Toasted Coconut Ice Cream

For our friend Lisa’s birthday, K and I decided to have a personalized ice cream for her. She loves coconut, so I decided to make a straight coconut ice cream. I thought about adding some chocolate chips (white or semi-sweet chocolate), but ultimately decided to keep it simple. If she wants it next time, I can do that. This recipe has loads of coconut flavor. If you are not a big fan, I wouldn’t bother with this recipe. It starts with a vanilla base, but I use some coconut milk to help get the flavor started. Then, steeping coconut in it really brings the flavor home.



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Chicken Tacos

Apparently tacos are popular in our household. K gets them regularly at work (Taco Tuesdays are super cheap, he says), and he requests them regularly for dinner. Luckily, we have now locked down beef, chicken, and shrimp recipes for them. I find tacos to be almost a guilty pleasure even though they they do not have to be unhealthy for you. Growing up, we never ate them. Where I lived, there were not many places you could get tacos, and even then I did not go. (I have only been to a Taco Bell twice, and the first time I did not get anything because I had already eaten dinner and it seemed wrong to me to eat a second dinner–such a good daughter.) At school, tacos were always hard shells with grainy weird-tasting meat. I cannot remember the first good taco I ever had, but at some point it kicked in and I realized they could be more than bad junk food. My brother and sister-in-law lived with me briefly and they invited me to join in their taco feast. I did, and enjoyed them, but was stunned to realize how much salt was in the taco seasoning. (Even more surprised because my brother tends to be the health nut in the family.) After seeing that, I decided I could make my own kind without resorting to packages.

K and I began making tacos using store-bought tortillas, but now I can’t think of the last store one I’ve had. When making this iteration, I mixed chives and onion powder into my tortilla dough and they tasted awesome without extra sodium. K surprised me by asking for chicken breast tacos. Normally he is not a chicken breast man (that sounds too funny) but he thought it would be okay. He ended up pleasantly shocked at how tender and flavorful the meat turned out to be. You could also make this recipe with thigh meat, but it is not necessary. For the tortilla recipe, you can go check out my beef tacos.

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Slow-Cooker Beef Tacos

Have you ever bought ingredients you intend to use for one recipe then something happens and you’re left with ingredients you need to re-purpose? It happens a fair amount for me. Recently, I wanted to make a beef/cranberry recipe from Kayotic Kitchen. I read through the recipe a few times and was excited because we had cranberries we needed to use at some point, as well as most of the other ingredients. We just needed to buy beef suitable for a stew. Well, after buying 2 pounds of it, I realized that the recipe would take way more time than we had for dinner that night. Since it was a Sunday night, there wouldn’t be time until the following weekend and we would have to freeze the meat, which seemed like a waste since we had bought it for this nice recipe. I looked up so many slow-cooker recipes, but most were for much larger amounts of meat and could not be scaled down. Ugh! We were already planning on having tacos anyway, so I decided to find a slow-cooker taco dish, and I finally found something I could use!  It couldn’t have been easier, and I even was able to make tortillas from scratch.

For our tacos, we like to mash an avocado with some lime juice and cilantro. We also like to chop a tomato and mix with some salt, pepper, cilantro in place of regular salsa.

Of course there is also sour cream and cheese

Oh, and if you think I’m crazy for making tortillas from scratch, you should try them sometime. Not only do you get to control the flavors in them (we added chopped green onions one time), you can keep them healthier than the store ones. I always get so frustrated trying to find lower sodium ones that don’t come in a huge pack that we won’t be able to get through in a reasonable time. This way, I can lower the salt amount, but also only make the number we will need!

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