Tuna Cakes Make A Great Meal During Lent

These delicious tuna cakes are great during lent, for a simple and fresh meal pair with veggies.

I always knew it was the start of meatless meals as a young kid when my grandfather would come home with a black ashy cross smeared on his forehead. In my neighborhood many people observed lent, and my family was no exception. My grandfather used to make tortas de camaron with a side of nopals every Friday. That was part of his lent ritual. I must admit I was never a fan, I think the salt like consistency of the grounded up shrimp was too much for my young mind to wrap around, then as an adult…. it just tasted salty to me. Yet I still enjoy carrying on this tradition of a seafood type cake, so as I got older I started making him tuna cakes. I don’t know if he liked them as much as he enjoys tort as de camaron, but to me this is a way better option.

Last week I was making out my Walmart grocery/shopping list for the next 7 days and knowing we are in the thick of lent, thought I would invite my grandfather over for dinner Friday night. I picked up the phone and told him that I was thinking of making him some tuna cakes, and I was on my way to Walmart to wrangle up all the stuff. He said “Oh you’re going to Walmart right now?” I said “Yeah.” He said “I’ll go with you.” It was a win win. I got to see my grandfather twice in one week.

Ingredients for tuna cakes. I was able to buy all my ingredients at Walmart.

Ingredients for tuna cakes:

  • 2 -cans of tuna packed in water (drained from liquid, and flaked)
  • 3/4 – cup red onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 – cup black olives (chopped)
  • 1/2 – cup mushrooms (chopped)
  • 2 – tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 1 – egg
  • 3 – tablespoons mayo
  • 1 – tablespoon mustard
  • 1/3 – cup breadcrumbs
  • frying oil

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl mix tuna, red onions, black olives, mushrooms, sesame seeds, egg, mayo, and mustard together until well combined. Then sprinkle the breadcrumbs in and mix until mixture comes together. A mixture of tuna that will be made into patties and fried into cakes.
  2. In a frying pan over a medium flame add a little oil Just enough to coat the pan) and allow to get hot.
  3. Form 1/4 cup of tuna mixture with your hand into a patty. Then drop into pan. Raw tuna cakes being dropped into frying pan.
  4. Fry on each side until golden crisp. Tuna cakes fried until golden brown on each side.
  5. Serve with fresh veggies or a light cheese and cream mixture.
  6. Enjoy.

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My Trip To Lay’s Flavor Kitchen: DO US A FLAVOR 2015

Disclosure: I partnered with Frito-Lay for this blog post and was compensated for my photos & original DIY creation.

Nicole Presley films a intro video for Lay's Do us a flavor 2015 for Walmart.

There are very few things that can take me away from sunny California to a place where it is super freezing cold, in this case Texas. Until of course, LAY’S® Classic Potato Chips calls. Earlier this year I was invited to the frito-lay headquarters in Plano, Texas as a part of a program to help spread the news of this year’s LAY’S® “DO US A FLAVOR®” contest. Without hesitation I jumped at the chance, and soon after me and a few of the other Walmart Moms not only found ourselves in the chilly cold, but also got to spend a day with Frito-Lay Chef Jody Denton in the FLAVOR KITCHEN® creating recipes inspired by our hometowns.

Some Walmart Moms at the video shoot for the Do us a flavor 2015 campaign.

In addition to bringing our regional flavors to life… we also filmed personal videos (see my video attached below) encouraging contestants to submit their hometown flavors and why they are special to them. I couldn’t resist making a spicy mac and cheese as a fusion of who I am and where I come from. Let me explain this contest a little better so I don’t confuse you…. LAY’S Classic Potato Chips has this super fun contest going on right now called Do Us A Flavor, and fans nationwide are invited to submit their ideas for the next great potato chip flavor for the chance to win a $1 million grand prize or one percent of their flavor’s net sales, whichever is higher. This marks the third time the contest has been held in the U.S. This time around, there’s an exciting new twist: the LAY’S® brand is asking fans to also include the location that inspired each potential million-dollar idea. Then, later this year, four delicious finalist flavors – representing flavorful cities and towns across the U.S. – will be fully developed, brought to store shelves and voted on by America. That is so HUGE…. that there is the potential for your flavor suggestion to be developed and tested by AMERICA. You don’t have to be a foodie, flavor expert or chef to enter – you just have to trust your taste buds. There is a good chance if you like it, then other people will too. Do Us A Flavor 2015 awaits.

