Quick Dinner: Green Chile Turkey Meat Loaf

Posted on July 9th, 2012 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Here is a quick dinner that everyone loves, my Green Chile Meat Loaf.  My hubby actually bought the ground turkey for this and asked me to make it for him.  You know it’s good when they ask for it!  It’s so easy to make, the prep takes about 15 minutes.  You can put it in the oven and get some side dishes ready and have everything on the table with plenty of time to sit down and relax while you watch The Bachelorette.  Well, that’s my plan anyway!  See my weekly recap of the show at http://californiamomblogs.com/2012/07/10/the-bachelorette-weekly-recap/

I eyeball the seasoning measurements as follows:

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon dried oregano (rub in palm of your hand as you put it in to release the flavor)

3/4 cup dried Italian bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup chopped green onion (or white onion)

2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped

5-6 green chiles, chopped

1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast

Mix the dry ingredients; bread crumbs, chopped green onion, chopped garlic, oregano, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, white pepper, black pepper. . . just use your favorites to suit your taste. . . with a beaten egg and a half a cup of milk.

Chop up some whole green chiles.  I use canned whole chiles when I can’t get the fresh roasted green chiles from New Mexico.  They are very mild and just add a bit of tangy flavor to the meatloaf.  I never get chopped canned green chile because I believe the more processed the chile, the less heat.  My family likes the  slow burning, melt in your mouth, heat from the New Mexico chile.

I chop the chiles coarse and throw them in the mix of ingredients.

With a gloved (or very clean hand) mix the ground turkey in with the rest of the ingredients.  I always mix this with my bare hand.  I need to feel the consistency of the meat.  At this point, I add more bread crumbs or milk based on how it feels to me.  Over the years, I have learned how my family likes the meat loaf.  I stop mixing when it just barely looks and feels like a paste.  It is moist, but not runny.  The wetness matters when using a lean meat like ground turkey.  When I use ground beef or pork, I will make the mixture a little dry because the juices of the meat will moisten the meatloaf when cooking.

I “pour” the concoction into the baking pan and shape into a loaf.  Pop in the oven at 350° for one hour.

Yum!  The outside looks crunchy and the juices are running clear.  It’s ready!  But don’t slice yet, let it sit for about 10 more minutes.  If you wait, the slices will  not crumble when you slice them.

Tip: try to make the slices thin or cut some ahead of time for left overs.  You will want a meatloaf sandwich tomorrow for sure!

Serve with some rice or mashed potatoes and gravy and some veggies or a salad.

Note:  With green chile as an ingredient, I usually add some small chunks of jack cheese into the mix.  It is so tangy and gooey that I don’t make a sauce or ketchup to pour over the meat.  It really doesn’t need it!

Western Ho-Down in Chatsworth

Posted on June 30th, 2012 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Living in Chatsworth is a hoot!  I say that with much love and admiration.  Nestled in the foothills of the San Fernando Valley, between Northridge/Porter Ranch and the Santa Susanna Pass to Simi Valley, Chatsworth is a small and still somewhat rural community.  It’s a quaint little Western Town with a lot of history.  Most folks who live here have lived here their whole lives.  In fact, on the block where I live, my surrounding neighbors are all original owners from when the homes were first built in 1961.  This area is zoned for horses and farm animals.  In the evenings you can hear the clippity clop of horses hooves as the nearby ranchers take a leisurely ride.  There are still hitching posts at many of the businesses!  I wake up to the sound of roosters every morning. I love going for a walk and visiting the horses, goats, pigs, and sheep at the end of my block.  And, hey!  It’s still Los Angeles!

I love the Western style and influence of the area.  Besides shooting many Hollywood films in the dusty Chatsworth rocks nearby and at the well hidden Iverson Ranch tucked behind them, Chatsworth has been home to many of the film greats.

