Taco Tuesday

Growing up in California has given me a massive appreciation of Mexican food.  Quesadilla after soccer practice? Yep.  Taco truck late at night in college?  Always.  Obviously.  And then I discovered fish tacos.  And it was over.  I am obsessed.  Now every single time I go out to dinner and fish tacos are on the menu it is only a matter of time before I scarf down those little babies.

Tacos are great because they are small.  And packed full of flavor.  Like a flavor punch.  Of Mexican food.  POW!  So you can totally eat 10 and not get fat.  Probably.  That’s actually not true.  But tacos are delicious.  So let’s just stick with that.

Another thing to stick with?  These tacos.  When your boyfriend calls you after work to debunk your left over pizza idea with the words: “I’m kind of feeling fish tonight,” and then suggests tacos?  Yeah it happens just like that.  These tacos seem to be a team effort.  He makes the meat, I make the salsa.  How cute.  And then I stuff my face with tasty deliciousness.  And it’s not so cute.  But it is hella delicious.


Taco night means a warzone of salsa prep.

These are super easy to make and the best part is throwing in all the ingredients together to make a tasty salsa.  Don’t like spicy things?  No sweat.  Just forgo the cayenne pepper and jalapeno.  Like it hot?  extra cilantro and extra pepper.  This is kind of a throw-in-whatever-you-want-to-be-happy recipe.  And these tacos will make you very happy.  Smile.  Your whole mouth will soon become a fiesta.

Fish Tacos with Corn Mango Salsa

*makes 8 tacos

Ingredients

  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1/2 lb. cod
  • 1/2 lb. tilapia
  • 1/2 cup corn
  • 1/2 cup black beans
  • 1/2 cup red onion (but you can use white), diced
  • 1/2 cup ripe mango, cubed
  • 1/2 small bunch cilantro (about 1/4 cup), minced

Directions

  • Lay out fish fillets and season with basil, tarragon, paprika, garlic, sea salt and chili powder (all to taste)
  • slice fish into bite-size pieces and drizzle lime juice over
  • Sear fish over the stove until fully cooked, over low-medium heat.
  • In a large bowl throw in black beans, corn, onion, mango, cilantro and mix well.  Add cayenne pepper, salt, pepper, lime juice.  Mix.  Let sit for 5 minutes (to absorb the flavors).

Serving

  • over corn tortilla, spoon fish, salsa, and anything else you want into your taco.

Guinness Chocolate Ice Cream



I am experiencing first-hand what summer means in Washington DC.  My love of summer has been reduced to a lifestyle in a swampy heatland.  But it’s still summer which means sun and being tan.  So I’m happy.  July is National Ice Cream Month which is another reason that summer is so great.  I can easily celebrate ice cream year round but there is just something about summer that just screams ice cream.  Finishing off this month with the most delicious chocolate variation?  Yes, please.  Did you celebrate summer and National Ice Cream Month like I did?  If you consumed more ice cream than actual food then, yes.  Yes you did.

mmmmmmmm. . .chocolate

I have been dying to make Guinness ice cream ever since I got my ice cream attachment for Christmas last year.  I have a mini obsession with incorporating alcohol into baked goods.  Whoever started this trend is my hero.  Definitely adds a little something to these things I love to bake.  My love of Guinness and chocolate makes this recipe essential in my baking adventures.  I first discovered Guinness chocolate cake via my boyfriend when I made one for a party when we first began dating (complete with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting).  I am now hooked and Guinness has become one of my favorite baking ingredients.

I also love Guinness.  Soooooooo it’s kind of the greatest combo ever.  Onto this ice cream. . .

It’s good.  Like, really good.  It’s chocolatey.  It’s hearty.  It’s complex.  I am in love.  You will be too.  Whoever says there is such a thing as too much chocolate has not tried this ice cream (or hung around with girls).  The thing that goes so well the this chocolatey ice cream: more chocolate.  Yes.  You read that right.  Chocolate ice cream + chocolate brownie.  I definitely did that.  And it was definitely amazing.  This is definitely turning to a forever dessert for me.  You should make this.  And be hooked for life.


Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream

*adapted from The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovits

makes about one quart

1/2 bag of chcolate chips or 7 ounces milk chocolate, finely chopped
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup Guinness Stout
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Put the chocolate in a large bowl and set a mesh strainer over the top.

Warm the milk, sugar, and salt in a medium saucepan. In a separate medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks. Slowly pour the warm mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg yolks back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until the mixture thickens and coats the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer over the milk chocolate, then stir until the chocolate is melted. Once the mixture is smooth, whisk in the cream, then the Guinness and vanilla.

Chill the mixture in the refrigerator, then freeze it in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Brought to you by the Letter S

HAPPINESS

Summers at my office are beyond crazy.  The next person who says, “I am so busy,” will probably get slapped.  Or at least recieve the death stare from me.  The hectic times are probably due to the fact that my department of 3 PEOPLE is largely responsible for the entire success of an office.  OK, maybe not entirely.  But at least 85%.  Good thing I have the most stellar boss ever.  Who enjoys bellini brunches and cookie breaks.


Monday cupcake break

I am moving to a new apartment in 3 weeks!  The excitement fills my body like Shark Week.  Haha.  That is so not true.  But I am definitely excited for so much light (for incredible blogging pictures), pajama naked breakfasts, and an elevator building — because obviously I am so lazy, says they open water swimmer who works out at 6am.  Stay tuned for more reasons for excitement


carnitas tacos for lunch turn Monday into Funday (at least for the 30 minutes that I stuff my face)

I love babies and I love this.  Thank you to Jessica from How Sweet It Is for turning me on to The Face Baby.


