There is Always Time for Family and Food | Nacho {bar} + DIY Corn Chips tutorial

Friday, September 22, 2017

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #ServeWithACoke #SoloConCocaCola #CollectiveBias

This month is Hispanic Heritage Month and I instantly think of my abuela and everything she has taught me, especially cooking.  My love for cooking comes from her.  She is the one who taught me how to cook when I was a little girl and still continues to teach me new recipes.  She is always in the kitchen cooking for the ones she loves and I've grown up to be the same way.  It has taken me years to "perfect" some of her Mexican recipes and although they will never be as good as she makes it, I'm not doing too bad.

Growing up with a Mexican family, I remember my childhood being a blast every time we got together and I remember we always made time for each other.  Our gatherings were loud, crowded and filled with love and a lot of amazing food.  

My abuela has 7 kids, 23 grand-kids and 39 great-grandchildren and that isn't including spouses.  I hope that gives you an idea of what our cook-outs and holidays looked like.

Since I did learn the majority of my cooking from my grandmother, I learned to cook big meals.  When I say big, I mean meals that could feed my little family of 4 for days.  So naturally, I love cooking for crowds, especially when it comes to Mexican food and sharing my Mexican culture with others. 

She also taught me that there is always time for family.  Since I don't have any family in Florida, I've made some great friends who I consider family and this week I was able to share an easy meal that fed all of us.  A nacho bar was just what this week called for after returning from our evacuation due to Hurricane Irma.  We all sat around, caught up on how we are doing and shared a cold Coca-Cola™ together.

The cold Coca-Cola and the spicy homemade salsa hit the spot.  Coca-Cola was always a treat growing up.  It wasn't something that my mom kept in the house, but I could always count on it being at our family gatherings. There is just something about it that brings back old memories and it continues to be a part of new memories.  I love that I was able to share a few of my favorite recipes and drink with my "framily".

This week I actually should have been spending time with my abuela, but our plans changed because of the storm.   This get together was a nice reminder of everything she has taught me over the years.  The spices and flavors took me back!  I even made homemade corn chips using Guerrero corn tortillas!  They were delicious and so easy to do that I've included a tutorial below and a printable for your own DIY Nacho Bar.  Do you have certain foods that take you back to your culture or your childhood?

Head here to find more recipes to Serve with a Coke!


Enjoy! (Recipes below)

Corn Chips:
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • Guerrero Corn Tortillas
Lightly brush oil on corn tortillas.
Cut in triangles.
Place on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until toasted and crispy.

Homemade Salsa:
  • 2-3 jalapenos
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
Boil onion and jalapenos until soft.
Place all ingredients in blender.
Blend until desired consistency.
Add salt. 

Mexican Street Corn Dip:
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups corn
  • 1 jalapeno (seeded and diced)
  • 2 tbsp Mayo
  • Juice of one lime 
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp fresh cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove (pressed)
  • queso fresco 
Melt butter on medium heat.
Add corn and jalapeno. Cook until slightly charred.
Stir in additional ingredients.
Serve immediately.

Homemade Taco Seasoning:
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 4 tsp oregano 
  • 3 tbsp chili powder 
Mix together.
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Fall Fun (and Fashion) on the Farm!

Friday, September 15, 2017

It may still be 90 degrees in Florida, but Fall has arrived here in Kentucky and we are enjoying every bit of it before heading back home this weekend.  If you couldn't tell by the scarf, hat and riding boots that weren't exactly necessary, but I still wore anyhow. ;)

It has been in the 60s and low 70s our entire visit.  We took full advantage of that and went straight to the apple orchards immediately. We found a cute little spot in Owensboro, KY that has a play area for kids.  It was filled with pumpkins, apple picking, train rides, a petting zoo, horse and pony rides and a huge jumping pad.  We ended it all with yummy apple slushies! What more could you ask for when it comes to Fall fun?  

The girls absolutely loved it and I love that they got to wear their new Matilda Jane dresses.  I have been dying to put them on them and it will be a few more months until they can wear them back home.  I even got to wear my new Pink Blush dress that was perfect for this weather.

I love how versatile my dress is and I've been able to wear it multiple times and achieve different looks.  It's perfect for the transition from Summer to Fall and even Fall to Winter.  It's soft and super comfortable. Add a scarf or a vest, the possibilities for this dress seem endless.  This is definitely going to be a staple in my closet the rest of this year.  

What is your favorite Fall accessory/outfit?  

