Archives for December 2016

Holiday Tamale Recipes


The holidays are the perfect time for friends and family to gather and celebrate the festive season, but cooking for a crowd can often be difficult. This year, skip the hassle and prepare tamales for all of your guests using an IMUSA Tamale Steamer! IMUSA steamers have a large capacity and are extremely durable, allowing you to cook large-batch foods such as tamales, lobster, mussels, corn on the cob and more.

With recipes like George Duran’s Pumpkin Pie Tamales, Aaron Sanchez’s Tamales de Mole Amarillo, and Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Tamales, your guests are sure to find a flavorful option to enjoy.

Pumpkin Pie Tamales
George Duran for IMUSA


  • 40 To 60 dried corn husks
  • 7 Cups maseca corn flour
  • 3 Cups packed brown sugar
  • 2 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 2 Teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 Teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 Teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 29-ounce cans of pumpkin puree
  • 4 Sticks of butter, melted
  • 2 Cups of warm milk
  • 2 Cups of walnuts, chopped
  • 12 Ounces of raisins, a
  • About 2 1⁄2 cups Fresh white cheese/queso fresco (optional)


  1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak corn husks until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In an extra-large bowl add Maseca corn flour and the rest of the dry ingredients. Mix together making sure that all of the clumps are broken up with your fingers. Then add all of the wet ingredients and once again, use your hands to mix the corn flour. Add more water as needed until you achieve the consistency of peanut butter. Fold in the walnuts and raisins.
  3. Assemble the tamales by using a rubber spatula to spread 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup of dough mixture onto the corn husk, depending on the size of the corn husk. The spread should cover about two thirds of the husk, away from the pointed end, making sure you leave some space on each side to fold. Gently fold one side of the corn husk to the other end and fold up the pointed end across. Lay each tamale fold-side down. There should be an open end to each tamale.
  4. Once the tamales are folded, fill the IMUSA Tamale Steamer with water just below the fill line and place the steam tray on the rack. Carefully place each tamale standing up on the steam tray without overloading it and bring water to a simmer. Steam with the lid on for 90 minutes.
  5. Remove each tamale with tongs and let rest for a few minutes before serving it as a sweet side-dish or with grated queso fresco. MAKES 40-60 TAMALES.


Cheesy Sun-Dried Tomato Tamales


  • dried corn husks, & Corn husk strips (for tying) 25 to 35
  • 2 Sticks butter
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 1½ cups sun-dried tomato paste
  • 3 (3.25 ounce)Cans of diced green chiles
  • 4 cups maseca corn flour
  • 24 ounces white sharp cheddar cheese


  1. Fill a large bowl with warm water and soak corn husks until softened, about 30 minutes.
  2. In a large pot melt butter under medium heat.
  3. Once melted turn off heat and mix in chicken stock, sun-dried tomato paste, and green chiles. Set aside.
  4. In an extra-large bowl add the Maseca corn flour and using a wooden spoon, slowly mix chicken stock mixture into the flour. Fold in grated cheese until completely combined.
  5. Assemble the tamales by using a rubber spatula to spread 1⁄2 cup to 1 cup of dough mixture onto the center of the corn husk.
  6. Gently fold one side of the corn husk to the other end (like a cigar) and tie a knot at the larger end with a thin strip of corn husk. Fold over the other side of the tamale, which will be the bottom end when placed in the tamalera.
  7. Fill an IMUSA Tamale Steamer with water just below the fill line and place the steam tray on the rack.
  8. Carefully place each tamale standing up on the stream tray and bring water to simmer. Steam with the lid on for 90 minutes. Remove each tamale with tongs and let rest for a few minutes before serving it.


