FOOD · LIFESTYLE

The Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party Video

I’m so excited to finally be able to share with you this fun little film, which will take you inside my Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party. 

To watch, click play!

I’m eternally grateful to @ubershopper for hosting this messy celebration + to my ridiculously talented videographer Sarah Tyler for immortalizing this project + bringing it back home.

And of course none of this would have been possible without you. THANK YOU for throwing your love + support behind a tiny Panamanian artist with a T-Rex dream to make this book come true. I would have burned it all down without you. You did this. I will never forget that!

There’s still time to order your copy of Life is Messy Kitchen. It ships FREE worldwide, but not for much longer!

FOOD · PERSONAL

The Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party

Life is Messy Kitchen

LIMK 1

LIMK 2

LIMK 3

LIMK 9

LIMK 11

LIMK 26

LIMK 29

So pumped to share with you some pictures + even a short clip of the Life is Messy Kitchen Book Launch Party. I know not all of you could tele-transport to Panama to attend, so I tried to document the event to the best of my abilities to show you a glimpse of what went down. I hope it makes you feel like a little part of you was there.

LIMK 4

LIMK 5

LIMK 6

LIMK 7

LIMK 8

LIMK10

LIMK 14

From the very beginning I knew I wanted this to be a kids-friendly event, so I set up a coloring book table to keep them entertained + of course brought in helium balloons, cuz a party without balloons is really just a meeting.

(Everyone who purchased the Life is Messy Kitchen – The BIG Bundle, has access to all these exclusive coloring book pages you see featured in these pictures)

LIMK 12

LIM_1698

LIMK 21

LIM_2012

IMG_0372

LIM_1928

LIMK 25

LIM_1775

Mom now jokingly calls me “J.K.” She’s still pretty psyched about the amount of people that showed up the party + stood in line to get their books autographs + take a picture with me. I still can’t believe it. For three hours, it truly felt like I was the coolest Disney ride in the block. That was a moment.

LIMK 15

LIMK 13

LIMK 20

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 28

LIM_1824

Everyone tried to convince me to hire out a catering company, specially being 7-months pregnant n’ all. I didn’t listen. Up to this point I had only cooked for my family + small gatherings with close friends, which was a blessing because I didn’t realize what I had gotten myself into, until it was too late for Plan B.

LIMK 19

I couldn’t picture serving fried empanadas at my event or Coke. First, you gotta strap me to my bed before I feed my army with crap. Luckily, it didn’t have to come to that.

With the help of my friend + extraordinary chef, Carolina Garcia, we feed more than 250 people that day with nourishing recipes from the book. Here’s what we made:

  • Lentil Quinoa Salad with Raw Vegetables
  • Kung Fu Fighter Sushi with Seasonal Veggies and Tamarin Sauce
  • Banana and Dark Chocolate Granola
  • Heartmade Granola Parfaits with Greek Yogurt and Fresh Berries
  • Mapled Pecans with Rosemary and Orange Zest
  • Peanut Butter Cups
  • Cashew Blueberry Bars
  • Thumbprint Coconut Cookies with Mixed Berries Jam and Pistachios
  • Clean Nutella Spread
  • Pistachios Butter served with Whole Wheat Toast

And dad (aka Mr. Life Blends) supplied the beverages:

  • Calypso Royale
  • Vineyard Delight
  • Hazelnut Milk

Of course, all these recipes can be found inside the book so you can make them too!

LIM_2156

LIMK 27

LIM_2047

LIMK 26

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 20

Sarah Tyler

LIM_2175

LIMK 24

IMG_0285

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 1  Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 23

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 26

 Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 14

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 34

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 15

IMG_0231

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 36

LIM_2090

LIMK 23

Mayi LIMK Premiere Film Stills 8

LIM_2104

LIMK Outside

And here’s a little teaser of the mini movie that’s coming. To watch, click play!

