Beef

El Poblano

I have a kid who loves Mexican food.  Namely tacos.  That’s all she wants to eat.  I’ll do the good mom thing and make them for her when she wants them…. lots of taco bell boxes at Publix when they’re buy one get one free.  Just being honest.  I picked her up from school and she begged to go out to eat tacos at an actual restaurant.  Not Moe’s – Not Chipotle – but a Mexican sit down restaurant.  I told her to ask her daddy… which is a 110% yes.  I’m not sure why I didn’t just break down and say yes but I was trying to pass the buck.

And since I didn’t have tacos on my grocery list, I thought what the heck.  I mean she DID get a 100% on a quiz!

We decided to go back to El Poblano in Vestavia Hills off of Rocky Ridge Road.  They have more on their menu that we don’t really recognize so we like that!  A lot!

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The chips were thin and super crispy.  Let’s talk about the salsa – medium spicy and delicious!  The cheese dip?  Well it was melty cheese.  Nothing to talk about there.

Carne Azada www.choppingsticks.com

I ordered the Carne Azada – Grilled flank steak with strips of poblano chile and potatoes.  Sides were black beans with cheese and a mixed yellow rice (loved it!).   This is going to be something I’ll make our next taco night.  So good!

Carne Azada www.choppingsticks.com

LOOK AT THIS!  Yum.  It’s a lot of food though.  Share!

Seafood Taco www.choppingsticks.com

Nick opted for the deep fried seafood tacos.  It’s  a taco flauta!  This taco was stuffed with small scallops, shrimp, and fish in it.  The salsa that it’s served with is super spicy.  I couldn’t do it…. I ran out of heartburn meds.  Boo.  He won’t eat avocado so he passed that onto me – SCORE!  It was really good too but beware… oil will drip out of the back as you bite it.

We’ll be back to visit El Poblano.  There were some specials that I didn’t see that I want to try – they had Mahi Mahi tacos and chorizo tacos.  I think I’ll order a special next time!

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A New Hope

2016 is going to be more of everything…more meals, dining experiences, and more posts.  I realized today that I have not updated this blog in two months.  Seriously what a loser.  HA!  Let me reassure my family again – I will continue to cook and I will start posting recipes and more photographs of my food.  I’m sure my Instagram followers are tired of seeing my food.  And since I hate posting without a picture… here is my obligatory food photo for this post…. even though it has absolutely nothing to do with the content….

Braised pork belly in steamed buns

To be perfectly transparent, I believe I freaked myself out by even starting this blog.  I put so much pressure on myself to have pleasing and perfect pictures that I forgot to have fun and enjoy the entire process.  The light in my house is far from perfect and I have to make do with flash and strobe lights – which I thought was sub par.  But my husband reminded me to just do what I love.  Just cook…. find great recipes and take pictures as I can.  With my phone or my camera!  So here’s to 2016!!!  Going back to what I love and trying not to put unnecessary pressure on myself!

Now I can breathe and go cook, bake, and blog!

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Beef Vegetable Soup

Beef and Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

When the weather gets cooler and the leaves begin to turn to gold, you realize it’s time for some good hearty soup.  I cannot, for the life of me, eat hot soup in the summer.  It may be because it’s Alabama weather – hot, humid, and unbearable.  So eating hot soup in the summer is a no go for me.  I look forward to the cooler weather that September and October brings because it means football and beef vegetable soup.

This beef vegetable soup recipe makes a large pot – some for now… some for later!  We are a family of five so we don’t really have a lot for later – which is perfectly fine for me.  The first time I had this beef vegetable soup was at Nick’s mom and dad’s house (we call them Mem and Pop).  Mem usually makes this soup when she makes chili – that way we have a choice at dinner.  To be honest, we eat both.  It’s too good to pass up.  I typically make cornbread to eat with soup but today, I was lazzzzyyyyyyy.  The topping for lazy bones is oyster crackers.  You’re welcome family!

Beef Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Not sure if your family loves oyster crackers like my family does – they eat handfuls at a time!  I mean really!  Would you like some soup with your crackers?  I came home from work, hung up my purse, walked into the living room to cuddle Cash, and he was nowhere to be found.  He left behind evidence though…. an empty bag of oyster crackers with crumbles all over the couch.  ALL OVER!  Dude!  I found him under the dining room table with all that was left of the crackers in his tiny hand.

Beef and Vegetable Soup www.choppingsticks.com

Satisfying dinner that makes everyone in the family happy!  Wellllllll – almost everyone happy.  My little picky guy who freaks out at the sight of SO MANY VEGGIES was unsure about this dinner.  I convinced him to eat some though…. you know… Santa is watching.  It kinda worked.  Enjoy!

Beef Vegetable Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of lean hamburger meat
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 28 oz whole tomatoes
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 32 oz beef broth
  • 30 oz frozen soup veggies (my favorite has potatoes and okra included - Publix brand)
  • Parsley, handful chopped finely

Instructions

  1. Brown hamburger meat. Season the hamburger meat with salt, pepper, garlic powder, oregano and chili powder. When cooked through, drain fat off of meat.
  2. In a large stock pot, add cooked and seasoned hamburger meat, hand crushed whole tomatoes with juice, onion slices, chopped garlic, beef broth and frozen vegetables.
  3. Add more water to cover vegetables if the broth is not enough. Add chopped parsley and stir together.
  4. Turn heat on high until soup boils, then turn to low heat to simmer for 30 minutes so the frozen vegetables can cook through. Taste the soup and then add salt and more pepper to taste. You don't want to over salt!
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Beef Tips and Polenta

Beef Tips www.choppingsticks.com

Ever since I started watching food shows on tv, I wanted to find some polenta and cook it up.  I know it’s like grits…. but different.  Polenta seems to be more finely ground corn while grits are more coarse.  You can feel the grain when you eat grits.  I’m not going to tell any stories here.  I did not make the polenta.  I found it in a tube!  At Trader Joe’s!  It was in the pasta section – Organic Polenta.  It was calling my name.  Had to grab some and then decide what the heck I would do with it. Continue reading

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