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 🙂

 

 

Why I Love Skype….

Being a long way from home can be hard – like now. I’m currently in Wellington, New Zealand working and finishing up the next book in the Abby George Series.  It’s so pretty here, and the people are incredible….But it’s WINTER. Yes, if that confuses you, don’t worry. You’re not alone. Several of my friends have been shocked when I shared pics with them or the temperature. While most of my friends and family prep for temp’s in the 90s today, I’m in front of a fire, drinking coffee and dusting off my Uggs.

Life is good 🙂

However, I do miss my home, my family, my pets and my friends. Thank goodness Skype  – makes it so folks like myself can see those we love and get to feel like we’re “a part of” the daily life we may be missing. With that lead in, I want you to say hello to  my nephew, JW. He added a graphic to his Skype when we chatted the other day. Luckily, I grabbed this screenshot 😉

Here’s to a great weekend… and  go Skype someone YOU love today! Right now…Do it!

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The Company We Keep: In search of like minds…

We’re all Late Bloomer’s at heart aren’t we? I needed to make sure I was keeping good company – not just good. AMAZING. Yes, AMAZING company.

Here’s who I found – if you can think of anyone else and want to share, leave a note in the comments! 

 

1. Stan Lee was in his early 40s when he created Spider-Man  – and artist Jack Kirby, Lee’s partner, started drawing The Fantastic Four when he was 44

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2. Rodney Dangerfield didn’t get his first “big” break until he was 42.

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3. Julia Child published “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” when she was 49. She was on TV by her early 50s.

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4. Charles Bukowski was 49 when his first book was published.

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5. Laura Ingalls Wilder’s first book – “Little House in the Big Woods” – came out when she was 65.

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Need Some Help? How to Design on a Budget!

I’ve decided that Tuesdays for the month of October will be themed with budget-friendly ideas for those of us who either don’t want to spend a ton of money OR who don’t have a ton of money to spend!

(Jump back to last Tuesday’s post about budget-friendly date ideas f you need some or missed it!)

Today I’m sharing with you an article I found on the HGTV website: 11 Ideas for Designing on a Budget. Most of the advice is simple and really, it’s the kind of advice you’d give a close friend if they were in the middle of this type of at-home project. However, we forget how easy it is to change our homes with little to no money to spend!

Enjoy this article and feel free to post a comment here or send me a note with YOUR idea of how to get creative with your home-decor design budget – I love your feedback!!

Relationship Advice? Don’t Ask Cosmo!

People who dole out dating advice usually aren’t folks that are actually dating..right?

Maybe I’m stretching the truth a bit here, but I’m not the only one. Dear ole Cosmo has been outed a time or two for suggesting/publishing/advising some of the dumbest crap I’ve ever read.

And we wonder why girls these days are growing up with issues…GET THEM AWAY FROM THE MAGAZINE STAND!!

As if there wasn’t enough to worry about with diets, celebs and their DUI’s making headlines, or other “news”, we also seem to forget that magazine’s insist on offering advice for the ladies in the way of sex, dating, rituals, etc. that just SUCKS. It’s one thing to give advice in YOUR opinion, from YOUR POV (point of view, that is) but it sure as hell is another to give advice like Cosmo did in some of their past articles.

Cracked.com posted this write-up entitled “Seven Psychotic Pieces of Relationship Advice from Cosmo” and I insist that anyone who can get eyes on this does! It’s hilarious and will make you shake your head. To me, the fact that people can get away with this BS (Please reference Psychotic Tip #6, scrolling to the part about “Consequences He Can Expect) is absolutely crazy. Was this shit really in print?

Yep. I’m so irritated I said shit. I also now have a conspiracy theory where Cosmo is in cahoots with every divorce lawyer in the USA. Not kidding.

Anyway, take a read. See what you think. Then post here and let me know YOUR thoughts…Maybe you agree. That’s totally fine. I respect opinions and want to hear all of it!

