February 16, 2012

Chef Lala & National Peanut Board Breakfast Party

I was invited to attend the Peanut Butter Breakfast hosted by Chef Lala, Sur La Table and National Peanut Board, Chef Lala showed us how to make healthy, quick and easy breakfast bites using peanut butter. Chef Lala believes in making food "deliciously fun"
 Chef is going to demonstrate how to make Crepes with the featured ingredient of the day... can you guess what it is???
if you guessed peanut butter your absolulelty correct!
Crepes toped with banana, peanut butter strawberries and bluberries
 Double Peanut Butter Bars and Peanut Butter Toastie
 Chef Lala has a line of Marinades and sauces so be on the look out for her products to be available on shelves soon
Thank you for inviting me Chef Lala, Sur La Table and National Peanut Board for all the ideas and goodies I was able to be apart of, I had a fantastic time.

Mando, my cousin Nicole a food blogger from http://www.presleyspantry.com and my good friend Lynette enjoying their breakfast
Ready, set, lets go!! its cook off time
The challenge is to come up with the best recipe using the main Ingredient: Peanut Butter
Parents and their children joining in on this food challenge, may the best team win!!

 Everything tasted great but, my absolute favorite were the Double Peanut Butter Breakfast Bars, which you have full access to all the recipes featured on this blog by visiting the National Peanut Board's website http://nationalpeanutboard.org

Double Peanut Breakfast Bars

Ingredients:1 1/2 cups whole grain flake cereal
1 cup whole grain "O" shaped cereal
1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts
1/2 cup dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots or figs
1/3 cup honey
1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar
3 tablespoons peanut butter
Preparation:In a medium bowl, stir together cereals, peanuts and dried fruit. Combine honey, brown sugar and peanut butter in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until well coated. With back of oiled spoon, press mixture into lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Cool. Cut into 9 pieces.

Nutritional Information:
Nutrition per bar: 206 calories; 5 g protein; 34 g carbohydrate; 7 g fat (3 g monounsaturated; 1 g saturated); 0 mg cholesterol; 2 g fiber; 130 mg sodium.
Makes:9 bars

Up-Cycled Chalk and Cork Message Board

Before I get in to detail of how to create your own chalkboard I must give you a history lesson on my grandfather who i get most of the antiques I will be up - cycling in the future, all of my grandpas tales we like to call them "history lessons" because some are true and allot of it is a fabricated lie with some truth to the story exactly like the man in the movie The Big Fish. That movie is made after my grandpa when I seen that movie I though oh my gosh someone is making money on Mr. Perez's history lessons. Here is the lesson for everybody who doesn't know my grandpa one of his passions are to collect antiques, and when I say collect lets just say he sleeps on top of them literally. My grandfather is one of the most giving men and self less individuals who lives below his means not because he cant afford to but, because he doesn't need too. He has allot of property and doesn't need live in a mansion to show his happiness he lives in a large property in a humbling environment surrounded by what he calls treasures. He is always putting other peoples goals and wants before his own. he enjoys seeing others happy by being able to give what he has in order to brighten up someone else's day, but he does have a strong personality and allot of times we must stay clear because when hes not in the best of moods run!.
He is constantly on the search for new treasures and sometimes he will borrow my van just so he wont have to pass up on a big item like a door or something in Rhode Iron, ouu that's is his favorite Rhode Iron and heavy chandeliers the most heaviest things have the most value to him. he can mearly manage to carry it but, somehow or another he will manage to get it home.

Once getting those "treasures" home he decides who he will gift the item to, it usually will go to his kids or grand children depending on what it is. It always has to stay amongst family so that way when  he visits he gets to see what he brought and oh yes he tells us where we should put it or in my case ill have to pull it out or hang something in a blink of an eye if I know hes coming over other wise he will ask where is that particular item he gave me. Every one of us in his family will tease him not to his face tough because, hell be offended we don't appreciate his antiques but some of the things he brings are just outrageous. We have to take it because, if not he will stay upset with us and tell us "the hell with it then" and even though he is speaking in general, he means the hell with the person who doesn't like his taste and he will make a face stay mad the entire time otherwise.

