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Grilled Steak Tacos

Tacos are generally reserved for Taco Tuesday, I know. But, when something is as good as tacos, it should be celebrated at all times. The steak in this recipe is grilled slowly, keeping the heat low. It allows the meat to cook evenly without burning on the outside and still being raw on the inside. I do suggest a thicker steak for the best results here. Combined with a refreshing avocado cream sauce, the combination is awesome-sauce. Literally. I also decided to grill the tortillas. Something about grilled bread. I feel like it’s a must for any recipe that calls for bread, really. I’m not sure if you saw our Trader Joe’s Haul video, but one of the items I got was a chile lime seasoning. It was the first time I used it and I was pleasantly surprised with how much I liked it. It was a perfect balance of salt, citrus, and slight heat. Honestly, I wouldn’t even consider it spicy. I generously sprinkled both sides of the meat and let it marinate like that for the day. It provided a great combination to the cream sauce that also uses lime. Perfect summer flavor combination.

Instructions

  1. To make the avocado cream sauce, add all of the ingredients to your food processor of blender and combine. The sauce will be thick.
  2. To prepare the meat, season with the chile lime seasoning and allow to marinate in the fridge for the day. I usually prep this in the morning before I head out to work. Grill slowly on low heat. Cook until done to your preference. To grill the flour tortillas, place on a hot grill. Let coomk until they start to bubble and brown slightly. Flip and do the same for the other side. Remove from the heat and place on a plate. Cover the plate with a clean kitchen towel to keep them softer. You don't want them to get too hard so they'll break when you fold them.
  3. To prepare the tacos, slice the meat into thin slices. Spread some of the avocado sauce on one half of the folded tortilla. Add on some lettuce and top with the meat, tomatoes, and cheese. Add a couple more spoonfuls of the cream sauce and fold up the other side.

Notes

This is an original recipe.

Liz’s Beef Ragu

 

Weekends are perfect for those meals that take just a bit more time to prepare. This recipe is perfect for that. Not only does it make a ton (yay leftovers!) but it makes the house smell wonderful. I loved walking into the house and smelling the wine, sauce, veggies, and herbs. In the midst of getting all the ingredients together I realized I forgot the mushrooms. Luckily, thanks to my amazing garden, I have a ton of alternatives. I opted to use zucchini since those made an appearance in my garden first. It was a nice replacement for this version. I have made it previously with mushrooms and it’s perfection, but in a pinch any substitute will do, honestly. Even eggplant would be great. It’s also a great way to use those veggies sitting around. I always buy carrots and celery with the best intentions and then usually they go to waste. I REALLY need to be better about composting. Another great alternative to those about to expire veggies is making your own veggie broth. So good! This hearty meal also freezes well, so you can enjoy a nice weekend meal on a week night.

 

 

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a heavy pot. Season the meat with salt and pepper, and sear on both sides. Remove from the pot and set aside. Add veggies to the pot a cook on medium heat, adding more oil if needed. Add the meat back into the pot along with the crushed tomato, diced tomatoes, beef broth, red wine, herbs, and Worcestershire. Stir all ingredients together and cook for about 3 hours or until the meat falls apart easily. Serve with pasta of your choice. Top with Parmesan cheese (obv!)

Notes

Caprese Sandwich

 

I’m sure I’ve mentioned a MILLION times my love for basil and all things caprese. The flavor combinations are just so refreshing. A colleague just recently returned from her vacation in Europe. Italy was on the list and I was beyond excited to see some pictures of the food she ate there. Like all the foods! Talking to her about her trip left me inspired and craving Italian food. She talked about the amount of prosciutto consumed and I can’t say that I would ever complain about that. I know I named this the caprese sandwich and perhaps it should be named the Live Wildly and Inspire, thanks to her inspiration, but whatever you want to call it… delicious would also be appropriate… it will taste so good. I left everything as is here. It’s the most delicious simple sandwich. This would be best served with a glass of prosecco.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Note the lack of amounts here. This sandwich is meant to be made to your taste preference.
  2. Slice the bread in half, leaving it slightly attached to help hold the ingredients intact.
  3. Drizzle both halves with olive oil. Layer sliced tomato on one half. Place the torn mozzarella on top of the tomato. On the other half lay out the prosciutto. Top with basil leaves. Season with salt and pepper if you would like. Fold together!

