cinco de mayo 2016.

holaaaaa mis amigos!

its cinco de mayo. i just love this day mucho.

i know its become a crazy americanized holiday these days, but i just like to think of it as a celebration of how wonderful mexican food is. haha. gooooooo mehicoooo.

i felt the need to do something else fun for my cinco de mayo spread again since i went a bit kooky for it last year, too.

i made homemade tortillas, chimichurri (not very mexican, but oh so good on tacos), mango grapefruit salsa, various taco combinations, black bean & white cheddar taquitos, guacamole, and grilled corn with white cheez, cilantro, lime & cayenne. OLÉ!!

the black bean and sharp white chedda taquitos are just simple little things that i don't feel require their own blog post... here's how i made them:

pro tip: use some smashed beans on the very edge as a sort of glue to hold the tortilla in rolled up position. slowly place each taquito in 1/2 inch of medium-high heated vegetable oil in a skillet. let brown, and flip once to fry and brown the other side. remove and let drain on paper towel covered cooling rack.

THEN you scarf.  aah the sandlot. how i love thee and all your nostalgia. and s'mores. summer is coming!!!!!!!!

ps. i had my first s'more of the year this week. thats how you really know summer is nigh. also have you ever made a s'more with the chocolate graham crackers?? scrumptious!

i filled the inside with just beans and cheese because i prefer toppings (like salsa, greek yogurt or sour cream, guac, etc.) to be cold on top. btw, we exclusively use plain greek yogurt as our sour cream agent anymore. i like the thick texture and tart creamyness. and plain greek yog is much more versatile to have around anyway.

i brought my mango grapefruit salsa to our cinco de mayo potluck at work today. here's some feedback that i got:

"this would be good on a pork chop!"

"your salsa is amazing!"

"this salsa is just the perfect refreshing summer salsa. and not too spicy!"

why thanks, people! i would agree with pete on the bitterness of the grapefruit now that i've eaten it on two separate occasions. be sure to get a nice ripe SWEET pink grapefruit for it.

grilled corn is a great thing to have around for tacos, in salads, with everyyyyythinggg during the summer :) we grill up a bunch of ears, cut it off the cob and store in the fridge to have on hand for all the eats.

normally i shy far far from taking any food photos in bright uneven sunlight like so ^^^ but for cinco i make exception! the sun is shining and the guac is flowing!

lalalala la bambaaa. livin la vida locaaaaaa. adios!



homemade tortillas & tacos & guac, oh my!

!!!!!!!!!  i don't have much to say here except i love tacos, i could eat tacos everyday, and now i have all the equipment to make handmade tortillas at home. todos los dias. if i so desire. ole!

(ps. we are going to mexico soon and i need to learn español in a hurry. )

thank you to my sweetie petey pablo for supplying me with all the things i need these past two christmases to make homemade tortillas! a cast iron tortilla press, a flat cast iron skillet, taco racks, and a tortilla warmer.  also a legit molcajete from last christmas for my signature guacamole.  good times ahead. muchas gracias, pedro.

in the red le creuset cocotte is a spicy pineapple salsa that i will share later :) this week we made tacos with spam, spicy pineapple salsa, and cilantro and they were sewwww gooood (especially with homemade tortillas).  if you're a spam skeptic like i was for many moons, puhlease give it a try.  grill it if possible.  "it tastes like ham, and then it tastes like bacon!" - my tagline at every bbq in the last 7 years where pete would be grilling up spam and people would inevitably turn their noses up at it. we've converted many a'friend. heEheHHHH. spaaaaaam. who knew.

for the sake of this first homemade tortilla taco fiesta, i just went with simple veggie tacos with black beans and salsa as the oomph of the tacos.  just simmer your favorite salsa in a pan for about ten minutes with a can of black beans. i love this fresh salsa from reser's.  the texture and flavor come together so deliciously, and it's so simple.  and easy to keep as leftovers and reheat when needed.

and avocado creme!

homemade tortillas are far superior to any store bought tortillas, in my opinion. the best store bought tortillas are these ones, though! si si!

top these black bean & salsa tacos with avocado creme, jalapeño or chile slices, radish slices, a crumbly white cheese like cojita, cilantro, y lime! 

ps. i am aware that the opposite side of the taco racks hold 3 tacos. i just wanted 2 and 2, amigo!

Homemade Tortillas

  • 1 cup masa harina (corn flour for tortillas & tamales)
  • 3/4 cup warm water (+ 2 TB if the dough is too dry)
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine the ingredients in a bowl and gently knead until a dough forms and is not sticky.  Add extra water or masa depending if the dough is too dry or too sticky.  Form dough balls about the size of a golf ball.  Let sit in a bowl covered by a warm wash cloth if you aren't pressing the tortillas right away.

Set a piece of plastic wrap on each side of your tortilla press.  Place a ball of dough in the center, close the top, and press the lever down firmly.  Press less firmly if you want a little bit thicker tortilla. Open the press, and carefully peel the tortilla off the side of the plastic wrap that it is stuck to - gently pass the tortilla from hand to hand to keep it from sticking.  Gently place it onto a cast iron skillet that has been lightly greased or sprayed with cooking spray and heated to medium. Cook the tortilla about 30 seconds, and flip with a spatula or with your fingers if you're legit. Let cook another 30 seconds, place the tortilla in a tin foil lined tortilla warmer (as shown in the photos).  Repeat until you have a nice little stack of tortillas ready for the taco fixins. 

Avocado Creme

  • 1/2 a large avocado, or 1 medium avocado
  • juice of half a lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 -2 TB cream, or water (if the avocado creme is too thick)

Place all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth and creamy!


Assemble tacos as you prefer! The combinations are infinite.

tacos, i love youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu. meet you in mehico.  mwah.