Category: food

3 Must-Have Gadgets you Need in your Kitchen

It’s no secret that I don’t love cooking — but that I LOVE to eat. I’m not one of those people who is happy to spend hours in the kitchen, but I AM one of those folks who will slap a meal together if it’s convenient… and I’ve discovered 3 items that I believe you NEED if you want to elevate your kitchen game!

Spoon Buddy

1. The Spoon Buddy. This is one of those things you didn’t realize you needed until you saw it, and thought, “GENIUS!” It prevents your stirring spoon from falling into your pot. Do you know how many napkins I’ve wasted by putting them on my stove so my stirring spoon would not dirty up my stove top? This is a great invention! It even has suction on the bottom, so it won’t slip off.

2. The Instant Pot. I purchased this pressure cooker after reading tons of Facebook comments about how much people loved theirs. I caved in and got one, but it sat on my counter for a few weeks before I finally mustered the courage to try it. Now that I’ve figured it out, it has saved me tons of time! I most recently made my mom’s Filipino “arroz caldo” with it, after she did a YouTube live video with me teaching me how to make it. I will confess that my Instant Pot version did not taste as good as my mom’s does. It must be the love she puts in it. 😉 Seriously, though, do yourself a favor and get an Instant Pot.

Instant Pot3. Debbie Meyer’s Green Boxes. They will save your produce and make the fresh items last SO much longer, at least twice as long! I let my neighbor Michelle have one of the boxes to try it for herself, and she came back to my house raving about how much longer her cilantro lasted. It’s saved me probably hundreds of dollars over the years by helping fresh fruits and veggies stay good for significantly longer.

Do you have any must-have kitchen items to recommend? Comment below and let me know!

Thanks for reading,



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Curb Cravings with MealEnders – Save 10%

It’s no secret that I struggle with my weight, having been a yo-yo dieter for most of my life. My worst downfall is a penchant for sweets — no matter how full I am, I still want to have dessert. A friend of mine told me to retrain my tastebuds by having a sweet hard candy at the end of of a meal, but I never found one that was truly satisfying. Then I discovered MealEnders, and I’ve been happy with how well they curb my cravings.

Here’s how the DUO-SENSORY TASTE SYSTEMâ„¢ works: “MealEnders’ active-taste formula rewards and resets your taste buds, distracting you from the temptation to overindulge.  First the delicious Reward Layer treats you to the sweet taste of dessert – a signal we typically associate with the end of a meal.  Then the Inner Core’s Active-Taste Layer releases a proprietary blend of gentle, cool tingling sensations on the tongue, which engage the trigeminal nerve, distracting your mind from the urge to continue overeating.  You can feel your MealEnder go to work instantly.”

I’ve been using them for a few weeks now. I especially like to have one mid-afternoon around 3 p.m. when I instinctively start walking around the office looking for ice cream (so far, no ice cream has magically appeared in my workplace). I’ve only tried the Chocolate Mint, and I can testify that it is DELICIOUS. The smooth exterior is creamy and chocolatey, while the tingly inside is minty and actually does what it’s supposed to do: it stops me from wanting something else to eat.

I also can’t wait to try the Mocha flavor, because the scent of the inside of the bag is really compelling!

If you want to try MealEnders for yourself, use the coupon code “Save10” for 10% off your order. Here’s to dessert, made even sweeter by the lack of massive calories!

Disclosure: I was sent these bags to try in exchange for a review, but ironically I had purchased 3 of the flavors on my own a few weeks ago, and had already fallen in love. 🙂 

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Homemade Sushi: 5 Easy Steps to Creating a California Roll

Do you crave sushi all the time? I’ve been known to have sushi cravings at all hours of the day— sometimes even for breakfast. I mean, hey, some sushi rolls are made with scrambled egg!
The only issue is that ordering sushi at restaurants can become bit pricey. So what’s a sushi addict to do? Why, make your own at home, of course!
My homemade California Rolls

My homemade California Rolls

A California Roll is so easy to make, and even finicky eaters who shy away from the raw fish nigiri will like the simple ingredients. This usually takes me about 20 minutes to create, from start to finish, and that’s including the time to cook the rice since I use a Pampered Chef microwavable rice cooker.
You don’t even need one of those cute bamboo rolling mats (although they do help make the rolls more tight and attractive-looking). All you need are the following ingredients to create your own California Roll:
Nori seaweed can be purchased at most Asian food stores

Nori seaweed can be purchased at most Asian food stores

—nori seaweed sheets
—Japanese medium-grain sushi rice
—a block of cream cheese
—imitation crab sticks (or real crab if you want to go for the gold)
Bonus ingredients:
—rice vinegar to season the sushi rice
—soy sauce
—pickled ginger
How I assemble my California Roll

How I assemble my California Roll

Here are the 5 steps I do when I make my sushi at home:
  1. Pre-chop the avocado and cucumber, then set aside for later.

  2. Cook the sushi rice. I typically measure 1 c. of rice to 1 c. of water, and then cook it the appropriate amount of time. I do season my rice by mixing the cooked rice with 1 tbs. of rice vinegar, and sometimes I’ll sprinkle in a little granulated sugar and salt.

  3. Lay out the nori, then assemble your sushi! I like to create mine by laying on the cream cheese first, placing the imitation crab stick next, then adding the cucumber and avocado. You can finish it off by putting on a blob of sushi rice, which is nice and sticky so it holds its shape. 

  4. Roll it all up into a burrito, which is actually the opposite of how traditional California Rolls are created — typically you will see the rice on the outside, but I’m cheating because this way is faster.

  5. Slice your sushi rolls. I usually nick the roll first with the tip of a sharp knife, then gently saw it so it doesn’t smush everything too much. Serve your rolls with wasabi, soy sauce and pickled ginger. Enjoy your sushi!

