Awww the glitz and the glamour of the Latin Grammys were blinding. Yes, I was on the green carpet this year on behalf of Walmart, as the stars strolled down the walkway to head to the show. It was definitely one of those moments in life where I got a bird’s eye view of how the stars live, what they were wearing, and best of all I got to talk to them about what they will be eating this holiday season. Of course some of the stars were unable to stop and chat, but I did talk to Pepe Aguilar, Pablo Alboran, the guys from MAGIC, and somehow Flavor Flav was there too. Watch the video below to see what they had to say.
What I also observed about the Latin stars is their passion and flair for life. They do everything big and have such a different approach to everyday occurrences. Even the biggest stars carry a certain kindness in their greetings to each other and other people, even reporters were greeted with a friendly smile and a warm embrace. I am fortunate to have been exposed to the entertainment industry at an early age and continue to run in these circles, but this was the first time I was intimately involved in the Latin music scene, and it was so inviting and warm, not what I expected at all. The day before the actual show I sat in the audience and watched Pitbull and Santana rehearse their set. It was so refreshing to see two major stars treat everyone on the set with such high regard and in a friendly manner. Over all everyone was down to earth…. no divas anywhere.
Thank you Walmart for sending me on this awesome assignment. It was my privilege and pleasure to be able to represent you at a show that is rich with the people of my culture.
People assume if they walk into my house and smell something delicious that I must be baking. That wouldn’t be so far fetched I guess, since most of the time I am baking or cooking something sweet. The fragrant baking air finds it’s ways into our nostrils and surely makes us salivate.
Last week I received a box full of Airwick “Good To Be Home” collection, which is an exclusive line of candles sold at Walmart. The candles not only smell good, they come in a glass jar with a beautiful mirrored cap. The branded labels easily peel off to fit into any home’s decor. Additionally, they are super reasonable in price, only $4.98 each. The good folks over at Airwick also included a scented oils, freshmatic, and a box of cake mix. They wanted to make sure my house was smelling great.
I immediately put fire to the wick in the vanilla cupcake candle. A few hours later my Mom came over and the first thing she asked when she walked into the house was “Are you baking or did you make pancakes?” I giggled and said “No. Why?” She said “It sure smells like you did.” I showed her the Airwick candle, and I told her I had a box of vanilla cake mix if she wanted I could make her something with the mix. Her eyes showed a slight smile, telling me she liked the idea. Then I said “Or I can make you pancake made with cake mix since you mentioned that’s what the candle reminded you of.” She nodded and said “Get to it then.” As I was making the pancakes she asked that I make them with a pile of whipped cream on top just like the cupcake pictured on the candle. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem, then she said “Where can I get my own candle?” At WALMART of course!
Ingredients for festive pancake made with cake mix:
- 1 – box vanilla cake mix
- 2 – eggs
- 1/2 – cup flour
- 1/4 – flour
- 2 1/3 – cups whole milk
- 1/3 – vegetable oil
- 1 – cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 – cup sugar
- festive candy sprinkles
- In a mixer add cake mix, eggs, flour, milk, and vegetable oil. Mix until smooth. It’s okay of there are a few lumps in batter. Let rest for 5 minutes.
- Allow a frying pan lightly greased with butter over a medium flame to get hot. Pour 1/4 cup go batter into the center and cook until the top starts to bubble. About 3 to 4 minutes.
- Flip the pancake on the other side and cook until it is browned. About 3 minutes.
- Continue until all batter is gone.
- In a mixer attached with a whisk, add whipping cream and sugar. Whip for 5 minutes until cream is fluffy and thick.
- Add a heaping mound of whipped cream on top of pancakes. Sprinkle the top with candy sprinkles.
