Taco Truck Tortas

Howdy-doody eaters!

That was kind of a weird greeting. Let’s move on.

There’s a taco truck that parks down the street from my house every night — the La Azteca truck, for any locals who are interested. It’s actually right across the street from my Crossfit box and there have been many nights during running WODs that I’ve very seriously considered just running right over and getting some tacos.

Leon and I have been there a few times. We walk down with Charlie and sit in the folding chairs. The food is pretty great. It’s not like our regular dollar tacos, but since the truck is owned by the same restaurant the food is just as good.

Charlie has pretty bad manners.

Charlie has pretty bad manners.

And it only took us a couple of visits to establish our favorite dish — the torta with chorizo.

It’s this ah-maze-ing sandwich made with ground meat, jalapenos, tomatoes, lettuce, mayo, and refried beans.

The torta.

The torta.

The refried beans really make the sandwich. They take it from being a lame ground meat sandwich to being a serious thing.

One of us has gotten it every time we’ve gone to the taco truck. It’s that good.

(The fish tacos, which I think is what they were originally known for, were good, but not phenomenal.)

Fish tacos.

Fish tacos.

And while I’m not normally one to try to re-create my favorite restaurant dishes at home (because they’re really never as good and it takes away my excuse for getting take out), I figured that this sandwich was an easy one to make myself.

Ingredients:

Ground chorizo, red cabbage slaw with lime, jalapenos, plain yogurt, and refried beans on a small loaf of wheat bread.

Red cabbage slaw.

Red cabbage slaw.

Verdict:

Ehh, not as phenomenal. I could have gone with a firmer, less doughy bread. The slaw was good, but I think I should have gone simpler and stuck with lettuce and tomato. But even with those little misses, m’gosh this was a delicious sandwich.

This is one serious sandwich.

This is one serious sandwich.

A really, really delicious sandwich.

So delicious that I literally inhaled in. It was messy and beastly and amazing. Not quite ah-maze-ing, but close enough. And it still gives me an excuse to walk down to the taco truck.

taco truck torta6

Your turn, eaters:

Do you like to re-create restaurant meals at home?

What’s your favorite kind of food truck?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Best Decisions

Hellooooo eaters!

Have I ever told you that in my head when I say that I sound like Oprah? Have I ever told you that whenever I sing along with a song, as long as I don’t sing too loudly, in my head it sounds like I’m harmonizing almost perfectly?

Yeah, neither of those things will ever be true outside my head.

But enough about what’s in my head. Here’s what’s on my plate!


Breakfast:

A breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla with blueberries on the side.

A breakfast taco with scrambled eggs, cheese, and salsa on a tortilla with blueberries on the side.

I splurged a little and bought 2 lbs of blueberries this week. It was, by far, my best purchase of the week.

Lunch:

A berry, Greek yogurt, pb, and spinach smoothie with a little something extra.

A berry, Greek yogurt, pb, and spinach smoothie with a little something extra.

Can we talk about this smoothie? Because it was phenomenal for a couple of reasons.

First, it’s just my classic Really Extra Awesome Smoothie with pb instead of avocado and spinach instead of kale. And without the protein powder. But what makes it phenomenal is that I added half a bag of spinach — wheeeee greens! — and for the liquid I added some Zevia Black Cherry soda.

Zevia soda, I really enjoy you.

Zevia soda, I really enjoy you.

Zevia is my new thing and in my head it’s just like flavored club soda (please don’t tell me if it’s not). And adding half a can to my smoothie was the best decision. It added a great flavor and some nice, noticeable fizz.

I like fizz.

And since I skipped the protein powder, I had a couple of slices of Applegate turkey on the side.

Snack:

I shoved a handful of trail mix in my mouth at some point.

Dinner:

Mustard baked chicken drumstick with buttery, cheesy spaghetti squash.

Mustard baked chicken drumstick with buttery, cheesy spaghetti squash.

Leon cooked and I love him for it. Not only does he make such better baked chicken than I do, but he had the bright idea to bake the spaghetti squash with basil, garlic, and butter.

