This Weeks Lesson

Happy Friday!

I so happy that the end of this week finally came. I have been so stressed out trying to make sure I am on top of celebrating everyone’s birthday. This week and next week I have friends and family that have birthday’s back to back to each other.

This week it was my Dad’s birthday (2nd), Boyfriend’s (7th),  my friend Jesse (8th), my Mom (9th) and my bf Mom (10th). So that was pretty hectic! I’m so grateful that my Mom and boyfriend don’t mind sharing the same weekend.

With everyone sharing the same month it becomes overwhelming so this year I learned some new things. One being that it isn’t always about the amount of money you spend on someone but the amount of effort.

This year for my boyfriends birthday I decided to approach it with a different mentality. Since I love getting an amazing response from my gifts I always go big or go home. So as I was on Best Buy’s website, I was browsing their gaming section to see what new toy I can get him. Once I looked through all the pages of products I found myself seeing nothing that he would love. I was rattling my brain on what would be a great gift. Then it hit me, I wanted to give him multiple surprises. I wanted to surprise him in the morning, while he was at work and when he came home.

For his Morning surprise I put a note on the mirror that said Good Morning and to go to the kitchen for his surprise. In the kitchen I taped a sign that said surprise inside with a balloon to the fridge. Inside the fridge I made him a lunch from scratch with some fruit and beef jerky I got from Whole Foods. Right in front of his bagged lunch was a handmade card. I jotted down some things that I love about him and how much he means to me. My whole goal was to make sure that he started his day off right.

When I got to work I wanted to create a nice photo collage of him and all the photos we have together. So I wrote a sweet note and posted it on Facebook. He loved it so much and people were complementing me on how nice it looked.

Here is where the headache really started. So my plan was when I get home I have two hours to bake a cake and decorate while I’m waiting.

What I didn’t know was that baking a cake with coconut flour gets pretty tricky especially if you have never worked with it. I decided to be bold and make him a sugar- free, low carb cake. So as I was mixing all the ingredients together I started noticing that it was pretty thick and hard to stir. Before I started panicking I kept adding water and even skim milk  to the mixture to see if it changed. Well sadly it didn’t but I was running out of time and I said, ” F*** it I’m just going to put it in the oven.”

One task was taken care of, so now I had to tackle decorating. I had this idea for his last surprise to tape a note outside the door to go to the kitchen, that a surprise is waiting for him. I was going to make a balloon avalanche so when he open the kitchen door balloons were just going to fall on him. I was going to be inside waiting with a cake with candles and sing him happy birthday.

But of course things didn’t go as I imagined so I just had to adapt. I hung the streamers and began to blow up the balloons. Just to do a time check I text my bf to let me know when he is almost home and what did he respond with… 10 mins away. So the idea of an avalanche was thrown out the window.

I ended up placing the balloons on the floor, bed, couch and on his desk area. I took the cake out and started putting in the candles because clearly there wasn’t any time to wait for it to cool. So as he walked in and was surprised by the decoration I started to sing to him.

For his gift I got him a Pacific candle and massage oil from Whole Foods. He absolutely loved it and I was beyond relieved. I told him of my ideas of getting him something expensive and he said that I chose the perfect gift. After he opened his gift we went to Gen (Korean BBQ restaurant) and we had a feast since it was all you can eat.

At the end of the day everything fell into place and made it one for the books. It taught me not to get so invested in an idea because some times things don’t go as planned. Another thing it taught me is that the gift means more when it comes from a place of love instead of money. I think that’s why I fell in love with my bf because material things don’t mean anything to him he prefers love.

 

P.s. The cake I made was okay, I had some left over batter and the cupcakes saved the day. While the cake ended up in the trash. You live and you learn.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Monday Favorites

Today I wanted to share with you my favorites of this week.

Let me start off by saying that this weekend I was extremely excited. I finally got my first ipsy bag!!!

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For those who don’t know about it, ipsy is a monthly subscription that includes a beautiful Glam Bag with deluxe samples and full-sized beauty products. Members can watch and play along with the stylists with the same products that they are using. All for only $10 a month.  

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Another favorite I discovered was Whole Foods bacon. Yes, you read correctly BACON.

