Basically, Fish Tacos

One year, while Sweetman and I were visiting Captain Ahab and The Nana down in Florida (before children – Sweetman calls them The Ignorance Is Bliss Years), we went out for dinner.  We all agreed we were in the mood to hit our favorite Mexican joint.

As we went around the table giving our orders to the waiter, there was a surprise order. Nana’s. She ordered “Fish Tacos”.  I choked on my Margarita. Sweetman spewed his beer.  We both looked at each other in horror. Ahab just shook his head sadly.

Now, I grew up in sunny South Florida.  I ate fish here, there, and everywhere.  I did not, however, grow up eating fish in my tacos. This order took me so completely by surprise that I didn’t even know how to process it.

“When did you start eating fish tacos, mom?” And, more importantly, WHY?”

“People change, dear. I really like them. You should try them.”

We agreed to disagree.

By having more margaritas.

Later that night, Sweetman and I awoke to the gentle soothing sounds of The Nana hurling. All Night Long, as Lionel Richie would say.

“It was that Margarita, I tell you!”, she kept insisting.

“Mom, I had the Margarita, too.”, I tried to remind her.

No matter. She wasn’t having it. It just could not be her beloved fish tacos.

That night held many lessons for us all.

The Nana is a horrible liar.

Sweetman and I would never be interested in “trying” fish tacos.

Ever.

Margaritas are evil.

Take your pick.

So I found it surprising to be having this conversation with Sweetman last night:

“Honey, what do you think about trying… now keep an open mind here… black bean and salmon tostadas, one night?”

And just when I I thought the recipe couldn’t get any worse, he started rattling off the list of ingredients, prefacing almost each new one with “Now, we don’t have to add that one.”, or “That one might not be a good addition.”.  He mentioned words like “cabbage” and “pickled jalapenos” and some other things.  I think I tuned out after “salmon tostada”, to be honest.

But this is how it goes around here between he, who cooks, and me, who… well… doesn’t.

If he thinks that being adventurous is adding cabbage to a perfectly good tostada, who am I to judge?

Engineers do those sorts of things.

“So, basically, you’re asking me to eat fish tacos?”, I challenged.

“Yeah.”, he admitted.

“Only if you serve it with Margaritas.”, I demanded. “Then, I’ll have a culprit.”

“Deal.”

I guess people do change.

And, once again, my mother is right.

Yes indeedy.

*And, though my stomach turns even as I write this, if this is your cup of tea, Sweetman found the recipe for these “Black Bean Salmon Tostadas” here. You’re welcome.  Or… I’m sorry.*

Rega, Mega, And Ultra

We are so exciting around here that we make three differing versions of dip for dinner. Each one less healthy than the last.  Hold yourselves back from all of the exclamatory praise. “Wow, that’s… pretty lame, actually.”, will suffice.  I feel the need to share with those of my dip loving friends, because, HELLO! It’s College Football season.  And as a Bama Alum, let’s just admit right now that there’s a whole lotta “ROLLLL TIDE, ROLL!”, goin’ on around here for the next few months.  And dip is about as necessary as breathing. True story.

 

Anyhoo, about those dips. Let me elaborate.  As you salivate.  However, if you are not into processed foods, you should just look away right now, because it’s about to ugly up in here. Velveeta and Hormel chilli-kinda ugly.  You have been warned!

 

Rega Dip

1/2 a block of Velveeta cheese (an extra 5 points if you can find Velveeta Mexican!)

It’s how you say, “ooh-la-la!”, in American.

1/4 cup of milk

Microwave the above in a microwave safe bowl until melty (about 2 minutes, give or take)

Add 1/2 a jar of your favorite salsa

stir well

microwave again for another.. eh, 30 seconds to heat it up.  Viola! Rega Dip.  Now go get your favorite dippin’ chips and go to town.

 

Mega Dip

1/2 a block of Velveeta cheese (an extra 5 points if you can find Velveeta Mexican!)

1/4 cup of milk

Microwave the above in a microwave safe bowl until melty (about 1 and 1/2 minutes, give or take)

Strangely familiar sounding, no?

