Tacos for Sunday Lunch

Used the rest of those first cherry tomatoes in a pico de gallo.  The taco base is refried beans and chicken, I finished mine out with the pico, chopped lettuce, queso fresco, and my new favorite taco sauce.  I like the red, Mrs J goes for the green.

Busy Day and Taco Dinner

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A couple of times a month I put together a bunch of treats for Bixby and pop them into the freezer. Today I filled old ribeye bones with peanut butter, halved a bunch of apples and froze them for nice treats on hot days.

I also made his favorite Frozen Yogurt Pupsicles and Doggy Peanut Butter-Pumpkin Biscuits (recipes here – with lots of Bixby pics).

It was a long work day of running around to clients and arguing with vendors. Back at my newly relocated office (LOL) I did a bit of work before calling it a day. I was going to have a salad dinner, but then looked around and wonder of wonders, I had all the ingredients for tacos. So that’s what I made, although they were not as picturesque as JeffreyW’s above. Instead of store bought taco seasoning, I use homemade Fajita Seasoning, recipe here. Shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, fresh salsa and shredded cheddar  to top off the ground beef in crispy shells.

Tomorrow I’m taking a friend out to a Tapas and Brew Bar, I’m excited, the menu looks great. I’ll let you know how it is  Until then…..



Thursday Night Menu: Tropical Nights Edition

Had a little trouble deciding what to post tonight. We’ve been pretty busy at work and we are all a bit tired, when I asked the guys what I should post, ordering pizza instead of cooking won out.

I pulled three different menus before I decided on a little taste of Sanibel Island. I like the fresh flavors in this menu and I really enjoy tuna and swordfish.

The Butter Pecan Turtle Bars are as decadent as they sound, and a breeze to make.

On the board tonight:

  1. Fish Tacos
  2. Black Bean Tropical Salad
  3. Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

Fish Tacos

  • 1 large mango, peeled & chopped
  • ½ large tomato, chopped
  • 1 small cucumber, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • 8 taco size flour tortillas
  • 1 lb halibut, swordfish or tuna, 1” thick
  • ½ tsp Jamaican jerk seasoning
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce

bowl, foil, platter

Combine mango, tomato, cucumber, cilantro, green onion, jalapeno in bowl. Toss with 1 tbsp limejuice and set aside.  Wrap tortillas in foil and warm in the oven or on the grill (keep away from coals) Drizzle remaining limejuice over fish, sprinkle with jerk and grill or broil for 5 to 9 minutes, until fish flakes easily. Cut fish into chunks, fill each tortilla with 1/8 of the fish, fruit mixture and lettuce. Serves 4

Black Bean Tropical Salad

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 avocado, cubed*
  • 1 to 2 jalapeños
  • ½ large tomato, chopped
  • ½ head red leaf lettuce, washed
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained

serving bowl

Seed & slice peppers & jalapenos. Add everything to serving bowl and toss with dressing.

*easiest way to slice an avocado is to cut in half, remove pit, cut cubes with a knife, then scoop out.


  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp limejuice
  • ¼ cup light olive oil
  • ¼ tsp crushed garlic

In jar or mixing cup, mix all ingredients together well.

Butter Pecan Turtle Bars

  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • ¾ cup brown sugar, packed
  • ½ cup butter, softened
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves


  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips

well oiled 9×13 baking dish, bowl, saucepan

Combine flour, brown sugar and 1/2 cup butter; blend until crumbly. Pat mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Sprinkle pecan halves over the unbaked crust.

Topping: In small saucepan, combine brown sugar & butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture begins to boil. Boil for one minute, stirring constantly. Drizzle caramel over pecans and crust. Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes or until caramel layer is bubbly and crust is light brown. Remove from oven and immediately sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread chips evenly as they melt. Cool completely before cutting.

Shopping List:

  • 1 large mango
  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 small cucumber
  • 1 bunch cilantro
  • 3 green onions
  • 3 jalapeños
  • 8 taco size flour tortillas
  • 1 lb halibut, swordfish or tuna, 1” thick
  • 1 head red lettuce
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 avocado
  • 14 oz can black beans, drained
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1 ½ cups pecan halves
  • 12 oz milk chocolate chips

Also: lemon juice, limejuice, Jamaican jerk seasoning, light olive oil, crushed garlic

Copyright 2014 What’s 4 Dinner Solutions Cookbook: Summer Edition

Mmm… soft breakfast tacos

These are assembled with scrambled eggs and chorizo sausage with the usual garnishes of onions, salsa, cheese, and jalapeno slices on flour taco sized tortillas that were fried briefly – less than a minute in the deep fryer.  More than that and they become tostadas and will be too crumbly to fold up in your hand.

