Tuesday, December 03, 2013

3 Amazing Ad Campaigns Aimed at Hispanics in 2013

Meanwhile over at Hispanic Trending... Check out my latest post - thanks Juan!


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

#NonfictionNovember – 8 Recommended (Fiction & Nonfiction) Book Pairings

I found this challenge over at Regularrumination to find pairings for nonfiction with its complimentary fiction reads pretty interesting. Here are my recommendations:

Pairing 1:
In the Time of the Butterflies
 (Photo: Wikipedia)
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez
with
The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa by Shawn Levy

Pairing 2:
When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir by Esmeralda Santiago
with
If I Bring You Roses by Marisel Vera

Pairing 3:
Like Water for Chocolate: A Novel in Monthly Installments with Recipes, Romances, and Home Remedies by Laura Esquivel
with
The Daughters of Juarez: A True Story of Serial Murder South of the Border by Teresa Rodriguez, Diana Montané and Lisa Pulitzer

Pairing 4:
Krik? Krak! by Edwidge Danticat
with
Haiti: The Tumultuous History - From Pearl of the Caribbean to Broken Nation by Philippe Girard

Pairing 5:
We The Animals by Justin Torres
with
For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

Cover of "Cherries in Winter: My Family's...
Cover via Amazon
Pairing 6:
Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times by Suzan Colon
with
The Time It Snowed in Puerto Rico: A Novel by Sarah McCoy

Pairing 7: 
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Diaz
with
Down These Mean Streets by Piri Thomas

Pairing 8:
The Scent of Lemon Leaves by Clara Sanchez and Julie Wark
with
The Real Odessa: Smuggling the Nazis to Peron's Argentina by Uki Goni

Pairing 9:
The Woman in Battle: The Civil War Narrative of Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Cuban Woman and Confederate Soldier by Loreta Janeta Velazquez
with
Ines of My Soul: A Novel by Isabel Allende

Friday, November 15, 2013

#FridayReads: For All of Us, One Today: An Inaugural Poet's Journey by Richard Blanco

For All of Us, One Today is a fluid, poetic account of Richard Blanco's life-changing experiences as the inaugural poet in 2013. In this brief and evocative narrative, he shares the story of the call from the White House committee and all the exhilaration and upheaval of the days that followed. 

For the first time, he reveals the inspiration and challenges—including his experiences as a Latino immigrant and gay man—behind the creation of the inaugural poem, "One Today," as well as two other poems commissioned for the occasion ("Mother Country" and "What We Know of Country"), published here for the first time ever, alongside translations of all three of those poems into his native Spanish. Finally, Blanco reflects on his new role as a public voice, his vision for poetry's place in our nation's consciousness, his spiritual embrace of Americans everywhere, and his renewed understanding of what it means to be an American as a result of the inauguration. 

 Like the inaugural poem itself, For All of Us, One Today speaks to what makes this country and its people great, marking a historic moment of hope and promise in our evolving American landscape. 


Richard Blanco
 (Photo: pennstatenews)
Selected by President Obama to be the fifth inaugural poet in history, Richard Blanco is the youngest, first Latino, first immigrant, and first openly gay person to serve in the role. The negotiation of cultural identity and universal themes of place and belonging characterize his three collections of poetry—City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to The Beach of the Dead, and Looking for The Gulf Motel. Blanco is a fellow of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. He lives in Bethel, Maine.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

#FridayReads: Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities

If you want to see me squeak and squeal, geek out and get flustered and/or start hyperventilating, talk to me about the Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities: My Notebooks, Collections, and Other Obsessions
by Guillermo Del Toro, Marc Zicree. It's funny back in early 2012, I wrote about how awesome it would be to be able to take a peek at what inspired Del Toro and apparently the internet gods answered.

I think this would make an excellent gift and if you're really fancy, there's a limited edition that retails for half a grand, no joke:

Over the last two decades, writer-director Guillermo del Toro has mapped out a territory in the popular imagination that is uniquely his own, astonishing audiences with Cronos, Hellboy, Pan's Labyrinth, and a host of other films and creative endeavors. Now, for the first time, del Toro reveals the inspirations behind his signature artistic motifs, sharing the contents of his personal notebooks, collections, and other obsessions. 

An intimate look into one of the most imaginative minds of this century, Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities reproduces the notes, the drawings, the untold creatures, and ideas of things to come that fill del Toro's fabled illustrated notebooks


This book will be a visual treasure trove for del Toro fans, as readers get a look at reproductions of his actual journal pages, filled with his handwriting, illustrations, notes in Spanish and English, as well as new annotations that add context and clarity.

