Remember when I disappeared for a couple months. Well, I kept cooking but stopped taking pictures. In case it isn’t obvious, I’m not big on the staging portion of the photography part of this whole blogging thing. Eh. Instragram is about as good as it gets for me.
Instead of learning how to take killer photographs, I’ve been getting the most out of summer now that Minnesota weather is finally cooperative. Exhibit A: dancing on the boat on the way from dinner.
And I’ve had my fair share of meals made for me.
It’s been great. How can you not love Minnesota summers! With the fresh herbs growing in our garden, guacamole has been my go-to side dish. While I LOVE guac, I wanted to mix it up. After seeing a guacamole with goat cheese on a menu at a local restaurant, I had to try to recreate it.
This guacamole is far richer than traditional guacamole. The kind of guacamole you’d have at a fancy restaurant. A fun twist. The goat cheese makes it much thicker and not really cheesy. I really loved it, but I personally prefer traditional guac. Matt likes them both the same. Try it for yourself and let me know which you prefer!
Ok. Truth time. I do not like the movie Elf. I find no redeeming qualities in the movie, irrespective of the reality that I love Zooey Dechanell. The movie is just not funny. There. It’s out there. Just had to get that off my chest. BUT even though I will not spend my Christmas season watching Elf doesn’t mean I’m not excited for winter because…
It’s party season!! And this girl LOVES parties. Eggnog. Christmas cookies. Ugly Sweaters. Love Actually (now that’s a movie!). Wow, my heart is fluttering as I type this.
With all these parties, it’s likely that you’ll get an invite to a party where you need to bring something. Here is a great taco dip recipe that is SUPER easy and CRAZY delicious. Million gustas.
I have made a conscious decision. This is going to be the best summer ever. See, I am unemployed and studying for the Minnesota bar. In short, I go to 3 hours of class a day and spend the rest of the day doing whatever I want. Sure, I gotta get some studying done. But it’s completely self-scheduled studying. No meetings. No office I have to be at. No uncomfortable suit jacket to wear. No recording every 6 minutes of my time. Instead, I get to sit on my porch, drink a beer, crack open my Barbri books and relearn everything I learned my first year of law school. It’s not too bad. In fact, I love it. Because I have complete control over my schedule. If I want to work-out at 3 in the afternoon, I can. If I want to run to Target, I can. If I want to study in my swimsuit and get a tan, I can. This is far better than sitting in an office all day. And chances are, I will not get the opportunity to have such freedom with my afternoon schedule ever again.
Still, with watching Criminal Minds and falling deeper in love with Matthew Gray Gubler studying for the bar, I haven’t had as much time to make full meals. Rather, I have resorted to snacking. And of course, when I think of great snacks, anything that can go on chips sounds like the perfect study aid. This black bean salad is excellent on chips–its a great garnish for tacos and is even tasty all by itself. Even better, all you gotta do is throw all the ingredients into a bowl and mix. Even a brain mushed from too much studying of property law can manage that!
The weather here has been going from scorching hot to rather chilly. Quintessential Minnesota. Today was more on the chilly side so I decided to make a warmer dish. Chances are it will be too hot for anything warm for the next couple of months. I LOVE Mexican food. No surprise to anyone who knows me. I’ve worked at two different Mexican restaurants and my go-to drinks are mojitos and margaritas. I am always on the hunt for healthy, Mexican recipes. This recipe is filling, full of protein, and a healthy alternative to greasy restaurant enchiladas. We were out of black beans today so I substituted chili beans, but I originally made these enchiladas with black beans. Both are good!
Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and I couldn’t be more excited. While I do not need a holiday to enjoy a margarita or delicious Mexican food, I can definitely get behind the idea to have a day devoted to it. Unfortunately, people have the tendency to associate great Mexican food with deep fried options. But that doesn’t have to be the case! I am in the middle of law school finals (last time EVER!) and to a lot of people that means gorging on unhealthy snack food and injecting coffee straight to the veins. I do not want to become victim to this habit, but it’s really hard. Sitting at your computer for hours at a time, pouring over case books, statutes, and outlines, it is tempting to run down to the vending machine and stock up. But don’t worry that you’ll find yourself hiding in a study carrel shoving Cheetos in your face (it’s hard to hide the evidence when your fingers are stained orange). This refreshing side salad is a great study snack that will keep the less healthy snacks at bay. It pairs well with baked tortilla chip and has a little bit of sweet and salty.
In college, I worked at Manny’s, an upscale Mexican restaurant. The food is amazing there! I’ve worked at a lot of restaurants (waitress from the age of 14), and Manny’s was my favorite–from the excellent food, clean kitchen, and use of fresh ingredients to the most amazing people to work with–I definitely miss working there when the long hours of law school start to wear on me.
One of the best appetizers on the menu is the ceviche. Always fresh, it compliments a Perfecta Margarita wonderfully. The anniversary of the opening of the Eau Claire location of Manny’s is this Friday. So it seemed fitting to try out my own ceviche recipe. Since I’m working on a budget, I didn’t use scallops or red snapper like Manny’s ceviche, but it is a good substitute to hold me over til I make my way back to La Crosse and can enjoy the original. Serve with chips, over lettuce or on a tostada. This is only 5 Weight Watcher Plus Points for a little less than a cup.
Guacamole is my favorite food. When my dinners consisted of dry cereals and I refused to learn to cook, I still experimented until I found the perfect guacamole recipe. And as a guacamole connoisseur, I can boldly say this is the best guacamole recipe around.
My favorite go-to meal. This fun Mexican dish is so easy to make because you just toss everything into the slow cooker before you leave for work, and you come home to a wonderful meal waiting to be devoured! Matt loves this meal and asks me to make it at least once a week.