We were rushing around the city the other day. Enjoying the Christmas season and doing some shopping at La Cantera where I was able to pick up some items at the Art of Shaving (click here to see what I picked up). Then we scooted over to the Bass Pro shop for a few stocking stuffers.
Have you ever been to the Bass Pro Shop? If not this is a great time of year to go. They have various entertainment, Santa's Workshop and a beautiful tree next to the giant hearth surrounded by various animal hunts.
We also hit up Old Navy for a new dress for me and a few gifts for some loved ones. They have the best deals for Christmas at 60% off the whole store.
It was getting late and we were getting tired. And by we I mean me, my mom and an eleven year old, a seven year old, a five year old and a three year old (the oldest declined the hustle and bustle this day). That’s a lot of “we.”
Good thing we had Taco Cabana in mind for dinner. They have some new spins on some old favorites that made dinner an easy fix that night.
(Mind you, it was also quite busy and they ran out of margaritas so beware of the Happy Hour rush when you go)
Thanks Taco Cabana for making dinner a no-brainer and for all the Christmas cheer from your staff.
This is a collaboration between Taco Cabana and On Cloud Social but, as always, the opinions are my own.
This is a classic meal in our house and requested every other week or so during the winter. Not everyone in the world loves split pea soup but they should. I mean who can resist the creaminess of peas and chunks of ham all savory together with rich vegetables. It is comfort food at its best.
Pared with a whole wheat sourdough (or GF bread for me) and a Pinot Nior this is a holiday dish that is quick, rich and never disappoints. Plus this recipe is naturally gluten free.
After my crock pot "bit the dust" on the same day that my car "bit the dust" and it freakishly snowed in South Texas, I got out the pressure cooker/instapot and tried my hand at this recipe a whole new way.
Thankfully the Split Pea Soup in the Instapot did not disappoint. (Here is one of my favorites.) And made the end of a stressful day more bearable.
Well, until it snowed and I realized I got rid of every jacket I owned when I moved here. It just means I should stay home if its below 50'.
CLASSIC INSTAPOT SPLIT PEA SOUP RECIPE
1 bag of split peas
1/2 onion diced
3 carrots chopped
4 celery stalks
2 potatoes, diced
1 T minced garlic
1 thick slice of ham steak, diced
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
2-3 cups water
1 tsp cracked pepper
Salt to taste
Add all ingredients to the Instapot. Stir it well. Turn pot on High pressure for 20 mins. Release pressure. Stir soup and taste. May need additional 5-10 mins and salt.
It is virtually fool proof. What is great about the Instapot is you get a creamy soup the first day. When I use my crock pot the creaminess doesn't settle in till the second day. If it makes it to the second day.
For my big family of five kids, I double the recipe. This makes dinner one day and lunch the next.
Bring on the taco love. Just like the rest of San Antonio I am a true taco lover. I enjoy eating and making tacos of all kinds. I have made Barbeque Tacos and Turkey Burger Tacos and I try Fish Taco’s at every Mexican restaurant that offers it on the menu (see my La Fonda post to know more about my current favorite fish taco).
And tacos on the go are necessity at times as well. With five kids, being able to grab some breakfast taco’s or a snack as we scurry around town is convenient. Because of this, taco’s have made their way into the heart of my whole family and Taco Cabana is on every major corner so that makes this fast casual restaurant an easy win.
Recently, I was able to indulge in the new Taco Cabana Flame-Grilled Chicken Tacos, in three flavor varieties. Of the Bacon Jalapeno Ranch, Roasted Poblano Ranchero, Grilled Peppers & Onions the Bacon Jalepeno was the most memorable.
The Bacon Jalepeno Ranch Grilled Chicken Taco brought the most heat and the most flavor with the cheddar bacon wrapped jalapeno. It was laid inside the taco with the grilled chicken surrounding it. It delivered serious flavor that need a wash down from the new Lunazul Tequila Margarita.
But my favorite taco to enjoy was the Poblano Ranchero. It had a nice mellow heat and full bodied flavor as the roasted pepper brought out the grilled chicken goodness.
I’m not one to usually try the margaritas at Taco Cabana but this new Lunazul Tequila Marg was packed with a nice lime flavor and was slushy style that most margarita lovers enjoy.
These Flame- Grilled Chicken Tacos are for a limited time so make sure you get to try one before they're gone. But I believe this Lunazul Tequila Margarita is sticking around through the cooler days of the year. I will be sure to take advantage of these tasty treats on the patio again soon.
