• Homemade Taco Seasoning

     Everyone in the entire universe likes tacos, but everyone would like them more if they seasoned their protein of choice with fresh herbs and spices instead of processed non-food crap from a seasoning packet.  I started making big batches of homemade taco seasoning a couple years ago, and my Instagram got so many likes I figured I shared the deliciousness with y’all. 

    Before we get into the easiest recipe of all time, lets have another teensy little chat about packets of seasoning.  They are the enemy.  They contain the nastiest shiz you’ve never heard of.  Do you really want to consume maltodextrin, corn flour, yeast extract, silicon dioxide, and ethoxyquin? Nah, I didn’t think so.

    Recipe time!  Again, I make a ton of seasoning at once (this recipe reflects that) and store it in a glass container that is airtight.  You want to store seasoning, and things like flour in glass containers so little moths in your kitchen don’t get through and start munching on your food (gross, I know).  They can eat right through plastic, so glass is def the way to go.

    1. 5 1/2 teaspoons red pepper flakes

    2. 5 teaspoons paprika (mine is hot, and from Hungary thanks to my boyfriend’s mama)

    3. 5 teaspoons of onion powder

    4. 5 teaspoons of garlic powder

    5. A little less than 1/2 c. black pepper (this should be finely ground)

    6. 1/2 c. of salt (I normally use sea salt when cooking but table salt is better for this)

    7. 1 c. chili powder

    8. 1/2 c. cumin (this is the star of this recipe, and what gives this seasoning that familiar flavor)

    1. Literally just measure your spices and dump them into a bowl. Take a cute pic of all them before you mix ’em up and share with me on Instagram @lobosworth #homemadetacoseasoning!

    2. Mix

    3. Use 3 tablespoons of the seasoning per pound of meat (I prefer a traditional ground beef taco, but turkey is yummy too, especially if cooked very slowly to keep the moisture in).  Add about 1/2 cup of water to the meat once it’s done cooking, then the seasoning.  Bring to a boil and then let simmer gently until you eat up.

    Serving Size: Use 3 tablespoons of powder per 1 lb of meat Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Light Cream Cheese Frosting

    Absolutely everyone loves cream cheese frosting, but not the fatty-fatty-two-by-four-can’t-fit-through-the-kitchen-door waistline that comes with it.  At least I don’t.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my recipe for a much lighter version of cream cheese frosting that is super tasty and light!  It features plain greek yogurt (this shiz is popping up everywhere these days) as a substitute for some of the 174623 pounds of cream cheese traditionally used.  If you want to get super health-conscious, substitute Earth Balance (it’s tasty) for butter.

    I frequently use this lighter version when I make Flag Cake on the 4th of July (the pic below is my Flag Cake of ’12).  I also don’t take measurements too seriously and once you get comfy in the kitchen you won’t either.  Cook and add until it tastes good!

     

    …and here is the recipe.  Nom, nom, nom.

    1. 2-3 cups of powdered sugar (I say 2-3 because I play with it to get the right consistency)

    2. 8 oz. of cream cheese (that’s one brick)

    3. 8 oz. of non-fat, plain Greek Yogie (I prefer Chobani)

    4. 1/2 cup of butter (or Earth Balance – it’s vegan in addition to being yum) softened to room temp

    5. Couple drops of vanilla extract

    6. One big squeeze of lemon juice from half a lemon

    1. In a mixer, whip up the butter, cream cheese and yogurt.

    2. Add the powdered sugar until the consistency and sweetness is where you want it.

    3. Add the vanilla extract and lemon to taste.

    4.  Stick this in the fridge or frost your treats right away.

    Serving Size: Enough for one large cake

    You can stick this in the fridge overnight if you wish, and bring it back to life by sticking it in the microwave for 10 seconds, then giving in another whirl in the mixer + some more lemon juice.

  • Creative Uses for Citrus

    We’re in the thick of it this summer, and the citrus fruits at the Farmer’s Market are calling my name.  I love visiting the stands that give you a taste before handing over your hard-earned cash so you can sample the sweet and sour goodness to come.

    I use citrus fruits in many different ways at home – some practical and some very tasty.  Check out some of my favorite uses!

