Guava Jam Cake

Who else loves Guava?!

If you are looking for a cake that is easy to make, looks impressive AND is finger-likin delicious.. look no further!!

For this cake you will need:

  • 3/4 cup guava paste (I used Goya)
  • 1 tablespoon of water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cups sour cream, room temperature
  • Confectioner’s sugar for dusting

Step One  In a small microwave-safe bowl, heat guava paste and 1 tablespoon of water on high in 20 second intervals, stirring in between each, until smooth and spreadable. ( 1 to 1 1/2 minutes total). Let it cool slightly. Spoon Guava mixture into a large piping bag (If you do not have a piping bag, a large ziplock bag will work as well). Set aside.

Step Two: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until fluffy, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla; scrape sides of bowl.

Step Three: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with sour cream, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat until combined. (Batter will be quite thick).

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Step Four: Spoon 2 1/4 cups (about half the batter)  into prepared pan. Using a small offset spatula, spread batter into bottom edges of pan and smooth top. Fill the remaining batter into a large piping bag. Cut a 1/2 inch opening into to tip of batter filled bag; pipe a large ring of batter along the edges of the pan. Next, cut an opening on the guava filled piping bag and pipe guava mixture inside the batter ring. spread evenly with a small offset spatula. Pipe the remaining batter on top of guava mixture. (You can cut the piping bag opening to 1 inch to make pipping easier) Smooth top with a spatula.

Step Five: Heat oven to 350º F. Bake until golden brown, about 50 to 55 minutes. You can check if it ready by inserting a wooden pick in the center and once it comes out clean, it is ready. Let it cook in pan for about 10 minutes before removing off pan. Let it cool completely on a wire rack. Dust with confectioners sugar.

I added a Glaze, this is optional.

You will need:

  •  2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 tablespoon whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon cointreau (or rum)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

In a small saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until just starting to brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat. Add confectioners sugar, milk, salt and cointreau; whisk together until smooth. Immediately drizzle on top of cake.

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Enjoy!!

Garlic Bread

I am back!!!

I realized I have not posted anything in a year!! With all of this COVID-19 craziness, I thought a new recipe would be a good idea to share.

I went to my local grocery store about three weeks ago and bought a loaf of bread, I totally forgot about it until I opened my pantry and there it was, looking exactly the same it did when I bought it. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with buying bread at the store but I started thinking of all the preservatives that the bread had to have in order for it to not go bad in 2-3 weeks. So I started doing some research on these preservatives, and what I found was not good! Some of the preservatives used in our bread also appear on things like yoga mats, explosives and petroleum products!! I read this article called “Banned bread: why does the US allow additives that Europe says are unsafe?” I have linked it if you would like to read it.

So this got me thinking, why can’t I use make my own bread? It is not hard and most of the ingredients you probably already have in your pantry. I started by making a simple loaf of bread (I will post this recipe in the following weeks) and let me tell you, I have fallen in love with bread making. There is something satisfying in knowing what is in your food that you are feeding your body and your family.

The first recipe I will share.. drum roll… Garlic Bread!! Who doesn’t love garlic bread?! I made it last week for our pasta night and it was a success!

The ingredients you will need:
– 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
– 2 1/4 teaspoon (1 packet) active dry yeast
– 1/2 cup of water
– 1/2 whole milk
– 2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon olive oil
– 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
– 3 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley
– 2 teaspoons minced garlic
– pinch of salt
– 1 cup shredded cheese
– 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
– Ground black pepper to taste

I know it sounds like a lot of things, but trust me you can do this!

Step 1:
In a small bowl, combine sugar and yeast. Combine the 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of milk in a mug and warm it up. The liquid should be around 110 to 115 degrees, then pour warm water over sugar mixture and let it stand for 10 minutes until yeast is foamy. (Important note: make sure the warm milk/water mixture is between 110 to 115. If it is cold, the yeast will NOT activate and if it is to hot, you will kill the yeast.)

