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My father didn’t have the opportunity to have an extensive education.  According to the stories that he has told me, he always excelled in school and loved to learn.  Like most Mexicanos, he had to stop going to school at a very young age.  Money was scarce and he had to work to help out at home.

Ever since I can remember, my dad was always reading.  He would read anything he could get his hands on.  His reading wasn’t for leisure.  It was for educational purposes and it was enjoyable.  He thought everyone should find the same pleasure in reading and learning.  Unfortunately, my brother and I would rather play with the neighborhood kids than read and learn more than what was the school’s expectation.

Don’t get me wrong, I loved learning new things and reading.  But I enjoyed reading Judy Blume– not reading about the Cold War at the age of 10! WTH!?   Homework–I was cool with doing the minimal.   But on top of our school homework, my dad would give my brother and I extra work.  When we finished our homework we had to move on to more learning activities that he would leave for us to do.  Ay Dio Mio!  I just wanted to watch T.V. or play dress up with my aunt and rock out to some old school Spanish Jams like “Rock Del Angelito” by Los Rebeldes del Rock or “Billie Jean”  by Michael Jackson.

My dad would buy a Spanish news paper and make me read it for 30 minutes a day and it’s probably one of the reasons why I can speak Spanish (Can’t say the same for writing in Spanish but I get by.)  By the age of 6/7 I had all the times tables memorized and when I got to 3rd grade I was on top of the game.  When I was about 9/10 I had all of the Central American and South American countries and capitols memorized (Please don’t ask me to recite them.  I don’t remember them.).  At around the age of 10/11  he told me to learn about radius, diameter and circumference.  I had to practice it until I mastered it.  Unfortunately, when it was time to use those math formulas, I had forgotten them.  I think I placed them in my short term memory.  He even made me remember, “Los tres agravantes de la ley:  premeditacion, alevocia, y ventaja (The three aggravating factors of the law: premeditation, treachery, and advantage.).  At the time I didn’t even know what the heck I was saying.  But if he asked me, “Que son los tres agravantes de la ley?”,  I would answer as if it were part of my daily life.

One of the things that I think I will never forget is that 3.14=pi.  Matter of fact, he took it a step further and made me recognize it as tres punto catorce dieciséis.  I memorized it in Spanish so every time I would hear the word pi, I would automatically recall it in Spanish and would have to translate it in my head before answering my teachers or anywhere it came up (Still do.).  It wasn’t until I had to use it at school that I learned that I could stop at 3.14 and not have to continue to work out the problem with 3.1416 .

So we celebrate pi, 3.14 (March 14) in honor of my childhood trauma (LOL) and in honor of a father who pushed his kids to excel beyond their years.IMG_4760

 

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My kids don’t really care for any type of pie so I had to make a pumpkin dump cake recipe into a pie because the only pie they like is pumpkin pie. LOL

1 can (29 0z) of pumpkin filling

1 can evaporated milk

4 eggs

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cloves

1 cup of sugar

1 stick of butter

1 box of yellow cake mix

1/2 cup of walnuts or pecans

 

 

Mix pumpkin filling and milk.  Add 2 eggs at a time and mix.  Add cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and sugar. Mix well.  Pour mix into a cake pan.  Evenly spread cake mix over the pumpkin mix.  Chop up 1/2 cup of pecans or walnuts and spread evenly over cake mix.  Melt butter and spread evenly over mix.  Bake at 350 degrees for 55 minutes.  Let cool.

 

 

 

 

 

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Last year around this time I kept coming across Instagram posts about the #weallgrow Summit.  It intrigued me and I began to follow the weekend unfold wishing I was there “liking” every picture. I saw bonds, sisterhood, motivation and so much more–and they were all Latinas!   I told myself that I needed to be there at the next summit.  When I saw the “early bird” registration, I wanted to sign up but I was very apprehensive about it because I had no one in my immediate circle who might want to attend- nothing wrong with that and it’s understandable.  It’s not everyone’s thing.  My insecurities began to speak to me, “You shouldn’t go because you are going to look like a moron walking around all alone at this huge event full of amazing women who are conquering the world.”.  But something in me made me register any way.  I bought a single ticket.  Felt so weird…I was going ALONE-gulp!  I was scared but so excited at the same time.  The year couldn’t come fast enough.

I can’t believe the summit has come and gone already.  I had such an amazing time.  I learned so much and was empowered to do great things!  The energy was incredible!!  Imagine a room full of Latinas who want to make a difference.  We were all feeding each other ideas.   Motivating, stirring one another and bringing out our best-and it had been in us all along.  No idea was too far fetched or weird.  Every idea I have had and finally got to share with my new friends was made to feel within my reach and all I had to do was-DO IT!

