¡Feliz Navidad!

  
Whether you are on top of a snowy mountain or basking in the Caribbean sun, I hope you are all happy and surrounded by loved ones. That’s what it’s all about, right? 

Focus on what you have today and cherish it. Take a moment to let those far away know you are thinking of them. Enjoy every second, even if you are in your pj’s watching tacky Christmas movies. There’s no place for hate today, let’s keep that living on. 

Happy Holidays!!

Gifts For That Foodie In Your Life

It’s that wonderful time of year! Yes, it’s almost Christmas, even though New York City weather wants to tell us otherwise. Today, instead of sharing mouthwatering pictures, I took the time to compile a list of a few awesome gifts to get that special foodie in your life (even if that special foodie is you!).

This past month I discovered Shoptiques, thanks to the fabulous FabFitFun Winter box. Yes, I may have been living under a rock if I just heard of this website, but if you know me, you know that I’ll take a fancy cheese plate over a pair of expensive shoes anytime. That’s just how I am wired. However, that does not mean I can’t appreciate the wonder that is Shoptiques. It basically lets you shop online from boutiques all over the world, all in one seamless experience.

I got to play around with it and it was really useful to be able to shop by category, but also being able to switch and focus on one boutique at a time. My first purchase arrived in basically 24 hours and the boutique owner even wrote me a handwritten note! Simple, yet meaningful.

Need it by Christmas? They guarantee delivery on time if you order by December 20th. Also, I can now basically give you $15 dollars to spend! Just click on this link, and once you purchase and take advantage of the $15, you will get your own link to share out with friends. The gift that keeps on giving, right?

Start browsing below, hope you find something that you like!

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Porcelain Yes Mug ($16)

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Got This Tumbler ($16)

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Antipasto Tray ($20)

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Carry-on Cocktail Kit, Gin & Tonic ($24)

Foodie Dice

Foodie Dice ($24)

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Gift Boxed Cheese-Knives ($47)

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Chez Elle Coasters ($47)

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Dot Martini Shaker ($50)

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Cheese Board Set ($60)

Wine, Cheese & Friends (Pasta, Shrimp & Hot Dogs too)

What do I love more than wine and cheese? Having wine and cheese with friends, old and new.

As you may or may not know (everyone’s busy, I get it) I have a new camera and of course, I’m eager to explore all the possibilities. It’s not as easy as it looks, I’ve yet to find that perfect light but I’m enjoying the journey.

Back to the wine and cheese.

I love the Holidays. Considering the crappy weather, it’s a season full of color and life that allows us to reconnect with people and gives us an excuse to put pretty things together. Seriously, think of all the things you do in preparation for the Holidays! I love the hustle, from getting the perfect gifts to finding the perfect outfit for your company’s Holiday party (which is tomorrow and I do not have).

holiday dinner setup red candles

I may have a passion for capturing beautiful moments, but my friend and old coworker Citlalic has a passion for creating them. Her house is full of exquisite details that come together to build a lovely home. She has the perfect amount of patience to make sure that everything is perfect, which I love to capture!

salami cheese gouda guacamole olives nuts dinner setup

I must say I am very proud of my two cheese picks, Nettle Meadow Kunik and Aged Gouda from Murray Cheese Bar. Boy, were they good. My worst nightmare has a name and that is “lactose intolerant”.

pigs in a blanket homemade

We also made pigs in a blanket! Not my best assembly, but that doesn’t affect the taste! Who knew this was so easy? Just cut little hot dogs and roll them with Pillsbury Crescent Rolls.

shrimp alfredo pasta

I look at this picture and I am hungry all over again. Citlalic cooked this delicious creamy shrimp Alfredo pasta with homemade sauce, props to her because I’m usually lazy and just buy the sauce at the store. Check out the recipe here.

holiday dinner setup red

I look forward to the day that I have the capabilities to set up a table like that. I don’t even own a table cloth at the moment. I miss my mom’s kitchen where I could find napkins of every color and glasses for any occasion. One day, Cristina, one day.

Happy Holidays! 

Holiday Wish List, Just Because

I like to eat, drink wine, travel and take pictures. Nowhere in my resume can you find fashion, but I do like pretty things and I like to go shopping.

The inspiration for this post came right after I was able to finish all of my Christmas shopping within 24 hours (Thank you, Cyber Monday). I thought I did this so well I should share some of my great finds! You see, the thing about creating a gift guide is that you may be giving away what you are getting some of your loved ones.

So to avoid any confusion or spoil any surprises, I’m going to be selfish and play around with a list of things I would love for myself. This way, I can still share a little inspiration and my holiday gift plans are not ruined.

Again, fashion is not my thing and I’m just playing around, so there’s that.