Shop our looks:

This post is sponsored by PinkBlush Maternity Clothing and also contains affiliate links.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and honest.
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Our "Hurrication" and How We Are Making the Best of It

Monday, September 11, 2017

I want to start by thanking everyone again for keeping us and the entire state of Florida in your thoughts and prayers.  Our plans changed drastically last week when it looked like Hurricane Irma was heading straight towards us.  Originally, my mom was scheduled to fly in from Texas last Wednesday, spend the week with us and then we would make the drive together back to Texas to visit with family and friends. 

Our week started out fine.  I went to the grocery store and prepared for my mom's visit.  I woke up on Tuesday and went to bible study knowing about the hurricane, but not worried.  As I left there, I realized it wasn't safe for us to stay. 

I tried not to panic, but I'm not going to lie, I was scared

Scared to leave my husband under the conditions (and so abruptly) and scared to leave our home. A home that we have made ours over the last 3 1/2 years. A home where Michael proposed to me in when we became the owners and a home where we have brought both of our girls home to from the hospital.  

We immediately cancelled my mom's flight, I packed as much as I could in the rush of it all and we headed to Kentucky to be with my in-laws the next day.  As much as I didn't want to leave and I was disappointed that we weren't going to Texas, I love visiting my in-laws and I was looking forward to the change in weather.

The last few days since being here have been hard. I've have been worried about my husband and the uncertainty of it all.  I am so thankful he made the decision to grab our dog, gather a few more things we cherish and leave Florida Saturday morning.

My girls and I have taken trips out of state without my husband before, but nothing like this; rushed, nervous and alone with two toddlers.  He made it to us late Saturday night and we watched and prayed as the storm went through our city yesterday.

In the meantime, Emma and Charlotte have been having the time of their lives visiting their grandparents. They continue to keep me busy, which has been a good distraction.  The storm is least for us and I now feel like I can enjoy the Fall weather.  

We have had a hot dog roast, S'mores by the campfire, blown countless bubbles, gone to the apple orchard and done a little paddle boating.  We are definitely making the best of our time here before we head back to Florida to help clean up the mess Hurricane Irma has left behind.

Our home update:  We had some friends go by our house to look at some of the damage.  So far, our back fence is down and there is some debris.  Nothing major and we are extremely grateful for that.  My husband is heading back to Florida without us to check things out.  We are praying that he has a safe drive given the storm is heading North and will join him once we know more about our city and our house.
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The Kimpton Hotel Palomar | Washington, D.C.

Friday, September 1, 2017

For my 30th birthday, my husband wanted to do something special for me.  We had been talking about taking a trip somewhere for the last year, but couldn't decide where we wanted to go...and well, kids.  We discussed a few places and none of them really sounded that great until my husband called and asked me what I thought about Washington, D.C.  I didn't even have to think about it and told him that was a wonderful idea.  He had never been and it had been almost 15 years since I had visited.

We decided to stay at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar in Dupont Circle.  The location is amazing and I love everything it had to offer, from the luxurious rooms, the outdoor heated pool to the in-room spa services and more.  Not to mention complimentary happy hour in the evenings!  It is also within walking distance of some incredible restaurants, shopping and unique coffee shops.

I love how welcoming the hotel staff was when we arrived.  They truly made us feel like family and were there if we needed anything at all and were quick to accommodate us.   Who doesn't love walking into a sweet note, champagne and chocolate covered strawberries?  No one, that's who.  It was perfect for our first night in D.C. and a great way to celebrate my 30th birthday.

We didn't want to waste any of our long weekend, so our flight arrived early and we were able to check in before 10am and get our day started.  We stayed in the King Deluxe Suite and it truly exceeded our expectations.  The decor was modern, it was colorful and the spa bathroom was incredible.  It was the perfect place to come back to after walking around and exploring the city all day. 

By far, my favorite part of our room was the spa bathroom.  It was so relaxing and there is nothing like unwinding in a luxury Fuji soaking tub with a glass of wine.  The shampoo, conditioner and body wash they provided took things to another level.  They smelled incredible and are definitely products I plan to purchase in the future.  I highly recommend upgrading your room to include this treat.

We had such an amazing time visiting Washington, D.C. and really enjoyed our stay at the Kimpton Hotel Palomar.  It was definitely a birthday trip to remember!  What has been your favorite birthday memory?  Did you take a special trip?  Let me know in the comments :)

Thank you to the Kimpton Hotel Palomar for partnering with us and for our amazing stay.  As always, all opinions are 100% my own and honest.
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