Thursday, June 4, 2015

Adventures in Fair Food

By now we all know I am a foodie at heart. There really is nothing out there I won't try at least once. 

Whether its Uni (Sea Urchin) or Escaramoles (Ant Eggs), the sky is the limit and nothing culinary scares me.

So when my friend Wendy brought me along as her plus one to the San Diego County Fair Media Party... I was ready to take on even the most adventurous of fair food.  

Fair goers have been introduced to things like fried frog legs, and chocolate covered bacon year after year. However, rumors were circling about a special pickle that is an absolute must have.  Also getting buzz around town, were the likeness of deep fried starbucks, sriracha dogs, and shark tacos. I couldn't wait. 

So here is what my perspective is of these... interesting bites. 


Shark Tacos

We all know I loveeeee me some fish tacos! After all, I live and breathe Mexican food... 
But these tacos had soooo much breading on them, I literally couldn't tell what type of fish I was eating. I kept thinking to myself, are you sure you gave me a SHARK Taco? I decided to move on, and explored the next thing that sounded good... 


Parmesan Garlic Fries

C'mon can you ever go wrong with parmesan and garlic? I thought no, I was wrong. The "fries," were more like chips. Warm, but fried to a dehydrated crisp. They had been robbed of all their potato flavor and it took away from what should have been a delicious garlic parmesan sprinkle. Sad day. Sad potato day indeed. 


Deep Fried Starbucks

Ok. Ok. I will admit.. I am quite the Starbucks afficionado..BUT... these little balls of delight really delivered. They were dusted with cinnamon and sugar and then topped with whipped cream and served in, you guessed it, a Starbucks cup. 

These little balls of heaven resembled Starbucks so much, I wanted to just keep eating. Hands down... they are delicious. They are not what you expect, because I mean... what can you expect deep fried Starbucks to look like? But they managed to merge two of my favorite things. Churros and Starbucks... So I am a fan.

At the same location I also picked up something that jumped out at me right away...


Chocolate Covered Chicharron (Pork Rind)


Yup... you read that right. 
Skeptics, I am here to tell you... you will eat your words.
This chocolate covered crisp was so well balanced and so unorthodox that it quickly became my favorite of the night. 

No, I am not kidding. 

I don't even like chocolate! Yet, I was seriously thrilled that this made the menu. The salty crispiness of the chicharron reminded me of a rice chocolate bar but with a bigger depth of flavor. Trust me on this, you should at least try it! 


Sriracha Corn Dog

We all know Sriracha is as common now as Chipotle was in the 90's... so why not have a Sriracha dog right? I was curious to see how this would be executed and so, I ordered one up with zero apprehension, after all, I love me some spicy food. 

Firstly... the look of it is not that appealing. You are essentially getting a corn dog with Sriracha drizzled on top... Is this really it? Wendy and I kept asking ourselves. While this dog proved that you really can put Sriracha on ANYTHING... the surprise came as I was about 3 bites in and realized that the dog inside, was not just a regular dog but a hot link! ALERT! Someone Hurry! Get me a Margarita! 


Sweet Corn Ice Cream

This is one of those things that can either go really wrong, or really well. Corn when done right can really deliver in the flavor department and can truly be both sweet or savory. 

Although, I wish I could rally behind this idea, seeing as it is imported from Jalisco, Mexico, and the fact that corn is such a huge staple of my cooking and heritage... this ice cream really didn't represent corn the way it should. There was so much cream and sugar, that the actual corn taste was lacking. In fact, it was nearly unrecognizable. 

While this is a great idea, the flavor balance was off for me... but hey, try it, maybe your serving will be better than mine. 




The Pig Trough

I know, I know... it sounds gross.. but trust me.. I was convinced first bite in! Seriously! Crispy Pork Chicharron topped with delicious BBQ Pulled Pork and finished off with Cole Slaw! Man that is good. 

While truthfully, it begs for a bit more presentation the almost nacho like idea of the chicharron made my down-home Mexican self very happy! 




Peanut Butter Deep Fried Pickle

During the process of waiting in an extensive line for the most talked about item this fair season... I saw my great friend, and Discover SD writer, Leslie Hackett. She had just purchased her pickle and was preparing to take her first bite. I was scared. Scared for her. Scared for her taste buds. 

Her first bite was met with a gushing mixture of salty pickle juice and melted peanut butter. Her face was indescribable and before she could be asked any questions by the group around her, she bravely took a second bite noting that she didn't get enough peanut butter in that first bite. 

And there it was... the face of utter dissatisfaction. 

It wasn't what she expected and quickly offered me a bite. For the sake of this blog and my curios palette, I decided to just take a bite. I mean, its a pickle and peanut butter, two flavors I know and love...and YUCK. 