We added more butter and some parmesan after it was scraped.

So delicious. It was the perfect summer comfort meal.

Dessert:

And as I’ve been writing this Leon and I have been spooning big hunks of Ben & Jerry’s chocolate fudge brownie ice cream into our mouths.

Now talk about a good decision.

Your turn, eaters:

What’s a good decision, food or otherwise, that you’ve made lately?

What’s your favorite topping for spaghetti squash?

Later eaters!

Birthday Tacos!

Hi eaters!

How did Monday treat you?

Mine was less than stellar, but I’ve risen above. A glass of wine and an hour spent planning my next couponing trip (it’s almost Super Double Week at Harris Teeter!) sure helped me rise above.

Also, I’m still glowing from a really nice birthday weekend.

I would love to tell you all about putt putt and my birthday wound and my pretty friends and beers at Natty Greene’s and reading for pleasure (I’m currently reading Dreaming in French, by Alice Kaplan and I loveloveLOVE that I have time for pleasure reading now!) and all the other fun things. But other than dinner, I only have pictures of my birthday wound and my birthday donut.

Car selfie in the parking lot at work.

Car selfie in the parking lot at work.

That little bump in the middle of my chest is where I got stabbed by my sunglasses. They're surprisingly sharp and it bled a surprising amount.

That little bump in the middle of my chest is where I got stabbed by my sunglasses. They’re surprisingly sharp and it bled a surprising amount.

 

And then there was dinner.

For dinner, my friends Peach and Janet came over and we went downtown to Crafted. If you remember, I went there for the first time over Christmas.

Well, it’s gotten a lot more popular since then, so there was an hour wait when we got there at 7pm. And while I’m normally not one to wait that long, I was in no hurry and Natty Greene’s was within walking distance, so we put our name in and went down the block to grab a beer.

After just over an hour we were seated and it was ah-maze-ing!

Nachos!

Nachos!

We split the Dirty South Nachos, which were housemade sweet potato fries topped with pulled pork and some kind of cheesy cream sauce.

Janet likes to be creepy in the background of my pictures.

Janet likes to be creepy in the background of my pictures.

For my entrée, I went with the Fixie, which was beef brisket, pineapple, sweet chili sauce, and coconut aioli.

O’m’gah, so freaking good. The pineapple and the sweet chili sauce was a bit much on the sweetness, and I could always do with a little more spice, but it was still a delicious little combo.

22 birthday5

Everyone else raved about their tacos, which was nice because we’re typically a $1 taco crowd.

Next time, though, I’m definitely getting the stuffed avocado appetizer. Something about avocado, chorizo, and queso together with tortilla chips sounds like straight up mouth sex.

And that’s all I’ve got.

What about you, eaters:

Do you like big, raging parties or small gatherings for your birthday?

Do you like more sweet or spicy?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Beerface

Hiya eaters!

I hope I didn’t overwhelm you with coupons yesterday. It’s a lot to take in, but even if you just take in a little bit you’ll be guaranteed to save money.

And who doesn’t like saving money?

As my job situation changes I am becoming very conscious of every penny I spend.

(I really need to stop being cryptic about my jobs. I promise, I will very very soon.)

And speaking of work, yesterday was my day off. As I mentioned on Monday, I get every Sunday off. My other day off comes on Tuesdays. I’m not crazy about the day off-work-day off sandwich, but it’ll do.


Pre-Crossfit:

Apple and pb. But now that it’s plum season you can expect to start seeming pretty pictures of gorgeous fruit soon.

That reminds me that I need to get sunflower seed butter. It goes so well with stone fruit.

Crossfit:

I went to my beloved 9:30am class and it was great.

A little running.

Some great work on pistols and GHD sit ups.

A bunch of split jerks.

And I made some really good progress on my wall ball shots.

I have this weird thing where I am completely capable of throwing the 10 lbs wall ball up to the 10’ target IF the target is on the wall. But if it’s to our front targets, which are just wood boards essentially floating in air, I can’t hit it. Sure, I can throw the ball plenty high, but it doesn’t make contact with the target, which is a no rep.

