• Elote
    Side Dish

    Elote (Street Corn) Salad

    This is the last of my California-related food posts for now. Elote is basically a creamy corn salad dish that was all over the place in Sonoma. We had it at least twice and its was great both times. It also turns out that it is super versatile; we had it for breakfast and dinner! You can really make the dish in a few different ways to give it different flavors. The first step is deciding how you want to cook the corn. You can roast it or grill it; if you have access to a grill I would go that way. Grilling gives the great addition of the charred…

  • NY Strip Fajita
    Dinner

    New York Strip “Fajitas”

    These are not what you’d call traditional fajitas, but we were looking to mix up our Mexican-inspired menu a bit. We have done plenty of taco/enchilada variants so it was time for something along the vein of Taco Tuesday, just elevated. Enter this awesome New York Strip recipe. Rob really took the lead for the steak, as usual. It’s something he really enjoys cooking and experimenting with, so I am going to let him keep going with it. The steak cooking technique is old-school European in style. Rob took the traditional French butter basting technique but added a lot of Mexican inspired flavor. First was the spice rub for the…

  • tri tip taco instant pot
    Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Tri Tip Tacos

    I finally have another Taco Tuesday post for you all!! This time its a super easy tri tip taco made easy with the Instant Pot. It’s got loads of flavor, is super tender, and requires minimal effort. Rob and I made one of our not so common trips to Trader Joe’s recently. I love Trader Joe’s, you can find some great stuff for pretty cheap, its just not a particularly convenient location for us so our trips are somewhat more sporadic. On this particular trip, we spotted some vacuum sealed tri tip roast and decided to give it a try. Tri Tip comes from the sirloin of a cow and…

  • chicken nachos
    Dinner

    Tequila-Lime Chicken Nachos

    I love nachos!! I’m not sure if its the finger food aspect or what, but there are times I like them more than tacos. This version is a ground chicken version using one of my favorite flavor combos for Mexican food: tequila and lime!!! Rob and I have been making something along these lines for a while, but haven’t really ever made them pretty like this. Historically, we just used those store-bought taco seasoning packs. There is just something about those things that is hard to replicate. Plus they are just so easy, I don’t always feeling like trying. Anyway this time around, we did make our own spice mix.…

  • grilled shrimp taco
    Dinner

    Grilled Shrimp Street Tacos

    Rob and I could not stop quoting the Good Place the whole time we were making these tacos. Whether we were calling them “Shrampis” or joking about white chocolate sauce on them, we were laughing almost the whole time. I have recently started liking shrimp and I still don’t always like it. I really like them grilled or seared with a sauce. While eating out, I recently had a Korean shrimp taco that was awesome and that is what sort of inspired me to make these. I did stick to a more traditional flavor profile for this one with a lime-jalapeno marinade to start. To note, I didn’t let it…

  • Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos

    Memorial Day is this weekend and that often means big get togethers. A popular get together option for my family is always the taco spread. You get bowls of all the toppings and let people do what they want with it. My slow cooker Pork Carnitas are on of my favorite taco meat options. They taste awesome and in reality are pretty simple. That said, trying to get the slow cooker ready in the morning on top of my workout and getting ready for work is a struggle. Enter the Instant Pot!!!! The Instant Pot take what would otherwise be a 8+ hour cook time and all the headache in…

  • summer turkey chili
    Dinner

    Summer Turkey Chili

    It has been a while since I last made chili and now that it’s getting warmer I wanted to make it a little lighter. The answer was a brighter Turkey-based chili that maintained that key heartiness but feels a lot lighter. The turkey was a really great meat for chili. Its on the leaner side and brings some light flavor. We did a mix of ground white and dark meat to keep it lean overall but also get some of that great dark meat flavor. For flavors, I used a pretty classic spice mix, but instead of going for smoky like my normal beef chili and went bright. We went…

  • taco dip
    Appetizer

    Taco Dip

    Taco Dip is the quintessential McKeown family party staple. I think this has made an appearance at almost every party regardless of the season or event. Engagement party? Yep. Thanksgiving? Yep. Christmas? Definitely. The best part is that Rob loves it too; he almost immediately took to this dip. It is dangerous at parties since its so easy to eat; people can pretty easily forget that its so filling. The best part of this dip is how simple it is. It has three ingredients: cream cheese, salsa, and taco cheese. Once you have those three you simply layer them in that order. Its best to microwave the cream cheese for…

  • adobo roast chicken
    Dinner

    Adobo Roast Chicken

    I have been looking for ways to make my roast chickens a little crispier. Normally, I just pat the chicken dry and use a little oil or butter. This generally leads to a pretty crispy skin, but not to the level that I have been wanting. So to the internet I went. The solution I tried this time around is a dry brine of the chicken. If you aren’t familiar, its basically rub the bird in salt and let it sit in your fridge for a while. By a while, I mean like hours; so this a weekend or prep the night before kind of recipe. Its a little more…

  • roast corn mole
    Side Dish

    Roasted Corn con Mole

    I will start by saying that this is probably not a true Mole sauce. It is definitely strongly inspired with warm Mexican spices and the essential dark chocolate. Mole sauces are really interesting but definitely a little intimidating. In general, I am a little nervous to try very authentic, traditional foods. More often than not there is a subtlety to the technique or the recipe that recipes sometimes just don’t capture. So I stuck to the inspiration. Corn is easily one of my favorite spring-summer side dishes. Its versatile, fun, and a great way to introduce children to cooking. I always remember growing up and shucking corn in the summer.…