Saturday, May 26, 2012

Tacos and Smoothies

I've been thinking lately, and I might want to start another blog dedicated entirely to taco and smoothie recipes. Every morning I make a smoothie for breakfast and, I must say, I make some pretty kickass smoothies. I'm also thoroughly obsessed with tacos. No, I don't mean cheap-ass disgusting Taco Bell "tacos" (in quotation marks because they're really not tacos at all), I mean homemade, fresh, healthy, AWESOME tacos. Shrimp tacos, chicken tacos, fish tacos, veggie tacos, black bean/sweet potato tacos, tacos with mango salsa, tacos with roasted red peppers and habanero sauce... (whisper) tacos...
 Last night's dinner was spinach and wild shrimp in corn tortillas (admittedly store bought, I haven't made my own tortillas yet)- scrumptious. Not exactly a taco, but pretty much a taco. It was inspired by the spinach shrimp- umm- platter? from Rancho Viejo, my favorite of their meal options (madre's too). They serve it with refried beans, fancy rice, and warm tortillas. We served our version with black beans and oven-warmed tortillas. It is important to warm your tortillas or they're just fally-aparty and not good. The best and easiest way is to just stick 'em on a dry pan on the stove right before serving. Next time, I think it would be really good served with wild rice and quinoa with "Spanish rice" sort of seasoning. And some mushrooms because my all-time favorite combination is spinach, shrimp, and mushrooms. So, so good.
My smoothie this morning consisted of an avocado (it was kind of old, sad face), mango, kale (don't make that face), orange juice, coconut milk, almond milk, a few blueberries, two strawberries, and half an over-ripe banana, with a handful of ice. All blended up and wondrous. Let's pretend my smoothie looked like this (it didn't).
Last night before bed I stuck a cinnamon stick in a glass of hazelnut milk, coconut milk, and almond milk, with a bit of ground nutmeg, ginger, and cloves. So this afternoon, I decided to blend THAT up with the remaining half a banana and some ice. It was like a banana-horchata milkshake. Yum:) This pic is from another blog, the recipe is similar, so I thought I'd use it as a visual aid. If you want a real recipe, click on the pic. It's not exactly like my recipe, though. I soaked a cinnamon stick which makes me awesome. And more authentic. But, hey...

Back to tacos. I am so obnoxiously in love with Mexican food. If you've read this post of mine, you may already have an idea. I would marry Mexican food if I could. And then I'd cheat on it... with more Mexican food. And it's the healthy, refreshing, light-tasting, easy-to-digest, spicy as HELL Mexican food I love the best. Real, authentic, tomato-and-pepper-filled South-of-the-border tastiness. I'm not such a big fan of Americanized Mexican food. But I do love my tacos to be a little bit out there, overstepping the bounds of the classic taco (which, don't get me wrong, I love as well). I would LOVE to dedicate some time this summer to taco experiments. Maybe I will. I could make different tacos every day. See what I come up with. But I am trying to reduce the amount of corn in my diet, so I'm going to make quinoa tortillas
 I'll make some extra and bake them in wedges to make quinoa tortilla chips (this link explains how to bake your own chips from regular corn tortillas, if you want to make it with quinoa tortillas it's the same process. This recipe calls for canola oil, but I'd urge you to use olive oil instead as it's infinitely healthier) to feed my salsa addiction while I avoid corn. Corn makes up more than 60% of the standard American diet. Can you believe that?? That's so much corn! They add it to everything and feed it to cows and chickens and whatnot, so even when you're not eating it directly... odds are you're still eating it. I try to eat everything from scratch, so my corn intake should be just fine, but it's a good idea to take a little break sometimes.Anyway, wouldn't it be awesome to make your own cilantro-lime flavored tortilla chips from scratch? It would just be so much more satisfying!
Here's the REAL Mexican rice horchata recipe I use (totally different from my cheater banana horchata- which isn't really much like horchata at all. It may seem a little daunting- soaking, blending, and draining the rice- but it's not that hard and WELL worth the effort). And here's a Spanish horchata de chufas recipe. Horchata de coco, almond horchata (with strawberries). Cantaloupe-basil agua fresca, honeydew-berry agua fresca, mango agua fresca. Agua Fresca is like a Central American fruit punch, but it's refreshing and healthy and exciting!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Willa Monday style OR "Beauty cannot be eaten with a spoon"