After a couple pointers and a wall ball tabata, I could seem some very nice improvement.

Breakfast:

Breakfast nachos with sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, salsa, and cheese.

Breakfast nachos with sprouted sweet potato tortilla chips, scrambled eggs, salsa, and Cabot cheese.

Honestly, you should know by now that I’ll take any excuse I can to 1) eat with my hands and 2) eat Mexican food.

I should have added some cilantro from my garden to really spice it up.

Lunch:

Alfresco sausage with mustard, and Yoplait greek yogurt with a big plum.

Alfresco sausage with mustard, and Yoplait greek yogurt with a big plum.

I never claim to eat normal foods. But even though this was a weird lunch (and I didn’t eat it until almost 4pm because I never got hungry), it hit all the right tastes for me.

Snack:

While Leon was grilling dinner, I got a little hungry, so I sipped on a beer. Not the most sensible snack, but it was hot and I was thirsty.

Now please enjoy the assortment of pictures I took of myself while I was drinking that beer.

Beerface!

Beerface!

It’s been a while since I posted a good Kara-drinking-alcohol picture.

Dinner:

Grilled steak and grilled corn.

Grilled steak and grilled corn.

Doesn’t this dinner look fancy? Anytime there’s a giant piece of grilled beef I feel fancy.

Dessert:

I popped a couple of peanut M&Ms into my mouth and called it a day.

Your turn, eaters:

When do you normally eat lunch?

What’s your favorite topping for nachos?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Back On Track

G’day eaters!

It’s Wednesday. I’m exhausted and the hard part of my week hasn’t even started yet.

How are you doing?

Ha! Sorry to complain. I’m adjusting to having two jobs (I’ll tell you more about that eventually) and still trying to figure out how to fit the rest of my life around them, so I’m a little worse for wear right now.

I’m especially worse for wear because, after a few too many days of a few too many treats and a little too little movement, I’m trying to tighten up my healthy intentions again. And I don’t care how healthy you eat or how hard you workout, getting back on track after a little detour is always hard.

It’s especially hard when all you want to eat is pizza and cake and a job that makes you especially sedentary.


Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with leeks and apples with cinnamon and pb.

Scrambled eggs with leeks and apples with cinnamon and pb.

I had leftover leeks that needed using and I figured they would add enough flavor to my eggs to make this very healthy, but very over-eaten breakfast more palatable. I also added some cinnamon to my apple for the same reason.

Lunch:

Leftover moo shu vegetables and sweet and sour chicken.

Leftover moo shu vegetables and sweet and sour chicken.

Not the healthiest (with the deep fried sweet and sour chicken), but the moo shu vegetables weren’t too bad a choice.

I followed this up with lots and lots of mints, because this was a little stinky for an office lunch.

Pre-Crossfit:

Half an apple and pb with a GNC wheybolic protein shake to fuel me through my workout.

Crossfit:

We did a burpee ladder yesterday and it was a surprising ass kicker.

The ladder goes: 1 burpee, 1 breath, 2 burpees, 2 breathes, 3 burpees, 3 breathes, etc. all the way up to 10 and back down. (You, of course, could breathe as much as you wanted while performing the burpees.)

I really thought it would be easy, because I can easily do 10 burpees in a row, but the breathing part kicked my ass. My body wanted to breath fast and shallow, but to maximize my rest time, I wanted to take slow and deep breathes.

I was fighting a losing battle.

Dinner:

Homegrown lettuce with bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and steak.

Homegrown lettuce with bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes, and steak.

I really wanted a frozen pizza, but we had a ton of homegrown lettuce that needed to be eaten up and, ya know, frozen pizza isn’t really the healthiest meal.

I compromised with myself by saving that if I got hungry after dinner I could have dessert — vanilla pound cake with vanilla Greek yogurt and berries — but I never got hungry.

So I ended up with a pretty damn healthy day. I managed to resist the candy dish full of peanut M&Ms, too.