This is a collaboration between Taco Cabana and On Cloud Social but, as always, the opinions are my own.
Fast casual dining is all the rave these days and build your own style of service let's customers choose their favorites. TRIO Mediterranean brings this exact style to the north east side of San Antonio.
Check out the menu here as you are able to pick your base, your meat, your toppings and then your sauce. I love how versatile all the ingredients are but often when I try new places I want them to tell me what is best and what pairs best together and what they love.
So I asked these fine workers and the lovely Victoria what their favorites were and I came up with this.
Its a combo of meats, on white rice (which is easier for your body to digest but that is another blog post), salad, cilantro, feta with the Hot Marissa sauce.
Plus there is a full bar with happy hour and fresh squeezed OJ. The mixologist was a gem and made me a tropical virgin mule with ginger beer, OJ and pineapples.
The atmosphere is great and trendy with the industrial look of stainless steel and exposed ceiling. I invite you to come in and explore the flavors of the Mediterranean that is nestled in a little corner of San Antonio Texas.
To learn more about TRIO Mediterranean visit eattrio.com and you can even order online :)
Being a foodie in San Antonio, I often get the privilege to enjoy a variety of restaurants to review new menus, specials and drinks. For this I am grateful. But every once and awhile I love going out to explore a new restaurant.
This is what happened when I visited La Fonda on Main one of San Antonio's favorited Mexican restaurant.
Here is what my friend and I ordered.
The classic fish tacos are something I'm on a mission to try at every Mexican restaurant in San Antonio.
This was a special that night. An old nun recipe they use to make for the totality that would visit. I unfortunately forgot to get the name of this delisous dish but just look at those pomagranets. This is a rich dish filled with pork and beef in a stuffing stuffed in a plablano pepper.
I thought it was a bit on the sweet side but my friend disagreed.
If you try it tell me the name and if you thought it was sweet or not.
This summer, South Texas is dragging its feet. When the heat index is still reaching over 100' every day dinner can become daunting. I wanna be cuddling up with books and meatloaf and cobblers.
But my appetite is not up for all that comfort yet. So we are still BBQ'ing, adding chamoy to fruit and getting creative with salads.
Here is my quick Cajun Shrimp Salad recipe. This is my go to salad recipe when I want a cool but hearty salad for a meal. It's easy to change up and improvise for what you have on the fridge. So feel free to play with the ingredients.
This recipe is adapted from Natasha'sKitchen Avacado Shrimp Salad recipe. And her picture below.
Quick Cajun Shrimp Salad
Ingredients for Cajun Shrimp:
Mix the dressing ingredients in a bowl or dressing shaker and set aside.
Rinse and pat dry the shrimp,!place in a bowl. Shake the the seasonings, salt and garlic over the shrimp and mix with your hands to coat the shrimp.
(Surely I don't need to suggest a hand washing after this step)
Place the butter in a pan on Med-high heat. Add the butter. When melted add the shrimp in one layer. Cook for 2 mins on each side. Don't over cook. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Rinse, (spin dry if you can) and chop romaine. Add to a large bowl. Add remaining vegetables on top.
(You can add in strips like top picture from Natasha's or in rounds. I prefer in rounds for better plating. But Natasha's for presentation.)
Add shrimp to salad mix. Shake dressing and pour over top.
Enjoy this Quick Cajun Shrimp Salad with a slice of multigrain bread with 5 of your friends or as a side dish to some barbecue chicken legs.
This hidden gem, Iron Cactus, is a favorite to locals and tourists. Tucked in the middle of the San Antonio Riverwalk, they are known to have the best margarita's in town.
I'm not sure about all that margarita business but they do have an outstanding fall menu lined up for 2017-2018. Here is a sneak peak of my visit with some of my influencer friends.
Hickory Grilled Salmon with a citrus butter lime sauce was divine. The sauce was perfectly paired with broccoli and rice. The portion was perfect and I not-so-gracefully enjoyed the whole thing (sorry Gabby from thekismetbooth.com for my broccoli fingers.)
My darling blogger friend, Alyssa, from TwentySomethingSA ordered this eye-pleasing Baby Spinach Tuna. Look at the rainbow of colors! With mangoes, tomatoes and half an avocado...how did I not order this??
And to top it all off was the Mexican Donut, Dulce De Leche Cheesecake, and Margarita Key Lime Pie. Each one was rich with flavor, unquie and presented superbly.