Tamales de Mole Amarillo
Aarón Sánchez for IMUSA


  • 10 dried corn husks
  • 1½ cup masa harina
  • 1¼ cup chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup shredded cooked chicken
  • Amarillo Mole
  1. In a large mixing bowl soak the corn husks for 30 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, add the masa harina and salt and with a whisk, mix well. Slowly add the chicken stock to the masa harina and mix well until a dough-like consistency. Make 10 ping-pong ball size balls of dough.
  3. In a plastic-lined tortilla press (both sides), press out each ball of dough to form a 5-inch round. Carefully remove the tortilla, and place a spoonful of amarillo mole sauce, a spoonful of shredded cooked chicken. Fold each side of the tortilla and place in a corn husk length-wise. Secure both ends with a string or part of the husk used as a string, and repeat process.
  4. Steam for 30 minutes in an IMUSA Tamale Steamer.

Mole Amarillo

  • 3 guajillo chiles, seeded and deveined
  • 1 ancho chile, seeded and deveined
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 medium tomatillos
  • 2 medium green tomatoes
  • 15 black peppercorns
  • 7 whole cloves
  • 3 large Hoja Santa leaves or 5 dried Hoja Santa leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lard or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons masa harina
  • 3 tablespoons water
  1. Toast chiles on a griddle. Remove and place in a bowl. Cover with boiling water and let stand for 20 minutes.
  2. In a hot cast iron pan, roast the onion, garlic, tomatillos, and green tomatoes. Roast until well charred on all sides. Place in a bowl and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile grind peppercorns and cloves in coffee grinder. When the vegetables are cool enough to handle peel off the charred skin and puree them in a blender with the hoja santa leaves, drained chiles, and spices.
  4. In hot pot, heat the lard, add the pureed strained sauce, and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, add the masa harina and water. Mix until well blended. Add this mixture to the sauce and cook for 5 minutes more, until done.

Credit:  IMUSA.


Have a Harry Potter Fan who Likes to Cook? The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents - A Fantastic Beasts & Treats Freemium by Dinah Bucholz is a Must-Buy!

With Fantastic Beasts Movie in Theaters, we are all reminded of Harry Potter! I saw this movie and loved it! I am also a big Harry Potter fan! So, I was quite thrilled to find out about the following book!


The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook Presents – A Fantastic Beasts & Treats Freemium by Dinah Bucholz (November 2016) is my favorite new Cookbook!

If you’re looking for more recipes inspired by the world of Harry Potter, check out the full version of The Unofficial Harry Potter Cookbook! The recipes are quite creative and fun to make! Recipes such as Treacle Fudge, Nougat, and my favorite Butterbeer!

The Kindle Version is currently free on

More about the Author:


Dinah Bucholz taught English before working as a copyeditor for a book publisher. A passionate pie baker known for her fine desserts, Bucholz is now a full-time mother to her four children in Philadelphia, PA. Visit her website at


Self Disclosure: I received a free copy of the book to facilitate this post. 


Last Minute Holiday Gift Suggestions! Christmas is almost here!

These fist suggestions are perfect for Holiday Travel with little ones!


And we’re off! InRoad Toys™ PlayTape® comes in purse-sized rolls and enables kids to turn any flat surface – even their seat-back tray tables – into roads and tracks for toy cars and trains. MSRP $8.99 and up. Ages 3+. I like this one because it really encourages creativity! Toy cars are not included!

Available at 

The next one is a Must for Travel!


Have a little one who is a Mickey or Minnie Mouse fan?

Hold the spills, please! The First Years Disney Simply Spoutless Cups lets little ones drink naturally from anywhere around the rim (just like an open cup!) and automatically closes tight when they stop sipping. So everything within 20-foot radius stays dry. Available in Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. For ages 12 months +. MSRP: $6.99.

Available online at

These next ones are perfect for Mom and great for Stocking Stuffers!

unnamed  unnamed-2

Limited Edition Sweet Seasonal Treats!

I love these! They smell so good! My favorite is the Limited Edition Yardley London Toasted Vanilla Bath Bar!


Yardley London helps you get into the gift-giving spirit and prepare for the Holiday season with NEW Limited Edition Indulgent Bath Bar Treats that are not only the perfect gift for a friend, but also a sweet treat for YOU!