Notes

Squash Casserole

 

While we were brunching hard over the weekend, my friend had mentioned wanting to make a squash casserole to use up some of the squash from her farm share. Wouldn’t you know I could not stop thinking about it. I’ll daydream about foods and things, and squash casserole is usually not on the top of my daydream worthy foods. But it was there. When I was checking my garden I noticed a couple of really nice zucchini and took that as a sign that I should make it. Typically this recipe uses yellow squash, which I now have, but at the time I was limited to my zucchini. So I rolled with it. It was basically amazing. So amazing, that I actually ate most of it, while it was cooling, before the rest of dinner was even ready. I could not stop. It was so good, that I knew my husband who absolutely hates zucchini simply had to try it. He was skeptical and asked me not to take offense if he spits it out. But I smiled knowing it wouldn’t even get to that. And, of course, I was right. It makes me happy when I can get him to eat something he hates and can show him it’s actually not so bad. The toddler on the other hand…. not so much. The instructions, at first, looked daunting. But it was so easy to put together. And when I saw daunting, I mean after working a really long day at the office, having picked up my son from school and being alone with him so all he wanted was to play and didn’t care about me making dinner daunting. But the crackers were a great distraction. He just popped up on the counter and sat there “helping” me by eating the crackers. I love when he gets involved and asks questions about what I’m doing in the kitchen. It also makes me happy when I give him a veggie and he asks, is this from our garden? It seems, to him, it’s more rewarding to eat something we’ve produced and I couldn’t agree more. It just tastes better somehow! This recipe is very forgiving with what type of squash you use yellow/green/a combo of both, go crazy. I might even adapt this further to make a fall casserole with my butternut squash that’s growing. Yum!

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place squash, onion, and a small amount of water in a pan. Place on your stove top and cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the squash is softened. You want this to be fork tender, not at all mushy. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Meanwhile, add Ritz Crackers to a Ziploc bag and crush using a rolling pin, or with your hands, or with anything you have around. Add the cheese to the bag and shake to combine.
  3. In a liquid measuring cup, measure our the milk. Add in the eggs, salt, and pepper, and stir to combine.
  4. Spray a baking dish (8x8 ish is what I used) with cooking spray. When the squash is done, drain and add to the baking dish. Mix in half of the crushed cracker/cheese mixture and stir to combine. Add in the melted butter and stir once more. Pour the egg mixture over the top and mix it up a bit so that it's all combined. Sprinkle the additional cracker mixture over the top of the casserole. Using your hands, lightly spread it around so that it's evenly distributed over the top. Place the tiny cubes of butter across the top.
  5. Place the casserole in the oven, uncovered, and bake for about 20 minutes or until the top is golden and the egg mixture is set. 20 minutes was absolutely perfect for me. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving (if you can!). Serve warm.

Notes

Barely even adapted from All Recipes

Summer Risotto and a VIDEO!

 

It’s Friiiiiiiiiiday! It’s always so stressful getting back to the office after vacation, so dinners this week have been not great. Or more honestly, I have barely made dinner this week. I hate weeks like that because eating out so frequently makes me feel not so great. But, I did make this risotto and I’m so happy that I did. I’ve made risotto in the past and it tastes fine, but the texture is not quite right. The thing about risotto is that you need a bit of patience. Turning up the heat to allow for quicker absorption of liquids resulting in still too crunchy rice, is not patience. Because this was an original recipe, I practiced patience. It’s something I’m trying to practice more often anyway, not just in cooking, but in general. It’s a practice, but I feel so much less anxious. Except for this morning when I was running around my house like a Tasmanian devil. So not only is this recipe delicious, it helps you practice patience (deep breath in…….now exhale). Ok, so onto the details. My goal for this recipe was to incorporate some more veggies. Considering how many zucchini and yellow squash are about to explode in my garden, I figured why not toss a few in. It turned out much better than I expected. Considering my track record with risotto, the bar was low, but I jumped over it. Even my husband who hates vegetable, zucchini and squash anyway, really liked it. At least the bite of it he had anyway. Baby steps!

Also, I wanted to share a video I did as part of a blogger challenge I was enrolled in. I created a VIDEO! I know.. it was scary, and I’m not even the feature, my son is! But we got some awesome things at Trader Joe’s and wanted to share our finds. I posted the silly video on YouTube (::breathes into a paper bag::). You can check it out here. Also, lesson learned to hold my camera the appropriate way….

 

Summer Risotto

Summer Risotto

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat broth in a medium saucepan. Keep warm.
  2. In a large saucepan heat olive oil. Cook onions over medium high heat until softened. Add in the rice and cook until the rice is opaque, about 3 minutes. Add in the white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed.
  3. Add in about 1/2 cup, I used a small ladle for this. And cook until the liquid is absorbed. Continue to add in warm chicken broth, one ladle full at a time. Allowing the liquid to absorb each time.
  4. Once you've added about half the liquid in, add in the corn, zucchini and yellow squash. Continue to ladle in the rest of the liquid, allowing for it to mostly absorb each time. Once you have added in all of the liquid, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Your mixture should be creamy and the rice should be cooked al dente. Season with salt and pepper. Add on some chives and parsley to garnish.

Notes