Beef Tacos with Radish and Avocado

I know Taco Tuesday is all the rage and I love alliterations more than the average bear but today it’s Taco Monday. Literally, we’re meeting friends out for Mexican food tonight.

Robert and I eat a lot of Mexican. It is hands down our go to when we want to eat out during the work week. It’s fast, cheap and delicious. Have you ever noticed how all cheap Mexican restaurants have the same menu. And I don’t just mean in the sense that the food is all the same, although that is pretty accurate too. I think most Mexican dishes are the same 10 ingredients just rearranged differently, but I mean they literally have the EXACT same menus. The dishes are called the same thing, the pictures are the same, they even have the same typos! The only change is the name of the restaurant on the front. I’ve noticed this in TN too but we frequent three Mexican restaurants in Hilton Head/Bluffton and they all have the exact same menu, this amuses me to no end every time we eat. Where do these menus come from? Is there a company who makes generic Mexican food menus and literally every restaurant at a certain price point uses them? When you open a Mexican restaurant do you just order the menus first and then decide your cooks will make whatever is on them? Such a mystery.

Taco Ingredients

As much as we love to go out for Mexican, I rarely make anything Mexican at home. That changed a few weeks ago when I discovered the unique and tasty pairing that is radish, avocado and ground beef. I know, I know, radishes? Sounds so weird but tastes oh so right, trust me. You may be wondering how I stumbled upon this deliciousness and of course I want to give credit where credit is due and the answer to that is Hello Fresh.

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Roasted Carrot Chip Nachos

Happy Thursday! Or for many of us who have the luxury of Good Friday off work tomorrow, Happy Friday! Aren’t long weekends just the best? My best friend from home is coming into town for the weekend and I couldn’t be more excited! Hilton Head is a pretty fun place to be when the weather is nice (which it’s predicted to be!) and visitors always give me an excuse to get out and about and be a tourist in my own city. It’s easy to take the fun shops, great restaurants and most of all, the BEACH for granted when you live here, so a fun visitor in town is a great reminder for me to appreciate this lovely resort island I call home Smile Can’t wait for you to get here Caite!

Caite & I last June 🙂

Robert and I have had A LOT going on the last few weeks so I have done a lot of batch cooking. This week we’ve had several repeat dinners of salads topped with pulled rotisserie chicken (love these in a pinch) and THIS delicious BBQ chicken chili from one of my favorite food blogs. I highly recommend this recipe as it’s both easy and so tasty in a very unique way. It’s different from any other chili recipe I’ve ever tried and is full of flavor, so if you are a chicken chili chick (hellloooo alliteration) like me, give it a go!

Since I haven’t been making anything especially unique this week, I’m sharing a recipe I made a few weeks back that got the thumbs up from Robert. I have been on a roasted carrot kick for a while now. Roasting is not only one of the easier ways to prepare vegetables (besides boiling…barf) but it also really elevates the flavor. Roasting is by and large my favorite way to eat carrots and has given me a totally new appreciation for the little orange guys. Roasting made my view of carrots go from the sad, raw alternative to pretzels/chips on the dip platter, to basically akin to french fries. Talk about a 180.

Roasted Carrots 2

At first, I was peeling and cutting up the big carrots, then I wised up and realized that although less cost effective, buying the pre-cut veggies was a HUGE time saver. Carrots in particular come in about 6 different shapes, any of which are great to roast, except maybe the shredded ones. I found that a bag of the pre-cut crinkled carrot chips was the perfect amount for Robert and I to share as a side, and also the perfect shape to dunk into yummy dips like homemade ranch or chimi churri, or ketchup if you’re Robert and you get down like that. Eating these carrots as “chips” gave me the bright idea to substitute them for actual chips and prepare some nachos. Robert and I both love Mexican food and typically eat it at least once a week so I was sure this would be a winner, and as usual, I was right Smile

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Zucchini Noodles and Meatballs

Apologies in advance for the pictures in this post. Photography is NOT one of my strengths but these are probably worse than usual. Then again, how great can pictures of a kitchen appliance and vegetable ribbons really be? If your answer is “way better than those!” I know, kindly keep it to yourself please and thank you.

