Los Angeles Here I come for the 3rd Time!

In my whole life, I dreamt about going to Los Angeles and Hollywood, California. It was my first time in October 2012, and I must say I did choke up and was so teary. I Saw the Hollywood sign and I just lost it. I just couldn’t believe what I was looking at. Since I was a child looking at movies, television, ads in the paper, travel ads, magazines, entertainment stuff, and all I saw was LA, Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills and of course; the Hollywood sign. I knew where the celebrity central and the biggest entertainment capital of the world is.

As I was approaching the Hollywood sign above the Griffith Observatory, I cried up a storm. I was an emotional wreck. All my dreams of going to Los Angeles came true. I couldn’t believe I was close to all the stars, seeing the Hollywood Walk of Fame with all the artists, entertainers, then ending up right outside Jimmy Kimmel’s show studio set. Then seeing Capitol Records, and all these entertainment broadcasting corporation buildings. Then I saw the Iconic 405 Freeway everyone was talking about. They say that it was such terrible traffic and you are so right. So many lanes and still lots of traffic. Even the carpool lane didn’t make any difference.

In my mind, I was thinking of all the award shows, the red carpet, and I was keeping my eyes peeled and had my eyes everywhere with the hopes that I would meet a celebrity. That was highly unlikely, but It could happen and it has happened.

Anyway, my 2nd trip to Los Angeles was in May 2015, where we went through Santa Monica Beach where we hung out for a bit, then driving through Beverly hills. Seeing these huge houses where majority of them are covered in high bushes and trees, and a lot of the celebrities live there. You would see the home cleaners park their cars outside on the road, and them coming out with buckets, mops and other cleaning products, then you would see super expensive cars. This time, I did see Actor Hugh Jackman drive a black Porsche. It was definitely him. I can tell for sure. Then I looked online and it was true. We also traveled to Fresno, San Francisco, Drove on the Pacific Coast Highway, went to Newport Coast, Newport Beach.

My 3rd Los Angeles trip will be in about 3-4 months from now. I am excited to spend about 10-11 days there. I am definitely going to other parts of LA such as Pasadena, Glendale, Malibu, La Crescenta, and so many other places. I have a lot of time now to plan and I am going to be so organized. Gotta love LA. I cannot believe in just 3-4 years, I will have gone 3 times. I did not go all my life. I am really excited to be amongst the stars again.

I can’t wait to indulge into In-N-Out burger, and also the Famous Oscars Pizza Guy Edgars Pizza. Big Mamas and Papas, and amongst other great restaurants I have heard about.  I hope to see Ellen Degeneres, go to Warner Bros, CBS Studios, NBC Universal and more.

I just want to Meet Bradley Cooper, Jason Statham, Chris Hemsworth, and Channing Tatum.🙂 Hopefully, will bump into them at LAX Airport or down a street walking or something. Now that would be awesome. I can hardly wait!

Eating Healthy is becoming Impossible

In the last little while, as I have been venturing off to the grocery store to do my weekly shopping for food and other necessities for the home, I have noticed that eating healthy is becoming impossible with the huge price hike of fruits and vegetables and other healthy foods. It has been absolutely crazy.

Doctors, dietitians, health pros keep telling us to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, but they should also realize that groceries are not cheap anymore. Many years ago, it was decent, you could go a long way to stretch your dollar, but now food, cost of living is increasing. People have to work harder to make a buck, and that is just ridiculous.

I do not care, food should never be expensive and on top of all that, people need to pay food tax too. Some people are buying less healthy foods in other aisles of what they can afford. I remember one time I was shopping at my local store, and I was in the canned food aisle with the high sodium soups and those ready made noodle ramen soups as well as pasta and rice and all that, also aisles with sugar based foods, I couldn’t help overhearing these 2 people talking to each other saying, “I have been trying to get healthy, but I cannot afford it, the prices for healthy food is insane, so to feed my family, I have to do anything and everything, so I got to do what I can”. It broke my heart. Life has become so difficult. It is unbelievable.

These governments and those who control the prices for our food, should think about all the people that need to dig into their pockets a lot more, but I do not think they care about people at all, as long as they make the money, who cares the health condition of people?

If all these professionals are promoting and expecting us to eating healthy, then they should back us up and offer us coupons, or better yet to work with the government and these food companies, farms that these veggies and fruit come from to come up with a plan that healthy eating is important and where obesity, overweight people can be motivated more when they see prices becoming more reasonable.

