Google Amy's Cooking Adventures: June 2011
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Thursday, June 30, 2011

Thyme-Infused Lemonade

Today the temperature was in the upper 90’s with a heat index well over 100.  It was the perfect day for a pool party and ice cold lemonade.  I invited three of my good friends over, filled a kiddie pool and turned on a sprinkler.  It was a great afternoon!


So the next time you have a pool party or BBQ, mix up a pitcher of this lemonade.  And if you’d like to make it even more “adult friendly” go ahead and add 1 cup on gin when you stir in the lemon juice…now it’s a party!


Thyme-Infused Lemonade
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 ½ cups sugar
1 bunch of fresh thyme (about a handful of sprigs)
2 cups of unsweetened lemon juice (bottled or fresh squeezed)
7 cups cold water, divided
Additional sprigs of thyme and lemon slices to garnish


In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, sprigs of thyme, and 1 cup of water.  Bring to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat.  Stir in the lemon juice and 6 cups of cold water.  Strain any solids out through a strainer. 

Pour the lemonade into a 1 gallon pitcher and refrigerate until cold, about 1 hour.

Serve over ice, garnished with additional thyme sprigs and lemon slices.

Makes 8 cups of lemonade

Enjoy!
Amy

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Everything Sandwich on an Everything Bagel


I do love a good sandwich.  Especially on days when it is too hot to cook.

The Everything Sandwich on an Everything Bagel is my latest obsession.  It takes all of my very favorite sandwich ingredients and smashes them all into one…Dagwood style.


Everything Sandwich on an Everything Bagel
An Amy Original

1 Everything bagel, split and toasted
¼ avocado, mashed
½ tbsp garden vegetable cream cheese
½ tbsp real bacon bits or 1 slice of bacon
½ tbsp roasted sunflower seeds
1 leaf of lettuce or a handful of spinach
2 tomato slices
2 cucumber slices
5 turkey pepperoni slices
6 slices deli turkey (I used Cracked Black Pepper Turkey)


Spread the mashed avocado on one half of the toasted bagel and top with bacon bits.  Spread the cream cheese on the other bagel half and top with sunflower seeds. 

Layer the remaining sandwich fixins’ on the bottom half of the bagel, topping with the other half.

Makes 1 sandwich

Enjoy!
Amy

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Chocolate Chip Beet Muffins



Last week I had an interesting kitchen flop.  Though, I am reluctant to even call it a flop.

You see, I made a muffin that was quite tasty and nutritious.  Every muffin got eaten.

Only I had intended, with the addition of beet puree, to make a red velvet muffin.

I had a lovely, bright red batter.  Only, the muffin wasn’t red.  Nope, not one iota.  It was orangy-brown instead.  And after sitting out for awhile they kinda got a greenish sheen.  Hmmm...

At first I wasn’t going to share this one with the blogging world (because of the whole green thing), but for those who want their families to eat some nice healthy beet muffins, albeit not red, here it is.


Chocolate Chip Beet Muffins
An Amy Original

2 eggs
½ cup sugar
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Dash of salt
6 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
¾ cup whole wheat flour
¾ cup all purpose flour
½ cup chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Line a muffin tin with paper liners.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and beet puree.  Mix in the cinnamon, salt, and oil.

Stir in the baking soda, baking powder, and flours until just combined.  Fold in chocolate chips.

Divide the batter evenly into the muffin cups.  Bake for 16-20 minutes or until cooked through.

Store for 4 days in an airtight container (otherwise they turn green).

Makes 12 muffins.

Enjoy!
Amy

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Beet Puree

I have mentioned beet puree in a couple different posts so far.  Like pizza, two types of cookies, and even pancakes.  So I thought it was high time beet puree had its very own post.  Beet puree is very versatile and is my 'go to' food dye anytime I want to make a red velvet anything.  I just can't stand the thought of using that much artificial food dye in a single recipe!

Beet puree can also be used as a baby food.  Beets will not be one of baby's first foods (in those early months).  Baby's system needs to mature a bit first.  I recommend waiting until your baby is about 10 months old before giving them beet puree.  Since beets do have a rather strong flavor, you may want to mix them with some applesauce or pears to sweeten them up the first few times you introduce them.