Since 1770, Yardley London has created irresistible vintage chic soap bars crafted with pure extracts and essential oils to soothe your mind and body. This winter, Yardley London continues to uphold this tradition with the creation of two new seasonal scents.


The Limited Edition Yardley London Frosted Cranberry Bath Bar combines lush notes of effervescent Cranberry Essence with delicate florals, a happy holiday blend to celebrate the joyous season.  Inspired by pure comfort and joy, the Limited Edition Yardley London Toasted Vanilla Bath Bar, warms your body with delicious notes of indulgent Vanilla Bean Essence, evoking memories of just baked vanilla sugar cookies.

Like all Yardley London bath bars, these naturally moisturizing Holiday soaps combine skin nourishing ingredients and lush fragrance for a sweet seasonal treat.


Availability: Drug and Grocery Stores nationwide.

SRP: $1.00


Self Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this post. Photos were provided.



Holiday Candy Cane Inspired Nail Look by Sally Hansen

When it comes to playful holiday prints nothing feels more fun than a classic candy cane stripe. This simple recreation of the look manages to feel modern but not overly saccharine; festive without feeling kitsch.

The snow-white base makes a modern and minimal foundation for a sweet holiday look. The combination of bold and fine burgundy stripes is a subtle and elegant way to celebrate the season. 

This look features Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Get Mod and Dig Fig.

unnamed  unnamed-1

Nail Prep: Paint a coat of the NEW! Sally Hansen Nail Rehab–The care you give your nails before applying nail polish is the real key to a healthy long lasting manicure. Using Nail Rehab a day before creating the look will ensure that ridges and imperfections are concealed while strengthening weak nails. It creates a defensive shield to protect against bending, breaking, and tearing making the nail look last throughout the busy holiday season. clean bare nails a day before creating the nail look

Step 1: Remove Sally Hansen Nail Rehab before beginning the nail look. Paint two coats of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Get Mod

Step 2: Using a striping brush, apply diagonal lines using Sally Hansen Miracle Gel in Dig Fig leaving an ample amount of space between stripes. You can place stripes in opposite direction on different fingers to add some variety to the design.

Step 3. Then paint skinny stripes in between these wider diagonal stripes and have them follow along the same angle.

Step 4: Apply a coat of Sally Hansen Miracle Gel top coat 


I can’t wait to try out this look for Christmas!
Look for the Nail products where Sally Hansen products are sold!
Self Disclosure: I received free products to facilitate this beauty post. Photos and step by step instructions were provided.




The Complete Salon Manicure you love is now even better with amazing new shades. Style starts with a stunning spectrum of high-shine, perfectly pigmented nail polishes in on-trend, elegant hues. Sally Hansen Complete Salon Manicure™ introduces fashion-forward colors ranging from wearable, sparkle-spiked neutrals to daringly deep tones. Our all-in-one formula with keratin boasts 7 benefits in one bottle – base coat, strength, growth treatment, salon color, top coat, chip resistance, and gel shine finish. The new formula delivers up to 64% stronger nails and up to 10 days of chip-resistant wear.  It’s everything you need to achieve a professional nail look at home.  Here, six dazzling new shades in the Complete Salon Manicure™ lineup, available in a range of finishes.


Like the perfect wardrobe collection, the shades range from chic neutrals to deeper tones that express your mood:

World Is My Oyster Make moves in this ethereal take on a pearlescent copper nude.

Society Ruler Channel the upper echelons in this rich burgundy.

Hooked On Onyx Vamp it up in this gem of a glossy black polish.

Devil Wears Nada is a nakedly daring neutral pink-beige blend.

Freedom Of Peach Punch up your tips in this fruity, sun-ripened peach tint.

Mauvin’ On Up Decorate those digits with a penthouse-worthy creamy pink-mauve hue.

My favorites are Freedom of Peach and Mauvin’ On Up. I just love these shades!

Look for them where Sally Hansen products are sold this Holiday season!


Self Disclosure: I received free samples to facilitate this post. Photos and info were also provided.

