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easy mexican stir fry tacos (a la leftovers)

14 Nov

Last week, Charlie and I headed down to his mom’s house in Zapata for an engagement party that she threw for us. We got there Wednesday night and were able to spend some good quality time with her before everyone started arriving for the weekend.

The party was on Saturday night, so we had a good three days to relax and prepare. Wouldn’t you know that I woke up at 5:00 am Saturday morning with the most intense stomach virus I’ve ever had in all of my 26 years. I literally threw up all day! My parents came to get me and took me to their hotel room so I wouldn’t be in the way (see: infecting everyone I came in contact with), and I slept until 4:00 pm. When I woke up, I was able to stand and walk (huge improvement) so I mustered up every bit of strength that I had left and got ready for our party. I don’t know how I did it, but I managed to stay from 6:30-11:30!! Pretty impressive. Did I eat? No. Did I drink? No. Did I stand for 5 hours without passing out or throwing up? Hell yes I did! I was so so thankful to Charlie’s mom for everything she did for us and I just wouldn’t have been able to stand it if I had to miss out. The set up was gorgeous and her backyard was the perfect backdrop!

Party Set Up (pre-guests)

 

With my sister and brother 🙂 Don’t I look awesome? Not pale at all!

The party was a success and I’m so glad I was able to be there! Wouldn’t have missed it for the world!

I ended up staying home from work on Monday as I was still feeling pretty crappy, but by Tuesday I was feeling a bit better. Better…but not well enough to make a meal from scratch. Plus, we’d been out of town for five days and had almost nothing in our refrigerator. Luckily, God bless her, Charlie’s mom had sent us home with a TON of leftover fajita meat from the party. Charlie and I brainstormed for about 15 seconds and then decided to just throw some shit in a pan and see how it turned out. I didn’t take many pictures, because I really had extremely low hopes for this one….TOO BAD IT TURNED OUT AMAZING!!

Easy Mexican Stir Fry Tacos (a la leftovers)

Makes about 5 Stir Fry Tacos

2 cups prepared white rice

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 cup diced beef fajita (already cooked)

1/2 cup diced chicken fajita (already cooked)

1/4 cup diced onion

1/4 cup oaxaca cheese, crumbled

Elvis Cayenne Hot Sauce (you can use any hot sauce, but this is our FAVORITE! You can get it here)

Adobo seasoning

lime juice

1 avocado

tortillas

In a pan, add the olive oil. Heat over medium temp until warm. Add the onion and sautee until golden. Add beef and chicken fajita, and sprinkle with Adobo seasoning. Add the Elvis Hot Sauce & oaxaca cheese crumbles. Stir until warmed through. Add the rice and stir until warm. Slice your avocado and place in a tortilla, fill with stir fry. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and add more hot sauce to taste. Add some lime juice and ka-chow! You’re ready to eat.

It doesn’t look like much… but we cleaned the pan with a fork. It was awesome! You can add a bunch of different ingredients to this and I think it will always turn out pretty good. You can’t really go wrong with meat, cheese, rice and hot sauce! Enjoy!

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turkey meatballs

8 Oct

Whew! This weekend was a total whirlwind! Thursday night, Charlie and I went to Bastrop to have dinner with one of my best friends and her husband (we ate at Bastrop Brewhouse…best cheeseburger I’ve ever had, hands down) and then spent the night at my sister’s house in Austin. We woke up early Friday morning and got on the road to Dallas for Charlie’s cousin’s commitment ceremony. Good thing I checked the weather before we left, because Dallas got hit with a huge cold front! It literally went from 85 degrees to 50 overnight. Brr!!

The ceremony was gorgeous. It was held at Maple Manor and had a great rustic feel to it. I had only been to Dallas once before this, and I fell in love with it! We stayed at the Melrose Warwick, a super cool, vintage-y hotel. I loved the style of the hotel and I especially enjoyed the bar downstairs called The Library!

Ruben & Jamie had a photo booth set up so, of course, we took advantage of it. Here are some of my faves:

ImageCharlie, me, Charlie’s sister, Amanda and Charlie’s mom, Nori

ImageThe primas! 

ImageCharlie & I with his adorable little cousin, Kat

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We had so much fun!

We woke up early (and just a tiny bit hungover) Sunday morning and hit the road back to San Antonio. We got to take the new toll road for the first time and were psyched that it cut 45 minutes out of our trip!

Needless to say, when we finally made it home I was in no mood to cook. I convinced Charlie to stop at HEB (this is a feat in and of itself.. the man HATES grocery stores) because I had a craving for the turkey meatballs my mom used to get and I had my heart set on meatball subs. Unfortunately, the whole “I’m in no mood to cook” thing took a turn for the worse (worst?? which one is it?) when I couldn’t find the turkey meatballs (or any other already prepared meatballs for that matter). I ended up Googling a bunch of turkey meatball recipes while standing in the middle of the frozen foods aisle and putting bits and pieces together. The results were amazing!!