Submissions are open from January 20 – March 30, 2015. Visit www.dousaflavor.com for more details and official contest rules. Don’t worry, you don’t have to make a video to submit a flavor… you can submit your flavor suggestion on www.dousaflavor.com, or through Twitter (follow @Lays for details), or through the LAY’S® Facebook Page or by using your cell phone to text FLAVOR to CHIPS (24477) and following the prompts. How easy is that? Now get suggesting before the time runs out!

Video shoot for Lay's Do us a flavor 2015

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Lucky Green Asparagus Leek Soup!

Asparagus leek soup is the perfect way to enjoy St. Patrick's Day.

“Don’t pinch me…. Don’t pinch me!” On March 16th I go to bed wearing something green so I am never left to circumstance without a glimpse of green on my body once St. Patrick’s  Day is alive and well on the 17th. When I was a kid it was my biggest fear to be without a green article of clothing for the fear of being pinched during the Irish celebration. As I got older I just made sure to make everything green that day and I would be in the safety zone. That included my food.

As luck would have it at the end of the rainbow there is a Walmart. My Mom and I shopped for all good things this past weekend and as I cruised the produce section I found on the shelves sitting side by side a group of asparagus getting awfully close to a gang of leeks…. They had paired themselves.

Leeks and asparagus sitting side by side at Walmart.

I told my Mom wouldn’t those two greenies make the perfect asparagus leek soup for St. Patrick’s Day…. she responded by saying ” Don’t wonder about it, grab them and make me a bowl tonight.” I did, and we were so happy with the results. I even convinced my son to eat some by telling him this was the soup Yoda ate (he has a serious Star Wars fascination going on). He took one big gulp and gave me the thumbs up, then sat down at the table and ate a bowl. All of a sudden I was feeling lucky!

The star ingredients for asparagus leek soup

Ingredients for lucky green asparagus leek soup:

  • 4 – tablespoons of butter
  • 1 – leek (sliced)
  • 1 – bunch of asparagus (cut into 4′s)
  • 4 – cloves garlic
  • 3 – cups vegetable broth
  • 3/4 – crema con sal
  • grilled cheese sandwich

Directions:

  1. In a large pot over a medium flame add in butter and allow it to melt.
  2. Add in sliced leeks and sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add in asparagus and garlic cloves. Saute until asparagus turns bright green for about 5 minutes.asparagus and leeks saute in a pot to make soup.
  4. Add in vegetable broth and bring to a boil.
  5. Remove from flame and pour into a blender. Add in crema con sal.
  6. Blend until completely pureed.
  7. Serve with a grilled cheese sandwich.
  8. Enjoy!

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Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival 2015! #KnottsSpring

Boy eating funnel cake

It’s that time of the year when I start itching to do something fun with my family. The sun is out and the skies are blue it’s the perfect combo for a day of great family entertainment. I crave for a place with good food, live entertainment, and enough activities to keep a smile on my 5 year olds face…. As luck would have it Knott’s Berry Farm’s Boysenberry Festival 2015 is just around the corner! It’s the ideal spot and meets my criteria of a day well spent. My son is excited to go and play in Camp Snoopy and I’m excited to go and get my grub on. How can I not be when I know I will be tasting Knott’s very own farm-made Berry Market™ Boysenberry BBQ Sauce during the widely acclaimed Boysenberry Festival. The finger lickin’good sauce adds the perfect flavor to ribs, BBQ chicken, chicken wings, and more.

Delicious boysenberry wings at Knott's Berry FarmIt’s sure to be a boysenberry heaven…. Just imagine boysenberry bites served with fried cheese curds, or a fish and chips sandwich with boysenberry tartar sauce….yes! Did I mention Boysenberry ICEE Floats, Boysenberry Frappuccino and Latte? Now you see why I’m saying it’s the perfect day?

 

waffle sticks

Plus, it’s Knott’s Berry Farm… there are sure to be waffle treats and funnel cakes…. loaded fries…. something for everyone…. I’ll be sporting my stretchy pants without a doubt.

log ride

Don’t miss out on this fun festival at the park…. From March 28th through April 12th…all this family goodness can be yours. :) See you there!

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Black Bean And Corn Salsa With Fried Panela

black bean and corn salsa paired with fried panela cheese and avocado. I bought all the ingredients at Walmart. I used the Wild Oats organic line for the black beans, corn and chopped tomatoes.

