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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Easy Taco Cups Recipe

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and the Coca-Cola Company. All opinions are mine alone. #GameDayBundle #PlayPauseRefresh #CollectiveBias



Are you ready for some foodball?!?!  I mean football!!!  But for real...food & football go hand in hand, amiright?!?!


Football is in full swing right now & along with that comes yummy food & drinks.  I'm getting more & more into the actual games every year, but mostly, I want to keep my friends & family well fed!  I've said it before & I'll say it again...finger foods are the way to go for football parties...or any party for that matter.  That, along with a fridge full of cold Coca-Cola® & the new COCA-COLA® ZERO SUGAR, will make your party complete!  COKE ZERO SUGAR has more real Coca-Cola® flavor & still doesn't have any sugar!


Taco Cups were on the menu this week & they are SOOO simple!



TACO CUPS

Ingredients:
- 1 lb. ground beef
- street taco flour tortillas
- taco seasoning packet or homemade taco seasoning (recipe below)
- 1/2 C. water

Taco Seasoning:
- 1/4 tsp each of comino (cumin), onion powder, chili powder, Adobo, garlic powder

Directions:
- Bake street taco tortillas in a cupcake pan at 350F for 10-12 minutes
- Brown the ground beef; drain
- Pour in the taco seasoning & water into the browned ground beef
- Simmer the taco meat until seasoning is infused into the meat
- Fill the baked taco cups with taco meat & toppings of your choice





Optional Toppings:
lettuce; shredded
onions; chopped
tomatoes; chopped
cilantro; chopped
lime wedges


These Taco Cups are so portable & easy to eat in just a few bites!  Wash it all down with a COKE ZERO SUGAR & you're good to go for the rest of the game!



I purchased my COKE ZERO SUGAR at Randalls.  You can save on so many products right now at Albertsons, Tom Thumb & Randalls Stock Up Sale starting in-store on 10/4.  Don't forget to look for the new COKE ZERO SUGAR on the end caps in a cool display!



Show us how you #PlayPauseRefresh for a chance to win a $25 gift card or even a grand prize package including a 55" television, a sound bar, a TV stick, and a catered viewing party.  For more information on how to enter please click here.



Buen Provecho!


Thursday, September 7, 2017

More Love Than Water #houstonstrong #TexasStrong

Has anyone figured out what day it is yet?  To say these last couple weeks have been a blur, is an understatement!  I just realized some of my calendars are still on August.  The kids have been out of school for 2 weeks. (They sure did enjoy those 4 days though!)  Bo finally got to get back into his Houston office Tuesday.  And a lot of people are still displaced & ripping through their homes that were destroyed in the storm.


Waiting for Hurricane Harvey to hit Texas, we knew the threat to Houston & its surrounding areas, was going to be rain & flooding.  My family got prepared for electricity to go out, for stores to not have food for a while & for gas pumps to run out of gas, so I shopped accordingly.  We got lots of food & froze what we could.  We bought water, ice & charcoal.  We got our flashlights & batteries ready and candles & matches together.  I packed a backpack with all of our important papers...birth certificates, wallet, passports, etc...just in case.  We moved all of our priceless photos & baby books upstairs & bagged them up.  We filled our tubs with water so we'd be able to flush toilets  later.  Bo cleared everything from the backyard into the garage.  By Saturday night, in between all the tornado watches that were incessantly blowing up our phones, we prepared a tornado bunker in my closet.  It's a sad mama moment when you have to move your sleeping child into your closet to keep her safe.


My family was spared during this catastrophe.  The flood waters rose to a foot from my front porch, there was a break in the storm & the flood waters receded a bit, not to rise that high again, at least at my house.  Unfortunately, one of my Aunts got water in her house in Pasadena, my other Aunt was marooned in her neighborhood in Rosharon from the Brazos river flooding, where each house appeared to be on its own little island & our friends offered to get my Memaw & Uncle out of their flooding neighborhood in Alvin!  But we were BLESSED!  Lucky!  Whatever word you feel like using.  I wonder sometimes why some are spared & some have so much devastation.  Is it so we are able to help others?  To offer ourselves...our services...our things?  I'm not saying I have survivor's guilt...but if not, it's pretty damn close.


