Category: Odds & Ends

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!

snacks-disneyland-halloween

Ursula-cupcake

pumpkin-sourdough

Maleficent-rice-krispie

ghostly-candied-apples

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).

Halloween Time 10_10_DL_00569

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.

max-halloween-carnival

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.

Walmart-Moms-Disclaimer.2013

 

Giveaway Alert: Take A 10 Question Survey For A Chance To Win A $50 Walmart Gift Card

Giveaway Alert: Take A 10 Question Survey For A Chance To Win A $50 Walmart Gift Card

Everybody loves a giveaway…. including me! I have a favor to ask…. would you be willing to fill out this easy 10 question survey in exchange for a chance to win a $50 Walmart gift card? If the answer is YES…. simply CLICK HERE, answer the questions, and submit.

THE RULES:

  1. In order to qualify… you must list presleyspantry.com as the site that referred you to take the survey (question #1 of the survey).
  2. When you have completed taking the survey…. Come back to Presley’s Pantry and leave your name in the comment section below.
  3. A winner will be chosen on Oct. 9th 2014 at 11:00p.m. PST. from the names listed below.
  4. Thank you in advance.
I’m Proud To Announce I Am A Spokesperson For Barilla!

I’m Proud To Announce I Am A Spokesperson For Barilla!

A photo of Barilla pasta

There are some foods that take your breath away and transport you to another place. That’s what pasta does for me. It reminds me of all the marvelous food journeys I’ve been on. It transports me to the streets of Italy where I happily found myself in pasta heaven many moons ago. It takes me to the kitchen of my friend Andrea who cooks the most fantastic Italian food, as he is Italian (from Perugia, Italy) and quite an amazing chef. It takes me to my grandfather’s cocina who latin-ized pasta for me at a young age with a bowl of fideo (broken spaghetti). Barilla pasta brings me into my own kitchen where I weave all these memories into my personalized creations. I say Barilla pasta because it is my brand of choice and has been for as long as I can remember.

I have been creating recipes using Barilla since before I started this blog, so you can only imagine my excitement when I was contacted on behalf of Barilla to join forces with them as a spokesperson along with two other lovely ladies. I swear I was giddy. I quickly imagined myself swimming in a pool of pasta, okay maybe not a pool but at least indulging in a bucket of macaroni elbows.

Spokepersons Of Barilla Laura, Alejandra, and Nicole

Two weeks ago I traveled to Chicago to visit the Barilla headquarters. I didn’t quite swim in a pool of pasta but I did learn some interesting tips from the house chefs about pasta, and it turns out, I had been doing a few things wrong all this time. For instance, I would always run my pasta under cold water after I had boiled it, and I learned from Chef Lorenzo to take it straight from the boiling water and into the sauce instead. He also taught me to under cook the pasta by two or three minutes then place it in a sauce and allow it to finish cooking in the sauce for the remainder of the time. Chef Lorenzo made us a lovely spaghetti dish and a spectacular creamy béchamel spinach lasagna. We (myself, Alejandra Ramos from Always Order Dessert, and Laura Muller from Las Recetas De Laura) got an additional lesson from Top Chef Carlos Gaytan (pictured below) who made a few amazing latin pasta dishes, penne in a chicken tinga that was loaded with chipotle peppers, and a spicy jalapeno macaroni salad topped with squash blossoms. After that lesson/tasting I knew why he was on Top Chef! It was inspiring and fueled me with a continued desire to experiment ala latin pasta for my family and friends. I feel confident when I use Barilla that my pasta is not going to clump or stick, and it’s superior quality and taste will act as a blank canvas for my traditional Hispanic ingredients. My grandfather’s influence has really left an imprint on how I approach pasta in the kitchen…always with a latin flair.

Top Chef Carlos Gaytan

Barilla house chefs

I am proud to announce that I am an official spokesperson of Barilla pasta and will be creating some additional pasta dishes on their behalf! Follow my pasta journey with these hashtags:  #PastaATúEstilo and #ItsPossibleWithBarilla I promise it’s going to be delicious.

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.

The Taste! Southern California’s Crown Jewel Of Food Fests Brought To You By The Los Angeles Times

The Taste! Southern California’s Crown Jewel Of Food Fests Brought To You By The Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times The Taste

I’ve lived my whole life here in Los Angeles, and it is a total privilege to be a native of this beautiful City of Angels.  I have learned to take my first steps here and take great pride in being an Angelino.  Yes, I root for the Dodgers. Yes, I love the fact that I can visit a snowy mountain top and a warm beach within the same day if I wish.  Yes, I love that L.A. has one of the best food scenes in the United States. The history of my city is vast and amazing and I have learned about it through The Los Angeles Times as it occurred. This weekend my treasured Los Angeles Times will be hosting The Taste hailed as “The food and wine festival that is authentically L.A.” It will encapsulate the many food cultures that make up fine dining in this glorious melting pot of ours. My excitement expands past it’s snapping point to spend the Labor Day weekend (August 29 -31) in elastic stretch pants as I eat my way through the Taste.