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1. This lovely bracelet has been on one of my Pinterest boards since forever ago, but I still like it and for some reason I’ve never bought it, go figure. * LINK *

2. I have no need for these Frends headphones, except that they are so cute! I personally would never spend that money on headphones that I can lose, break or God know what else, but they look pretty. * LINK *

3. If it were up to me, I would have a purse in every color possible. Since it’s up to my wallet, I stick to basics. I LOVE this bag and if any of you want to give it to me for Christmas, be my guest! * LINK *

4. I love scarves, can’t have enough (definitely have enough). *LINK*

5. Another high reach item. Here’s my train of thought is that if I pay all that money for boots, I want to use them every day… if I use them every day in New York City, they are going to die… if my boots die, I will be sad. * LINK *

6. Ugly sweater, you say? I think it’s awesome! I really think I can totally rock this sweater at my company’s Holiday party. I can’t think what’s cooler, the neck decor or Rudolph (Rudolph, duh). * LINK *

7. My coworker introduced me to Baublebar and I must say, I am obsessed. I ordered a few things from there during their Cyber Monday sale and I can’t wait to see them and try them on! * LINK *

8. Last but absolutely not least, these skates. How safe are they? I’m not sure, but I would love to rock ’em around and find out. When I first found them I must admit I was a little disappointed that they were from Urban Outfitters, but I can get over that. *LINK *

Enjoy!

An Unexpected Valentine’s Day

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Surprise bouquet at the office, delicious candlelit dinner at the fanciest restaurant with the finest bottle of wine and a night out dancing and strolling by the water…

That was not my Valentine’s Day.

I have been sick for the past week, but don’t worry I will not bore you (or disgust you) with the details.

Somehow, I was still able to have a pretty damn sweet Valentine’s Day. Boyfriend brought me flowers and some grape juice, which I enjoyed in a fancy wine glass while I ate a dairy-free and fairly unseasoned pasta on my freezing kitchen. I could not eat chocolates or any other sweets for that matter and all the dancing I did was from the kitchen to the sofa, where I killed that grape juice while we watched nothing else but the Valentine’s Day movie (permission to gag).

Yes, I was upset about the food choice and evident lack of wine and cheese. Yes, I wish we could have done the long weekend road trip we originally planned, but you know what?

Sh*t happens and you still are able to smile. I wasn’t able to stuff my face with complicated dishes, fancy cheese and gulps of wine? Eh, I saved the calories?

In all seriousness, I’m grateful I could even eat. I also had love, which is kind of the point of this so-called Holiday, so why was I complaining? Oh yeah, because I am obsessed with cheese.

Vacation mode, not that I’m bragging or anything.

Still in vacation over here. Enjoying some time in my beautiful Puerto Rico, can’t really complain.

2014 is right around the corner, but right now I’m enjoying the “now”.

20131226-170718.jpg Cabo Rojo, Puerto Rico – Seriously one of my favorite views in the whole island.

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20131226-170800.jpg Up in the mountains of Adjuntas, having lunch with a sweet tropical breeze.

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20131226-170839.jpg Delicious mofongo, stuffed with skirt steak and other wonders. Basically, plantain gloriousness in a plate.

20131226-170846.jpg Playa Sucia in Cabo Rojo. “Sucia” means dirty, but believe me, this beach is far from dirty. Guess we like irony?

So basically, been busy with family and tropical adventures but I shall be back in the tundra that is New York and face reality. 2013 has been pretty sweet, so some stories are in store.

Cheers everyone, Happy Holidays! (At least in Puerto Rico it’s still the Holidays)

Sometimes, I Bake

Last year, my friend Lindsay and I won our office holiday bake-off under the creativity category. Pretty sweet little reindeer cookies, if you ask me.

This is how the cookies looked at the recipe website…

 

This is how our cookies turned out. Not that bad, considering I owned an android camera at the time.

reindeer cookies

2012 Winners in the creative category – Cristina Nogueras ©

This year, when my office announced we would be having another bake-off to celebrate National Dessert Day (which by the way, it’s a thing) I knew I had to retain my title as the creative cook. My coworker Lina and I decided to team up and get creative.

Mind you, this comes from the girl that knows how to cook, however, limits herself to the same five basic recipes. I have big ideas in my head, but they always somehow end up as some variation of chicken, rice and beans.

I knew flavor was not going to be my strength, so we went for creativity. Thanks to the wonder that is Pinterest and the many amazing and creative human beings out  there, I found a twist-off to my favorite childhood dessert: Tierrita Dulce.

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Rest in Bliss Vanilla Pudding – Photo & Edits Cristina Nogueras ©

I took some creative license rights and decided to call our creation: Rest in Bliss. I know, I’m no artist, but I’m really humbly proud of the results.

Plus, guess what?

WE WON!

Yes, that’s right, this girl over here is the current two-strike undefeated baking champion! (May I say we did not even have to technically bake anything?)

What’s the recipe for success? We literally followed the instructions on the Jell-O vanilla pudding box and added food coloring. Then we crushed a bag of cream-less Oreos and added layers of Oreos to the bottom and top of the cups. I know, rocket science. We added gummy worms to give it the Halloween look and Lina went all out with the frosting drawings in the vanilla wafer cookies.

Besides bragging rights and high-fives (which are always welcomed), we also received a nice bottle of Aviation Gin! Thinking of going classy and trying out some nice cocktails soon.

Desserts & cocktails? Not bad, right?

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Cristina Nogueras ©