Baking with Kids this Holiday Season! Time to Bake with Nielsen-Massey Vanillas!


The holiday time is the best time for baking with the kids! Our friends at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas have provided us with some great safety tips and a really delicious holiday recipe!

Here are some great tips:

Following are some tips to make baking with children, whatever the skill level, a great family activity:

  • Focus on Safety First: Wash your hands before you begin and in between tasks, especially when working with raw eggs. Make sure your preparation area is clean and uncluttered. Share tasks like cutting or stove top cooking depending on the age of your children and avoid burns by keeping pot handles turned in and having a parent remove food from the oven.
  • Incorporate Math Skills: Teaching children how to read a recipe is a great way to introduce math concepts. Start with simple number recognition for the youngest in your group. Older children can double a recipe for an addition equation challenge and have more baked goods to share.
  • Make it Fun: For many adults and children, the basics of baking are brand new. Remember to compliment your children as you make something new together, and to be patient and approach baking with a sense of humor if your first cake is a flop.

I really like Nielsen-Massey Vanillas and use them in many of my baking recipes especially cookies!

Here is a delicious holiday recipe from our friends, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas:

Chocolate Toffee Brookies

Cookie Dough (bottom layer)
1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 cup toffee bits

Directions for Cookie Dough
Coat 2 light-colored non-stick cupcake tins with cooking spray; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, add butter, sugars, vanilla extract and toffee; beat to combine.
Add flour mixture to butter mixture and beat to combine, dough will be crumbly.
Place a heaping tablespoon of cookie dough in the bottom of each cup and lightly press; set aside.

Brownies (top layer)

1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup baking cocoa (Dutch processed)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon coffee liqueur
1 tablespoon Nielsen-Massey Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract
2 eggs
1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels

Directions for Brownies
In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt together; set aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, add butter, sugars, coffee liqueur, vanilla and chocolate extracts; beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients in two additions, beating well after each addition. Fold in the chocolate morsels.

Spread a heaping tablespoon of the brownie batter on top of the cookie dough.

Refrigerate both tins of Brookies before baking for at least 2 hours. For best results, bake one tin at a time on the center rack in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F. Bake until done, about 20 minutes.

Makes 24

I received a 2-ounce bottle of Nielsen-Massey Pure Chocolate Extract and I tried this recipe and it was a hit with our family! I think you will love it too!


Self Disclosure: I received a free sample to facilitate this post. Photos and info were also provided.

Red Hot, Red Hued Holidays!

Rachel Allan Has Just the Right RED HOT Styling to Help you Ring in the Holiday Season. These Fabulous Frocks Just Scream“FA-LA-LA”


For Every Smokin’ Style from Red Carpet Ready Rompers or RTW, to Holiday-Approved Cocktail & Couture, Check



Credit: Rachel Allan.


Boho Ho Ho! Holidays Gems in Stunning Gypset Style!


Top: Moons Freshwater Earrings with Pink/Peach Accent SRP $150, Rainstorm Fifty-Six Freshwater Necklace White SRP $700, Consolacion Silver Shipwreck Coin Tahitian Pearl Necklace SRP $1028, Dallas Four Step Freshwater Bracelet SRP $275. Bottom: Music Two Strand Tahitian Bracelet SRP $750, JNM Reserve Cuff SRP $850.


Inspired by the Gulf Coast beaches of 30A in Seaside, Florida where the Wendy Mignot flagship store La Vie Est Belle is located, these Fine Pearl stunners add a breath of fresh shopping ideas for Holiday gifting. Combining rare South Sea, Tahitian and Freshwater pearls, these stellar works of art include: necklaces, bracelets, earrings, exclusive cuffs and a brand new assortment of rings. Each design is hand knotted with naturally tanned leathers, antique coins, artifacts and gemstones interspersed with luminous pearls!

The Wendy Mignot Collection is coveted and collected by an A-list of Celebrities and Hollywood insiders and is now available nationwide at

Credit: Wendy Mignot.