Exactly what you are imagining, is EXACTLY what it tastes like. Two flavors that should NEVER be mixed. Pickle juice, melted peanut butter, crispy batter, what is happening in my mouth right now? Ugh. 



So there you have it... I am sure there are other things I didn't capture, but fortunately the San Diego County Fair will be opening this coming Friday, June 5th and will remain open until the 4th of July. Go to SDFair.com for details or discount tickets, and special events... oh and don't forget the free concerts! 

Have a wonderful rest of your week and please, get out there and start an adventure! 

~Cheers - SLM



Friday, May 29, 2015

Let's Get Cooking!

Awwww man... do I have a story for you... 

My last installment to you, my amazing followers, was quite some time ago... and boy have I been busy! 

You see at the end of Summer 2014, I decided to audition for a show that I have been quite a fan of! well... more like my favorite show on air for the past 5 years... MASTER CHEF!!!

My co-admin for Instagramers San Diego Lauren, told me all about it and so I decided, why not? What do I have to lose? I have a deep-rooted passion for cooking, learning, and life... I can do this! 

I showed up to the casting call in Downtown San Diego, bright eyed and rocking typical latina curls.

I was told to check in and tell them about a specific email I had received, and BOOM! I got VIP'd (whatever that means). 

Within 7 minutes I was told I was part of the next group up and suddenly... that positive demeanor turned to nerves! OMG! Oh my god...  

HERE...WE... GO...

To audition, I had whipped up an amazing Three Cheese Tortellini in an Asiago Cream Sauce with Crimini Mushrooms and Pancetta. It's the dish my Dad asks for on birthdays and father's day... so I figured, I can't go wrong. 

I walked in to a large conference room and began my audition process... 

I can't share any more details because well... the audition process itself is confidential... but what you must know is... 

I DID IT! I made it on the show! 

I was scheduled to leave to Los Angeles in early January and I had NO IDEA if I could even do it or more importantly, manage it financially. 

So with the encouragement of my good friend Ilo, I set up a vague crowd-funding account. I only noted that I was given an amazing opportunity that has the potential to change munchkin and my life! Remarkably, donation after donation, I was reminded how truly blessed I am. Family, Friends, Co-Workers, and yes, even special blog followers donated helping me to raise over $3,000 dollars! 

NO I AM NOT KIDDING! People believe in me! They want me to go after my dreams, even if I couldn't share any of the details! 

I left to Los Angeles on a very early morning, leaving my daughter in tears. I cried myself to the train station and just kept repeating, no pain, no gain. No risk, No reward. 

My heart was broken. I had never spent more than 3 nights away from munchkin... can I even do this? 

I was walking away form my life, my daughter, my apartment, my job, EVERYTHING... all for this amazing opportunity. Was I being selfish? Was I wrong? What am I doing? 

Well... I made it. I did it. I got that apron.... and joined the biggest cooking competition in the Country! I beat out 40,000 + chefs who auditioned for the show and can wear that proudly no matter what... 

To this day, I can't wrap my head around how unbelievable this is. I am soooo glad to FINALLY be able to share why I was gone so long, what I was so busy with, and what my dream was! 

I had the opportunity to cook for Gordon Ramsay, Graham Elliot, and new Chef Christina Tosi, three of thee most renowned chefs in this country. 

Guys... MIND BLOWN... seriously. 

I hope you will watch me battle it out in the Master Chef kitchen this upcoming Wednesday! The show airs on FOX primetime at 8:00pm ET/PT ... yes I said PRIME. TIME. 

Is this real life? Someone pinch me please! 

You can also watch on Hulu, as we are already three shows in! (Sorry late in the blogging game)... I have also created a new website for myself... click here to visit. 

One last thing... I need to extend a HUGE THANK YOU, to YOU, my followers who donated and who believed in me and continue to support this Single Latina Mama through all of my adventures. 

It is clear that there are oh so many more delicious adventures to come for this Single Latina Mama! 

Cheers~ SLM

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Hi, I am Mrs. Undateable

With life swirling in more ways than your local froyo spot, I somehow lost sight of me again.
I tucked my head down, swept through what seems like the better part of 2014. And now, as I turn to look up, and look at the world around me I start to wonder how I let this happen again?


I was on the grind... you know... grinding. Hard. Focused. Determined. Unaccountable.


That same head, usually full of smiles, has just managed to tucker down and push through and past the summer.


I can only count the memorable experiences on one hand. There was no summer love, or fling, or crush for that matter. Welp THAT was lame.


What have I been doing?


Not so long ago I rekindled a flame with the unnamed Mister from last fall and this fall started off on a good note, or so I thought...