We all laugh in amazement myself included, at some of the things he finds, sometimes we just cant help it to look at it like Ariel in the movie The Little Mermaid how Ariel discovers the fork and is amazed but, doesn't know what the heck it is, that's exactly how we react to "the yonkero's" junk collection we refer to him as "the yonkero" (in other words junk hoarder). I cant make fun of him anymore since, his syndrome has started to rub off on me and I get excited to snoop around in the backyard and throughout his garage. I have to be sneaky about it though because, if he knows i have an interest in something he owns he gets nervous and starts asking me "what you gonna do with it?" and that's the truth he will say it just like that worried i may steal the rest of his treasures ha ha. As a matter of fact I went noising around in the pool area where he has 80 percent of his finds stored in the pool yup i said it. That's is accurate they are stashed in the pool area theres no water in the pool just antiques and treasures to him but to others just plain old junk. Keep in mind he has the biggest pad lock on the door to the pool too just in case someone such as myself may want to steal his things or as he would say "they stoled it" it makes no sense to anybody else but it just means someone is always going to be blamed for when things go missing and it usually is never stolen they just end up elsewhere possibly because there's so many "treasures" around he don't remember where he placed the "treasure". My grand[a Carmelo is Mexican American and speak both English and Spanish but sometimes his words seem to sound a bit odd because he combines two words to one and flips the second word first or makes up names for things that are similar or sounds like they belong for instance, burger king is called "king burgers" and to say leave him alone he says "leave it alone" theres plenty more saying he says and we tease him about it but for so many years we made fun of his saying it caught up to my family as well as, myself sadly that's what happens when your around someone for so long you pick up on his habits. We all understand what hes trying to say but will still laugh especially his grandchild because, some of the things he says we wonder where did he get that? all he watches is The Discovery Channel, The Simpson's, The History Channel and sports. Many times i catch myself speaking funny of not making sense i know its grandpa syndrome ha ha, I didn't realize i was saying anything wrong the other day till my cousins all looked me weird with their eyes hugely and began laughing at me then i realized what i said, i wanted to say leave me some room because i was hanging Christmas lights and i was afraid if they hung them too tight when adding another strand of light to connect together the electricity would have a short or my bulbs would pop so instead of saying give it some room, i said "let it some room" in mind there was nothing wrong with what i was saying, i knew what i meant and they did too because that's the kind of logic we hear all the time at grandpa Carmelo's house however, since i said it they had to stop laugh and call me out on it for always making fun of grandpas none sense words. I could laugh about it now but at the time i was like oh gosh, be quiet you all know what i meant just get back to work.  Now that you have a little history on where I got this door you can understand that there will be more antiques i up cycle and no they wont be from a yard sale, thrift store or anywhere else there coming from either my uncles garage of treasures or my grandfathers pool. As i was mentioning above my grandpa is very giving when it comes to money and things but if its about his antiques he has to be the one to give it to you, he dislikes people picking what they want because he knows his things have value to them and he wants to keep it forever and ever till it rots or gets infested with termites like it usually will. I was rushed in and out of the pool so quick he told me "okay ma gay you got it" translation (get out now you got what you wanted leave my stuff alone) min around 500 cabinet doors in there but yet he managed to count how many i took, yes i said 500 and no I'm definitely not exaggerating i will need to take a picture for you to see. He wont like that I'm capturing his things on camera, he may think somebody will see the picture and come and "stoled it" because, Justine showed "those peoples" (another word phrase he uses)
those of you who don't know Carmelo personally he says things that its hard to comprehend what hes trying to convey, he mixes up words by shortening some and adding in his own to where the meaning gets a bit misunderstood. It completely makes sense to him so he expects other to understand but , if you don't he will be upset and walk away. At his present age which is, 83 he has decided to start cussing more often and from time to time when upset if somebody doesn't understand him he will say this famous phrase "the hell with them" and he isn't talking about a group of people its usually just one person but he refers to singular as a plural and vise verse.
sentence just so many of us since, then it trickled down to even myself. I went on a scavenger hunt in my grandpas backyard and at my uncle Carlos as well and stumbled upon this old bi fold door it looks as if it was sitting in the garage maybe 10 years, again I'm not kidding when I speak on these men they have everything in their garages and backyards, alot of things are the same they have 3 of everything just in case "someone stoleded one"

