February 25, 2015

Perfect for Lent: Fish Tacos with Creamy Chipotle Sauce #VivaLaMorena

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

When I was 11 years old I took a trip to mi abuelas hometown of Guanajuato, Mexico to visit mi gran abuelito before he passed away. That trip was life changing and I went through a major culture shock especially when my car broke down outside of a slaughter house and after seeing animals being sold in a marketplace, I left Mexico a changed young lady. Most practicing Catholics don't eat meat on Fridays during Lent, but I gave it up completely and didn't eat a single piece of meat for 6 years. I will always remember mi abuleas recipes that were specific for Lent, especially her tacos del horno and fried potato cakes. Now, I have my own traditional non-meat recipes and today I am sharing my favorite fried fish tacos with a creamy chipotle sauce with the help of La Morena

I am a new fan of La Morena, I love it's authentic ingredients, it is a Mexican food brand that lets you incorporate a true taste of Mexico into your own home cooking. Opening a can of La Morena chiles takes me and my kitchen back to mi abuealas home cooked meals that I miss so much. 
Do you like fish? I know a lot of people shy away from cooking fish at home, but not me, I love fish and especially fish tacos. Although I make them pretty often during the summer, I think I mostly love the versatility of them. Today I am sharing my recipe for the easy, but delicious Creamy La Morena Chipotle Sauce to top my fish tacos.

I went to my neighborhood Food 4 Less store to purchase all of my ingredients for my fish tacos.
 La Morena 7oz Chipotle Peppers
2 lbs Swai Fish fillets
1 package Fish Fry 
(You can use any batter you desire but I use Louisiana style Fish Fry, It's spicy.)
1 cabbage sliced (or cole slaw)
2 cloves of Garlic
Corn Tortillas
16 oz. Crema con sal (Sour cream)
Queso Fresco (crumbly cheese)
Salt and Pepper
1. Heat skillet with oil and prepare to fry. Once fish is covered in batter, place in oil for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove from oil when lightly browned and set aside. 
2. Open can of La Morena Chipotle in adobo sauce and empty into a food processor along with 2 garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and pepper and a cup of crema (sour cream). Blend until creamy.
3. Warm tortillas on a comal or in a microwave to soften. 
4. Build your taco: a piece of fried fish, topped with shredded cabbage, creamy Chipotle sauce, and crumbles of queso fresco. 
I also used La Morena sliced Jalapeños to create a creamy jalapeño sauce as another option, by using the same directions as the chipotle cream sauce. 
I've shared my favorite recipes and traditions so tell me, what is your favorite non-meat or Lent inspired recipe? I could always use fresh ideas. I hope you enjoy your fish tacos with creamy chipotle or jalapeño sauce. 
La Morena is hosting a great giveaway and I know my readers love giveaways, so go enter! 

February 23, 2015

Here for a Moment

As I sit here in the first quiet moments of my day, I open my laptop and start working. I begin with responding to emails, working on my lists, checking my social media accounts, I even start working on a photo project, I literally have 15 tabs open. And then, in an instant, my world is rocked by sad news. I am left speechless, my heart races, tears well up in my eyes and I can no longer see my computer screen. It is not an easy burden to carry, to be a mother who has a baby in heaven. Whenever someone asks me how many children I have, I think three. I want to say three. But I say two, because on this earth, I only have my two daughters with me. The sad/uncomfortable/awkward looks I get from people when I tell them that I have a son in Heaven are just unbearable at this point. 
Tonight I was told my cousins lost their baby, their little baby girl was due to enter this world later this week. When I heard this, my heart broke, my stomach dropped, and my mind raced. What should I do? Should I go see them, maybe tomorrow? It is now that I remember, as it all comes back to me, all of the emotions become fresh. 
As much as I love my big family and their support I remember not wanting to see anyone. In fact, I remember looking over and seeing my aunts and uncles in the hallway and turning away. I was not ready for visitors. I was not ready for small talk or big talk for that matter, I did not want to look at someone else's sad face. As I think back to those incredibly difficult first few days, weeks, months after losing Gabriel I just want to run to them and be by their side and help walk them through this.
I want to tell them my story, so they know that everything they feel is okay. That it's okay, not to be okay.
I want to tell them that I know flowers don't help, that nothing is going to help you, except each other. I spent 7 days in my apartment with my husband, walking past the vacant nursery, just sitting and watching back to back seasons of House. As weeks passed, my husband went back to work, and I sat in my quiet apartment, my cave, and hid. I didn't attend a family function for over a year. I hated every single pregnant lady I saw. I cried, I looked online for support groups, but nothing helped. No one has the same story and I thought the only person who would understand me, is someone who went through the exact same situation as me. I wanted to meet someone who had been married for a year, who had an easy pregnancy, had an emergency c-section, heard her son cry, and then hours later held him as he took his last breath. I have yet to find someone.