“All the cowboy movie heroes worked at Iverson — Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, Audie Murphy, Randolph Scott, Tom Mix, William S. Hart and the rest. So did major movie stars from Barbara Stanwyck to James Cagney to Judy Garland to Henry Fonda to Shirley Temple. Bob Hope, Buster Keaton, Laurel and Hardy and the Three Stooges were among the comedy stars to film at Iverson. Pioneering stuntman Yakima Canutt perfected his trademark stagecoach stunts on the Upper Iverson’s well-traveled chase roads, while superheroes from Superman to Batman donned their capes at the ranch. Early TV Westerns such as “The Lone Ranger” and “The Cisco Kid” shot regularly at Iverson, paving the way for the next generation of bigger, better TV productions to bring their cameras to the ranch for classic series such as “Bonanza,” “Gunsmoke,” “The Virginian” and “The Big Valley.”

The businesses at the “West End” in Chatsworth, on Devonshire Street, near Topanga Canyon, have kept the Western influence alive and can be experienced in new modern ways.  Shop at The Silver King, eat at Los Toros, dance at The Cowboy Palace, and you will feel like you are the star of one of those 1930’s Westerns fer sure!

Here is a review of Los Toros that I wrote on YP.com  http://www.yellowpages.com/chatsworth-ca/mip/los-toros-mexican-restaurant-22383902?lid=22383902

If you haven’t been out to any of the businesses around the block lately, now is a good time to visit.  Seven of the businesses are hosting with the Chatsworth Business Improvement District, a monthly Art Walk on the last Friday of each month.  Bring the family and be welcomed by other Chatsworth families who own and operate the stores and restaurants that we pass every day.  We are lucky to have such a thriving community of caring individuals who were born and raised in our neck of the city!

A Chatsworth family owned business, The Silver King Silversmiths, is home to fine jewelry, Western Style accessories and historical artifacts.

Here is an audio podcast interview with Malila Davalos, President of Chatsworth B.I.D. and owner of The Silver King at last night’s event:  http://cinch.fm/miz-meliz/510442

Today, Silver King will be a sponsor of the Western Ho-Down at the Chatsworth Metro Station celebrating the extension of the Metro Orange Line.  If you have never been to the Train Station at Old Depot Plaza Road  – it is a must see!  It houses the Museum of Chatsworth Transportation and Movie History, which is small but interesting.

“The official opening of the line will be today, Saturday, June 30. Community festivities will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday only at the Canoga and Chatsworth Stations and will include food trucks, live music, group bike rides and much more.Free rides on the extension are planned both Saturday and Sunday between 7 a.m.and 7 p.m. Regular fares will apply on all other Metro Rail, Metro Rapid and  Metro Local lines.”

I hope to see you there as Chatsworth marks another important milestone in its history!

I wrote this post as part of my participation in an exclusive Clever Girls Collective program. All opinions are my own.

What Will Your Memories Be?

Posted on June 28th, 2012 by & filed under Be Inspired, Everything Miz Meliz, Poems

Poetry of Lucille Palmer

As you sit when you are old
In the firelight’s flickering glow;
When your blood runs thin and cold,

And you’re oh! so weak and slow,
What will your memories be?

Will you rest and smiling dream
Of long fled ecstasies?
Of loves, who present seem
A full life’s legacies —
What will your memories be?

Think of you crueler fate
Thank just to sit and blink,
And stolid, dumbly wait
For death — now’s the time to think.
What will your memories be?

Ah! drink life’s brimming cup;
Better far to glut and sate
Thank to give all pleasure up
And starve when it’s too late,
What will your memories be?

Multi-Level Experience

Posted on June 23rd, 2012 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz

Sometimes I have an experience that is meaningful on so many levels it freaks me out a bit. Last weekend was one of those times. I’ve been on vacation this week and have had a lot of amazing experiences, but my thoughts return to last weekend quite often. Here is how it went down. . .

Acceptance to the #LLBlog

I had an opportunity to meet Ana Lydia Monaco of the Latina Fashion, Lifestyle and Beauty Bloggers, a group I recently joined. That in itself was phenomenal. All the women I have met so far through my blogging groups have been amazing. I enjoy meeting them in person as much as I enjoy getting to know them online.

