Fun Recipes for Taco Tuesday!

Taco Tuesday has arrived and it is something you’ll look forward to all day! Bored of the traditional taco recipes? Check out these tasty ideas to help spice up this week’s Taco Tuesday!

mango chicken tacos

  • MANGO CHICKEN TACOS:
    Ingredients:
      2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
        1 1/2 c. mango salsa, plus extra for serving
        dollop of sour cream
        medium flour tortillas
        Mexican blend or colby jack cheese, shredded
        chopped lettuce

Instructions: Place the chicken in the crock pot. Pour 1 1/2 c. mango salsa over the chicken. Cook on low for 4 1/2 hours, shred the chicken inside the crock pot, then add a dollop of sour cream. Allow the chicken to sit for about 15 minutes more before serving. Mix together and serve in the flour tortillas with additional toppings. I like to add a little more mango salsa on top of the lettuce for a little extra flavor!

Source: http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com
Source: http://www.julieseatsandtreats.com
  • TEXAS TACOS:

Ingredients:
1 1/2 lbs ground beef
1 medium sweet pepper, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 1/3 c. frozen corn, thawed
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 (8.8 oz) ready to serve brown rice
20 taco shells

Optional toppings:
Tomatoes
Shredded Lettuce
Sour Cream

Instructions: In a large skillet cook ground beef, red peppers, and onion over medium heat until beef is cooked through and no longer pink. Drain grease. Mix in tomatoes, corn, tomato sauce, chili powder and salt. Bring to a boil and then add rice. Heat mixture through. Serve in taco shells and top as desired.

Source: http://www.aroundmyfamilytable.com
Source: http://www.aroundmyfamilytable.com
  • STREET TACOS:
    Ingredients:
    2 lbs flank steaks or 2 lbs skirt steaks, trimmed of excess fat
    8 (taco sized) uncooked flour tortillas, cooked according to package
    crumbled queso fresco (or shredded monterey jack cheese)
    2 limes, cut into wedges
    pico de gallo Marinade:
    6 garlic cloves, minced
    2 jalapenos, minced
    1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, finely chopped
    1 tsp kosher salt
    fresh ground black pepper
    3 small limes, juice of
    3 oranges, juice of
    2 tbls white vinegar
    1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil Instructions:
    Combine marinade in a large ziptop baggie (note: if you have a good blender or food processor feel free to use it to combine ingredients instead of chopping). Add steak to baggie and refrigerate at least 1 hour, but no more than 8 hours.

    Prepare grill with a medium-high heat. Remove steak from marinade and season both sides with a little additional salt and pepper. Grill over direct heat for 10-15 minutes for a medium consistency. Remove from heat and allow to rest for about 5 minutes.

    Cut against the grain in to strips or into bite sized pieces. Serve as tacos, burritos, or fajitas with queso fresco, limes, refried beans and pico de gallo.

Celebrate Mardi Gras by Making Your Own King Cakes & Creole Food

My latest seasonal article with LongIsland.com ->
Mardi Gras is quickly approaching and party plans are underway! The celebration of rich eating and partying by tradition is on March 4th and is also known as “Fat Tuesday” or “Carnival season.” Party goers will be dressed up in unique costumes and fun, decorative masks with colorful beads dangling from their necks to help celebrate Mardi Gras.
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One thing these parties would not be the same without, is the delicious food. The main reason these tasty foods are a huge tradition is because people want to indulge as much as they can before they give up certain foods for Lent. So, whether you’re hosting a party or attending one this Fat Tuesday, take a look at these recipes we have listed that are sure to be the best on the block!
King Cake
Along with the decorative costumes and beads, King Cake is a famous symbol for Mardi Gras and is a popular treat at the celebrations. Inside the cake is a plastic or ceramic baby doll that represents Baby Jesus. The person who receives the piece of cake with the doll in it has different obligations and privileges, including providing the next cake!
Ingredients:
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, plus more for bowl & baking sheet
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¼ ounce active-dry yeast
  • ½ cup warm water
  • 5 cups of all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 ½ cups confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup milk
  • Sanding sugar, for garnish
Instructions:

1. Combine milk, butter and 1/3 cup of granulated sugar into a saucepan and heat over medium heat until incorporated.
2. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla once cooled. Set aside.
3. Stir 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar into warm water.
4. Mix eggs and milk mixture together (use an electric mixer if you have one) on medium speed.
5. Add yeast mixture and mix until well combined.
6. Add the flour gradually, beating until mixed well.
7. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface, knead until smooth.
8. Place in prepared bowl, turning several times to coat. Let rise, covered with wax paper and a clean damp towel, in a warm place until doubled in size. About 1 hour.
9. Once the dough has doubled, punch down with your first and knead a few times in the bowl. Turn out onto a floured work surface and divide evenly into six pieces.
10. Roll each piece into a log; about 24 inches long then braid the 3 logs together. Shape each braid into an oval, pressing the ends together to seal. Transfer to two buttered baking sheets; cover with wax paper and let sit in a warm place until the dough has doubled in size. About 1 hour.
11. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Once the dough has doubled in size, get rid of the wax paper and bake until golden. (About 25-30 minutes) Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
12. Stir the confectioners’ sugar with remaining ¼ cup of milk into a medium size bowl to form a smooth, thick glaze. Add more milk or sugar if needed. Coat the cakes with glaze and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Serve warm.

