Tag: Dole

Mommy And Son Time This Summer With #DoleSquishems

Mommy And Son Time This Summer With #DoleSquishems

 Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. However, all opinions expressed are my own.

I seriously run around like a chicken without a head. Every single second of my day is jammed packed with something to do. I long for extra time to spend with my son since he is on summer vacation and his days are being spent here in the house. Sometimes I just have to stop working, put my phone away and have some one on one time with my baby boy (well he’s not really a baby, he’s about to be 4). I’ve been thinking of different ways to pass our time together in the scorching heat. I signed us up for swimming lessons, and have several big outings planned for the warm weather…. everything from road trips to amusements park adventures, but what should we do on the days when I just need a moment to bond with him? Here’s what I came up with and how I came up with it…..

My son loves popsicles and asks for them every other minute throughout the day, especially in the heat, and I don’t necessarily want him to have all that sugar. He was asking for another popsicle the other day and as I opened the freezer door about to grant him his request,  I saw a Dole Fruit Squish’ems frozen on the top shelve of the freezer… the light bulb went off. I realized he and I could eat the delicious all natural Dole Fruit Squish’ems as our summer bonding treat. He’ll be happy that Mom gave in to his frozen treat whim, and I’ll be thrilled knowing I’m giving my son a BPA, GMO, and Gluten Free snack that is kinda like a frozen slushy. He’ll have his pick of all natual Apple, Mixed Berry, or Strawberry-Apple, and I’ll have the pleasure of squishing him in my arms all summer long!

Disclosure: This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Dole Packaged Foods, LLC. However, all opinions expressed are my own.


Mushroom Soup – Plant Powered Vitamin D!

Mushroom Soup – Plant Powered Vitamin D!

Welcome 2013!  I’m headed into this BRAND SPANKING NEW YEAR with an attitude adjustment. I’m going to change my diet a little by becoming a flexitarian. Which basically means I will lean towards eating more vegetables, grains and fruit as my main diet, and 2 to 3 days out of the week still enjoy my favorite meats.  Just a slight cut back here and there.  I learned about this way of eating at the Dole Healthy Lifestyle Blogger Summit I was invited to a few weeks ago, held at the California Health & Longevity Institute and The Dole Headquarters both  in Westlake Village, CA.

Let me tell you all about it.  The first day we arrived we started the trip with some friendly competition.  We were each teamed up against a fellow blogger, handed the same ingredients and asked to make a certain dish.  I was assigned salad.  I have never been one to enjoy timed cooking or to be judged by a panel of people tasting my food, but in this case it worked out.  I am proud to say I won best salad in my category.  The judges said my salad was perfectly spiced and I was the first person ever to use the grill when making a salad.  That was a good omen that the trip was going to be fantastic

The next day I learned many new facts about healthy substitutions in old recipes. We sampled recipes Dole has been publishing for the past half – century versus the new and improved healthy recipes to see if we could tell the difference and to test which we preferred.

In one of the food driven learning sessions we also learned some interesting tidbits about mushrooms and Vitamin D (known as the Sunshine Vitamin).  Did you know, if you place your mushrooms outside in the sun for 10 minutes before cooking them they will soak up 100% of the Vitamin D your body needs in a day? How cool is that? Vitamin D deficiency is linked to a number of chronic diseases – Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, and Type 1 Diabetes to name a few.  This is a serious problem worldwide due to lifestyle, geography, and weather, so we are rather fortunate that sometimes our Vitamin D needs can be met through diet.  You will now be able to purchase Vitamin D powder made from portobello mushrooms to sprinkle in your food or even bake with it.  Or you can do things the old fashioned way and just make yourself something laced with lots of mushrooms. That’s what I did today. Nothing like a nice big pot of mushroom soup to keep me and my family healthy. I want to share it with you… so you can keep your family healthy too.

Ingredients for Mushroom Soup:

  • 6 – tablespoons of butter
  • 1 – large onion sliced
  • 1/2 – teaspoon dry basil
  • 1/2 – teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 – teaspoon applewood smoked salt or sea salt
  • 1/2 – teaspoon Lawry’s
  • 2 – large dole portobello mushrooms (cut into 1 inch pieces)
  • 16 – ounces white mushrooms (quarter sliced)
  • 4 – garlic cloves
  • 4 – cups vegetable broth
  • 2 – tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 – teaspoon (per bowl) premium olive oil for garnishing


  1. Place cleaned mushrooms out in the sun
  2. In a large pot over a medium flame add butter and allow to melt. Then add in onion, basil, ground pepper, salt, and Lawry’s. Saute for 5 to 7 minutes.
  3. Add in all mushrooms and garlic cloves. Saute for 10 to 15 minutes. Stirring every 3 minutes or so. 
  4. Add in vegetable broth and let come to a boil. 
  5. Once broth is boiling remove from flame and with a ladle scoop out all content from pot and add to a blender. 
  6. Blend till smooth. Pour back into pot and add in sour cream. Mix till combined. Serve hot and garnish with a drizzle of olive oil. Pair with cheese toast or a piece of whole grain toasted pita. Enjoy!
Disclosure:  My travel expenses, and meals were all provided graciously by Dole. Thank you Dole, it was a great summit.  As always all opinions and recipe are my own.
Mini Bundt Banana Almond Poppy Seed Cakes

Mini Bundt Banana Almond Poppy Seed Cakes

I’m officially in the “smaller servings” phase of my life.  Even though I’ve thrown in the towel on fitting into a bikini this summer, the holidays are right around the corner, and I still want to fit into my pants with a little wiggle room.  All along I refuse to give up cake, can’t do it, won’t happen…. here’s my solution….Mini Bundt Banana Almond Poppy Seed Cakes…. smaller but loaded with so much flavor. These little cakes are the best alternative to satisfying my sweet cravings , and being able to keep my girlish figure. 🙂

All photos taken by: Nicole Presley

Ingredients for Mini Bundt Almond Poppy Seed Cakes:

3 – cups ultragrain flour

2 – cups powdered sugar

3/4 – cup almond meal (ground almonds)

2 – teaspoons of baking powder

1/3 – cup poppy seeds

2 1/2 – Dole Ripe bananas (smashed)

1 – cup vegetable oil

3 – eggs

1/2 – cup buttermilk

1 – teaspoon almond extract

Ingredients for glaze:

3/4  – cup powered sugar (sifted)

2 – tablespoons of coconut milk

garnish with chopped almonds

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit

In a large bowl add flour, powdered sugar, almond meal, baking powder, and poppy seeds.

In a small bowl add bananas (smashed), vegetable oil, eggs, buttermilk and almond extract. Mix well.

Then add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix with an electric mixer until well combined.

Spray a mini bundt pan with a non-stick baking spray. Then pour a heaping 1/3 cup of batter into each 2 1/2 -inch bundt mold. Bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Cool for 5 minutes in pan then invert onto a cooling rack, and cool completely.

Now for the glaze…. whisk powered sugar and coconut milk together until creamy smooth. Drizzle over top of cakes then garnish with chopped almonds.


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

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

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

Ingredients for Chinese Chicken Salad:

1 – head of green cabbage (chopped)

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

7 – stalks of Dole green onion

1 1/2 – cups sliced almonds

1 – cup of Dole mandarin oranges

3/4 – cup grated carrot

Favorite Chinese Chicken Salad dressing

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

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


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


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


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

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


All photos taken by: Mando Lopez