Category: Odds & Ends

Pistachio Fig Goat Cheese Ball

Pistachio Fig Goat Cheese Ball

This Pistachio Fig Goat Cheese Ball is perfect for snacking and entertaining.

My man is leaving on tour soon, which means he is requesting I make all his favorite snacks and foods while he’s still home. The picture above being one of them. Have you ever tried a Pistachio Fig Goat Cheese Ball? It’s kinda the perfect (more…)

Easy Sugared Cranberries

Easy Sugared Cranberries

 

easy sugared cranberries are perfect to use as a garnish

I’m that girl, the one that likes sparkly fruit for the top of cakes or to eat by the handful or to simply put in a bowl to use as garnish where needed. Well let’s face it the holidays are not complete without sugared cranberries. We all need a solution to bring easy sugared cranberries to life. I got it and I’m sharing it with you. (more…)

Keep Glowing With Microwave Mug Berry Cobbler!

Keep Glowing With Microwave Mug Berry Cobbler!

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Weight Watchers through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Glowfest, all opinions are my own.

glowfest microwave mug berry cobbler station

I was happily surprised a few weeks ago at the arrival of an invitation to attend the co-sponsored Weight Watchers and PopSugar’s #Glowfest. I carefully read over the invite and liked the overall vibe of the event. I felt like it was attracting my (more…)

Creamy Cheddar Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

Creamy Cheddar Chipotle Mashed Potatoes

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

chipotle mashed potatoes

My dad comes from a long line of excellent cooks. Even he has the touch that makes food so dreamy. As a young girl I would watch the food preparation unfold in his house especially during the holidays. Lots of hands chopping, stirring, whipping, and mashing. My busy eyes would dart from on side of the room to the other. My Grandmother (my dad’s mom, who was born and raised in Tijuana) (more…)

Disneyland HalloweenTime Pumpkin Twists and Other Salivating Treats

Disneyland HalloweenTime Pumpkin Twists and Other Salivating Treats

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Disneyland provided me with passes for my family to Mickey’s Halloween Party and meal vouchers to help aid me with my post.

pumpkin-twist-witchYes, that’s me with Chef Christina from Disneyland…. She taught me how to make the famous seasonal pumpkin twists to share with you. We had such a great time filming in front of the Haunted Mansion. Watch the video to see how easy this recipe is to make, and enjoy it at home.  I am also including a Strawberry version at the bottom of this post for during the year.

In addition to the pumpkin twists, I also got a sneak peak at all the cool make your mouth salivate treats that Disneyland pulls out of it’s witch hat during this ghoulish time of year. Did you know that all the treats on a stick are decorated by hand? And to make it double the fun both Disneyland in California and Disneyland in Florida offer the same snacks so both coasts can celebrate in the same spooktacular fashion! That Mickey is something of a wizard! There are also a few other new treats to the park. Try the sourdough pumpkin shaped bread loaf. Then there is the  debut of the Ursula cupcake, so good you may let her steal your voice.

Below is a photo guide to some of the best treats in the park, so you know exactly what to look out for! Happy HalloweenTime at Disneyland!

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Ursula-cupcake

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Maleficent-rice-krispie

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Ingredients for Strawberry Twists:

  • 1/3- cup strawberry jam
  • 1 (17.3-ounce) box (2 sheets) frozen puff pastry, thawed
  • egg wash (1 tablespoon water and 1 egg whisked)
  • sugar crystals, for garnish
  1. Bring the strawberry jam to room temperature.
  2. Place one sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured, movable, flat surface, such as a lightweight cutting board. Lightly dust surface of pastry with flour and roll to smooth creases.
  3. Spread pastry sheet with 1/3 cup of the strawberry jam.
  4. Roll the second sheet of puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to smooth creases; place on top of first sheet and press down gently.
  5. Place filled puff pastry in refrigerator for half hour.
  6. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  7. Line a baking sheet with a non-stick baking mat.
  8. Using a ruler as a guide, cut into pastry into 1 1/2-inch strips. Carefully pick up strips and place on baking sheets, twisting 3 times before laying down. Watch video to see exactly how.
  9. Using a pastry brush, brush tops with egg wash. Sprinkle with sugar crystals.
  10. Bake 20 to 22 minutes, or until puffed and golden brown. Cool 10 minutes.
  11. Enjoy!

