Chorizo Taco Salad Brunch

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My go-to brunch meal when I'm hosting is the taco salad. And I make a pretty delicious one, especially if there's homemade chorizo involved (shout out to the husband! He demanded it).

The thing about taco salads is they are super easy, really satisfying and versatile. You can do turkey, ground beef, short ribs, or even roasted vegetables. And then pick toppings that pair well with your meat. Cook and chop before your guests arrive and all you have to do before pouring yourself some (or lots) rosé is assemble the salads. The most time consuming part for me is pre-baking my tortilla shells in the oven. And it's only because I can only do 2-3 at a time.

This was my first chorizo salad, and it was a hit. I cooked up some zucchini from the garden,which I added to my black beans, along with a salsa verde. And for toppings we had shredded lettuce, cotilla cheese, homemade ancho chili salsa (another husband contribution he insisted I mention), avocados and mangos with cilantro and lime. Simple, fun to eat and great with rosé.
Viggo hammock. This guy loved all the attention from the pretty ladies.
We had lots of desserts courtesy of my guests. 
I even made the husband his own salad which he had to eat quickly before taking a really long nap with the little guy. But not before we got this group shot of the brunch crowd with babycakes. 

Chorizo Taco Salads
serves 6

As I mentioned, these salads are open to customization. But here's what I used for this particular brunch.

2 lbs of chorizo, cooked
1 large zucchini, sauted in olive oil with cumin and paprika
2 cans of black beans, warmed with salsa verde
shredded ice berg
cotija cheese
ancho chili salsa
mangos with cilantro and lime
tortilla shells, brushed with olive oil and baked at 400 degrees for 5-10 minutes


Cheers to Baby Food and Cocktails

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It didn't take me long to connect baby food making to cocktails. But, I am a little surprised there isn't already a recipe book out there for this stuff. 

If you've made fruit compotes or purées for your little one, you probably end up with some extra syrup in your pan after cooking down the fruit. And you might just throw that out before blending your fruit, so as not to make your purée too watery. Or you might drink it, like the husband likes to do and then complain how this kid gets all the good stuff, and what about him??? But, you can also add a splash of rum or tequila and some sparkling soda and you have yourself a tropical adult drink. This way, everyone wins! Settle down hubby, the baby IS sharing.

I've been making Viggo food at home. It's a lot easier than I thought it would be, and takes me a couple of hours each Sunday. There's two books I use as a guide, Bébé Gourmet, and Cooking for Baby. Most of the recipes are straight-forward and once you make a few things, you get the hang of it and can experiment. A typical fruit recipe goes like this: slice up your fruit (removing the skins if that's your thing); add a bit of water to the pan covering your fruit 1/3 of the way; cook on medium 5-7 minutes (depending on the fruit). Drain off some of that juice (for yourself!), and blend. 

Our little guy really likes mango and berries combo (which by the way makes for a great cocktail), so I do variations of this purée with cherries, blueberries and strawberries. He likes to eat his fruit mixed in with Greek yogurt, and makes the funniest faces doing so. Other fruit combinations that he seems to enjoy include, apples and cherries (not the greatest for a cocktail), pears with peaches and bananas every which way. 

In case you're wondering, the kid eats more than fruit. It's just green beans and sweet potatoes don't make you want to add rum and pineapple juice to them to enjoy on a hot day.  
Freezer friendly. I typically make a batch of food for the week and take it to his daycare.
This guy likes to sit in the kitchen, and boss us around, waving his drumstick and wooden spoon. Good thing he looks so cute doing it.
Playful monkey. He's so happy to share his fruit purees with us. And that's why we keep him around!
Pear and peach syrup, with pineapple juice, rum and sparkling water.