Remodeling la cocina and rediscovering the wonders of parsley-perejil

Spring is upon us thank God, with the ritual of daylight savings time already having it’s effect on my irregular sleeping schedule. Are you kidding me? One less hour of sleep. And where does the time go? It’s March 9th and to quote my Mama Lilia: Vamos rápido.

These past few weeks we have embarked on a remodeling effort at the house. Originally we thought it was going to take 2 weeks, pero cumpliendo con la 3era. Ley de Murphy (“Todo toma mas tiempo de lo que crees”) our little project is already at the 4 week mark, and we are ALMOST finished. I mean, they always say it takes 2 weeks para todo, verdad? But little did we know that a few surprises were going to pop up all over the place. We are redoing the kitchen, the most important room in the house, and it takes a BIG effort to maintain a happy household cuando la casa esta toda patas pa’arriba as you go through this process.

Don’t get me wrong, we’re pleased with the progress and the work by our paisano contractors, todo un team super eficiente, profesional y buena onda. Tan buena onda que hasta me trajeron un pastelito de cumpleaños last month. If you need some work done at your house, I’ll be happy to recommend.

But it takes some planning and “making do” to go through this project, especially for meals. The lesson I’ve learned is that eating take out can get old pretty quick, not to mention expensive and with limited healthy choices. Gracias a Dios que se nos ocurrió comprar un little portable griddle stove where we cook simple stuff. Every day I pretend que estoy jugando a la “cocinita” con mis “trastecitos” just to make it fun and not go bananas.

I also have a newfound love for sandwiches and have become quite creative. It’s been the easiest thing to make without a full service kitchen. Y me inspiré en la familia para hacerlosCuando visitan mi hermana la Romy y mi cuñado JoseLuis del DF hacen sus sandwiches para irse a dar la vuelta y llevar de snack. Si nomas le ponen mayo, ham and cheese entonces es un sandwich equis… sandwich sin amor. Pero si le ponen colorcito, con verduritas, quesito derretido, dressing y varios layers, it turns into an act of love y dicen, “Este es un Sandwich con Amor.”

With that in mind, I improvised some turkey burgers on oat nut bread last week, and on a split moment added an ingredient I am now obsessed with: Italian Parsley. The smell, the taste, the color! It must be in season because they have the most beautiful bunches at my local supermarket.

Besides being delicious, el perejil tiene medicinal qualities as well. You can eat a few leaves to help with indigestion and also add a leaves to boiling water for a few minutes to drink as a hot tea. (You can strain the leaves out to drink easily.) It helps detox the kidneys, they say, so go ahead and treat your body right. Maybe it’s the not the tastiest tea out there, but it’s good for you. So from now on it will always be present in our finally-soon to be ready-fabulous kitchen.

Here are a few pix of one of my new sandwich creations, which will be called “Sandwichito con Amor de Pavito con Perejil”.

Ya sé. Ya sé, it’s nothing new but thought I’d share in case you’re looking to add some variety to your herb collection. The recipe is there is no recipe, just tear up some fresh Italian Parsley leaves and mix into the ground turkey with salt (or salt substitute), pepper, oregano and garlic. And I mean tear up because nobody chops leaves, más que la Gwyneth P, and who has time to be perfect? Mi abue has been cooking all her life and  never once have I seen her chop any cilantro, ni perejil, ni orégano. Todo con las manos.

Anyway, have a great week everybody. Eat good food and take care.

I love Italian Parsley, my new favorite herb.
My new favorite herb is Italian Parsley. Just look at those big leaves full of flavor.
A few savory ingredients to add to your ground turkey. Liquid Aminos is a wonderful alternative to salt, tastes just like soy sauce, without all the sodium.
A few savory ingredients to add to your ground turkey. Liquid Aminos is a wonderful alternative to salt, tastes just like soy sauce.
Las tortitas de pavo cooking. I added parsley effusively then sparingly.
Cooking las tortitas de pavo, I added the parsley effusively, then sparingly.
Mis opened faced
Mis opened faced “Sandwich con Amor” before I joined both sides together, I added avocado, red onion, lettuce, tomato and mustard on OatNut bread. Quedaron ricos.
Italian Parsley bunch: add it to your grocery list.
Italian Parsley bunch: add it to your grocery list.

Getting heart healthy by guest posting for Go Red For Women

Before February is gone, and considering that this month is American Heart Month, I’d like to take a moment to share some nice news.

I was recently invited by the Los Angeles Chapter of the American Heart Association (AHA) and Macy’s to do some guests posts on AHA-LA’s social media pages as part of their “Go Red For Women” Campaign. It was a week-long project that made me realize how important heart health is for women and how much we can do to prevent heart disease. Macy’s is a founding sponsor of the Go Red For Women campaign, having donated more than 50 million to the cause since 2004. This helps create awareness and ultimately save lives.

