Guac and roll!

So there is one thing that I love and could probably eat every single day if only I had a little more self control: guacamole.

Something about the combination of flavors, creamy texture, and aesthetic goodness just makes me want more and more. Like my showdown with salsa, I like to make my own guac because I think that it is so much better that way. It’s fresher, you can experiment, and it doesn’t even take that long to make! Don’t believe me? Today I prepared it in probably less than ten minutes!

First up: The Players

All prepped and ready to go!

On the board? 2 avocados, Jack’s salsa, one lime, and a packet of Guacamole seasoning.

Then it’s as easy as 1, 2, 3!

1. Mash up the avocado and mix it with half of the seasoning packet

2.  Add some salsa and a squeeze a quarter of a lime

3. Mix it all around, give it a try and season with salt and pepper to taste!

Voila! Now we have the problem: When it’s done, tasty as can be, and you can’t break away from the bowl. I swear, I could have ate all of this standing above the counter if it weren’t for one thing…

Where have all the chips gone?

The lack of dippage was definitely more a blessing than a curse but you can bet where I’ll be heading later on tonight to restock on some goods to complement my green goddess.

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Beat It!

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to write about one of my newfound obsessions: Egg Beaters.

For some reason, I just cannot sleep and after tossing and turning for about an hour, just decided to get up and start my day, assuming that I would be able to nap later on. So I took to reading some textbooks and decided it was time for breakfast. Thankfully, last night I did some 10pm grocery shopping to refuel our barren fridge and pantry.

Because who doesn't shop in a cocktail dress and high heels?

What did I make sure I picked up? Egg Beaters, of course! But this time something new, Southwestern Style.

My mom used to use Egg Beaters to whip up some delicious breakfast sandwiches for me during high school, but I had never experienced making things with them myself until this semester. Who did I turn to to figure out exactly how to prep them? That’d be Hungry Girl.

I decided to test out her Egg Mug Classic one morning and I was hooked. It’s so easy to prepare and makes for a filling breakfast that can fuel you through any day! I’ve even gotten my roomies hooked on these delicious mugs too!

This is what I like to do:

1. Spray a mug with cooking spray and wipe with a paper towel to make sure it’s all covered.

2. Add 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters and a slice of Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss cheese wedge (they’re recently come out with new flavors that I cannot WAIT to try!) that is cut up into smaller slivers.

3. Microwave for 1 minute, take out and mix around with fork.

4. Microwave for an additional 45 seconds. Don’t be afraid if it expands, just make sure it doesn’t overflow!

Then what to do? You could eat it right from the mug, but I like to top an english muffin with this delicious eggy mix and add some hot sauce (Cholula) is my favorite. I’ve also added it atop Sandwich Thins, inside a tortilla with some salsa(to make a breakfast burrito) and my new find? BAGEL THINS. Seriously guys, these things are amazing and might warrant another post in the very near future…

So while waking up at 4am this morning may have not been ideal… I got to test out some new finds that are sure to become breakfast staples.

Remember When?

Blizzards, Slurpees and Frostys? Even if you’re watching your waistline now, these are all indulgences you at least experienced when you were a kid, right? Well not one of my best friends. I can’t say that she grew up “sheltered,” but her parents definitely kept her away from all the hyped-up products that flooded my Nickelodeon commercials. As we drove down a chain-ridden road today, we took great pleasure in saying, “Hey, have you ever had this? What about this?” and let’s just say, I felt bad for her and all that she has not tried.

Thankfully, my parents didn’t shy away from letting me try out all of these sweet treats, and this got me to reflecting on all my favorite childhood favorites. Remember these?Other things I loved?

1) Dipping McDonald’s fries into a Sweet and Sour Sauce/Ketchup combo (it sounds gross, I know, but let me tell you it was great!)

2) Sour Cream Krispy Kreme donuts

3) Rainbow Ice Dippin’ Dots

4) Nik-L-Nips Wax Bottles

5) Strawberry Soda and Vanilla Ice Cream Float!

I feel like this list could go on and on… Luckily, you can find A LOT of your childhood faves at this site: http://www.hometownfavorites.com/ if you ever want a sweet taste of true nostalgia.

What’re your favorite childhood treats that you crave every now and then?

Spring Break Oh-Ten!

While most juniors in college go crazy in Mexico or Key West for Spring Break, the past two years me and my friends have taken to relaxing in Longboat Key to escape the Miami-madness. Instead of partying all night, we lay on the beach all day and work on getting a tan.

Waking up to this? No one could argue with that.

While I tried to stick it out with all the spring-breakers invading Coconut Grove on Thursday night, come Friday, I knew I had to get away. We quickly made the escape Friday afternoon to one of my best friend’s condo residing right by a pool and hot tub and only a few minutes away from the beach! While it wasn’t as hot as it was last year when we ventured to Siesta Key, it still made for great beach weather that led some little kids to flying kites, just like I did when I was seven on Captiva Island, FL!

Kites flying signifies a good Florida experience!

Although we’re not going crazy in the bars every night, we still find time for some fun and play games as made evident by this score chart. As you can see, I was the clear winner. Let’s just say Kelly has one mark for her only because that was the game her and Phia played against eachother.

DOMINATION, yes?

So, alas, as spring break dies down, I reflect on another successful rejuvenation period. I have successfully gotten at least 9-10 hours of sleep per night, read some books, and taken in a few Miami-Vices (to say the least). While next year we plan on going on a “crazy” spring break since we will finally all be 21… I will continue to relish the memories made just relaxing by the pool, taking in the rays, without a worry in the world.

Sarasota summarized in a picture.