In a couple of days I know that my cravings for junk food will pass and I’ll be back to my usual 75/25 (or 80/20, if I’m feeling ambitious) balance. But until then, I’ll keep chugging water and reminding myself that no one has ever died from not eating enough candy.

Your turn, eaters:

How do you handle cravings?

Tell me about the last workout you did that was a surprise ass kicker.

Later eaters!

Weekend at Home

G’day eaters!

Leon and I got home yesterday from an amazing three-night trip to Georgia (A.K.A The Dirty Dirty).

For those of you who are new around here, I grew up in Macon, Georgia and my mom and a few of my friends still live there.

Leon and I drove down on Friday morning to spend the weekend. My Mom got back from a two-week business trip to China on Friday. My brother, Brady, had a triathlon on Saturday morning. And Brady and I talked Mom into having a graduation party for us on Saturday night. (And I needed to have my yearly mole check with my dermatologist on Monday, which I’ll talk about Thursday.)

Happy road trip puppy.

Happy road trip puppy.

Needless to say, I was pretty jazzed to take a trip home.

We had a low-key night on Friday. I made tacos and Charlie ran around like an idiot in the free air of Mom’s giant backyard.

On Saturday we got up supah early to watch Brady race.

Pre-race warm up.

Pre-race warm up.

Off and running.

Off and running.

Leaving it all on the course.

Leaving it all on the course.

He did great and finished 3rd overall.

Post-race.

Post-race.

Post-race.

Post-race.

And then Leon hopped behind the beer tent to pour Brady a beer.

'murica.

‘murica.

After the race we napped and then I went into party planning mode.

I got 5lbs of pulled pork barbecue, 2 qts of Brunswick stew, a keg of Bud Lite, and made a few simple cold salads.

A small bunch of people came over, including my friend from college, Liz, who works in Atlanta now, and my best friend from high school, Coco, who just moved back to Georgia on Saturday after spending a semester working at Disney World. Plus some people who have known me since I was probably about five.

Coco and Leon.

Coco and Leon.

It was a great time, I didn’t take a single picture, and we barely made a dent in the keg, despite our best attempts.

Sunday morning started slow and then Coco came over, we did a little shopping, and then Sunday Funday happened.

Leftovers are awesome!

Leftovers are the best-overs.

We had a ton of leftovers (and leftover beer) so we sat around, watched bad movies on TV, and ate and ate and ate and drank while it rained like crazy outside.

It was awesome. (And I think I ate a pound of pork by myself.)

Brady cracks himself up.

Brady cracks himself up.

Seriously.

Seriously.

And on Monday we drove home.

Now I’m gearing up for my work week, which started today and ends…eventually. Hopefully I’ll find some time in there to make it to the grocery store.

Your turn, eaters:

Does a weekend at home sound like a vacation to you?

What’s your idea of a good way to spend a rainy day?

Later eaters!

Weekend Food

Hi eaters!

I love weekends, don’t you?

Working in retail means I almost never get two days in a row off and the fact that I get Sundays off is just a happy coincidence. And now with a second job I might never get two days in a row off again.

This week, though, I lucked out. I got Sunday and Monday totally free from work.

Beyond loving the freedom to nap and read and take long walks with my dog, I also love the freedom to cook.

On the weekends I get to eat big breakfasts.weekend food1

I get time to gradually get hungry and to think about what I really want to eat before I stuff something in my mouth.

Scrambled eggs with sausage and a de-licious unglazed buttermilk donut.

Scrambled eggs with sausage and a de-licious unglazed buttermilk donut.

I get to cook more elaborate meals and eat earlier.

Grilled pork chops and corn, all from the farmer's market.

Grilled pork chops and corn, all from the farmer’s market.

All of these things are vastly different from the weekdays when, more often than I would like to admit, I eat lunch (and change my pants) in the car. And lately, as I haven’t had time to shop or meal plan properly, that lunch has been a grilled chicken sandwich from Chik-fil-A way too often for my comfort level.