Beet Puree
An Amy Original

3-4 medium sized beets
Water


Cut the stems and roots off, very close to the beet.  Run under water to remove any dirt.  Cut any large beets in half.  Do not peel at this point.  It will be much easier after they are cooked.

Place in a pot and cover beets with water.  Boil over medium heat for 30 minutes or until beets pierce easily with a fork (they will still be somewhat firm).

Scoop beets into a colander and rinse with cold water.  Reserve the water the beets boiled in.  Once the beets are cool enough to handle, gently rub the skins with your fingers and the skins will peel off easily.

Roughly chop the beets and place them in a food processor add enough liquid (use the liquid leftover from boiling the beets) to pulse into a smooth puree.  Pulse until beets are very smooth.  Use the puree immediately or freeze in desired sizes. 

If I am saving the puree for baby food, I use ice cube trays.  Otherwise I freeze the puree in baggies.  I usually do 1/3 cup.

Enjoy!
Amy

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars


As you may remember from one of my many brownie posts, brownies are my husband's absolute favorite dessert.  He loves a plain chewy brownie, but I am gradually broadening his horizons. 

And we can't for get "Papa"  Thank you for everything, Dad!
So for Father's Day, I think it is only appropriate to make his favorite treat...with a little twist.  These brownies incorporate one of my favorite combinations: peanut butter and chocolate.  Add in some marshmallows and a little crunch and you have a great treat for Dad.  These little brownies also come together very quickly, so that's just a little added bonus.  But do note, if you take your pictures too quickly, while holding the baby who is teething and fussing, they will turn out like this...don't do that.  So just trust me when I tell you that these are fabulous!


So thank you my love!  You are a wonderful Father to our children and I am so happy and proud to call myself your wife.  You do so much more than provide for us.  You give us love and support.  You cheer us up when we're down and fix just about anything.  Thank you for everything.


Marshmallow Crunch Brownie Bars
Adapted from Brown Eyed Baker

1 box brownie mix (family size)
            Eggs, oil, and water as indicated on packaging
½ cup mini chocolate chips

1 (10.5 oz) bag mini marshmallows
1 ½ cups chocolate chips
1 cup smooth peanut butter
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 ½ cup Rice Krispies cereal

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.

Prepare brownie mix as directed, stirring in ½ cup mini chocolate chips once all ingredients are combined.  Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake as indicated on the packaging.

When done, remove the brownies from the oven and immediately sprinkle the marshmallows over the topping, taking care to spread them evenly.  Return to the oven for 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 1 ½ cups chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter in the microwave.  Start with 45 seconds, then stir well.  Return to the microwave in 30 second increments, stirring each time until the mixture is smooth.  Stir in the Rice Krispies until completely coated.

Spread the mixture evenly over the marshmallow layer, dipping into swirl the marshmallow in with the chocolate.

Cool completely before cutting, refrigerating if desired.


Enjoy!
Amy

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Stovetop “Baked” Beans


 Since I made the Rum Baked Black Beans, I have been thinking about making a more traditional baked bean as well.  I searched the internet.  I browsed a recipe.  I thought "Easy!  I'm going to make these tomorrow!"

Since I had all of the ingredients in my pantry, I gathered them up and set to work.... ½ hour before I planned to serve them. 

Then I read the first instruction:  Soak beans overnight, then simmer for 3 hours.  Whoa! Ingredient fail!  The recipe failed to mention that it called for dry beans.  "It's okay," I thought, "I can make the necessary adjustments, no prob."

Then the major duh moment.  These were supposed to be baked beans, as in bake in the oven for 4 hours instead of heating a can of baked beans on the stove.  Wow...special moment.

Due to a failure to read a recipe through followed by a huge failure to think straight, I decided to shut the computer and make up my own stovetop "baked" beans recipe.  And for an off the cuff recipe, it sure turned out good.  But then, recipes born out of necessity generally are.


