October 2, 2015

Queso Fundido Recipe and Decor Tips from Que Rica Vida

This is part of a sponsored collaboration with DiMeMedia and General Mills. However, all opinions expressed are my own.
Growing up, the thing I looked forward to most was our family gatherings. I loved showing up at my grandmas house and seeing all of the tables put together with mismatched old embroidered tablecloths brought back from Mexico. The house always smelled of delicious food that you knew had been cooking all day and the volume of my entire family under one roof talking all at once was never too loud to bare, it was comforting. Now, as an adult I am the one cooking all day long and putting all of the tables together. However, mismatched tablecloths would drive me crazy and I must admit, I spend a lot more time on decor than mi abuela. 

Our generation has a lot of potential for throwing amazing family events. For one, we have our mothers and grandmothers to thank for all of the traditional recipes that they passed down and shared with us. Also, along with the internet we have endless inspiration at our fingertips, including awesome websites like QueRicaVida.com

QueRicaVida re-launched its website featuring enhanced content and new layout and design. The new platform provides ideas for Latina Moms looking for recipes and quick and easy meal ideas. My favorite part of QueRicaVida is that is incredibly mobile-friendly. Members can print coupons and have access to in-store deal locators and grocery card-linked offers.
This recipe, found on QueRicaVida.com, called out my name. This Queso Fundido is going to be my new go-to dish for any upcoming family gatherings. Because, everyone loves a spicy cheesy dip! Right? 
The ingredients are simple and few, just the way I like it. 
2 poblano peppers
1 teaspoon oil
Salt to taste
3 tablespoons Mexican cream
1/2 cup salsa verde
1 cup shredded Monterey Jack or mozzarella cheese
Chopped cilantro, to taste
Tortillas or corn chips
*Note: I doubled the amounts to feed 20-25 people
Easy Step-by-Step Instructions:
1. Heat oven to 375°F.
2. Cover a baking dish with aluminum foil and place the peppers in it. Sprinkle some oil and a pinch of salt over the peppers.
3. Bake on each side until the skin is wrinkled and brown in color.
4. Remove the peppers from the oven and peal the skin off completely, along with the seeds.
5. Cut the peppers into long strips and set aside.
6. Mix the cream in a pan at low heat with the salsa verde and part of the pepper strips.
7. Remove from the fire when the mixture thickens.
8. Add the shredded cheese and let melt in the mixture.
9. Add the rest of the peppers.
10. Serve immediately, sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with hot tortillas or corn chips.

 I have to say my Queso Fundido with Salsa Verde was a nice and spicy addition to a table filled with other great dishes that you can find at QueRicaVida.com.
When planning the beverages for your event or family gathering, Jarritos are the way to go. Their assortment ranges from their Mineragua to their real-fruit flavors. #JarritosSuperGood
Check out that spread! There were so many delicious recipes brought to the table that day and along with all of the decorative items, it was just so beautiful. Our hosts, Nicole Presley of Presley's Pantry and Ericka Sanchez of Nibbles and Feasts shared some helpful tips on how to find inspiration for table decor. 
3 tips on how to decorate a table:
1.Use fresh fruit and vegetables, they add so much color and smell amazing!
2. Use items found in nature, such as pine cones, twigs, leaves and flowers. 
3. Pick up items little by little as they start to appear in store, this helps to spread out the spending. Also, don't be afraid to shop at thrift stores or dollar stores for a good deal. 
A successful day is when everyone comes together with a common goal; to share good food and have great conversation. I was so happy to finally meet Art of LatinoFoodie, his empanadas were amazing, but check out his carving skills too! Oh, and those cream cheese, broccoli and jalapeno pinwheels had so much flavor, they are on my, "Need to Make" recipe list. I also finally met and got to chat with Denisse Montalvan who does amazing things with The Orphaned Earring.
I am so glad to share recipes and tips with you that I learned from the re-launch event for QueRicaVida.com. Make sure to follow QueRicaVida on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram for deals and new recipe ideas to help you get ready for the holidays. 

October 1, 2015

Sweeten Up Your Day with Toaster Strudel™

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by General Mills through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Toaster Strudel™, all opinions are my own.