Flames fizzle just as they start up. Silly rabbit... where is my brain?


And then BOOM! News of a Mister getting married.


And then BAM! News of another having a baby.


I am officially the pre-amazing relationship girl. I am Mrs. Undateable, Un..marryable (is that even a word?), Un... you get it... whatever.


Why is that? I started to wonder.


As usual, introspection is where I usually go. Analyzing until it simply can't be analyzed any more.


In fact, isn't that the premise of all of these silly blogs? An insight into the thoughts of this always Single Latina Mama?


I will tell you why... it is not my time and they were not "My guy".


I mean, you wouldn't keep looking for your keys after you have found them... so why would I keep looking if I had found him. 
The same is true for them. I simply wasn't "their girl".

I wasn't their best friend.
The person they could count on.
The person they felt 100% comfortable with.
I wasn't physically what they wanted, or too outspoken for their liking.
I was simply for whatever many reasons... not....their girl.


And that is fine by me.


I rather be the girl that no one wants to marry, than be the one that someone settles for.
I want someone to actually SEE me when they look at me.
Someone that knows what I am thinking when I start my sentence.
Someone who feels warm when they hear my voice.
Someone that wants to want to move and inspire me to do more or better.
Someone who will simply KNOW... that I am their girl.


There would be no doubt, no question, no one thing that could stop that from being.

Because the truth is, that without passion and respect, there is nothing.
Without admiration and unconditional caring, you will never be happy.
And I want to be happy. And my guy does too.

Together we will conquer the world. ;)

-Cheers! ~SLM

Monday, June 23, 2014

The Answer to my Equation

I am literally in physical pain right now. My hip feels disjointed. My body feels worthy of an 80 year old's weathered physique and I, am grateful for the pain. 

While it may seem idiotic... it's 100% true. 

You see this pain I feel is due to hours of joyful dancing. This weekend was a fun filled one and for someone who works this hard, you better believe I will play hard just as well. 

SLM and My Pops
I misbehaved, drank in excess, danced till my legs couldn't any more and stayed up till the sun rose... and I don't regret one bit of it.

You see, as reckless as that all may seem, this weekend was exactly what I needed. The ability to disconnect from my daily stressors and the ability to fully unwind and enjoy my friends and family. 

My Parents
Lately it seems, family is my escape. It is usually the other way around... you get closer to your friends, but for me, my liberty has come by way of being around my family. 

You see, in my case I know there were many things I needed to forgive myself for. Things that I said and did to my parents that hurt them. In order to move forward, I needed to prove to myself that I had forgiven myself. The only way to solve this problem was to prove it to myself. 

My way of doing that was to find my inner peace. 

Last year, I was given a very humbling diagnosis just before thanksgiving. It was another reminder that life, is not guaranteed. It was yet another moment in life that made me accountable for all my actions. 

I remember crying for nights on end attempting to face my fate. 

Since then, the only thing that changed though as I reflect has been my perspective. Like a course right out of my recent History of Philosophy class, I was given a first hand lesson in perspective and objective reasoning. 

You see when you are handed something so humbling, so absolutely mind blowing, you realize how the simplest things are amazing. 

Feeling the sun's warmth, a hug from you daughter, a moment around the bonfire with your parents, a hug, a kiss, and yes even sex. All of it. It all changes. 

So I made the conscious decision to focus on the one thing I've known I have wanted to do with my life. Leave a legacy. 

So I got to work, hard work. Putting forward hours and more hours, effort and passion, all of me drowned into what I want to build. Even if I am not granted the time to achieve it. I will be dammed if I don't try, if I don't work my heart out to get what I want. 

Since then, things have started to look up for this Single Latina Mama. With it, my spirits, finances, and self esteem have also grown. I have known that I will forever grow and change, but 2014 has been a year of demonstrable growth. 

I have made changes that even I can't believe I could make. I have finally truly taken on the perspective that no one that doesn't care about me matters, and that to make something of this borrowed time, I must charge forward unfailingly and without remorse. 

It is not the end of the year, but as I chronicle my half way point through the year.... strength, purpose, and willpower have all been the way through it, and the way upward. 

Here is to living without regrets. - 
Cheers~ SLM

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Day Off

Today was a much needed day off.

I planned ahead to ensure my very important personal matters were taken care of.

There were many of them... and as the day dragged on, it was evident, my ambitious list of errands to run was more far fetched than realistic.

For starters, I wanted to get some sleep. It is unusual I know, to say that. I need to schedule time off to get some sleep. You see, it has been a critical past couple of weeks. Even on weekends, when I should have time time off to relax, I am usually running around doing things or being places, enjoying environments.

