Taco Tuesday with homemade tortillas

Yep, we sure did. Oh, Taco Tuesday. When did you even become a thing? Not that I’m arguing, because let’s be honest- what’s better than finishing work on a mundane Tuesday knowing that you get to come home to TACOS.

Needless to say, there doesn’t need to be a designated day for me to eat tacos. They’ve always been a favorite food even from my early childhood. My mom would buy the Old El Paso taco kit, brown the meat with the included seasoning packet, bake off the hard taco shells and microwave the soft tortillas in a damp paper towel. After the table was set with various bowls of chopped fixings, it was a free for all. I think the assembling part was why I loved it so much. I remember making my own double-decker taco and thinking what a genius thing that was to do. I mean- It was genius.

Those tacos are absolutely perfect in their own right- but if you want to skip the kit and pump up the “mmm” factor, I suggest following the two recipes below:


HOMEMADE TACO SEASONING:

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp salt
    1 tsp pepper
  • 2 tbsp adobo (optional)

Once you brown and drain your meat (or any “meat” choice of your choosing- minced cauliflower, ground turkey or chicken, soy curls, etc) simply add the dry seasoning until evenly distributed and then the adobo.

Many pre-made seasonings are packed with salt and some type of thickener, like corn starch, yada yada, we know this. This version eliminates the additives and gives the cook more control of the flavor. Which we love, right?


HOMEMADE CORN TORTILLAS:

  • 2 cups masa/corn flour
  • 1 cup water, room temp
  • Pinch of salt

In a large bowl, work the water into the corn flour until a substation dough forms. Roll out small balls and flatten with a tortilla press if you’re fancy, or between plates coated in plastic wrap if you’re me.

On a hot, well-oiled (preferably vegetable) cast iron pan, cook the tortillas until they puff ever so slightly, flipping once. They’re done once they turn slightly golden with charred edges.

These two recipes couldn’t be easier if you tried and will really bring your taco game from standard yum to omg-how-have-I-lived-without-you-until-now?

Broths and Bothers

Nothing bothers me more than wasting food. Letting food spoil in the fridge, throwing out perfectly good scraps, not reinventing a leftover- ugh! It’s all my pet peeve.

Even though I try my hardest to reuse meals and not let food go bad, it happens. I generally compost the scraps and that’s been good enough for me until I came across the instagram page @shisodelicious ran by Sara Kiyo Popowa. She is the grandmaster at utilizing food and reducing waste. She, in her infinite wisdom, suggested using vegetable heavy, water light broths to honor those measly scraps. The result is an aromatic, complex vegetable broth concentrate that can be watered down to your liking in future cooking. It’s a great way to use up collected scraps and it truly couldn’t be simpler.

Here’s the recipe:

Pepper corns and lots of salt are a must. Bay leaf if you’ve got it. Other than that… it’s whatever, man. Throw it all in there.

You can use this method a few times until the vegetables don’t have any more flavors to give. Then they can finally be composted. I used leftover zucchini from bread I made last week, limp celery, and some green onion ends. Some of these vegetables were collected over and frozen over time, others were simply from the fridge.

When this is all done (it’s still cooking and smells sooooo good already) the broth will get jarred and frozen.

How do you utilize leftover foods? What type of meal would you make with this delicious broth?

Welcome!

My day job may be exhausting, but cooking is my peace. -Chrissy Teigen

Do I really start my first blog post with a Chrissy Teigen quote? Shouldn’t I use someone with more cooking chops like Julia Child or Anthony Bourdain?

Hi. My name is Liz. And when I’m clocked out, I’m cooking.

I need cooking for probably the same reasons you do: To turn it all off, to check out, to EAT, to slip into that aromatic world of zen that can only be disturbed when my husband is blocking the utensil drawer or when I trip over the dog. But even those things have become part of the process.

That is what this blog is for, who this blog is for: For people who truly enjoy cooking after a long day of work. It is your escape, it is the way you tell your family “I’m home now and I love you.” For the people who look at what is leftover and try to reimagine it to create something new and delicious.

It’s silly, but I do relate to that quote. My job is a typical 9-5er in the world of finance based in my home state, New Jersey. All of that can be intense, fast-paced, and loud. I didn’t grow up to be an illustrator, nor do I work for NASA, SNL, Random House, or for a marine biology research lab like I dreamed of when I was younger (my career aspirations were clearly varied and changed often.) I don’t hate my job, and I’m surprisingly good at what I do. But it’s just that- it’s my job. “Quittin’ time” is a thing. I still need that creative outlet and cooking food happens to be it. And it tastes good.

So if you’re like me and you ache for the moment when you can log off, snake your way through rush-hour just to get home and rifle through the refrigerator to see how you can make yesterday’s take-out into something new and delicious, stick around.