Tag Archives: guacamole

Taco Salad

Tonight’s supper is an old favorite of Linton and Kate’s!  Taco Salad!  There is not really a recipe, it’s more about bringing together all your favorite ingredients – and they can vary greatly from cook to cook – or family to family!  Our taco salad is an easy fix, something to have on a rushed evening – when there was a basketball game or play practice to attend – not something that’s on the agenda any more!  Browned hamburger seasoned with chili and cumin is one of the hardest steps in making this salad!  Everything else is opening a can, shredding some cheese, washing the lettuce!  I do insist on homemade guacamole – which you can find in a previous blog.

The building of a taco salad is an art in our household – no two people make their salad alike!  All ingredients are placed in separate bowls and each person concocts their dinner according to their preferences.  Of course the correct way to fix a taco salad, my way!, is to start with a nice bed of salad greens.  Next comes my seasoned hamburger – then the cheese, so it can melt just a bit.  Tomatoes are next, then black olives and a bit of salsa.  If you need a recipe for salsa try my fresh tomato salsa.  Three dollops are the crowning piece de resistance – sour cream, refried beans and guacamole!  Served with tortilla chips it is so good – a burst of flavors in every bite!  And even though I have instructed my family in the proper way of making a taco salad, being the very independent souls that they are, filled with ingenuity and stubbornness, they cling to their design.  Kate makes small little piles of ingredients – with no lettuce.  Taco salad and no lettuce – I’m still pondering on that one!  Linton, bless his dear little heart, does not eat guacamole – or at least not in previous years.  He missed out on the best part!  Ritchey is not as particular of the order of his ingredients – dare I say he puts his hamburger on the plate first?  Ah, what can I do with them?  Just love them I suppose!  How do you like your taco salad?

And now after that bit of silliness – I was tagged by Linda at Savoring Every Bite for the 10 Question Quiz:

1.  Describe yourself in seven words. 

I love life with Ritchey, Linton, Kate!  That about sums it up – even though we are all alike in many ways, our differences make life very interesting!  We love Renaissance Faires, Tolkien conventions, food, music, the beach, books, gardening, being green, traveling and genealogy (I must admit this is mostly me!).

2.  What keeps you up at night?

Not a thing, once my head hits the pillow that’s it till morning!

3.  Who would you like to be?

No one but myself!  I love being who I am and where I am in my life.

4.  What are you wearing now?

Jeans, a shirt and sweater – it’s cold here in Kentucky!

5.  What scares you?

Nothing really.  I’m concerned about the economy and the unconcernedness of the world and people in general today.  I wish people cared more, were more passionate about what they felt and believed in, were more anxious to stand up for what is right.

6.  What is the best and worst things of blogging?

The best – I love all the people I’ve met, the new friends I’ve made.  I so enjoy reading your blogs – and have learned so much from you!  The worst – I think everyone has the same answer – the time it takes!  I write two genealogy blogs a day and a food blog a couple of times a week.  I wish there were more hours in a day!

7.  What was the last website you  looked at?

My genealogy website!

8.  If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?

To become a minimalist.

9.  Slankets, yes or no?

No.

10.  Tell us something about the person who tagged you.

Even though I am not Italian – unless you go very far back into history – Linda and I must be related.  Our way of cooking is so similar.  I’ve made so many of her recipes and they turn out lovely – the flavors and seasonings are just perfect!  Her photos are exquisite – you can almost eat from the pages of her blog!  I have learned so much from her!

 Who are you going to tag to join the quiz?

Karen – Back Road Journal

Cecilia – The Kitchens Garden

Greg and Katherina – Rufus’ Food and Spirits Guide

Caroline – Sweet Caroline’s Cooking

Joanne – Fifteen Spatulas

The Friday Night Special

A one-dish meal is always a good choice for Friday night.  I love to put a big dish in the oven, let the flavors marry, and create a special dinner – while giving me time to do a couple of chores – or write a blog!  Comfort was on the agenda again tonight.  Ritchey has worked especially hard this week – last night it was 10:30 when he walked through the door!  He needs to be pampered tonight.  Today has not been the rainy day of yesterday, but it was still damp and chilly – so I wanted to serve something with warmth and depth!  Sausage, pasta, beans, tomatoes and spices – oh, and cheese!  I can definitely build on that!