My sister Valerie came down from Austin last Friday & we had the honor of helping one of her best friend's family from high school on Saturday morning.  They live in the Wedgewood neighborhood in Friendswood, on Clear Creek, which was just completely devastated in this storm.  Clear Creek is directly behind their across the street neighbor's houses & they essentially lost everything.  Material items anyway.  Clothes, furniture, books & more were pulled out of the house.  Some items were sopping wet & muddy with contaminated creek water.  Into the trash pile they went.  Anything that could be salvaged was most likely upstairs.  Sorting through all of these items, there was only one thing that was kept a priority....make sure the pictures & videos were safe & dry.  When all was said & done, the memories were the only things that mattered.  Not the dripping wet sleeping bag, not the mud covered Elfa closet system, not the refrigerator on its back in the middle of the kitchen.


Seeing everyone's entire life out on their lawns is a tough pill to swallow.  Even harder when it's where you grew up.  I'm not saying I've done everything I could.  I'm sure I could've done more.  But for now, I will do what I can.  We will store items for a flood victim, I will watch kids for folks having to go back to work, we will open our home to my Aunt so she can make it to work on non-flooded streets.


There was over a trillion gallons of water that fell on Houston.  A TRILLION!  Can you even imagine that number, in any capacity?  Now take that number & multiply it by infinity.  That's the amount of love & support that's coming out of this city.  There was never a question of who you are, what color you are, what religion you are, what economic status you are, what neighborhood you were from...if you needed help, you were going to get it.  The Nation saw what being a TEXAN really means.  Whether you're a Native Texan or you "got here as fast as you could," we're here, we're proud, we're humble & we're survivors!


Here are just a few pictures of my experience:

Empty shelves at Kroger before Hurricane Harvey in Texas
Empty shelves at Kroger, prepping for Hurricane Harvey

Hurricane Harvey flashlight survival kit
Our bucket of flashlights & batteries (kept on counter)

Hurricane Harvey candle survival kit
Our bucket of "fire" light (kept on counter)

Hurricane Harvey Tornado Warning bunker in closet
My sweet girl asleep in my closet during Tornado Warnings

Hurricane Harvey Tornado Warning bunker in closet
My other sweet girl keeping busy in my closet during Tornado Warnings

Hurricane Harvey street flooding 12:55am (Sun)  League City, Texas
My street

Hurricane Harvey street flooding 2:02am (Sun)  League City, Texas
My driveway

Appleblossom in Wedgewood  Hurricane Harvey  Friendswood, Texas
Appleblossom in Wedgewood, Friendswood, TX

Burned house in Wedgewood, Friendswood, Texas  Hurricane Harvey
Wedgewood, Friendswood, TX




Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #RediscoverLaMorena #VivaLaMorena #CollectiveBias



Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos with LA MORENA®


This summer has been spent in the sun...lots of sun...and somehow, equally lots of rain.  We've had family in from out of town lately & we like to cook home made meals when we can...especially out on the grill!  Luckily, the rain has been giving us some reprieve around dinner time, so outside we go!


I had been wanting to try something new using LA MORENA® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce & just knew I had to try it on fish tacos!  LA MORENA® has been providing the highest quality traditional flavors for over 35 years!  I hadn't had the LA MORENA® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce before & it did not disappoint!  I traveled over to my local Fiesta & picked some up, along with some LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños!  Even had a little fun hanging out under a palm tree!  I mean...it is summer, right?!

If you want to rediscover more flavors & recipes with LA MORENA® you should check out their summer recipes.  You can also enter below for a chance to win some exciting prizes that will help you discover new places!
#VivaLaMorenaSweepstakes(7/19 to 8/23)

Bo & I love a good fish taco & I found the cutest little street taco tortillas to use!  Are you a corn tortilla person or a flour tortilla person?  I can go either way but for a seafood taco...it's corn all the way!

