jamming in the photography world.  Girl…. I love all the new work your doing….especially the videos!
  •  My friend Manny:  Who is about to reunite with his wife. You deserve it all. Did I mention you’re the baddest engineer in EAST LOS?
  •  My sister Serena: For having such a beautiful baby boy, ruling the tennis court, and landing the job of her dreams.  I am so proud of you and only wish you the best always.
  •  My little friend Joaquin: Congrats on graduating from pre-school and adopting his new best friend Captain.
  • Chuckers, Maria, and Kat: Thank you for being the best Nino’s / cousin to my boy.  My little family loves your little family soooo much.
  • My favorite ratita Natalia: For her great new social media gig… working from home!  Beautiful things come to beautiful people.  You’re precious, and I’m always hungry when I read Comiendo En LA.
  • My friend Average Betty:  Congrats on your gorgeous baby Betty, the new house, and still being the boss in the video world!!!! Kisses and hugs, hope to see you soon.
  • My friend Dorothy:  For having a shockingly delicious drool-worthy blog, and for winning all that cheese!!! I wanna come over. 🙂
  • My Tia Joelanda: For having strength and a positive outlook during a difficult time.
  • My friend Caryn: For having her movie reviews appear on the cover page of Fandango. You’re on fire.
  • My friend Lil: For having a YOLO attitude, and living it to the fullest.
  • My cousin Yvette and Tia Big G: Congrats on your beautiful new home, you deserve it.  I’m coming over for a few days, so make room for me. 🙂  Love you guys.
  • My friend Lala: For being so driven, smart and a super cutie Latina Geek.
  • My friend Don: For being one of the smartest minds in social media, and always believing in my insanity.  Viva Idaho Potatoes!
  • My friend Adrian: For teaching my son so many valuable life tools.  We appreciate your patience. Now come over soon. 🙂
  • My friends Sage and Sonny: Congrats on making the best Fish and Chips in LA! You’ve got one Red Hot Bus on your hands.
  • My sassy friend Yolanda:  For being one of the best bloggers with an insanely thriving career.  Girl, we need to take a new selfie together, we’re due!
  • My friend Cheryl: For your selfless ongoing help for others during trying times, and guiding them to better paths.
  • My dearest friend Mari: Thank you for always giving me the best advice over the past 28 years.  You are beyond treasured to me, and I know I can always turn to you, as you can turn to me.  Love you Miss Mari.
  • My friend Yvonne: For always inspiring me with all the great work you do with Moms LA…(and all the running too!)
  • My friend Vianney: Congrats on your upcoming book.  I wish you much success.  Will you ever make me a thirsty margarita off Sweet Life?
  • My Uncle George: For always having the best interest of our family in your heart.  Big love!
  • My beautiful son Max: For knowing how to read all the words expected of him for Kindergarten prior to entering his class, and for being the most loving well mannered boy I could ever ask for.  Your boundless spirit lightens my everyday. Momma loves you Maxie.
  • My viejo Mando: For always being my solid oak tree, the BEST Dad and partner, having the greenest of thumbs, and bringing such a huge creative force into our home. I love you Ugly Bear… you surround us in love.


Ingredients for mango toasted coconut flan:

  • 1 – cup mango puree (about 2 large mangos)
  • 1/2 – cup sugar
  • 5 – large eggs
  • 6 – ounces cream cheese
  • 1 – tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 – can sweetened condensed milk (14oz.)
  • 1 – can evaporated milk
  • 3/4 – cup cajeta
  • 3/4 – cup shredded sweetened coconut (toasted)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. First peel and cut mango away from the bone. Place mango flesh in a blender, and blend until smooth.
  3. Then pour mango puree through a sieve and collect the smooth mango puree…. this should make 1 cup.
  4. Pour mango puree back into the blender, along with sugar, eggs, cream cheese, vanilla extract, sweetened condensed milk, and evaporated milk. Blend for a minute or until completely combined.
  5. Spray a bundt pan with a non stick baking spray, then fill the bottom with cajeta.
  6. Next pour the liquid mixture into the sprayed bundt pan.
  7. Cover the bundt pan with aluminum foil and place inside a large pyrex baking dish. Pour hot water into the pyrex baking dish to fill up half way.
  8. Then place the baking dish into the oven and bake for 1 hour.
  9. Once out of the oven, remove from water bath and uncover. Gently sprinkle the toasted coconut over the top and allow to cool. Let the flan rest for two hours then invert onto a plate. Slowly lift pan up away from plate.
  10. Place flan in the fridge overnight.
  11. ENJOY!!!!!!

No compensation was received for this post. I was provided with a few mangos from The National Mango Board to aid this recipe. The recipe and opinions are my own.

New Fun at Knott’s Berry Farm!

New Fun at Knott’s Berry Farm!

Disclosure: This post is not sponsored. I was given a family pass to Knott’s Berry Farm to aid me in this post. The opinions in this article are my own. I do not work for, or with, any brand mentioned in this article, nor doI have any official relationship with them.  I have a relationship with GigaSavvy, for whom I create original editorial content.
Camp Snoopy 30th Anniversary Logo

This summer Knott’s Berry Farm brings three new rides in the kid friendly Camp Snoopy in celebration of 30 years of Camp Snoopy.  The three rides are Charlie Brown’s Kite Flyer, Pig Pen’s Mud Buggies and Linus Launcher.  I could attest to how fun they are based on my recent visit to the park with my 4 year old son Max and my nephew Matt.  They loved the new rides and were wowed by the top-to-bottom refurbishment of the classic ride Calico Mine Ride.  This ride offers dozens of new richly-detailed animatronic figures, state-of-the art lighting, audio, and all-new special effects.  I really felt how the miners worked and lived on their daily lives as the train took us on a cool looking journey deep underground through the old mine caverns of days passed.
Being a food-freak, I took special interest in all the yummy food and treats that are offered throughout Knott’s. We ate everything from scrumptious churro’s, popcorn, fried chicken, peanuts character rice crispy treats… but the standout snack for me was the cowboy fries. Imagine french fires covered in cheese, sour cream, guacamole, topped off with carne asada! I was in bliss. I was also in heaven seeing how much fun the boys had on our crazy fun filled day at Knott’s!  Check out my photo documentary of my visit to the park below:

photo 3funfun2Snoopy...Unleashed yumz!Hi!photo 4Calico Mine Ride Miners At Work

See you at Knott’s!