My Thanksgiving is gonna be a little wonky this year. My viejo is off in Europe on tour and won’t be home for a few more weeks, and my Aunt who I usually spend the holidays with is going to a friend’s house. My Momma is vegetarian and says the holiday isn’t something she really wants to celebrate. Lucky for me, my son and I are surrounded by amazing friends who have all extended invites to join them and their families for a Thanksgiving feast. I decided to spend Thanksgiving with a dear friend who lives close by. The only thing is… I am for the first time in a position where I am not cooking the main part of the meal. It is both liberating and nerve wrecking. I love that I can actually get ready this year and not be a slave to the kitchen, but it makes me nervous to try and figure out what I can bring as a simple appetizer.
While at Walmart the other day I decided to just walk the market area to see if I could find some inspiration… I knew I wanted to use goat cheese, but wasn’t sure about much of anything else. My friend’s only instruction was to bring a little something we could munch on before dinner is served. After about 10 minutes of strolling I came across some stuffing mushrooms and figured it wouldn’t be the holidays without stuffed mushrooms. Here’s to you and yours…. Happy Thanksgiving!
Ingredients for stuffed mushrooms:
- stuffing mushrooms
- goat cheese (room temperature)
- cream cheese (room temperature)
- basil (fresh, chopped)
- smoked paprika
- Wash and dry mushrooms. With a small pairing knife cut around the stem of the mushroom, then with a spoon scoop the center out. Set to the side.
- In a bowl mix goat cheese and cream cheese together.
- Mix basil into cheese mixture.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set to the side.
- Spoon a heaping tablespoon into the center of each mushroom.
- Place on the baking sheet.
- Sprinkle the tops with paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Place mushrooms under broiler for 4 to 5 minutes to brown the top.
- Allow to cool for 10 minutes.
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.
Who will it be? Who will take home the Latin Grammy? I don’t know…. I just imagine that these folks have been drinking lots of milk since they were little babies. Milk Fuels a Better Future……Helping them concentrate… helping them maybe to be more happy, and in turn creative. It could be milk that got them nominated for the record of the year! I always give my son a healthy glass of milk to propel him into the great unknown, because who knows it could be him one day getting nominated for his Rock n’ Roll! I’m just trying to prepare him. In the meantime I can’t wait to tune in on Thursday Nov. 20th to one of the most celebrated Latin music shows. I’ve already decided I’m going to make a delicious batch of chocolate banana panna cotta. Something rich and creamy that I could dig into and feel indulgent and celebrate the winners. Heck I’m gonna put it in a glass, so I may even be able to give a clink of the glass with my guests for a CHEERS!!!! Here are the nominees for ……
RECORD OF THE YEAR:
Dónde Está El Amor: Pablo Alborán Featuring Jesse & Joy
Cambio De Piel: Marc Anthony
Respira El Momento: Calle 13
Decidiste Dejarme: Camila
Universos Paralelos: Jorge Drexler Featuring Ana Tijoux
Llegaste Tú: Luis Fonsi Featuring Juan Luis Guerra
Bailando: Enrique Iglesias Featuring Descemer Bueno & Gente De Zona
Darte Un Beso: Prince Royce
Cuando Nos Volvamos A Encontrar: Carlos Vives Featuring Marc Anthony
El Mar De Sus Ojos: Carlos Vives Featuring ChocQuibTown
I was all ready to have a gathering of friends here to watch the Latin Grammys (Nov. 20th), but then I got invited to the actual show…. I guess I won’t be having this dessert after all, but it sure was delicious. I say you make this milky dessert, invite some friends over, print out all the nominees, dance along with the artists, and have a little friendly voting competition to see who can guess the winners. This is a sure fire way to have a wonderful Latin Grammy Party!
Ingredients for chocolate banana panna cotta:
- 2 – ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 – cups whole milk
- 1/3 – cup sugar
- 1 – cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 – teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 – cup hot water
- 2 – packets Knox geletin
- 1 – package milk chocolate chips (melted)
- wafer cookies
- Add bananas and milk to a blender. Blend until smooth. Strain mixture through sieve, and set to the side.