I personally love tilapia!  It's thin (which is a must for me), flaky & super simple to cook.  I also like the fact that it's normally sold in a bag full of individually wrapped fillets.  So you can take out the amount you want without having to thaw the entire package.

I grabbed all of my ingredients & got to work!

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with LA MORENA®

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with LA MORENA®. Tilapia is the perfect flaky fish for summer fish tacos

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos

Ingredients:
2-3 fillets of Tilapia
1 can of LA MORENA® Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (7oz)
1 can of LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños (28oz.)
ranch dip (store bought or homemade)
seasoned salt
olive oil (to drizzle)
corn tortillas

Garnishes:
chopped red onion
chopped cilantro
lime

Prep:
Place about 1/2 cup of ranch dip in a food processor.  Add 2-3 chipotle peppers.  Pulse until creamy.  Put in refrigerator to thicken.

Directions:
- Place fish fillets on a sheet of foil
- Lightly salt each side of the fish fillets
- Coat each side of the fish with the adobo sauce from the LA MORENA® can
- Spread a dollop of the Chipotle Ranch mixture onto each fish fillet
- Lightly drizzle olive oil over the fish fillets (so the fish doesn't stick to the foil while being grilled)
- Place another piece of foil over the fish fillets
- Wrap the edges together to make a foil pouch
- Grill 10-12 minutes

Once done, rip open the top of the foil pouch & plate it up!


I'm not one for frying my corn tortillas to soften them up, so I just soften corn tortillas in a moist paper towel.  Run a little water on a paper towel, wrap tortillas in it & microwave for 30 seconds or so.  They soften them up with the humidity from the moist paper towel & come out perfect every time!

I prepared each of my street taco corn tortillas with the fish & topped with red onion, cilantro & some Chipotle Ranch.  And the final verdict.... DELICIOUS!  My husband grilled the fish perfectly, the fish had a nice spice to it & the Chipotle Ranch was just spicy enough to add more flavor & cool it down all at the same time.
Spicy Chipotle Ranch with LA MORENA® Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce


Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with LA MORENA®Cooking Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Tacos with LA MORENA® chipotle peppers in adobo sauce


Another garnish my husband likes to use is pico de gallo.  We normally buy a pre-made pico from the grocery store but sometimes it's just not hot enough.  This time, I added some LA MORENA® Sliced Jalapeños & jalapeño juice to the pico de gallo & it was MUCH spicier!
Spicy pico de gallo with LA MORENA® sliced jalapenos

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos with LA MORENA®

Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos with LA MORENA®

poolside Spicy Chipotle Grilled Fish Street Tacos with LA MORENA®


These spicy chipotle grilled fish street tacos would be the perfect meal to take out to the beach...or even cook on the beach!  Keep following along on Instagram to see where LA MORENA® is taking me next!



Buen Provecho!

www.nativetexanlivin.com

Friday, June 23, 2017

Native Texan Travels: Space Center Houston

NASA Space Center Houston


Once again, I realized I've lived in this city my whole life and I've NEVER been to Space Center Houston!!!  I decided this is happening a little more often than I'd like to admit!  I guess when you drive by something weekly, if not more frequently, it becomes a little less MUST HAVE TO SEE IT RIGHT NOW...LET ME IN!  Know what I mean?


This is a bit of a #laterpost as this trip was during Spring Break of this year, but who's judging?!  STOP JUDGING! ;-)  Although, I have a feeling there's gonna be a lot of #laterposts coming up. (Is that a thing...like a #latergram? If not, then call me creative.(although, I'm pretty sure it's already a thing! )) 


OK, let's get back on track! :-)  My sister drove down to Houston from Austin with her boys & we decided to take a field trip to Space Center Houston.  Right before you enter the gates, you'll see 2 T-38A Talon jets on display.  Look close enough & you'll see each jet has its own pilot!  Hi fellas! ;-)
T-38A Talon Jets NASA Johnson Space Center Space Center Houston, TX