Stovetop “Baked” Beans
An Amy Original

2 (15 oz) cans of navy beans
2 tbsp onions, minced
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp Worchester sauce
½ tbsp corn starch
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
6 slices of thick cut bacon


In a medium sized pot, fry the bacon to desired doneness.  Remove, drain on paper towels, and crumble. 

Drain most of the bacon drippings from the pan.  Cook the onions in the bacon drippings for 3-5 minutes or until tender.

Drain and rinse one can of beans and add it to the pot.  Add the other can undrained, rising the can with ¼ cup water to get all the beans out (add the water to the pot, too).

Add in all remaining ingredients and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.  Simmer for 20 minutes.  Serve hot.

Enjoy!
Amy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake


I don’t often make a dessert that doesn’t involve chocolate in one form of another.  But every once in a while, I come across a recipe so decadent that chocolate doesn’t even cross my mind.  Cue Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake!  A sweet fruity topping paired with a delightful spice cake.  Serve it warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and you have one fabulous dessert.


Strawberry Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake
Adapted from Joy the Baker

Topping
2 tbsp unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar
½ cup strawberries, sliced (heaping)
½ cup rhubarb, diced (heaping)

Cake
½ cup unsalted butter, softened
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp baking soda
¼ tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground cloves
2/3 cup sour cream


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the butter into several pieces and place in a 9x2 inch round cake pan.  Place the pan in the preheated oven for a couple minutes.  Once the butter is melted, carefully swirl the pan to coat the bottoms and sides of the pan with butter (need I remind you to wear gloves or use pot holders?)  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Continue to mix until the mixture is pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg and vanilla.  Beat an additional minute.

Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cloves.

With the mixer on low speed incorporate the flour mixture and the sour cream until the batter just comes together (it will be quite thick).  Finish mixing the ingredients with a spatula.  Set aside.

Sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup brown sugar into the melted butter in the cake pan.  Sprinkle the strawberry and rhubarb slices over the butter and sugar in a single layer.

Carefully spoon the batter over the fruit slices and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for 35 minutes of until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. 

Let the cake rest for 10 minutes.  Then, run a knife around the edges and carefully invert the cake onto a cake stand or plate.  Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Serves 6-8

Enjoy!
Amy

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate Ganache


Do you remember Take 5 Bars?  Do they still make those?  Basically, it is a candy bar with nougat, peanuts, caramel, and pretzels…covered in chocolate.  It is pretty much salty-sweet deliciousness.


Since I tend to steer away from over priced candy bars, I decided to attempt a cookie version of this yummy treat.  The only downside to these is that the caramels are still hard caramels and not at all ooey gooey like a candy bar (perhaps a remake will be in order).  However, the taste is all there and I urge you, don’t skimp on the sea salt at the end.  It adds that last bit of saltiness that is – mmm!—so good!


Peanut Butter Pretzel Cookies with Chocolate Ganache
An Amy Original

Cookies
¾ cup sugar
1 large egg
1 cup chunky peanut butter
¼ cup all purpose flour
30 pretzels, broken in half
1/3 cup caramel bits

Chocolate Ganache
½ cup heavy cream
6 oz semi-sweet chocolate, chopped

Coarse sea salt


Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a stand mixer, combine with sugar and egg.  Add in the peanut butter and the flour.  Beat until well combined.

On a cookie sheet, arrange groupings of 4 pretzel halves each.

Using a 2 tablespoon scoop, scoop out a ball of dough.  Use your thumb to make a divot in the dough ball.  Place 5-6 caramel bits in the divot.  Close the dough around the caramel bits.  Flatten the dough into a disc and press onto the pretzels.

Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Move to wire racks to cool completely.

Once the cookies are cool, place the cream into a small saucepan.  Place it over medium heat until the cream just begins to bubble.  Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate pieces.  Stir until completely smooth.

Allow the ganache to cool for 5-10 minutes.  Spread a liberal amount of ganache onto each cookie and add a generous sprinkle of sea salt.