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Turkey Meatballs

Makes around 14 large meatballs

1 1/4-1 1/2 lbs ground turkey

1 Tbs chopped fresh basil

1 Tbs chopped fresh oregano

1/2 small sweet onion, diced

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs

1/2 cup heavy cream

salt

pepper

garlic salt

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbs butter

flour

In a bowl, mix the turkey meat, herbs, and onion. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper and garlic salt. Add the eggs, cream, and bread crumbs. Mix, mix, mix! (By mix, I mean mash it up with your hands. Obviously)

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Use your hands to form meatballs. Place the meatballs on a plate or a pan (I put mine on a foil-covered cookie sheet) and dust them with flour. To do this, I just rubbed flour all over my hands and then rolled the meatballs in my palms until they were lightly covered. Heat the oil and butter in a skillet. Let the butter cook over medium heat until it’s a golden brown, about 5 minutes. Then, brown the meatballs on all sides. This can get a little tricky. I used three different kitchen utensils before I finally decided the spatula worked best. Remember, you are only browning the meatballs this way, not cooking them through. Once the meatballs are brown, you can finish them off by roasting or baking them or by putting them in a pasta sauce and letting them simmer. I put the meatballs into a large jar of our favorite store bought pasta sauce and let them simmer for 35 minutes over medium heat.

You can do a lot of things with turkey meatballs. Stick toothpicks in them to make yummy appetizers, or do what I did and make meatball subs!

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I just added a slice of mozzarella cheese, some more fresh basil and parmesan and stuffed everything into a sub roll!

Enjoy!!

turkey bacon, egg white & cheddar breakfast sandwich

15 Jun

I have an obsession.. an expensive one. Fuckin’ Starbucks. Like the only place on Earth that will charge you $5 for a small coffee. But whatever, it’s a fact. I love it, and I will totally dish out $10 every morning for their reduced-fat turkey bacon breakfast sandwich and a teeny-tiny iced coffee. Well, I will until it comes to that point in between paychecks where I have $3 to last me 6 days. Bills, don’t you just hate ’em? Remember when your parents used to pay for everything?? The glory days, people. Anyway, I had to figure out a way to still be able to eat my favorite breakfast sandwich while keeping my electricity on.. oh, heyyy make it at home! Super easy, and just as delish!

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Turkey Bacon, Egg White & Cheddar Breakfast Sandwich a la Starbucks

1 whole wheat English muffin

2 egg whites (the whites from 2 eggs… sounds weird)

1 slice of white cheddar cheese

1-2 slices of turkey bacon

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat. Put the bacon in the skillet and cook it til it’s crispy, flipping it regularly. I go for about 3-4 minutes on each side, but I like my bacon crispyyyy. Remove the bacon and place it on a napkin lined plate. You can either rinse your skillet or pull out a new one, I usually just scrape mine clean real quick. Throw your English muffin in the toaster.

Put your egg whites in the skillet over medium heat and scramble them to your desired consistency.

Assemble! I do English muffin, cheddar cheese slice, egg whites, topped with bacon, topped with other half of ol’ English. Pretty sure it doesn’t matter how you put it together, it’s going to taste just as good. Try a variety of toppings as well! Sometimes I add hot sauce, sometimes I add spinach. Enjoy!

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PS- Aren’t my new plates prettttty?? Charlie’s aunt and uncle sent them to us for an engagement gift! I loooove them!

 

PPS- Have any of ya’ll been watching Girls on HBO?? Please tell me Shoshanna kills you. Last week when she was talking  about match.com… “my nutrition teacher, who’s like soo cool, met her boyfriend on match.com, who’s like super cute & totally perf & they’re like the most happy together” bahahahaha! If you don’t watch it, you don’t know what I’m talking about and you need to watch it like… NOW.

street tacos

13 Jun

Our AC went out. If you happen to live anywhere near us (south Texas), you know that AC is imperative to survival during our blistering summers. So here I sit, in my bathing suit, chugging ice water and sitting directly under the ceiling fan…waiting for help to arrive! Seriously, our house feels like the fires of Hell.

Needless to say, cooking last night was absolutely miserable. I vaguely remember telling Charlie that I wanted to kill him with my bare, sweaty hands. Luckily, these tacos came out amazing and were totally worth it!

    Street Tacos

1.5 lbs of skirt or flank steak
1 cup of orange juice
1/2 Tbs minced garlic
Adobo seasoning
sea salt and pepper
tortillas (most people like corn, I personally despise corn tortillas. I used flour)

Topping:
chopped onion
chopped cilantro
crumbled queso fresca
sliced avocado
fresh squeezed lime juice

First let me say, the traditional way to make these is on the grill. However, it’s the NBA finals, and we don’t have an outdoor TV…so…

Cut the steak into thin strips. Place it in a bowl or a ziploc bag and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and Adobo. Pour the orange juice over the steak and add the garlic. Cover and place in the refrigerator for a few hours.