Those ideas are now on paper and I will eventually make them happen.  And if they don’t happen, then I’ll move on to the next idea.  I have nothing to lose, but everything to gain.  So get ready because you will be hearing this Mexican American’s name more often.

I want to thank all the amazing ladies whom I met this past weekend.  You have given me the courage and drive to keep dreaming BIG and to act on my dreams.  I am grateful for that!  So now I want to encourage you all (my readers) to also dream big.  Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone.  Do what you love and be true to yourself.  Take up the call.  But don’t forget who you are and know where you are going.

To help you dream big, I’m giving away a goodie bag filled with Elena of Avalor cuteness.  All you have to do is post a picture of yourself on Instagram with the hashtags #DreamBigPrincess and #dreamingwithabuelaskitchen and tell me what your BIG DREAM is and what you are going to do about it!  OR you can tell me below.

*****CLOSES MARCH 14, 2017 @ 9PM PST.

Good luck and keep dreaming!

Con Cariño,

Silvia

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Elena of Avalor goodie bag includes:

*Elena Doll

*Elena of Avalor Original Soundtrack

*Elena Movie

*Elena Wall of Dreams

*Disney Princess Comic

*Merida Little Golden Book

*Aurora Disney Princess Little Kingdom

*#DreamBigPrincess bracelet

 

Didn’t take too many pictures because I was living the moment.  Here are a few:

 

 

Lately, there has been an over flow of political jargon.  It’s hard not to get fired up with the over flow of information.  We are definitely living in historical times.  Not really sure how it will all end up, so I put my trust in God first of all.  But there is one thing that I can’t deny– that I am a daughter of immigrants.  Immigrants-human beings, who heard that there was a possibility of  a better life.  They left the familiar with only HOPEHope of opportunity- Hope of a better life-in hopes of a good job.  And this job they were looking for wasn’t to gain riches for personal indulgement.  It was a job for survival.  Not just their survival, but that of their families.

I am proud to say that my parents worked very hard, like a lot of immigrants.  My dad was always an exemplary employee, foreman and business man and my mom a proud owner of her own thriving beauty salon.  The day they became citizens of the United States of America, my dad shed a tear during the National Anthem (A man I have never seen cry.).  He had always been a proud Mexican, but that day I believe he was thankful for the flag that had given him the opportunity to help his family when he first left his beloved country and now was allowing his children to do even greater things than he had been able to.

scan-29My mom was never scared to work-whether it was in the fields or in a high-class beauty salon.  Today, I am grateful for her sacrifice, hard work, endurance and her life.

Mom, know that what you did in this life for others and myself have not gone unnoticed.  And even if those efforts appear to have been forgotten, I am living proof and a walking testament of all  your sacrifice and all you went through so that your children could have a future with hope and endless possibilities.  You are a true example of strength, endurance and perseverance.

May health, laughter, joy and family be multiplied in this year. Feliz Cumpleaños.  Que te la pases muy de pelicula!

Silvia

Disclosure: Post sponsored by Mirum Shopper but all opinions are my own.

The holidays are definitely about gathering with family and friends.  I love to throw on some festive music and of course gather around the table to eat.  One of my favorite things to make around this time is pozole!  Who doesn’t love a good bowl of pozole?

I have always loved my Tia Mela’s pozole and I would wait for the day she would invite us over to feast on this delicious dish (usually at Christmas or New Year’s Eve).  But now with all the practice I’ve had in the kitchen, I can whoop up my own pot of pozole any time I want.    It’s so easy especially with  #NorthgateMarket having all the items I need to make this happen.  My secret twist to this dish is adding Knorr Bouillon because it gives it an authentic flavor my family loves. And right now when you purchase Knorr Bouillon, you can get Guerrero Riquísimas flour tortillas for free.

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So if you are looking for a super easy recipe, you have come to the right place!  Make sure to let me know how you’ll customize this great soup recipe for your family and search for inspiration with #KnorrCelebrations!

Happy Holidays!