- In a sauce pan over a medium flame, add sugar, heavy whipping cream, and vanilla. Mix to dissolve sugar and bring to a slight boil, mixing constantly.
- Add banana milk mixture to sugar mixture. Mix to combine.
- In a separate cup dissolve knox in hot water. Mix until completely dissolved. Add to milk mixture. Mix to combine.
- Pour into cups. Fill 3/4 of cup.
- Place in the fridge to set for 2 hours.
- Pour melted chocolate over the top of panna cotta creating a thin layer of chocolate.
- Garnish with a cookie.
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the holidays, I think of a tribe of people coming to my house and eating all that is in sight. Yes, I have a big family and we like to eat, especially when we are celebrating.
Recently I traveled to Bentonville, Arkansas as part of the Walmart Moms program that I am proudly a part of. At a certain point in the trip we had a holiday dinner, where everything from appetizers, main course, sides and desserts were served. It definitely got me thinking what I wanted to do for the holidays. For me, Thanksgiving through New Years Day is all one big time to be with the people you love most, and pour over food. I appreciate that Walmart displayed different ways to keep the holiday season festive, and I’m sure I will be exploring more of that in the food department as we get closer to Christmas, but the one thing I craved to see was donuts, and it was missing. Considering that donuts are basically the new cupcake… as far as trends go. I thought wouldn’t it be divine to walk into a house during this holiday season and see a pile of donuts waiting for you to bite into one? I’m testing this theory starting now, I stockpiled my supplies from Walmart and baked my first batch of donuts yesterday. I figured I might as well go with the season, so I made glazed pumpkin donuts. Baked not fried….. but just as delicious. The baking adds to a certain cake-like texture with a nice moistness that helps keep the donuts irresistible for a few days…. if they last that long.
Ingredients for glazed pumpkin donuts:
- 3 – eggs
- 1/2 -cup vegetable oil
- 15 – onces pumpkin puree (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 1/2 – cups sugar
- 2 – teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- 1 – teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 – teaspoons baking powder
- 2 – cups flour
- For the glaze: 1 1/2 – cups powdered sugar
- 4 – tablespoons milk
- 2 – teaspoons vanilla
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray a donut pan with a non-stick baking spray. Set to the side.
- In a mixer add eggs, vegetable oil, pumpkin puree, sugar, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and baking powder. Mix to combine.
- Add in the flour and mix to combine.
- Fill the donut pans 3/4 full.
- With the back of a spoon smooth out the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool in pan in 5 minutes before removing them.
- Allow to cool until warm on a cooling rack. In the meantime make more.
- Make the glaze: Whisk the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla together. Then dip each donut into the glaze.
- Place on cooling rack for 30 minutes, then dip donut into glaze for a second time, place back on cooling rack at least an hour for glaze to set.
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Barilla, however, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive sentiments towards Barilla or their products.
I live in America, home of the free, where I have a choice to do what I want and buy what I want with hardly any restrictions. It is a liberty I appreciate and never take for granted. Even though my choices are vast and plenty, once I find a brand I believe in, I’m completely brand loyal. The brands I was raised on are more or less the brands I still use today. The brands I have discovered as an adult are even more special to me because this means I found them through some serendipitous moment, or I kissed a handful of frogs before finding my prince. I am a girl that appreciates quality, and will spend on the good stuff to make sure what I’m eating is exactly the way I expect it to taste. That is what Barilla pasta is to me, a quality brand I can rely on and trust. Barilla has been a constant staple in my house since I began experimenting with pasta many moons ago. I find it’s supreme quality partners well with many Latin flavors of my culture, and whether I’m making Italian food or another cultural dish, I know I can depend on good ol’ Barilla to come through in spades. There is just something so special about the pasta in the blue box that keeps me coming back for more time and time again.