The result is a startling, intimate glimpse into the life and mind of one of the world's most creative visionaries. Complete with running commentary, interview text, and annotations that contextualize the ample visual material, this deluxe compendium is every bit as inspired as del Toro is himself.

Contains a foreword by James Cameron, an afterword by Tom Cruise, and contributions from other luminaries, including Neil Gaiman and John Landis, among others.

This book includes diary entries and illustrations for the following del Toro movies, both green lit and not: 
  • Cronos
  • At the Mountains of Madness (as yet unmade)
  • The Count of Monte Cristo
  • Mephisto’s Bridge
  • Mimic
  • The Devil’s Backbone
  • Don’t be Afraid of the Dark
  • Blade 2
  • Hellboy
  • Pan’s Labryrinth
  • Hellboy 2
  • Pacific Rim

Born in Guadalajara, Mexico, Guillermo del Toro is the director of the films Cronos, Mimic, The Devil's Backbone, Blade II, Hellboy I, Hellboy II, and Pan's Labyrinth, which garnered enormous critical praise worldwide and won three Academy Awards.

Marc Scott Zicree has created classic episodes of "Star Trek-The Next Generation," "Deep Space Nine," "Babylon Five," "Sliders" and many more. He has appeared as a media expert on hundreds of radio and TV shows and is the author of the bestselling Twilight Zone Companion. He lives in West Hollywood with his wonderful wife, vile little dog, and affable big dog.

Friday, October 25, 2013

#FridayReads: Pig's Foot By Carlos Acosta

Cuba
(Photo: @Doug88888)
Pig's Foot: Oscar Mandinga, great-grandchild of the founders of a small hamlet of wooden shacks and red earth deep in the Cuban hinterland, is a sardonic teller of tales - some taller than others - of slavery, revolution, family secrets, love and identity, spanning four generations. One day Oscar Mandinga wakes to find himself utterly alone in the world. 

As the sole descendant of his family line he is not sure what to do or where he should go, but in the midst of this uncertainty, he holds fast to what his grandfather always told him: 'No man knows who he is until he knows his past, the history of his country.' 

As Oscar sets out to find his ancestral village of Pata de Puerco and the meaning of the magical pig's-foot amulet he has inherited, the search for his country's hidden history becomes entangled with his search for the truth about himself. 

Ambitious in scope, yet intimate in tone, rippling with vitality and driven by passion, full of dark comedy, magical history and startling revelations, Pig's Foot is a dazzling evocation of Cuba's tumultuous history. It is a spellbinding accomplishment.

Carlos Acosta was born in Havana in 1973 and trained at the National Ballet School of Cuba. He has been a principal at the English National Ballet, the Houston Ballet, the American Ballet Theater and the Royal Ballet, and has danced as a guest artist all over the world, winning numerous international awards. He is the author of the autobiography No Way Home. Visit www.carlosacosta.com

Saturday, October 19, 2013

How to Make your own Flavored Achiote Oil

Recently, I received a bottle of Olive Oil from Iberia. Iberia, is a manufacturer of packaged foods, specializing in Latin cuisine. Iberia offers a wide variety of food & beverage products (EVOO, olives, rice, beans) to specialty ‘foodie’ products (aioli, blended oils, paella packets) … the list goes on.

It is a such a pretty bottle design and packaging that I didn't want to just put it away in a cabinet. I instantly thought of the achiote oil that both my mom and my sister, although my sister more so always uses to make her food look and taste amazing. Achiote oil is commonly used in Puerto Rican cuisine and gives food a sweet but nutty peppery taste.

Historically it has been valued for its coloring properties and used for body paint and even a predecessor to lipstick. It's been also been used as traditional folk medicine and in addition to being high in antioxidants and  tocotrienols (belied to prevent cancer), it has antimicrobial properties. Of course, we all know that comsuming good quality olive oil on a daily basis, more commonly known as the Mediterranean diet has been shown to cut the risk of heart attacks and strokes by 30 percent.

DIY Achiote Oil

Chef Daisy Martinez has a pretty simple recipe here. You just heat up some achiote seeds (also referred to as annatto seeds) in the olive oil, watch carefully until the start to fizzle and then remove, cool and store. Your oil will turn an amazing reddish color and you can use it to make your rice yellow and your empanadas a golden brown.

Credit: Girliechef.com
My mom always uses a bit in her pasteles and her food is amazing. Rub a little of this on any meat you roast and it will come out looking Martha Stewart-worthy. Let me know what you think of it or if you use it.

Here's a fun video from Chef Don Davis walking you through Iberia products.


 
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