Mango Margaritas + Cilantro Lime Tacos

photo I’m sure you’ve all heard the phrase, “When life gives you lemons…” which is followed by some wise phrase like “make lemonade” or “add vodka”. Personally I prefer the second option, or making the first option then adding the second. All of this is supposed to remind us that we can either look at life as a sour lot that’s been handed to us, or we can add a little goodness and make a delightful treat out of it. Well, lemons are quite an option-filled food. You can add them to all kinds of things, but you can’t eat them straight. At least I don’t, gross! On Thursday, I discovered something in the fridge that I never thought I’d find. Forgotten mangos! I LOVE mangos, they might just be my favorite fruit! Well, immediately that phrase “when life gives you lemons” came to mind so I turned to the mister and suggested that we  take our life given mangos and add tequila, and a few delicious cilantro lime chicken tacos! And that’s exactly what we did. Friday night was dubbed celebration taco margarita night. Coming back to the whole life giving you lemons thing seemed quite fitting since mangos are delicious and we were simply adding another layer of delicious AND we were celebrating not only the weekend, but my job transition. Friday was my last day at my old job which I loved, and Monday is my first day of a new job, which I’m THRILLED about. It felt like live was not giving me sour lemons, but delicious mangos and it only seemed fitting that we add a little tequila and some good friends to celebrate! Let’s end this long-winded intro and get to the good stuff, MANGO MARGARITAS! For the tacos, I used my Cilantro Lime Chicken recipe and served with my Grilled Cabbage Slaw.

Pre-tequila arrival... margarita bar set up and ready to rock!
Pre-tequila arrival… margarita bar set up and ready to rock!

Mango Margaritas Fresh mango, cubed or pruréed (You may also want to retain a few slices for a garnish) Ice Tequila Cointreau or Triple-Sec Sugar Limes, juiced and zested (You may also want to retain a few slices for a garnish) 1/2 of one lime, un-juiced to wet the rim for the salt Sea Salt Cayenne Pepper (if you like a spicy margarita like me) Shaker and Mudler, and zester First, wash the mangos, peel, cut and cube them. You can either keep them in chunks or throw it in the blender and make puree. If you do the puree route, you can add a little cayenne on this step if you all prefer spicy margaritas. We just cut ours into chunks so everyone could personalize their drink. Then, get your shaker and add  2 shots of tequila, a “dink” of Cointreau or triple sec, fresh lime juice, 2 spoonfuls of sugar, and 2-3 ice cubes. You can also add orange juice if you prefer a more smooth margarita. Shake well. Take the half lime and rub it over the rim of your glass then dip in the salt. Pour your margarita into the glass and garnish with a lime or mango wedge if you like! There you go! Fresh Margaritas!

Taco Tuesday

tacotuesdayFor a while we had a tradition of doing Taco Tuesday, with the effort to keep it up every Tuesday. Well, life gets busy and sometimes you don’t always feel like prepping tacos. If you don’t feel like eating tacos there is just something wrong with you BUT I can completely understand not feeling up for the prep part. While they’re relatively simple to make, mind you, the chopping can take a bit of time depending on how glamourous you want your festivities to be.

While other ingredients come and go, there is ONE thing that is always requested for Taco Tuesday in our house, and that’s my grilled cabbage slaw. I don’t remember exactly how I though to grill the slaw that I’d made to go with tacos one fateful night but the point is I did and Taco Tuesday has never been the same. Grab some cabbage, a lime or two, handful of cilantro, some garlic and a Anaheim pepper or jalapeño and you’re good to go!

Tonights Taco Tuesday: Grilled Ling Cod fish tacos with pineapple, grilled cabbage slaw, charred spring onions and corn.

Mango Salsa

Fresh Mango Salsa
Fresh Mango Salsa

With the fresh feeling of spring, I trade my winter cravings of spaghetti squash and Ratatouille for the “fresh and light” fare. On Sunday I went over to our Ballard Farmers market and got the tastiest Carne Asada tacos I maybe have ever had! Seriously, I want to huddle in the corner and lick the plate they were THAT good!

Well, that of course challenged the cook in me that said, “Hey, can I make that!?” and off I was planning taco Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday and likely Quesadilla Thursday. Since the Carne Asada steak needed to marinate (that’s for dinner tonight so check back for the recipe) I decided that tonight would be fish tacos.