Ana Lydia is also in a group that I belong to on Facebook called So Cal Lady Bloggers. She recently asked me to join the blogger collaborative that she has spearheaded, The Latina Lifestyle Fashion and Beauty Bloggers Ana Lydia also writes for her own blog in addition to running a full-time PR business,  and recently she was awarded a seat on Count Me In‘s Business Accelerator Program  This is one busy lady!

Ana Lydia Monaco at Coffee and Crepes by Vicky

The Fashion Swap

I went to an event on Saturday called a LLBlog Fashion Swap. It was a way to help out the community by donating clothing to a local women’s shelter. Mari Salinas and Ilse Giselle organized the event and made it so much fun. What was unique about it was that it was a swap. I have been to hundreds of clothing drives and fundraisers over the years so I know what I am talking about, they are rarely fun! This was different.

I took a few items to donate for the swap; a dress, a few jackets and skirts, a few bags and some other accessories. When I arrived Ana Lydia gave me tickets in exchange for the items that I brought. I could use these tickets to “buy” items that others brought to donate. The tickets were also raffle tickets and I won some swanky spa lotions and soaps.

The Fashion Circle

All the ladies who attended and donated items hung around talking and enjoying coffee and crepes. Mari lead the group in a Fashion Circle. It was a discussion group about fashion! It was so my thing, it was scary! I felt so relaxed and happy with this cool group of women, at this quaint coffee-house, talking about clothes and food and blogging. We went around the circle introducing ourselves and sharing about our history and what brought us there. We asked and answered questions about fashion. We had so much in common and we were all very different – – it was inspiring.

Once all the donated items were displayed, boutique style, we went “shopping.” I picked out a dress, a jacket, a bracelet and a bag. I had more than enough tickets with which to “purchase” my items. I walked away with “new” (to me) stuff and had a blast. Here is one blogger’s tumblr post on the event, http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/latina-lifestyle-bloggers–collectives

Finding My People

When Candy Cervantes from Curves Ahead Makeup and Fancy Steps Boutique walked in the room, I had to look twice because I thought she was my cousin! She looks just like my gorgeous cousin, Nicky Anne. It could have been that as soon as I arrived in this general area of town, I began having flash backs to my youth when I would visit my grandparents and aunts and uncles who lived there. My parents grew up in East Los Angeles and met at Garfield High School. My grandparents lived in La Puente. My aunt and uncle and cousins lived in Monterey Park, Whittier, Rosemead, and the City of Industry. I visited those places when I was a kid and I would spend weekends with my Nana and Tata as soon as I could drive there on my own. I had not been back there in over fifteen years. Most everyone I know who lived there has moved away or passed on. I found it nice and refreshing to be in that place. It felt comfortable to me. Seeing my “cousin’s” smiling face had something to do with it!

Candy wrote a fantastic review of the day’s event, http://curvesahead14.blogspot.com/2012/06/latina-lifestyle-blogger-fashion-swap.html  I look forward to seeing her again next week at her event, Fancy Steps  Trunk Show at Checa Chic Boutique in Santa Monica.

Brunch at Vicky’s

One of the best parts of the day was discovering this great coffee-house, Coffee and Crepes by Vicky It was the perfect venue for this event. Vicky likes to help out the community and is involved in making the local area a great place to visit.

Banana and Strawberry Crepes with Nutella

Victoria Chavez-Calderon (of Coffee and Crepes by Vicky) is on the City of Monterey Park’s Art & Culture Commission.  She supports artists and local talent by providing a venue and meeting place in addition to her work as a commissioner. Coffee and Crepes by Vicky has an upstairs lounge area where she hosts an open mic night and karaoke. Original paintings by none other than Lalo Garcia, hang on the walls. 

Vicky Chavez-Calderon

A few of the bloggers were concerned about the location of the venue for the fashion swap event. I couldn’t disagree more. It was the perfect location. It was close to the freeway, easy to find, on a main street with shopping and restaurants. It was exciting that they found this gem, a diamond in the rough perhaps in East L.A.! Not only were the crepes and coffee to die for, the hospitality and generosity of Vicky and her staff were over the top. I felt like family, and I can’t wait to return!

