Fool your friends “fancy” taco’s

Do you ever have those weeks that just draaaaaag on? One of life’s worst tricks, when you’re sure it’s Friday but it’s really only Thursday.  I had a customer at work enlighten me a few weeks ago with a funny little acronym….. SHIT (Shoot Honey It’s Thursday).  So appropriate this week!  Maybe it was the 4 day exercise challenge I gave myself, or maybe it was working 5 whole days after 2 weeks of 4 day work weeks…or maybe it’s because I’m a working mama with an energetic 2 year old! Either way I needed an easy, yet delicious dinner to fit the bill tonight to make up for forgetting to make our usual Friday night pizza dough.

This recipe is a family fave around our house, it’s simple, inexpensive, and oh so tasty.  With a few simple ingredients you can create a delicious masterpiece that will have your taste buds raving, and your friends and family fooled!

The ingredients line up.

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Family Style Pork Taco’s with Lime Cilantro Cabbage slaw

aka Taco’s al Pastor ~ 4 servings

adapted from Food & Wine magazine

1  1/2 TBSP Chile Powder

1 tsp kosher salt

1/2 tsp oregano

1/4 tsp cumin

1/8 tsp freshly ground pepper

pinch of cinnamon

pinch of allspice

1 1/2 # pork tenderloin or pork sirlion tip roast (ground pork, or turkey would work in a pinch)

1 medium white or yellow onion, chopped

2 TBSP cider vinegar

2 TBSP minced cilantro

3 TBSP olive oil

1 cup shredded mozzarella

Sixteen warmed 6-8 inch flour or corn tortillas

Mashed avocado, salsa, sour cream and lime wedges for serving (optional)

In a small bowl mix the first 7 ingredients

Chop pork loin and onion into large pieces. Pulse in food processor until roughly chopped into medium size pieces

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Heat 3 TBSP olive oil in a heavy bottomed skillet or dutch oven over medium high heat, once hot add pork and onion mixture

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Sprinkle spice mixture assembled in step 1 on top of the meat and brown. You don’t want to over cook the pork, be careful and brown just until cooked through.  Finish with the 2 TBSP apple cider vinegar and 5 TBSP minced cilantro.

Heat tortillas at 400’F, I usually just toss them on the oven rack for about 3-5 min right before serving.

Assemble taco’s and top with mozzarella, avocado, Lime Cilantro Cabbage slaw and any other optional toppings you see fit.

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Lime Cilantro Cabbage Slaw

4 cups green cabbage, shredded

2 cups red cabbage , shredded

1 cup carrot, shredded

2 TBSP minced cilantro

1 garlic clove minced

1 lime, juiced

1 tsp kosher salt

toss shredded veggies with salt, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice.  Let sit for 20 min then serve on top of taco’s,  it also makes a great salad side dish.

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Simple, fresh, and delicious!  I hope your family enjoy’s them as much as mine.

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Reduced Guilt Chocolate Cupcakes

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Do you ever need a chocolate fix that won’t leave you feeling guilty after indulging?

These cupcakes(or “pup cakes” as the little one calls them) are the way to go for you then. So moist and delicious no one will know their low fat OR whole grain!! One of my cousins brought these to a family pot luck a few years ago and they have been one of my go to chocolate desserts ever since.  I make them a couple of different ways, one is with the chocolate icing for a serious chocolate fix and the other is with fluffy delicious seven minute frosting that has more of a marshmallow texture.  Brian storm, these need a squirt of the 7 min icing inside and chocolate frosting on top kind of like a Hostess treat I used to know….gonna need to try that! Either way both are excellent!

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Makes 10-12 cup cakes

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 cup white sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup water, or leftover coffee

1/2 cup all natural unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup cocoa powder

1 egg

1/2 cup light or fat free sour cream, yogurt, or greek yogurt, whatever you have handy

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350’F

In a large bowl combine water(or coffee), applesauce, and cocoa powder and mix until combined

Add the egg and sour cream to the wet mix and beat on a low speed until combined

In another meduim bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine

Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture in thirds at a low speed on your mixer just until combined.

Don’t mix too long or your cakes will be tough.  You can also mix by hand if you like, just take care to make sure all the lumps are mixed in.

The batter will be a little on the liquidy side.

Line or grease your muffin tins and pour or scoop the batter into your muffin pans, whichever you prefer.

Bake cupcakes for 18-20 min, but start checking around 15 min depending on your oven.

Chocolate Icing:

5 TBSP Butter

2 1/4 cups powdered sugar

5 TBSP cocoa powder

1 tsp vanilla

2-4 TBSP milk, start with 2 and see how your icing looks, it should be thick but spreadable.  Add more milk a little at a time depending on what your icing looks like. Powdered sugar can be a bit tricky sometimes and is inconsistent in texture. It’s always best to go with the less-is-more philosophy when making icing.

Seven Minute Frosting:

from Dinners for Winners

3/4 cup sugar

2 TBSP water

1 TBSP corn starch

3 large egg whites at room temperature

Bring water, corn syrup, and sugar to a boil in a heavy sauce pan, stirring, making sure sugar dissolves

Once boiling cook without stirring until 230’F on a candy thermometer, occasionally wash down the sides of sauce pan with a pastry brush dipped in water to prevent sugar crystals from forming.

Meanwhile, whisk egg whites in a stand mixer until soft peaks form.  As soon as the sugary syrup reaches 230’F with the stand mixer running, pour a steady stream down the side of the mixing bowl really slowly. Once you’re finished pouring raise mixer speed to high and beat until thick, shiny and cooled for approximately 7 minutes.  Turn off mixer and you’re done. Now to ice those cupcakes and enjoy!