Family Fun Day – Recipes: Tex-Mex Fish Tacos and Creamy Taco Sauce

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We decided to start our spring break a little early.   Sean had taken Friday off work so that we go could to Sea World.  Since it was rainy and cold, Sea World was out.  But, not being ones to let a little rain drag us down, we changed our plans and declared it Family Fun Day. We went to lunch. Photobucket Photobucket And, then we went bowling. Photobucket It was Summer and Ethan’s first time to bowl. They started with the little bowling rack and then advanced to rolling the ball all by themselves. Gabriel was the ultimate big brother, helping them with their first bowling adventure. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Watching the littles bowl was the highlight of the trip.  They had so much fun.  Ethan was full of cheers and high-fives.  I loved his enthusiasm about it all. Photobucket And, watching Summer’s joyful heart, as she jumped, cheered, and gave it her all, was simply infectious. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket After bowling, they played a few video games. Photobucket The finale of the day was a trip to Toys R Us, where they each picked out a toy, game or movie. Photobucket Truth be told, I was not feeling my best.  I had a little stomach bug on Thursday, and I was still feeling off on Friday.  However, it is amazing how Family Fun Day took my mind off of not feeling well.  My family has a way of bringing out the best in me, even on my not-so-good days. It is one of the many wonderful things about being a mom. I did not make these Fish Tacos on Family Fun Day, but I wanted to share them with you today because the day that I made them was an impromptu family fun in the kitchen day.   The littles were all in the kitchen with me, and we were listening to music, having a great time.  For some reason, I just had it all together that day, and everything was coming along magically…until…Ethan accidentally dumped salsa all over Dakota, our sweet dog. I did kind of freak out for a second because I was rolling out homemade tortillas, looking at salsa everywhere, and wondering how everything went from smooth sailing to chaos in .5 seconds.  But, somehow, someway, everything still came together.  I told Dakota to freeze, and she actually obeyed me.  The littles went to play.  I finished rolling tortillas.  And, then I bathed Dakota.  Miracle of all miracles is that dinner was still on the table by the time that Sean got home.  And by dinner, I mean, fish tacos, homemade spicy coleslaw, and delicious fresh tortillas.  Unicorns, rainbows, and fairies all must have appeared to pull that off.  Best of all…it was an absolutely amazing dinner.

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Tex-Mex Fish Tacos

Tex-Mex Fish Tacos

The fish portion of the fish tacos was inspired by a recipe that I found on All Recipes.

Ingredients

Fish Tacos

2 pounds tilapia fillets

3 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 whole lime, juiced

3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

Kosher salt, sprinkled over fish

Black pepper, sprinkled over fish

Toppings

Black beans, cooked

Frozen corn, cooked

Creamy taco sauce

Homemade tortillas

Instructions

  1. Combine olive oil, lime juice, soy sauce, chili powder, cumin and garlic.
  2. Sprinkle fish with salt and pepper, and place in a ziplock bag or large bowl.
  3. Pour marinade over fish, cover, and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  4. Preheat broiler to high.
  5. Place foil on baking pan, and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  6. Add the fish, in a single layer, to the baking pan.
  7. Broil fish for 2-3 minutes, turn, and broil for another 2-3 minutes on the other side.
  8. While the fish is broiling, cook the black bean and corn.
  9. After the fish is cooked, and can easily flake with a fork, remove it to a platter. Using two forks, cut it into chunks.
  10. Serve in homemade tortillas with corn, black beans, and creamy taco sauce.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/12/family-fun-day-recipes-tex-mex-fish-tacos-and-creamy-taco-sauce/

Creamy Fish Taco Sauce

Creamy Fish Taco Sauce

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 jalapeno

Kosher salt, to taste

Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Place everything into a blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until smooth and creamy.
  3. Serve drizzled over fish tacos or on the side, as a dipping sauce.
http://cookingformykids.com/2012/03/12/family-fun-day-recipes-tex-mex-fish-tacos-and-creamy-taco-sauce/

I will share the recipes for the spicy coleslaw and homemade tortillas later this week.

Enjoy!

I linked up at the following:

Add a Pinch for Mingle Monday

A Southern Fairytale

My Chef – Recipe: Crawfish Etouffee

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I know that I have mentioned my amazing husband just a few times.

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I gush about him because he truly is a wonderful man.

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I am very fortunate that he first became my friend…

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then my husband…

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and then the father of my children.

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As a friend, he helped me remember who I was.  He once told his mom that I was the nicest person who he had ever met.  To this day, that compliment makes me smile.  Because…to be a nice person is truly very important to me.  That is how my parents raised me, and I knew that I achieved success in their eyes in so many ways.  Being kind to others was a huge part of that success.

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As a husband, our worlds intertwined because we truly came together as best friends and as soul mates.  We got married in Las Vegas…because we wanted to do that.  We wanted our wedding to be about the two of us.  While we love our families dearly, we wanted to truly begin that day as one.  And, becoming one completed me…or at least I thought that I was complete….until…

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As a father to our children, Sean truly did complete my world.  He gave me children.  I did not know that life could be any better than it already was…until I held Gabriel for the first time.  And, to see Sean hold our son. Wow…there are no words for that.  When we had children, he gave me a compliment even greater than that of being the nicest person who he knew.  He told me that I was the best mom.  So, yes, he truly is an amazing man – friend, husband, father.