It also happened to be my birthday last week, so it coincided with the fact that I am on this health awareness kick. I realize I am no longer a “spring chicken” and I’m not getting younger but it finally clicked that it’s not just about fighting wrinkles with beauty creams, it’s about healthy habits to maintain a healthy body from the inside out. (Me llegó tarde el mensaje, pero me llegó!)

So in writing these guest posts and in trying to make them interesting, I realized, como cantan la Whitney Houston y la Chaka-Khan, that “I am every woman, it’s all in meeee.” A healthy habit usually starts with motivation, an idea that you want to be better, feel better, look better, stay better. And I found some great info on the AHA website to stay motivated, including recipes, tips, and  stats that make you want to go and ask every woman you know to please monitor their blood pressure and their sodium intake, to get active, to watch their weight, to take care of themselves first.

Yes, heart disease is the #1 killer of women in the US. One of every 3 women die of heart illness every year, of every age. In my case, there is a history of heart disease in my family, on both sides, so even though I am healthy now, this is something I need to monitor from now on. I take care of my grandmother, mi Mama Lilia, who is 95 and has a few conditions including high blood pressure, and it really is something you need to control every day, with your diet and your physical activity. It’s a lifestyle that you have to commit to, if you want to stay healthy.

So with all this in mind, I decided to “Go Red” and try to support this cause by taking care of me, by doing a little shopping at Macy’s, and by making my newfound mission a bit more entertaining. Follow the links below to take you to the sites and hopefully you’ll be inspired to learn more about your heart. There is a wealth of useful information, trust me. There’s also still time to support the AHA and Go Red Campaign by purchasing a few key items at Macy’s, and with your purchase a donation is made to this cause.

American Heart Association website: Click here: www.heart.org

American Heart Association LA Instagram: https://instagram.com/americanheart_la/

American Heart Association LA Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ahagreaterla

American Heart Association LA Twitter: https://twitter.com/amheartla

Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 5.05.27 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 5.06.01 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 5.06.29 PM Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 5.06.42 PM

Un regalito de belleza con el Latina Beauty Box de Macy’s

¿Cómo van sus New Year’s Resolutions?

Uno de mis propósitos este año fue to take care of myself.

Lets just say that my wellness/beauty/maintenance rituals are not up to par. Yes, I have neglected myself in this aspect and yes, it’s a concern to do something about it.

Así que tuve un “habla” conmigo misma y decidí a ponerme al tiro. Time to step up my game because I’m not getting younger and because, como dice Salma Hayek, “you have to take care of your beauty, because if you don’t, your beauty may get offended and may leave you.” (Well I’m paraphrasing, but I heard she said it somewhere. Maybe if you read it with an accent it sounds more like la Hayek-Pinault.)

Entonces, me puse muy contenta cuando mis amiguitas de Macy’s sent me their Latina Beauty Box to start the year off right. Yay Macy’s!!

Tiene un montón de samples de todo tipo, desde cremitas para mejorar el cutis con efectos “anti-aging”, mascara for mile high lashes, cosmetics, fragrances and other goodies.

All the goodies from the Latina Beauty Box I received from Macy's. Thank you!
All the goodies from the Latina Beauty Box I received from Macy’s. Thank you!

I have tried a few of their things and I’m especially liking the Shiseido Power Infusing Concentrate. It’s made for smoothing out wrinkles and feels really light. I think it makes me glow a little bit, quien sabe, maybe it’s wishful thinking but I’m enjoying it so far.

Another fabulous item was Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara. I am loving the brush, never seen anything like it. It’s a little twisted so it reaches all the lashes, every little corner, so they look quite bigger than they are.

The brush from Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara is amazing. never seen anything like this.
The brush from Lancome Grandiose Wide Angle Fan Effect Mascara is pretty cool. Never seen anything like this.
A before pic without mascara.
A before pic without mascara.
After!
After!

And I was really happy with the Clinique Box, which had a hand dark spot corrector, a CC cream, which I had been curious to try, a fabulous gloss in Black Honey, which is a flattering color even though it looks dark in the tube, and the repairwear firming cream. Todo muy padre!

Enjoying all my Clinique items very much.
Enjoying all my Clinique items very much.

A big thank you to Macy’s for hooking me up. I am enjoying everything and it’s making it easier to maintain one of my resolutions this year.

 

 

Happy New Year con la Banda Musical Delfines de Veracruz en Pasadena

Happy New Year to You!

Wishing you all mis queridos readers a wonderful 2015 and thanking you for reading a su humilde servidora en este su Spanglish blog.

I started the year off right with my morning cafecito as my Mom and I watched the Rose Parade on TV. We were waiting to see la “Banda Musical Delfines” de Veracruz, México as they made their triumphant march down Colorado Blvd. in Pasadena on the 126th edition of the Rose Parade.