Bacon Cinnamon Rollsstrawberry criossant          Russ Parsons Editor of Los Angeles Times Food

Average Betty and Presley's PantryMy friend Average Betty and I got to preview a little bit of the Sunday Brunch hosted by Noelle Carter (LA Times Test Kitchen Director) at the actual Los Angeles Times test kitchen a few weeks ago.  Noelle along with Russ Parsons (LA Times Food Editor And Columnist) hosted a gaggle of writers to some extraordinary eats as a little preview of what is to come. We noshed on chilaquiles from Mexican Chef Jimmy Shaw of Loteria Grill,  maple bacon cinnamon rolls (pictured above, recipe will run in the Los Angeles Times Food Section 8/30 Saturday) that Noelle made herself, and some of the most divine pastries (strawberry croissants) from Farmshop and almond brioche from Bouchon Bakery. Wowsers…. All I can say is if you don’t have tickets to this weekends event held at Paramount studios, I highly recommend you get on your computer this instant and buy a pass. The Taste will transform Paramount Pictures Studios’ backlot into the ultimate epicurean pop-up block party Friday, August 29th through Sunday, August 31stClick here to purchase tickets.  This food fest will be like no other and will really remind you what a food festival should be. Be ready for the most sublime flavors to pass your lips and take advantage of the fact that you can sample all the best restaurants of Los Angeles in one place at your disposal for a flat fee. It’s a great way to go down the list of where you must dine, and what you don’t need to desire afterall.  I will be there with bells on and a big smile, cuz I know I’m in for a treat. See you there!

Check out the schedule below:

  • Opening Night; Fri., Aug. 29th, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
    The Times’ renowned Food staff, the festival’s co-hosts, and participating chefs and bartenders gather for a soiree with a focused collection of tastings, premium cocktail and wine offerings, and live entertainment. Restaurants include CAFÉ del REY, DeSano Pizza Bakery, Girasol, Guelaguetza, Hamasaku, Mexicali Taco & Co., Pedalers Fork, Phorage, Plan Check, Sotto, Sushi Roku, THE Blvd Restaurant, Waterloo & City.

 

  • Field to Fork – Hosted by Russ Parsons, Times Food Editor, and Nancy Silverton, Chef/Co-Owner of Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria MozzaSat., Aug. 30th, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.                                                                                                       Local flavors shine at this day defined by fresh, seasonal ingredients with demos from Silverton, Tal Ronnen (Crossroads), C.J. Jacobson (Girasol) and Bruce Kalman (Union). In addition to wine seminars that inspire the palate, the event will feature a roundtable about cooking with famers market finds moderated by Parsons with Roxana Jullapat (Cooks County), Josiah Citrin (Mélisse), Jessica Koslow (Sqirl) and Vincenzo Marianella (Copa d’Oro). Restaurants include BOA Steakhouse, Chichén Itzá, Eveleigh, Girasol, Lemonade, Lotería Grill, Lum-Ka-Naad Thai, Michaels on Naples, Napa Valley Grille, Palihouse Brasserie, Pono Burger, Tender Greens.

 

  • Dinner with a Twist – Hosted by Betty Hallock, Times Deputy Food Editor, Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, John Sedlar, Chef/Owner of Rivera, and Master Bartender Julian CoxSat., Aug. 30th, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
    LA’s formidable cocktail and culinary cultures collide with demos from chef & bartender duos including Sedlar & Cox, Ricardo Zarate & Deysi Alvarez (Mo-Chica, Picca, Paiché) and Michael Hung & Michael Lay (Faith & Flower). The collaborative spirit continues with a group demo featuring Alex Day & Devon Tarby (Honeycut, Proprietors LLC), Max Deaman & Mikki Kristola (The Varnish) and Naomi Schimek (The Spare Room). Restaurants include BierBeisl, Carnitas El Momo, Craig’s Restaurant, Grub, Public School on Tap, RivaBella, Sotto, The Churchill, The Misfit Restaurant + Bar, The Raymond.

 

  • Sunday Brunch – Hosted by Noelle Carter, Times Test Kitchen Director, and Thomas Keller, Chef/Proprietor of The French Laundry and Bouchon; Sun., Aug. 31st, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
    Brunch gets its due at a family-friendly affair with demos from Carter, Karen Hatfield (The Sycamore Kitchen, Hatfield’s) and Casey Lane (The Tasting Kitchen). Russ Parsons will be on hand to discuss 20 years of The French Laundry with Chef Keller and Laundry alums Jeff Cerciello (Farmshop), David Breeden (The French Laundry) and Timothy Hollingsworth (Broad Museum Restaurant). Melissa Nicola (Nic’s Beverly Hills) will join Times columnist Steve Lopez to share edible creations from the students at CAKE (Culinary Arts Kids Eat). Restaurants include Del Rey Deli Co., Guelaguetza, Lotería Grill, Muddy Leek, my two cents, THE Blvd Restaurant, Wilshire Restaurant.

 

  • Flavors of LA – Hosted by Jonathan Gold, Times Restaurant Critic, and Michael Cimarusti, Chef/Owner of Providence, Chef/Partner of Connie and Ted’s; Sun., Aug. 31st, 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.
    The closing night spotlights the city’s rich and varied tastes with demos from Cimarusti, Evan Kleiman (KCRW’s “Good Food”), Jimmy Shaw (Lotería Grill) and Amelia Posada (Lindy & Grundy). Exploring the art and science of foraging, Gold will talk found fare with chefs Ari Taymor (Alma) and Wes Avila (Guerrilla Tacos) and wild food expert Pascal Baudar. Culinary mixologist Tricia Carr will cap off the evening with a crushed cocktails how-to. Restaurants include Acabar, Ayara Thai Cuisine, Border Grill, Fishing with Dynamite, Horse Thief BBQ, Manhattan Beach Post, Meals by Genet, Mr. Chow, Osteria and Pizzeria Mozza, Phorage, Pine & Crane, Urban Garden.