Guacamole Tacos with Tomatillo and Steak Sauce

I’ve had this recipe from Deborah starred in my Google Reader since June. What a perfect combination for Cancy & I. I love avocados & he (like most men) loves meat. This was super easy to put together and tasted wonderful. Please don’t cheat by buying a green sauce from the store. The tomatillo/chile mixture smells great while cooking and is totally worth it. We both really liked this recipe and for sure will be making it again.

Guacamole Tacos with Tomatillo and Steak Sauce

4 Anaheim chiles, seeded

4 dried chiles de arbol

1 pound tomatillos (about 10), husked and rinsed

4 cups water, divided

2 garlic cloves, peeled

1/4 teaspoon aniseed

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound skirt steak, cut into 1/3-inch cubes

3 large avocados, halved, pitted

1/2 cups (packed) finely chopped fresh cilantro

1 teaspoon salt

12 small flour tortillas, softened

Place all chiles in medium saucepan, then add tomatillos and 3 cups water. Cover and boil until chiles and tomatillos are soft, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Cool and drain.

Combine tomatillo mixture, garlic, aniseed, and oregano in processor; blend until smooth. Strain, discarding solids.

Wipe same saucepan clean. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil; heat over medium-high heat. Add strained sauce, simmer 5 minutes, then add 1 cup water. Bring to boil. Add chopped steak; reduce heat to medium-low and cook until sauce lightly coats back of spoon, adding more water by teaspoonfuls if sauce is too thick (consistency is similar to thin Bolognese); about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt.

Using spoon, scoop out avocado flesh and place in medium bowl. Add cilantro, onion, and 1 teaspoon salt; coarsely mash with fork.

 Place 2 tablespoons guacamole in center of each tortilla; roll up. Place on plate, seam side down. Pour warm meat sauce over tacos to cover and serve.

Spicy Tomato Cheese Soup with Inside Out English Muffin Grilled Cheese

I saw this grilled cheese recipe in last month’s Every Day with Rachael Ray, November’09. I’m a huge grilled cheese fan so I thought I’d give it a try. The day I wanted to make them it was a little chilly outside (OK chilly for Texas, anyway). I thought what’s better than just a grilled cheese? So I made a yummy tomato soup to dip the grilled cheese in. Save this when you want a super easy meal on a chilly weeknight.

Spicy Tomato Cheese Soup
1 can condensed tomato soup 

1 can condensed Cheddar cheese soup 

3 cups spicy V8

a splash of hot sauce
salt & pepper

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Inside Out English Muffin Grilled Cheese
2 English Muffins
4 slices of Sharp White Cheddar
salt & pepper

Heat a skillet over medium-low heat. Lightly Spread the inside of each English Muffin with butter. Arrange the muffins butter side out to build 2 sandwiches, each with a slice of sharp cheddar some salt & pepper, than another slice of white cheddar.

Place them in the pan and cook, turning once or twice, until the cheese is melted and the outsides are a golden brown.

Crockpot Burrito Soup

I usually go to Elly’s site when I’m craving lamb or something else Greek. I stumbled across her Burrito Soup & knew that this was a must-do.This was a really nicely seasoned and easy dish to make. Always on the lookout for crockpot ideas, this would be great for a crowd if you are having people over to watch “the game”. Or if you just want to make a hearty soup and have some tasty leftovers.

Crockpot Burrito Soup

2 tsp. canola oil

1 large onion, diced

1 lb. extra lean ground beef

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce

5 cups beef broth

2 Tbsp. aleppo (or any) chili powder)

1 Tbsp. cumin

2 tsp. oregano

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper

2/3 cup corn

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 cup uncooked rice (or, cook rice separately)

Heat a large  heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat and add oil. Cook the onions for a couple minutes before adding the beef. Brown the beef with the onion and drain if necessary. Put  back on the heat and stir in the garlic, just until fragrant.

Pour the beef mixture into the crockpot and then add the tomato sauce, beef broth, spices, corn and black beans. Cook on low for…however long you’re gone.
Increase temp to high and add the rice, just until cooked. Alternatively you can put the cooked rice in bowls and ladle the soup over it.

Garnish with your favorite toppings.

Banana Pumpkin Bread

You can’t have Fall and not make something with pumpkin. This was first recipe of the season using this Fall Favorite. I can never seem to use bananas up fast enough so this was a great way to use them and get the flavor of Fall.

Banana Pumpkin Bread
2 ripe bananas, mashed
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup white sugar
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup raisins (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease an 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a large bowl, stir together the mashed banana, eggs, oil, pumpkin, honey and sugar. Combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, pie spice and cinnamon, stir into the banana mixture until just combined. Fold in the raisins and walnuts if desired. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool loaf in the pan for 10 minutes before moving to a wire rack to cool completely.

Roasted Balsamic Veggies

This really isn't a recipe, but more of a great way to get you vegetable servings covered. You can mix this up using whatever vegetables you prefer. This nigh was sort of a "clean out the vegetable drawer in the fridge" night. Cancy even liked vegetables this way. I've found so far that any vegetable tastes better when roasted. Eat & Enjoy!

Roasted Balsamic Veggies

about 1/2 lb Fresh Green Beans, ends snapped off
1 Medium Yellow Onion, cut into rings
1 Red Pepper, sliced into strips
1 pkg of Fresh Mushrooms, sliced
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil
Balsamic Vinegar
small handful of Blue of Feta Cheese

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Place vegetables in a Ziploc bag, add salt & pepper and about a Tbps of Olive Oil. Toss.

Lay veggies out on a sheet pan and bake for about 20-25 minutes until roasted & tender.

Serve into individual dishes and splash a bit of Balsamic over top and sprinkle cheese as well.