This is a compensated campaign in collaboration with Cacique and Society Culinaria, however, all opinions express are my own.

Si me conocen bien sabrán que no me pueden faltar mis smoothies o jugos verdes cada mañana porque me dan toda la energía que necesito para tener un día exitoso. Aunque eso no es todo lo que desayuno porque usualmente también como un burrito ya que es la comida más importante del día y los smoothies constituyen como una de mis meriendas favoritas.

Usualmente tengo muchos ingredientes preferidos pero en esta ocasión utilice los que si por mi fuera los consumiría todos los días. ¡Me encantan! Debajo en la receta se los explico. Por ejemplo, me encanta el mango por su textura y ni se diga el yogurt de este mismo sabor de la marca Cacique. Cuando necesito de ese extra empujón en las mañanas me gusta añadirle el Cacique® Yogurt Smoothie de mango a mis batidos porque tienen ese sabor a fruta real y son cremosos. Además tienen 8 gramos de proteína y son una buena fuente de calcio (25% del valor diario).

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¿Saben cuál es otra de las cosas que más me gustan de los Cacique® Yogurt Smoothie? Es que son bajos en colesterol y calorías.

Ahora si les presento esta receta que hice con Cacique® Yogurt Smoothie. Es una de mi propia creación porque son mis ingredientes favoritos y lo nombre el: “AVivirLA Fit Smoothie”.

Es un smoothie natural de chia, kale, arándanos (blueberries), kiwi y yogurt de mango.

Ingredientes:

1 taza de Cacique® Yogurt Smoothie de Mango

1 kiwi en rodajas
1 cucharada de semillas de chía
10-15 arándanos
5-7 hojas de kale fresco

El preparar este smoothie es súper simple. Coloca todos los ingredientes en un plato. Utiliza una licuadora y de preferencia una de mis favoritas que es la Nutri Bullet. Mezcla todos los ingredientes en la Nutri Bullet. Deja que todo se mezcle y sírvelo después de unos segundos. A  disfrutar. ¡Salud!

¿A quién más le gustan los smoothies o jugos verdes? Me dejan saber utilizando los hashtags #GoAutentico #SoCu #CaciqueInstaSmoothie para ver sus creaciones…

This spring when Nike announced the impending arrival of the new Nike+ app, it promised athletes* an all-access pass to their potential, assisted by the right gear, expert guidance and incredible events via one seamless sign-on. What’s more, the plus, the company declared, now meant “personal,” with everything in the app tailored expressly to its user.

Today, as the app officially debuts in the United States — available now for download on Android and iOS— a beta tester offers a taste of what awaits.  

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A great app begins with a simple and attractive interface. The interface of the new Nike+ app is more. Upon opening the app, motivating images of Nike athletes like Serena Williams greet you. Next, you’re invited to create your profile.

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Selecting interests, such as running and basketball, helps customize the stories you’ll receive in your Feed, and the Reserved for You invitations you receive for Nike products and events. My picks populated my Feed with stories on Nike SB athlete Stefan Janoski, training tips from other elite Nike atheltes and product stories for shoes I’m interested in. In fact, the writing of this review was delayed considerably by watching Janoski rip it on rail grinds in Australia and Barcelona! There was also a detailed look at the design of the Flyknit Lunar 3 and I also saw a hilarious video with Kevin Hart and Serena Williams promoting their latest workout.

Four tabs help you to navigate easily between the Feed, My Store, Inbox and Services, where the latter lets you contact a gear expert or locate events in your area, find a Nike store or commune seamlessly with the Nike+ Training Club, Nike+ Running and Nike+ SNKRS apps.

That said, it wasn’t until I was preparing for a lunchtime Nike+ Training Club session (driven in large part by that post in my Nike+ app Feed showcasing Kevin Hart in action) that I grasped the app’s true potential. First, my first Reserved for You offer, a pair of volt Nike Flyknit Racers I’d long coveted, popped up (the app stores the size details I’d entered earlier).

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After obviously posting a selfie to my Nike+ Feed, I swiped to find that there is a weekly Nike+ Run Club run in my area, which I easily booked in my app. I next mentally logged the pair of all-white Huaraches in my feed as a fitting reward for when I break my 5K 7:30-minute mile PR.