A few weeks ago, I was asked to become a Barilla spokesperson. An advocate of sorts who would support the pasta and develop recipes that included Barilla. I jumped at the chance and was able to prove I am a fan from previous blog posts. I’m sure once the powers that be looked over my blog, it became clear that I not only like it… I hands down love it. They felt it was a match made in heaven, and so did I! Next thing I knew, I received a box filled with a variety of Barilla pastas delivered to my doorstep, and there were a few shapes I had never tried before. Yes, new pasta shapes excite me; I’m dorky like that.
I found my hand reaching for the phone, I wanted to ask my friend Andrea (who’s from Italy) how he cooks with these various shapes of pasta. At his suggestion, we planned a Sunday family dinner. That Sunday, he showed up at my doorstep with bags of groceries to complement the Barilla pasta and cooked up a storm. We had a seafood pasta feast. That night as we sat over dinner, I realized family Sunday dinners were a tradition I wanted to implement from this point on, and that I absolutely LOVE being a Barilla spokesperson. Not only has this opportunity brought more shapes of pasta into my life, but it also got a dear friend of mine involved. He taught me how to make one of his many specialties- Italian clam sauce, all while helping me realize family Sunday night dinners is what life is all about. BRAVO Barilla!
Visit Barilla.com/EsPosible (in English or Spanish) from your computer and register for a chance to win $5,000 when you participate in the Es Posible con Barilla (It’s Possible with Barilla) Sweepstakes. See below for additional details:
- Visit www.Barilla.com/EsPosible to access the sweepstakes page and register to participate.
- Answer the question of the day—users can return every day until the last day of the sweepstakes to participate. Every answer/day is an entry.
- Limited to 1 entry per day/per email. One email per person.
- For detailed rules, please visit www.Barilla.com/EsPosible and click on the Tab Prize and Rules
- Sweepstakes ends Nov. 30, 2014
It’s time for me to get in touch with my southern roots. I spent some time in Nashville, Tennessee recently and everywhere I went out to eat…. I was served a basket of freshly baked biscuits. I nearly died from happiness, they reminded me of the lovely rosemary buttermilk biscuits my southern Great Grandmother Presley used to make me when I was a little girl. I always remember her with her Fiskar gardening shears out in her backyard cutting fresh rosemary from her herb garden, that would eventually end up in our supper. It was those days that I look back on so fondly and wish I talk to her and ask who she learned to make biscuits from? Or why she choose to plant rosemary, since it’s so hard to cut? Who introduced her to Fiskar for the first time? Since I no longer have the luxury of talking to her, the next best thing I can do, is make a version of her biscuits. I am no longer going to let anything keep me from my baked biscuits, and luckily I have a rosemary bush growing in my backyard, just like Great Grandma Presley. Like her, I cut my rosemary with Fiskar’s Gardener: Platinum Series™ Smooth-action Pruner and am following in her footsteps in the kitchen too.
Since I had all these questions about the lovely gardening shears my grandmother treasured, I decided to do a little research…. this is what I found out:
- Fiskars turned 365 years old on October 31st 2014 and was founded in 1649 in Fiskars, Finland. Fiskars was founded in the Fiskars Village in Finland, which still exists today!
- Nearly 100 artists and designers currently live in the Fiskars Village. The creation of Orange Handled-Scissors was purely by chance.
- To use up extra plastic in the molding machine, left over from our orange juicer production, Fiskars created the first Orange Handled-Scissors. The color orange won out by two votes.
- Ideal for cutting stems and light branches.
- Self-lubricating, maintenance-free bearing drive.
- Fully hardened, precision-ground steel blade stays sharp, even through heavy use.
- Steel construction provides excellent durability.
- Softgrip® touchpoints enhance comfort and control.
- Easy-open lock protects the blade during transport and storage.
- Bypass blade style.
- Maximum cutting capacity: 5/8″ dia.