 So, today I'm going to talk about Willa Monday- a character on The Finder. The very first time I saw this show (the short mini-pilot in a Bones episode) I liked the overall idea. It's cool: this brain-damaged guy can find stuff because he "follows the vibrations" of the Earth, I guess. Then when the show finally came out to stand on its own, I totally fell girl-crush hard for Willa Monday- a teenage American Gypsy parolee who lives in a trailer and works in a bar owned by Walter (aka: the guy who finds stuff). Sometimes I feel like the show is a little heavy in Gypsy stereotypes, but I think it manages to do it somehow inoffensively. Willa is a badass Romani girl with a chip on her shoulder and an awesome sense of style.

I am in love with her messy braided hair styles and eclectic ("bohemian" though I hate to say it) tops and jewelry. She also wears these very utilitarian boots and crochet berets. I weirdly relate to her, too. I'm not a juvenile delinquent or anything, but I can relate to a part-Romani girl who enjoys braids more than the average person.

When I had long hair I was always experimenting with crazy braids. I'd sit in class and be French braiding my hair upside-down and putting fishtails and twists and whatnot. I chopped my LONG hair to my shoulders for its health, but I still like to braid it, just not as complex as my old braids.
 This is a waterfall braid. I LOVE these braids! Here is a tutorial. I do these on either side of my head. It's one of the few complicated braids I can still do with my hair shorter. When it's long again I'll do it like the picture. I don't want to seem like I don't like my hair short, I do!
Robin Calhoun was a pro surfer in the 60s and 70s. She inspires me immensely, especially this picture. Anyway, the point is: I like my hair short because it reminds me of awesome female pro surfers.
 But I'd also love to have it long again, because then I could do my hair like a cool fictitious bar-working Gypsy girl with awesome shirts.
   I have this shirt in two colors: ivory and turquoise.
 Willa's also got loads of great jewelry.
 Oh yeah, and in case you're wondering, "Beauty cannot be eaten with a spoon" is an old Romani (Gypsy) proverb, according to "". I don't know what it means but I like it.

This hat is from the Etsy shop Softspoken. Click on the picture to go to the shop.
 This ^ is the life I want, exactly.
I'd better stop. I could just keep going! 


Today is my brother's birthday- he's 21 today!... It's also my sister's birthday! They aren't twins, they just happened to both be born on May 9, different years. I'm not sure how my sister is celebrating, but we're having a party for my brother. I made carrot cake cupcakes and horchata. I just wanted to stop by and share the horchata recipe!
And if you don't know what horchata is, here's the wikipedia page.
Hope it's sunny wherever you are!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Cinco De Mayo 2012

 Cinco de Mayo (the 5th of May, of course) is not Mexican Independence Day.
 It's the celebration of 4,000 ragtag Mexican soldiers kicking the shit out of 8,000 well-trained French soldiers. It's also significant because it was the very last time a European force invaded the Americas. Not counting the continuing occupation by the descendants of European colonists, but that's another story for another day.
 I haven't had a Jarritos in a hella long time. It sounds really good today though. In case you aren't familiar with them, Jarritos are lovely, colorful Mexican fruit-flavored soda beverages.
 I'm going to have to make these quesadillas soon, they look so good! Tonight we're having Chile Rellenos! If I couldn't have Mexican food, I would die. I might move to Mexico, for the sole reason that "Mexican food" would then be simply "food". I would be so happy if all food were Mexican food. If I could only eat one kind of food for the rest of my life... it would be Mexican food. Are you getting how much I love and adore it?
I love this taco trailer (I found the pic on Google, I've never been here). There are a lot of taco trailers here in Idaho. I'm not sure why, we don't really have a lot of diversity. But Idahoans sure do love Mexican food. And Mexican beer. And margaritas. 
Mmmm, Happy Cinco de Mayo everybody!!
(PS: Interestingly enough Cinco de Mayo is celebrated most heavily in the US, and only regionally in Mexico. Also, people in the Mediterranean drink Mexican beer on May 5th and Australia celebrates Latin American culture. There are Cinco de Mayo air guitar competitions in the Caribbean and Cinco de Mayo skydiving in Canada!)