Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Inaugural Post - Mexican for Dummies!

So Jesse and I are going to try to start a new blog. This blog is about all the foods we cook and enjoy, will include recipes and reviews about the food, and show pictures of our successes and failures.

We will review out meals based off of the following:

Easiness to prepare (considering I’m not really that great at cooking)


The Special Sarah Rating – made just for those picky eaters like me :)

We will start with last night’s meal: Taco Tuesday!!!!!!

Jesse started by making the guacamole:

Ingredients needed:

2 avocados

Guacamole seasoning (1 packet)

He used Concord Foods Authentic Guacamole Mix which conveniently had the recipe on the back in two languages – English and Spanish. After following the recipe (very easily mashing 2 avocados and mixing with the seasoning), he put it into the fridge to chill for 30 minutes.

Here are the avocados:

Here is the completed guacamole:

Next, I started on the Mexican Rice:

Ingredients needed:

Rice (1 cup uncooked)

Vegetable Oil (3 tablespoons)

Onion powder (1/2 teaspoon)

Garlic powder (1/2 teaspoon)

Salt (1/2 teaspoon)

Taco Seasoning (1 teaspoon)

Tomato Sauce (1/2 cup)

Chicken Broth (2 cups)

I had never made Mexican Rice before, so this was totally new for me. I found what looked to be an easy recipe from my favorite go-to site:

Here is the link:

After reading reviews, I made some changes.
I didn’t use an actual onion or cumin. We don’t have garlic salt, so I used half garlic powder and half salt. I also added in taco seasoning. Taco Bell taco seasoning is the best. After making these alterations, I pumped myself up by putting on some music.

Music choices of the kitchen:

Caledonia” by Dougie Maclean

“I Was a Teenage Anarchist” by Against Me!

“Somebody to Love” by Justin Bieber

“You Can Call Me Al” by Paul Simon

Beverage of choice:


Once I was prepared and in the mood, I began to cook and follow the recipe. There were a few issues. For instance, what on earth is puffed rice? I just kept stirring the rice in the oil and hoped I would figure it out. I did. Puffed rice turns a different color of white and indeed, looks puffed out.

Another issue I encountered: when I added the tomato sauce to the pan, some of it hit the burner and created beaucoup de smoke. Our smoke alarm started beeping and warning of smoke in the kitchen and to evacuate immediately. I had to keep mixing everything in before it actually DID burn in the pan, so I had to put up with the beeping until Jesse ran out of the Star Wars room to see what was going on. Once we had that settled, the rice was left to simmer and Jesse moved on to the ground beef and refried beans.

Below is a picture of the completed Mexican Rice:

Taco Meat!


Ground beef (approx 3 lbs for us, might have been too much)

Taco seasoning (1 packet)

This is pretty basic. Jesse turned the burner on and let the beef brown. He then added in the taco seasoning and drained the fat.

And a picture of the meat. Sorry to any vegetarians. :)

Refried Beans:


Refried beans (1 can)

Onion (half of one)

Another easy one. Jesse cut up the onion and let it favor a skillet. He then added in the can of beans and stirred while it heat up. He did this while he browned the meat, the guacamole chilled and the rice simmered. I just kept playing music and helped stir the beef.

Refried Beans:

Finally the food was cooked and we pulled the remaining details out of the fridge:

Pace Picante Salsa (Hot and Medium)

Shredded Cheese (Ingles Mexican mix)

Queso Dip

Flour Tortillas

Chilled Guacamole

Yummy extras:

Voila! A meal to last for days. It was easy and didn’t take too much time.

Below are pictures of our tacos/burritos. Jesse made his more burrito-like with queso on top.

And now it is time for the ratings:


Preparation for Mexican Rice: I give this a 4 out of 5. It was pretty easy, and the only reason it didn’t get a 5 out of 5 is because at the start, I had to keep stirring the rice in the oil and I didn’t know how long that would take. One suggestion I would make to simplify this is something I still haven’t been able to get through my head: measure out the spices and such in little bowls so it takes less time to add to the mixture and you don’t have to worry about screwing anything up…

Taste for whole thing: I give my taco/burrito a 4 out of 5. It was super yummy and nice ad spicy. The only thing I didn’t like was that my tortilla fell apart, so I ate this with a fork and knife.

Pickiness Factor: I give this a 5 out of 5!!! It’s because tacos are so easy to enjoy even when being picky. I don’t like refried beans or guacamole, so I didn’t have to add it to my taco. And my taco was still super yummy! I also could add as much or as little of the other foods to my taco. Maybe that’s why the tortilla fell apart…


Prep: 4 out of 5 – easy

Taste: 3 out of 5 – nothing too special. Everything was good, but perhaps a bit too mushy—none of the flavors were anything to write home about. It could definitely use some crunch, be it lettuce or some other greens/onions/peppers or even just using hard-shell tacos. All in all a good dish, and good for leftovers, but it was pretty much just your typical taco/burrito. As my friend Nathan says, “it’s hard to mess up Mexican food…even so so tacos are still awesome.” – and to that I agree

Cost: 4 out of 5 – materials are cheap and expense limited only by the amount of topping you want

Other notes: This is a wonderful dish for leftovers. Little flavor/consistency is lost when stored in the fridge.

Overall score for Taco Tuesday: 4.0