The green tomatoes give this dish a unique flavor – quite unlike a ripe tomato!

For Mother’s Day Linton, my son, gave me two journals – The Gourmet – one for each of us for our recipes, cooking notes, etc.  And when we are finished we will exchange them.  He is an excellent cook and I look forward to the day when he brings me his journal!

Friday Night Special

  • 1/2 pound sausage
  • 1 red onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 pound penne pasta, cooked to package directions
  • 1 – 15 ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • 1 – 15 ounce can dark red kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup black pitted olives
  • 2 handfuls chili powder
  • 1 handful cumin
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground thyme
  • 2 light green or beginning to turn tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • 8 ounces fresh mozzarella, shredded
  • sour cream
  • guacamole

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a small skillet brown sausage, breaking up into small pieces.  When brown add onion and saute five minutes.  Add garlic and saute another minute.  Remove from heat.

In a large bowl combine the sausage mixture, cooked pasta, canned tomatoes, kidney beans, black olives and spices.  Stir well to combine.  Add the green tomatoes and 2/3 of the mozzarella.  Mix well.

Pour into a large dish.  Top with remaining mozzarella.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes.  After 15 minutes lay a sheet of foil over your dish.  Remove foil for the last five minutes.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream and homemade guacamole.  Enjoy!

 

Guacamole – Ole!


Note by Phyllis Brown:  Guacamole is so easy to make!  And so good!  What a wonderful combination!  We use Food Should Taste Good brand all natural chips.  These were made with black, green and kalamata olives, garlic and sea salt.

Guacamole

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • sea salt
  • 1/2 small red onion, grated
  • 1 medium tomato, cut in chunks
  • tortilla chips

Cut avocados in half.  Remove seeds.  Mash.  Add lime juice, a couple of good pinches of sea salt, and grated onion.  Mix thoroughly.  Taste and adjust salt and lime juice.  Top with tomatoes and serve with tortilla chips.  Excellent with a margarita – or drink of your choice!  Enjoy!

The Mayan Cafe

Photo – The Mayan Cafe website!  Chef Herberto Rosendo “Bruce” Ucán Ake

THE MAYAN CAFE

If I had but one choice for dinner, it would be The Mayan Cafe.  Ritchey and I found this wonderful place quite by accident – while I was at a conference at the Galt House in Louisville.  We wanted lunch close by so I would make my afternoon classes.  After our first visit we came back every day to enjoy their stupendous food!  Not only is the food very, very good – it is not your every day, run of the mill cuisine.  If you love to eat – and enjoy trying something new – this is the place to come!  On top of that, they use local, sustainably-farmed ingredients!

We celebrated Linton’s birthday at The Mayan Cafe!  First was their Guacamole and Totopos.  This is the way to make guacamole!  What a beginning!  Then on to the entrees!

I had the vegetable plate – Tok-Sel Lima Beans – an ancient Mayan recipe – and my favorite!  Corn cakes, fried plantains and grilled cactus.  Notice the pickled red onions – to die for!  I also had a carrot and ginger bisque with goat cheese and roasted pumpkin seeds.

Ritchey had salmon in a roasted garlic ciutiachoche cream sauce, served with Tok-Sel Lima Beans and rice.  He also had a bowl of seafood bisque – made with salmon, crawfish and whitefish.

The birthday boy had scallops in a salsa negro sauce with fried plantains and a yucca cake.  Notice the golden-brown sear on the scallops!

Kate had shrimp in a pumpkin sauce with grilled cactus and rice.  All the dishes tasted great and were presented beautifully!

We were full and very happy people!  Then we had dessert!  Linton and Kate had a Fried Banana Churro rolled in honey and pistachios, with a Mexican chocolate sauce and banana ice cream!  Ritchey and I shared a Coconut-Mango Cheesecake – extremely good – the flavors just burst in your mouth.  It is the best cheesecake!

When you are in Louisville, visit The Mayan Cafe – you will find your restaurant!