Now, add in one can of Hormel No Bean Chilli.  Awww, yeah!                                                                                          

stir well

microwave again for another.. eh, 30 seconds to a minute to heat it up.  Viola! Rega Dip.  Now go get your favorite dippin’ chips and go to town.

 

Ultra Dip

Get out a round cake pan.  Set the oven to 375. Prepare your arteries.

One block of Philly Cream Cheese

One can of Hormel No Bean Chilli (Sometimes we shake things up by making the uber-healthy Hormel No Bean TURKEY Chilli, instead)

One 2 cup bag of shredded cheese of your choice.  (We like Mexican Taco Cheese – and sometimes I get crazy and use Weight Watchers’ brand.  I know, I know… it kind of defeats the whole purpose of the dip.)

Spread block of cream cheese along bottom of cake pan.  Pour Chilli on top. Spread around.  Open Bag of Shredded Cheese.  Dump it on and spread it around. Cover with tin foil.  Bake for 20 – 25 minutes.  Get your favorite dippin’ chips and go all crazy on that bad boy dip.   (Share it with another if you’re feeling magnanimous. LOOK at that there education I received courtesy of The University of Alabama! Can I get a ROLL TIDE?!)

 

Now, I’d tell you that I intend to make one of the above for “dinner” tonight, but I don’t have to. You know why?  Because I am going to one of those Fan-Cee Chocolate Parties at a neighbor’s house.  There’s no finer dinner folks. No, indeed. Except maybe a Dip Dinner.  But, then again, there’s always tomorrow.

 

And, yes, my yoga pants and I just became besties again.  That’s alright.  We’ll be extra tight tomorrow.  Seriously. Extra extra tight.

 

*Disclaimer*  I do NOT accept phone calls or emails from Cardiologists.  I believe I know just about where I stand with them already.

 

Some Other Neat Things

Making lists is an awfully wonderful thing to do.  It’s awful because you now have ideas down in black and white forcing you to potentially take action.  It’s wonderful precisely because those thoughts are down in black and white and now there is no way your scatterbrained self can forget them.  Unless you lose the paper they’re written on.  Which is why blogs rock.  If I “lose” my computer, I have far worse issues to contend with…

All of this rattling on about nothing is leading to something.

I’ve been thinking about some other neat things that we like and/or use around here.  I thought I’d share. I’m friendly like that.

  • In an effort to cancel out the delightful harmful effects of my daily devil dog consumption, Sweetman has gotten me hooked on having a cup of piping hot decaf green tea with him each night before bed.  He figures it will at least balance out some of the “harm” done.  (He has NO room to judge – he with his Suzy Q’s sitting dangerously close to my Devil Dog!)  I’ve become quite a fan of Allegro Organic Decaf Green Tea.  Thank you Sweetman for keeping me somewhat healthy!
  • Wild Olive Tees.  If you’ve never been over to their site, run!  It’s got the cutest t-shirts for women and children.  Each shirt has a graphic on the front and a Bible Verse on the back.  We bought a “mini” one for Sweetgirl last year and that poor t-shirt needs to be retired in a big way.  But Sweetgirl is gonna fight that all the way to the donation bag.  Here’s a pic of the back of hers:
  • I can’t do  curry. Seriously.  I puke.  Involuntarily. I’m sorry, TMI, I know. (Which really is a double shame, because Sweetman’s best friend is Punjabi.  I wasn’t able to be anywhere within a two-mile radius of his wedding festivities throughout most of the wedding party weekend. Poor Sweetman had to literally change his clothes before entering the hotel room each night so as not to prompt The Puking.) So, why am I mentioning that?  I hesitate to display the range of my ignorance, but here goes…  I foolishly thought that Taboule had curry in it. Therefore, I’ve never attempted to try it.  Unbeknownst to me, while at a little housewarming party last month, I tried a dip that had Taboule in it.  And it was delicious!!! So, I’ve fallen a tad bit in love with the stuff.  I think I’ve had it with some pita chips for lunch once or twelve times this month.  Cedar’s Taboule is my favorite this minute.  But if you have a brand that you love and would like to share, please do! And, that’s a wrap.  It’s a gorgeous day here, so I’m off to play.  Enjoy!