Makes 15 cookies

Enjoy!
Amy

Monday, June 13, 2011

Tabbouleh Stuffed Crusty Avocados (Secret Recipe Club)

Welcome to my first Secret Recipe Club Post!  For today’s recipe, I was assigned Maya’s blog: Foodiva’s Kitchen.  And let me tell you, there are some pretty amazing recipes on her site.  I strongly encourage you to go check it out – Just be sure to come back here to see this totally delish avocado recipe!  Maya uses some incredible and colorful ingredients in her cooking, that I can’t find in my area (like purple sweet potatoes), so I had to do some adapting to her recipe…and a little research!  But let me tell you – the second I come across a purple sweet potato, I am heading to her site for some inspiration!

So onto today’s recipe!  Before I chose this recipe, I had never even heard of tabbouleh before.  But found that it is a Middle Eastern salad that is typically made with bulgur, lemon juice, mint, tomato, and olive oil.  Being unfamiliar with bulgur, I used brown rice, plus various other Midwest kitchen staples in my tabbouleh.

The verdict?  My husband and I loved this dish!  We are both avocado fanatics, so already it was a win.  It was perfect as a light lunch and very enjoyable.


Tabbouleh Stuffed Crusty Avocados
Adapted from Foodiva’s Kitchen

1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
1 tsp lemon zest
Juice from ½ lemon, about ½ tbsp
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp cilantro, finely diced
1 tbsp fresh mint, finely diced
½ tsp onion, finely diced
½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 large avocados
12 Roasted Vegetable Ritz Crackers, finely crushed


In a bowl, combine the brown rice, lemon zest, lemon juice, tomato, cilantro, mint, onion, and olive oil.  Stir to combine.  Set aside.

Turn the oven to broil.

Cut each avocado in half and remove the pits.  Carefully scoop out the flesh of each avocado half leaving a ½ inch “bowl”.  Add the scooped out avocado flesh to the rice mixture, stir to combine.

Using a spoon, carefully scoop the avocado bowl out of the skin.

Carefully roll each avocado half in the crushed cracker crumbs.  Place avocados face down on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray.  Place until the broiler for 2-3 minutes or until the cracker crumbs are browned.

Flip the avocado halves onto a plate and fill with the rice mixture.  Top with additional cracker crumbs and serve.

Enjoy!
Amy


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Cajun Ranch Bacon Cheeseburgers


With Father’s Day weekend coming up, I thought I’d another great grilling recipe!  In the past I have usually thrown those frozen pre-pattied burgers on the grill.  They’re fine and all but really lacking pizzazz.  These burgers: lots of pizzazz. 

Now, if you, unlike me, remember to thaw your bacon for the bacon cheeseburgers ahead of time, you can go ahead and omit the bacon bits and top these with bacon instead (or maybe double bacon? Woah!)  But, if you forgot (or just plain don’t feel like cooking bacon) go ahead and toss those bacon bits into the burger.  It is a little different, but you get to enjoy little hints of bacon-y goodness peppered throughout your burger. 

These burgers were definitely a hit in my house.  Even my 3 year old ate a little of his burger (with yellow cheese and minus all healthy toppings of course!)


Cajun Ranch Bacon Cheeseburgers
Adapted from Picky Palate

Burgers
1 lb lean ground beef
1 tsp Tabasco sauce
¼ tsp paprika
Dash of salt
Dash of black pepper
Dash of garlic powder
Dash of oregano
¼ cup Bacon bits

Toppings
4 hamburger buns, sliced
4 slices provolone cheese
¼ cup ranch dressing (approximately)
Fresh spinach
Tomato slices


In a medium sized bowl, mix all of the burger ingredients together until well combined.  Form into 4 equal sized patties.  Cook on the grill over medium low heat until cooked through.  Note – I pat my hamburger patties quite thin because there is nothing worse than an undercooked hamburger *shudder*

Meanwhile, spray a skillet lightly with nonstick spray and heat to medium high.  Lightly toast the buns and spread one half with 1 tablespoon of the ranch dressing.

Once the burgers are done, add the cheese (still on the grill) and let cook for a minute or so longer, until the cheese is nice and melty.  Place the burgers on the toasted buns and top with spinach and tomato slices.

