Friday, September 30, 2016

Hak's Paks One Pot Cooking Sauce, an easy and delicious meal solution!

In my September Degustabox, there were once again a bunch of delicious food items that virtually disappeared as soon as I snapped the box content photo:

If you're not familiar with Degustabox, here are some links to previous posts I've shared regarding this groovy food box subscription service:

Degustabox Review

White Grape Seed Flour Mini Donuts to Celebrate the 2016 Olympics!

There is always a lot of good snacks and treats inside the Degustabox but every month there is one item that simply blows me away. In September that item was the pouch of Hak's Paks One Pot Cooking Sauce.   

The Hak's Paks One Pot Cooking Sauce flavor that came in my September Degustabox was "Rustic Ratatouille". The instructions on the packaging said to simply pour sauce over one pound of cooked beef, chicken, shrimp, pork, fish or veggies. The sauce contains roasted tomatos and herbs and ZERO preservatives. It's also Gluten-Free and all natural.
So today for lunch, as I was deciding between a veggie bowl and a chicken salad, I decided to make shrimp ratatouille.  LOL.
It was super easy and yummy!
I used four main ingredients:

*Shrimp, 1 lb.
*Two Bell Peppers
*Half Onion
*Hak's Paks One Pot Rustic Ratatouille Sauce

I also added some pepper and parsley flakes and a few avocado slices (cause who doesn't love to add avocado to anything!?)

The instructions to make a similar lunch entree are as simple as this:

Sautee the bell peppers, onions and shrimp in a little bit of oil (I used coconut oil).
Once everything is cooked, add the sauce. Serves 4. The end.

The meal was so good, it drove me to look for more Hak's Paks sauces. Turns out, these sauces are the creation of an LA-based former financial advisor turned chef, Sharone Hakman.
What's more is, I probably wouldn't have discovered this great cooking hack had it not been for my Degustabox!

The sauce is all you need to season, add flavor and savor a meal!

I think it's safe to say that the goodies that arrive every month inside the Degustabox are proving to be good and convenient meal options for me and my family!
Reminder- the Degusta subcription is only about $20/month.
Check it out and thanks for reading!

Monday, September 26, 2016

Sharing some pancake creations on National Pancake Day!

I just recently learned September 26 is National Pancake Day.
I've been playing with pancake batter and colors for about 2 years now, ever since I realized that they had become Benny's absolute favorite breakfast meal.
At first, it was really cute to watch him hold a fork and take a small piece of the warm, spongy hotcake, syrup dripping and all, into his tiny little mouth.
One morning I visited Pinterest for some inspiration and my eyes opened up to a universe of pancake art!
Eventually, I found some incredibly talented pancake artists, like Nathan Shields and Tomato Tiger (Google them...incredible work) and I discovered LA mommy Lily Martinez on Instagram who has some amazing pancake skills.
After seeing the stuff these talented individuals were making, I quietly retreated back to my little kitchen and figured I'd be better off focusing on my day job... LOL
But then Benny continued making specific requests for dinosaur and spaceship pancakes and I decided to start messing around with different shapes on the pan, often using food dye.

This one was a bad pineapple looking thing!  LOL

These pancakes were made to look like a burger and fries!

Donut shaped pancakes with cream cheese and sprinkles.

Two years later, I'm still playing with pancake batter and even though I haven't mastered the skill, I do it for the smile on my little boy's face.
I don't photograph every single time I make a themed pancake but I'm happy to share some funky little designs I've created and posted on my social media channels.

This one is supposed to be a "Concha" a popular Mexican sweet bread

Enjoy and Happy National Pancake Day!

Monday, September 12, 2016

How to Create a Vintage Ice Cream Cart Out of Your Home Freezer!

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

Having an extra freezer at home has brought a series of controversies for my husband and me. We purchased one several years ago when I was expecting Benny. We bought it in anticipation of sleepless nights and the resulting lack of energy to spend time cooking in the kitchen. The freezer, we agreed, would store microwaveable meal options and other goodies to make our lives a little easier with a newborn at home…

Well, nearly four years later, when Paul was transforming our garage into a gym, he wanted to get rid of the freezer, which had become a dusty, old, empty appliance. He actually took it outside and left it there! My initial thought was: “Oh no you didn’t! We can’t get rid of it.”