By all means you need to go down there and try the Iron Cactus on the River walk new fall menu.
Summer time just breeds more and more snacks at my house. It is rare for 60 minutes to go by without someone asking me for a snack (these moments are always mommy patient builders).
For this reason we have designated snack times for the kids. But for me...it's always snack time and this past month I have tried some new treats at local restaurants along with revisiting some classic favorites.
First off is a new treat from Trader Joe’s called Shooting Stars. They essentially are a sugar-wafer cookie with a chocolate bottom covered in “popping candy.” Also known as, Pop Rocks. This classic kid favorite has been combined with a delicate cookie to make me and my kids giggle. We all sat around the counter and munched this treat while whooping and hollering over all the action that was in our mouths.
I love that Trader Joe’s brought this fun treat to my kids without all the food coloring and preservatives. The popping candy element is simply baking soda. When it is mixed with something wet (like your saliva) it pops. If they still have these in the store next week when I go back I am going to stock on the fun.
Serious two thumbs up Trader Joe’s.
Cheese is always a winning snack for me and the kids. But Brie cheese is a special mommy snack that I have been indulging in for the past month after having my last run in with it at the Austin favorite 24/7 diner. I found some rice crackers at Trader Joe’s (since I am now going Gluten Free. That’s for another post) and paired it with a standard double Brie(from Trader Joe’s) and topped it with a Cran-cherry Chutney (since I can’t find pecan jam anywhere in a 200 mile radius. I will have to make it and post the recipe) from H-E-B.
This snack is rich and filling and a handful of them is all I need. I try to round-it-off with some cucumbers to make it a healthy momma snack. In which I always end up sharing with kiddo’s. And honestly I don’t mind. I am glad to build up their flavor pallets.
Pool time and movie's in the park bring snack opportunities as well. On the 4th of July we visited a small town near us where they featured a movie, a water-bounce-slide and free hot dogs, chips and drinks. And as you can see my dear daughter was highly enjoying her Lay’s Potato Chips. I usually veer toward the Deli Style but you can’t lose with Classic.
And lastly on my snack list this go-around, is a little chip and salsa discovery I made after visiting the Pearl Farmers Market (Another reason to visit Historic Pearl. Read more here on that.) After My mom and I enjoyed a lovely late morning mosing around the farmers market on a Saturday, we breezed over to a little old house turned restaurant called Josephine's. It is a one room cafe (with some additional outside seating as well) with original warped wood floors and antique tables and chairs to match.
We stopped in for a quick snack and I fell in love with the crispy tortilla chips (hoping they were gluten free. I didn’t ask) and a yummy Tomatillo & Avocado Salsa to dip. It had the perfect amount of spice to complement the avocado. I am going to try to copycat the recipe this month too.
So cheers to snacking this summer.
Share with me some of your favorites in the comments.
Snacks continue to find their way into my days. So many times I end up grabbing a snack instead of eating a whole meal. And with new foods on the market all the time, my favorite snack list is growing. If you missed my last post of #snackattack, read it here.
Sometimes, by definition, it is unclear what constitutes a snack from meal. A snack is smaller and, for me, usually involves some sort of saltiness. While a meal tends to be more rounded with meat and veggies (or protein if I am doing something meatless).
These as snacks I have tried over the past six weeks. You all may not constitute them as a snack but I am going to name them here because I ended up sharing it (which totally makes what could be a meal, now a snack) or I ate a smaller portion so it was a snack to me. In no particular order, here is my favorite snack list.
I visited this sweet little restaurant in Austin this past week, 24 Diner. My fellow blogger friends and I poured over the menu that served the people of Austin 24 hours a day but we stopped dead when we all saw the cheese tray.
It came with locally farmed cheese’s including, Campo de Montalban (Spain/mixed milk/firm), Brie de Nangis (France/cow’s milk/soft), Reading Raclette (Vermont/raw cow’s milk/semi-soft). Each cheese was paired with a housemade garnishes: Mushroom duxelles, pecan jam, dill-pickled red potatoes.
When I lavished the bri on piece of toast and topped it with the pecan jam, I was speechless (which is a big deal for a woman who talks a lot). It was by far the most terrific combination of sweet creaminess that a cheese lover could indulge in.