NASA Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center  Houston, TX


This is the parking lot guys!  AMAZING!!!
Shuttle replica Space Center Houston

Shuttle replica with kids Space Center Houston


We arrived shortly after Space Center Houston opened & our first stop was Independence Plaza.  Before you ever leave home, you can sign up for timed tickets...a free perk with your paid admission ticket so you can bypass waiting in a long line to get on the Independence. (think fast-pass)  The timed tickets are free, so there's really no reason NOT to get one!  If you don't get one, you'll most likely find yourself weaving in/out of those cattle call lines.)
Space Center Houston rover

Posing in front of the Endeavour replica at Space Center Houston


You can walk up the stairs or take an elevator up to the Independence replica.  (Yeah, you heard me right...I said replica.  Let's not open up that can of worms again on who got the REAL shuttle!)  Moving on...you walk into the Independence flight deck & the cockpit is off to the right.  It's a pretty small area to walk around in so you kinda just have to wait your turn to get up to the front.  One more level down & you can see a very cramped sleeping quarters & restroom.
Shuttle replica cockpit Space Center Houston


Again, one more level down, you enter the original NASA 905 shuttle carrier aircraft.  This is the world's only shuttle mounted on a shuttle carrier aircraft (SCA) & the only one that allows the public to enter both!  The SCA is full of exhibits, artifacts, experiments & information about past missions.  Have you ever placed a shuttle on top of an SCA?  Maggie & Liam did!Playing in the plane Space Center Houston


This is a cool wall you see as you walk back into the building from Independence Plaza.  It shows the Endeavor flying over Houston.  This was actually really cool to see in person.  They flew over the entire city...even flew over our house!
Endeavour flying over Houston - Space Center Houston

Endeavour replica flying over Houston - Space Center Houston


After Independence Plaza, we played in the Kid Space Place.  We saw how much we would weigh on different planets, played with different experiments, we did some simulation landings & took off in our own little spacecraft capsule!
Maggie flying a simulator - Space Center Houston

Shuttle Simulator - Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston Kid Zone


Next up was the tram tour!  Once again, you can get a timed ticket for FREEEEE!

There are different tram tours to choose from, but with each one, you have to get back in line.  We chose to go to Building 9, which was the Vehicle Mock-Up Facility. The Space Center Houston site describes this as:
From the catwalk high above the massive floor, you’ll see several mock-ups of International Space Station parts and even get a look at the new Orion capsule. You might see pieces of the Canada Arm or other new and developing tech that will pave the way for future exploration. Cutting edge rovers, robots, next-level space suits. Here is where the impossible is happening right now. Be a part of history in the making as you witness engineers, scientists and astronauts shaping the future of space exploration.
Building 9 - Vehicle Mock-up Facility - Space Center Houston

ISS - Building 9 - Vehicle Mock-up Facility - Space Center Houston

Orion - Red Line Tour - Space Center Houston

Building 9 Vehicle Mock-up Facility robot


All tram tours end with a visit to Saturn V at Rocket Park.  You can walk around outside to explore before heading in to see the world's only complete Saturn V!  This actually used to be completely open outside along a main road where you could see it every time you drove by.  It was really cool to see & we were all a bit sad when they started building a building over it.  However, it was starting to deteriorate, so they did a full restoration to get it as close as possible back to its original glory.
Izzy at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Sign at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Rocket at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Saturn V at Rocket Park - Space Center Houston

Kids in front of Saturn V - Space Center Houston

Me & My Girls - Space Center Houston

Saturn V at Rocket Park astronaut display

Saturn V Rocket Park


After our tour, we stopped in the food court for a quick bite to eat before exploring the rest of Space Center Houston.  There is SO much to see & do!  Experiments, live shows, a theater, displays & exhibits...
Space Center Houston shuttle model

Displays at Space Center Houston

Space Center Houston display


Kids playing in Space Center Houston


Maggie - Space Center Houston

Maggie driving the rover - Space Center Houston


We had a fabulous time exploring!  Until next time...
Kids after Space Center Houston


“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.” – Carl Sagan

www.nativetexanlivin.com