It turns out that the Nike+ app gives you all you need to be you best and makes it easy for you to access the right services for you. Another “plus” of having a Nike+ account – you get free shipping and 30-day product trials for easy returns.

nike 4The Nike+ app is available for download for iOS and Android devices. For more information and to download the app click here.

Text and Photo Credits: Nike News

As approximately 10,500 of the world’s top athletes from around the globe prepare to head to Rio, the perennial predicament on the minds of this disparate group will be rather predictable: What to pack?

Aside from required event attire and equipment, each will need gear that covers the key moments outside of competition when the spotlight also shines: on the medal stand, in a press conference, hanging out in the village and training.

To mitigate this task for the more than 1,200 collective members of the US Olympic delegation (the most decorated national team in the history of the Summer Games) and Comitê Olímpico do Brasil, the COB (representing the host nation), Nike has created an athlete bag.

Courtesy of Nike

Courtesy of Nike.com

Customized to the respective national federation and meticulously crafted over nearly three years, the Brasil and US Athlete Bags mix footwear and apparel selected for its ability to outfit athletes from all 41 sports in the Games, regardless of their 2XS-to-4XL sizing range. The company’s Innovation Team even went so far as to body map all of the athletes, creating avatars of the vastly varying body shapes to help inform their selections.

Pulling from a variety of running, training and sportswear styles, the bag features gear to serve Rio’s climate requirements and every individual’s detailed needs for all 17 days of the Games. That’s why each piece is completed with Nike’s latest innovations and imbued with a specific purpose, or in a number of cases multiple purposes and looks, depending upon the athlete’s schedule.

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A gymnast, for example, will experience back-to-back competition for the first half of the Games, then she or he can relax, celebrate and take in other sports. A track and field athlete, by contrast, will compete in the latter half while a basketball player’s schedule alternates: a day of competition followed by a rest day, all the way through the Games.

Nike also profiles a number of its premier athlete and new performance innovations here, detailing in-depth the resolve that victory requires.

Products from US and Brasil Athlete Bags can be purchased on nike.com.

Text and photo courtesy of Nike News found at Nike.com

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aaron’s Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.

I know that it has happened that we sometimes want what the majority of people have, but we are not able to have it for a variety of reasons. For example how many of you have wanted a smartphone like the mainstream? But because of the price, tag have had to think about this luxury twice before purchasing it. I’ve got great news for you because now at Aaron’s after its announced arrangement with Cricket Wireless you can lease-to-own the latest Smartphones and activate your device in-store with one of the nation’s leading providers.

This new arrangement will sure have you making a happy dance or maybe even weird/funny faces with your loved ones. Include to that a dance, jump and singing because great news just makes you do abstract and cool things.

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You will no longer need to feel bad about caring a non-smartphone when you hang out with your friends because you will not be sticking out like a sore thumb without one. Now you can finally get what you want in wireless and enjoy Cricket’s 4G LTE Nationwide Coverage.

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I’ve got better news for you because it doesn’t matter if you have poor credit or don’t have $600 lying around for a new phone – you can still get the phone you want. Yes, I know sometimes the price tag will scare many away because they do not have that kind of cash to spend on one item. Furthermore, Aaron’s understands you and they will work with you so that you don’t have to settle for a slow, cheap or outdated phone.

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This huge announcement calls for a celebration and Aaron’s could not think of anyone better than you to invite into their stores and have you walk out more connected than ever. You won’t regret this opportunity during this summer when there are so many fun activities to capture.

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I will not hide the real deal from you and nor will Aaron’s or Cricket Wireless so this is what you will get for your bucks:

Aaron’s:

  • No Long-Term Commitment
  • No Hidden Fees
  • No Credit Needed
  • All new phones include an Accessories Bundle Pack with charger, case and screen protection!
  • Choose from New and Previously Leased Phones
  • Amazingly Affordable payments

Cricket Wireless:

  • Enjoy a simple, friendly, and reliable nationwide wireless experience
  • Stay connected with Cricket’s 4G LTE network
  • No Annual Contract
  • Keep your existing phone number!
  • Visit CricketWireless.com to learn more about Cricket’s North America coverage (U.S., Mexico and Canada)
  • Check out Aarons.com/Cricket for more information about Cricket’s affordable plans
  • Save up to $100 a month when you add eligible lines to your account

I may need to break it up for you some more though because you may understand things better when they come from a mathematics perspective so here you go: amazingly affordable smartphone you want + the reliable coverage you need + affordable plans = an incredible deal!