I’m eternally grateful to:

  • Tere + Alessa + Emily from Uber Shop for making me feel at home + being the world’s most amazing party hosts.
  • Susy Aramburú + Sarah Tyler for documenting the event, so one day I can show Olivia what mom did.
  • Truenos y Relampagos + Mairena for killing it with the music.
  • Helga from 4Bistro for helping me decorate the party. This preggo lady could have never done it without you.
  • Chef Carolina Garcia + La Cocina de Sofy for helping me feed 250 attendees.
  • Boutique Flowers for taking my “flower colada” concept to a whole new level of awesome.
  • Studio Marroquin for making me feel pretty.
  • Life Blends for providing my guests with the best juices in the world. They are!
  • Felipe Motta for supplying us with organic wine. Unfortunately, I couldn’t try it, but I hear it was exquisite.
  • My mom + my Suegris for making sure people were feed + everything looked as I had envisioned in my Pinterest board.
  • My wonderful + very patient husband who deserves a Nobel Peace Prize, for packing + unpacking all my crazy party props, including forty helium balloons he somehow managed to fit inside his car, and for entertaining everyone who walked through the door with all the behind the scenes stories of how the book came to be.
  • Everyone who came + to all of you who couldn’t make it, but I know where there in spirit. I felt it, your unconditional love + support. All of it.

Thank YOU is not a big enough thing to say to express my gratitude right now. I can’t high five you high enough or hug you tight enough to show you how much I appreciate you. My little book threw a party + you showed up for me, both physically + metaphysically. You are AWESOME!!!

Now comes the part I’ve been a little shy about, but it’s time.

I Need Your Help

So here’s the deal. I’m not even gonna try to play it cool. Pretend that making this book was easy breeze. That the funds poured in. That I executed the project in record time + under budget. That I got a sweet deal on Shark Tank. That Ellen’s people called.

The truth is Life is Messy Kitchen was a ku-raaaa-zy labor intensive passion project. It took 17-months to make from start to finish + a team of incredible human beings to execute + all my life’s savings to self-fund, in full.

I feel blessed the book is DONE + far more magical than I had imagined it in my dreams, but the work is far from over. I really REALLY need your help. My growing baby belly doesn’t allow me to jump on planes anymore + do a global book tour or knock on Oprah’s door, but maybe, I’m hoping, there is still plenty we can do, together.

Here’s what I have in mind:

  • I’m looking to partner with some cool boutiques + indie shops. Is that you? Do you own a cute store? Wanna be a LIMK retailer + make money together? E-mail me at mayicarles@gmail.com + I’ll send you all the details.
  • I’m also hoping to play in the big leagues with the folks of Whole Foods + West Elm + Barnes & Noble + William Sonoma + Anthropologie. I’m not embarrassed to admit it out loud anymore. That’s where I want to see this book displayed. So if you know someone who knows someone who could get the book in front of the right people, could you please send me their contact info or tell them to write me at mayicarles@gmail.com?
  • I envision mom’s + aunties + best friends + companies purchasing multiple copies of the book to giveaway to their peeps. As a birthday present. As a wedding gift. As a fundraiser favor for VIP donors. Interested? E-mail me at mayicarles@gmail.com + I’ll send you my special rates for bulk orders.
  • Or why not treat yo’ self? Get yourself a copy at www.lifeismessykitchen.com. Your purchase helps keep this creative little empire alive.

With your help, I know we can get this lil’ book into Oprah’s Favorite Things list or the Ellen show. I know it. If you’ve seen the book, I know, deep down, you know it totally possible too. This book is so special. It deserves a chance.

I can’t wait to get all these book orders into your hands. Into your homes. Into your kitchens.

It’s that simple.

Next week, I will pick a winner. You just may get lucky. Someone has to, why not let it be you? The lucky winner will get a free autographed copy of Life is Messy Kitchen. Yay!