Catfish Tacos
For all the seafood lovers, enjoy these tasty tacos with a twist. Use catfish or any other type of white fish and sprinkle toppings of your choice on top.
Ingredients:
  • 1 pound catfish or other white fish
  • ¼ cup melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons creole seasoning
  • 8 tortillas
  • 2 cups of lettuce, shredded
  • 1 cup pico de gallo
  • ¼ cup remoulade sauce
  • Hot sauce for taste
Instructions:
1. Heat an iron skillet over medium-high heat.
2. Dip fish into butter and sprinkle on seasoning.
3. Place the fish in the skillet and cook until it is a bit blackened, not burned. (About 2 minutes)
4. Flip it and do the same for the other side.
5. Assemble tacos using toppings of your choice (cheese, lettuce, sour cream, tomatoes, hot sauce, etc.)
Fried Green Tomatoes
This yummy dish will sure to be a favorite at any Mardi Gras celebration and will have your friends begging for the recipe!
Ingredients:
  • 2 green tomatoes, sliced
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup masa harina (corn flour) or flour
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • Salt and pepper for taste
  • Oil or bacon grease for frying
Instructions:
1. Soak tomatoes in butter milk for at least 30 minutes.
2. Mix the cornmeal, flour, salt and pepper.
3. Take tomatoes out of butter milk and place them in the cornmeal mixture.
4. Fry the tomato slices in oil over medium heat until they are golden brown on both sides. (About 3-4 minutes on each side.)
5. Serve warm and enjoy!
Crab Dip
An appetizer that is simple to make and cooks in less than an hour! This dip is perfect for friends to eat while mingling around the party.
Ingredients:
  • ½ pound of jumbo lump crabmeat
  • 1 package cream cheese (8 oz.)
  • 1.2 cup mayo
  • ¼ cup of grated Parmesan
  • 3 tbl. Minced green onions
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbl. Fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce
  • Salt and pepper for taste
Instructions:
1. Combine all ingredients into a large casserole-type dish
2. Stir slowly until mixed well
3. Adjust the seasoning to taste, depending on how you like it.
4. Bake at 325 degrees F for 35-40 minutes or until lightly golden on top.
5. Serve hot with crackers.
Cajun Potato Wedges
Instead of the classic potato wedges or french fries, give your taste buds a surprise with these Cajun style wedges.
Ingredients:
  • ¼ cup of milk
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons ranch salad dressing mix
  • 2/4 teaspoon Cajun seasoning, divided
  • ¾ cup of crushed cornflakes
  • 2 medium russet potatoes
Instructions:
1. Combine the milk, mayo, dressing mix and ½ teaspoon of Cajun seasoning into a shallow bowl.
2. In another shallow bowl, combine the cornflakes and remaining Cajun seasoning.
3. Cut each potato into eight wedges then dip into the mayo mixture.
4. Coat with crumbs.
5. Using a baking pan coated with cooking spray, arrange in a single layer.
6. Bake at 375 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes or until lightly browned and tender, turning once.
These recipes don’t only have to be made around the Mardi Gras season, indulge in them for any other celebrations all throughout the year!

Tasty Apps & Snacks for Super Bowl Sunday

Check out my latest article on LongIsland.com:

Try a new Super Bowl appetizer this year and have your guests begging for the recipe!

