Disclosure: This post has been compensated by Herdez, but as always all opinions are my own.
There are 10 different varieties and I ended up buying three different kinds: Beef Barbacoa, Carnitas with Charro Beans, and Chicken Mole bowl. I decided to just set them out for the two of us to share so we could both try some of each. I love cooking, but honestly authentic Mexican food is not something I’ve really ever tried to create, so we were both truly surprised when we tasted these! I don’t normally have huge expectations from a frozen meal, but the combinations of flavors really showed through each one of these dishes, and the meat was very tender.
Right now there is a downloadable coupon so you can try Herdez Cocina Mexicana Frozen Bowls for yourself and save $1.00!
With us trying to teach the kids about saving a percent of their money instead of just blowing it on candy or electronics, I know that I have to lead by example. We do have the opportunities to get to take the kids on a lot of fun events and do many family oriented things together, but while we spend money doing things like that, I am always trying to save a little extra money on other things – so we have more money for the fun stuff.
There’s an app called Jingit and it’s pretty cool. You can download it for free via iTunes or Google Play and it is just another way to help you save a little extra money through in store earnings, cash back offers, and even by watching videos online. It’s really easy to set up too – just ad you email address, password and cell number and then they will send you a confirmation code via text that you put in as well as a verification email. Once you do both of those things your account is verified and ready to go!
Adorable crafts, memories to make, and a fun surprise in the mail? The girls are already asking me when the next box will come. 🙂
As many of you already know, I was invited to attend the Research Chefs Association’s Annual Conference and Culinology Expo this past week. The conference is held in a different city each year, and luckily they decided to pay Portland a visit this year.
I was honored to be one of the first few bloggers to be invited to attend the conference and was encouraged to participate in any portion of the events which were spread over the course of four days. I, having no food background other than my experimental baking as a child and simply family meals that I now prepare as an adult, didn’t know what to expect. In fact, I had to Google the word Culinology to understand the meaning behind the word!
I was slightly intimidated, but my desire to learn more about this industry was stronger. I signed up for classes that I felt I could walk away from with knowledge that I could share with you.
And that I did.
My first class of the day was entitled; “For the Love of Cheese” and pretty much covered the entire history of cheese in just over an hour, along with tips on creating your own cheeses. We then sampled 18 different varieties. I was in cheese heaven!
After the first breakout session we were greeted with blueberry muffins, croissants, and coffee in the foyer to network, and then continued to our next session.
Before I knew it, it was lunch time, and it was nothing less than amazing. I mean, you have to have exceptional food when you are feeding chefs, research chefs, students, Culinologists, product developers, and a small handful of much-appreciative bloggers, right? 🙂
After lunch there was a great session held by: Marshall Scarborough (Manager of Global Product Development at Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen), Bethany Hall (Senior Culinologist at Ingedion), and Jacquy Pfeiffer, who is the infamous Founder, Chef, and Dean of Student Affairs at the French Pastry School.
I learned about the process to make sourdough bread, and many tips that I never would have thought about on my own, and of course there was fresh sourdough with homemade jam for us all to sample.
Then Jacquy Pfeiffer demoed how he created jaw dropping works of art – with sugar. His candy making abilities and surprising sense of humor kept me thoroughly entertained even though some of the terminology went way over my head. 🙂
I then met up with other local bloggers Sarah from Killer Pickles and Fabiola from Not Just Baked and decided to all drive over to the Hilton where the New Member & First Time Attendee Reception was held. It was a beautiful networking session held on the 23rd floor overlooking our beautiful city, and the room was filled with delicious foods and drinks to match.
Following the reception was another reception! This was the Opening Reception and was held a few blocks over at the Portland Art Museum, which was a larger networking event with local restaurants providing bites of their best cuisines for us to try.
I drove home that evening (it’s about an hour commute one way) refreshed, rejuvenated, excited. Although I’ll never be in the food industry other than blogging my little creations, I admire and am inspired from all of these individuals in the industry!
This last week Anika and I attended the Portland Youth Philharmonic Concert-at-Christmas and I wrote a review for the PDX Kids Calendar that I occasionally write local reviews for, and I wanted to share it with you.