Store locator:  http://www.northgatemarkets.com/our-stores/

Cook time: 3-4 hours

Serves: 8-10 people

Ingredients For Stew

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Garnishes

  • Raddish
  • Lemon
  • Onion
  • Cabbage

Instructions

  1. Fill half of a large pot with water.
  2. Add pork, onion, 2 garlic cloves, bay leaves, cumin, salt and bouillons.
  3. Bring to boil, then lower heat and let it took for 2-3 hours or until meat is nice and tender.
  4. While the meat is cooking, boil the chiles until soft.
  5. Puree chiles, 1 garlic and salt to taste.
  6. After meat is almost done, add chile sauce to the pot and let it come to a boil again.
  7. Add 3/4 of the can of hominy.
  8. Puree the left over hominy with a little bit of water and add to the stew. (Abuela taught me this step but it’s optional).
  9. Taste for salt.
  10. Let it all simmer together for about 15-20 minutes.
  11. Serve with all the trimmings.

Provecho!

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Christmas is always a great time to be with family.  I especially love making memories with my kids.  This year my daughter and I decided to make some Mexican Wedding Cookies aka “polvorones”.  I love when she gets these sudden urges to create things in the kitchen because I know I get to be involved.

I posted our process on Snapchat (sillysil2u) and many of you requested the recipe and so we gladly will share it with you.  This is a very simple recipe with few ingredients.  Enjoy “y Feliz Navidad” to all our Social Media familia!

Bendiciones y con mucho amor!

Silvia and Jezreel (daughter)

Ingredients
1 cup of butter
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla
2 1/4 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of chopped walnuts

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Preparation

Cream together butter, powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Slowly add the salt and flour.  Round 1 inch balls with your hand.  Bake 10-12 minutes.  Do not let them brown too much.  Make sure to preheat oven at 400 degrees.

After they have cooled for a couple of minutes, roll in powder sugar.  Once cooled completely, roll in sugar again.

 

And your done!

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Provecho!

 

Why does it seem like there is an overflow of negativity now a days? I just know that good people still exist and good things are happening around us everyday. But why are we are missing it? Why have we lost our focus on the good in things, and instead, are driven by “chisme,”. Why are we giving more attention to the ugly stuff than to the things that are really making a difference in our world?

With the influence of social media and the bombardment of negativity, we as a society have changed; we have become more outspoken, direct, and outright rude at times. On social media, people leave negative comments on someone’s page about their “crooked nose,” “their weight,” or “their broken Spanish”—just dumb stuff! I understand if you want to express your opinion about something that you’re passionate about, but there is no need to be so negative. I’m tired of all this negativity! And I’m talking to myself!

With that in mind, I did some real soul searching and was thinking about ways that I could challenge myself, the Abuela’s Kitchen crew, and all of you, to think, act, and respond positively! We can all make a difference in the lives of those around us, one person at a time, beginning in our home and flowing out into our communities. In my reading time this morning, I read the following passage, it says:

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but harsh word stirs up anger. Knowledge flows like spring water from the wise; fools are leaky faucets, dripping nonsense.”

As I read that I thought, “I want to be like spring water and not a leaky faucet.” Don’t you? Those darn leaky faucets don’t let me sleep. LOL!

In other words, in order to be like “Spring Water” we have to put into action our positive thoughts and words. So for the month of November, I am kicking off what I’m calling “Comida Del Corazon.” I will be picking two families who may need a little love and encouragement—and will be preparing a nice surprise for them. Sound interesting yet? Well, this is where you can also be like the “Spring Water,” by nominating a family who you think is in need of some love, encouragement, positivity, and a meal from the heart (Comida del Corazon).

The special person or family will receive a meal from us (the Abuela’s Kitchen crew), we will eat together or just hang out and share stories of life as we enjoy each other’s company.

Starting today, think of that special person or family who could use some cheering up and tell me why you nominate them to receive una Comida Del Corazon. Deadline for all nominations is October 21, 2016.

I’ll be looking forward to reading all of your nominations! Thank you guys for your love and support! Spread positivity not negativity, even with a warm cooked meal. J ❤

Two winners will be picked by the Abuela’s Kitchen crew by October 28, 2016.

How to enter:

There are two ways to enter.

  1. Submit your nomination via our Facebook page (publicly). OR
  2. Email your nomination to me at abuelaskitchentortillas@yahoo.com

Rules:

  1. Nominee must live within the Southern California region.
  2. You must submit the city and zip code of where the nominee lives.
  3. You give us permission to post your entry along with pictures, if included.
  4. You give us permission to announce the nominee’s location.

 

 

** Comida del Corazon meal will be for family of 5 and has no monetary value.

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¿Por qué parece que hay un exceso de la negatividad hoy en día? Sé que todavía existen personas buenas y cosas buenas están ocurriendo a nuestro alrededor todos los días. Pero ¿por qué no lo notamos? ¿Por qué hemos perdido nuestro enfoque en lo bueno de las cosas, y en su lugar, somos impulsados por “el chisme”? ¿Por qué estamos prestando más atención a las cosas feas que a las cosas que realmente están haciendo una diferencia en nuestro mundo?