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As a person living in the digital age you need to have an affordable smartphone and pick a plan that fits your budget and along with that be able to take high quality pictures and videos of your friends and family and easily share these moments on your social media. No one likes blurry photos or a network that constantly drops your calls and Cricket Wireless will have you fully covered.

What are you most excited about having a smartphone?

POST DISCLAIMER

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Aaron’s Inc. The opinions and text are all mine.

READER COMMENT DISCLAIMER

Comments submitted may be displayed on other websites owned by the sponsoring brand.

By now you should all know that Nike events are EPIC and the most recent one that I participated in did not fall short from that description!!! Thanks Nike!

On June 30, 2016 I was part of the LunarEpic Loft Event in Venice where I had the opportunity to run a 10k along with other Nike athletes and coaches. The run was scheduled for 6:30 a.m. so @FitWithCarmen and I woke up at the crack of dawn to participate in the run, which began in Malibu and ended at Venice Beach Pier. For all my running fans you must know that there’s nothing like running along the beach and that is exactly what we did. Plus, it helped to get my day started in the best note possible (felt extremely energized) because who else runs a 10k by 8 am? Not many people do.

We arrived to the LunarEpic Loft in Venice and immediately were introduced to the Nike LunarEpic Low Flyknit’s, which have become my alternating shoe that I am using between the Nike LunarEpic Flynknit to train for my marathon in December. The shoes are lightweight, comfortable and soft. I will not say that this 10k was my best run recorded, but it’s definitely been one of my favorites. I am training for a marathon and I am currently logging in 8 miles in one day so I am not giving up. These new shoes are definitely helping me stay focused too.

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I have not owned a black pair of running kicks like these since I was in college so I was jumping when I saw these with my name attached.

While we enjoyed an introduction and overview on the technology behind this new shoe we stretched and got ready for our run. We were then transported to Malibu where we would all take off.

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Nike Flyknit technology was inspired by feedback from runners seeking a shoe with the snug (and virtually unnoticed) fit of a sock. Nike embarked on a four-year mission with teams of programmers, engineers and designers to create the technology needed to make the knit upper with static properties for structure and durability. Then the precise placement of support, flexibility and breathability—all in one layer—was refined. The result is a featherweight, formfitting and virtually seamless upper. (Nike.com)

Take a look at my recap video below to have a better idea of what happened throughout the event:

The soft, contoured Lunarlon midsole has precision-lasered cuts on the sides that collapse during footstrike, delivering a perfectly smooth transition from heel to toe. The pressure-mapped, laser-cut outsole amplifies the cushioning exactly where you need it, and disperses the impact across the entire foot, for incredible comfort and smoothness. (Nike.com)

After our run we returned to the LunarEpic Loft for some light refreshments, cool-down and mingling with other Nike athletes that had also completed the 10k.

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By far this was one of my favorite Nike events and I am looking forward to my next adventure with them! Stay tuned for what is next friends…

Ford Motor Company announced it is working with Jose Cuervo ® , the world’s No. 1-selling tequila, to develop a sustainable, lightweight material for use in its vehicle lineup. The collaboration expands the automaker’s portfolio of earth-conscious materials to include agave. Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses several bio-based materials in its vehicles, and is testing many more for future applications including algae, tomato peel and carbon dioxide.

The work helps improve Ford’s environmental impact by reducing the use of petrochemicals and reducing carbon emissions while also light-weighting vehicles to reduce fossil fuel use.

Ford and Jose Cuervo are testing the bioplastic for use in vehicle interior and exterior components such as wiring harnesses, HVAC units and storage bins. Initial assessments suggest the material holds great promise due to its durability and aesthetic qualities. Success in developing a sustainable composite could reduce vehicle weight and lower energy consumption, while paring the use of petrochemicals and the impact of vehicle production on the environment.

“At Ford, we aim to reduce our impact on the environment,” said Debbie Mielewski, Ford senior technical leader, sustainability research department. “As a leader in the sustainability space, we are developing new technologies to efficiently employ discarded materials and fibers, while potentially reducing the use of petrochemicals and light-weighting our vehicles for desired fuel economy.”