I have to admit, it's strange being on the other side of this. I can see now, how some people felt awkward towards me. It is an uncomfortable topic, it is hard to comprehend, except, now more than seven years later, I do know. I know exactly how she feels and I may be the only person she knows, who does know. As part of my healing process, through prayer, I realized that I was given this story for a reason. I was given this life, this heartbreak, to help others like me. I will give them their space and visit soon. I will continue to share my story of heartbreak and healing to anyone who will listen and to pray for strength for the families of these angel babies.

February 18, 2015

Celebrate the Year of the Sheep! (Recipe and Children's Book Giveaway)

This year 2015, Chinese New Year starts on February 19 and we will be moving from the Year of the Horse to the Year of the Sheep. I am sharing a Chinese New Year Dumpling recipe with you today as well as giving away two Chinese New Year children's books.  
What better way to celebrate than to make your own dumplings! The recipe below is for a traditional pork and chive filling, but the great thing about dumplings is that you can make all sorts of different fillings. 
Recipe and Books courtesy of http://www.chinainstitute.org/
Visit and post a photo of your dumplings to Our Forbidden City's Facebook page and the chef with the yummiest looking batch will receive a free copy of our We All Live in the Forbidden City books! Let me tell you a little bit about these books. 
This is the Greatest Place! The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals 
Ages 4-9 
Brian Tse, author 
Alice Mak, illustrator 
Ben Wang, translator; 
Nancy S. Steinhardt, editor 

Rabbit is eating breakfast with his friends Baby Squirrel, Young Porcupine, and Little Brother Panda when an unexpected visitor arrives. He is a master builder, searching for inspiration to design a great palace for the Emperor of China. Together, Uncle Builder and the little animals explore how nature supplies us with the wonders that enrich our lives. Created by internationally renowned children’s book artists Brian Tse and Alice Mak, this book teaches children about Chinese architecture, how nature’s influence can be seen around us, and how people and animals can live together in harmony. The illustrations capture the majesty of both the natural world and the Forbidden City and are enhanced by interactive components for readers, including a gatefold spread and lift-flaps.
In the Forbidden City 
Ages 9 and up 
Chiu Kwong-chiu, author 
Design and Cultural Studies Workshop, design and illustrations 
Ben Wang, translator; 
Nancy S. Steinhardt, editor 

Serving as the seat of imperial power for six centuries, the Forbidden City is one of China’s most famous and enigmatic landmarks. Accompanied by a mischievous cat, readers will tour this colossal architectural structure, discovering the secrets hidden inside the palace walls. They will encounter the people who have walked through its halls and gardens, including emperors, empresses, and rebel leaders, and hear exciting tales about the power struggles and intrigues of everyday life. This large format book conveys the grandeur of the Forbidden City through highly detailed line drawings of its buildings, gardens, and courtyards with numerous foldout spreads. Each page is populated by a large variety of characters and peppered with entertaining anecdotes. Every book includes a plastic magnifying glass for looking at the drawings more closely.

Now, here's your chance to win. Leave me a comment below telling me: 
What is your favorite Chinese New Year tradition? 
I'll go first, the Lion dances, they are so beautiful and I love being able to see them perform every year. 

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