I am hoping to have the chance to return to East Los Angeles and take advantage of the open mic night at Coffee and Crepes by Vicky very soon. I have been looking for a family friendly location to practice my poetry reading and this place is everything I could hope for. If you are interested in meeting me, hearing my words, and learning a bit about my story – subscribe to receive my newsletter. I don’t want you to miss out on the opportunity to hang out with me and my friends at Vicky’s!

The Latina Nutcracker Lady

One of the new friends that I made last Saturday is Susana Hernandez. Susana has a business with her mom making and selling nutcrackers. Yes, the decorative kind that you find around the holidays. But these are not German soldiers like the traditional nutcrackers! Susana’s business is called Latin Inspired Designs and she sells these unique nutcrackers on her website. They are beautifully hand-crafted and hand-painted by her family. Her mother, Olivia, designs and sews all of the intricately detailed costumes for each figure.

“Latin Inspired Designs specializes in the only authentically designed Latin Nutcracker Collection™ made to honor and celebrate the traditions and beauty of Mexican culture and art forms.”

I thoroughly enjoyed meeting Susana and feel like I found an instant friend. She and I connected through our love of inspiration. I strive to be inspired and to inspire others. She writes about the very same thing. I was inspired by meeting this woman who is living her dream.

Susana said, “I wanted something for my family. I thought, if others can do it, why couldn’t I?”

She worked so hard to start a business and make something of herself doing something that she is so very passionate about. She and her mom work together and use their natural talents and abilities. They are setting an example for the next generations in their family. Susana’s children and grandchildren will not only have the beautiful products of their matriarch’s designs but they are being given the gift of the rich history and culture of the Latin community and an opportunity to keep it alive.

A Vote of Confidence

After being inspired by Susana’s story and enjoying a bit of my own family’s history, I had the chance to sit down and talk with Carloyn West , co-creator of SoCal Lady Bloggers. Carolyn asked me what my goals and objectives are with my blogging. She had read my 100th blog post and knows where I’ve been the past six months. Now she wanted to know where I plan on going. She has been so nice as a coach and mentor (without even knowing it) as she shares her experience and wisdom as she leads the group. I trust her and value her opinion.

I told Carolyn about my plans to continue practice writing and blogging about anything and everything. I am using this vehicle to gain experience and find my groove while I become a better writer. My goal is to write and publish a novel and to complete and publish all of the books that I have started over the years. I told Carolyn about my plan to use pubslush.com and to engage the social media platform that I have been building to promote the pre-sale and ultimate publishing of my books online. Her vote of confidence and encouragement meant the world to me!

Carolyn is also aware of my desire to perform and read my poetry publicly. She has continually encouraged me to do it and promises that she will attend (if possible!) I know all of my family will support me, and now I know I have the support of my blogging friends. All I have left to do is set the date!

The Hummingbirds

After the fashion swap was over and all of the clothes and donated items were packed up, the group of ladies went to a little boutique a few doors down from Coffee and Crepes by Vicky called Colibri Boutique .

Colibri Boutique

This little shop is a favorite of Mari Salinas, who organized the day’s events. Mari has connected with the owner and is involved with her in the women’s circles and other healing events within the community. I had a brief discussion with Mari as we were packing up the donations. She is a bright young lady with an insight on life that I truly admire. Mari comes from Texas and is in the fashion business. She is big, bold and beautiful. She exudes a sense of confidence that I wish I possessed at her age.

Mari Salinas

While at the boutique, I noticed there were hummingbirds everywhere. I love hummingbirds and I shared my story with the owner of the shop and her mother of how two hummingbirds hovered overhead the day my sister was hospitalized last year. I was trying to decide if I should hurry to her side or continue with plans that I had for that day with my husband and kids. It was the 4th of July. When the hummingbirds flew by, circled and hovered in front of me, I felt the presence of my parents and their wish for me to be with my sister was confirmed in my heart. I went to her side and I am glad I did because my sister passed away that night.

