Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Old Friends, Banana Bread Recipe, and Turbo FIRE!

Hello my loves!!!!! I hope everyone is having a fabulous week! The last time we “spoke” I was a little down because the IntenSati Warrior Challenge just had finished but all of your amazing comments made me feel so much better! Even Patricia Moreno commented!!!!! Thanks so much, ya’ll are all amazing!

A couple of weeks ago Sophia emailed Joanne and I, to let us know that she would be in NYC again and asked if we would like to do a little reunion…”HELL YEAH!!!!!!”. We all met a year ago and instantly connected and I would not pass up on the opportunity to see her again. Sophia is one of those people that the minute you meet her, you instantly love her! And Joanne is just fabulous! whenever we hangout, we usually end up talking for hours! We didn’t really know where to go but Joanne the fabulous foodie that she is suggested Caracas Arepa Bar and after looking at the menu we both agreed!

We all met up around 7:30…I brought my friend Gigi along and Sophia brought her friend Alda…

We were starving by the time we got there and it didn’t help that we had a 45 minute wait to get a table which actually did not surprise me since the restaurant was really tiny. When we finally sat down, I fell in love with the atmosphere…I am a sucker for Brick Walls AND Saints! haha
DSCN9156 DSCN9157

But I was not impressed with the service, I felt like they were rushing us the whole time we were there.

For an Appetizer, we all split the “Yoyos” which are fried sweet plantain balls stuffed with white cheese…I thought since I was Dominican, I have tried Platanos in every way known to man but these were actually a first for me and they were delish!
DSCN9159 DSCN9158

I decided on La Mulata which was grilled white cheese with jalapeños, sautéed red peppers, fried sweet plantains and black beans.

Gigi had De Pabellón which was shredded beef, black beans, white salty cheese and sweet plantains…
Whenever I had Arepas in the past, they were always Columbian and were usually light and fluffy and filled with cheese but these were very thin and crispy. I went to the restaurant expecting to have fluffy arepas and I was a little let down but honestly that is my own fault because I assumed they were the same. These were good in their own way and the “fillings” were delicious!

One of the best things about being a food blogger is meeting other foodies who love to cook and bake! AND love to cook and bake for me! As you all know my birthday was a couple of weeks ago and Joanne surprised me with CUPCAKES! But wait not just ANY cupcakes but COCONUT CUPCAKES WITH PINEAPPLE FROSTING!!!!!!!!! Dude the girl knows me TOO well!!!!!
DSCN9167 DSCN9166

I wanted to enjoy them right there at the restaurant but the minute we put them on the table not one but TWO different people that worked there came up to us and said that we could not eat them there and if we did they would charge us a “Dessert Tax” are you fucking kidding me? I told ya’ll that the service sucked!!!!

We took the beloved cupcakes and enjoyed them at the nearest park bench! and they were worth the walk! Thanks Joanne!!!!!!!!

But wait that was not the end of my carb overload…the beautiful Sophia brought me an Asian pastry! I have a strange feeling that these chicas are trying to plump me up! lol

I enjoyed the Bolo Bun when I got home…

Oh and it had a surprise in the inside for me…Red Bean Paste…
I really enjoyed this pastry, it sort of reminded me of a Cheese Danish. It’s funny because I picked up my niece after dinner for a sleep over and she was like “woah titi what is that?” and I honestly had no idea! I had to Text Message Sophia today to find out what it was haha


This morning for Breakfast I made Banana Pancakes with Chocolate Chips for home fries and me…I topped mine with Peanut Butter and Lite Syrup
For Linner we all went to Panera Bread…Have you guys heard of this????


I felt like an idiot spending 16 Dollars for a sammie but I really couldn’t help myself! But I tried to be somewhat smart and only got 1/2 a Sammie with French Onion Soup, but it still cost me 17 bucks with a diet soda…
DSCN9183 DSCN9184
Was it worth all that money???? hmmm the Jury is still out. Did I enjoy it? Profusely!

Sooooo ya’ll remember that I got all these bananas a week ago…
well I have been baking like a mad woman!

Today I decided to try something new…so I created a new Banana Bread Recipe with a twist…
Banana Bread with Guava Paste

