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Sopa Mexicana Minestrone and Cheese Sticks

Sopa Mexicana Minestrone and Cheese Sticks

This post is sponsored by Knorr, Best Foods and Unilever, but the opinions and text are all mine.

Knorr-Sopa-Mexicana-Minestrone-Best-Foods

It’s that time of year again, when bundling up is an everyday thing. It happens to be my favorite time when the temps get chilly and sweaters, scarves and jackets make their way into a regular rotation. It also means Sopa lives rent free in my kitchen all winter long since my family can’t bear the cold without it. I’m not complaining.

My son is a big fan of the @knorr Sopa Mexicana Minestrone. I  stock up on it whenever I’m in the bouillon/soup aisle at Northgate Market so it’s ready to make the instant his cravings arise. What I especially like is that it’s made with real vegetable pieces and no artificial ingredients. It works out perfect because it’s a Hearty and authentic meal rooted in Mexican heritage and a quick meal solution that could be on the table in under 30 minutes. Latina Mom WIN!

While my Knorr Sopa Mexicana is cooking on the stove I like to make a side of fried cheese sticks. It’s such a delicious way to add melty cheese and crunch to my soup. I can use them as dunkers or switch off between the two, a spoon of soup and a bite of cheese stick. Their flavors play off one another exceptionally well.  I can’t really go on with this post without divulging one key factor. I’m willing to share my secret ingredient with you to making the most amazing cheese sticks…. Best Foods Real Mayonnaise….there I said it. It’s America’s #1 Mayonnaise made with real, simple ingredients: eggs, oil and vinegar. That’s all great but the truth is it enhances the flavor of my cheese sticks and makes for the crispiest coating, and who doesn’t want that!? I usually make a big batch and have them in the freezer ready to go at a moment’s notice.

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Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones

Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones

Christmas-Tree-Cranberry-Pecan-Scones

What is your early morning treat of choice to leave for Santa? Are you team cookies or team scones? A few years ago my son and I made Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones during the holiday season. We fell in love with these scones, made with Real California Milk dairy – butter, buttermilk, heavy cream… yes, they are fluffy and absolutely perfect to serve for breakfast.

As we sat there eating our delicious Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones, my son asks if we could leave a batch out for Santa instead of our traditional cookie. I explain to him this is more of a breakfast treat, and he says to me “Perfect, Santa comes in the early morning hours to drop off my gifts he can have an early breakfast!”

From that point on we started leaving Santa a small plate of scones and a glass of milk. I make a batch on Christmas eve to leave a plate for the man in red and the rest for my family to enjoy Christmas morning. I feel like a good samaritan knowing I’m doing my part by using #RealCaliforniaMilk products – they are made with sustainably sourced milk from California dairy families, and when I see that seal I feel confident I’m giving Santa pure quality.

Happy Breakfast together + Holiday Season = Building Memories! #MorningsMeanMore

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The Crispiest Potato Cakes

The Crispiest Potato Cakes

The-Crispiest-Potato-Cakes

In a few days I’ll be celebrating Friendsgiving brunch with a group of my closest friends, then a handful of days later hosting a Thanksgiving breakfast. In other words I’ll be cooking up a storm in the coming days for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving breakfast and dinner. I am always looking for ways to spread the love and make dishes last longer. Which bring me to The Crispiest Potato Cakes, my breakfast favorite using mashed potatoes.

The Crispiest Potato Cakes have a creamy mashed potato center. I make a big batch of mashed potatoes that can be used several times. Seasoning them to perfection with Real California Dairy – butter, buttermilk and cheddar cheese. I use #RealCaliforniaMilk products because they are made with sustainably sourced milk from California dairy families, and I know when I see that seal I am getting pure quality. These creamy mashed potatoes get a crispy hash brown crust on both sides and are fried to a crisp.

I can’t tell you how happy these potato cakes make my family and friends. They are perfect to serve at breakfast time if you want to bring the smiles on early in the day. They pair best with a fried egg, a little salad, and sour cream. Happy Breakfast together + Holiday Season = Building Memories! #MorningsMeanMore

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Potato Poblano Mushroom Soup

Potato Poblano Mushroom Soup

Potato Poblano Mushroom Soup

I have lived comfortably between my two cultures my whole life. Pleasing my American tastebuds with my deeply rooted Mexican flavors is what I instinctually crave. This is not to be on trend…. I do it because it’s in my blood. Thanksgiving is no different.  This ultra American holiday meal has been peppered with Mexican flavors in my house since my family started observing this smorgasbord feast…. Truly making it our OWN traditional meal with Mexicanized dishes. From Creamy esquites to pumpkin flan to toasted bolillos to chipotle mac and cheese to my favorite Potato Poblano Mushroom Soup.  
Lucky for me Northgate Gonzalez Market carries all the basics of Thanksgiving to continue my family traditions with an abundance of Mexican flavor. I am sharing my Potato Poblano Mushroom Soup recipe with you because this is the way we begin our Thanksgiving meal.