**Usually I have no problem finding antiques to up cyle which is why I rumage through my uncles garage or my grandpa's. This project took me two weeks because I was working of five all at once and some pieces needed more work than others. This is a very time consuming task so, if your the typr of person with little patients it probably wont be wise you tackle this one. There are several steps steps to be taken so lets get started.**

*bi- fold door
*masking tape
*edging sander for the tough to get grooves in the wood pain
*safety goggle
*nose mask
*Rust - Oleum satin paint in black
*spongue roller
*Rust - Oleum chalkboard spray paint or paint in the can
*paint thinner just in case you have any mishaps
*hooks to hang things off of like a dog leash or purse for example

Since I wont be using the entire door, you will need to take apart one side of the door. Slide out the wood pain and keep the side that has entire wood pain framed

sand the entire surface to get a smooth area using your sander
make sure to sand every groove and corner as well

start by painting the surface with a base coat, its easier to use black since the wood will then be sprayed in black chalk paint after 

using masking tape, tape off all the areas that wont be painted in black

use a foam paint brush and dont use alot of paint, you want light and thin even coats then let it dry for one hour before applying a second coat

now spray an even coat of the chalkboard paint and let that dry for one hour before applying the next coat of chalk paint. Add hooks for hanging bags, keys or dog leash
Supplies for corkboard:
*masking tape
*spray mount
*xacto knife or utlity knife
*tape measure
*Ruler triangle
*Elmers glue
*cork in the size desired for the surface

tape off the outer area that you dont want to get sprayed with the adhesive spray mount and let that sit for 15 minutes

spray a generous portion of spray mount to the cork as well and nail it down to a piece of wood so it lays flat and wont curl up and stick to itself, wait 15 minutes before placing it on the wood, it needs to be tacky enough so it can stick.

using the measuring tape and triangle ruler measure out how big you want the cork, take either an xactor or utlity knife for precision cuts. Do not force the blade to make a single cut, be gentle with the cork and run the blade several times before the cut is all the way through the cork. It may take 6 cuts for it to loosen and it will release itself dont pull it off this will rip the cork.

now that you are ready to glue the cork to the wood, I used steel rods to prevent the cork from touching the wood, this spray will stick immediatly which is why i positioned rods in between the two materials so it will give me a chance to see where it will sit and hopefully its centered.
no turning back, once the cork touches the wood its stuck permanently
it looks like its centered now using a roller smooth out any air bubbles and work fast
let it dry over night with something that will weigh enough to keep it stuck together. place a towel over the entire suface then place heavy books or paints can work well as long the entire surface is distributed in weight evently
Another message board I made

Some other examples you can do with chalkboard paint:
Simply tape off the area you would like to write in and the rest is history. Its a great way to express and greeting or get a mental note to the recipient drinking from here. I think this mug will be handy to express your moods and how your feeling at the office ha ha so if its not the brightest day your co-workers can read your mug and know not to mess with you

February 15, 2012

Chocolate Toffee Pretzel Chunks

This recipe is so easy your can close your eyes doing it, I recommend kids gets involved in this one as well. I figured I want to make some cute food labels because, its looks great on a table and its also, helpful to allow your guest to see exactly what they are eating. Since, food allergies are a constant struggle for some its, especially vital that people can read the main ingredients and decide whether they want to digest it. As delicious as everything looks it was just as delectable to enjoy and satisfy our tummy's.
I attended an event with my cousin Nicole, where you can find her Jalapeno Poppers and Mac & Cheese Cups recipe here http://www.presleyspantry.com I made them myself for my family and friends today and they were the talk of the day, super Delicious!!! my Nina was raving about them to all her friends after tasting them.
I decided to set up a cupcake station that way all guests are able to decorate their own cupcake the way they want it so, i set up a array of sprinkles to choose from.
*Snyder's Pretzel sticks
*Kellogg's Rice Krispies Cereal
*Kraft Jet- Puffed Marshmallows
*Nestle toll house chocolate morsels
*Heath toffee bits
*cupcake sleeves
*a sauce pan and large pot to melt the chocolate over a double broiler
your first going to melt the chocolate in a large enough bowl using a double broiler 
Have all the ingredients ready to pour into a large bowl to mix in everything. break the pretzels in small pieces and chop down the marshmallow's.
once the chocolate gets melted pour in all the ingredients and rice krispies to mix everything up all together and pour them in the cupcake sleeves using a large spoon 
now refrigerate over night and walla 
For the Whipped Cream Frosting Recipe: See my Alcohol Infused Cupcake & Whipped Cream Frosting recipe