Snacky. Is there such a word? I get in these moods of not really wanting a meal, but wanting a snack that is substantial. I call it being snacky. Since I know I find myself in these hungry states from time to time, I want to be better prepared, because there is no way I want to eat the same thing again and again. With that in mind, I was at Walmart strolling the aisles and came to the Wild Oats section of the market. I have to admit I always get so excited when I come to the Wild Oats section…. why you ask? BECAUSE IT’S ORGANIC and sold at such a reasonable price! Okay back to my snacks and how this black bean and corn salsa came to be… So I’m there scanning all the shelved products…. jarred pasta sauce, canned veggies, pretzels, spices, quinoa, and a ton of other amazing products. My eyes are keep diverting back to the Wild Oats black beans, and my mouth sends little messages to my brain saying it wants a black bean and corn salsa. Fair enough Wild Oats makes corn too. I think it might be extra special if I add chopped tomatoes to the equation, and so I grab a can. As I walk around the store I want to mix in avocados and little cubes of fried panela. I think it might be fair to say I have discovered my perfect snack.

wild oats organics for a black bean and corn salsa.

Ingredients for black bean and corn salsa:

  • 1- can Wild Oats black beans (drained)
  • 1 – can Wild Oats corn (drained)
  • 1 – can Wild Oats chopped tomatoes (drained)
  • 1/2 – cup red onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 – avocado (cubed)
  • 2 – limes (juiced)
  • 1 – tablespoon chile flakes
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 – tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 – ounces panela (cubed)

Directions:

  1. Drain the three cans of liquid, then place them in a bowl. IMG_6772
  2. Mix to combine.
  3. Add in red onions, avocado, lime juice, chile flakes, and sprinkle in salt and pepper to your liking. Set to the side.
  4. In a frying pan over a medium flame add in olive oil and allow it to get hot. Then add in  panela cheese cubes. fry the panela cheese in a little oil.
  5. Fry the cheese on each side for about 3 minutes or until golden crisp. Fry panela chess until crisp on both sides.
  6. Remove from frying pan and add to salsa.
  7. Mix to combine and serve with chips!
  8. Enjoy! black-bean-and-corn-salsa-with-fried-cheese

 

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Strawberry Milk #FuertesConLeche

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with MilkPEP and Latina Mom Bloggers. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

A beautiful glass of strawberry milk is perfect for a morning meal. You get a nice dose of protein that will aid in having a strong day.

That picture above is exactly how I start my day. I need my milk dose to get going in the morning. It’s not just that…. I need to be stronger, faster and on my toes all the time to Maxiephotokeep up with my 5 year old son. I live for the kid and want to be around for a long time to watch him grow, so I am beginning this year off by thinking about my health and what I put into my body.  Starting with breakfast… they say protein (a glass of milk) at breakfast can help you stay fuller longer so you’re more likely to stick to your healthy eating routine. I love this because heaven knows I can easily get sidetracked. Plus, milk is one of the most affordable sources of high-quality protein you can find. You don’t need to be rich to do something good for yourself. From muscles to hair, bones to teeth, the body needs protein to be strong and healthy, and I can’t think of a more delicious way to meet those needs. Here’s one last little fact: The US Dietary Guidelines recommend eating right, staying active and drinking three glasses of lowfat or fat free milk each day to maintain a healthy weight. And we are back to the healthy weight talk…. that’s the goal. So far so good… I see the numbers dropping on my scale, my pants fitting me better, and my energy level rising enough to keep up with my young boy. I owe it all to that simple little change of having milk in the morning. I mix it up sometimes and make strawberry milk instead. Watch the video below to see exactly how.

Ingredients for strawberry milk:

  • 1 – cup strawberries
  • 6 to 7 – raw almonds
  • 1 1/2 – cups milk

For more recipes, nutrition tips, and more information follow siempre leche on twitter.

Also feel free to participate in the #FuertesConLeche 14-day Photo Challenge that invites you to share your photos. The campaign theme Start the New Year off “fuertes con leche” (strong with milk) between February 14 – 28th.  

Join me on February 19th from 9-10 PM EST for the #FuertesConLeche Be Your Strongest Self  Bilingual Twitter Party. 

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Chinese New Year Almond Cookies

Chinese New Year Almond Cookies to celebrate the year of the sheep.