Thursday Night Menu: Healthy Junk Food Edition

I’m busy getting ready to head to New Orleans, so tonight’s menu is pretty simple. I won’t have computer access there, so I won’t be posting until I get back, but I’m hoping to have lots to talk about then.  JeffW is out of commission for the foreseeable future due to computer issues and I thought we were going to be a sad little blog until I got back, but fate intervenes.  We are so lucky to welcome IndyLib as a new contributor.  I don’t think she was expecting me to hand the keys over to her first thing, but here you are Indy.  Take care of everyone while I’m away.  Please make her feel welcome.

On to tonight’s menu. When I was a kid, this was one of the favorite Friday night recipes my mom would make.  I don’t make it as often now, probably because once I start eating it, I don’t want to stop. Kind of healthy junk food, I guess. Dress up the salad with things that make you happy, I’d probably add a little more heat, myself.  And if you want to make it vegetarian, skip the beef, add black beans instead, sprinkle taco seasoning in with the beans, corn and tomatoes before adding to the salad.

On the board tonight:

  1. Layered Taco Salad
  2. Broiled Pineapple

Layered Taco Salad

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 8 – 16 oz. tortilla chips
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 8 oz canned corn, drained
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 oz sliced black olives
  • 8 oz ranch dressing
  • 8 oz salsa
  • 1 avocado, peeled and sliced (or guacamole)

9×12 baking dish and skillet

Brown ground beef & onions in skillet.  Prepare taco seasoning according to package directions and add to beef mixture. Set aside.

Layer ½ tortilla chips on the bottom of baking dish, followed in order: lettuce, beef, corn, cheese, tomato, olives, and remaining chips, crushed.  Mix together dressing and salsa, pour over salad and garnish with avocado or guacamole.

Broiled Pineapple

  • 22 oz sliced pineapple *
  • 4 oz cherries, sliced in half & pitted**
  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar

baking sheet

Place a single layer of pineapple in the baking sheet, top each with a cherry half, cut side UP.  Mix together butter and sugar and brush over fruit.  Broil until lightly browned (move rack to the second slot from the top to keep pineapple from burning).

* if you can find fresh, sliced pineapple it broils better.

** yes you can use maraschino cherries, I just hate them so I use fresh.

Shopping List:

  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 6 green onions, chopped
  • 8 -16 oz. tortilla chips
  • 4 cups shredded lettuce
  • 8 oz canned corn
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tomato
  • 2 oz sliced black olives
  • 8 oz ranch dressing
  • 8 oz salsa
  • 1 avocado (or guacamole)
  • 22 oz sliced pineapple (fresh if possible)
  • 4 oz cherries

Also: butter, brown sugar

Welcome Back

I don’t know about you, but I’m not quite ready to take up the recipe task yet.  I seem to have been cooking non-stop for the last two weeks.  Last night I made my last Cranberry Upside-Down Cake, and did something a bit different.  I made a full batch of the cake part of the recipe and a half recipe of the cranberry filling and a half recipe of Pineapple Upside-Down Cake filling (which was by request – hard to turn down a, “my favorite cake is…” comment).  Very easy to do and a nice change of pace.  And really made me a hero today.

When I went grocery shopping this weekend, I found myself drawn to a theme: lime, cilantro, corn tortillas, pico de gallo (the spice, not the salsa) and pineapple.  I’m thinking I’ll be making chicken tacos at some point and maybe fajitas later in the week.  Usually when I shop, I’ve already planned out my meals for the week, but couldn’t face it this weekend, so it should be fun to see what I can make from the mish-mash of ingredients I purchased.  Always better to shop with meals in mind, but this could be fun, too.

This week will probably continue to be light in posts as we all recover from the holidays and next week I’ll begin in earnest on our series and tips.  But I’ll post a couple of light recipes this week and a friend’s recipe for baked eggs.  Until then….