I don't even really have more than 6 hours of sleep. Not consciously. So I did it. I slept in. Well, sort of. I dropped off munchkin at school and then came back for a morning nap. It was lovely. I woke up well rested and followed that with meditation. Sighhhhh this day couldn't get better.

Until! OH NO! Am I late? OMG I am late! I had a 12:00 Noon appt and it was 11:16 am. I needed to get dressed and get out the door!

The rest of the day was a whirlwind, driving here, driving there, driving everywhere it seemed to get all of my neglected personal affairs taken care of.

The court house, yes, I had to go there too. A family affair, but a court house visit, nonetheless. It was mentally, emotionally, and physically draining. It was a balmy 90 degrees by the coast and the breeze was more of a reminder of the heat than the hopeful cool relief I so very much longed for.


Monday, April 14, 2014

Passion, the lost concept.

Today, I want you to stop think about something with me.

I mean... REALLY stop to think about this with nothing but honesty in your heart....

What are you passionate about?

You don't have to share your answer. We aren't on trial. No one will judge you for your passion, regardless of how selfish or selfless it is.

In seeking my truth lately, I have focused on finding what I am truly passionate about.

I have come to the conclusion that I am more passionate than I originally estimated. You see, while I seek to ensure my thoughts are where they should be, and that my life is purposeful and heading in the right direction, I find it imperative to disassociate myself with thoughts that could stray me from my goals. Thus, I focus. I remain steadfast on my endeavor to identify my truths which among these are my passions.

So have you thought of it? Take a moment now... I am not going anywhere, and neither is this blog. Truly stop to think what are the things in life you are most passionate about?

Are you passionate about your work? Your family? Your love life?

Are you passionate about yourself? The way you look? The way you dress?

What are you passionate about?

On one hand, I think it would be almost cliche to tell you that I am passionate about life. But I truly am. I am passionate about making a good life and living it.

I am passionate more though, to ensure that I provide my daughter with a good upbringing and keep us moving onward and upward.

I am passionate about school and learning. It truly exhilarates me and inspires me.

I am passionate about giving. I am passionate about caring about people. I am passionate about sharing those beliefs with others and teaching them to love openly and unconditionally.

I am passionate about being honest. Perhaps its because at some points in my life I rarely was.

Lastly, I am passionate about finding someone who is a excited about life as I am. I am passionate about upholding this belief without pretext or negotiation. A passionate person can only be passionate with another equally passionate soul.

Most of my passions now, come from experience. I presume the same holds true for you? Do you agree?

Care to share some of your passions? So tell me.. what are you passionate about?

-Cheers~ SLM

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Tenacity vs. Necessity


"I'm jealous of your Tenacity…" my friend Stevie P said to me tonight. "It’s funny when people say that," I responded.

I am sure that he was saying this because, of course, he knows how hard things can get sometimes with being a single parent.

Life. Is. Hectic.

Every day though, most of us, from all walks of life, spend our days busy as can be. We all wake up, make our bed, brush our teeth, get dressed, go to work, have lunch, keep working, drive home in traffic, make dinner, brush teeth, get ready for bed, and rinse and repeat on that for days on end.

Regardless of our different circumstances the fact is, we all have a number of varied responsibilities. Whether it’s to a pet at home, a family, a spouse, children, or an elderly parent, we all have something making it hectic. Even if you are one of the lucky few that don't have any of the aforementioned, most of the time, you have busy work lives that keep you busy well beyond the time most of us have gone home.

My point to him was not to be unappreciative. In fact, I thanked him for the kind comment, and empathy. It is nice to be seen as someone who tries hard to do what they do.

However, part of me felt that it was an unwarranted compliment. You see, to me, being how I am now, and have always been is what I know, and honestly, what must be done.

This is my life. It is what I HAVE to do. It is on par with all of YOUR days. We must all DO certain things to pay the bills, have a roof over our heads, keep healthy, keep food in our bellies and keep life well, plugging along. Please tell me you are following…

So I ask is it tenacity or necessity?

While you may not all be a single parent, that doesn’t make my situation any more hectic, any more detrimental or important. It is just different.

We all have struggles. My struggle may be harder because I am a single parent, but I assure you there are single parents out there with far more kids than my one. I am sure they struggle as well, and maybe not as much, or maybe more, but definitely different.

I guess what I am trying to say is, while its wonderful that Stevie P felt compelled to compliment me on my ability to keep it together, I want you all to know that I don’t see it that way. This is simply, the cards I have been dealt. This is my life. I love it, even as crazy as it can get.

While I may wish for an easier life at some point, I have to keep myself grounded and remind myself that life won’t be easier, but it will definitely be different.

~Cheers-SLM