When I was a little girl, I had the pleasure of living in a house with lots of Aunts and Uncles that had a love for all kinds of different cuisines.  For example, my Uncle Luke was really into Mexican food. My Uncle Robert was obsessed with Italian.  My Aunt Hope liked any food with cheese. My Tio Ron was a California Cuisine kind of guy. My Mom couldn’t get enough Chinese. She and I would always go to her favorite little Chinese spot in downtown Los Angeles called The Red Dragon Noodle House (it isn’t there anymore…sad face).
I vividly remember the first time I ate there because the food was amazing.  It totally blew me away at the tender age of 5. What also sticks out in my mind is at the end the meal, a little Chinese girl, about my age, came to our table and brought us almond cookies to enjoy as a dessert.  She was extremely sweet and said, “Here you go friend, taste my mom’s almond cookies!”  I  thought it was the nicest gesture and I was super curious as to what this strange cookie was that she had just offered.  I smelled it for about a minute before I decided it needed to be in my belly.  From the first bite, I was smitten over this delectable sweet treat.
Every year around this time, because of that charming little girl, I always make Chinese New Year almond cookies to celebrate my Chinese friends!  I like to head over to Walmart to grab the ingredients I need because I know they’ll have everything and I don’t have to go all over town to find stuff.
Happy Chinese New Year everyone!!

Ingredients for Chinese New Year Almond Cookies:

  • 3 – cups unbleached flour
  • 1 – cup sugar
  • 1/2 – teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 – sticks unsalted butter (cold)
  • 1 – large egg
  • 2 – teaspoons almond extract
  • 24 to 30 – whole almonds
  • 1 – egg yolk
  • 1 – tablespoon milk

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Add flour, sugar, salt, and baking soda to a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
  3. Add in butter, and pulse until flour and butter combine. It will look like course meal. Butter and flour in the process of making almond cookies.
  4. In a separate bowl whisk egg and almond extract together. Then pour the egg mixture into butter/flour.Pour almond and egg into almond cookie dough
  5. Pulse until dough comes together and forms a ball.
  6. Remove the dough from food processor and place on a lightly floured work surface.Place dough on lightly floured work surface
  7. Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough into balls and place on a cookie sheet lined with nonstick baking mat about 3 inches apart. Place almond cookie dough 3 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with a non stick baking mat.
  8. Using the palm of your hand smash dough down to make discs.Smash cookie sought into discs
  9. Place a almond in the middle of each cookie.Place almond in middle of cookie dough
  10. In a little bowl whisk egg yolk and milk together. Lightly brush the top of each cookie with egg milk mixture.
  11. Bake for 15 minutes.Ring in the year of the sheep with these Chinese New Year almond cookies.
  12. Enjoy!

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Loaded Mashed Potato Cheese Soup!

Loaded mashed potato cheese soup. I bought all my ingredients for the soup at Walmart and made it in under 30 minutes.

I look through cookbooks, cooking magazines, and old recipes all the time in search of something delicious to eat. Sometimes I strike gold and other times not so much. Interesting enough I came across a “baked potato soup” recipe the other day and was shocked when the directions asked for the baked potato to be microwaved before hand. I guess the recipe developer decided to do that as a time saver. I thought I could make a similar soup and just boil the potatoes instead since I don’t use the microwave and still fall under the 30 minute mark. I will make loaded mashed potato cheese soup.

I put my cockiness to the test and ran out to Walmart to buy all my ingredients. When I returned home I set a timer and and was off like a race horse. I imagine that most families have become accustomed to fighting against the clock when they get home from a long day and want to get their broods fed. I decided to put up my fisticuffs and join the battle of making a meal under 30 minutes. I started by boiling the potatoes until fork tender, then draining them and replacing the liquid with broth and milk. I took a serious smash to those potatoes until they were the consistency of mashed potatoes. Then I dressed the whole thing up with sliced green onion and a ample supply of shredded cheddar cheese. Yes, yes, yes…. it all came together in under 30 minutes and my family named me a the soup VICTOR! I’ll take it with time to spare. Enjoy!