It is that time of year again, sports fans! Super Bowl Sunday is quickly approaching, and if you’re hosting a get together this year, one of the things that is probably on your mind is figuring out the perfect appetizers to serve your guests. In many households, the delicious appetizers are a Super Bowl tradition and are a huge part of this big day.
If you’re interested in trying out something new this year, take a look at these great recipes that will have your friends and family begging for more! Whether you are hosting the party or attending it, these simple and tasty dishes are ideal for the perfect Super Bowl celebration. We have also included some healthy snacks as well, for those of you looking to stick to your clean eating plan.
Mini Potato Footballs
Get creative with potatoes this year by turning them into mouth-watering fully loaded footballs with cheese, bacon, sour cream and herbs placed on top.
Ingredients:
  • 20 small red potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
  • Toppings of your choice (bacon, cheese, sour cream, chives, etc.)
Directions:
  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
  • Place potatoes, salt and olive oil in a large bowl until potatoes are thoroughly coated.
  • Bake the potatoes on a rimmed baking sheet for about 20 minutes or until soft.
  • Let them cool down slightly before cutting a small slit in the top of each and scooping out a portion of the inside.
  • Place toppings of your choice inside each potato and serve while still warm.
Red Velvet Cheese Football
Red velvet mix isn’t just for cake! Score a touchdown with this unique dish, served with assorted crackers and cookies.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of red velvet cake mix
  • ½ cup of butter
  • 8 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • ½ cup of sugar
  •  2 tbsp. of brown sugar
  •  ¾ cups of mini chocolate chips
  • 1 tbsp. white chocolate chips
  •  Assorted crackers and cookies
Directions:
  • Beat the butter and cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, brown sugar and cake mix until well blended.
  • Turn the mixture out onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a football shape. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  • Un-wrap the cheese football and place on a serving tray. Use the white chocolate chips to make the laces on the football and cover the rest with mini chocolate chips.
  • Serve with your choice of cookies or crackers.
Buffalo Chicken Wings
Chicken wings play a main role on the appetizer list for the Super Bowl. Here is a delicious recipe that will be sure to score a touchdown with your guests! 
Ingredients:
  • 2 pounds of chicken wings, rinsed clean
  • ⅔ cup hot pepper sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper for taste
Directions:
  • Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  • Use aluminum foil to cover an entire sheet pan. Be sure to wrap around the edges also. Then spray the pan with non-stick vegetable oil.
  • Spread the wings out evenly on the pan and lightly sprinkle salt and pepper over them. Place in the oven and cook for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes, turn the wings over and let cook for an additional 20 minutes.
  • While wings are baking, prepare a saute pan at low-medium heat. Combine the butter, salt, garlic pepper, cayenne pepper, hot pepper sauce and paprika in the pan. Allow the butter to melt then whisk for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Once the wings are finished cooking, remove from oven and dump into the large bowl with the chicken wing sauce.
  • Make sure to coat all the chicken with the sauce and allow the wings to sit for about 5 minutes before tossing again. After second toss, serve warm and enjoy!
Healthy Roasted Bell Peppers
If you’re looking to be brave and stay healthy on Super Bowl Sunday, this bell pepper recipe with goat cheese filling will be the ultimate appetizer for you and your friends.
Ingredients:
  • 1 box of mini bell peppers
  • 1 log goat cheese
  • 1 bunch of fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar
Directions:
  • Cut the tops off of the mini peppers and remove the insides.
  • Place them on a baking dish and sprinkle with olive oil (optional)
  • Roast at 400 degrees F for about 5-10 minutes or until peppers are browned
  • Remove and let cool.
  • Mix the goat cheese, basil and balsamic vinegar into a bowl.
  • Stuff the peppers with the mixture and enjoy!
Spinach Pinwheels
Don’t feel bad about indulging in this spinach dish because it too is a healthy appetizer! This hearty recipe will be sure to catch everyone’s attention, whether they enjoy eating healthy or not!
Ingredients:
  • 20 oz. frozen chopped spinach (thawed & drained)
  • 8 oz. softened cream cheese
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 envelope ranch dip mix
  • 1 jar bacon bits
  • 4 chopped green onions
  • 10 inch flour tortillas
Directions:
  • Combine sour cream, cream cheese and mayonnaise into a mixing bowl.
  • Beat in dip mix.
  • Add bacon, spinach and green onion then mix thoroughly.
  • Spread the mixture onto the tortillas, leaving a ½” space around the edge.
  • Roll up each tortilla tightly and wrap each in plastic wrap.
  • Chill for a couple of hours, or overnight.
  • Once finished chilling, cut off the ends and cut into ½” slices before serving.
Whether you choose a healthy recipe or one with some more calories, these dishes are sure to satisfy your guests. You can make these tasty appetizers for other kinds of parties as well, along with Super Bowl Sundays for years to come!
If you don’t have time to cook for the big celebration, no problem! We’ve got you covered. Check out some of the great catering companies that can dish up some great eats for your get together, and help make your day stress-free!

The Cost of Healthy Foods

So, I just went to Shop Rite and need to vent a little bit. And no, not about the people that cause me to get road rage with my shopping cart. I bought organic grapes and once I went to pay for them they came to $15.00! Is it just me or does that sound crazy? I’ve heard that regular grapes are part of the “dirty dozen” and that you shouldn’t eat them. I would do this, if they didn’t cost a small fortune. It just doesn’t make sense to me, a lot of America is overweight and people wonder why? Maybe it’s because healthy foods cost so much while McDonald’s and other fast food places are so cheap. A lot of people are struggling financially right now and fast foods are so much easier to get which is unfortunate. We shouldn’t have to pay more money just to be healthy!

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