Menu: Grilled halibut, Grilled Cabbage Slaw & Mango Salsa
Full Menu Prep time: 15 -20 minutes || Full Menu Cook time 20 minutes

This meal is actually pretty quick to make, it’s really just the prep-time that takes little time investment. The Mango salsa and cabbage slaw can be prepared earlier in the day but only take about 15 minutes of cleaning and chopping. Cooking the fish takes about 12 minutes on a pre-heated grill and the cabbage slaw will cook up in a pan on the stove in about  18-20 minutes.  

Mango Salsa

3 Ripe Mangos, Peeled and cubed
1/2 Small White Onion
1/2 – 1 Jalapeño chile, minced (include ribs and seeds for a hotter taste if desired)
Fresh Cilantro, washed and chopped with stems removed
1 Fresh lime, juiced
Cracked Pepper to taste

Wash and prep ingredients then combine in large bowl. Cover and let sit in refrigerator for an hour or over night to let the flavors mix! If the salsa ends up being a little too hot or acidic for your taste, you can temper it by adding some diced avocado.


Slow Cooker Pork & Southern Coleslaw

I do most of the cooking in the house. Not, mind you, out of a lack of additional cooking talent but more so out of how picky I can be with my meals. Typically, I do the cooking and he does the grilling. This past weekend we headed up to see my family for the weekend. My sister, her husband, and a family friend were also up visiting so it was a full house! Our family friend is in cooking school and he was tasked with making the dinner. BBQ pulled chicken, coleslaw and grilled veggies it was. The meal was “BBQ”: meat (in this case chicken) was smothered in typical sweet BBQ sauce and the slaw was mayonnaise drippy. Picky little me, doesn’t really like BBQ OR mayo so I saved out some chicken and had a chicken veggie sandwich…yes… I was that person.

So, upon returning home it was decided that our house needed a “BBQ re-do” with the real stuff: PORK. I have to start off by saying, I don’t really like pork. Never have I drooled over a honey baked ham, enjoyed a croquet madame or met a slice of bacon I wasn’t happy to walk away from. Actually, in full disclosure I DISlike pork. So when it was announced, “This week I’m making BBQ pulled pork and coleslaw in the slow cooker!” I can’t say I jumped for joy. No, I more so mustered up a happy face and tried to be supportive of trying a new dish and get the suffocating thought of the entire house wreaking of overly sweet BBQ and pork. So here’s the problem, I do not like pork. I do not like BBQ sauce. How is this going to be a positive experience!?



Now that you have a back story including my perspective of pork, let me introduce you to one of the most delicious, and SIMPLE, dishes that might have ever been made in our house. Two days of brining in a BBQ rub from our local World Spice shop at Pike Place Market, a quick sear in the oven the morning of, into the slow cooker it goes and out comes a lovely and perfect for pulling pork hunk.

What I loved about this meal is that it wasn’t too sweet or drippy! The Stubb’s BBQ sauce has a nice Smokey and spicy flavor unlike most BBQ sauces that are overwhelming sweet! The meat was perfectly cooked and just fell apart, but wasn’t too drippy and thanks to a good prepping job, very lean on the fat content. When assembled, the flavors mixed perfectly together! The dry rubbed pork, the spice and flavor of the Stubbs, the fresh crutch of the slaw piled on a toasted whole wheat bun… you have yourself a downright AMAZING weeknight meal. And, it’s even better the next day!!


Pulled Pork
(makes 3 servings…ish)
1 ¾  lbs pork, fat trimmed this will equal about 1 ¼ lb
Salt-free BBQ Dry Rub spice- to taste
Stubbs BBQ Sauce- to taste
Coleslaw Mix + Mayo or Yellow Mustard for “slaw”
Fresh cracked Black Pepper to taste
Buns (We use Whole Wheat)- toasted


Day 1-Trim the fat off of the pork and cover with the BBQ dry rub, massaging into the meat and let marine 24 – 48 hours in a pyrex glass bowl.

Trim the fat
Trim the fat
Coat with BBQ Dry Rub
Coat with BBQ Dry Rub

Day 2- DON’T touch! 🙂

Day 3- Morning: Pre-heat the oven to Broil and sear in the glass dish for 10 minutes. Place meat in the slow cooker with 2 oz water. Cover and set to low for 12 hours.Evening: Come home to the wonderful smell of the pulled pork!

Shred the meat with two forks, and see how wonderfully it falls apart, the lovely moist meat!

Toast bun, Mix slaw to taste with mayo or yellow mustard. There is an option to chop your own green and purple cabbage and a few carrots but we find it easier to get the pre-made and mix a little for each sandwich so it doesn’t get soggy and we can mayo to taste, I use yellow mustard instead of mayo in mine. Mix the meat with BBQ to taste. Heap up the slaw and the BBQ-ed meat and enjoy!!!