For cauliflower now, it is at a staggering $6.00, then for apples it is almost $4.00 for the bag, and there the total is now $10 just for 2 items. For a bag of onions is like $3.50, for red, orange, and yellow peppers is $2.97 a pound. So on and so forth. So with tax and everything it comes up to $20 or more for those things. fruits and veggies should not be more than 1 dollar or $1.50 at the most. They are fooling us.

No wonder why people are so stressed out. I am planning on setting up a petition online to decrease prices for food and to encourage people to eat healthier.

What do you think about it?

Talin’s Mouth-watering 2 Layer Penne Lasagna

I know you are probably thinking Penne Lasagna? I’ve made that possible. Who says that you always need to put Lasagna dough sheets to make Lasagna? Not to me. As long as you have Pasta Noodles of any kind that is large to mid size. I am not saying the Acini De Peppe, Orzo, and small noodles you use for soup and all that. I am saying Penne, Spaghetti, even Rotini. I have tried, tested and tasted. It is delicious! Well, let’s get started.

Depending on the number of people that you are serving in your family or your friends. It is in your preference.
This is for a family or friends of 4 or 5.

You will need:

– 900g of Penne Rigate Package (depends on your pan size as well and number of people)
– **Onions or Garlic are Optional. (It is your choice)**
– Oregano
– Basil
– Tomato Paste
– Tomato’s
Mozzarella Cheese
– Parmesan Cheese
– Cottage Cheese
– Extra Lean Ground Beef
– Sea Salt – (Never use table salt) **To your added preference**
– Grinded Black cracked Pepper
– All Spice

To begin:

1) Mash the extra Lean Ground beef into small pieces, cook it well done in a pan. That is where you will add just the Tomato Paste and Sea Salt. add about 4tblsp full of tomato paste and 1 and a half tsp of sea salt. (Add water, but not too much) You do not want your Lasagna to be Soggy. Add just enough to mix the tomato paste with them together.

2) In a separate small mixing bowl add 1 tbsp Oregano, as well as Basil, and all spice – Mix them together

3) Wash and Slice 4 fresh tomato’s – use Tomato on a Vine or Roma Tomatoes. put them aside.

4) In a mixing bowl add the grated Mozzarella Cheese and Cottage cheese. Mix it together.

To make the Penne:

1) Make sure you put a little more than half a large pot of water

2) Boil the water and put Sea Salt and as soon as it boils, add the Penne. (Never put any kind of noodles in a non-boiled water, it will stick to the bottom of the pot and stick to the other noodles)

3) Immediately stir the Penne so that all the noodles will become tender evenly and keep mixing ever 2-3 minutes. Let it boil on medium heat for about 10 minutes. If it needs more time, then go to about 11-12 minutes. MAX. (Do not overcook and make it mushy. Take it out while it’s al dente)

4) Drain and set aside to make 2 equal parts of the Penne Rigate, but first Mix the ground beef/tomato paste mix with the penne before Parting them. Add the Oregano, Basil and All spice mix with them as well.
In a Medium to Large Pyrex Pan:

1) Add cooking oil spray to the whole pan.

2) Add the first layer of the Penne and even it out.

3) Add the cheese mix – then Put Parmesan Cheese

4) Add the layer of the Tomato’s

– **for the Last layer – Repeat Steps 2-4 but add #4 first, then #3– Add the Parmesan Cheese last.

—————————–

Oven Settings:

– Bring the Oven to Convection – to 375 degrees before you put the Lasagna in.

– Let it cook for 30 Minutes

and there you have it.
Penne Lasagna. Bon Appetit! Enjoy!

Black Friday Ridiculousness

There are several reasons why I do not encourage and support Black Friday, Boxing Day, and whatever shopping days there are and I think it is absolutely ridiculous. What I don’t understand is that after Thanksgiving or any other occasions like after Christmas as well some people go out the next day forgetting everything and take advantage of Black Friday sales. I think it is hypocritical because just the day before everyone sits around the table being thankful for family, friends, food, and everything around us and you see people writing twitter tweets and Facebook status messages saying that the important thing is family and friends to get together and they also say, it is not the things that matter in life and how we should be thankful every day, then you see the same people out the next day doing the complete opposite.

Are people so dependent on materialism? I think so and I know so. When it is evident that some people in the world do not have anything, that they are in absolute desperation, but still manage and continue to survive and when there are people that are just barely getting by.