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Disneyland provided me with passes for my family to Mickey’s Halloween Party and meal vouchers to help aid me with my post.

Mickey’s Halloween Party At Disneyland

Mickey’s Halloween Party At Disneyland

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. Disneyland provided me with passes for my family to Mickey’s Halloween Party and meal vouchers to help aid me with my post.
Me and my family at Mickey's Halloween Party

I woke up to the sparkling green wristband still fastened around my wrist. Then slowly, pops of the night before were replaying in my still sleepy memory. Disneyland had transformed itself into a Halloween party. Main street was decorated in true pumpkin fashion (no two pumpkins are alike).

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Eerie music filled the air, and there was candy everywhere. The magic of Mickey’s Halloween Party at Disneyland was seriously one of the best family events I have ever attended.  I’m sure part of the reason is due to the fact that my son and his cousin had so much fun. Just to see their smiling faces soaking it all in,  is enough to bring any parent overwhelming satisfaction. What I love best are the cart stations loaded with candy and healthy treats for kids and adults too. Guests are allowed to come dressed in costume for a trick or treating extravaganza in the magical kingdom and join in on the costume contest.

Trick or treat

There are still 11 nights to enjoy Mickey’s Halloween Party (schedule posted below).  There are so many fun things to do and here are just a few.

The “Halloween Screams” fireworks spectacular, hosted by “Master of Scare-omonies” Jack Skellington and his little ghost dog Zero. Watch as the night sky fills with the spooky vibrant colors of the Halloween theme!

Halloween-screams

You can’t miss Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy, which zooms into a haunted section of the universe where ghosts appear out of the starry darkness and the exhilarating twists and turns are accompanied by piercing screams and frightening music. There are creepy eyes that follow you through space. It’s a must do!

HalloweenTime Remotes

Then of course….Jack Skellington is back to reclaim the Haunted Mansion. This awesome ride inspired by Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” is an equal mix of eerie  Halloween and Christmas traditions. Plus this year the gingerbread house in the Mansion ballroom is new. Come and join the fun.

Haunted Mansion Holiday9_10_DL_044112

My family and I had a great time at the Halloween Carnival, in Frontierland.  We loved the  new magic show presented on the Halloween Carnival stage at Big Thunder Ranch. Nearby they also conjured up a Disney Villain at the “Astounding Cauldron of Magic” sideshow tent. Here are a few pics of our day and a video of how I was transformed into the crystal ball by the house fortune teller.

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Max at Disneyland Halloween time 2014

The 2014 dates for Mickey’s Halloween Party are: Friday, Sept. 26; Tuesday, Sept. 30; Friday, Oct. 3; Monday, Oct. 6, Wednesday, Oct. 8; Friday, Oct. 10; Tuesday, Oct. 14; Friday, Oct. 17; Monday, Oct. 20; Wednesday, Oct. 22; Friday, Oct. 24; Monday, Oct. 27; Wednesday, Oct. 29; and Friday, Oct. 31.

 

 

 

Fight Hunger, Spark Change With Walmart! Plus a Hunger Relief Interview With Jillian Wade.

Fight Hunger, Spark Change With Walmart! Plus a Hunger Relief Interview With Jillian Wade.