*2lbs Confectioners Sugar
*Vanilla extract
*Heavy Whipping Cream

Bravo for Restaurant Week

 "Bravo" for Restaurant week Mikey says, Dine LA celebrated it 5th anniversary
this year and in honor of their celebration they have given southern California residents a break by cutting the prices on their menu for one week only. We were able to take advantage of a full 3 course meal at a less expensive price. We choose Il Fornaio located in Pasadena.
like any great Italian restaurant, we started off with french bread, Mikey is a big fan of bread he seen the waiter bring out the rolls and he said 'bravo"

First course: Bruschetta Callada [basil and kalamata olives topped on garlic ciabatta bread] and Insalata del fornaio [mixed greens, croutons and shaved Parmesan] Mikey choose Chicken tenders and french fries.

The Second course:
Conchiglie Al Pollo [shell pasta, chicken and broccoli and sun dried tomatoes on pecorino cheese] and Salmon on Spinach insalata

Third Course:
Zabaione alla Gritti [ Bellini Sorbet with berries and whipped cream] by looking at Mikey's facial expression I'm sure you don't need any words to describe these yummy desserts.
Crespelle di Mele [crepes filled with pastry cream, vanilla gelato and caramel]
After we enjoyed all these fine foods, we really needed to walk off our stomachs and do some shopping. I know what your all probably thinking, they took the elevator after eating all this food? yes we did only because, I wasn't going to carry the stroller up all the stairs at H&M and Forever 21 so yes we did, and he loved the ride going up.

Alcohol Infused Cupcakes & Whipped Cream Frosting

Lets get Cupcake Wasted...
I already baked the cupcakes ahead of time using the Duncan Hines Confetti Mix and have left them to cool over night, now you will pierce holes in the cupcakes using a fork not to deep just enough to fill them with the vodka and Jell-O mixture.
*If you don't have a kitchen Aid mixer a hand mixer will work just fine
*1/2 cup vodka I used the Costco Kirkland brand, any vodka will work
*1 package of Jell-O blueberry flavor
*piping bag
*#1 M decorating tips any

Whipped Creme Frosting:
*2 lbs bag of Confectioners Sugar, you will use the full bag to make the frosting will make for 24 cupcakes and some left over depending on the size tip you use to pipe
*1/2 pint Ultra- Pasteurized Heavy Whipping Cream
*1 tsp vanilla Extract

keep the whipped creme refrigerated until you will use it and don't re-refrigerate because the frosting will get too runny and will not harden as its supposed to.

Follow the directions on the back of the Jello-O box and replace 1 cup of cold water with vodka the extra Jello-O can be used to make Jell-O shots as I did or finger Jello-O its totally up to you.
now that you pierced the top of cupcakes use a teaspoon to fill them be generous with your spoonfuls, I poured about 6 teaspoon fulls to each and left them in the cupcake tin refrigerate because the vodka and Jell-O mixture will leak through the cupcake sleeve. I'm not sure about you but I don't want to have to clean up my refrigerator any more than i have to so less mess is best for me.

Whipped Creme Frosting;
In the stand mixer add the 2 pounds of Confectioners Sugar, 1 teaspoon full of vanilla extract, add half of heavy whipping cream and start to whisk in. Set the mixer at a speed of 4 and gradually add in the rest of the heavy cream and once its has started to thicken and looks like its getting its peaks its done.

it should have peaks and look like this, scrape off the sides with a spatula and whisk that it too, continuously stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure all the sugar gets mixed in and then place in the refrigerator for 2 hour. Once it has set in the refrigerator you can begin to pipe your cupcakes and be creative like I did with these Jello-O shots like I did.
In celebration to the super bowl I also made New York inspired Jell-O shots with the same vanilla whipped cream on top they are infused with vodka as well.