Stubbs BBQ Sauce
Stubbs BBQ Sauce

We used Stubbs BBQ sauce for the reason, as I mentioned before, that it’s not your typically drenched with sweetness sauce that over powers the sandwich. With Stubbs, you get more of the smoked and spice in the flavor to balance the sandwich and accompany the slaw and the dry rub flavor that you’ve slow cooked into the meat.

Step 1: Assemble Sandwich
Step 1: Assemble Sandwich
Step 2: Devour Sandwich
Step 2: Devour Sandwich


Grilled Cabbage Slaw

In our house there are two forms of “to do lists”, there’s a “his” and a “hers”. “His” consist of various house chores and interior renovation tasks such as sanding, painting, scrubbing grout, fixing and rearranging various wires and boxes and electrical “this and that’s”.  Tasks on that list are actually being completed while I curl up in the corner, typing away on the dining room table which is against the living room wall with boxes to the right of me, boxes to the left of me, boxes in front of me… ten points and a big golds star to any of you that know that Little Rascals quote. We’re in the middle of redecorating the little perch and I’m actually quite thankful to report that I have a very dashing handyman that LOVES this type of work. Or, at least enjoys it more than I do! He’s been slaving away and I’ll post before and after pictures once we have the new carpet in.

    Grilled Southwest Cabbage "Slaw"Let me proceed to the “her” version of the to do list: banana bread, morning muffins (which I made this weekend and posted here), blueberry muffins with crumbles on top, stir fry, fajita’s… this is just a sample of the meals that are on my list. And I must say, to quote the great Ron Burgundy, “I’m not even mad.” Settling up my part of the redecoration manual labor with some good homemade meals is quite fine with me! After brand new paint in the bedroom and a gorgeous new living room painted the perfect shade of meringue yellow which at the moment is shining brightly in the rare spring Seattle sunshine, my handyman deserved a good hearty meal. I decided to follow the coupon clipping and headed to Metropolitan Market to get some steak for our fajita’s. Up to the counter I bounded, with WAY more than I went in for and happily presented my coupon with a sense of great accomplishment at a few dollars well saved, only to realize that I apparently can’t read dates and the coupon wasn’t good for another 3 days! We already had our hearts set on steak fajita’s so I put back the second of the “buy-one-get-one-free” coupon that was no more, and juggled my groceries to the car.

As all wonderful recipes transpire, parts of this meal are NOT what I originally intended and I have to say that they actually turned out much better! I meant to marinate the meat, and didn’t, yet it was more perfect that I could hope! About an hour before I was going to prep the meal I was still trying to think of a recipe enhancement. While taking a mental inventory of the fridge I stopped on the middle right shelf where 1 1/2 heads of green cabbage still lived as remnant from the post St. Patty’s Day sale at the market. SLAW! I’d never in my life made slaw and wasn’t even sure if it would go with steak fajita’s but it was going to be made and tested to world, watch out! I have to say, the slaw turned out INCREDIBLE! So incredible, in fact, that I make a brand new batch when we enjoyed our next day leftovers. The key to this slaw is fresh ingredients, an entire Anaheim pepper for kick, fresh lime juice and the Creme de la Creme finishing touch is that I pan grilled it! That deep charred taste completed the entire meal. I’ll never again eat another raw slaw… to the grill with that side!

Grilled Southwest Cabbage “Slaw”

3 c. cabbage, chopped
1 ear corn, uncooked
1 medium Anaheim pepper, sliced and diced very thin with seeds
1 good handful cilantro, rinsed and chopped
1/2 Lime, juiced
1 spoon full minced garlic and juice
Cracked Salt & Pepper to taste
Cayenne Pepper to taste

  1. In a large bowl, mixing all ingredients and set aside uncovered, to let the flavors mix (you can set this aside for however long you’d like which makes this a great prep ahead of time part of a meal, but let it set at least 20 minutes
  2. Heat a non-stick pan over high heat and grill the cabbage until it’s charred, turning every few minutes (approx. 10 minutes)


    Grilled Cabbage Slaw Salad with Seared Flank Steak and Galaxy Rice Cheese
Grilled Cabbage Slaw Salad with Seared Flank Steak and Galaxy Rice Cheese
    Seared Steak Fajitas with Grilled Cabbage Slaw and Avocado
Seared Steak Fajitas with Grilled Cabbage Slaw and Avocado