Now I know I’m going to go back to UM and the semester is going to fly by which worries me more than anything. But I’m glad Sarasota happened to comfort me through all the craziness!

The way we get news is changing.

We hear this time and time again and it’s obvious with every  log into the computer. Or are you even logging onto your computer these days or solely using your iPhone? Kindle? Or maybe even iPad?

The WE Media Conference arrived on my campus for the third year in a row this week, bringing in media innovators from around the country to discuss the current affairs of the industry. Although not a registered participant, as students we’re allowed to pop in at conference events and I took advantage of this.

The first man I listened to speak was Michael Wolff, founder of Newser and former Vanity Fair columnist. I had never heard of Newser before, but after my curiosity was sparked by him, I decided to see what it’s all about and it instantly became my new homepage. What the website does is aggregate a bunch of different news sources, condenses the articles, and puts it in a grid form so you can see everything that’s going on. Once you register, you can customize your preferences so that you only get news stories that interest you, can mark the ones you’ve already read, and really customize the experience to fit your needs! He also brought up The Daily Beast which is very similar and something I’m definitely going to explore.

Wolff stressed the death of print media saying that, “It’s time, it’s consequence has passed.” He took it one step further saying “Newspapers should die, they have no reason to exist.” Harsh much? Maybe, but it’s reality.

His views were reiterated in the next session I attended featuring the CEO of the Associated Press, Tom Curley, and the CEO of the Knight Foundation, Alberto Ibarguen. According to  Curley, U.S. newspapers will be less than 20 percent of the AP’s revenue this next year. That means that entities like broadcast news are investing more money as newspapers fizzle away.

My favorite speaker, and ironically the briefest, was Juliette Powell, a social media entrepreneur and author of 33 Million People in the Room. A master of all things social media, she stressed that “those who are able to master social media, are those that will be able to win because you can communicate with everyone.” Her book sounds like a fascinating tool to find out how to generate social capital through things like Facebook and Twitter. Her takeaway message definitely drove home the importance of adding value to people’s lives to impact society at large. Once you know what you can do for other people, then you can truly make an impact.

Hearing media professionals like these very successful people talk always motivates me to do and discover more. With aspirations to soon work among all of those sitting around me, it is difficult to not get a little anxious to graduate and start experiencing what they get to each and every day. But while I am still restricted to the confines of the classroom, I will continue to do all that I can because, as Wolff noted this week, “the speed of change is great, you survive by staying on top of it.”

“It will be the young people brimming with talent and energy and hope who can claim the future that so many in previous generations never realized”

These words from President Barack Obama to the African people last summer are what inspire young people to create change in Uganda. I was blind to the mission of the organization “Invisible Children” until last night, when roadies working for the organization brought their mission to my campus.

They began with a screening of “Emmy, Story of an Orphan” which profiled a young boy living in Uganda. Although he never was handed a gun, like many children in the region, his life was affected by the war in the country as much as the next person. His mother, Christine, died of HIV after being infected by Emmy’s dad. She was married five times due to the fact that she lost husband after husband to the war. Gratefully Emmy himself, along with his brother Martin, did not inherit the disease but even so, they both became orphans, adding to the thousands of children that remain parentless in the region.

The region of Uganda is more peaceful now than ever. For that reason alone, advocates claim that it is the prime chance for people to help out than ever before. The most effective means of creating change? Through education. However, secondary education in Uganda costs money. While some kids, like Emmy, are able to follow through with secondary education, so many children remain “invisible” and require our help.

Invisible Children runs a “Schools for Schools” campaigns which rebuilds schools destroyed by the war but 35$ per month is necessary to send each individual child to school. Through the program they are also given mentors to ensure that they are set on the right path to success. They called for people to pledge this amount monthly to send one child through school which, in my opinion, is not to big of a burden and truly worth the commitment.

Norman, Emmy’s grandfather also spoke to us, stressing the devastation that the army brought upon the country. He was abducted himself, and alluded to all the fact that all the atrocities brought upon the region were not covered including numerous abductions, mutilations, and burnt houses, leaving the country completely devastated. More importantly, he let known that it is the American youth that are exposing this problem and creating the real change in the country. While I first went to this event only to receive credit for my class, I am thankful that I did. I always knew I wanted to volunteer in Uganda, and now I am even more motivated to do so. While I know that this blog alone can’t motivate you to go out and donate, I would encourage you to learn more about the situation in the country and realize that we can really make a difference.

It’s Game Day…

The sun was shining and I made my way over to this fine establishment for what would undoubtedly be the battle of a century.

Clad in tie-dye, my four valiant teammates and I were ready for domination. Of what? The First Annual Taco Rico Taco Eating Contest, raising money for Haiti relief. But of course, you don’t need charity to get me to participate. This was the prime opportunity for me to put my Mexican heritage to the test and prove to everybody else, what I have known all along: When it comes to Mexican food, I can eat. So we took our places, and eagerly waited to dig in.

The whistle sounded, and we were off with five soft beef tacos to scarf as quickly as possible.

Cramming taco after taco in our mouths until they were all gone.

The boys had eight hard tacos to eat. I know they can realistically eat more (faster) than us girls but after seeing how well we did, I’m thinking we would have been able to hold our own.

After finishing the tacos and making sure the basket was clean of lettuce and tomato remnants, we finished and won! Earning us a position in the finals consisting of four hard tacos. I may or may not have finished before everyone (including the guys).

Let’s just say I took most people by surprise who didn’t expect someone my size to keep up. I had so much fun participating in this though, I’m thinking of making food-eating contests a new hobby… Or just volunteer again when the opportunity arises!

We won gift certificates to Taco Rico, but after today, I think I might need a little bit of a break.