Serves 4

Enjoy!
Amy

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lemon, Rosemary, and Balsamic Grilled Chicken



I just love grilling in the summer.  Though I must confess, in the past I have gotten stuck in a grilling rut (chalk it up to inexperience).  I often had my husband (the grill master, known as “Doc Burger” when he manned the grill back in his college dining center days) cook up chicken breasts, but they were always the same old chicken breasts, marinated in Italian dressing.  Don’t get me wrong, those are great, but they get old after awhile.

So after I bought my first ever bottle of balsamic vinegar and came across this recipe, I knew it was meant to be.  The first time I tried this recipe, I used bone-in chicken thighs as recommended by the original recipe.  I wasn’t impressed.  Perhaps it is due to my inexperience grilling bone-in chicken.  Or maybe because I pull off the skin before I eat it?  Whatever the reason, I was much happier when I used boneless skinless chicken breasts (if you have boneless skinless thighs available in your area, I am sure those would be great as well).  This will definitely be one of my go-to chicken recipes from now on.  Happy grilling!


Lemon, Rosemary, and Balsamic Grilled Chicken

½ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp fresh rosemary, lightly chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ tbsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (or thighs)


In a bowl, combine with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, rosemary, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Whisk to combine.

Place the chicken breasts in a large resealable bag.  Pour the marinade over the chicken breasts and turn to coat.  Place the bag in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.  Note: if you are like me and don’t plan ahead, put your completely frozen chicken breasts in the marinade and leave the chicken out of the fridge to thaw and marinate.

Preheat the grill to medium low.  Grill the chicken 8-10 minutes on each side, or until well done (I always check chicken with a meat thermometer just to be sure!)

Serves 4

Enjoy!
Amy

Thursday, June 9, 2011

S’mores Cookies


Summer nights are synonymous ice cold drinks, campfire, and s’mores.

Sadly, I don’t have a portable fire pit (nor do I like camping).  So I have to be a little more creative with my s’mores.  So I make things like cupcakes and these cookies.

The cookie dough houses a cup of graham cracker crumbs and let me tell you – it’s delicious.  I honestly couldn’t stop eating the batter.  Then you stuff that glorious cookie dough with chocolate bars and toasted marshmallows.  It is heavenly.  Oh, and they are pretty spectacular once they’re baked, too!


S’mores Cookies
Adapted from Buns in My Oven

2 cups mini marshmallows
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
½ cup white sugar
½ cup brown sugar, packed
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (6 whole crackers, crushed)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
3 Hershey’s chocolate bars, coarsely chopped (1 cup)


Turn the oven onto broil.  Pour the marshmallows on a cookie sheet and place under the broiler for 2 minutes of until lightly toasted.  Remove and set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, combine the butter and sugars.  Beat until light and fluffy.  Next beat in the egg and vanilla until combined.

Add the salt, baking soda, graham crackers, and flour.  Mix until combined.

Cover and place the batter in the refrigerator for about 45 minutes or until chilled (otherwise the batter will be sticky and the cookies will be really flat…like mine).

Turn oven to 375 degrees F.  Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.

Scoop a small ball of dough using a 1 tablespoon cookie scoop and flatten it into a disc.  Top the disc with several chocolate pieces and 5-6 toasted marshmallows.  Top with a second disc of dough and press the sides to seal.

Place on the prepared cookie sheets and bake 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely on wire racks.

Makes about 20 cookies


Enjoy!
Amy

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Vegetable Rice Bowl


I’d like to tell you that this recipe is quick and easy.  But since rice takes forever to cook…it’s easy, but not so quick.  But it is perfect if you went to the gym while your husband fed the children mac & cheese and now you need to feed yourself…at bedtime.

You can easily use left over rice or boil in the bag riceto make this a 5 minute meal, but if you need to do something for 45 minutes (like put the children to bed), it is just as easy to make rice and have a yummy, healthy meal for one!


Vegetable Rice Bowl
An Amy Original

½ cup uncooked brown rice
1 ¼ cups water
½ tsp dry chicken stock
¼ tsp dried rosemary
¼ tsp dried basil
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 (10 oz) frozen steam in bag vegetable medley
¼ cup Monterey jack cheese (or sharp cheddar)


In a small pot, stir together the rice, water, and spices.  Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium low.  Cook for 45 minutes.