     

    1. Brightening up the flavor of other fruits

    ….especially watermelon during the summer!  Throw together a watermelon salad with cubed watermelon, feta cheese, fresh mint, and a dressing of olive oil, honey, lemon, salt and pepper.  Adding lemon to the dressing really helps to liven up the flavors of an already delicious fruit salad.  We’ve been eating this constantly at our house in Montauk this summer.

    2. Make Your Sink Smell Nice

    If it’s smelling a little….weird, cut up a lemon and grind it up into the disposal of your sink.  The sound it makes me be frightening but the result will be a fresh smelling sink and kitchen.  If you live in NYC, unfortunately this tip doesn’t apply to you.  I wish we had disposal in this smelly place.

     

    3. Clean Kitchen Stains

    Lemon juice gets out cranberry and blueberry juice stains and other dark marks left in the kitchen.  I frequently have blueberries for breakfast and scrubbing a little lemon juice into my wooden cutting board, then rinsing with soap and agua makes the purple marks go bye-bye!

     

    4. Light a Fire (This Winter)

    Yes, it’s August so chances are high you aren’t using a fireplace – but, the dried out rind of a lemon or orange works well to get a fire started.  Toss ’em into your fireplace along with a wooden log.  You’ll get a fire going quickly along with a fancy smell.  Side-note – I’m thinking about applying this when cooking on a stand-alone BBQ with charcoal.  Do y’all think the burning citrus would actually make whatever I’m cooking – salmon, for example, tastier?  I wonder….

     

    5. Clean Your Gross Bathroom

    Yep, lemon again to the cleaning rescue.  I like taking half of a lemon and rubbing it onto fixtures (like faucets or a porcelain tub) to help get rid of lime stains, hard water stains, and general funk.  If you happen to have brass fixtures, don’t use lemon.  You won’t be happy.

  • Chorizo Goat Cheese Quiche

    Drop everything, run to your nearest market, fire up the oven and make my Chorizo Goat Cheese Quiche immediately. Immediately!!  It’s that good…and super easy.

    Yep, making a quiche is simple, and the result is always incredibly delicious.  A homemade quiche always reminds me of my mom – she loves to make a basic one with broccoli, crunchy bacon and cheddar.  Yum!

    My quiche, a chorizo and goat cheese number, walks a bit more on the wild side.  It’ll take about 60 minutes from start to finish with prep and cook time.

    1. 1 pre-made, frozen pie shell (you can make your own, but save yourself the time and effort tonight and pick up a good ol’ Marie Callender’s)

    2. 6 eggs

    3. 1/2 c. milk

    4. splash of water

    5. 1/4 c. chopped green onions

    6. 4 inches of chorizo cut off a chorizo sausage, chopped (casings removed)

    7. half a small yellow onion, chopped

    8. 5 tablespoons fresh goat cheese, crumbled

    9. salt and pepper to taste

    10. non-stick spray

    1. Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop up the chorizo and yellow onion into small pieces. I chop up the chorizo fairly fine, because I prefer it to be cooked throughout the quiche rather than in large slices. If you’re chorizo is already ground, use 1/2 c. of chorizo.

    2. Heat up a medium sized skilled over medium-high heat and spray with a non-stick spray.  Add the chorizo and chopped onion together, stirring frequently until the chorizo gets pretty brown, the onions start to become translucent, and everything starts to pop in the pan a bit.  I prefer crunchy chorizo, so I cook mine very well.  Take them off the heat when done.

    3. Chop up your green onions into small pieces.  Crack eggs into a bowl, add the milk, a splash of water, and green onions.  Add salt and pepper to taste (I’d go with 3 generous pinches of salt, and 6ish shakes of pepper), then whisk everything together.

    4. Put the chorizo/onion mix in the bottom of your pie shell.  Pour half of your egg mixture into shell.  Take your goat cheese and sporadically place a little more than half of the cheese into the mix.  Pour the second half of the egg mix on top of that.  Finish with the rest of the goat cheese and pop that beauty into the oven for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

    5. If your crust starts to brown too much, create an aluminum foil ring to gently place on the crust as it finishes in the oven.

    6. You know your quiche is done when it starts to rise up a little bit, or when its clear that the eggs are no longer runny.

    7. Eat.  Tell me what you think.

    Serving Size: 1 Quiche

    Oven to 350 F

    Difficulty Level: Easy/Medium

  • TheLoDown