The rest of the cheeses and garnishes were just as grand but it will be a long time before I find another love like Brie and pecan jam. It is at the top of my favorite snack list at the moment. (And I will be purchasing in large quantities this week)
It was National Doughnut Day this past week so I could not let my kids pass up this opportunity to snack together. We headed over to my local Krispy Kreme and each enjoyed a doughnut of our desire. Most of my kids got chocolate glazed with sprinkles while another licked up a cream filled classic. But my oldest offspring and myself relished in a old school Old Fashioned cake doughnut - mine was devils food and his was original sour cream.
This snack takes me back to my childhood. A memory I have with my grandpa- sitting on his lap and devouring Old Fashioned cake donuts. I am grateful for this memory and to enjoy a new memory, of the occasional doughnut, with all my little ones.
And lastly, I have been debating trying out this new (or not so new) ketones diet. The foods you can eat from are all my favorite (meat, fish, cheese, wine, vegetables, oils, etc) so it seems to not be too difficult. The only added thing is no tortilla chips (which I am sure to fudge on all the time) and no sugar (which I am sure to fudge on occasionally, or maybe all the time or everyday in my coffee).
But here is how I started it out- smoked oysters, baby cucumber (my current favorite veggie snack), cheese (cheese sticks, cheese rounds, cheese slices, cheese, cheese and more cheese!!) and avocados (my old favorite veggie snack that I still eat everyday).
Now this is a typical snack for me at anytime of day. This is how eat regularly so cutting out the gluten and sugar should not be too difficult. But the cutting out of tortilla chips is unquestionable and may mean that I continue to have some bloat when I eat them.
But I am a snack lover so snack on I will (bloat or no bloat).
What is on your favorite snacks list? Do we share any favorites?
Here is a fun little fact about me: I love snacks! But not just run of the mill-snacks (except chips and salsa. I always love chips and salsa). I mean fun-new-adventure types of snacks. These snacks could be from the grocery store or 7-11 or a fast-food stop. I just depends who I am feeling that day. Or how convenient the snack is to me. I always post on my Twitter about my new snacks. So if you don’t follow me on Twitter here is your chance to. Then you can see all my #snackattack posts in real time.
But for now here is my #SnackAttack loves that I have been devouring the past few months.
We will start with the my favorite one that I need to head to Walmart to purchase again right this moment. And that is the Triscuit Rye with Caraway Seeds and Philadelphia Cream Cheese Smoked Salmon Flavor. The combo of this magnificent flavor-explosion is unbelievable.
I am a huge seafood lover (sushi at the top of the list). I am a huge Triscuit lover. And Rye just sounds sophisticated. I bet I could make this as an app with a little olive on top and Bamn! It would be an InstaHIT!!
Next on my snack attack list is Top Golf Mushi Appetizer dipped in the Quesu. If you haven’t been to Top Golf I highly recommend it. Not only for the snack but for the fun as well. I am not a golfer. I do love sports and play a mean volleyball but golf has always been difficult. Trying to get my swing right and aim at the same time has always proved too difficult. But Top Golf golf was so fun. A twist between miniature golf and real golf, players can pick games to suit their styles best, beating each other or their own scores. Hitting a golf ball into a giant pit that has a 18 other little pits with scores on them proved to be a pit harder than I expected however I did get the hang of it and with the yummy Mushi filling my belly I got better with practice.
Ok...back to the Mushi. It is a combo of a Mexican and Sushi. All Mexican food ingredients but rolled up in a tortilla in a sushi form and then cut. This made it easy to dip in the queso. The tortilla was a flavored kind all the beans, cheese and chicken fillings paired well. This snack attack is on I could even try making at home (light bulb moment for me).
And last snack attack that has taken over my heart is Trader Joe’s Crispy Crunchy Mochi Rice Nuggets. I had seen this posted a few months ago when it first arrive on the TJs scene but at 2.99 I wasn’t sold. Usually the whole reason I encourage others to try shopping at TJs is because of the price of the food and the quality. No other store compares (that is not a membership based store). But the bag of Rice Nuggets was little and I wasn't in the mood for that. Until the other day. I swung in for a quick few items, a drink and a snack!! Yep. I saw it and knew that it would be my choice. The salty dense nuggets paired perfect with a little Kombucha. It was a perfect snack that day. These nuggets are like chips but you don’t need as many to fill you up. Hence why the bag is small and the price the same as a bag of tortilla chips. Try it. Tell me what you think.
Do you love snacks? Sweet or salty? Do you always have a drink with your snack? I wanna hear about your snack attack.