An awesome mid-week date night occured when we saw Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.  It is a musical about the rise of Andrew Jackson,in true rock star/emo form.  How can you not love show with such classic songs as, “Populism, Yea, Yea,” and “Ten Little Indians.”  Over all, really amazing.  A bonus from that night?  Stephen (aka best boyfriend ever)  is embracing my love of musical theater.  We started with Avenue Q, then experienced Book of Mormon, which was incrediblyamazinglybrilliant.  And now we belt out musical theater tunes in the car on road trips.  I know.  You’re jealous.

If the Public Demands It

So a little something about me: I have a very energetic attitude about most things in life.  I laugh at everything.  I live for adventure.  Dancing on the kitchen counter is a frequent occurance.  Making a fool of myself with my friends?  Yep. Guilty of that.  All the time.  Basically, I am a happy person.  Pretty awesome, right?  Totally.

I realize that there are some who may not adopt my scream-from-the-mountain-tops exuberance.  That’s cool.  We can probably still be friends.  I have a few readers and you are all lovely.  And if my readers, no matter how few that may be currently, request something, I am going to deliver.  That being said, I have gotten a few requests to tone done the excitement I seem to have exhibited in writing lately.

So let me come clean.  This request was made by my brothers, who claim I use too many CAPITAL LETTERS.  I am not screaming at you, which is the effect established when writing text through a computer.  I simply want to get across to all my everlasting excitement about things I am sharing with you.  Since the majority of my followers are members of my family I aim to please.  So no more.  I swear.  Well, that’s going to be hard.  Like, really tough.  So the presence of capitals will be severely limited.  If the readers demand it. . .I will deliver.

So brothers (and reader friends), no more caps.  Yay for family and Yay for friends.  I’m still loving life and writing this blog.  And cupcakes.  And exciting adventures.  I will continually be excited about everything you see on this blog.  And between my excitement for sharing my passions and your excitement in learning about my baking and adventures, no capitals are necessary.

Elderflower Angel Food Cake with Lime Glaze

I love cake.  And I love summer.  But making cake in the summer?   Ehh.  Not so fun.  When it is 90 degrees with 90% humidity the last thing I want to is turn on the oven and bake in my kitchen along with the baked goods.  OK.  That’s not true.  When the oven is on, magic is happening.  What goes in that oven must come out.  And find it’s way into my mouth.  Which it does.  Everytime, without fail.

Something I seriously LOVE about summer?  Elder flower liqueur.  St. Germaine is the best.  Summer cocktails with this addition are perfection.  It has taken me a little bit, but I have finally adopted my signature cocktail.  Alright, so there are 3 or 4 signatures cocktails of Sarah.  A girl needs choices.  This stuff makes any drink instantly reminiscent of a field full of flowers.  It will also give you quite a happy little buzz.  it’s really the best of both worlds.  Stay tuned for more posts about my love obsession for this liqueur.

Angel food seems to have become the quintessential springtime/summery cake.  It’s light, airy, and HEALTHY.  Yes, totally good for you.  No butter = healthy.  Everyone eat up.  Just a slice.  Or two or more!  Just because there is no butter in this delicate dessert I felt the need to over compensate by DRENCHING this cake in lime glaze.  Holy guacamole!  Liquor-infused cake.  Lime glaze.  Basically the definition of summer.  So good.  So SO good.

Have I mentioned that I love my standing mixer?  Probably.  Well let me mention again.  I LOVE MY STANDING MIXER.  And whipping egg whites has become my new favorite activity.  I am willing to overlook the fact that making angel food cake is quite a production because whipping the egg whites into firm peaks is so fun!  To see them triple in size really gets me going.  It’s the physics of baking.  Oh, science.  How you turn me on.

I wanted to do this right so I invested in a new angel food cake pan from Sur la Table.  This was after an hour in Williams-Sonoma spent picking out wedding gifts.  For other people, I swear.  But it is no secret that I could be perfectly content camping out there and calling it home.  I could easily spend my life savings on baking supplies.  But essentials are essentials.  And an angel food cake pan is essential.  So is THIS angel food cake recipe.  Cake = love and summer = happiness.  So obviously summer love is brought to you by cake happiness.  This is so perfect with summery cocktail (see above) or with some dessert wine from a fabulous vineyard in Sonoma County, California.

Angel Food Cake

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma

  • 1 cup cake flour
  • 1 3/4 cups superfine sugar
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups egg whites (from about 12 eggs)
  • 1 tsp. cream of tartar
  • 1 tsp. of vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp. St. Germaine Elderflower Liquor
  • zest of 1-2 limes
Preheat an oven to 350°F.Separate eggs and discard yolks (or use to make custard).  Sift together the flour, 3/4 cup of the sugar and the salt in medium bowl; set aside.In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites and cream of tartar on medium-low speed until foamy.  Increase speed to mediu-high and gradually add the remaining 1 cup of sugar and beat until medium-firm peaks form.  Stir in the St. Germaine, vanilla and lime zest (if you love lime).  Gradually add 1/2 cup of the flour mixture into egg whites over it and gently fold it into the whites using deep strokes. Add the remaining flour mixture in three equal additions.Scoop the batter into the prepared pan and gently smooth the top. Bake until the cake is golden and springs back when touched, about 40-50 minutes. Invert the pan onto its feet or the neck of a wine bottle. Let cool completely inverted and then transfer onto a plate.
(Cake for Two)

Lime Glaze

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons milk
  • 1-2 tablespoons of lime juice

Mix ingredients together until a very thick but spreadable icing forms. Once cake has completely cooled, spread a thin layer of icing all over the cake. Note: start with 1-2 tablespoons of milk.  You can sub more milk as is needed.