During the week I almost always eat eggs with fruit for breakfast and most days I am just shy of hitting my water intake goal for the day. (I have a 24oz water bottle and aim to drink it three times a day.)

My go to snack is mixed nuts, which is a very satiating snack, (as I pointed out last week) but not exactly thrilling.

All of these things are nice and healthy and easy to eat, but man, do they get boring. A few weeks ago I was so sick of my usual, nice, healthy, easy food that I would have rather not eaten than eat the same thing again. (I ate a lot of takeout that week.)

My cute pig corn holders.

My cute pig corn holders.

So weekends are my saving grace. They let me re-charge my batteries and stuff my face with the most delicious food so I’m ready to face the week ahead, which are always guaranteed to be filled with car lunches and speeding through yellow lights (sorry, papa) and hurried dog walks.

What do you think, eaters:

What’s your favorite thing about weekends?

What’s your least favorite part of your work/school week?

Later eaters!

WIAW: Lots of Eggs

Hello eaters!

It is Wednesday, right?

I didn’t do anything on Monday and will work on Saturday, so I keep forgetting what day it is. But I keep seeing lots of WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) posts going up, so I’ll follow the crowd.


Breakfast:

Scrambled eggs with asparagus and a plum with peanut butter.

Scrambled eggs with asparagus and a plum with peanut butter.

I promise I didn’t plan to eat two of my favorite seasonal foods right after I posted about them. But they were delicious (though that plum would have been better with sunflower butter rather than peanut butter).

Oh, and I added a couple of dollops of spicy mustard to my eggs before I scrambed them for some extra flavor.

Lunch:

Zucchini noodles topped with a couple of fried eggs.

Zucchini noodles topped with a couple of fried eggs.

Leon and I keep thinking that our fridge is over flowing with things, but in reality we have a ton of produce, a few random leftovers, and almost no protein. Hence why I’m eating eggs two meals in a row.

I also had a few bites of leftover carrot cake from this weekend.

Crossfit:

WIAW663

Row row row my ass.

I drank a protein drink — chocolate GNC Wheybolic protein — and then came so closed to puking it up during this WOD.

We got to choose between running or rowing and I would have run, but after a warm up of 10 minutes of jump roping I knew my shitty shins couldn’t handle it.

Honestly, I don’t know which was better. I wanted to die many times throughout those 5,000 meters.

Dinner:

I feel like it’s been raining for weeks straight, so Leon and I were thrilled to get to grill last night. We split this big plate of grilled vegetables.

Mixed grilled vegetables.

Mixed grilled vegetables.

And this giant chicken breast.

Grilled barbecue chicken breast.

Grilled barbecue chicken breast.

Fyi, we buy whole healthy chickens from Earth Fare and then Leon butchers them. Not only are they cheaper than at Whole Foods (and way cheaper than buying bags of chicken breasts), but they’re also much bigger from Earth Fare. This was, by far, the biggest breast we’ve ever gotten.

Dessert:

A few beers with a friend, because I’m still in denial a bit that I’m done with college.

And I was home before midnight. Man, do I love getting a full night sleep.

Celebration:

Charlie thinks our king sized bed is his. It's a constant battle.

Charlie thinks our king sized bed is his. It’s a constant battle.

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of Leon and I bringing Charlie home. I can’t believe it’s been a year.

Oh, has it been a wonderful year. I want to do a whole post about what having a dog has changed for us, but I think I’ll save that for his birthday.

Your turn, eaters:

How much sleep do you get a night? How much would you like to get?

What’s one thing that you always have in your fridge?

Later eaters!

Graduation Snapshots

Hellooooooo eaters!

I’ve been MIA lately and for that I’m sorry.

I’ve missed you lots, I promise.

But I graduated college yesterday, so I’m back.

After a few weeks of running around to tie up loose ends, a night of worrying about whether or not I passed one stupid class, an hour of defending my thesis, and a weekend of celebrating, I have finished college.

And it feels pretty good, I think.

