Tracy’s Tacos

Tracy’s Tacos

Last night Renaissance Man and I went to Torchy’s Tacos for dinner.  It is a new (yes another) street taco trailer concept transformed to a foodie favorite store located in a rather nondescript strip center at the corner of Rosedale and Forest Park (Midtown?…whatever!). Literally a hop, skip and an awkward U-Turn from Ashland.   March Madness is in full swing and we knew they had great food, cold drinks and big screen TVs.  In an effort to eat healthier, I ordered the Mahi tuna or Mr. Pink taco and enjoyed it immensely along with the spicy green chili queso and warm chips while sipping a Shiner Bock watching the Shockers as they warmed up to smack down the Zags.  It was incredible – both the food and the game.  I guess it left me wanting more because this morning, I woke up craving black bean breakfast tacos. I first ate these at Taco Cabana in the Fort a decade ago or more. Growing up in the heartland, we never had tacos for breakfast…only steel cut oatmeal before it became hip. Here is my version of black bean breakfast tacos….

First, I use whatever I have available in the frig to spice up the black beans.  This morning I had a lot of great ingredients on hand including an avocado from Greenling, home made salsa (recipe courtesy of Pioneer Woman – has buckets of cilantro in it), peppers, onions, leftover smash potatoes, good tortillas from Fiesta and of course, queso fresco!  You just dice the onions and peppers and sweat them in a little olive oil, add the black beans (rinse first), and chunks of potatoes and a little bit of the salsa.   Warm tortillas and fill with the bean mixture, top with diced avocado, salsa and grated queso fresco.  Roll up and serve with more avocado and salsa.  I couldn’t eat more than two!

Below is the link to the PW salsa…..

http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2010/01/restaurant-style-salsa/

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Products for the over 50 Woman

Products for the over 50 Woman

Products I love....

These are highly recommended and tested products for my over 50 female friends…all of them are magic serums and make you feel wonderful.

1.  Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – it has powerful antioxidants and Vitamin E and hides those bright blue veins on your still thin ankles.  Look like you went to the beach without the carcinogens.

2,  CeraVe – another moisturizing lotion with ceramides and hyaluronic acid to make your skin feel like butter and not sticky.  Must use it EVERY day.

3.  Paul Mitchell’s Platinum Blonde Shampoo or violet shampoo – great for brightening that bit of grey and fun to use.  Who puts purple in their hair and then goes to the office…I do!

4.  Covergirl Under Eye Concealer…conceals well my lady friends.

5.  Smith’s Rosebud Salve prepared by G.F. Smith in 1892 and still the reliable family salve for cracking heels and dried lips.

6.  Clobetasol Propionate Cream – must get if from the doc but this stuff works great on all those mysterious dry and itchy spots us over 50 women have from time to time.  Works like magic, sometimes with just one application.

If there was a Birchbox for women over 50, samples of these products would be in it.  Have you tried Birchbox?  

http://www.birchbox.com/

Shared an annual membership with C1, C2 and C3 and they seem to enjoy the variety of products.. a little special pampering surprise from Mom in the mail every month and I don’t have to go to the post office.  Consider it for a gift next time you are looking for something special for a lady friend or daughter.

Pink Bunny

Pink Bunny

Daughter C2 called the other day to ask me for the recipe for Pink Bunny.  She wanted the recipe to chuckle about with her budding chef and college friends but it stayed on my mind especially since it is bunny season.

Growing up with my three brothers in the southwestern Kansas town of Medicine Lodge, my hardworking parents eeked out an existence teaching school and taking care of the mental health needs of the little community.  My dad was the high school principal and my mom the county social worker.  Us kids didn’t get away with much mischief needless to say but we had our share of small town fun. Lots of freedom and little adult supervision made for lots of wholesome if not dangerous outdoor activities. It also made us extremely hungry most of the time.  Do you know how much food three boys consume when they are between the ages of 12 and 16?  When we shopped for groceries, we had two carts.  My parents had to “economize” as my dad liked to say.  So Mom was creative in the cooking department and made the food budget go a long way with lots of fillers and extenders but still yummy to our sheltered Midwestern palates.

When they got the chance, our Mom and Dad escaped to Wichita to take ball room dance lessons on most Saturdays.  If we didn’t tag along and take in the latest James Bond movie (my brothers were obsessed with them), my Mom made dinner ahead of time and left it on the stove for us to eat when we got hungry.  This was my working Mom’s trick she repeated often.  Fix a lot of something in a pot and leave on top of the stove for the kids to serve themselves.This was before crock pots.  She did this with oatmeal and cream of wheat in the morning, with chili and chicken and noodles for lunch or dinner. Sometimes the food stuck to the bottom of the pan and congealed a bit but nothing a good “soak” in the sink over night wouldn’t rectify.  One of my favorite one pot meals was Pink Bunny.  I loved the stuff…it was sweet, savory and cheesy sauce and it stuck to my skinny ribs when it was poured over toasted white sandwich bread. The Hauck kids (that was what we were called collectively) usually went through at least a loaf of toasted bread in one setting of a Pink Bunny feast. I think the pink in the title is in reference to the color of the sauce and the bunny is a riff of Welsh rarebit.  My mother was Scottish on her mother’s side so fairly confident this recipe came from the Murrison line of great and frugal cooks.  My mother liked this recipe so much it was published in the annual church cookbook one year.   Here is the recipe…

Pink Bunny (Courtesy of recipe file of the late Katie Hauck)

1 large can tomato soup or two regular size

1/2 Lb. Velveeta cheese

4 eggs, beaten

1 tsp. yellow mustard

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

Heat the soup in a double boiler with the cheese until cheese melts.  Add the remaining ingredients and cook until thick.  Serve on toast.

For the book lover in your life.

For the book lover in your life.

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Renaissance Man stumbled on a new idea and it is catching on with my book lover friends. Do you have four books that you treasure (read, reread and read again?).  My absolute favorite book is “To Kill a Mockingbird”… I favor southern writers for some reason.  Maybe some of the southern charm just snatched onto me when we lived in Atlanta back in the late 1980’s. I certainly don’t feel the same about southern grub as I remain a Yankee snob about grits, greens, cornbread and sweet tea.  I never lived in the northeastern part of the United States but I was still considered a yank during my short stint living in the south.  I had to get out of there before that drawl took hold of me for good.  Renaissance Man’s design is a hardwood block with a round, shallow indentation on the top surface (perfect for dried lavender flowers, coins, and other small collectibles to reside) and finished on each of the four sides with an etched introduction of your favorite novel.  Taking orders!

Gotta Dollar?

Gotta Dollar?

Need an idea for a fun party favor or gift?  This dollar store wine glass was transformed into a clever memento for guests attending Ashland Sunday Supper.  You will need a connection to an artisan aka Renaissance Man, access to a handy dandy $15,000 laser engraver, and the ability to use a 3-D CAD software program but after that it is easy peasy.  The engraving on the glass is copied from a photo of our little 1920’s cottage.  If you live locally, Renaissance Man engraves glass for a very modest rate but of the highest quality.  Lawrence’s, http://www.lawrencesgift.com/, trusts him with their finest crystal.  He also engraves pens and gift boxes.   Check out his website at http://www.etch-a-tech.com/

Cottage engraved wine glass
Cottage engraved wine glass