Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Back to Taqueria Tech

So back to my birthday taco post.  So what would Negra Modelo and Coca Cola have to do with taco's, other than drinking them with your taco? 

Beef taco's

My daughter's friend hates her birthday already, at the age of 12 she's already hating her birthday.  That's just not right.  I'm 44 going on 45 and I still love my birthday!  A 12 year old should most definitely like her birthday, especially since she is now one more year closer to being a teenager.  When I was 11 turning 12, I could not wait for my next birthday because I would officially be a teenager. 

So I had to do a little something to make her birthday special. This girl LOVES taco's.  So a few days before her birthday my daughter and I set up a little special taco birthday dinner for her friend.  Me being who I am, I could not bring myself to do the silly hard shell, hamburger cooked with packaged taco spice and grated cheddar cheese tacos.  If it was coming from me, it had to be the real deal.  So I pulled out my trusty Taqueria Tech recipe collection and made homemade shredded beef tacos. 
My homemade pickled Mexican Vegies
The beef boil
Mexican Rice
Sides for the tacos
And the taco dinner!
Now for the recipes:
Shredded Beef:
2 1/2 lbs rump or any other beef cut
6 oz dark Mexican beer
1 11 1/2 oz jar of hot Mexican veggies - I used my homemade pickled Mexican veggies (verduras escabeche) with 1/2 cup of the pickling liquid
3 or 4 dried pasilla chilies
1 peeled orange
1/2 tablespoon California chili powder
1/8 tsp cumin
1/8 tsp Mexican Oregano
4 or more cursed garlic cloves

Use fatty meat - fat equals flavor.  Prepare the chilies by roasting them on an open flame until they just begin to brown, then soak them, completely covered in hot water until slightly pliable, about 20 minutes.  Slit them down one side, rinse out the seeds, and lay them flat open on a paper towel.  
Cut the beef into quarters and put all ingredients in a large pot and stir.  Add enough beer or water to just barely cover the surface of the meat.  lay the soft chilies over the top of the meat chunks and bring to a rapid boil.  Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer for 2 hours.  

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Remove the cooked meat and place it on a large cookie sheet, reserving the liquid and veggies.  With two forks shred the meat and arrange it on the sheet so it will bake evenly.  Ladle some of the cooking liquid onto the tray and place it in the oven.  Bake the meat, turning once, for about half an hour.  Make sure it doesn't burn.  

Strain and reserve the cooking liquid from the veggies.  Remove the orange and peppers.  Puree the veggies with a bit of the liquid.  Save half for something else like enchilada sauce.  When the meat is deep brown, return it to the puree mixture and cook it down until it's almost dry.  Keep some of the juice so the meat will be easier to reheat later.  Keep the beef covered in a warm oven until ready to use for tacos.  

Taqueria Beans from canned refrieds:

1 30 oz can of "spicy" refried beans.
1 sliced onion
2 or 3 garlic cloves
2 to 3 tablespoons lard
1 small package cream cheese
1 medium handful of jack or cheddar cheese - or Mexican cheese
canned green chilies or minced jalapenos.

Prepare the lard by melting it in a large pan. Lightly saute' the sliced onion and garlic cloves.  The plan is to flavor the lard only.  Don't let the garlic and onion brown.  Remove them and place the canned beans and their liquid in the hot lard.  Be careful not to splatter the hot lard on yourself.  Add the chilies or jalapeno's, unless you want the beans mild.  Add the cream cheese and grated cheese, turn on medium heat and stir until all is melted and mixed together.  

Arroz a la Mexicana (Mexican rice)

1 cup rice
1/3 cup chopped white onions
2 to 3 cloves minced garlic
1/4 to 1/2 tablespoon pasilla or New Mexico chili powder
2 peeled, seeded finely chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup frozen peas
2 tablespoons chopped pimiento
1/3 cup peanut oil
1 1/2 cups chicken broth

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and cook the rice until golden.  About 10 minutes. Drain oil from the rice.  Add the onion, garlic, cumin, and the chili powder and saute', stirring continually for about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock, peas, pimiento, and tomatoes.  Cook covered until liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes.  

Sides for the taco's - salsa, sour cream, avocado, shredded cabbage, sliced radishes, crumbled Mexican cheese or shredded cheddar, and limes.  

Along with this I served sliced cucumbers with sliced lemons and kosher salt.  

To drink?  Negra Modelo and Mexican Coca Cola

And there is one yummy Taco Birthday party! 


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Taqueria Tech

I've been meaning to post about my little taco fest I served up for one of my daughter's bff's a while back.  Every day life takes over and I have yet to do it.  It's too late for me to get it posted tonight, once again - but damnit I'm going to post something - so here is a teaser.....
What - other then drinking - could these two things have to do with tacos?  I'll give you 3 guesses until tomorrow night - when I can hopefully get back here and tell you the answer. 

Monday, February 6, 2012

Getting Happy

How do you practice self-acceptance and find unconditional love for yourself? How does practicing love first help you attract more love and happiness in your life?

Self-acceptance is something that has never come easy to me. I have spent years trying to accept myself through the eyes of others. I am finally learning to accept myself on my own terms. The first thing I needed to do was to leave my marriage. A marriage that was an emotionally abusive one and I needed to start working my way through healing from that. That took some therapy, eliminating poisonous relationships and building healthy ones, and leaning on a special person to get me through the initial hell. Going through that process has taught me to learn to ask for help, and it has shown me who I can trust and who I can’t. Finding and building a support system gave me the safety net I needed to heal and get my strength back. I finally started to learn to give myself permission to do things for myself. Things like taking time to meditate and do yoga, or sit and write out my thoughts and feelings in my journal.

In learning to give myself that time I got myself back into a regular exercise routine, and that in itself – good strenuous exercise – gave me so much confidence. The endorphins lifted my mood and helped me to get through the tough days with a smile. The more I put into my workouts, the stronger I became physically and the more confident I became emotionally. The exercise was huge in turning my attitude around. My fear subsided, my desire to enjoy life grew, and my love for myself came back. And this wasn’t about losing weight or looking better in the mirror – this was just all about feeling better, physically and mentally.

As my attitude improved, my situation at work improved. The people in my life seemed to be more positive and my children are happier. My new love for myself has not only attracted a better situation at work and better friends, but it has also brought a new love into my life, which would not have happened without me finally learning to accept and love myself.

Please visit the Main Post on And be sure to sign up for the Life Well Lived Sweepstakes.