Loaded mashed potato cheese soup ingredients

Ingredients for mashed potato cheese soup:

Directions:

  1. In a pot filled halfway with water over a medium high flame, bring to a boil. Add in potatoes. cubed potatoes about to go into boiling water as the base to mashed potato cheese soup
  2. Boil potatoes for 12 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Drain water from potatoes, but leave the potatoes in the pot you boiled them in. 
  4. Once all the water is removed, replace with broth and milk. Cook until liquid is warm. About 3 minutes.add milk and broth to fork tender potatoes for the base of soup.
  5.  Carefully smash potatoes with potato masher and add in seasoning salt. smash-potatoes
  6. Stir in bacon, cheese and green onions into soup. green onion added to mashed potato cheese soup
  7. Serve topped with sour cream. Delicious mashed potato cheese soup recipe. You can get all the ingredients from Walmart

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Chile Relleno Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich. All ingredients can be bought at Walmart

My friends over at Walmart have teamed up with Wonder bread and Kraft singles for a new fun grilled cheese solutions program. They asked me to add my own spin to the already loved grilled cheese sandwich using the products mentioned above… I decided to make a chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich. I thought it would be the ideal grilled cheese for either breakfast or dinner or anytime really. I waited for the perfect afternoon, when I had a bit of time to myself to just enjoy my sandwich and possibly a sparkling drink. Well that day came and boy was I pleased with my chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich creation. It was exactly what I had imagined, lots of cheesy goodness, with a touch of egg and chile. Mmmmm…. I was both satisfied and happy to add a new grilled cheese to my list of favorites. The best part is I was able to buy all my ingredients at Walmart. Try it for your next grilled cheese solution.

Don’t be shy….share your CHEESE-TASTIC moments on twitter for all to see…. make sure you tag @Walmart  #shareyourcheesy. Or visit wonderfullycheesy.com and learn how to enter for a chance to win a $100 dollar gift card!

ingredients needed for chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich

Ingredients for chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich:

  •  1 – anaheim chile (charred, peeled, and deseeded)
  • a smear of blue bonnet
  • 2 – slices wonder bread
  • 2 – kraft singles
  • 1 – egg (cooked)

Directions:

  1. Place chile over an open flame and char. an anaheim chile roasting over an open flame.
  2. Then allow the chile to steam in an airtight bag for 30 minutes. Then carefully peel chile under a slow stream of water.
  3. Remove stem, slice down the side of chile and deseed. Set to the side. A charred and peeled anaheim chile sliced down the side and deseeded.
  4. Smear a little blue bonnet on one side of bread.
  5. Place a slice of cheese, chile, egg and another slice of cheese on the other side of the bread. Then top with another piece of bread. Smear the top of bread with a little more blue bonnet. bread and cheese an anaheim chile slit for sandwichchile egg and cheese build for grilled cheese
  6. In a small frying pan over a medium flame add in sandwich. Allow it to brown on each side and for cheese to melt. grilled cheese going into a frying pan.
  7. Remove from pan and cut in half. ENJOY! #shareyourcheesy chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich cut in half. #shareyourcheesy

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how to build a chile relleno grilled cheese sandwich. I bought all my ingredients at Walmart .

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One Skillet Pork Chops And Cauliflower

One skillet pork chops and cauliflower make for an easy dinner

When the cold weather outside makes for a cozy atmosphere inside there is a certain comfort that is desired. Me and my boys like to lounge around in our p.j’s, eat good food, play games, and watch t.v. It is our family time of bonding, and just appreciating each other living in the moment. I try and make dishes that are quick and afford me more time to spend with them. Of course I run the idea of  what’s for dinner by them first, and they practically becomes giddy at the mention of pork chops, so you can guess what I whip up when it’s going to be a night indoors…. One skillet pork chops and cauliflower. Walmart makes this non-fussy meal so easy to attain, they have pork chops, cauliflower, and cast iron pans all for a reasonable price. Yes, I stock up at my favorite one stop shop and make my little family happy with this one skillet meal. It’s all quite easy, first you brown the chops on top of the stove then throw a few pieces of cauliflower into the pan, then place the entire thing in the oven. PERFECTION. My boys are happy because I fixed them their favorite supper, and I’m happy because It was so easy to make.

pork chops and cauliflower ingredients

Ingredients for one skillet pork chops and cauliflower:

  • one cast iron pan
  • 1 – teaspoon olive oil
  • pork chops
  • salt and pepper
  • cauliflower (cut into pieces)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Place a cast iron pan over a medium high flame. Add olive oil to the pan and allow it to get hot.
  3. Add in pork chops and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Just cook long enough to brown the pork chops on the outside, on both sides. browning pork chops in skillet
  4. Add the cauliflower into the pan. Add cauliflower to the skillet of pork chops.
  5. Then place the pan into oven for 20 minutes. At the 10 minute mark, flip the cauliflower and chops to the other side, and let it cook for the additional 10 minutes.
  6. Enjoy! This is an easy one skillet pork chops recipe. I bought all my ingredients at Walmart.

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