The growth cycle of the agave plant is a minimum seven-year process. Once harvested, the heart of the plant is roasted, before grinding and extracting its juices for distillation. Jose Cuervo uses a portion of the remaining agave fibers as compost for its farms, and local artisans make crafts and agave paper from the remnants.

Now, as part of Jose Cuervo’s broader sustainability plan, the tequila maker is joining forces with the automaker to develop a new way to use its remnant fibers.

“Jose Cuervo is proud to be working with Ford to further develop our agave sustainability plan,” said Sonia Espinola, director of heritage for Cuervo Foundation and master tequilera. “As the world’s No. 1-selling tequila, we could never have imagined the hundreds of agave plants we were cultivating as a small family business would eventually multiply to millions. This collaboration brings two great companies together to develop innovative, earth-conscious materials.”

Like Ford Motor Company, Jose Cuervo is family-owned and operated. Founded in 1795, it has been making tequila for more than 220 years with the same experience, craftsmanship and recipes that have been handed down generation through generation.

The collaboration with Jose Cuervo is the latest example of Ford’s innovative approach to product and environmental stewardship through the use of biomaterials. Ford began researching the use of sustainable materials in its vehicles in 2000. Today, the automaker uses eight sustainable-based materials in its vehicles including soy foam, castor oil, wheat straw, kenaf fiber, cellulose, wood, coconut fiber and rice hulls.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, 5 billion metric tons of agricultural biomass waste is produced annually. A byproduct of agriculture, the supply of materials is abundant and often underutilized. Yet the materials can be relatively low cost, and can help manufacturers to offset the use of glass fibers and talc for more sustainable, lightweight products.

“There are about 400 pounds of plastic on a typical car,” said Mielewksi. “Our job is to find the right place for a green composite like this to help our impact on the planet. It is work that I’m really proud of, and it could have broad impact across numerous industries.”

Ford uses several sustainable materials including:

  • Kenaf, a tropical plant in the cotton family, is used in the door bolsters of Ford Escape
  • REPREVE fabric, made from recycled plastic bottles, diverts more than 5 million plastic bottles from landfill annually. Ford most recently introduced REPREVE in F-150
  • Post-consumer cotton from denim and T-shirts is used as interior padding and sound insulation in most Ford vehicles
  • EcoLon post-consumer nylon carpeting is used as cylinder head covers in Ford Escape, Fusion, Mustang and F-150
  • Recycled plastic bottles are becoming floor carpeting, wheel liners and shields in several vehicles including Ford Transit and C-MAX
  • Recycled post-consumer tires are used in seals and gaskets
  • Rice hulls are used to reinforce plastic in Ford F-150 electrical harness
  • Soy-based foams are used as seat cushions, seatbacks and head restraints in Ford’s North American vehicle lineup
  • Wheat straw is used in Ford Flex to reinforce storage bins
  • Cellulose tree fibers are used in the armrest of Lincoln MKX. Used to replace glass-filled plastic, this industry-first material weighs 10 percent less, is produced 30 percent faster, and reduces carbon emissions

Esta nota es patrocinada por Chase y Latina Bloggers Connect, sin embargo todas las opiniones son honestas y personales de mi propia experiencia.

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Cuando uno es joven es más propenso a ser víctima de fraude o como mejor se les conoce en inglés de “scams”. Pero sin embargo son estas experiencias las que te hacen madurar y crecer. Recordar el fraude por el cual viví en el pasado me hace sentir muy mal porque no puedo imaginar cómo personas abusan de la confianza de los demás. Pero ojo porque si las hay.

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Pero bueno les quiero hablar de mi experiencia para que los jóvenes en particular no caigan en la misma estafa que yo experimente. Era mi último año de la universidad y estaba ansioso por empezar mi verano para trabajar. Ingrese a una página de internet donde según iba a ser tutor de un estudiante extranjero que venía de China a San Jose, California (donde yo radicaba) y le iba a dar clases de inglés.