The mother of the owner of Colibri Boutique told me that is why the shop is called colibri. Colibri is the word for hummingbird in Spanish. Her husband came to her as a hummingbird after he passed away. She said that experience is common. It still sends chills down my spine when I think of all the things that had to come together for me to be in that shop sharing that story with that woman at that moment.


Eating in East Los Angeles

After shopping, it felt as though no one really wanted to go home yet. Someone suggested getting a bite to eat. Then a few of the ladies decided to go to one of their favorite local restaurants. I found myself tagging along. After spending the day with my newfound Latina sisters, I had a craving for Mexican food! We went to La Parilla

Traditional Mexican Restaurant, La Parilla

I ate some of the most decadent food that I have had for a long time. My mouth waters now as I think of the handmade guacamole, the queso con chorizo, the hand-made tortillas and the pollo con mole. I was so excited about it and loved it so much I texted my brother and my husband pictures of the food. I couldn’t help myself. Part of me was saying, “Hey look at me! Look what I am having.” And the other part was saying, “Neener neener neener, I am here and you are not!”

Queso con Chorizo Served with Tortillas

The funniest thing about my texts of these pictures is that my brother did not receive them until 2 AM and actually thought I was still in East L.A. partying it up and eating mole in the middle of the night!

That last part was mainly in response to a retort that my dear brother gave me when I told him that I had been accepted into the Latina Blogger Collaborative. He said, “So, you are Latina now.”

I deserved that. For the past ten years or so, I have rejected my Hispanic background. It has been simply because I never felt like I fit in or knew much about it. It could have been because my own cousin’s wife called me “White Bred” and I had to look it up to see what it meant. (Urban Dictionary defines White Bred as anything which is stereo-typically white. Often referring to an individual brought up in a very white society, or a town that is predominantly white, and typically middle or upper-middle class. Similar to WASP.) She was correct. I grew up in a middle class, caucasion neighborhood. I am a product of my surroundings.

I also spent some time embracing my European background. I found out that I am part French-Irish on my Dad’s side of the family who are predominantly Mexican. My mother’s side is from Spain and settled in the South Western United States as well. Most of my family is either from California or New Mexico. I am fourth generation American on both sides.

The only times I have stepped foot in a foreign country is when I have visited the border towns of Tijuana and Juarez, Mexico and British Columbia, Canada. I have also been on a trip to Paris, France. My name, Melissa, is of Greek origin and although I was named after my uncle, Melecio Sedillo, I like to tell my nieces and nephews that I am Greek. So, I deserve it if a few members of my family roll their eyes when they find out that I am just now embracing my heritage at 44 years of age.

So, it was the day before Father’s Day and I spent the whole day in the city where my Dad was born. I spent the day identifying with my Latina heritage. I learned about what East Los Angeles had to offer. I met some of the best people who care so much about each other and the greater community. I was inspired by the women who, like me, are just doing the best they can with what they have and are doing everything they can to make their dreams come true. I ate some of the foods that reminded me of my parents and grandparents. I thought about how this was the area where my parents met for the first time. I thought about how everything comes around. It is all relative. I love L.A.!

Movie Review: Magic Mike

Posted on June 22nd, 2012 by & filed under Blog Venture, Everything Miz Meliz, Movie Reviews

Cinéphile Miz Meliz Goes to Hollywood

I’m a movie buff (cinephile in French, cinefilo in Spanish) and I love going to the movies all the time, but in the summer, it’s almost required. Maybe it’s the cool dark theaters, the gigantic icy soft drinks, the block busters that open in the Summer months, I don’t know for sure. But I have been enjoying taking in a few flicks recently.

Warner Bros. and Rolling Stone L.A. hyping up Magic Mike

Last night I got to see a pre-screening of the film, Magic Mike. This is a much-anticipated film about male strippers set in Tampa, Florida. I’ve heard that it is loosely based on the background of the star of the film, actor Channing Tatum‘s life.