And Oh.My.God!!! They were amazing, outstanding, just terrific as they marched down the parade route playing “Cielito Lindo” while forming the words I heart Mexico all the way. It brought a tear to my eye and gave me goose bumps. Even the commentary on TV said they had never seen any band do anything like this. Bravo!

Felicidades a todos los chavos y chavas de la Secundaria General Manuel R. Gutierrez “Banda Musical Delfines” de Veracruz, México y muchas gracias por alegrarme la mañana del 1ero. de enero del 2015. Muy orgullosos de ustedes!

Photos from KTLA 5 Los Angeles broadcast taken on the iPhone:

Here comes la Banda! Jan.1, 2015 on KTLA.
Here comes la Banda! Jan.1, 2015 on KTLA.
Marching down Colorado Blvd. with their vestidos veracruzanos.
Marching down Colorado Blvd. with their vestidos veracruzanos.
Tocando el Cielito Lindo.
Tocando el Cielito Lindo.
Hasta con saxofon!
Hasta con saxofon!
De Veracruz a Pasadena.
De Veracruz a Pasadena.
México! México! México!
México! México! México!
Ay, ay, ay, ay.. Canta y no llores...
Ay, ay, ay, ay.. Canta y no llores…
I Love Mexico! Si señor.
I Love Mexico! Si señor.

Baking #SimpleandSweet cookies for Santa Claus

I hope everyone had a Feliz Navidad and is enjoying the Holidays. I for one am a happy gal. I’ve practically been in my pj’s and eating “recalentado” for the last 24 hours. La Familia is in town with all the “sobrinitos”. Life is good!

This year was I was particularly enthused with the idea of holiday baking. You probably wouldn’t know this but in my house they call me the Cookie Monster. “C is for Cookie, and Cookie is for me” is one of my favorite songs, and for good reason. I LOVE LOVE LOVE a good cookie. (I have always had the doubt: how do you say Cookie Monster en español, “Monstruo Comegalletas” or “Monstruo Galletero”?)

You can imagine my joy, then, when this little box of happiness showed up at the door. The good people over at Macy’s somehow know of my love of cookies and thought I’d enjoy this holiday baking kit. Inside the box were a mason jar with all the ingredients, plus 2 cookie cutters, a wonderful spatula from Martha Stewart with a baking conversion table and a set of instructions.

This #SimpleandSweet Kit came courtesy from Macy's.  All included, easy breezy, baking set.
This #SimpleandSweet Kit came courtesy from Macy’s. All included, easy breezy, baking set.

So I got to work. You know what I love most about this kit? Everything is easy and you just need to add 2 ingredients: butter and eggs. And even though I started baking pretty late in the evening, it probably took all of 20 minutes to produce a fresh batch of delicious cookies.

Just needed to add 2 eggs and a stick of butter and mix. How easy is that?
Just needed to add 2 eggs and a stick of butter and mix. How easy is that?
Cookie batter ready to go int he oven for 15 minutes.
Cookie batter ready to go int he oven for 15 minutes.
Ready!
Ready!

Once the cookies were done, my nephews kept asking how many cookies we would leave for Santa. We all thought since he would be busy with his overnight deliveries, he would need a good deal of cookies to make it through. My nephew Luis Emilio, who is 4 years old, even suggested we leave a cup of coffee just so Santa wouldn’t fall asleep on his route. We all agreed that was a great idea and thought he would surely appreciate the gesture.

Cafe y galletitas para Santa Claus.
Cafe y galletitas para Santa Claus.

On Christmas morning, the cookies had all but disappeared. My sobrinitos were quite pleased when I told them that Santa loved his midnight munchies.  The best part about this is that the cookies were so good and so easy to make. They were instant crowd pleasers and made my inner Monstruo Galletero very happy.

Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month @Macys

October flew by and I don’t know about you but it was busy, busy, busy. Where does the time go? Can’t believe the Holidays are practically here, but that’s another story.

I wanted to recap a few noteworthy items that happened this month since it was Hispanic Heritage Month and since there were lots of interesting things going on.

Macy’s (yes, your Macy’s store) had a lot of great activities, from Fashion and Style Panels, to the annual AIDS Walk in LA, to Día de los Muertos Celebrations. I had a chance to participate with them as part of their freelance team and thought I’d share some of the event highlights.

