Taco Seasoning

There’s no secret, I love homemade tacos. Ever since I was little, it was one of my mom’s go-to dishes and I’ve adopted the practice as well. They’re so good, plus you can make them in a snap. The ingredients are pretty much always on hand and you can add as many toppings as you want. I’ve always bought seasoning packets from the store, but decided to try my own. The results were quite delicious, plus there’s no unnecessary add-ons.

Taco Seasoning  recipe

You start with some salt and pepper, pretty much the base to any seasoning.

Taco Seasoning salt pepper

Then add some cumin.

Taco Seasoning cumin

Next up, the chili powder.

Taco Seasoning chili

To add more flavor, in comes the garlic, onion powder, crushed red pepper flakes and oregano.

Taco Seasoning oregano pepper garlic onion

Finally, the paprika for great color.

Taco Seasoning paprika

Mix it all up.

Taco Seasoning

Add to browned meat.

Taco Seasoning meat

And with the toppings of your choice…

Taco Seasoning  toppings

…enjoy in a taco, burrito, salad or a spoonful of meat if that’s more your style.

Taco Seasoning  meal

For future ease, make in bulk and place in a jar.

Taco Seasoning  jar

Place a label with the recipe on the jar.

Taco Seasoning  label

I also used an old salt container lid to make a spout (I just cut it to size). They sell these pre-made, but if you have the materials, might as well just make it yourself.

Taco Seasoning  lid      

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients (for one serving in parenthesis)

  • 1/6 cup (or 8 tsp) of salt (1 tsp)
  • 1/6 cup (or 8 tsp) of pepper (1tsp)
  • 1/4 cup cumin (1.5 tsp)
  • 1/2 cup of chili powder (1 Tbsp)
  • 2 tsp garlic powder (1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp onion powder (1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (1/4 tsp)
  • 2 tsp oregano (1/4 tsp)
  • 4 tsp paprika (1/2 tsp)

Directions

  1. Mix all spices together
  2. Add 3 tablespoons of seasoning to browned meat with 2/3 cup of water. And cook until water has evaporated.
  3. Store in an airtight container.
  4. Full recipe makes about 21 tablespoons (7 servings).

Taco Seasoning homemade

Enjoy your weekend!

Chocolate Mousse

I must admit that chocolate mousse is my all time favorite dessert. It will usually be ordered in a restaurant if it’s on the menu, no matter how full I am. My family used to go to this restaurant all the time when we were little and I loved getting their chocolate mousse. It came in a fancy glass and I thoroughly enjoyed ever last bite. Seriously, it’s the best.

Chocolate Mousse recipe

I’ve always wanted to make my own, but was always super intimidated. I finally bit the bullet for Valentine’s Day and I was extremely pleased with the process and results. It’s not simple, but the process is really not complicated at all. It just takes time and makes a mess.

I followed the recipe from David Lebovitz, which he adapted from Julia Childs. I also had to make my adaptations because I didn’t realize I was missing some ingredients. I would say it was a fail on my part, but the result was still awesome. The recipe below reflects my minor tweaks.

Chocolate Mousse fill cups

First up, the ingredients. As I’ve said before, Ghirardelli chocolate is the best and that’s what I used. I opted for a mixture of dark chocolate chips and semi-sweet chocolate bar.

Chocolate Mousse ingredients

On a bowl set on top of a saucepan with simmering water, melt the chocolate, butter and coffee. Stir until smooth and remove from heat.

Chocolate Mousse butter and cocoa

Play some music in the background to entertain you, cause this takes a while.

Chocolate Mousse melted cocoa

In the same pan, but a different bowl, whisk the egg yolks, 2/3 cup of sugar, bourbon and water until the mixture starts to thicken, about 3 minutes.

Chocolate Mousse egg foam

Remove from heat and set bowl on another bowl filler with iced water. Continue whisking until cool and thick. Use a handheld mixer, again, it takes time.

Chocolate Mousse cool down whip

Fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolk foam. Set aside.