Last year was a struggle every morning to get the girls out the door in time for school. This year I vowed to try to make things different, easier on me and in turn easier on them. The thing they look forward to most when they wake up is their morning treat. They eat breakfast at school, so I like to give them just a little something sweet to get them started on their day. So this year, they have a list!
My oldest daughter responds well to lists now that she can read. She sees it as a sort of challenge; this is our Good Morning list. Once they do everything on their list, they get to chill out, have a snack and watch cartoons before they head off to school. When they saw me pick out Toaster Strudel™ Strawberry Pastries at the market, they could not wait to try them, so of course, that means they had to get up and ready for school as quickly as they can.
I can't believe I didn't try this trick last year, but the promise of a strawberry-filled Toaster Strudel™ really lit a fire under them. They get up and dressed and ready for school so fast now and without any discussion. Decorating their pastry is like the highlight of their morning. 
Did you know Toaster Strudel™  has been around for 30 years? They are celebrating their 30th birthday by putting 30% more icing in all Toaster Strudel™ packages! I don't know about you, but I've always felt like I could use just a little bit more icing. 
I've been meaning to teach my daughter how to do origami and I thought this would be the perfect opportunity; why not make a napkin cozy pocket for the Toaster Strudel™. If you would like to make one of these with your kids, just follow the simple step-by-step photos above. It's really simple and easy enough for my 6-year-old. As a mom, I feel like I'm always looking for something new to teach them, something new to keep them busy, and something new to excite them. I love that Toaster Strudel™ definitely makes our days a little bit sweeter.

September 30, 2015

Taking Care of the Car That Takes Us on our Adventures #CambioConfiable

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CambioConfiable #CollectiveBias

You know those ice breaker questions that you have to answer when you are introducing yourself to a big group? All of a sudden you have to come up with something interesting about yourself. Well, here you go, something interesting about me: Up until a year ago, I didn't drive a car for two years. A few years back I was a stay at home mom and just started blogging and went through a phase where my anxiety controlled my life and I just couldn't drive. It took me two years to finally get a handle on my anxiety and have felt like such a free bird since then. 
Most adults would find it impossible to not drive for years at a time, but my life was pretty simple at the time. I was a stay at home mom, my girls went to school 1/2 a mile from our home and I would run errands with my mom or wait for my husband to get home. The weekends were spent together as a family going places together, it was comforting for me to not have to drive.
That all changed as my girls got older, they were not babies anymore, and they did not need me to care for them the same. I now had to discover who I was as an adult and as a woman. Now, I would find it very hard to give up the freedom I feel when I get to grocery shop during the day and stop at Starbucks whenever I want. Another favorite is driving through Downtown LA at night, my city is so pretty at night.
If you follow me on Instagram, then you get to see where our carrito takes us. Some of our favorite places are the LA Zoo, Knott's Berry Farm, the park, and of course the beach. Without our car, we wouldn't be able to experience priceless moments like this one. 
Also, my on the road Snapchat selfie game has never been better. 
None of this would be possible without a reliable mode of transportation. Our little white Sable is our family car. Our carrito takes my husband to work, my girls to and from school, and is my partner when it's time for me to escape my house. My husband and I love to play our music really loud, we are the family that you see singing really loud in the car next to you. 
One of the errands I was oddly excited about doing was taking our carrito in for a much needed oil change. I was told that the Walmart Auto Care Center had great prices and friendly service, so I had to check it out. 
Overall, I had a great experience. From the time I pulled up I had a really friendly mechanic take down all of my information. I asked for Quaker State Advanced Durability Motor Oil and he let me know that it would probably be about an hour and half because I was third in line. I was perfectly fine with that, I spent an hour and half walking around Walmart picking up both necessary and unnecessary items. When I went to check on my car, the very same friendly man told me it was still going to be about an hour. On most days, especially if I had the kids with me, I would not be happy about the long wait. But, like I mentioned before I welcome the freedom to spend time alone. I sat in the Auto Care Center lobby and made my to-do list, ate a snack, and watched a soap opera that was on the TV.
When my car was done I was really pleased with the service. My car felt great, in fact, it felt grateful. Have you ever noticed how happy your car drives when you fill the gas tank, get an oil change and wash the car? I was so happy to get into my carrito and notice my car vacuumed and windshield washed too. It's such a great feeling, especially when it doesn't break your wallet. 

The next time your car is in need of an oil change or tires, check out the Walmart Auto Care Center. The prices are great, especially on the Quaker State Advanced Durability motor oil.
Have you ever used the Walmart Auto Care Center? 