- Lifetime warranty
Ingredients for rosemary buttermilk biscuits:
- 2 – cups bread flour
- 2 – teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 – tablespoon sugar
- 1 – teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1 – teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 – cup butter (cold- cut into tablespoons)
- 1 – tablespoon rosemary (coarsely chopped)
- 3/4 – cup buttermilk plus 2 tablespoons for brushing the tops
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking mat or parchment paper. Set to the side.
- In a large bowl sift flour, baking powder, sugar, sea salt, and baking soda together. Set to the side.
- In a food processor, transfer 1 3/4 cups of dry ingredients and butter. Pulse together until crumbly.
- Mix rosemary into remaining dry ingredients, then add in the crumbly buttery mixture from the food processor. Mix well.
- Make a well in the center of the mixture, and slowly pour the buttermilk into the center.
- Mix with a wooden spoon until the mixture comes together.
- Pour the biscuit mixture on a lightly floured surface, and knead with floured hands until the dough comes together.
- Pat the dough down as much as possible with your bare hands, then using a 3 inch circle cookie cutter, cut out as many circles as you can.
- Place biscuits on the baking sheet and gently brush each top with buttermilk.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve with butter and jam.
Buy a pair of amazing Fiskar gardening pruners…. by clicking here! Then make your own biscuits!
Posted in Holiday, Presley's Panaderia "Bakery", Recipes, Vegetarian Corner, Walmart Recipes
Tagged Biscuits from scratch, Fiskar gardening shears, Homemade rosemary buttermilk biscuits, Roots in the south, rosemary, Southern Great Grandmother, Walmart, WMTMoms
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Virgin Mobile Custom and Walmart Moms Program. The opinions are entirely my own.
Here’s the deal…. I am a food blogger. I use my phone for EVERYTHING, especially when I’m away from home. I rely on it heavily for taking photos, checking emails, writing notes, recording little videos…. you name it. Well it seems my son is equally as fascinated with my phone as I am, the difference is, he’s not working off of it. He knows how to navigate himself around my phone well enough to actually delete important stuff that I may have FREAK-OUT moment if I lose. He recently deleted a few beauty shots of biscuits, and a how to video I had made on making your bread golden brown on top. Yes, that was the turning point…..Long story short, he can’t play with my phone anymore.
Sooooooo then of course, it’s how do I go about giving my son his own phone? That is a step in unchartered waters for me. I need robust parental controls so I can set curfews and content restrictions on his phone, since I’m handing him his own phone. So many concerns that the wireless gods have now answered!
Have you heard the news about Virgin Mobile Custom, the revolutionary way to buy wireless? No longer do you have to worry about pre-set or overpriced cell phone plans. Plans start at just $6.98 a month, only at Walmart, and provide great coverage on the Sprint Nationwide network. You got the power at the tip of your fingers to control building your plan straight from your phone. You can choose how much you spend each month on talk (voice minutes), text, and data to custom fit you and your family. You can adjust the plan for more or scale it back for less, as often as you like or whenever you like. Talk about convenient. Virgin Mobile Custom is perfect for everyone, especially families with the ability to share a plan across 5 lines.
Then there is the parental control portion of this phone that I absolutely love. I can feel confident giving my son his own cell phone and still placing restrictions on usage right from my smartphone. Allowing me to adjust exactly what my child can and cannot do with his phone. Start by simply adding an additional line on to your plan for $6.98 per line. Then you can customize the line to fit to your child’s needs, and still have control with the amount of wireless activity they have access to. You will now be able to have full control of which apps they can use and when, you can even customize down to the time of day. For example: You can turn off You Tube during school hours, or any other app they may not need during the day.
Problem solved…. my boy is happy and so is his Momma.
Talk about an ENERGY boost… I was in Nashville, Tennessee last week to cover the Pillsbury Bake-Off. Lots of people assumed I was competing for the grand prize of One Million dollars, let me clarify right off the top I was not there baking, nor did I submit a recipe, I was there to cover the event for Que Rica Vida (General Mills- Latin division). I had always heard about the bake-off and have even caught a glimpse of it on T.V. , but to actually be there and feel the energy of the room and the tension of the competitive bakers was a completely different experience then I had imagined.