Honestly, though, I don’t know. I’m still stuffed and reeling from everything that happened so quickly over the last couple of days. So while I try to process things and figure out my next step, here’s a handful of pictures from the last few days.

My new wreath, because it's tacky to have the same wreath up from Thanksgiving.

My new wreath, because it’s tacky to have the same wreath up from Thanksgiving.

Going into my second hour of standing on line to walk into graduation.

Going into my second hour of standing on line to walk into graduation.

They can't take it back now.

They can’t take it back now. #HireMe

Mother and brother.

Mother and brother.

graduation05

I’m in love with my dress.

And I'm in love with him.

And I’m in love with him.

My mom's boyfriend upon hearing that my camera was one the wrong setting so none of his pictures came out.

My mom’s boyfriend upon hearing that my camera was one the wrong setting so none of his pictures came out.

My sister at dinner.

My sister at dinner.

An amazingly tender steak from Print Works Bistro in Greensboro.

An amazingly tender steak from Print Works Bistro in Greensboro.

I'm in love with the shape of this martini glass. So feminine and refined. The martini wasn't half bad, either.

I’m in love with the shape of this martini glass. So feminine and refined. The martini wasn’t half bad, either.

graduation11

After two dinners out and a lunch at my house, my fridge is packed to the gills with delicious leftovers.

A well deserved afternoon relaxing with my pup.

A well deserved afternoon relaxing with my pup.

Your turn, eaters:

What did you get up to this afternoon?

Do you take leftovers from restaurants or is that tacky to you?

Later eaters!

PS — I’m coming back to blogging. Expect to see at least 4 posts a week from me.

Pastrami

Hiya eaters!

I think North Carolina’s three week spring is over and we are in full on summer mode.

I even have the sunburn to prove it.

I have been waiting for summer to start for so long. In my head I have a running bucket list of all the things I’m really excited to do this summer.

Walking down to Best Way, the extraordinary beer grocery store in my neighborhood (on Walker Ave in Greensboro, for all you natives), with Leon and Charlie to buy expensive, hoppy beers and drink them in the kitchen while we snack.

Going to Virginia Beach for a weekend of big, comfy couches and washers and dryers and beer on the beach and Charlie digging in the sand and crab cakes and fish tacos.

Improving my Toms tan.

Wearing sundresses and eating froyo with extra gummy worms (because cold gummies are the best thing ever).

Going to Georgia for Brady, my brother, and my graduation party where we’re going to get my mother to drink out of a keg.

Buying lots and lots of fresh fruit and making pies and cobblers.

The list goes on and on. And Sunday, on a gorgeous sunny day that was supposed to be cloudy, Leon helped me cross another thing off my list — barbecue.

A few weeks ago Leon snagged a cheap beef brisket and decided to smoke it. Of course, I’m always up for a big hunk of smoked meat.

So we set up camp on the front lawn.

pastrami05

pastrami06

Charlie played in the grass. Leon sunbathed.pastrami02

I sat in the shade and tried to do homework.pastrami04

And we smoked a big hunk of meat.pastrami01

It was supposed to be pastrami. It’s been a while since I’ve eaten pastrami, so I don’t know how spot on it was. But I do know that after a few solid hours on the smoker this hunk of meat had a gorgeous crust. It was absolutely dripping juice between the cracks in the crust.pastrami07

pastrami08

In a word: it was meat perfection.pastrami09

Leon sliced a bunch off and we stacked it high on homemade bread with provolone cheese, sauerkraut, and lots of brown mustard.

This stack created a sandwich of amazingly epic proportions. And while I normally would never leave any part of a sandwich behind, even I couldn’t finish this giant beast.pastrami10

pastrami11

And while normally I would consider not finishing a sandwich to be a sign of failure (c’mon, my blog is called FoodBaby for a reason), I know that having a quarter of it in the fridge just means I get a midnight snack. And that there’s still a whole summer of big hunks of smoked meat ahead of me.

Barbecue chicken is on the menu for this weekend.

Your turn, eaters:

What are you most looking forward to this summer?

What’s your favorite kind of sandwich?

Later eaters!