I love and welcome your feedback, so feel free to bring it on!

Need A Good Idea? Here are the best ideas for an inexpensive date!!

Who says we need to be totally WOW’ed all the time?

Ok, so maybe we do need  a big “oomph” factor. However, in times like these (aka coming outta the Recession we were all dealing with) I love it when  a guy looks for other ways to charm the pants off me…literally. 😉

There is nothing wrong with researching date ideas involving more of a “budget-friendly” vibe. I love being doted on, and the over-the-top moments of an expensive dinner or surprise front row seats to a favorite concert or show, but the times my dates have really thought outside the box? Those are the ones I’ll always remember and truly do appreciate more. Nights chatting over a game of darts, or swinging at balls at the driving range are ones that pop to mind quickest…followed by surprise picnics at the beach or a dinner one night of my favorite pizza, a bottle of wine and a rented movie. And the firing range – Ahh, that was a great first date!
Apparently Marie Claire agrees  – In the July 2011 issue, they released 50 top spots and good ideas for a cheap date. Check out their link and see how many of these ideas you’ve participated in or would like to do with your one-and-only now.

Feel free to let me know how it goes or to leave a comment here with your own ideas for budget-friendly date night 🙂 I love your feedback!!

RUM PUNCH REGRETS – REVIEWS!

August has been beyond busy – which is good for me, but bad for my bloggin’!

Just so you can see a bit of what I’ve been up to, I’m going to post some of the reviews here for you to check out. I’m also extending my CHARM GIVEAWAY for another few weeks just because of the response AND because we will be rolling out some new charms in the line – stay tuned and make sure you add a review to AMAZON to enter for the charm of your choice!!

The first review up is from the Jersey Girl Book Review blog. This one gives you a two-for-one! You get a guest post from yours truly AND a FOUR STAR REVIEW!!

I’ll add more  posts for your reading pleasure as the week goes on – plus I’ll have some pics up from the Lupus LA Poker Tournament and Rooftop Party that’s happening this Thursday September 13th here in Los Angeles! I’m playing in the tourney and look forward to attempting to WIN BIG…

Want more info on LUPUS LA? Click on the link and check out a charity I love dearly and fully support.

 

Another Giveaway! Wanna win a charm?

It’s time for my big, fabulous contest announcement – are you guys ready for it?

WHO WANTS TO WIN A CHARM?

Starting tomorrow, August 3rd, I will be running another EASY contest. This time the winner will get the choice of one of my charms…in gold or silver!!

They are so cute and can be added to an existing charm bracelet, or used as a necklace or on a leather wrap bracelet (my FAVORITE way to wear them!!) These are the charms inspired by ABBY GEORGE and RUM PUNCH REGRETS. Don’t you want one of your own?
To enter, you just need to review one of my books – which I’m sure ALL OF YOU have read by now…right? 😉 – on Amazon. Any names popping up for reviews from August 3, 2012  through September 4, 2012 will automatically be entered to win! (I tell ya where to buy my books below!)

And don’t forget, I give a portion of my proceeds from the ABBY GEORGE SERIES to Lupus LA – help me help them, please?

Good luck and happy reading!!

NEED TO BUY A BOOK? You can get them here:

AMAZON – eBook

AMAZON – print version

BARNES AND NOBLE – Nook

iTunes – NOW AVAILABLE!!!!

Have You??

I mean, really. Have you?

Oh, you need to know what! I’m checking in to see if you’ve entered the contest yet!

To celebrate my first full length novel, RUM PUNCH REGRETS, and the launch of my new jewelry line inspired by the series, I’m giving away the most beautiful bracelet ever. It’s a replica of one featured in the book – it retails for $585.

Handcrafted by Sevan Avakian, the amazing talent I collaborated on the Abby George Charm Series with, the ABBY GEORGE CHARM BRACELET is a Sterling Silver , one-of-a-kind, link bracelet with two charms: one is the two-bunch palm attached at the root (cool, right?) set with a Tsavorite and the other is a dainty heart set with a Ruby.