Magic Mike was written by Reid Carolin, actor, producer, director and screenwriter. He is also the co-founder of Constellation, a service (Facebook Ap) presenting live interactive events built around online streaming movies, where viewers can chat with each other and with special guests.
Check it out:
http://www.constellation.tv/event/magicmike

Reid Carolin, who also wrote the documentary, “Earth Made of Glass,”about Rwandan President Paul Kagame and France’s hidden role in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide, is President of Iron Horse Entertainment, the production company he started with Channing Tatum.

Oscar Award winner Steven Soderbergh, who is known for Traffic, Ocean’s Eleven and its sequels, directed Magic Mike. Although the movie was great as a fun summer flick to be enjoyed with a few girlfriends after happy hour or before going out bar hopping, it was not what I would expect from Soderbergh. If this film makes money, it will be solely because of the mass marketing taking place and the possibility of it becoming a ‘must have’ DVD for all the ladies who love Matthew McConaughey and/or Channing Tatum. In fact, I will be stocking up on said DVD to have on hand to be given as a bridal shower/bachelorette party gift for sure!

Cheers to Magic Mike and Dallas! There’s always room for one more dance!

There were some heavy topics and themes which emerged in the story-line of the film. Choosing one’s life direction and doing whatever it takes to make your dream come true is one of the major themes. Few people strive to be a stripper and to make their living with the dollar bills stuffed in their g-strings. But most everyone has a dream that they hope to achieve in life. We can all relate to the hope of living comfortably and doing meaningful work that we are passionate about. Magic Mike mentors “The Kid,” played by Alex Pettyfer.  Unfortunately for “The Kid,” whenever he gets close to success it eats him up. Drug addiction, extreme living, and the “lifestyle” of stripping, sex, and partying gets in the way of his dreams.

The Kid’s sister, Brooke, played by Cody Horn, copes with her struggles to make ends meet on her own, being supportive of her brother and standing by as he learns his life’s lessons while he repeats some mistakes along the way. It was an interesting twist on the story being that it is her little brother who turns to dancing and gets caught up in the dangerous night life. Of course, Magic Mike, who is talented and sexy beyond belief, is the one who travels the most on his journey and has the most to lose. Brooke is forced to practice some tough love on her brother while resisting her attraction to Mike as he works out his own issues.

Chef Holly and I as we get ready for the Ladies Night Happy Hour at Rolling Stone L.A.’s promo for Magic Mike.

Thanks to Warner Bros. for releasing this movie and for all the fun promotions that I enjoyed on my own vacation from reality this past week! What I want to know is, do all the movies at the AMC Theater in Century City open with live male strippers entertaining the audience? Because if so, it will be worth it to me to drive there for the rest of the summer!

Matthew McConaughey is known for showing off his hot bod in movies like Fool’s Gold and Surfer, Dude.

I would say that the best part of this movie by far was Matthew McConaughey’s performance as Dallas, the owner of Club Xquisite, the Tampa, Florida male strip club. It wasn’t his best acting performance and he played it pretty straight. He might have stolen the show just a bit! I love his acting in films like We are Marshall and The Lincoln Lawyer, but in this particular film all I want is to see him on the screen with his clothes off. It wouldn’t matter to me what he says! Now, if a man said that about a female actress I would most likely protest! I want to be clear that I appreciate Matthew McConaughey’s versatility and ability to share his many gifts. He has an amazing physique. He is a god!

My friend said this about McConaughey in Magic Mike, “It was so wrong, but it was so right. He has the perfect body and I love that it has some meat on it!”

I couldn’t agree more! I enjoyed all the eye candy and fun excerpts of dancing and showing off skin and muscles both on screen and at the pre-screening events. Ladies, it’s going to be one hot summer!

Miz Meliz goes to Hollywood for Magic Mike #mizmeliz http://mizmeliz.com

Miz Meliz goes to Hollywood for Magic Mike!

;

Cinéphile Miz Meliz Rating

Category: Chick Flick

Cinematography: C-

Acting: C

Music/Score: C

Directing: C

Oscar Nod? Not likely!

Date Worthy? Please, no!

DVD or Netflix Worthy? Definitely!

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