September 29, 2015

Getting Hulk Ready this Halloween #AvengersUnite

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #AvengersUnite #CollectiveBias

Even though we start talking about Halloween costumes in August, we don't usually decide on what we are going to be until late September/early October. The deciding is the hard part because we usually choose a few different costumes for the various activities we go to during October. This year, is a little bit different than the years past. This year, my daughter is proving that girls can be the Hulk too! 
I love having two little girls and although they love being girly and princesses and everything pink and sparkly, we always made it a point to introduce them to superheroes and teach them to play with cars and bows and arrows. You get what I'm saying right? Girls can do anything boys can do, including dressing up as the Incredible Hulk! 
While shopping at Walmart the other day we spent a lot of time looking through all the new costumes. We had a few favorites but honestly, my husband and I kinda loved the Avengers costumes and secretly hoped my girls would choose a superhero. Especially for those prices! I talked about our obsession with the Hulk here a few months ago. Well, with the release of MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron on Blu-ray/DVD on October 2nd, (in only a few days) our excitement level is a little bit higher than normal. 
The Avengers are everywhere! They've even invaded the snack section of Walmart. I found Avengers granola bars and string cheese and thought they would make for the perfect additions to a superhero themed school lunch. Even better, they would be perfect snacks for a MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron viewing party, which of course, is in the very near future. 
 You should definitely go stock up, especially at those prices. 
There are a lot of Marvel options for your kids to choose from at Walmart. He or She can choose from the Hulk, Black Widow, Thor, Captain America, Ultron, Vision, Iron Man, and Hawk Eye. If your daughter is like mine and wants to be the girl version of a superhero, well then Walmart is the perfect place to shop. I picked up a roll of purple and green tulle along with a piece of elastic and made her a Hulk tutu. Yes, I know the Hulk would not like to wear a tutu. But, this is the girl version, this is if the Hulk were a girl. Of course, she would have a matching tutu and bow in her hair.
As you can see by my daughters funny face, she is LOVING her SHE-Hulk costume. I think she looks cute, she thinks she looks tough and strong. She also mentioned that the costume is really comfortable, like wearing pajamas, so that's a definite plus. 

Be sure to check out all the fun MARVEL character costumes and don't forget MARVEL's The Avengers: Age of Ultron is out on Blu-Ray/DVD on October 2nd! I would love to hear about your MARVEL Halloween dress up plans, let me know in the comments below. Or tweet me @kindasillymommy.

September 25, 2015

Great Family Deal at Wienerschnitzel #VoyPor5

This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Wienerschnitzel and Latina Bloggers Connect.
Every Mom needs a day off from cooking dinner, but once you make the decision not to cook, then you need to make a decision about where to go for dinner. Well, you love a good deal right? Right now Wienerschnitzel has the ultimate Mix & Match combination available for a limited time, 5 chili dogs or corn dogs for only $5.95! That is such a great deal to feed the whole family! Does your family love Wienerschnitzel too? My girls are always excited to pull up to their famous yellow roof. 
Wienerschnitzel, the world's largest hot dog chain started in California in 1961. As the world's largest hot dog chain, it has been family owned since day one, over 50 years ago. I love when restaurants have a history. 
Although Wienerschnitzel chili dogs are only 270 calories and their corn dogs are made with chicken franks, you can upgrade their dog to an all-beef Angus or hearty Polish just by asking. 
Wienerschnitzel has an awesome loyalty program called Wiener Rewards that let’s you earn FREE food. Download the app and start earning today!
Can you guess the other reason my girls love Wienerschnitzel? Yes, Tastee Freez soft serve cones! I love those too.
Earlier this week while visiting Wienerschnitzel for an event, I ran into an old friend from high school, DJ Evelyn Sicairos. DJ Evelyn is on air from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on 101.9 FM in Los Angeles. It was so great seeing her again and I can honestly tell you she hasn't changed much since high school, in a good way. Even back then you couldn't help but fall in love with her, she has such a fun, silly and kind personality and I think it's so cool that she gets to share that with everyone that tunes in to her show. 

So now tell me what will you order? 5 Corn Dogs? 5 Chili Dogs? or Mix and Match?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Wienerschnitzel . The opinions and text are all mine.