Step 2:
While the yeast is activating, in a large bowl or in the bowl of the stand mixer with dough hook attachment, mix the flour and salt until combined. Pour the yeast mixture (after the 10 minutes are over); stir with wooden spoon or on low speed with dough hook host until dough forms. Transfer dough to a well- floured surface and knead by hand for 10-15 minute, until the dough is smooth, soft, elastic and only slightly sticky. OR, knead dough in stand mixer with dough hook for 5-7 minutes on medium speed, until it is ready. Note: for both options, you can add a 1 teaspoon at a time if you need a bit more flour. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl. (I get some olive oil, and drizzle it onto the bowl and with a paper towel, spread it all around the bowl). Once the dough is in the bowl, cover with plastic wrap or towel and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour until it has doubled in size. I like to put the dough inside a cabinet next to the stove. Whatever you do, do NOT open the cabinet door or peek inside the covered bowl or you can release the warmth it needs to rise.

Step 3:
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a cooking sheet and set to the side. In a small bowl, stir in softened butter, your cut parsley, garlic and a pinch of salt until well combined.

Step 4:
Punch down the dough and divide it into 2 pieces. Place both pieces on a lightly floured surface and let it rest for 5 minutes, covered with a clean kitchen towel. After the 5 minutes, on a floured surface, roll 1 piece of dough into a rectangle, roughly around 14×8 inch rectangle. Spread butter mixture evenly over the dough. Next, sprinkle cheese and a dash of black pepper. Roll the dough from long end into a 14 inch log. Pinch the sides to seal.

Step 5:
With log seam side-down, carefully slice dough almost completely through into a 1-inch rolls. Make sure they are still connected at the bottom. Lift dough. carefully and transfer it to your prepared cookie sheet. Rewear until you have both logs.

Step 6:
Spread the remaining butter mixture over the top of the rolls. Cover the pan and let the dough rest for 15 to 20 minutes.

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Step 7: Bake bread for 20- 25 minutes until deep golden brown.


Enjoy!!

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Bluebonnet season is here!! Who else is as excited as I am?

If you are a Texan, you know this is the time of year when the weather gets warmer, days get longer and fields gets covered with bluebonnets. If you are looking for family pictures, this is the time to carve some time from your busy schedule to go out and capture those breath taking memories.

For those of you that may not be from Texas, let me explain a bit about the bluebonnet. Number 1: This is our state flower, and when they start sprouting you know it’s springtime. Number 2: When you see the fields covered in these purple/blue hues, it looks magical. And lastly, its the best state flower out of all the other states. (I am being a bit bias here ❤ ).

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If you live in the Houston metro area, you are in luck, they have started to sprout in several places, like Buffalo Bayou, White Oak Bayou, the museum district, and Sugarland. The thing with bluebonnets is that this is a wildflower, so they will pop up in different places, so you just have to be in the lookout for a good spot. If you ask me, this is the best thing because it becomes a mini adventure. However, if you are looking for fields of bluebonnets instead of just a couple of patches then this will require a mini road trip. You can head out to Brenham TX, the Hill Country, Austin or San Antonio. We headed to Brenham this weekend and found the best spots for our family pictures.

Now, before you go out there in your search of the perfect picture, a couple of things to keep in mind.

1. This is our state flower and even though it is not illegal to pick them (Although we all think it is) please don’t. These are wild flowers and we need them to fully blossom so that they can bloom again next year.

2. Be respectful, the bluebonnets are delicate! Tread around them. Respect people’s property. If you see a perfect spot but it is inside gated land, do not enter.

3. Be safe especially if you are out in the fields, there might be thorns or there might be snakes. Also keep in mind that with spring time in full swing, so is the humidity and mosquitoes. And remember to stay hydrated out there.

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A couple of tips: Take a small blanket or towel to sit on. If you have little kids, I would suggest taking a little step for them to sit on. And lastly, think of your outfit ahead of time. Make sure the whole family matches, it will make your pictures come out even better 🙂

A little over a year has past

A little over a year has past since I married my best friend and I still think of that special day in Colorado. I have linked our wedding highlight video here

Does anyone else sometimes feel like time goes by so fast? Well wedding time goes by faster. You spend all the time and effort for the big day and when it finally arrives it is over in a blink of an eye. I am so glad we had an amazing photographer and videographer to capture all the great moments.

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Christmas time!!

It is almost Christmas time!! Is anyone else as excited as I am? I love Christmas!! I don’t know if it’s the family, the food, the lights and present but it’s my favorite time of year.

Next week I will be sharing a Christmas cookie recipe! It will have you making cookies like a pro. See you soon!!