Fight Hunger Spark Change #WMTMomsIn mine and many other communities in the United States hunger is a real issue. Many children go hungry every night and sometimes their only meals are the ones they receive at school. This is both a heartbreaking and a devastating fact. How are children and adults still hungry in the richest nation? Feeding America recently released it’s Hunger in America 2014 report. As I read the report I couldn’t believe one in seven Americans, including 12 million children, turn to the Feeding America Food Bank networks for food assistance. Hunger remains a serious issue in our country… Millions of Americans don’t know where their next meal will come from.  Are you asking how you can help? It’s so easy. The Walmart Foundation recently launched Fight Hunger! Spark Change! a nation wide campaign that is calling on the public to get involved by voting online at www.walmart.com/fightinghunger for their local food bank. From now to Oct. 5th people can cast one vote per day that will help direct grants to participating Feeding America food banks and local agencies across the nation.  This campaign will provide 3.7 million in grants. Walmart is teaming up with six of the largest food companies (General Mills, ConAgra Foods, Kelloggs, Hormel, Unilever, and PepsiCo./Quaker) in the nation to support the participating food banks across the country. The 50 winning food banks will each receive a $60,000 dollar grant. The campaign also provides information on how you can donate or volunteer to take direct action in the fight against hunger. How amazing is that? Please go to this link and cast your vote today. Let’s help fight hunger, and spark change.

Food-share

Last week I had the chance to chat about hunger relief with Jillian Wade, data and development coordinator from Food Share in Oxnard:  Ventura County’s Food Bank.  I was thankful she took time out of her busy day to help us understand more clearly what this campaign means to her food bank. Here is what she had to say.

  •   What sparked your interest in hunger relief?

Jillian: Serving my community was a huge pull for me. I live in a wonderfully diverse community with resources surrounding us every day. It surprised me that with food surrounding our community, access to food was difficult. Working in nonprofit is wonderful and rewarding work, and being able to be a part of the solution every day is an honor. I go home every day to a stocked fridge and prepare a healthy meal for my family, I want my neighbors to have that ability also.

  • What does hunger look like in our local community?

Jillian: Hunger doesn’t look very different from those who may be food secure. They are our neighbors, coworkers, family and friends. They work two jobs and have kids in our schools. The struggle for food security isn’t necessarily what history has told us. When a family struggles to put a healthy meal on the table it is an internal emotional struggle too.

  • What is your day like working at the food bank?

Jillian: My day starts and ends with a message. I am often on the phone with our donors and stakeholders offering thanks and invitations. As best as we can spread that message about hunger while also engaging opportunity, the better!  I often get to work with our wonderful volunteers who are the heart of FOOD Share and share stories of how far we have come.

  • Tell me about a client who inspired you.

Jillian: A few months back, I met a wonderful woman who called to ask for help. She was confined to her bed after a bad fall and was having difficulty finding help. She had been retired for many years and had previously worked and volunteered in the nonprofit industry. She lived on social security income and a small pension check from her late husband. With her recent injury, medical bills were mounting and basic needs were being ignored to pay for medication. She was afraid of utility bill notices and didn’t want to open mail. She described her past few months, terrified of judgment and a closed door. We talked for a long time on the phone and walked through the nearest pantry, which was just a few blocks from her home. We discussed resources and available assistance in the community. She was grateful and proud that the community she lived, worked and volunteered in, was the same community that would help her in her time of need. She offered to help out at FOOD Share and give a donation as soon as she was able. She didn’t see her help as payment and simply said, without “FOOD Share I wouldn’t be talking with you right now? Then where would I be?”  

  • Are you excited about the Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign? How could the grant help your food bank?

Jillian: We are so excited about the Fight Hunger. Spark Change campaign. It is a great opportunity for our food bank to provide thousands of meals to our community, refrigeration units to our pantries who can then start distributing fresh and healthy produce to our clients. The grant actually helps our friends sleep better at night and get the help they need!

I felt so inspired by Jillian and her candid answers, and rushed to my computer to cast my vote towards helping the fight against hunger and sparking a change! Help your local community by voting today! It will only take a few minutes. 

Watch the video below and see how your vote can make a difference for a family that struggles with food security.

I am absolutely proud to be a Walmart Mom and support Walmart in spreading the word on this campaign. It warms my heart that they have taken the lead on trying to feed our nation’s hungry.

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