Another part of all this Black Friday ridiculousness is that, people line up for hours and days in front of retail stores just so that they can get their hands on a stinking product first and so that they can brag on their social media news feeds and to their family and friends on saying “Hey I got this awesome big screen TV”, or this awesome new cell phone or whatever else. They will stand and freeze and do anything they can to get their hands on anything regardless of weather conditions and whatever else. I think that is absolutely absurd and sad on many levels.

I would rather go shopping when I absolutely need something. I don’t go shopping for the sake of going shopping and blow all my money on unnecessary things.

Some people’s actions are selfish and acting like children starting unnecessary fights in retail stores just for the sole purpose of buying something where you can get it another day. Some people will get injured, have cuts, and get arrested and thrown out of stores. People get tackled, pushed, shoved, bud in line, swear at people, throw punches at each other just so that they can have materialistic satisfaction no matter what cost. It is not only immature behavior but disgusting as well.

People have to stop this utter stupidity. All people are doing is making corporations richer and these corporations are attracting sales so people dig into their pockets further. These are business tactics so that people can rush to the stores and cause all this attention and ruckus. So ridiculous. Some people have become so spoiled, that they don’t even care. Be content and satisfied with what you have.

What is your opinion on all of this?
Have you witnessed it?

A Day In The Life in Cuba – The Reality

In life, one of the most incredible experiences is travel. I believe that when you travel to see the world, different lifestyles, realities, different people, places is something that is such a great thing. You become more aware, educated, informed and get in touch with your personal self to get a better understanding than what you hear in the media and pictures, also to change your perspective on things of the way your life is and in your own backyard to appreciate, count our blessings, and to be grateful for everything you have in life where others are less fortunate and do not have much. For example, in Cuba.

I have traveled to Cuba 13 times in my lifetime. I have traveled almost all over the island and have seen cities, and towns along the way. I have spent time with the locals, and met families, and have seen the way people live their day to day lives with the bare minimum. Some people make about $12.00 – $30.00 a month. Maximum 35 if they are lucky. Most people work in the resorts and touristic parts, some who are teachers, doctors, room makers, cleaners, bartenders and more.

A lot of people nowadays are so picky about what they want to eat, some people have a fridge full of food, pantries full, stomachs full, and they still are trying to figure out what to make. I admit, I am one of them, but It is really an eye-opener when you see the world. Not only in pictures, but when you see it with your own eyes. That is a whole new ball game. Well, some people in this world unfortunately do not have that option. Cuban people get a certain amount of food per month or every 2 weeks and that they need to space out how much food to eat during the day, some have to struggle to make their own food.

As I was going through towns from Cayo Santa Maria, back to Santa Clara where the airport is to come back home, I saw some of the most saddest things I had ever seen, there are run down buildings that look like they will collapse any minute, people walking around the streets with heavy bags, people cutting grass with machetes or some sort of cutter, some people going somewhere with horses, busted up cars, and it just made me tear up and think to myself, how can people live like this day in and day out? I teared up and so did the person who was sitting next to me and I overheard 2 ladies behind me saying that, we shouldn’t complain anymore and be choosy about everything we have. This really opened up my eyes one of the ladies said, and the friend of hers or whoever it was said, yes that’s true, you are right.

I have been through towns and cities in Cuba, and some of the conditions of the homes the Cuban people live are terribly sad. It breaks my heart. They don’t have proper windows, the roofs of some of the houses are coming apart, a lot of the houses are the size of a 14 to 17 foot place and some of the houses are even smaller than that. Can you imagine a family of 5 living there? Well, I met this family of 5 and they live in such a small house and they have to go outside of the home to use the toilet and to shower they have buckets inside the house and there is running water outside, so they have to go out to get running water then come back to wash up inside where there is just a drain.

In Cienfuegos, Cuba when I went. I had met an entertainer and then he invited my family and I over to his house, so the next day we took the taxi over to his place. We met his family and I remember how hospitable they were with us and so friendly. So, we took them a few items we do not need anymore and they were so happy. So the mother of the entertainer made us a whole table full of food, and started preparing the day before when the entertainer told them we are coming over. The dinner we had was so delicious and it was probably their months worth of food for us for that night. It was done without our knowledge or else we would have refused and if we did, they would get offended, so we ended up eating all of it as we were hungry. They then served us coffee and then we went back to the hotel.

They were so incredibly friendly and we got to see how they lived the whole day. They struggle so much with the deplorable conditions they live in. Some places though are really nice. It depends on the monthly salary as well. Again, I came to my resort and I just thank my lucky stars. I showed a few Cubans my pictures from my Camera, and they have never even seen an airplane in their lives, they have never even seen a camera, let alone the type of clothing I was wearing. It absolutely broke my heart to pieces.

