I’m going to start off saying that I’ve NEVER had fish tacos before. The concept has grossed me out for years, no matter HOW many people swear that they’re good.
But I’ve had this tilapia in my freezer for awhile, which I tried to use up with the stuffed tilapia (ugh, just terrible). It was taking up space, so I figured, what the hell – I’ll try to make tacos with them. I came across this grilled tilapia recipe and thought it might just do the trick, plus it gets Josh involved with helping for dinner – since it’s on the grill. I had a taco kit in the pantry, so I wanted to put it to use.
As always, I slightly modified the recipe – because we’re picky.
The original recipe called for much more than the black beans, frozen corn, and salsa that I used. Mixed together in a bowl, it was pretty darn easy.
After washing the fish off (thawed out while at work), pat the fish dry and place in the foil pack. I put mine on top a bit of the mix so it was surrounded in the foil pack.
Then, place another spoonful or two on top of the fish and close up the foil packs. Grill on medium to high heat for 15 minutes.
While the fish was grilling, I baked the shells and tortillas in the oven according to the package instructions. When the fish was finished, we made the stove our serving location and got all of the sides together (lettuce, pinto beans, cheese, guacamole, etc.).
Since Josh and I like different things on our tacos, it was self serve.
Guys, I’ve been missing out. These tacos were so darn good!
We’ll DEFINITELY make these again. I love fish and I love tacos, but up until today didn’t realize that combining them could be delicious as well.
Amy – 4 out of 5 stars. SO. SO. SO GOOD! And so easy!
Josh – 4 out of 5 stars. A big fan of these! Wasn’t sure he’d like them, but he did as well!
First step was to start browning the ground turkey and boil the shells.
While the meat and noodles were cooking, I worked on getting all the rest of the ingredients measured for quick use.
Add the marinara sauce…
…the pasta…and the first portion of cheese.
Once mixed together, place into a baking dish, sprinkle remainder of cheese on top. Bake at 375F for 20 minutes.
Take out and enjoy the cheesy goodness!
This one was pretty good, but there was SO MUCH of it. I made it before we had family up, thinking we’d eat leftovers, but that didn’t happen. And since we were going out of town for our anniversary – it didn’t get eaten – should have frozen it!
Amy – 3.5 out of 5 stars. It was good, really cheesy. Next time I’ll probably half the recipe and use a smaller baking dish.
Josh – 3.5 out of 5 stars. Cheese and meat. A good meal!
After a miss from last week, I wanted to try another pasta – this time a Creamy Broccoli and Chicken pasta. It wasn’t a one pot recipe, so it was fun to juggle getting everything’s timing together to complete the meal. The actual recipe calls for bacon, but we weren’t feeling the bacon (shocking, I know) so we skipped it.
First up (not pictured), I took the chicken breast and cooked it in the skillet. Once complete, I moved it to a plate and placed it in the microwave to stay warm. While this process was going on, I started the water for the pasta so it’d get to a boiling point while focusing on the chicken.
Next it was time to get the sauce going! I put the noodles in the boiling water and then focused back on the sauce.
Added the garlic pieces, heavy cream, milk, and let it come to a boil. Once bubbling, add in the shredded cheese – I used mozzarella. Stir until it melts.
Just before the noodles finished, I steamed the broccoli, so it’d be ready to add in after the pasta.
When the pasta is ready, add to the creamy sauce.
Follow up with the broccoli…
Next up, add the sliced chicken. Note, the recipe suggested slicing it after finishing cooking and then placing it on the pasta. I waited to slice the chicken, and then added it to the pan with everything else. Looking back, the presentation might have been nicer had I laid the chicken on top of the pasta. You live and learn.
I’m not sure if I started the sauce too early, or if I just missed something completely – but this recipe turned out just ok. I may try it again and try not to do too many things at once, saving the sauce until the noodles are ready.
Amy – 2.5 out of 5 stars. Just ok, but I can’t tell if it was me or the recipe.
Josh – 2.5 out of 5 stars. Meh. Not terrible, but not a favorite.
Because I had a new(ish) jar of BBQ sauce from Week 12‘s recipe, I decided to try out the Crockpot Orange Chicken recipe that had been sitting in my Pinterest board for awhile. I’m not usually a big orange chicken fan, but Josh loves to get it when he goes to Panda Express, so I figured I’d try it out.
The upside is that the recipe is pretty darn simple, and it’s done in a crockpot, so little effort was required.
Cook chicken in the crock pot, and cook for 6 hours on low. Once finished, cut into pieces and return to crock pot.
Mix the orange marmalade, BBQ sauce, and soy sauce together.
Then pour over chicken and cook on high for 30 minutes.
While the chicken cooked for the last 30 minutes, I decided to make some fried rice to go along with it. I’d made rice earlier in the day so I could use it for the fried rice.
Once the fried rice was finished, I took the chicken out and dinner was served!