Becca Foundation Review

I was asked to review the Becca Ultimate Coverage 24- hour Foundation. This foundation is supposed to be water-resistant, long wearing formula that features a perfectly balanced distribution of skin true pigments and has 22% water to allow the formula to adapt to all skin types for a second-skin, full coverage finish. It states that with one pump it effortlessly covers imperfections, redness hyperpigmentation, and uneven texture.

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All of this seems too good to be true right? So we tried it out and overall I would give this foundation a 4.5 out of 10.

I had high hopes for this foundation, the pros of this foundation is that it is waterproof so if you are looking for full coverage when you are heading to the pool or beach this foundation will stay on your face the whole day. Another positive is that the range of shades this foundationhas pretty good, it has 24 shades to choose from.

Now for the negatives… let’s start by saying that it’s hard to apply this makeup because of how thick it is. Since it is waterproof, you can’t just damp a beauty blender and start dabbing. I suggest you apply this foundation on prepped skin (I used the Becca First light priming face primer, I loved this primer) and apply the foundation with a brush. Using a blush will allow you to actually spread the product all over the face. Then with your damp beauty blender go in with a dab to create a more airbrush look.

Another thing that I disliked is that it’s actually quite sticky/tacky. If you use this foundation, you will need to set it with a translucent powder. The worst part about it is that it is very heavy/cakey. I have used other full coverage foundations but with this one, you feel like your skin cannot breathe at all.

The foundation does come out good in pictures but for the price you are paying $44.00 USD I would expect more, this foundation is NOT my favorite. If you guys want a makeup tutorial video, let me know on the comments below.

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May Boxycharm

It’s that time of the month again… Boxycharm time!!

I feel like I just got my box last month and then a new one comes. For those that don’t know or have never used Boxycharm, you are in for a treat! Boxycharm is a monthly beauty subscription box that is delivered right to your home. It is like if you were receiving a birthday gift  every single month, and who doesn’t like to receive gifts? Every month you receive a little black box that carries 4-5 full size beauty items. Boxycharm charges $21.00 USD every first of the month but the total of the items equal more than $100.00 USD so it’s totally worth it.

Here is the only catch, you don’t know what exactly you are going to get until the beginning of the month. But trust me I have never received a box that was not amazing. They include high-end brands so you can slowly build your makeup collection without breaking the bank. Let me share what came in the box of May.

May Boxycharm

#1: Pur- Sculptor Palette               MSRP- $30.00 USD

It’s a four-shade sculpting palette that features two high-beam highlighters and two matte contour shades that will leave skin sculpted to perfection. It is highly pigmented in a buttery formula.

#2: CoverFx- Blurring primer        MSRP: $38.00 USD

A lightweight, soft focus primer that blurs the appearance of pores, fine lines, and other imperfections creating a smooth canvas for flawless foundation application.

#3: Pretty Vulgar- The Ink Gel Eyeliner     MSRP: $24.00 USD

This highly pigmented gel eyeliner provides a quick-drying application with enriched vitamin C to condition the lids. Its creamy and water-resistant formula allows for smooth application that stays in place all day. If you live in a hot weather area, you need this in your life.

#4: Aesthetica- 3 piece eye trio  MSRP: $45.00USD

The Aesthetica Trio series comes with an angled eyeliner brush, a brow spoolie, and a fined tipped eyeliner brush.

#5:Asthetica- P12 Face Brush       MSRP: $27.00 USD

With synthetic fibers that allow for maximum control, the P12 dace brush is super soft, and perfect for creating a seamless look.

#6: Beauty Creations- Liquid Lip Gloss     MSRP: $10.00 USD

It is a matte liquid lip gloss that is specially formulated to provide full coverage that dries to a seamless, smooth and matte finish.

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Total of all five items: $174.00 USD and you get it all for just $21.00 USD!! If you are interested in getting Boxycharm, here is the link: Boxycharm

BareMinerals BarePro

Who’s ready for the hot Houston Summer? Sometimes I feel like my makeup melts off by midday with all the humidity. Then I found this little gem, the bareMinreals BarePro 16 Hour Full coverage concealer; it is a crease proof, waterproof and humidity resistant formula that lasts all day.

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If you live in a place where it’s hot and humid and If you haven’t tried it, give it a shot and let me know what you think.

Boxycharm- April 2018

Are you subscribed to Boxycharm? If you are not, you might want to try them out.