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Estuve en comunicación con el papa del supuesto “estudiante” por correo electrónico y hasta por teléfono. ¿Lo pueden creer? Hasta mi número de celular le compartí a este extraño. El papa me envió dos cheques a mi dirección (según me iba a pagar por adelantado que creo fueron como $3500 USD) y los lleve a mi banco para cambiarlos y todo salió perfectamente bien en ese momento. El papa después me dijo que de uno de los cheques quería que le regresara $2000 por Western Unión a China porque había tenido un problema. Y ¿qué creen? Lo hice.

Ahora que lo platico lo que se me hizo más raro es que en ese momento mi propio banco me dejo sacar un monto tan grande dinero cuando los cheques aún no habían sido compensados. En mi opinión creo que el banco si debió haberme cuestionado un poco más y nos hubiéramos dado cuenta de que estaba cayendo en un fraude.

Después le mande los $2000 por Western Unión al papa. Aun lo recuerdo y me duele el estómago. Para este momento el papa del supuesto estudiante a quien le iba a dar clases de inglés me pedía que también le regresara el resto $1500 porque había surgido otro problema. Para este entonces ya habían pasado 5 días y el banco ya me había contactado que los cheques no habían pasado y ahora yo le debía al banco $2000. En serio, fue una pesadilla.

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Estuve a punto de mandar también los $1500 pero al saber que los cheques no habían pasado me detuvo el banco y para este momento ya sabía que había caído en un fraude.

Desde esta experiencia soy muy cuidadoso con mi dinero y pienso las cosas muchas veces que tengan que ver con mis finanzas.

Además casi nunca hago compras en línea porque esta experiencia me marco y no le doy mi confianza a casi ningún sitio web por más seguro que sea. Soy súper cauteloso ahora. Creo que a veces de más. Pero prefiero esto a caer en una trampa de nuevo.

Fue una de las peores experiencias que pude pasar y es horrible la sensación que alguien se aproveche así de ti. Sin embargo fue una bendición que algunas amistades decidieran ayudarme con su propio dinero para salir a flote de esta situación tan bochornosa. Estaré siempre agradecido con ellos.

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Me gustaría compartirte algunos consejos que aprendí al tomar el cuestionario “Conoce tu Inteligencia contra el Fraude” patrocinado por el banco Chase.

  1. Asegúrate de hablar con tu banco para que te manden alertas cuando exista actividad sospechosa en tus cuentas bancarias. Habla con los agentes de banco para que te expliquen cómo cuidar tu dinero.
  2. Actualiza (cada 3-6 meses) tu contraseña de acceso a tu cuenta de banco en línea. Revisa tu estado de banco cada mes para asegurarte que tu dinero está bien.
  3. Mucho cuidado con las ofertas por email e internet. No aceptes correos sospechosos ni aquellos que tengan links que te lleven a un sitio web irreconocible.
  4. Después de tomar el “test” me recordó como no debo hacer compras cuando utilizo WiFi público porque hay más probabilidad de que seas estafado. La mejor opción sería hacer la compra en línea desde el WiFi de tu casa. Asegúrate hacer compras de sitios que tengan estas letras al principio de la dirección “https”. La “s” significa: seguridad.

Tú también deberías tomar este cuestionario para saber si realmente estas protegido del fraude. Visita Conoce tu Inteligencia Contra el Fraude. Yo lo hice y acerté 8 de 9 preguntas. Me fallo solamente una.

Les pido que por favor tomen el cuestionario y hagan las recomendaciones al pie de la letra para proteger ese dinero que tanto les ha costado ganarse y que nadie debería quitarles en un fraude o trampa.

Me gustaría escuchar de tu experiencia sobre este tema. ¿Alguna vez fuiste víctima de fraude de este tipo? Déjame tus comentarios…

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of CHASE. The opinions and text are all mine.

Por Spreti Valente, Sommelier Certificada

El verano es para celebrar con amigos y familia, aprovechar el buen clima y disfrutar de delicias culinarias. Las comidas ligeras y frescas están a la orden y combinarlas con el vino correcto es clave para cenar “al fresco”! La siguiente guía de vinos ha sido cuidadosamente diseñada por la Sommelier Certificada, Spreti Valente, para disfrutar esta temporada al máximo.