Might make this one again, but it’s not at the top of the list for re-dos, like the Beef Stroganoff recipe is. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made that since we tried it out!
Amy – 2.5 out of 5 stars. I liked that this one was easy, but it didn’t quite taste how I expected. If I make it again, I’ll probably tweak the ratio of BBQ and orange.
Josh – 2.5 out of 5 stars. It definitely wasn’t the biggest hit of the recipes tried, but it wasn’t the worst.
7:00 am. Whyyyyy? I just want to sleep late…
Enough whining. I guess we had to get up and get moving so we could make it to our breakfast selection, which opened at 9 am. We got ready and walked down to College St to check out Tupelo Honey Cafe. I can’t count how many times this place popped up as an Asheville recommendation – so we had to check it out.
Luckily, we walked up and were seated right away. Since it was early on a Sunday, it meant no mimosas for me. Whomp whomp. We ordered and anticipated the food we were about to receive. As a preview of the meal, we were given a delicious biscuit with blueberry jam. It was huge!
I held off on devouring this biscuit until my breakfast arrived. Josh and I both ordered the Tupelo Genuine Country Breakfast – he opted for scrambled eggs, country ham, and potato cracklins; I chose to get sunny side up eggs, apple cider bacon, and the goat cheese grits.
Shoo…this was fantastic. I recently (within the past year) have started eating grits (crazy I know), and I’m pretty sure these will never be topped.
After paying for our meal, we opted to walk around and see what was open. We knew we wanted to hit Curio to get a little something for B while we were in Asheville. It is definitely an adorable store!
Since most places didn’t open until noon, we opted to go back and chill at the hotel for a little while.
During our second outing, we set out to check out the Mast General Store for some local goodies. Lots of options, and we picked up a few gifts here. The bag was fairly heavy (and sharp/pointy) so we figured it’d be easier to walk around without it. We also decided to go back to the Mission Arts at the Grove to buy the painting we fell in love with. As luck would have it, we had 35.5 inches between our headboard and the bottom of the crown molding. The painting was 30 inches high. So exciting! Since we already going to head back to the hotel, we stopped to buy the painting and carry it back with us.
The painting was still there, so exciting! And because there was a crack in the frame, they gave us a small discount. We went ahead with the purchase and carried it back to our car.
After finding a way to get this in our car, we chose to go change clothes, as the temp picked up from the morning cool.
And out we went again [so many steps on Sunday – 12.7k!].
The concierge spoke highly about the French Broad Chocolate Lounge to see what that was all about.
We were still pretty full from breakfast, so I got the kids scoop of Milk and Cookies ice cream and Josh got a chocolate snickerdoodle cookie.
Our feet were tired after our third outing of the day, so back to the hotel we went. We got on FaceTime with B back home, relaxed a bit, and decided where we were going to go to dinner.
Seafood is always a top choice for dinner in my opinion, but we don’t go out very often. Josh suggested dinner at The Lobster Trap and I was definitely on board. We set off on foot to Patton Ave to enjoy our last night in Asheville.
Now if there’s one thing I can eat a lot of, it’s seafood. Josh ordered the Maine Lobster Roll, and I opted for The Lobster Trap Clam Bake, because there were so many things that looked wonderful as part of the entree and I couldn’t narrow down my selection.
We were in for a treat. First, they brought out some smoked trout dip. I wasn’t sure about it, but decided to try it anyway.
It was yummy, but knowing how much food was about to head my way, I opted to eat only a little while Josh was attempting to put a dent into his huge Caesar salad.
Then the time came, where our dinners came out. Oh boy!
It was a lot, and the waitress tackled getting most of the meat out for me upon delivery, but it was so worth it.
We left The Lobster Trap happy and full, with a nice walk back to our hotel. We decided to swing by Kilwins, just to see how late they were open, and realized they were closing in 4 minutes. What’d we do? We got ice cream…again.
This time I got Cookies and Cream and Josh got Asheville Tracks, both phenomenal, as expected.
We ended the evening knowing we had to get up early to make the trek back to Atlanta, relieving my mom of her babysitting duties.
And while the drive back wasn’t super exciting, we did hang our picture as soon as we got back from lunch with my mom and sending her off.
We’re in love!
On Saturday morning, we woke up as late as you possibly can after life with a toddler (7:15 am…) and laid around, which is something we don’t get to do often. Josh went downstairs to get me a little something for breakfast, as we’d be doing our zip line tour and would likely be eating a late lunch.
We took our time getting ready and left at 9:45 to head to Navitat Canopy Adventures Asheville. I found this place while searching through Pinterest for Asheville recommendations. In comparing the two tours they offer, the Blue Ridge Experience looked the most fun and I’d talked Josh into playing along and going with me.