  • 2 cups whole-wheat white flour

  • 1/2 cup Oat bran

  • 4 ripe, mashed bananas

  • 1 cup egg whites

  • 1 cup all Natural Apple Sauce

  • 10 Packets of Splenda or any Sugar or Sugar Substitute that you prefer

  • 2 tsps vanilla extract

  • 4 tsps cinnamon

  • 4 tsps baking powder

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • Guava Paste (to your liking)
I mixed all the ingredients in a large bowl (except for the Guava Paste)
Then I poured 1/2 the batter into a pan and then sliced the Guava Paste over it. And then poured the rest of the batter over it.
Side Note: I am not sure if you guys know what Guava Paste is, so here is what it looks like if you buy it at the store.
Oh snap, look where it is made!
I popped it into the oven for 40 minutes at 400 and this was the end result…
DSCN9196 DSCN9195 DSCN9198 DSCN9203
I love when the Guayaba oozes out like that lol! I think my mom would be proud! lol
New Challenge!
I officially started Turbo Fire on Tuesday and I am loving it thus far.
“Turbo Fire is the the intense new cardio conditioning program from fitness innovator Chalene Johnson. She'll help you get leaner with exercises that burn up to 9x more fat than regular cardio does. And with more than 20 smoking-hot music remixes, TurboFire will pick you up and push you past your limits.”
I have always been a big fan of Chalene Johnson; I still do her Turbo Jam DVDs from time to time and I was super excited when I heard this was coming out! Thankfully my sister heard my cries and got it for my birthday!
I have always been a sucker for workout DVDs and this program seems like the holy grail! So far I did The Fire 30 Class which was 30 minutes of straight up cardio with 2 fire drills (2-60 second intervals). The dance moves were not too difficult and perhaps it’s because I already know her style of workout and I did watch the DVD prior to doing it. I usually just dive right in but I took Naomi’s (she also has the set) advice and watched it first and I think it was a good suggestion because some of the move are tricky. Oh and I also did the Stretch 10 Class which was a nice cool-down.
One of the things that I love about this Set is that it incorporates Yoga Stretches into the mix. Today I did Stretch 40 Class and it was just what my body needed.
I can’t wait to follow this new training program… I like that it includes 3 different training programs; Prep Program (in case you need to ease into the HIIT Workouts), Turbo Fire Class Schedule, and the Hybrid Schedule in which you do some of the Turbo Fire workouts and also incorporate other things. I was going to start off with the Prep Program but I think I am ready to jump right into the HIIT Workouts. I am sure my downstairs neighbor CAN’T WAIT! (((insert sarcasm here))))
Well it is time for me to catch some ZZZ’s…have a great night/day loves!!!!!!!


  1. Babe I am SOOOO glad we got to see each other. It's been WAY too long. I love that I could talk to you for HOURS and never get bored. So glad you liked the cupcakes.

    I love that you keep challenging yourself with all of these new things. You are so adventurous.

    And damn wasn't that red bean pastry awesome!

  2. oooooh....titi used the eff word! Hahaha! Nah, I drop the f-bomb like a muddahfawker myself. ;-)

    I LOVED seeing you and Joanne again. You guys always lit a smile on my face. And Gi-Gi is awesome, too. Well, how can she not be? She's your buddy! :D

    I've seen guava paste around before, but never used it...I always wondered what you can do with it!

    Love you my dear Panda! :D

  3. oooooh mama, that La Mulata loooks goooooooood!!!
    i wonder if i could get it without cheese?

  4. I'm so glad you've found a new challenge for yourself!! I am sort of doing my own personal challenge, waking up at 6am and working out before work instead of after. That's challenge enough! So far, so good.

    Sounds like the restaurant had some great food, minus the service and...dessert tax?! WTF??
    I love my banana bread! This recipe sounds amazing.

  5. A dessert tax-that's ridiculous!! I can't believe they said that!

  6. glad you are liking turbo fire!! I do love it, but during prep for my comp dEF can't do it (tear) but its so fun, isnt it?!?! that banan bread with guava is so creative!!

  7. Good luck with Turbo Fire!

    That restaurant sounds good. I'm sorry you were let down though :(

  8. rules against cupcakes? lame!!!

  9. A dessert tax?? WTF!!! Haha that's insane. Your banana bread looks amazinggg! I miss you already. It would have been our Natalia/Whole Foods date tonight :( Waahhhh! I'm a baby haha.

  10. Mari! You always post the most delicious food. I love plantains and the Yoyos look sinfully good :) I'm so glad you tried the Chinese Bolo Bun, Jeff's step-mom makes them all the time and they are the best from scratch. I might actually have some on hand soon. I'll share if your nice :)

    You have to let me know how Turbo Fire is. I really want to try one of these types of programs, P90X, Turbo Fire, Insanity. Have you done any of the others?

  11. I can not believe they wanted to charge you for dessert tax!!! I think someone needs to get a letter or call to the manager/owner.

    I have never heard of coconut cupcakes with pineapple frosting. Amazing. You are definitely broadening my horizons!

  12. awww what a FUN date!! and balls stuffed with cheese? better then men hahaha ;)

    have fun with turbo fire girl! i can't wait to hear all about it :)

  13. Aw how sweet that both Joanne and Sophia brought you treats. I want to try them both.

    WTF a dessert tax? what idiots!

    Lobster sandwiches at Panera? Wow! I haven't seen that around here.

    That banana bread with guava paste sounds like Hawaii to me. They sell guavas everywhere and banana bread is huge there!

  14. I LOVE Caracas Arepa Bar ... and I miss it! You guys are so lucky to hang out in my fav city in the whole wide world *sigh*.
    Ohhhh, and I love the guava paste in banana bread idea. I bought that stuff last year, but couldn't quite figure out how to use in various ways ... now I know!

  15. Those yoyos look interesting and delish. I love baked plantain, with peanut butter!

  16. All of the food looks good. About the desert tax, is there a state law or is this because they want to flip their tables and get more people in to spend money, thus increase their nightly tips. I have waited tables before and I have had people spend 30 minutes with just dessert and talking, and then tip only 10% and at that time, I wish I had thought of a dessert tax! Seriously though, if that is not printed in the menu with the dessert list, then that is really unacceptable.

  17. I'm so glad you got to get together with old friends! How fun :) That bread looks AMAZING!

    <3 jess

  18. 17 bones is absolutely ridiculous for Panera but I'm happy you enjoyed the sammie!

    What part of the store does one find the guava pasta? I have a feeling I need to go to the ethnic side of town to find it, my bet is that my local supermarket doesnt have it.

  19. Sounded like a fun meetup! NYC is on the list of places I MUST visit before I die..haha.

  20. Jebus, that bread looks tres delicioso! You're officially invited to all of my potlucks :)

    And yea, we need to meet up. Bikram yoga perhaps? hmmmmmmmmm?!?

  21. Yay for blogger meetups! I stopped in the city yesterday but is was a really quick visit. I hope to get back there very soon. I need to see you girls soon.


5 Tips To Get Over Your Gym Fears...

Recently my friend mentioned that when she watches my vlogs, she wishes that she could go to the gym and do similar workouts but she is ...