On top of being a bad photographer, I have also not been a very good blogger lately. Life has been insanely busy and I just haven’t had the time to devote to sitting down and writing a post. This makes me sad because I really enjoy writing this little blog. In my perfect world the day would be a few hours longer (and I would have a little more energy, a lot more crafting prowess, a never ending supply of perfectly ripe avocados AND be a professional photographer). But alas, there are only 24 hours in a day which means life often takes precedence. Sometimes I guess you have to be a bad blogger to be a good wife/friend/employee/puppy-mommy Smile.

So, I won’t beat myself up about it, and instead I’ll just vow to try to devote more time to my blog when I can, but not at the expense of all the fun (and some not so fun) life things I’ve been doing lately…like planning a baby shower and wedding shower for sweet friends, furniture shopping (yay), playing with my favorite furball, and working on some very exciting and fulfilling personal projects (more on those laterWinking smile).

Favorite Furball

So remember these meatballs from last week? They have become a staple at my house during this busy time. Making diverse, healthy dinners for Robert and I is a priority for me. Since time is so limited, I am typically a mono-eater during both breakfast and lunch during the week. Yes, that is a real word. I read it in a food (or maybe fitness?) magazine years ago and it stuck with me at the time because it reminded me so much of Robert. A mono eater eats the same thing (or same type of food) regularly with little to no variation. Before I started packing his lunches for him, Robert would eat the exact same sub from Subway, for lunch. When we were dating I thought this was the most bizarre habit around, how could you go into a restaurant every day and never want to try something different? I mean he literally ate the exact same sub with the exact same toppings EVERY DAY! Ham, American cheese, black olives and spinach with mustard, oil and vinegar. I think those ingredients will be engraved onto my brain until the day I die. His excuse was always that he was so busy during the work day and had so little time for lunch, that it was just easier and faster to order the same thing. Robert’s mono-eating became kind of a running joke between us and our friends but if I’m being totally honest, I have to take back all the fun I poked at him, because either he’s rubbed off on me or I’ve turned into a major creature of habit in my old age because the mono-eater club now officially has it’s second member.

Zoodles and Meatballs

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Italian Sausage & Beef Meatballs

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! I am excited to have the day off from work to write, cook, catch up on chores and perhaps run a few errands. Before my trip to the gym this morning I took a few minutes to read a few articles and reflect on the day. I love reading all of Dr. King’s quotes that circulate the internet this time of year. What an eloquent, articulate and truly inspirational human being. This morning I found an article that listed some of Dr. King’s lesser known quotes, and I found this one particularly meaningful,

“ True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring”.

This quote resonates with me on many levels right now, both personally, professionally and even with memories of our recent trip to San Francisco where despite the beautiful landscapes, bright tourist attractions and thriving city life, we encountered SO many homeless individuals. Several times, I caught myself thinking, Wow, what can they do to help these people? Why don’t they seem to be doing more? And then, as we explored the city I would see the lines of men, women and children winding around blocks to get into the shelters and think, How do you fix a problem this big?

I think Dr. King was trying to express that putting a band aid on a problem is not enough, and to be truly compassionate, you must consider what you can do to eliminate the problem from the ground up. I think about this often at work as I encounter children with ever widening gaps in their knowledge. Do I use the quick fix and teach them the meaning of an unknown word? Or try something a bit more difficult and instead teach them how to use a dictionary? Or better still, do I try to teach them the importance of reading something new each day to continually expand both their vocabulary and their minds? This type of thinking is not the easy route and is definitely the road less traveled, but it is necessary to fix the broken parts of our education system, and our society as a whole.

So there is my 2 cents Smile In exchange for reading I will also provide you with a yummy, easy and very versatile meatball recipe. And a close up picture of my dog looking rather forlorn. You’re welcome.

 Ren 3

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