I love this bracelet and I love that I get to give one away!

Best part? This is seriously going to be the easiest contest you’ve ever entered!! Now, how to do it:

1. Buy a copy of  RUM PUNCH REGRETS which is now on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble  – it’s available as an eBook or print!

2. Answer the questions below – the answers are found in RUM PUNCH REGRETS

3. Email your answer to contest@annekemp.com to be entered

It’s that easy!

Want a bonus entry? Buy the book AND subscribe to my blog and I’ll enter you again! See how I did that? (Trust me, you will WANT to get my updates for giveaways and fun contests!)

Want a bonus, bonus entry? Then please “LIKE” my page on FACEBOOK!

Want another bonus entry? Follow me on TWITTER!

The more you enter, the better your chances – GOOD LUCK!!

(Multiple entries into contest are only valid barring that contestant answers the question found in the novel, as the initial entry)

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS:

1. At the beginning of Chapter Nine, what items does Abby pack for her trip to Nevis?

2. What is the “bit of island wisdom”  on Ziggy’s taxi cab that’s mentioned in Chapter One?

3. In Chapter Seven, Abby places a bet at the roulette table on what number?

4. Abby inspects Ben’s fridge in Chapter Four. Name at least three items listed that she sees.

5. At the end of Chapter Five, Ben gives Abby money to help her take a cab home. How much is it and what is the currency he uses?

And there it is! The winner will be announced on July 4th – so make sure to check back.

GOOD LUCK!

Win The Abby George Charm Bracelet! All You Need To Do Is…

RUM PUNCH REGRETS, my first full length novel,  is officially out! So, guess what I’m gonna do? I’M GOING TO GIVE SOMETHING AWAY!!! I love celebrating  – and since this is the 2nd book in the ABBY GEORGE SERIES, I’m giving away one of my  ABBY GEORGE CHARM BRACELETS – and it is gorgeous! It’s a replica of one featured in the book – it retails for $585. Handcrafted by Sevan Avakian, the amazing talent I collaborated on the Abby George Charm Series with, the ABBY GEORGE CHARM BRACELET is a Sterling Silver , one-of-a-kind, link bracelet with two charms: one is the two-bunch palm attached at the root (cool, right?) set with a Tsavorite and the other is a dainty heart set with a Ruby. I love this bracelet and I love that I get to give one away!

Best part? This is seriously going to be the easiest contest you’ve ever entered!! Now, how to do it:

1. Buy a copy of  RUM PUNCH REGRETS which is now on sale at Amazon and Barnes and Noble  – it’s available as an eBook or print!

2. Answer the questions below – the answers are found in RUM PUNCH REGRETS

3. Email your answer to contest@annekemp.com to be entered

It’s that easy!

Want a bonus entry? Buy the book AND subscribe to my blog and I’ll enter you again! See how I did that? (Trust me, you will WANT to get my updates for giveaways and fun contests!)

Want a bonus, bonus entry? Then please “LIKE” my page on FACEBOOK!

Want another bonus entry? Follow me on TWITTER!

The more you enter, the better your chances – GOOD LUCK!!

(Multiple entries into contest are only valid barring that contestant answers the question found in the novel, as the initial entry)

HERE ARE THE QUESTIONS:

1. At the beginning of Chapter Nine, what items does Abby pack for her trip to Nevis?

2. What is the “bit of island wisdom”  on Ziggy’s taxi cab that’s mentioned in Chapter One?

3. In Chapter Seven, Abby places a bet at the roulette table on what number?

4. Abby inspects Ben’s fridge in Chapter Four. Name at least three items listed that she sees.

5. At the end of Chapter Five, Ben gives Abby money to help her take a cab home. How much is it and what is the currency he uses?

And there it is! The winner will be announced on July 4th – so make sure to check back.

GOOD LUCK!