Cinco de…Uh-oh!

My mouth waters as I write this…

Living in Southern California afforded me the chance to not only indulge in your typical homemade Mexican fare on a daily basis, but also to learn how to make it. From salsa to guacamole to refried beans..I learned how to whip up a Mexican Feast in no time flat. Sauces? A cinch. Rolling taquitos or burritos? No problem! Making tortillas from scratch?

Making tortillas from….SCRATCH? HUH?

That WAS my attitude – past tense! Now, I’m proud to say no longer a tortilla-making novice. Not at all! The Kiwi BF and I have been so into making our favorite Mexi-Cali dishes, that we grabbed Tio Pablo’s Instant Corn Masa Mix (ok, not quite from scratch, but close enough!).

We wanted to celebrate Cinco de Mayo, except I wanted to make the tortilla’s from this mix for the authentic vibe we were aiming for with the meal. We rounded out our tortilla making kit with a press and I was good to go.

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This is my new boyfriend…Don’t tell my current one!

This was so easy…as in, ridiculously easy! The mix, which is gluten free, makes life simple: You mix 2 cups of the Corn Masa with one cup of water, mixing the ingredients until they form a firm ball. Separate into 12 smaller balls then …press away!

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So..the beans aren’t quite homemade…This time! They are gluten free, though 🙂

Pressing tip: Use parchment paper on both sides of the dough, and press. This helps keep the tortilas from sticking and makes clean up a lot easier. Lift the press and move the tortilla a quarter turn and press again, repeating these steps a few times to get the tortilla just thin enough, but not too much!

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Seriously, everyone needs a tortilla press!

 

The batch we made gave us 12 tortillas – add some grilled chicken, roasted onions and red peppers, homemade (for real!) guacamole and salsa and you get a perfect Cinco De Mayo – or anytime – meal. The tortillas we made came out soft and pliable, delicious and fresh!

Once you have food this fresh, there is no return 😉

Are you a fan of Mexican food? Share your fave dishes in the comments below..we love hearing what you think 🙂

 

 

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Five Questions: Lia Davis (and a giveaway!)

Today, I’m hosting author Lia Davis on my blog! Lia’s latest book, Death’s Storm: A Divinities Novel, was released just a few weeks ago. Lia is not only the mother to two young adults and two very special kitties, but she is also a wife to her soul mate, a paranormal romance author, graphic designer, and co-owner to Fated Desires Publishing, LLC!

Um, and you thought YOU were busy?

DS2withlogoAM

 

I caught up with her long enough to ask her a few questions and to learn that she’s planning on a special giveaway that’s detailed after her interview. Read on for the book blurb, info on where to get the book and how to find Lia!!

Five Questions with Lia

 1. What inspired you to write Death’s Storm?

Death’s Storm is the second book in my Divinities series. So everything just fell into place. By the time I finished with Forgotten Visions, I know what Khloe needed to throw her off balance. And her death demon does that.

 2. When did you start writing?

I’ve always loved creative writing and making up stories since I was elementary school. It wasn’t until I started reading paranormal romance about four years ago, that I decided to dive in and start writing to be published.

3. If you had one piece of advice you could share with beginning authors, what would it be?

 Never stop writing. Write for yourself and write what you love to read. Also join a critique group.

 4. Are you a plotter or a pantser?

 I started out as a pantser, but now I’m a hybrid. LOL. I have to develop my characters and create chapter outlines before I sit down to write the story.

 5. Favorite holiday food?

 Sweets! Fudge, iced sugar cookies and other holiday treats.

 

~~ GIVEAWAY ~~

 

Lia is giving away a swag pack to two randomly chosen commenters. Please leave your email address in your comment to qualify. 

Want to keep up with Lia? Try her at any one of these places:

Author website | Fated Desires Publishing | Books Amour | Heartthrob Haven

Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | G+

 

Blurb for Death’s Storm:

Technical genius and demi-goddess–aka Divinity–Khloe Bradenton relies on no one for help, and she definitely doesn’t need comfort from anyone other than her twin. After her parents died by the demons’ hands over two years ago, she has graciously stepped up to her place in the war between demons and witches. When a creature far more dangerous than the ones responsible for killing her parents claims he is her guardian, she is torn between her desires for the dark predator and the painful loss she has endured at the hands of her enemies.