A lot of contestants have been submitting recipes for years and were there for the first time, and others are professional contest recipe applicants. This is a serious business for some especially when there is a million dollars at stake. It was interesting to watch and even more enticing to sample some of the finalist recipes. At the end of the four hour bake-off a panel of judges chose 4 finalist who are all vying for the grand prize. The announcement will be made on ABC’s The Chew Dec. 3rd. Do you want to help pick a winner? Vote here!
I left the bake-off so inspired by what I saw… it made me think what would I make with Pillsbury if I was in the competition. I would definitely enter under the breakfast category with these apple raisin cinnamon knots topped with a Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk glaze.
Ingredients for apple raisin cinnamon knots topped with Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk glaze:
- 1 – tablespoon butter
- 1 – piloncillo cone
- 3 – small green apples (peeled, cored, and chopped into small chunks)
- 1/2 – teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 – ounces raisins
- 1/2 – cup chopped pecans
- 2 – 12.4 ounces of Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls
- 4 – tablespoons Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk
- In a small sauce pan over a medium flame add in butter and allow to melt.
- Once melted add in piloncillo. Let piloncillo dissolve, then add in apples and stir to coat all the apples in the sugar syrup.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon, and continue cooking for 10 minutes.
- Add in raisins and mix them into the apples. Cook for an additional 5 minutes allowing the raisins to plump up.
- Remove from flame and mix in the pecans. Set to the side.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Line a cookie sheet with a baking mat or wax paper and set to the side.
- Open Pillsburry cinnamon rolls and remove icing. Separate each cinnamon roll.
- Working with one at a time, get a cinnamon roll and flatten it out into a flat circle with either your hands or a rolling pin.
- Fill the center of the dough with 1 teaspoon of the apple raisin filling, then gather all edges of the dough to the top and pinch them together and twist. Creating a dumpling- like ball.
- Place on the cookie lined sheet and continue till done.
- Bake for 10 minutes.
- Remove from oven and drop a dollop of Eagle brand sweetened condensed milk in the center of each cinnamon roll bite.
- It will melt a little and spread down the sides.
- Allow to cool and enjoy!
Disclosure: I was invited by Pillsbury to attend the Pillsbury Bake-off. All opinions are 100% my own.
Sauce please…. Can you make sure it’s extra spicy? I like to live, I love to taste, and especially when we are talking about food. I’ve recently become obsessed with making quick sauces to top my food with. Maybe it’s because my Mom is salsa crazed and I like feeding her… I don’t know, I just know I am making different types of little salsa like condiments to smother or drizzle on my protein, veggies, or tacos. Which brings me to my point…. I’ve been using baby spinach and blending it with charred jalapeño. I put it in a little jar for easy access, and it just makes it easier to store. I made it again over the weekend for my Momma to top her eggs with, but she ended up putting it on her pizza, and declaring it her new favorite sauce. I think of it kinda like a chimichurri except made with spinach. What I love best is the fact that my sauce is made with Marketside organic baby spinach that I bought at Walmart, which means I get it at the lowest price. Since organic marketside hit Walmart, it has been a constant in my shopping cart…. they rebranded the line to make it easier for customers looking for organic to quickly find what they are looking for with a new look. The packaging will now be marked with a purple organic label and the USDA Organic seal. Go buy some, make this sauce and have a new favorite sauce.
Ingredients for spicy spinach sauce:
- 1 – container of marketside organic baby spinach
- 1 – charred jalapeño (stem removed)
- 4 – garlic cloves
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients in the blender.
- Pulse on high until smooth.
- Pour into a jar.
- Store in fridge for up to a week.
- Great for topping on fish, chicken, eggs, meat, or tacos.