Con la influencia de los medios sociales y el bombardeo de negatividad,  como sociedad hemos cambiado; hemos llegado a ser más francos, directos y simplemente groseros a veces. En las redes sociales, las personas dejan comentarios negativos en las páginas de alguien acerca de su “nariz torcida,” “su peso” o “su español mocho”- ¡sólo cosas tontas! Yo entiendo que queremos expresar nuestra opinión sobre algo que nos apasiona, pero no hay necesidad de ser tan negativo. ¡Estoy cansada de toda esta negatividad! ¡Y me estoy hablando a mí misma!

Con esto en mente, he estado pensando en maneras que podía desafiarme a mí misma, al personal de Abuela’s Kitchen, y a todos ustedes, ¡a pensar, actuar y responder de manera positiva! Todos podemos hacer una diferencia en las vidas de los que nos rodean, una persona a la vez, empezando en nuestra casa y que fluya hacia nuestras comunidades. En mi tiempo de lectura de esta mañana, leí el siguiente pasaje que dice:

“La blanda respuesta quita la ira, pero la palabra áspera hace subir el furor. El conocimiento fluye como agua de manantial de los sabios; tontos son los grifos que gotean, goteando sin sentido “.

Cuando lo leí que pensé, “yo quiero ser como agua de manantial y no un grifo que gotea.” ¿Y tú? Esos grifos que gotean no me dejan dormir. LOL!

En otras palabras, para ser como “Agua de manantial” hay que poner en acción nuestros pensamientos y palabras en una manera positiva. Así que, para el mes de Noviembre, estoy dando inicio a lo que estoy llamando “Comida Del Corazón.” Voy a escoger dos familias que necesitan un poco de amor y aliento, y prepararemos una sorpresa agradable para ellos. ¿Suena interesante? Bueno, aquí es donde también ustedes pueden ser como el “agua de manantial”, nombre a una familia que piense que está necesitada de un poco de amor, ánimo, positividad y una comida del corazón.

La persona o familia especial recibirán una comida de parte de nosotros (el personal de Abuela’s Kitchen), comeremos juntos o simplemente pasaremos el rato y compartiremos historias de la vida y disfrutaremos de la compañía mutua.

A partir de hoy, piense en esa persona especial o familia que podría utilizar un poco de ánimo y díganos porqué los nombra para recibir Una Comida Del Corazón. La fecha límite para todas las nominaciones es el 21 de Octubre del 2016.

¡Voy a estar al tanto todas sus nominaciones! ¡Gracias a todos por su amor y apoyo! Hay que difundir positividad no negatividad, incluso con una comida caliente. ☺ ❤

El equipo de Abuela’s Kitchen escogerá dos ganadores para el 28 de octubre del 2016.

Cómo participar:
Hay dos maneras para participar.
1. Envíe su nominación a través de nuestra página de Facebook (públicamente). O
2. Envíe su nominación a nuestro correo electrónico abuelaskitchentortillas@yahoo.com

Reglas:
1. El candidato debe vivir dentro de la región sur de California.
2. Debe presentar la ciudad y el código postal donde vive el candidato.
3. Usted nos da permiso para publicar su nominación junto con imágenes, si se incluyen.
4. Usted nos da permiso para anunciar la ciudad del candidato.

** La Comida del Corazón será una comida para una familia de 5 y no tiene valor monetario.
 

Hey guys. The picture below shows an area that I shared with you all in my Part 6 of my Purepero, Michoacan trip.  It is very special to me on many levels.  If you know the reason why it’s so special to me, leave me a comment here.

Hola chicos. La siguiente imagen muestra un área que he compartido con todos ustedes en mi parte 6 de mi viaje Purépero, Michoacán. Es muy especial para mí en muchos niveles. Si conoce la razón por qué es tan especial a mí me deja un comentario aquí.

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If you guess the right answer, you will be entered to win the items in the picture shown (My last Abuela’s Kitchen Loteria shirt.).  Thank you for participating and good luck!!!  Contest closes Friday May 27th, 2016 at 11pm (PST).

Si adivina la respuesta correcta, se le inscribirá para ganar los elementos de la imagen que se muestra. Gracias por participar y buena suerte !!! Concurso cierra viernes 27 de mayo de, 2016 a 23:00 (PST).

 

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