I know what you are thinking bacon…really? But since its Whole Foods the bacon is top tier. For example not only is that bacon more flavorful then your regular Farmer John’s but its nice thick, juicy, meaty bacon! And they were only $1 for two pieces of bacon. Since my boyfriend and I love our bacon we bought 6 on Saturday and 8 on Sunday. I got hooked quickly…

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Finally my last favorite and probably the most shocking one. Recently I had to buy some new foundation because sadly I lost my Kat Von D foundation in Portland. With all that money spent I thought it would be best for my wallet and I to try drugstore foundation. The two words I do not like together. I did my research and thought I would give L’orel Paris Infalliable Pro- Matte 24 HR foundation a try. I amazingly love it and think that the color and coverage is actually better than my Kat Von D one. If you are as shiny as I am then you will love how much this controls it.

Let me know your favorites this week by commenting below or using the hashtag #MMfavorites.

Love,

Erika

New Year Empanadas

Good Moring Everyone!

Today I thought I would share my empanadas recipe. Every New Years my mom, Aunt Sandra and grandma make empanadas. It’s a tradition that we have made since we were little. But just like any kid I grew up and now  don’t spend it with my family. This year since I was with my boyfriend so I didn’t get the one thing I wait all year for. I thought for the New Year I would step up and make them.

Let me just say that this is not something that is easy and it can be pretty pricey.

Here is what you will need:

  • Flank Steak (1.3-2 Pounds)
  • 2 Fresh Garlic Cloves
  • 2 Bay Leafs
  • Salt
  • 2 Anaheim Peppers
  • 1 Plastic Bag
  • 1/4 of an Onion
  • 2-3 Potatoes Depending on size
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 1 can of Black Olives
  • Garlic Salt
  • Pepper

So first you cut the steak into rectangles then poke them with a knife. You want to do this so the meat cooks faster. When you bring the meat to a boil, you want to make sure that you scoop out all the foam into the sink or trash. Once it has stopped producing foam you throw in the bay leaf and garlic cloves. You want to cook the meat until it is tender. I got my flank steak from Whole Foods so mine took about 2 and half hours to be really tender.

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*You will know the meat is ready to be taken out onto a plate when you can stab through the meat with you spoon effortlessly. DO NOT throw away the broth because you will use that later.

When you are letting the meat cool off you start to roast the Anaheim Peppers on direct flame on both sides. As each pepper is done you want to wait about a minute and put it into a plastic bag to cook off.

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You then begin to shred the meat and cut the peppers. You want to make sure you cut off the stem and take out the seeds.

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Chop the 1/4 of an onion and 3 tomatoes into cubes. first peel the potatoes, then cut them into cubes and cook them in the broth until tender.

* Be careful not to over cook the potatoes because they will get mushy when all the ingredients get cook together.

In a large skillet you combine all ingredients.

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In this order you will put in the ingredients. First you add a little oil for sautéing, then you throw in the onion. When the onion starts getting clear add the meat. After 3 minutes add in the tomatoes. Then you add in the Anaheim peppers after 3 minutes. Once the tomatoes and peppers look a little soggy you thrown in the potatoes (not with the broth).

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When everything is mixed you add in the garlic salt, salt and pepper for seasoning. Add to more or less according to your taste buds. Once you got it to your liking add in chopped black olives.

If you want to take the easy route you can buy some premade dough. But if you are like me then homemade is the way to go.

I used this brand and all you have to do is add hot water.

Once you mixed the 2 cups of flour and 1/2 cups of hot water you immediately start kneaded the dough. You do that for about 5 minutes, if it is still sticky and not smooth add in a little more flour.

You get a damp wet cloth and put that over the bowl (where the dough is resting) for about 15 minutes. When you are ready you pull out the size amount of dough you want for the empanada. You use a roller pin that is covered in flour to flatten the dough.

*Make sure that you don’t have thick ones or they will take longer to fry.

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When they are nice and thin you fill it with the meat (don’t over stuff). You want to close both sides like a taco and then start rolling the sides of the dough so it closes. Or if it makes it easier for you get a fork and press the fork all along the opening to seal it.

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After all of this Bam! You got yourself an empanada.

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This was my first ever attempt to making them and they taste just like they were made from my family.  I still am extremely proud of myself and that I pulled it off.

Let me know if you have any questions and please share photos if you decide to make some.

Happy New Year!