To begin with, they had a fabulous style tour “Macy’s Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month- Los Influyentes” with 3 amazing Latinas that represent fashion, style, culture, music and social media. They are Kika Rocha, former fashion director for People en Español and muy reconocida style expert with her blog “De Tacones y Más”; Julie Sariñana, the wildly popular blogger for “Sincerely Jules”; and singer and actress Jasmine Villegas, who has a huge following on social media and just released her new album. This tour visited cities like New York, Chicago, Miami, San Antonio, Santa Clara and San Diego and these ladies talked about being an influential Latina in this digital age, as well as where they get their inspiration from and the ambition you need to pursue your dreams. Basically, they gave us their insights on how las mujeres somos lo máximo and that we have it all para lograr lo que queremos.

During the San Diego stop on October 4th in Fashion Valley, the lovely Martha Gil de Montes from Macy’s moderated the event, and everybody had a fabulous time. Here are some pictures, courtesy from Macy’s. (Great pics by Chris Eusebio.)

The Hispanic Heritage Month "Los Influyentes Panel" with Martha Gil de Montes, Kika Rocha, Julie Sariñana and Jasmine V., in San Diego, Ca. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Macy’s celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month with their “Los Influyentes” panel. From left, Martha Gil de Montes, Kika Rocha, Julie Sariñana and Jasmine V., in San Diego, Ca. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Full house at the event at Macy's Fashion Valley, San Diego, Ca. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Full house at the event at Macy’s Fashion Valley, San Diego, Ca. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Kika Rocha, style and fashion expert from "De Tacones y Más"; Julie Sariñana, from "Sincerely Jules"; and Jasmine V, singer and actress. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Kika Rocha, style and fashion expert from “De Tacones y Más”; Julie Sariñana, from “Sincerely Jules”; and Jasmine V, singer and actress. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Martha Gil de Montes and Kika share a laugh with the audience. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Martha Gil de Montes and Kika Rocha share a laugh with the audience. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
The Fall fashion trends were part of the event. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
The Fall fashion trends were part of the event. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)
Me encanta trabajar con estas dos mujeres admirables y talentosas: Martha Gil de Montes, Macy's Media Relations y Ariana Cabral, fashion stylist and author of La Catrina de la Moda blog.
Me encanta trabajar con estas dos mujeres admirables y talentosas: Martha Gil de Montes, Macy’s Media Relations y Ariana Cabral, fashion stylist and author of La Catrina de la Moda blog. (Photo credit: Chris Eusebio Photography.)

Next up, the 30th Annual AIDS Walk LA took place on October 12th and Team Macy’s again volunteered for this event and hosted their VIP breakfast at The Abbey. This is an event dear to my heart and I’ve had a chance to photograph it for 4 years now. It’s always so exciting to see people come out at the crack of dawn to do a 10K and raise money and awareness for AIDS Project Los Angeles. There were around 30 thousand people and we walked all throughout West Hollywood and West LA, enjoying the sights and the community. Bravo to everyone who came out to support, especially Team Macy’s who does such a great job with the fundraising. Thanks to Olivia, Joy, Dan and Art for the good times. Here are some pix by yours truly.

AIDS Walk LA main stage 2014.
AIDS Walk LA main stage 2014.
Team Macy's photo right before the start of the walk. (Photo credit: CBGRAPHY)
Team Macy’s photo right before the start of the walk. (Photo credit: CBgraphy.)
Durinr the walk, we ran into Paula Abdul and she was sooooo nice to everybody.
During the walk, we ran into Paula Abdul and she was super nice, posing for pictures with everybody.
En route. walking on Beverly and La Cienega, right past the Beverly Center.
En route. walking on Beverly and La Cienega, right past the Beverly Center.

Included in this trio of events, an amazing Día de los Muertos Celebration for families over at the Macy’s Montebello store. It was FUN!!! They had live Mariachi music, book reads, coloring tables, face painting, Catrinas, agua dulce and pan de muerto. No detail went unnoticed. Día de los Muertos is quickly becoming one of the most celebrated events here in L.A. and they outdid themselves with all the activities. So creative! Definitely an event to keep in mind for next year. (Felicidades Diana y Stephanie, les quedó super bonito todo.)

Macys Dia de Muertos altar
They had a beautiful altar at the Día de Muertos Celebration in Macy’s Montebello.
You could pose for pictures with this good looking Catrina pair. So elegant!
You could pose for pictures with this good looking Catrina pair. So elegant!
Great group kids performed to the tunes of Jarabe Tapatio y El Son de la Negra.
Great group kids performed to the tunes of Jarabe Tapatio y El Son de la Negra.
¡No hay nada como el Mariachi en vivo!
¡No hay nada como el Mariachi en vivo!
Book reading with the authors of "Conchita y Rosita" had all the kids mesmerized.
Book reading with Eric Gonzalez and Eric Haegar, authors of “Rosita y Conchita” had all the kids mesmerized.
Everyone got in the creative spirit. There was an arts and crafts table for making flores de papel crepe.
Everyone got in the creative spirit. There was an arts and crafts table for making flores de papel crepe.