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Monday, February 27, 2012

Beef tacos

These tacos are the ones my mom used to make me when I lived back at home, now I make them for my little family. They taste the same, but i make them a little differently than she does. My three year old son Jayden loves them, especially with sour cream and avocado so I hope you do too !

Here is what you will need....

1 lb ground beef
Corn tortillas (about 10)
Sour Cream
1 1/2-2 teaspoons Lawrys seasoning salt
1/2 teaspoon Black fine ground pepper (regular pepper)
1-2 Avocados
1 Tomato
Parmasean Cheese
*your favorite salsa

In a bowl add your ground beef, lawrys seasoning salt & pepper.

Mix with your hands or a spoon. I used a fork here, but then it got annoying because it takes a little bit longer and it doesnt blend as well, so I switched it up and used my God given utensils..MY HANDS =]

In a skillet, turn heat to medium high-high depending on your stove top and spray with a non stick cooking spray. In your hand take a golf ball size portion of meat and flatten it out to the legnth of your hand. Dont make it too thick because it takes forever to cook. I'd say about 1/4 inch thick. I say make the patties about the legnth of your hand because the meat will shrink and if you make them smaller then your taco will just have meat in the center ha ha.

Once the meat is browned on both sides and the juices are no longer running off the meat, lay them on a plate lined with a paper towel to soak up some of the natural fats that build up in the pan.

Once all the meat patties are cooked, I cleaned my pan and added oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pan to fry the taco shells.

Place a patty on a tortilla, and once the oil is hot, introduce the tortilla and meat into the pan.

Once the tortilla has softened a little bit, flip it over to form the "taco". The reason I reccomend waiting until the toritlla has softened because if you dont you run the risk of the tortilla cracking right down the middle, and then you will need to get a whole new tortilla and try again.

Once the taco shell is hard on both sides, just like the meat patties, let them drain on a plate lined with a paper towel.Now get your veggies ready.....

Now that your tacos are done and your veggies are sliced, add them to your taco with a little bit of sour cream, your favorite salsa and sprinkle with parmasean cheese.


Monday, February 20, 2012

Albondigas (mexican meatball soup)

This is another recipe from my grandmas kitchen which is really delicious and a family favorite! I am still a little under the weather at the moment so I figured I would make some soup to soothe my throat and cough.... And to top it off its quick and easy to make and when your sick cooking is the last thing that you want to do so it was the perfect choice!

Here is what you will need...

1 1/2 lbs ground beef
2 eggs
2 zucchini's
1 salad tomato
1 onion
6 mint leaves
4 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons of ground oregano
1/2 teaspoon of pepper for meat mixture
1/2 teaspoon of pepper for liquid
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 cups of water
1 large russet potato
1 tablespoon chicken bouillon

There is a lot of chopping and mincing involved in this recipe so get ready :) First you have to mince your onion and tomato as fine as you can, because this is going go into your meat mixture that will create your meatball.

Now once the tomato and onion are all minced, add them into a large bowl along with your ground beef and two large eggs.

Mince one zucchini just as you did to the tomato and onion, and add that into your bowl as well, and you can add your salt and pepper at this time along with your minced garlic.

oops ... I almost forgot to mention, add in some roughly chopped mint! The mint is the KEY ingredient to albondigas

Now that you have everything ready to go for your meatballs, mince the other half of your tomato and onion and add them to a large pot with 3 tablespoons of oil in it and begin to fry the ingredients together.

Once the onions begin to soften, add in your chicken bouillon, oregano and pepper.

Now add in your water (which fills your pan about 1/2 way up) and bring to a boil.

Now once the water is boiling, add in 1 inch meatballs, more or less about the size of a golf ball. You don't want to make your meatballs too big because then they will take forever to cook, and the whole point for me personally is to have quick and easy recipes that I can make on a moments notice since i am so busy all the time.

make sure you add your meatballs in one at a time in different spots in your pot or boiling water so they don't get stuck together, or break apart

Now while your meatballs are boiling, cut your potato and remaining zucchini into slices. You are going to add these in your soup when the meatballs are almost fully cooked.

You can tell your meatballs are not finished yet because there is what I call a "meat foam" sounds gross right? HA HA, this is what it looks like...

Once it has disappeared, and your meatballs are floating to the top of your soup, add in the potatoes and zucchini, and one sprig of mint for extra flavoring. Boil until the veggies are cooked, which is more or less about 20 minutes.

Serve with a few avocado slices, a wedge of lime and a side of Mexican rice =] Enjoy

Monday, February 13, 2012

Thin mint cupcakes

So the other day I was walking into the bank and a little girl and her dad had a million boxes of cookies to sell, now if you know me, I'm a sucker for sweets and I couldn't lie and say I don't have any money...I'm coming out of the bank for goodness sakes, long story short I bought 5 boxes :/ ate about 5 or six by the time I got into my car then went to work out to makeup for what I did! Well I can't keep eating these delicious cookies so I decided to make something sweet for my family and friends... Enjoy!

Here is what you will need...

20-25 thin mints
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
2/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable
2 teaspoons vanilla
3/4 cup milk
2/3 cup hot water

8 oz cream cheese
16 oz powdered sugar
4 crushed thin mints
1 table spoon vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, then in a large mixing bowl add in your dry ingredients and mix with a fork until combined. HOLD OFF ON THE THIN MINTS THOUGH

Now that we blended our dry ingredients all together, go ahead and add in your eggs and your vanilla

Now add in your hot water and milk

Now add in your oil ( i used canola because that's what i had on hand)

Mix the ingredients really well with a fork, you don't need a mixer for his cake recipe... also take notice that the batter is more fluid than your traditional cake mix from a box

Now the fun part =] Smashing the thin mints into crumbs.. place your thin mints in a zip lock bag and crush

and add them into the bowl and mix =]

pour the batter into your cupcake pan with cupcake liners

Bake these delicious little guys for 20-25 minutes... if your unsure if they are done poke a tooth pick down the center and if the tooth pick comes out clean without any cake sticking to it then they are done!

Now for the frosting.... I always make my frosting once the cupcakes are done so it gives them a chance to cool down...if i make my frosting ahead of time I get really impatient waiting for them to cool and decorate them while they are hot and the frosting runs off of them... =(

OKAY..back to the frosting.. in a small bowl add in your cream cheese and vanilla, mix the two together until your cream cheese is smooth with no lumps. I mix with a fork or whisk.

Now add in the whole box of powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. The reason you add in a 1/2 cup at a time is because you will end up with lumps that take forever to get out. So if you get your frosting smooth then gradually add in more sugar and repeat its easier on you. TRUST me... through trial and error I finally got it down =]

Once your frosting is smooth add in a few crushed thin mints and mix

Now you can decorate your cupcakes and add a little garnish of cookie on top like so! I hope you like them =]

*** If you like your cake more minty, you can add in 2-3 drops of mint flavoring