{Get the kids ready for bed}

Cook the frozen vegetables according to package instructions.

Mix the rice and the vegetables in a bowl, top with the cheese and serve.

Serves 1

Enjoy!
Amy

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Strawberry Margaritas (Fernando Special)


Since I shared my beloved Honeymoon Tacos, I would be remiss in sharing another honeymoon favorite.

Since we honeymooned in Mexico, my husband and I thought that fabulous margaritas would available everywhere.  Not so.  Instead, we found many “2 for 1 specials” that were made with super sweet syrup and not much else.  Major disappointment…until we happened upon the bar located in the hotel next to ours.

Bracing ourselves for yet another disappointment, we ordered our drinks from a bar tender named Fernando and were blown away.  Now these were the perfect margaritas we were after!  As we went back to the bar every day for the remainder of our trip (yes, daily – we were on vacation!) I started watched Fernando closely as he mixed our margaritas so we could recreate them at home (not an easy feat when you’re on your second margarita).

After the honeymoon, as we unpacked our wedding gifts and settled in to married life, we decided to try out our margaritas.  Success!  Our favorite margaritas came home with us and 5 years later, we still enjoy them (just not daily!) and now you can too – cheers!


Strawberry Margaritas (Fernando Special)
An Amy Original

8 oz frozen strawberries with syrup, partially thawed
3 oz lemon-lime soda (like Sprite)
2 ½ oz tequila
2-3 cups of ice (depending on the size of the glasses and how frozen the strawberries are)
Lime or strawberry slices, optional


Place all ingredients in a blender.  Start on a low setting, gradually increasing speed to the highest setting.  Once the mixture is completely smooth, pour it into margarita glasses.  Garnish with lime slices or strawberries as desired.

Enjoy!
Amy

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cilantro-Lime Steak Tacos (Honeymoon Tacos)


Five years, two kids, a couple jobs, and a house ago, I married my best friend.  It was a beautiful day, filled with so much happiness and love.


After the wedding, we went on a honeymoon to Mexico.  While there, we happened upon this little taco shack that sold the absolute best tacos I’ve ever eaten.  During the course of our week long trip, my husband and I went to that little taco shack nearly every day. 

Since then, I have been ordering tacos at various Mexican restaurants, always hoping that they will taste like those delicious honeymoon tacos.  But alas, nothing has ever come even remotely close.

Since American restaurants can’t seem to replicate my beloved taco shack tacos, I created my own version of my favorite tacos.  One bite and my husband and I were instantly transported back to that little taco shack, five years ago.

The last five years have absolutely flown by and I am happy to say, there have been many more ups than downs.  I love you, my love!  Here’s to many more happy years!


Cilantro-Lime Steak Tacos (Honeymoon Tacos)
Adapted from Simply Scratch

1 lb boneless rib eye steak
1/3 cup olive oil
Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tbsp)
1 garlic clove, smashed
A handful of cilantro (about ¼ cup)
2 tsp honey
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper

4 flour tortillas, 6-inch size
Monterey Jack Cheese, thinly sliced
1 (15 oz) can seasoned pinto beans


In a mini food processor, combine the olive oil, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.  Pulse a few times until chopped.  Add in the honey, cumin, chili powder, red pepper, salt, and pepper.  Pulse until combined.

Place the steak in a zipper bag.  Add the marinade, flipping the bag to coat the steak.  Marinate on the countertop for 30 minutes, bringing the meat to room temperature for grilling.

Grill the steak 6-10 minutes per side to desired doneness.  I prefer my meat closer to well done and cook it for a longer amount of time.

Once cooked, let the steak rest for 5 minutes, then thinly slice.

Meanwhile, set a skillet over medium high heat and spray with cooking spray.  Place a tortilla in the skillet and cover with Monterey jack cheese slices.  Cook for 2-3 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is lightly browned.  Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Top each tortilla with steak slices, a scoop of beans, and a dollop of guacamole.

Makes 4 tacos, serves 2

Enjoy!
Amy

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