Boxycharm is a monthly beauty subscription box that gets delivered right to your door. It’s like if you were receiving a birthday gift every single month, and who doesn’t like to receive gifts? Every month you receive a little black box that carries 4-5 full size beauty items. Boxycharm charges $21.00 USD every first of the month but the total of the items equal more than $100.00 USD so it’s totally worth it.

Here is the only catch, you don’t know what exactly you are going to get until the beginning of the month. But trust me I have never received a box that was not amazing. They include high-end brands so you can slowly build your makeup collection without breaking the bank.

Let me share what came in the box of April.

Boxycharm april

#1: Tarte- Tartiest Pro Glow Liquid Highlighter                                         MSRP- $29.00 USD
It’s a creamy highlighter that builds from sheer to intense. Ultra concentrated pigments & pearls are suspended in the hybrid gel-cream, oil free formula that can be mixed with your liquid foundation or wear alone for naturally lit luminosity.

#2: Colourpop- Golden State of Mind Eyeshadow Palette                        MSRP: $26.00 USD
Highly pigmented shadow that applies evenly and feels ultra-velvety and silky.

#3: Dr. Brandt- Pores No More Vacuum Cleaner                                        MSRP: $47.00 USD
This award winning pore refining mask is an extraction specialist. Unclogging and tightening the look of pores and reducing excess oil from the skin’s surface.

#4: The Browgal- Instatint Tinted Eyebrow Gel                                         MSRP: $22.00 USD
Tinted eyebrow gel with microfibers to achieve a natural hair look. Perfect for those who want a quick but natural fill of the brows.

#5:Adesse- Hi Definition Liquid Lipstick                                                     MSRP: $24.00 USD
Creamy, luxurious, long wearing liquid lipstick. Provides the dazzling , full coverage of a lipstick with the ease of a wand applicator.

Total of all five items: $148.00 USD and you get it all for just $21.00 USD!!

If you are interested in getting Boxycharm, here is the link: https://www.boxycharm.com/refer/INGRI-EWMHZLOL

Mexico Lindo

We traveled to Mexico last week for a short family vacation. Thought I would share with you all our experience.

My favorite part was the Trajineras de Xochimilco, it’s a gondola-like contraption that takes you down the canals of Mexico City. The Trajineras are truly amazing; they are colorful and can fit up to 20 people. Most trajineras will charge per hour not per person, which is the best way. For our two-hour tour they charges us $1,000 pesos ($53.09 USD). Once you are on the tajineras the conductor will take it around the canals where you will find food, mariachis, and souvenirs all without leaving the little boat. If you’ve been to Mexico but haven’t visit Xochimilco, you should stop by next time.

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Next stop, Agua Hedionda in Cuautla, Morelos. Agua Hedionda is a mineral spring water spa; the waters originate from the melting snow of the Popocatepelt and Ixtaccihualt volcanoes. The spring surpasses about 200 gallons per second filling 2 large swimming pools (120 x 60 ft) and 8 small pools that can be rented for private use. For general admission to the large pools, the cost for adults is $50 pesos ($2.65 USD).  During this trip, we rented the largest private pool that accommodates up to 15 people. I will be honest, there is a slight funky smell to the water but this is because its natural mineral water that is filled with minerals and sulfur. The private pool had its own shower and bathroom along with four changing rooms and a grill. Weather you rent a private pool or head over the bigger public ones, your skin will thank you later.

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Lastly, let’s talk about Mexico City. There are some that might be scared of traveling around Mexico City but honestly, I don’t know why. Mexico City is not bad if you ask me. If you are trying to get around Mexico City I suggest you park your car and travel by the underground metro. If you have been to New York City or Paris and can get around the metro there, then you won’t have a problem in Mexico City either. Now if you have never been to the underground metro in neither of those places, do not panic. As long as you can read a map then you can download the metro map on your phone as a pdf and get around. You should visit the Zocalo, Garibaldi, El Palacio de Bellas Artes, Bosque de Chapultepec, and the Frida Kahlo Musuem. I  will warn you, if you are planning on visiting all these places it will take a whole full day and you will be doing tons and tons of waking so take comfy shoes.

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Overall, it was a fun mini vacation, even my Teddy Bear (my dog) went on this adventure. I’ll be posting about internationally traveling with your pet in a future blog.