Como compradora de vino, Valente conoce a enólogos, importadores y dueños de lagares para mostrar cientos de vinos cada mes. De estos vinos, una cantidad limitada, los mejores productores del mundo, son seleccionados para ser presentados en catas de vinos semanales, son incluidos en uno de tres clubs de vino que ella supervisa, y/o son ofrecidos en la boutique para su venta.

Valente sirve como juez ara varios concursos de vinos prestigiosos, que incluye Los Angeles International, Pacific Rim International, San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition y ahora el Somona County Harvest Fair. Además, es consultora para restaurantes y organizadores de eventos y participa como oradora, miembro del jurado y organizadora de varios eventos de vino, incluyendo catas de vino, cenas de maridaje con vino y presentaciones de vinos regionales.

¡Cuando llega el mes de julio, es tiempo para beber vinos burbujeantes! Con Prosecco Masquerade, un vino gasificado de Veneto, Italia, obtienes un vino muy versátil que es ligero y muy fácil de beber. Cuando tomas el primer trago de este vino, puedes llegar a sentir que estás mordiendo una deliciosa fruta en su mayor punto de frescura, como duraznos jugosos, manzanas amarillas crujientes e incluso peras. Las delicadas notas de este vino hacen que sea la combinación perfecta un brunch dominguero o con una deliciosa ensalada coronada con chabacanos o duraznos encima. O también se puede usar para deleitar a tus amigos con un Bellini, el delicioso cóctel italiano con vino burbujeante. Para hacer un Bellini, simplemente pon duraznos frescos en la licuadora y cuélalos. Pon una cucharada del puré en una copa de champán y llénalo con el prosecco.

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Los vinos blancos también son ideales para clima cálido y For a Song Chardonnay está en la cima de esta lista para la temporada. Directo de los viñeros del estado de Washington, este vino combina bien con pescado a la plancha, especialmente si ha sido marinado con hierbas frescas y limón. Los aromas de manzana verde y cítricos de este vino lo hacen también un agradable acompañamiento para una comida liviana de verano incluyendo ensaladas con vinagretas. Si te gustan los mariscos, prueba la langosta o los camarones a la parrilla, y combina con una copa de este Chardonnay. Este vino también es perfecto con elotes con mantequilla. Otra fantástica opción es el aromático vino Chateau Julien Chardonnay que resalta los aromas de piña madura, caramelo, manzanas amarillas y limones que saltan de la copa y van deliciosamente con mariscos y otros platillos ligeros.

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Los amantes del vino tinto también pueden disfrutar de selecciones increíbles que son ideales para parrilladas con carnes rojas o platillos vegetarianos. Y una deliciosa sugerencia si estás recibiendo a un grupo es Chateau Julien Merlot, que tiene sabores y notas de frambuesas, un cuerpo medio, taninos suaves y un acabado liso. Sería un delicioso maridaje con la carne asada o una variedad de verduras a la parrilla. Si prefieres Cabernet, prueba Sunstar Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Es un vino exuberante con aromas y sabores a cerezas, frambuesas y hasta un dejo de granos de café. La selección de vinos tintos en esta lista son excelentes opciones para acompañar carnes rojas incluyendo bistec, carne de cerdo, y hasta carnes de caza. Si te gusta tu comida con un poco más de picante, estos vinos pueden enfrentar el desafío.

Para aquellas personas que disfrutan de vinos tintos mezclados, una recomendación es Old Red para apoyar aprovisionamiento local, ya que es hecho con una mezcla de uvas de diferentes viñeros y locales de todo California. Desde los deliciosos sabores, es fácil probar que sólo uvas selectas fueron escogidas para hacer este vino. Encontrarás notas de moras, frambuesas, ciruela, piel una acidez fina con un acabado suave. Este vino es ideal para los amantes de los vinos tintos intensos y puedes disfrutarlo con hamburguesas o salchichas italianas a la parrilla.

Lo mejor de todo es que todas estas opciones de vinos tienen un buen balance de calidad y costo. Puedes encontrarlos al igual que otras 150 selecciones domesticas e importadas en Grocery Outlet Bargain Market en el área de Los Ángeles con hasta un 80% de descuento durante su venta especial de vinos del miércoles 20 de julio al 26 de julio. Este verano, ya sea que disfrutes de parrilladas o decidas tomarte la noche libre y comprar comida para llevar, asegúrate de disfrutar con un buen vino.

