One of the things I miss most about living in Seattle is eating at Enat. I love, love, love *vegetarian* ethiopian food and it is SUCH a sadness that we have not found a single ethiopian restaurant to write home about in all of the Triangle. Leave it to my ethiopian customers to bring me homemade food made in celebration of their Easter. Sometimes my customers are the greatest.
In August Kaelyn and Nate gave me a “make your own kombucha” kit for my birthday. We’ve had some fun with it and done a few home brews experimenting with different teas and fermentation periods. Each time the “mother” grows to impressive size and shocking fleshy-gooey-grossness. This last batch, however, takes the cake. It’s safe to say we “let it go” and, uh, forgot about it entirely. Separating it for new batches of tea required A KNIFE to saw through it!
Lately, we’re in love with tacos over here. And we’ve perfected the taco over here.
The magnitude of awesomeness crammed into these crunchy little shells is no joke either. I’ve effectively addicted friends and co-workers to our taco concoction and it has received nothing but rave, rave reviews.
Thus, in the spirit of generosity, I’ll share our favorite dinner in four easy steps.
Step 1: Preheat your oven to 350. Cook the ground beef (or bison!). Chop and saute a half onion for each pound of meat. When the onion begins getting soft and fragrant, add the ground meat, 2 tbsp taco seasoning per lb, and a half cup of water per lb. Chop up the meat with your spatula so that it looks crumbly and let the meat simmer and brown stirring occasionally.
Step 2: Put your BLUE CORN taco shells on a baking sheet and pop in the oven for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, get your fixin’s ready: chopped tomatoes, avacados, some kind of lettuce or kale, shredded cheese, sour cream….
Step 3: Build your tacos. I like to fill a plate with shells, using two empty ones on the ends to hold the others up. Lather one side of each shell with sour cream and drizzle Harris Teeter Traders ‘Chipotle Ranch Dressing’ on the other side of the shell (i’m serious). Tuck a layer of shredded cheese into the nook of the shell, top with shredded kale (or lettuce)…
and a little more cheese…
and a spatula full of taco meat…
Then top with tomatoes and avocados.
Step 4: Try not to inhale tacos. Savor and enjoy.*
Yeah, so, today was crappy.
Woken up at dawn
from my best night of sleep in as long as I can remember
(despite the fact that I wasn’t into bed until after 2 am)
because the third-in at the shop was delayed indefinitely.
Long morning followed by an even longer “productivity session”
– payroll, scheduling, labor analysis, food analysis, store reports, weekly recaps, email, store orders… –
punctuated by a 24 hour resignation notice via text message.
(Which is a lot like being broken up with on a post-it.)
More scheduling, this time more like frantic shifting/tweaking/begging/pleading/texting/calling
plus a couple of tears, not because I’m sad so much as I’m just tired.
Tired of peoples’ shit.
It was one one of those days though
that went well beyond the realm of the human.
If it could go wrong, it did.
Both blenders broke.
Ran out of the most popular syrup.
Keyboard mysteriously missing two keys.
A store starting the day with 9 people –
now with 1 in the ER, 1 in a car wreck, 1 shipped off to bootcamp early, 1 on the way out of town.
(that last one would be me,
conveniently scheduled to be out-of-state
the week that everyone’s shit is apparently due to hit the fan)
The cherry, really, on the top of this mune-day
is round two of intellectually-dwarfed customers
who believe in their core, with their gut, in the essence of their being
that nonfat milk has 0 calories.
I’m going to be honest here,
I had a moment
a crisis of doubt
and I broke down.
This is the second time in less than a month, after all.
I picked up a gallon of skim milk and I read the label
(not to the customer, I do have scruples, but just to myself
to be sure, without a doubt, that I was not crazy).
I’m not sure how this misguided notion that ‘nonfat’ = 0 calories
got into the ether and invaded the minds of seemingly normal adults
but in the event the contagion has spread, allow me to set the record straight:
Anyway. Yeah. So today was crappy.
And I have discovered that my stress tolerance is diminishing. Rapidly.
I’m experiencing physical discomfort, knots in my back, and difficulty breathing.
Basically, living the dream.
And so it was
that I decided I could not survive the day
in fact, I could not survive another hour
without macaroni and cheese.
Homemade, indulgent, dare I say hedonistic macaroni and cheese.
And though it may not look like much, rest assured this is the best
most delicious, most decadent, most dramatic
gluten free macaroni and cheese casserole that has ever graced the Earth.
And a little something funny while the noodles boil: