Life’s a Garden…Eat It!

It’s that time of year again….time to plant some delicious veggies, water daily, and wait for the magic to happen!  This year was a much more enjoyable planting season since we didn’t have to dig out and dispose of sod first!  Plus, it’s much easier to break up soil that’s been tilled once already.

I decided that last year’s layout wasn’t a great use of space.  It just felt like we had a ton of open dirt.  I know you aren’t supposed to crowd plants, but I like the idea of knowing where my food comes from.  Doesn’t get much fresher than the backyard!  A little reorganization was due this year to really optimize our veggie producing potential.  Last year we grew-

  • 3 Spaghetti Squash Plants
  • 2 Rows of Green Beans
  • 1 Full Sized Tomato Plants — Cherokee Purple
  • 2 Cherry Tomato Pants — Indigo Rose Variety
  • 3 Pepper Plants — 2 Banana Peppers, Cajun Bell
  • 3 Kohlrabi
  • 2 Patio Pots of Herbs — Basil, Thyme, and Oregano
  • 1 Patio Pot of Lettuce Mix and Kale (Kept at an anti bunny nibbling height)

This year we have planted

  • 3 Spaghetti Squash Plants
  • 2 Rows of Green Beans (They are being eaten alive by bugs, we might not get beans)
  • 2 Full Sized Tomato Plants — Cherokee Purple and Siberian Prince
  • 2 Cherry Tomato Plants — Chocolate Sprinkle and Yellow Cherry
  • 2 Rows of Snap Peas
  • 4 Kohlrabi
  • 3 Peppers — Orange Bell, Giant Marconi, and Anaheim
  • A smattering of White Onions (In the direct sight line of the bunnies, so fingers crossed)
  • 2 Patio Pots of Herbs — Basil Blend, Thyme, Oregano, Cilantro
  • 1 Patio Pot of Lettuce Mix, Kale, and Arugula (Still at an anti-bunny height!)

We did do some rotating, tomatoes down to the side with the sprinkler system leak since they enjoy lots of water, and beans and peas over to the dryer side of the garden.  The only veggie that didn’t move locations are the squash.  Since the mowing is hired out by my HOA, if the squash head towards the rocks I can keep them from getting mowed to death by the high school boys the lawn company hires.

 

SO MANY PLANTS!

Ugh….I’m just so excited!  Also feeling slightly antsy.  I would really like to be able to walk out to the garden and pick fresh tomatoes and herbs for a caprese salad, but alas….we aren’t there yet.  The herbs have started growing enough that we can pluck some, so in the meantime we will just have to settle for store bought tomatoes to go with our fresh basil, thyme, and oregano.  In addition to the classic Italian trio, we also decided to try some Cilantro.  We make a ton of tacos and salsas, so it seemed like it would be a good addition to our fresh herb collection.  Our cilantro has since grown into a small tree…..so yesterday I decided to chop it off and whip up some taco deliciousness!  So good and so easy….which was ideal cuz I had furniture to refinish and naps to take yesterday!  Something about a cool breeze coming through the window just makes me wanna curl under a blanket and nap on the couch….so that’s what I did!  But, I’ll put my flung together recipe below….just in time for TACO TUESDAY!!!!!

IMG_9604.HEIC

Lime and Cilantro Pork Tacos

  • 1 lb Pork Roast
  • 1 Medium Onion, Sliced Thin
  • 1 Bottle Corona
  • 4 Garlic Cloves, Smashed
  • 2 Tablespoons Chili Powder and Cumin
  • 0.5-1 Tablespoon Cayenne Pepper (Spice to what you like!)
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Cilantro
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • Juice of 2 Limes
  • Salt and Pepper

Create a bed on the bottom of your crock pot with the onion slices, add the pork, and then top with the spices, zest, juice, and beer.  Cover and cook on low for 7-8 hours.  I flipped mine halfway through so the top half could get some loving, but only because I happened to be home….otherwise just let it go all day.

Shred and get ready to enjoy!  I like my tacos with some fresh onion, fresh cilantro, sour cream, avocado, and maybe another little squeeze of lime!  I will caution….these are saucy!  Next time I whip these up I might toss the meat into a skillet and cook it a little bit to try and thicken the sauce and crisp up the edges of the meat.  However, I will say, these are totally delicious right outta the crock pot, just make sure you eat over a plate!

Also, I grabbed myself a new iPhone 8 this weekend, so hopefully these pictures are looking premium!

 

What Goes Good with Tequila…….?!

…………….SPICY FISH TACOS!!!

Like many of my recipes, this one isn’t super exact.  Generally when I cook I find recipes online, study them to get the general idea, and then just sorta go off and do my own thing.  I’ve made these tacos 3-4 times now, so I think I’ve pretty much got a handle on it.  I get packages of fish from friends and family and they range in variety and size.  I would say that generally a pound is the average size package.  When in doubt, just use the same amount you’d use to feed your crowd any other variety of protein.  It’s a pretty easy recipe to scale up or down depending on the amount of mouths you have to feed or the amount of leftovers you want.

The Supplies

  1. MARGARITA SUPPLIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  2. 1 lb. of your choice of white fish (Cod, Halibut, Tilapia)
  3. Some!?!?!?……..Small Tortillas or Taco Shells
  4. Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
  5. 1 Avocado
  6. 1 Jalapeno
  7. 1 Bag Broccoli or Cabbage Slaw
  8. Olive Oil
  9. Cilantro Paste
  10. Salt and Pepper
  11. Equal Amounts — Cajun Seasoning, Chili Powder, Smoked Paprika, Dried Cilantro, Cumin, and Garlic Powder
  12. Half of an Equal Amount — Cayenne Pepper
IMG_3579

Don’t ask be what kind of fish that was…..IDK…..but it was yummy yummy in my tummy!

Step 1: Rub Down the Fish

In a small bowl mix together all the dry spices.  I just guesstimate on the amounts, it will depend on how much fish you’re planning to make.  Also, you can adjust the blend depending on how spicy you want your spicy tacos to end up.  Around here, we like things hot!  The tacos will get topped with a cream sauce which will help cool things down, so keep that in mind when you prepping the spice rub.

Usually my fish is frozen, so thaw it out if necessary.  I lay it all out on a baking sheet and cut it into strips….like cutting steak for fajitas.  You can make the strips a bit large, they will shrink and flake apart once they are cooked, but more surface area means more flavor and faster cooking time.  Sprinkle the pieces generously with the spice rub, and then sorta press in in so it stays on.  I like to throw the pan in the fridge and let the fish hangout for a couple hours before I cook them.

Step 2: Prep the Slaw

I use broccoli slaw because it’s crunchier and I think it holds up against the hot fish better.  (It also seems to last longer in the fridge for leftovers.)  Dump the slaw into a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and add about 2 Tbs of the cilantro paste.  You could also use fresh, diced cilantro leaves….but I’m lazy.  Also, I use the cilantro paste for pineapple salsa….I made Pineapple Salsa….Solid First Effort…..which is amazeballs with or on top of the fish tacos.  Getting super summery and festive around here!  Stir up everything just to mix and stash in the fridge for later.

On this particular day I had leftover pineapple which I added directly into the slaw....this is also a good option!

On this particular day I used cabbage slaw with some leftover pineapple which I added directly into the slaw….this is also a good option!  I generally prefer broccoli, but the store was out. :/

Step 3: Make Cream Sauce

I whip this up in my “wanna be” magic bullet, but any blender or food processor type thing should work.  Wash and chop the jalapeno into chunks….you can de-seed or not.  It’s always hard to tell how spicy jalapenos are gonna be, but I tend to use the whole thing and I don’t really ever bother to de-seed them.  Add the avocado and about an equal amount of greek yogurt or sour cream.  Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, a squirt of cilantro paste if you want, and process until smooth.  Get ready to have your life changed….you’ll want to put this on everything!

Step 4: Make a Margarita

…..or take a tequila shot if your lazy!  Remember….we are channeling summertime funtime here!

Step 5: Cook the Fish

Drizzle some olive oil in a large fry pan and add your fish once the oil gets hot.  Don’t over crowd the fish or it won’t brown nicely.  Cook 3-5 mins and then flip.  Keep cooking until the fish starts to get flaky.  Remove to a plate and continue adding more fish to the pan until everything is cooked.

Not much to see here.

Not much to see here.

Step 6: Assemble and Chow Down

You can warm your tortillas or shells in the microwave for a couple seconds if you want.  I’m usually super HANGRY by this point and totally opt out of that step.  Layer in the fish, slaw, and cream sauce and prepare to have your world rocked.  If you want to opt out of the cream sauce they are also excellent with the pineapple salsa and slaw, you may want to adjust the spiciness since there won’t be any cream to cut it.

If you followed Step 4 correctly....you should have limes.  Feel free to get extra fancy and squeeze a bit over your fancy tacos!

If you followed Step 4 correctly….you should have limes. Feel free to get extra fancy and squeeze a bit over your fancy tacos!