 

 

 

Photography Credit

Susana Aramburú

Video + Video Stills Credit

Sarah Tyler 

FOOD

Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels

pretzels_4

Last week, dad + David + I went to go see Alejandro Junger LIVE, the Uruguayan M.D. who created the Clean Program. If you’re not familiar with his work, I totally recommend a Google search. Doctor, one of the very few I listen to these days, is absolutely brilliant.

So, I made Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels in his honor. Just in time for Valentine’s Day.

You can steal the recipe below.

Raisin Pretzels

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour or flour of choice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 2 tablespoon firm coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/3 cup baking soda
  • 3 cups of warm water
  • Extra flour, as needed

Preparation:

Step 1: Heat the almond milk + maple syrup in a measuring cup to around 110 degrees F. Sprinkle the yeast on top + let it sit 5 minutes. If your yeast is good, it will bubble.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together the flour + salt + sugar. Cut in the coconut oil, using a fork or a stand mixer. Then stir in the raisins. Thoroughly combine this mix with the yeast mixture, using your hands or a stand mixer, then knead dough on a floured surface or in the bowl for 5 minutes, adding more flour as needed to keep it from being too sticky to knead. I mixed dough in the bowl + added a total of 6 tablespoons extra flour by the end of the 5 minutes.

Step 3: Lightly grease the mixing bowl. Set dough in the bowl, cover the bowl with a towel + put the bowl in a warm place for 50 to 60 minutes or until it’s doubled in size.

Step 4: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F + lightly grease a baking tray. In a long + shallow container or dish, dissolve the 1/3 cup baking soda in 3 cups of warm water, then set aside.

Pretzelhowto

Step 5: Get out the risen dough. Punch the dough to deflate, then form evenly-sized pieces (8-10 large pretzels or 16-20 smaller ones). Roll each section of dough as thinly as you possibly can (the thinner the better), then twist into a pretzel shape. Dip each into the baking soda water, shake to dry, then arrange the pretzels on the baking tray. Pretzels are done when they have turned golden-brown + you can smell them (about 15-18 minutes).

pretzels_2

Glaze

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup yogurt of choice
  • 2 1/2 tablespoon coconut palm sugar
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup to taste
  • 1 tablespoon almond milk, adjust to control thickness
  • 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Preparation:

Stir together all ingredients. Apply glaze to each pretzel directly before serving, or use glaze as a dip instead.

pretzels

pretzels_3

I Need Your Help

Since I can no longer watch the news or anything remotely stressful because baby Olivia starts kicking real hard in retaliation, I need your help filling up my movie wishlist. I’m talking about no-suspense (or drama of any form), feel good films. Or documentaries. Something I can pair with these Clean Glazin Raisin Pretzels + won’t give me indigestion, if you know what I mean.

I can tolerate a bit of crying if the ending is like BOOM, pure magic. But no Titanic or La Vita è Bella sh*t, please. Even Animal Planet is becoming a little too extreme for us.

If you’re an AppleTV + Netflix junkie, will you help this 5 month pregnant lady pick out some happy movies?

Thank you soooo much!

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany

ronponche_1 copy

I submitted my Abuelita Nany’s signature Ron Ponche recipe to Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest this year.

For 87 years granny’s kept this famous recipe a secret, until I bribed her with this competition, cuz if there is something granma’ loves more than cooking + seeing your face after savoring what she made, is winning.

Happiness is… ferociously following granma’ around the kitchen with a video camera to document this heirloom recipe. Until the very end she was still trying to sneak up on me, ninja-style so I couldn’t measure her “to taste” additions. “Abu, you told me this recipe called for 8 egg yolks. I just counted TWENTY FOUR!!!”. Sneaky granny. Sneaky sneaky indeed.

Happiness is… faking I didn’t actually learn how to recreate my Abuelita Nany’s Ron Ponche, so she keeps on making it herself for years + years to come. Cuz nothing says “es la Navidad” like the smell of rum coming out of grandma’s kitchen.