No, The Other Yes

When does no mean yes?  I’ll tell you when.  When you’re three.  That’s right. When you’re three, going on four, very soon, “NO!  I do NOT haf ta go potty!”, really means,  “Why, yes! Yes I do.  Right-this-very-second-or-I’m-gonna-pee-my-pants!”.  Another time no means yes?  When you’re eight, going on nine, apparently.  As in, “Did you have time to finish your lunch today?”.   Now, commonsense would dictate that an answer of “No” would indicate that one did not, in fact, have time to finish their lunch that day; therefore making the mama feel obligated to whip up a huge snack for the child to help him recharge his batteries after school.  Then, upon opening said child’s lunchbox , one actually finds it empty.   Ta-da!  See how that works?

Admittedly, though, the one that drives me bonkers is the “unspoken no” that Sweetdog gives. This usually takes place on a rainy day when I have six things that need to be done at once, in short order.  Being the good plotter and planner that I am, I take elderly Sweetdog outside for a “pre-emptive potty time” so that I won’t be interrupted mid-shower/exercise/phone call.  She  patiently tiptoes through the wet grass and looks back at me with those sad, ol’ puppy dog eyes to indicate that no, she does not need to go.  We come back inside, wipe her paws, take off my rain boots, and I begin the activity that I was attempting to get through uninterrupted.  And, voila`, instantly, Sweetdog is at the door, barking that “Yes, NOW! Now I do indeed need to go back outside in the rain to go potty or I will pee on the floor. Right here, right now!”. Or something along those lines. Alas…

At least Sweetman gets that your ‘no’ should be no, and your ‘yes’ should be yes.  I told him recently how this aggravates me to no end.   And he agreed.  In fact, he kindly reminded me that every once in a while, (he has a talent for making mole hills out of mountains), we’ll have a conversation that goes a little something like this:

Sweetman:  “Honey, it sounds like you’ve had a rough day. Want to do take-out for dinner?”

Me:  “No, we should be healthy.  I’ll make a salad.”

Later that evening after salad is consumed…

Me:  “We should have done take-out.”

Sweetman:  “I asked and you said no!”

No. The other yes.  Sometimes, it’s what’s for dinner.

I NOT!

It has become quite the catchphrase around here, lately.  SweetGirl coined it, of course (who knew that three-year olds could coin phrases?  We aim high around here, you see.)  She uses it for just about anything and everything.  Because, obviously, she’s three. Or, as she would tell you, “I NOT!”

Some sort of wildebeest springs forth from BOTH SweetGirl and SweetBoy at approximately 4:45 each afternoon.  Sometimes, this thing catches me off guard at 4:30.  Sometimes, at 5:00.   But it always comes lunging at me ferociously and hungrily.  I’m fairly certain that most of you have encountered this beast, too?  It’s the oh-so-whiney “When’s Dinner?  I’m HUNGRY NOW MAMA” beast.  See?  You’ve met this animal before, right? Oh yes, indeedy!

Tonight, the thing announced it’s arrival at 4:20.  Now, I’m all for starting dinner early, if the SweetChildren are getting a hankering, but c’mon?  4:20?  I felt like I should be back in South Florida at an Early Bird Restaurant. With my Grandmother. But with my preschooler and elementary school-er?  That’s just not right.

Therefore, I felt inclined to say something along the lines of “I NOT starting dinner now. Mommy is busy Pinterest-ing working.” And all chaos ensued.  But I scored a huge victory!  You see, SweetGirl promptly announced “I NOT eating dinner, Mama!”  And then to further her point… “I mad at Dinner, Mama.  I NOT eat it!”  Well, alrighty then.  You run with that; because, that means you’re not mad at ME for not fixing you dinner right-this-very-second. Usually in these moments, I’m shooting up a quick and earnest prayer for patience.  But instead, I was able to carry on with my obsession work.

And when SweetBoy and SweetGirl sauntered in to the kitchen 30 minutes later, they said (having forgotten how Very Hungry they were a mere half hour ago) “Mama, we thought you were working?”

And you know what I said?  Yup, “I NOT!”