The Cheesecake Addiction

My Life in Food

Archive for the tag “tacos”

Staycation Tacos

It is that time of year again; the time of the year where I (and many of you, I’m sure) slowly sink into the throws of seasonal affective disorder. It is that time of year where I spend an hour on Facebook, looking at those photos from my trip to Tahiti seven years ago, and long to wait out the winter in the tropics. To snorkel in the crystal clear 80 degree water, eat fish out of coconuts, and watch fire dancers…ah, the life.

Usually, it is around this time that I bounce over to Bath and Body Works and pick up my favorite tropical scented body lotions, candles, and bath salts and give myself a little Island staycation. Well, I haven’t had a chance to fully create the happy, island vibes, but I did manage to get in touch with those warm, Hispanic roots of mine.

Heading south of the border last night, we made veggie tacos for our dinner guest, Geoff.

I thought it would be nice to make a mango salsa-fresh and tropical with a little kick.

Chop up some mango–about 1 cup, diced, with half of a jalapeño, 1/4 cup diced red onion, 1 diced roma tomato, a few tablespoons of cilantro, and the juice of 1/2 lime. Also, salt and pepper to taste.

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Mix and serve with chips OR as a taco topping! Mmmyum!

Mix and serve with chips OR as a taco topping! Mmmyum!

The rest of the meal was pretty simple. I sautéed three bell peppers and one red onion, thinly sliced. I made white rice and tossed that with cilantro and lime. I mixed up black beans with some black refried beans (and again, lime and cilantro), and sliced up some avocado. We built our plates…

A corn tortilla, topped with beans, peppers, onions, mango salsa, and avocado!

A corn tortilla, topped with beans, peppers, onions, mango salsa, and avocado!

…and had some delightful conversation and we shared many laughs.

Phew. That certainly helped pull me out of my funk. I’ve awakened refreshed, reenergized, and ready to begin again.

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Real Estate, New Apartment, Menu Planning, and Seafood Tacos

Well hi there! And again, OH MY GOD SO MUCH HAPPENED.

CDR and I have moved into our new apartment and we have an adorable kitchen with stupid high cabinets, great counter space, and a dance floor.

I got a job at Weichert, Realtors-Nickel Group–a firm in Oak Park and I am open for business. The site is still under construction and will soon include a DIY Blog, but take a look here and I don’t know…maybe call me? I need clients (buyers, renters, and sellers!).

Ok, so two huge new things. Both have meant that CDR and I have to live pretty tightly. My new income is commission based, so I’m living off of savings and a little bit of support from my parents. Pretty tight living, but good living. To keep costs down, we’ve been planning our menus a week in advance. I teased him about this, for his meticulous planning, but really–it saves a ton of money. Other money savers: Buying a whole chicken, butchering it yourself, and then making your own stock. Seriously, guys. Chicken is so expensive. You probably will save between$3-$6 just buying it whole, and then butchering it yourself. And you’ll save $3-$4 dollars by making your own stock and you’ll get twice as much. Just throw the back bone and gizzards into a pot or slow cooker with herbs, lemon, garlic, onions, veggies (really whatever you want) and cover with water. Simmer in a pot for an hour, or slow cook as long as you want, strain and jar it up. Keep in the fridge for a week or store it in the freezer for a couple months. Totally worth it. I’ve found that my favorite stock was made with a sliced lemon, a bunch of fresh cilantro, and a couple cloves of unpeeled garlic (salt and pepper to taste). Yep. That’s it. And you’ve saved about $10 total. Do this once a week and each month you’ll have enough wings to do a “wing night” for two. 🙂

Do the same with leftover veggies and make vegetable stock.

OK. Food time. Before we moved and on a night when the weather was particularly awesome and we were feeling close to our SoCal roots, we decided that seafood tacos with a chipotle sauce were the only way to go. SO, we went to Whole Foods and bought some calamari and shrimp. We let them marinate for about 15 minutes in some lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper.marinatingseafood

And meanwhile, CDR made the chipotle sauce. Pretty sure it’s just mayo mixed with a bit of dijon and some adobo sauce from a can of chipotles. And maybe some lime juice and cider vinegar.

Fancy.

Fancy.

Then we skewered the seafood and grilled it (I, as always, was in charge of the grilling–because, you, know…I’m a grillin’ machine).grillintime

Holler!

Holler!

We created our taco assembly line.

Red onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, limes, seafood, and corn tortillas

Red onion, tomato, cilantro, avocado, limes, seafood, and corn tortillas

And assembled some bad-ass SoCal tacos. Drizzle with fresh lime juice and chipotle sauce. Serve with beans and rice and you got yourself the best damn tacos ever!

These babies fell from Heaven and right into my tum tum!

These babies fell from Heaven and right into my tum tum!

Ok, actually, the shrimp was a little weird. But I’m very particular about my shrimp. I think it was slightly under-done or something, but the calamari was perfect. The trouble is that when you’re skewering shrimp, it curls up. And usually, a curled shrimp is the way to tell doneness, but if it starts out curly it’s all a timing thing. But typically 3 minutes on one side and 2-3 on the other is pretty good for shrimp.

So yeah. Seafood tacos. A win.

Thanks for stopping by, and don’t forget to tell your friends I’m a fancy realtor in Chicago now. 🙂

Love and Foodie Hugs.

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