 

One of the last death demons still in existence, Jagger has pledged his life to the Goddess Hecate. Charged with the guardianship over the Divinities, he is never to approach them, but to aid them from a distance. When the firestorm, Khloe, sacrifices herself to save her twin and best friend and becomes the prey, he has no choice but to reveal himself to her. He is taken by surprise when the need to claim her as his own emerges. A desire he has never felt before could be more dangerous than the demons out to destroy them.

 

Now Available at Amazon | B&N | ARe | Kobo

 

How You Can Optimize Your Online Shopping Experience

I know I spend a lot of time online – you, too, right? And I have finally managed to get addictions like Facebook and Twitter under control by making myself set up times to go online and play with those sites, then log back off ASAP (they can be such time sucks, but fun time sucks!!) Things are good as far as internet land goes…

I found a cool website recently called  Swagbucks (www.swagbucks.com). Have you heard of this? It’s a site that you sign up for (yes, another email to hit the inbox…but wait. There’s more!!) which will you, the user, earn virtual currency and real-life rewards while you are performing everyday actions online from playing games to searching the web or maybe even taking a survey. By going here and messing around for a few minutes everyday, there is an opportunity to get for-REALS prizes and rewards!

The time it takes to fill out the form is minimal, and the information you provide helps them to lump you into groups for taking survey or signing up for polls. You have to go on and check it out, maybe play a bit. I was impressed with the ease of the site and how little time it took for me to get registered…I did peek at a few of the survey times and noted it would take about 15-30 minutes to take a survey. Not sure if I’m ready to give up that much time.

They have daily deals where they highlight specials in your area. I recognized some of them from Tippr and Groupon, sites that I already subscribe to, but Swagbucks has this information all compiled on one page, which does have the possibility of making my inbox that less full (OCD Anne likey!!).

There is a page devoted to “SwagTV) with hints for style, weddings, decorating…You name it! I only had a few minutes to really look this over, but I’ve bookmarked this site and will be focusing on using it a little more often. In my opinion it’s a good one-stop-shop for online purchases, lifestyle information and current trends  – All while having the added bonus of giving you a chance to earn REWARDS!!! Who doesn’t love that?

Have tried it? What do you think of Swagbucks?

Have a good weekend XOXOXO

Have you tried AmLactin Body Lotion?

Have you? Have you tried AmLActin or am I the only one that is late to the party? I just tried this product – and no, my account was not hacked and no, I’m not spamming your asses.

Seriously, I’m telling you guys how much I loved this lotion for my hands! Someone sent me some in the mail to test and I have to say that AmLactin’s Moisturizing Body Lotion is one you should check out.

I did a little research and AmLactin is recommended by dermatologists and podiatrists (yes, ladies, get your feet ready for summer at the pool, too!) We all shave (well, most of us, right?), we want to feel clean and smooth and look cute for summertime outfits. If you want a lotion that will work and give you instant results, I say try this one.

So go get – keep your skin hydrated and protect it from the harsh elements. AmLactin is available over the counter at your local drugstores or pharmacy. . . If you try it, I hope you like it as much as I do!!

Ok, carry on.

Peaceful Sleep…

I was given a bottle of Peaceful Sleep to experiment with from a friend. The bottle holds an elixir, promises of a restful sleep and dreams filled with cotton candy… Well, maybe they don’t  promise cotton candy. I’m going a bit overboard there.

Peaceful Sleep is a new product that claims to help with sleep disorders, like insomnia. You are given a bottle of tonic to drink before bed, filled to the brim with ingredients which have been proven to help promote sleep. Ingredients like Valerian root, Lavendar, Melatonin…you get the idea.

My take? Well, the label claims that you need 7 hours set aside to get the full benefits. Thanks to other reasons, I was only able to enjoy about 6 hours of sleep on my sleepytime-Peaceful Sleep drink. Waking up this morning, I feel the same as I usually do except I do think I might have slept through the night. Not sure, so I guess that’s a good sign?

Could be a good alternative to try Peaceful Sleep if you are done with sleeping pills, the “PM” formulas or have issues at night. Anything is worth a shot, right? It’s filled with all natural ingredients so why not?

My Opinion Wednesday (aka MOW)

That’s right – my opinion of something. I’m gonna let you know exactly what I think about books, movies, TV shows, a new product…People are giving me things to review and try, so I’m up for the challenge!

First up to be reviewed tomorrow? A sleepytime drink that was delivered to my doorstep. Not alcohol, but healthy. More on this tomorrow after I read my info and try it tonight. Let’s just say it could be the key to me getting a good dose of sleep for once!

BTW: Happy Sleep Awareness Week – Ironic it’s right before we “spring” ahead with a time change….