Chocolate Mousse fold eggs and chocolate

Now it’s time for the egg whites. Beat with salt until they start to firm up. Add the sugar and beat until a merengue forms. Finally, whip in the vanilla.

Chocolate Mousse egg white merengue

Fold the egg white mixture into the egg yolk/chocolate mixture in batches.

Chocolate Mousse fold merengue and mousse

Fold until just mixed in, don’t overdo it.

Chocolate Mousse batter

Transfer into cups and admire what you just did.

Chocolate Mousse serving

Refrigerate for at least four hours.

Chocolate Mousse goodness

Enjoy!

Chocolate Mousse from scratch

Chocolate Mousse

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 6 ounces unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup dark-brewed coffee
  • 4 large eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup, plus 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

  1. Heat a saucepan one-third full with hot water, and in a bowl set on top, melt together the chocolate, butter and coffee, stirring over the barely simmering water, until smooth. Remove from heat.
  2. Fill a large bowl with ice water and set aside.
  3. In a bowl large enough to nest securely on the saucepan of simmering water, whisk the yolks of the eggs with the 2/3 cup of sugar, rum, and water for about 3 minutes until the mixture is thick, like runny mayonnaise. (You can also use a handheld electric mixer.)
  4. Remove from heat and place the bowl of whipped egg yolks within the bowl of ice water and beat until cool and thick, as shown in the photo above. Then fold the chocolate mixture into the egg yolks.
  5. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites with the salt until frothy. Continue to beat until they start to hold their shape. Whip in the tablespoon of sugar and continue to beat until thick and shiny, but not completely stiff, then the vanilla.
  6. Fold one-third of the beaten egg whites into the chocolate mixture, then fold in the remainder of the whites just until incorporated, but don’t overdo it or the mousse will lose volume.
  7. Transfer the mousse to a serving bowl or divide into serving dishes, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until firm. Store up to 4 days.

Chocolate Mousse

Look at that! Heaven in a spoon!

Chocolate Mousse spoonful

Have a sweet day!

Birthday Fun in Kansas City

Have you been to Kansas City? Well, my first ever non-sporting-event visit was this weekend and I loved it. Ryan and I drove down to visit a college friend and celebrate Ryan’s weekend. All in all, it was a weekend filled with good food, good beer and great company.

All together now

Friday started with some presents for Ryan. Even though he got his big present earlier in the year, I still had some smaller presents to give him, plus those from family as well.

Ryan's presents

One of them was a tackle box filled with some lures, but also some “fishing” candy. The idea was shared with me by a friend via Pinterest, and it was quite fun to put together. Plus, you can’t go wrong with Swedish Fish.

Fisherman gift

I also sported Ryan’s new sunglasses during the drive. They’re from Blenders Eyewear and they’re awesome!

Sunnt Gs

The drive was pretty long, so once we picked up a friend in Des Moines, I cuddled with Boone in the back. He was pretty comfortable.

Lazy Boone

Once we got there, it was time to eat! We went to a BBQ restaurant called Q39. Delicious! I’m not a vegetable person, but these were amazing. I couldn’t stop raving about them.

Q39

And how do you cap off a birthday night celebration? The best way we know how to: with some Big Buck Hunter action.

Big Buck hunter

Saturday morning I planned on going on a run, but the sidewalks were still pretty icy, so instead I went on a walk around the neighborhood, picked up Boone and took him on a walk as well, while the boys got some more Zzzs. 

Saturday am walk

Once everybody was all ready, we went to the Boulevard Brewing Co to do a tour. Started and made right in Kansas City, it was a must. The tour itself is pretty popular and actually kinda fun.

Boulevard

Plus, you get a couple of samples at then end. Not too shabby. 

KC Pils and Irish

The floors were quite amazing as well.

Wood floors

Mandatory brewery selfie!

Beer selfies

Before our drive Sunday, we had brunch at Tomfooleries, soooo goood! I also started my next book, El Alquimista (The Alchemist) by Paulo Coehlo.

