So here’s the thing.
When I’m pressed for time and just can’t think my way through making an entire meal from scratch, I sometimes shove the guilt to the side, grab a main item from the freezer and make a handful of side dishes.
Kind of like Sandra Lee’s Semi-Homemade.
But kind of not.
As in way better.
Over the summer, through some of the lunches that Nick was having at one of his summer camps, he discovered he actually likes Mexican food. Especially quesadillas and burritos.
And likewise, I recently discovered that Old El Paso makes quesadillas. With an occasional heat-and-eat quick main course taken care of, it frees up more time to really up the ante with the most delicious sides that ever were.
Namely tons of fresh guacamole and salsa.
Which, next to a con queso, are pretty much the biggest reasons we love Mexican night.
No matter the meal, I am a big fan of dips and toppings and condiments and sauces. My kids? Totally not.
But when it comes to guacamole and salsa, we agree.
Homemade guacamole, the very best kind, takes just a few simple ingredients and only a few minutes to whip up. There is pretty much no reason to buy it pre-made from the store, because the taste just doesn’t compare (unless, of course, you are completely stuck and can’t find ripe avocados).
And salsa? Handful of ingredients chopped and/or whirred around in the food processor.
I personally like my quesadillas smeared with a bit of guacamole, sour cream, and salsa, so you get a flavor explosion with every bite.
Nick dunks his in the guacamole and then the sour cream, and uses the salsa for dipping with his chips.
And Madeline is a purist and pans all the dips and accompaniments that she can.
We’re working on her.
Tomorrow? The belated Weekend Photos in Review. Exhaustion and several hundred photos later meant that I needed no arm twisting to head straight to bed last night after a very full weekend.
Farm Fresh Salsa
1 lb ripe tomatoes, finely diced (with juice)
1/4 cup finely diced white onion
1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1-1/2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
squeeze of lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon Old El Paso fajita seasoning, plus more to taste
In medium bowl, stir together all ingredients to combine. Adjust seasonings to taste. It tastes best if you let it stand about 30 minutes before serving.
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted, and lightly mashed
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
In a bowl, combine avocados, cilantro, and lemonjuice. Season with salt, and mix to combine.
*These recipes were created and shared in conjunction with my work with Old El Paso and Betty Crocker.