¡Salud!

The rising popularity of competitive cooking shows featuring young culinary masterminds has sparked children’s interest in the kitchen. Fueled by this trend and inspired by the positive impact cooking healthy meals has on younger generations, the California Milk Processor Board (CMPB), creator of the iconic got milk? campaign, has launched a new statewide program that features recipes created by and for kids. Titled “Jr Got Milk? Chef,” got milk? scouted talented kid chefs throughout California and tasked them with developing simple yet creative meals that are perfect for summer and back-to-school menus.

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Cooking has become a popular pastime with children, and it comes as no surprise since there is an increase in the number of consumers preparing and eating meals at home. Exposure to cooking at home inspires kids to get involved and allows them to develop a taste for fresh, wholesome ingredients.The kid-friendly creations prepared by the Jr. Got Milk? Chefs are packed with fresh fruits, vegetables and smart ingredient swaps (e.g. buckwheat instead of traditional flour). And with milk as the pairing beverage of choice for each meal, the overall nutritional value beats that of pre-packaged options.

“What better way to keep kids engaged in the summer than by allowing them to express their creativity in the kitchen,” said Steve James, executive director of the CMPB. “I was impressed by all of our junior chefs’ recipes, and was excited to see how milk plays a key role in complementing each one,” said Steve.

An example of creativity at work is the “Mole Nachos” dish created by father and son team Scott Davis and Max Davis Young of “The Culinary Dude”, a cooking academy based in San Francisco. With smoked paprika, cinnamon and semisweet chocolate chips, these nachos are sophisticated yet a breeze to make – and their flavor and crunch go perfectly with a creamy glass of milk! Another example are the “Buckwheat and Blueberry Pancakes” created by Tina Fanelli-Moraccini, Valentina and Mimi Moraccini from “Piccolo Chef” in Los Angeles. Their recipe proves that not all pancakes are created equal, as they contain ground flaxseeds and chia seeds that are full of fiber, antioxidants and omega-3 fats (aka good fat). Paired with a glass of milk, it’s a well-balanced breakfast or lunch for late sleepers!

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Tina Fanelli Moraccini is the co-founder of Piccolo Chef and the Piccolo Chef Foundation, which has been running cooking programs taught by experienced kitchen professionals for kids since 2008. Fanelli Moraccini is also the co-author of The Piccolo Chef Cookbook, which focuses on healthy cooking with kids. Inspired by her Italian background, she and two of her friends started Piccolo Chef in order to help kids and families raise their Food IQ. Fanelli Moraccini currently lives in L.A. with her husband and two daughters who share her same passion for cooking.

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When seven-year- old Chef Mimi isn’t tree climbing, frog catching, playing the violin or coding, she’s practicing her number one hobby: cooking! Chef Mimi began cooking at the age of 18 months (using a learning tower), helping her mom Tina tear the basil and stir the batters. Nowadays, Mimi loves making pancakes on a Sunday morning and enjoys cooking with her hero, Chef Gino of Piccolo Chef.

Here’s the buckwheat and blueberry pancakes created by by Tina Fanelli Moraccini, Valentina and Mimi Moraccini from “Piccolo Chef” in Los Angeles:

Buckwheat and Blueberry Pancakes

Makes 3-4 pancakes

Ingredients:

½ cup buckwheat flour

½ cup all-purpose flour

2 tbsp. sugar

2 tsps. baking powder

1/2 tsp. salt

1 cup milk

2 tsps. of melted butter

1 large egg

½ cup fresh blueberries

2 tbsp. ground flaxseed

2 tbsp. chia seeds

1 tsp. oil (for cooking pancakes)

Directions:

Whisk dry ingredients in a small mixing bowl: flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, ground flaxseed and chia seeds. In a separate medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the egg, milk and butter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in blueberries and set aside. Next, add 1 tsp. of oil to a large pan and spread evenly using a paper towel. Place pan over medium heat and pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately ¼ cup for each pancake. Cook 1 to 2 minutes per side. Serve warm and top with maple syrup or agave. Pair with a cold glass of milk and enjoy!
IMG_6428 (1)Eleven-year- old Chef Valentina has been cooking since she was a toddler, creating her own original dishes and snacks, such as her prosciutto-wrapped goat cheese with arugula. An adventurous eater, she’s always excited try new and interesting ingredients or cuisines. Her favorites – besides Italian, of course – are Ethiopian and Indian. When Valentina is not playing the piano or the clarinet, you will find her helping out in the kitchen, shopping and prepping ingredients, and even meal planning! Valentina was the inspiration behind Piccolo Chef and has starred in a cooking video series as well as the Piccolo Chef Cookbook.