Happiness is… hitting submit on Sweet Paul Magazine’s Holiday Contest page + never hearing back + still feeling like a jackpot winner.

Happiness is… sharing everything this recipe means to me + my family + our history with YOU!

Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany

Here’s what you’ll need to make Ron Ponche de Abuelita Nany, because you should. Make it, I mean. Because even if you’ve been naughty this year you deserve an indulging extravagance.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups white sugar
  • 4 cups whole milk
  • 4 cups evaporated milk (we used Nestle)
  • 24 egg yolks (not 8 as granny will have you fooled) + whisk with 1/8 cup whole milk
  • 4 teaspoons corn flour or corn starch + diluted in 1/2 cup water
  • 1 bottle of rum (Granny likes Bacardi)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

ronponche_2 copy

Preparation:

Step 1: In a large pot add sugar + milk + evaporated milk. Cook in “Baño María” (in English this is called “Water Bath” or Bain Mary), until it boils. Stir occasionally. It took us approximately 20 minutes.

Step 2: Bring the fire down to low heat. Dilute corn flour in water before adding to the mix. This step is important. If the corn flour is added when dried it can create ugly clusters of muchiness. Add the wet corn flour mixture to the mix. Stir well.

Step 3: Add vainilla. Stir, until well combined.

Step 4: In a medium bowl, whisk egg yolks. Add 1/8 cup milk. Add this to the cooled down mix in slow motion, using a mesh strainer. Stir stir stir stir like a crazy person.This is one of granny’s secret steps. Skip it if you want Frittata Ponche instead of Ron Ponche. NOT!!! Most people get this part wrong + end up cooking their eggs. You should notice eggs yolks “strings” coming from the strainer. That’s the idea.

Step 5: The add 1 bottle of rum. Let cool completely.

ronponcheconvaso copy

ronponcheconvaso_1 copy

Bottle in beautiful recycled glass bottled + gift for christmas using these Holiday Gift Tags (ahem ahem).

CLICK TO TWEET: Your gifts deserve the cutest Holiday Gift Tags in the land. Check these out http://etsy.me/1BEwfci from @mayicarles

Keeps in the refrigerator for up to a month. Serve in a fancy cup with ice or in a whisky glass. Make it festive!

ronponche_4 copyronponche_3 copy

ronponche copy

When I told my family “I DID IT!!! Eagle Minor One Niner has landed the recipe. I repeat Eagle has Abuelini’s Ron Ponche recipe”, it felt like I had landed on the moon or holding The Ring, as in my preciouzzzz.

Of course I documented the entire experience in film + photos, for myself, for my kids + their kids. But then I saw the footage + I was like, “I can’t keep this too myself”. So here’s an editor’s cut version of the footage. It’s raw + intimate + mostly in Spanish, but I knew that wouldn’t stop you from enjoying all the magical moments. Take a peak!

Tell me what tastes like Christmas in your family? Any treasured Holiday recipes or funny stories around food? I wanna know EVERYTHING, in the comments below. Especially if it involves a sneaky granny buahahaha.

Photography Credit

Marcela Macias

FOOD

Life is Messy Kitchen Teaser

HELP!!! Please tie my hands to the back of my chair. I cannot control myself from leaking more Life is Messy Kitchen behind the scenes. I hope by the time November 18 comes around, I’ve managed to at least keep the book cover a secret.

Goshhh! I could never be the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. I’m the worst secret-keeper in the galaxy.

Having cleared that out to assume no responsibility for third party damages, here’s a lil’ teaser of our trailer video:

Who’s excited about the full Life is Messy Kitchen mini movie now? I know right? It’ll premier this November 18. Bring popcorn.

A special thanks to Joey Loreto + Dorina Szabokelly + my cousin Karina Pallares + uber talented Sarah Tyler for this amazing video collab.

Pin It on Pinterest