Enjoy your sushi with soy sauce!

Enjoy your sushi with soy sauce!

Do you think you will try this at home? Comment below with your favorite kind of sushi!
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Florida’s first ramen bar!

Savory broth, full of those famous slightly-crinkly noodles… a flavorful soft-boiled egg and salty seaweed… all enhanced with delicious additions such as black mushrooms and sweet red ginger. It’s ramen– gourmet ramen at its finest– and it’s finally where I live!!! 

This new ramen bar, in Whole Foods in Palm Beach Gardens, is the first and only one here in Florida. I’ve been so excited to try it ever since I read about it.

So my friend Belen and I met for lunch today, and let me assure you– it was absolutely worth the wait!

We both ordered the Tonkotsu ramen, which comes with the signature thin noodles we all know and love. It features rich pork broth and chashu pork. Every bite was heaven, and the smell was even better!

Asian comfort food, all the way.

We also loved our hibiscus teas– Belen agreed with me that they tasted like liquid springtime. Cheers to you, ramen!

Do you love ramen as much as I do? Let me know in the comments below!

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3 reasons to visit the South Florida Fair

When you think of your local fair, do you think of rides, games for prizes, entertainment? At the South Florida Fair in West Palm Beach, you have all of those options. Here are three reasons why I think it is worth your while to go:

1. The fun — It’s almost impossible not to have a good time at your local fair! And I gotta admit, with our cooler temperatures this week, the weather is totally cooperating.
2. The food — Originally I was going to make this blog primarily food-focused. You will notice most photos are all about the grub!
3. The entertainment — This one is definitely my favorite. I was SO IMPRESSED with the entertainment at the fair, especially Las Vegas on Ice!

About to ride the double ferris wheel…
Awesome dance group TURNT UP FOR WHAT!
South Florida mini-railroad group
The line for the kettle corn was SERIOUS…
Speaking of corn, I LOVE corn on the cob with cayenne pepper!
 Chicken and waffles, y’all!
 Nathan decided on the half-pound burger and fries with cheese
He said, “You know it’s good when it’s four napkins down, plus the wrapper, and you still see grease!”
 I’m a carnivore! That looks good!
Willy Wonka ain’t got nothin’ on the fair

So this gentleman, named Eugene, said he’s been working this “Krispy Kreme doughnut burger” booth for seven years now. “After you eat about 20 of these, you don’t want them any more,” he explained. Well, I can’t imagine eating 20 of them, but I definitely was drooling over one!

I ate the entire doughnut burger!!! But I did not get any fried Oreos afterwards because my burger was made with TWO DONUTS. Last year, it was only one donut sliced for the bread. I just think two doughnuts was a bit much, haha! JUST A BIT! 😉 
Deep fried mac and cheese 
 The rides didn’t tempt me that much, because they don’t seem that safe– but I admit that kind of adds to the THRILL of them!
 The only ride we rode was the double ferris wheel and it was super fun! Check out that view…
 My absolute favorite thing about the fair was “Las Vegas on Ice!”
 This ice skating troupe was so talented
 When the aerialist came out, I was like, “This is like Cirque de Soleil!”
 With the “ringmaster” ice skater
 Elvis impersonator– can you tell this year’s theme is Las Vegas?!
 Awesome sand sculpture! SO HUGE! This is a panoramic photo
 Elvis traveling museum showed some of The King of Rock n’ Roll’s costumes
 And his bike
 Hypnosis show was funny as you can expect
 I also appreciated that the Palm Beach Post‘s display gave a plug for our Palm Beach Zoo Florida panther, Mirasol! Thanks for the #ZooLove

I highly, highly, HIGHLY encourage you to check out the fair while it’s still in town. It’s worth the visit!!

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2014 Philippine Summer Festival by the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County

I’ve been volunteering doing PR for the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County, and I was thrilled that the event was so successful yesterday– with more than 1,000 attendees!

Click HERE to watch my CruzTube 1-minute video of the 2014 festival! I’m now officially on the Board of Directors, and so is Nathan as my husband, LOL.

With my new friend, Angelica, who is wearing a traditional Filipino formal gown.
Look at Nathan, wearing his Filipino flag shirt! 🙂 #FilipinoPride

Here’s some of the details from my post-event press info:

“A crowd of more than 1,000 people attended the 15th annual Philippine Summer Festival at the South Florida Fairgrounds on June 7, 2014. The Filipino national anthem, a heritage clothing parade, authentic cuisine and traditional children’s games demonstrated the country’s culture. The festival was dedicated to the Filipinos who were affected by Typhoon Haiyan, and the opening ceremonies included a moment of silence for the 6,200 victims who lost their lives in the devastating storm.

The proceeds from the Philippine Summer Festival gate fee will go to ongoing typhoon relief and financial aid scholarships. Filipinos around the world will celebrate the country’s Independence Day five days after the festival on June 12, 2014. This year’s festival also gave recognition to this important part of the Philippines’ history. To date, PAS has collectively donated more than $25,000 to typhoon victims.”

Costume parade and one of the Filipino booths with authentic goods for sale

A Filipino priest held mass before the opening ceremony

Food was amazing!
Although I don’t love halo halo (a dessert), I love dinuguan– a pork dish that’s one of my favorites.

Traditional Filipino children’s games/activities

Talented Filipino musicians sang a mix of American songs, and songs in Tagalog (native language)

Local students received financial scholarships, which portions of the gate proceeds funded

So grateful for the coverage by the Palm Beach PostWPBF 25 News, and CBS 12 News
Click HERE to read the Palm Beach Post article!
For more information about the Philippine American Society of Palm Beach County, a non-profit organization, follow them here on Facebook or visit their website here.
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