This post does not contain mind-bogglingly wonderful photography, but I had to share, despite the iPhone pictures. A couple weeks ago, Wheat was craving tacos. Tacos just aren’t my thing unless I’m in the right mood. But, I was in the mood for a salad, and I remembered this chopped mexican salad that Natalie over at Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers share a while back. We killed two birds with one stone: I had salad, and Wheat put his salad into taco shells. ;)
– 1 Head Romain, Chopped
– 2 tomatoes, diced
– 2 jalapeños, chopped finely
– a few green onions, sliced thinly
– 1 avocado, diced
– 2 ears of corn, grilled and cut from the cob
– 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
– Crumbled Cotija Cheese, if you can find it – I used shredded “Mexican blend” cheese from a bag
– 1 pound lean ground beef
– 1 packet taco seasoning
– sour cream
Chop lettuce, place in a large serving bowl and top with the tomatoes, jalapeños, green onions, avocado, corn, pinto beans, and cheese. Toss together and set aside. Cook the ground beef, drain, and add taco seasoning + water (or cook according to taco seasoning packet directions). Top the salad with ground beef and garnish with salsa and sour cream. Squeeze limes over the top and serve with limes as garnish, for extra squeezin’.
I think this salad is improved with the zing of citrus, so if you don’t have limes, improvise with a salad dressing of lemon juice and olive oil or something along those lines. Or just eat it with salsa as your dressing. It’s great that way, too!
Ya know how right before you do a lot of cooking for a big holiday, all you really want to eat or cook is really easy food? Well, in the spirit of not making Thanksgiving food, I’m going to share with y’all what we ate this past week.
Last week I ran across this post on making homemade Big Macs over on Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers (Congratulations on the new baby, Natalie!) and our supper-fate was sealed. I very, very rarely succumb to the temptation of fast food. And before you say it, Zaxby’s isn’t “fast food.” It’s “quick, casual dining.” At least, that’s what former chicken-slinger Wheat tells me. ;) But what could be so bad about a homemade Big Mac?
Nothing. Nothing at all. They are delicious! They are the anti-Thanksgiving food.
You can go the super easy route and use Thousand Island dressing as the Big Mac Special Sauce, or you can go all out and make it from “scratch.” I chose the latter, naturally, and because I’m insane, I doubled the recipe. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I swear I lived through the Great Depression in a former life because I always live in a state of fear that we might run out of food (hence my obsession with canning/pickling/jamming/jarring/freezing/makingfoodaheadoftime). So of course, for a family of two, I would need to double the recipe for Big Mac Special Sauce. Obvi.
– 1/2 cup mayo (Duke’s, duh)
– 2 tablespoons French Dressing
– 4 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
– 1 tablespoon finely minced onion
– 1 teaspoon white vinegar
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– 1/8 teaspoon pepper
Mix it up and top yo burgers.
And speaking of burgers…
Patty your ground beef very thinly. Wheat cooked ours on a flat top griddle, but the grill would have been just fine. Top with a slice of American cheese while hot, then layer pickles, lettuce, tomato and Special Sauce on a sesame seed bun. SO GOOD.
Side note: I cannot eat a McDonald’s hamburger or make one at home without laughing. When we were really young, my little sister (who was very, very little at the time) used to think that the minced onions at McD’s were rice. She would stone-cold order her Happy Meal hamburger “with no rice.” I can still remember the looks on the cashier’s faces! My mom would always have to explain what she meant, and usually my sister would argue that it indeed was RICE on that burger. And Heaven forbid they mess it up and give her rice on her hamburger. Still cracks me up just thinking about it! So, be sure to mince your onions up very finely until they look like rice. Because I like my McDonald’s hamburgers to have rice on them. ;)
Wheat insisted on having some sort of fried potato with our Big Macs, and I don’t guess I can blame him. It is the American way.
– 1 cup sugar
– 1 teaspoon salt
– 2/3 cup vegetable oil
– 1 teaspoon dry mustard
– 1 teaspoon celery seed
– 1 cup cider vinegar
– 1 bag broccoli slaw
– 1/2 bag of shredded carrots
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine everything except the carrots and broccoli slaw and bring to a boil. Simmer, stirring, until sugar is dissolved; pour over vegetables and toss well. Cover and refrigerate until thoroughly chilled. You can use this dressing over any kind of slaw you’d like, and it’s awesome as a side or as a topper for a pulled pork sandwich.
We also had this slaw multiple times over the course of last week with BLTs. It holds up really well since broccoli is pretty sturdy, which is great for quick week day meals.
And finally, beginning tonight I’ll be cooking up a storm and the craziness of the Holiday season will be upon us. We will have friends staying with us, multiple holiday gatherings, and then making a trip to see my family on Saturday. I can’t wait for it all to get started! I’m making pumpkin and pecan pies, an experimental version of an eggnog pound cake (get ready, guinea pigs at my house tonight!), oyster dressing, and collard greens.
And to start a Thanksgiving debate: what will be on your table tomorrow? “Stuffing” or “Dressing?”
Stuffing image from Kitchen Simplicity (http://kitchensimplicity.com/simplified-stuffing/) and Dressing image from Just A Pinch Recipes (http://www.justapinch.com/recipes/southern-style-cornbread-dressing.html)
I feel very passionately that Stuffing pales in comparison to Dressing, and that they are, in fact, two very different dishes, even if neither of them ever see the inside of a bird. Many people claim it’s simply a difference in nomenclature, with it being called “stuffing” north of the Mason-Dixon and “dressing” below the line. To me, “stuffing” involves hunks of bread and seasonings, while “dressing” is a much heavier dish made with crumbled cornbread (usually) that could masquerade as a casserole with a smoother texture.
And now that I’ve said “stuffing” a hundred times, it sounds super weird. Like when you say “pajama” like 20 times and then it doesn’t even sound like a word anymore. But that’s neither here nor there.
So, which is? Stuffing or Dressing? I’d love for you to weigh in on the debate about what will be on your plate!
And PS: head over to Aimee’s blog to see her Favorite Things and find out what she is adding to the Bloggers’ Favorite Things Giveaway! Things are starting to get really exciting!