So I bought some Pledge® Multisurface Everyday Cleaner with Glade® Rainshower® at Ralphs and started cleaning the dirt off the top of my freezer, which had collected a lot of dust. Good thing the product can be used on wood, laminate, stainless steel, leather, marble, granite, plastic, porcelain, glass and electronics! It removes up to 90% of the allergens found in dust.

Pledge® products can be found in the cleaning supply aisle at Ralphs or any other Kroger family of stores.

All of a sudden my freezer was beginning to shine, which showed me Pledge® takes care of the things I love (yes, my heart still beats for my dear freezer). I cleaned the outside with the Pledge® Lemon Wipes, which are surprisingly versatile. They quickly clean, condition and protect while leaving behind the fresh lemony Pledge® scent.

So with a seemingly brand new outdoor freezer, I couldn’t help but imagine stocking it with ice cream for the kids and their buddies and turning it into a good ol’ ice cream cart…ha!

Here’s how I made it happen:

*large piece of cardboard
*paint and paintbrush
*black construction paper
*measuring tape
*portable coat rack


Start by measuring the space of the appliance that you want to “transform” and cut it accordingly. In my case, I got extremely lucky that the piece of cardboard I had measured nearly exactly as the width of the freezer. Next, measure the cardboard and use a ruler to draw long vertical lines. This is usually done by dividing the width of the space by an even number to determine how thick your stripes will be. Once the lines are drawn, cut the cardboard in two sections and paint thick white stripes along the lines (I wanted to use a second color but ultimately decided that the white against the brown cardboard looked good).

Get a separate piece of black construction paper, cut out a large circle (to serve as the cart’s wheel). Use 1” tape to serve as a guide for cutting out the wheel spokes.

Take one of the white striped cardboard pieces and use the scissors to round off the edges of each stripe. This will give it an awning effect. Next, draw two lines across the center. Make sure you apply pressure with the pen as you draw the line. This is done in order to make it fold easily and create a space in between that will allow the cardboard to hang over.


Finally, tape all pieces onto the large appliance and stick the wheel to the bottom right as well as an “Ice Cream” sign.

As far as the awning, I used a portable clothing rack to hold it up, but you can also attach it to a wall and get the same effect or build a frame out of wood or PVC pipe.

And this is how you turn an old, undesirable freezer into a cutesy ice cream cart (if I do say so myself)…

Do you have any appliances or old furniture pieces at home that need a transformation? Take it from me, start by cleaning things off with the right Pledge® products and let your creativity soar!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Burbank's Bob's Big Boy Burgers!

A special shout out to my use of alliteration on this post's title, dont cha think?
I see my use of words beginning with the letter "B" and I Become Borderline Boastful. Ok. Done.

The Bob's Big Boy Burgers joint in Burbank is the real deal. It received the "State Point of Historical Interest" designation in 1993 by the state of California and the owners have made sure it lives up to its designation with careful preservation of its design, look and props.
Recently, Benny was apparently craving a cheeseburger and asked that we take him to "FLAT MURGERS". 
He meant Fatburger.
And since we were in the Burbank area, my husband Paul convinced Benny to give Bob's Big Boy a shot. What a good idea it was!
We enjoyed an early lunch outdoors and Benny pretty much loved his cheeseburger, one that was fairly accompanied by his first-ever root beer float.
I had a salad with frequent sips of my husband's incredible, INCREDIBLE chocolate milk shake, that arrives in a silver tin goblet (and a cherry on top).
It's a great place to dine with the family and enjoy the "1940's transitional design of streamline modern style while anticipating the free-form 50's coffee shop architecture."


Bob's Big Boy Burgers
4211 W Riverside Drive
Burbank CA 91505
(818) 843-9334