Once you’re ready to start cookin’, heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat. Place the steak strips in the skillet and cook til brown.

Warm up the tortillas and fill them with steak. Top with chopped onion, cilantro, and crumbled queso fresca. Squeeze lime slices over the top and you’re done! Enjoy!

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super easy BBQ pulled pork

5 Jun

I personally LOVE pork. I love pork chops, I love carnitas, and I LOVE pulled pork. It’s so simple and easy, but so incredibly delicious! This is a recipe that I grabbed from Pinterest and tweaked a bit a couple weeks ago; it turned out amazing, and my house smelled so. freakin’. good.

BBQ Pulled Pork

2 – 2.5 lb boneless pork loin roast

2 tsp liquid smoke (trust me, a little goes a LONG way! I used the Hickory flavor)

garlic powder to taste

sea salt to taste

Adobo to taste

2 tsp vinegar

1-2 cups BBQ sauce of choice (I always use Sweet Baby Ray’s!)

Trim the pork loin of all fat. Place it in your slow cooker, add the liquid smoke, and sprinkle with garlic powder, vinegar, sea salt & Adobo. Cover, and set to Low for 7-8 hours or High for 5-6 hours. Once you’re high on pulled pork fumes, take the pork loin out of the slow cooker and place it in a bowl. Reserve about half a cup to a cup of the liquid from the slow cooker, and drain the rest. Use two forks (or whatever utensil you want) to shred the pork and place it back in the slow cooker.

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Pour the reserved liquid and the BBQ sauce over the pork, and let cook for another hour. And, done!

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You could use this pork for a number of things: topping for pizza, pulled pork tacos, or you can do it like we did, and make sandwiches with it! Or… just eat it straight out of the slow cooker with a fork, which is my favorite way to eat this one 🙂 Enjoy!

simple sauteed spinach

3 May

Okay, this one is simple. Maybe even TOO simple to qualify for a blog post…but I don’t care because spinach is my all time favorite food and it deserves its own blog post damnit!

Seriously though, spinach is like a superfood.. it goes so well with any entree, I even make huge bowls of it as a snack. Because I’m a little spinach freak like that. My only qualm with spinach is that I use like four huge handfuls, and when it’s done sauteing it is maybe one handful. Come on, spinach! But still, so worth it.

Simple Sauteed Spinach

4-5 large handfuls of spinach leaves (I get mine from one of the local farmer’s markets, but I imagine it’d be like half of the bagged stuff)

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 

sea salt & pepper to taste

Put a large saucepan over medium heat. Put the EVOO in the pan and swirl it around a bit. Once it’s warm, add the spinach. Stir continuously.

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I always throw the lid on for about a minute just to get the spinach wilted. Once the spinach has reached your desired texture (I like mine wilted but not totally soft and gooey… that’s just nasty!), take it outta the pan, throw it in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. You can even try adding mushrooms.. Yum! Enjoy!

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avocado chicken parmigiana

3 May

I was perusing my all-time favorite addiction (Pinterest…obvi) when I stumbled across this fantastic looking recipe for Avocado Chicken Parmigiana. I happened to have a couple avocados close to death in my fridge and all of other ingredients on hand so I decided to go for it! 

Avocado Chicken Parmigiana (pinned from Cuisine Paradise)

2 Chicken Breast Fillets, halved lengthwise
1/2 Cup Plain Flour
2 Tablespoons Fresh Milk
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Dried Breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil/Cooking Spray
1/2 Cup Tomato Pasta Sauce
2 Avocado, Sliced
1/2 Cup Grated Mozzarella Cheese

1. Place chicken breast in a clear plastic bag(alternatively between 2 sheets plastic wrap), using a rolling pin or meat mallet pound until 0.5cm thick.

2. Place flour and breadcrumbs on two separate plate and lightly whisk milk and egg together in a shallow bowl. 

3. Coat 1 piece of chicken breast in flour(shaking off excess), dip in egg mixture then coat in breadcrumbs using your fingertips pressing on to secure.

4. Place on prepared baking tray lay with foil or baking paper, repeat the same process with the remaining chicken breast with flour, egg and etc.

5. Lightly spray or brush the prepared chicken with oil, bake for 8 minutes(turning after 4 minutes to have evenly colours on the breadcrumbs) in preheated 200 degree Celsius fan-forced oven. 

6. Remove from oven and spread each chicken breast with 1 heaped tablespoon of pasta sauce. Arrange avocado slices over sauce and sprinkle with decent amount of mozzarella cheese.

7. Return to oven and bake for another 5 – 7 minutes or until golden and chicken is cooked through.

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I will admit, this dish debuted in my kitchen to mixed reviews. Charlie and I both enjoyed it, but we weren’t in LOVE with it.. I don’t know what it was! Maybe I’m just not a fan of chicken parm with avocado…not that there were any leftovers to back this claim up. All in all, it was good! I’ve had several friends attempt the same recipe and they all loved it, so don’t let me stop you! Enjoy!!