El Alquimista

Then it was a long drive back to finish the night watching the Oscars and dominate the last week of February.

sign

Have a good week!

Greeting Card Series: Glitter Design

How’s it going? Hopefully you’re able to enjoy the sunshine where you are because I don’t know of anybody here who would want to spend more than a minute outside. With highs in the single digits and wind chills hovering around twenty below, this twenty something degree high temperature today will feel like summer. Who knew I would be happy to see that temperature, ever!

Also, happy birthday to the lovely man I get to call husband. time to celebrate!

Ryan birthday pic

Anyways, today I bring you the last installment on the Greeting Card Series and you get to play with glitter this time. It seriously felt like I was back in grade school making these.

Glitter Greeting Cards and envelopes

Materials needed:

  • heavy white cardstock
  • colored lighter cardstock
  • white glue and stick glue
  • glitter
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • permanent fine marker/pen

Start with a very simple design, a silhouette works best.

Glitter Greeting Cards design

Next, very lightly trace the design to the 8.5×5.5 white cardstock.

Glitter Greeting Cards silhouette

Place enough white glue on top to cover the entire shape. You don’t need too much, but just enough to cover the silhouette. With intricate corners, a paint brush might be helpful.

Glitter Greeting Cards glue

Next up, glitter it up. You want to make sure to use enough glitter to cover every single inch of the glue. you can’t go wrong with too much glitter.

Glitter Greeting Cards glitter

Once completely dry. Shake off the excess and put back in container to reuse later.

Glitter Greeting Cards dust off

Write your message in the front and ad any little details necessary.

Glitter Greeting Card and envelopes

If desired, glue colored paper to the inside for the memo and make envelopes as well.  To minimize the handling of the cards with glitter, you could score the fold line and glue the memo piece before putting on the glitter.

Glitter Greeting Cards with envelopes

Ok, seriously, doesn’t the glitter on the shoe take you back in time. This was the glitter back in my school days.

Glitter Greeting Card

Check out the previous Greeting Card Series designs:

Glitter Greeting Cards w envelopes

Have a great weekend!

Greeting Card Series: Watercolor Designs

Hello guys! I’m getting really excited for this weekend because Ryan and I are going to visit a good friend of ours in Kansas City. I wish I could say that it’ll be a little warmer than here, but the South just kinda got cold too this week. It’ll still be a super fun time though!

Also, Ryan’s birthday is this Friday, so I’ll get to use one of these cards I’ve been making lately. Whoop! Today’s design is probably one of the simplest, but it does take a little longer due to drying time. I’ve had this watercolor set since college, so nothing fancy necessary here. Pretty much just some watercolors, brush and water.

Watercolor Greeting Card watercolors

Materials needed:

  • heavy white cardstock
  • colored lighter cardstock
  • glue, stick or white
  • white colored pencil or crayon
  • watercolors and brush
  • scissors
  • pencil
  • permanent fine marker/pen

Watercolor Greeting Card w envelopes

There’s two techniques for these, but first draw out the designs. One style is geared more towards line drawings (the flowers) and the other one is a silhouette (seahorse).

Watercolor Greeting Card design

For the flower version, trace the design to your 8.5×5.5 white cardstock with a white colored pencil or thin crayon.

Watercolor Greeting Card pencil

Mix your colors and paint over the design. The pencil prevents the color from seeping into the paper, leaving the design exposed. Let dry completely.

Watercolor Greeting Card flower colors

For the silhouette, just paint with various colors over the black white cardstock.

Watercolor Greeting Card seahorse base

Cut the seahorse shape and glue on top of watercolor once completely dry.

Watercolor Greeting Card seahorse silhouette

Write message on the card if desired. I left the seahorse one blank.

Watercolor Greeting Cards

Also, make envelopes and colored memo space inside in coordinating colors.

Watercolor Greeting Card with memo space

Check out the previous Greeting Card Series designs:

Watercolor Greeting Cards with envelopes