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And, as if it could get better than that…it does.  He can cook, too!  Yep, my man can cook…and he is very, very good at it.  Unfortunately, his schedule does not allow for him to do it very often.  But, when he does…he creates magic in the kitchen.  He is a talented, loving, kind man.  And, he can cook!

For my birthday, he made me Jane Deere’s Creamy Crawfish Etouffee.  If you have not visited her blog, you really, truly should.  The first time that I found it, I immediately pinned no less than 5 recipes.  She has beautiful recipes and some amazing pictures to go along with them.  I found the Crawfish Etouffee recipe on Jennifer’s amazing blog, and I knew that I wanted it for my birthday.   Sean is all about making Cajun food, so I was certain that this would be right up his alley.  I took one bite, and I knew that my birthday was complete perfection….just like my dear sweet best friend, husband, and father of my children.

Crawfish Etouffee

Crawfish Etouffee

This recipe is Jane Deere's Creamy Crawfish Etouffee, with some very slight modifications.

Ingredients

1 stick unsalted butter

1 cup celery, diced

1 onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 tablespoon Gumbo File

2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

6 cups chicken stock

1 cup heavy cream

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 pounds crawfish tail meat

6 cups cooked long grain white rice

1 tablespoon freshly chopped parsley leaves, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Saute the celery, bell pepper, and onion on medium heat until the vegetables become tender.
  2. Add the spices and garlic. Saute to combine, and then blend in the flour to form a roux around the vegetables, over medium-high heat.
  3. Cook thoroughly until the roux starts to brown slightly.
  4. Add the chicken stock a little at a time, stirring to bring all the ingredients together to form a thickened stew mixture.
  5. Stir in the crawfish tail meat, and then the cream.
  6. Simmer on low heat for about 15 minutes.
  7. Serve over rice and garnish with parsley.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/11/10/my-chef-recipe-crawfish-etouffee/

Enjoy!

I have shared this recipe at Fireflies and Jellybeans, Momnivore’s Dilemma, Delightful Order, Recipes for My Boys It’s a Keeper, Somewhat Simple and Miz Helen’s Country Cottage.

Recipe – Baked Tilapia

We had a great start to our cooking journey.  Sean was off work today, so he held down the fort while I went to four grocery stores.  As I mentioned earlier, we received the test results two days before our vacation, and we just returned yesterday. We agreed before we left to start the new cooking plan once we returned, so I was scrambling a bit today to plan some meals, buy groceries, and get started.  Of course, I complicated the day by being determined to find all of the ingredients for some gluten free, milk free, nut free chocolate chip cookies….more on that later.

We pretty much stuck to my initial meal plan.  I just tweaked it a little.

Breakfast – Boiled eggs, bacon, diced skillet potatoes, and juice

Lunch – Lentil Soup

Snack – Oranges and sunflower seeds

Dinner – Baked Tilapia,  zucchini/squash/carrots stir-fry, and rice

Dessert – Chocolate chip cookies

Baked Tilapia

Baked Tilapia

Ingredients

4 Tilapia fillets

olive oil

Old Bay seasoning

Onion powder

Garlic salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Line baking sheet with foil.
  3. Lay the tilapia fillets on the foil-lined pan.
  4. Drizzle each with olive oil and sprinkle with seasonings.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes, until the fish can easily flake with a fork.
http://cookingformykids.com/2011/07/21/todays-recipes/

Everyone enjoyed the meals today, and it was nice that we were all pretty much eating the same thing, for a change.  My youngest did not eat everything, but she at least tried almost everything, which is new.  For lunch, she just had the broth from the soup, and for dinner, she had the rice with cashews and sliced bananas.  The boys both tried and ate everything, and this momma was smiling both inside and out.

As I mentioned earlier, I wanted to bake the kids some cookies today for being so good, patient, encouraging, and understanding with this new journey and phase of our lives.  Since they are only 4, 6, and 8, I want them to understand that meal time is not something to dread.  I will still prepare meals that they like; we will just simply be omitting some things.  This is a lifestyle change for the good of all of us.  The oldest and youngest have both been very sweet and kind about the fact that we are doing this as a family because “it would not be fair to Ethan if we ate something that he could not eat”.

So, back to the cookies…I am not going to post the recipe for that yet….because it did not turn out as well as I would have liked.  The kids gobbled them up. And, Sean said that they were really good.  We all liked the taste.  The cookies just did not present well, and they were very, very soft.  We love soft cookies, but these were hard to even hold the shape of a cookie.  I got the recipe out of a cookbook, and I still think that the cookbook is going to be great.  Once I perfect them (and make some tweaks, if necessary), I will post the recipe.  This is our new cooking challenge and adventure, and I am excited to cook healthy food and also bake treats, as well.