 This Thanksgiving I am grateful I have Northgate Gonzalez Market (my one stop shop)  available to me because when I get too busy preparing all my sides… I can count on Northgate Gonzalez Market to come through with the desserts, drinks, and anything else we might need. #NorthgateMarket #EveryVisitHasAStory#Ad

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Chocolate Calavera Cake

Chocolate Calavera Cake

Chocolate-Calavera-Cake

On Dia De Los Muertos I honor my dearly departed with Chocolate Calavera Cake made with my family’s favorite Abuelita Chocolate! I know my tio’s and tia’s are sure to come when I put these cakes on the altar. The lovely scent of marigold and chocolate is the welcome they have been waiting for. I pay great attention to the ornamentation in decorating the lovely calveras with royal icing, as my tio was an artist and will appreciate the small details. I pick up all my ingredients at Northgate Gonzalez Market and a bundle of Flor de Cempasuchil to decorate my ofrenda just so. My tia will be thrilled to find her mini skull chocolate cake and that’s enough for me to feel at peace.

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Mexican Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Mexican Chocolate Smoothie Bowl

Mexican-Chocolate-Smoothie-Bowl-Real-California-Milk

Mexican Chocolate Smoothie Bowl!

I don’t know about you… but every holiday season I tend to pack on the pounds and treat myself to all the extras. Way more than I’d like to admit. Well my dear, NOT this year!!! Instead I’m stepping into the holiday season with healthy habits top of mind. I’m gonna amp up my Mexican Chocolate Smoothie Bowl game and enjoy it as breakfast or even as a mid-day snack. Of course I’ll be using  Real California Dairy because Milk and Yogurt is packed with nutrients and protein, hence it makes the perfect base to my bowl. I top my smoothie bowl an array of nuts, grains, and fruit and a little grated Mexican chocolate (because it’s the holidays).

The one important factor for me is to look for the CA Seal for sustainable dairy made with milk from California dairy families. I know I am adding quality I can trust to my smoothie bowl by using  #RealCaliforniaMilk ! I especially love it with my Mexican Chocolate Smoothie Bowl! It’s rich and decadent and taste like a sinful treat but is better for you.  Ahhh the holiday season is gonna be the jolliest after all!  #RefuelWithDairy

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The Best Atole de Coco

The Best Atole de Coco

Atole-de-coco-northgate-Market

I don’t think I really grasped the full idea of Dia De Muertos until my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t until then that I saw the beauty in remembering and honoring his spirit. I feel like I do it every day by wondering what he would think of a situation or when I find myself acting just as he would. It’s as if his memory has taken on an entirely new life form and actually it has. 

Remembering him especially during the days leading up to Day of the Dead when I see the Pan de Muerto displayed at Northgate and re-living how much he loved it in my mind. Every year I make sure to buy a couple of different loaves in various sizes and flavors. Northgate will have a Pan de Muerto Relleno de Chocolate Abuelita y Dulce de Leche this year along with 1lb Pan de Muerto. Some sugared and some plain, but equally delicious.

To accompany the pan de muerto and really pay homage to him I will make his favorite Atole De Coco (recipe below) and sip and savor all the memories that come along with it. Just thinking about this brings me to happy tears as I am forever grateful for the love my grandfather showered me with and am proud to show gratitude in his name. How will you honor your dearly departed?

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Presley's Panaderia "Sweets"

Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones

Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones

What is your early morning treat of choice to leave for Santa? Are you team cookies or team scones? A few years ago my son and I made Christmas Tree Cranberry Pecan Scones during the holiday season. We fell in love with these scones, made…

Chocolate Calavera Cake

Chocolate Calavera Cake

On Dia De Los Muertos I honor my dearly departed with Chocolate Calavera Cake made with my family’s favorite Abuelita Chocolate! I know my tio’s and tia’s are sure to come when I put these cakes on the altar. The lovely scent of marigold and…

Mazapán Custard Filled Donuts in Chocolate Glaze

Mazapán Custard Filled Donuts in Chocolate Glaze

Mazapán Custard Filled Donuts with a Chocolate Glaze. Once an idea pops into my head the baker in me can’t get it out until the task is completed, or in this case the donut. Mixing Mexican-American flavors OR as my friend Coqui says “American rooted…

Rainbow Gelatina For Pride

Rainbow Gelatina For Pride

Rainbow Gelatina For Pride: I am a woman who stands in solidarity with the LGBTQ community. I was once a very young girl who stood in the same head space of loving, supporting, celebrating, and defending gay rights (as they were called in the 90’s).…

Cherry Carlota

Cherry Carlota

Calling all dessert lovers! Could we really celebrate Easter without a gorgeous dessert? I’m taking the fuss out of our Easter meal this year with a simple and easy Carlota! I decided to add cherries to my Carlota and change it’s traditional color of white…