All of the Jr. Got Milk? Chefs have contributed their own unique styles, reinventing traditional favorites into tasty and easy-to-make meals. “We encourage kids to try these milk pairing recipes at home as a fun way to keep their minds active while getting the nutrition they need,” added Steve James. When kids are learning to cook they are also learning science, language, counting, fractions, problem-solving, sharing, fine motor skills and they’re also reading and learning about other cultures – all of which make cooking an enjoyable and educational summer activity. For all of the summer and back-to-school Jr. Got Milk? Chefs’ recipes, visit: www.gotmilk.com and follow got milk?

via social media on Facebook/Twitter: @gotmilk

Instagram: @officialgotmilk

Are you a lumberjack or a lumbersexual? You’ll find out thanks to Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® brand!

Dinty Moore Stew

As we all know a lumberjack is an intense, requires true grit and toughness to swing that axe like a pro while a lumbersexual well that is what the makers of Dinty Moore stew set out to find in the depths of Minnesota in search of them to transform into real lumberjacks and, ultimately, compete in a professional lumberjack competition this summer in Chicago.
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The lumberjacks that many people would think of today are not the typical axe throwing, wood chopping or crosscut burly men of the logging world, they are more like a modern man with a fitted flannel and trendy lace-up boots with freshly groomed beards and mustaches. And I will add on there that they probably do not smell like firewood. 
Today’s men’s culture has changed quite a bit that you will seldom see lumberjacks from the past making an appearance in our society. Instead they will be lumbersexuals as described above.
There’s a lot of training involved when being a lumberjack than simply looking like one does not cut it. The training to perform this sport takes intense preparation from axe throwing to crosscut sawing. There are competitors that come together from all over the world to the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series U.S. Pro Collegiate and Championships on July 15th in Chicago.
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The lumberjack spirit has been a part of the Dinty Moore® brand from the beginning, started with the animated character that appeared on their product labels and ads. It is only fitting that the brand partnered with STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® for the lumberjack Series U.S. Pro and Collegiate Championships.
Video link: https://youtu.be/_zRVlYNj_Kw
I am sure that mental preparation is important just like physical. And although I feel I would never be prepared to compete in something like this I have started training for my first marathon that will take place in Memphis, TN in December. Since June 1st I have logged in over 50 miles of running and in total before my marathon I should have logged about 690 miles! I can do this! 
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For example the lumberjack Adrian Flygt chops 1,500 logs per season. He is preparing for the 10-12 lumberjack competitions he participates in each year. Just like myself after I finish my daily training (miles and more miles running) hungry lumberjacks need to eat and Hormel Foods Dirty Moore stew is the answer.
 
This food in a can is quick and hearty for everybody not willing to stand behind the stove for hours to have your food ready. It tastes good because I had it the other after my run. The makers of Dinty Moore want you to take in part of the fun so for starters take a look at the landing page here, and see what kind of cool adventures the lumbersexuals got into. Maybe some were not so fun because their toughness was tested.
Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® stew is putting a team of lumbersexuals together, transforming them into mighty lumberjacks.
 
There’s more to being a lumberjack than simply looking the part. It takes the right training to perform the intense maneuvers that lumberjacks have to do, from axe throwing to wood chopping to crosscut sawing. There are competitions all over the world, and to take home the top prize, you’ve got to be prepared.
 
I want to hear how you are training at home for a big event in your life? Are you ready to be a lumberjack or possibly training for a marathon like myself or maybe training your stomach to take a hearty meal like the ones Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® brand offers? Don’t skip on checking out this landing page to learn more about Hormel Foods Dinty Moore® stew.
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Don’t forget to follow along on Twitter with the #MooreJacks hashtag, and take this BuzzFeed quiz to find out what lumbersexual you are. I took the quiz and will let you know my percentage once you all let me know yours!!!

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