I will continue to visit Cuba. I really like the people there and they are so friendly, witty and energetic, but for some people you can see the sadness and depression in their faces and you can tell some of them don’t have much, and some show they are happy, but they are not. The desperation can be seen. They love it when you give them shoes, clothing and anything else. For these people I will donate and give them the shirt off my back. Put yourself in their shoes and see what its like, but some people don’t realize.

I see them working so hard at the resorts, non-stop and they have to travel long ways to make a Buck which is a Peso there. There are people who come to these resorts who travel there, and I see how rude the guests can be to them and waste so much food on their plates, demand things from them. I mean at the end of the day, they are human beings just like us and deserve to be treated with respect and to have patience. Those Cubans see it and they said, I wish I had this much food at my home and I can see the frustration and sadness in their eyes. I am very observant when I travel. Some of these tourists don’t realize that, however I do and I am compassionate and patient with them. I put myself in their shoes and I go from there.

Moral of the story is that you should always be thankful for what you have. You never know what someone else is going through and people in this world do not have anything, so we must stop begging for more, being desperate for buying the next newest and latest smartphones, or super expensive things that really suit no purpose in life. Some people are so spoiled to the fullest extent. It is unbelievable. We should always count our lucky stars because people in this world aren’t so lucky.

Have you been to Cuba or anywhere else and have seen the way people live?

Do you travel to other destinations to see other peoples reality and what it is like?

Would love to hear from you.

Picky Food Eaters – This is an Eye-Opener

There is something that I need to address. Everyday it is a struggle to figure out what to cook, and there are those who ask, “What are you cooking today?” “We are eating that again?” “Why don’t you make this instead?” “I don’t like this, I don’t like that”, well some people do not know how hard it is, especially when it comes to picky eaters, those who waste so much food and those who don’t like to eat many things.

People have no right to complain, and also there are so many people in this world who go to bed hungry, who do not have sufficient amount of food to feed their families, malnutrition, and can barely get enough bread and butter on the table. Some people in impoverished countries and in our own backyards struggle with that and some people live off only a small quantity of food per month and even worse starve to death in this world.

I know due to certain health restrictions and non-permissible foods in someones diet or allergies or illnesses, irritants to someone which is understandable, but other than that people should not make a fuss over what to consume.

Because some people have resources and ample amount of choices of food and an array of ingredients to cook with and our fridge, freezers and tummies are always full and that is how picky eating comes to play. In life growing up if we did not eat the food our parents, grandparents made for us, and if we were fussy and picky, we would be sent to our rooms or somewhere without eating. People should not complain at all for food.

Just take a closer look to people who do not have that necessity or barely. What are they supposed to say? People should be fortunate and thankful that they do have that necessity, however some people take it for granted and are not thankful. This is really an eye-opener and our attitudes, pick and choosiness and other Things need to change in the world for the better.

Now to my readers,

Do you have picky eaters at home? would love to read what you have to think about all this.

It all starts with how we implement change in our society.

Not a Big Fan of Microwaves and the Recipes with it.

In my life, one of the many joys I have is cooking with pots, pans, wok’s, Pyrex and all those cookware products, and making things from scratch on a stove top or putting it right into the oven or toaster oven. I prepare food in healthy and great ways to ensure that my loved ones get the proper nutrition and everything. One thing that I am not a big fan of is Microwave recipes and things to heat up in there. I seldom heat up a hot beverage or something along the lines of that during the winter months, but other than that, I resort to other cooking methods as stated above.

I used to buy microwave popcorn a lot many years ago, but then I heard the harmful chemicals and ingredients used in the bag and the popcorn itself got my stomach churning and thinking, Oh my goodness I used to eat that and all those chemicals went into my body? After that, I refrained from purchasing them, and I invested into a popcorn making machine and now I make popping corn from scratch.

I know some people have no choice in using it because they either have to heat up food that you take to at your work’s cafeteria/lunch room, or when there is a child or children in you’re household to heat up their food instantly and feeding them, or when you have guests over or whatever the case maybe. It is okay, no problem.

The ample amounts of stories and articles I have read about microwaves make me think twice even three times when it comes time to use it. I have heard the radiation that gets onto the food or the unhealthy rays that come from it and then to consume it. I can really do without that appliance. Nothing beats a real home-cooked meal without having to use recipes of microwave use.

Do you use microwaves?
Or would you rather use natural pot/pan cooking and heating methods?
What do you feel about them?