Here’s the article:
This past couple weeks have been a whirlwind between Christmas activities, working, and just life in general. I am sad to see that Christmas has come and gone. It seems to fly by quicker each and every year, just like they used to tell us when we were kids ourselves.
Noah had his first ever Christmas program and it was so adorable.
Anika had her last grade school program and I held back tears as she stood narrating her paragraph on stage in front of hundreds of people.
I had a huge work Christmas party and it was so much fun, I’m blessed to be part of a company that will do that for employees.
We’ve gone to the Lincoln City Tree Lighting, The Polar Express Train Ride, Providence Festival of Trees, The World’s Largest Christmas Bazaar, Zoolights,Peter Pan at the Oregon Children’s theater and I had a big girl date night with Anika to the Portland Youth Philharmonic Christmas Program.
We enjoyed our Christmas Day and feasted on a Turducken that was given to us by Echelon Foods. The aroma filled my house all day as it slow cooked in my oven and when we finally sat down and tasted it we were all so pleased! I’ve heard about Turduckens so many times before, but we’ve never had an opportunity to try one until now. We had the Original Turducken with the spicy Italian stuffing* and it was delicious! It had a little spiciness to it, but nothing overpowering and the kids didn’t mind it at all. I think this may just be a tradition in the making.
All of this is thanks to this hobby that’s turned into a part time passion of mine.
I love sharing with you.
I’m pinching myself everyday, hoping that everything is for real and I can keep pushing forward doing things that I love.
I’m so grateful.
I can not wait for what 2014 holds.
*Turducken c/o Echelon Foods for review purposes. All opinions are of my own. Echelon Foods are available throughout Canada as well as select stores in the United States and have a variety of flavors. For more information visit their website: http://www.echelonfoods.com
This jam-packed hour event was such a wonderful break from the hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping, and these demos are free! All you have to do is register in advance. To learn more about when and where the Macy’s Culinary Council will be, you can check out their website HERE. You can also follow along with their Twitter account @culinarycouncil
Last weekend we drove up to Portland for a couple activities and took the kids to the Oregon Zoo ZooLights. We had never been before and had heard lots about it, plus I don’t know of any kids that aren’t fascinated with Christmas lights (mine are always thrilled to see them) so we thought it might be fun for the whole family.
We got there about 4:45 (it opens at 4:30) and we bundled up really warm, because last week temperatures were ridiculously cold for this area. We literally had layers upon layers of clothes on the kids to keep nice and toasty.
When I was a kid, one of the most exciting things was to get something in the mail – a letter from a pen pal, magazine or catalog, and every great once in a while I would get a package.
Those were the best.
There was something so exciting – it was like a big exciting surprise present that peaked my curiosity.
Citrus Lane does that for children.
They are a company that helps parents discover innovative products and things that inspire. Citrus Lane sends out a custom package once a month with surprises for newborns up to five.
I was thrilled to have the opportunity to share the magical moment of opening the mail with Noah.
He immediately was drawn to the Organicasaurus Baked Organic Corn Snack. They are 3-D dinosaur shaped cheddar snacks, are gluten-free, and were delicious! He opened the bag up, popped one in his mouth (after he decided which end of the dinosaur to eat first!) and immediately said “Mmmm”.
Inside his package there was also a build-a-burger toy, lunch tote, doodle pad, and a very nice set of Beeswax crayons. He is really getting into art and coloring now thanks to his preschool and two very artistic sisters, so it is great that he has his very own first art set. I told him to hide those fancy crayons from Emma!
I loved that that package was a surprise for everyone at the same time, and how affordable it was at $25 a month. How cool would it be to give a young child a present that will keep going all year long?
Citrus Lane is offering $10.00 off their first month for new subscribers with the code BLOGPOST. Also, Citrus Lane also has a shop where you can browse and purchase their most popular products! And, if you have a young child in your life you can enter for a chance to win a $25 voucher to purchase a present online*! All you need to do is leave a comment below stating what you would like to buy from the Citrus Lane shop, and you can also tweet about the giveaway using the hashtag #CitrusLane , then leave the link in the comments. A winner will be chosen on 12/16/13
Thanks and good luck!
* Entrants must be 18 years of age or older and residing in the continental U.S.