We arrived and Josh kept joking about how he’d see me later, but I insisted he’d have a lot of fun. We checked in, emptied our pockets, and waited to meet our tour guides. Kate and Katherine, our two tour guides, met us for our 10:50 am tour and explained what we’d be doing. We then made our way up to get our gear on. Since we’d be flying above the trees, over a few miles, I didn’t have my phone with me – so there are few pictures. I did however, borrow my dad’s GoPro camera*, so we have videos of our zips!
We took the Navitat van up the mountain and close to the top. There was a little hike to the first platform, but it wasn’t all that bad.
Along the way, the guides entertained us with jokes and information about the area around us. Since we were celebrating our anniversary, the group nominated us to go first on the first zip line.
Our guides mentioned that if we loved this one, we would FOR SURE love the two to come. I couldn’t wait! After the other six folks on our tour made their way down, we had a little bit of a hike up to the second platform. The guides stopped us along the way to catch our breath and pointed out different plants and provided tidbits of information while we recovered, haha.
After beating Josh on the first zip line, he was determined to beat me on the second one. Game on. This zip line was about .75 miles long, the longest of the three we’d be doing. We were the second to go on this one, and were promised beautiful views along the way.
They weren’t kidding.
The next hike to the third platform was downhill, so it wasn’t as intense, but I almost slipped on the dirt a few times – no spills though!
On platform three, our last zip, we had a shorter run – but still fun!
Kate, one of our guides, recommended stopping for lunch in Weaverville on our way back to Asheville. She mentioned several types of food, but pizza and brewery jumped out and we decided to stop there – as it was after 2 pm and we were hungry!
We stopped at Blue Mountain Pizza to grab a bite to eat and we were glad that we did! In checking feedback on Foursquare, the garlic knots were an absolute must. We also decided to split a Parrothead pizza (ham, bacon, pineapple). Little did we know how big everything would be!
We left stuffed, knowing we wouldn’t need dinner. Upon arrival to the hotel, we rested up for the roller derby match that evening. We were going to go at 5 pm, but I kind of fell asleep… The All-Stars were competing at 7 pm, so thankfully we didn’t miss it all. It was a short walk over to the US Celluar Center where we weren’t sure what to expect.
It was pretty clear early on, that we had no clue what was taking place, aside from the fact that Blue Ridge was putting a hurting on Charlotte. It was a lot of fun to cheer them on, and we finally got the hang of it. Blue Ridge has a squirrel mascot that kept the crowd entertained between jams.
Blue Ridge won by a ridiculous amount, but both teams seemed to be having fun. We snuck out before the last jam and decided that we’d go to Kilwins to have ice cream for dinner. Because we’re adults, and we can.
We opted for waffle bowls so we could take the ice cream back to our hotel. Josh opted for the Georgia Peach ice cream, while I selected the Salted Caramel. Both were yummy!
It had been decided that we were going to go out for breakfast in the morning, so we crashed after an exciting day – ready for our last full day in Asheville.
This weekend, Josh and I drove up to Asheville to celebrate our seventh anniversary. We were torn about where we wanted to go for several weeks, when we finally decided on Asheville over Miami (I think we made the right choice).
We booked a three nights stay at the Hotel Indigo Downtown Asheville, and were really slack about figuring out what we wanted to do while we were there. With several recommendations on food and beer, we decided to wing it with the exception of a zip line tour planned for Saturday.
Nanny came up to watch B for the weekend, and we departed on Friday morning. The drive was about 3.5 hours, but it went pretty quickly.
When we made it to the hotel, we were a bit early for check-in, so we parked and decided to explore the downtown area. The concierge provided us with a map and a LOT of recommendations on where to go eat, and off we went!
We decided to stop at the Lexington Avenue Brewery for a snack, since we were in between lunch and dinner. Once we saw the Old World Pretzels on the menu, there was nothing else tempting us. We ordered two beers and the pretzels and enjoyed the open air and beautiful weather outside.
After enjoying our brews, we walked around downtown for our bit and eventually made our way to the Grove Arcade to check out some of the local shops. We made our way into the Mission at the Grove to check out some of the art and items for sale. We saw some cute items and then turned a corner and fell in love with a painting. We had to get some measurements back home to see if it’d fit, so we parted ways with the painting and walked back to our room to check in.
A couple weeks ago, the concierge called to check to see if they could help with our plans, and at the time I wasn’t quite ready to discuss (slacking…) I did mention it was our anniversary. When we checked in, the front desk noted that we’d been upgraded from our standard king room to a king corner room. It was a nice surprise! But when we walked in, we found a beautiful view and another nice surprise from the concierges.
Since it was just after 4 pm, and we’d had huge pretzels and beer, we decided to hang out for a bit in the room. We checked Foursquare and Yelp for recommendations on food and discussed other options to try the remainder of the weekend.
We decided to try out a sushi place that had great recommendations, and made our way to Wasabi on Broadway. We were still a little full from our late snack at LAB, but decided to get a couple rolls each. We shared some edamame while we waited for our sushi. All of a sudden we looked up and our rolls were heading our way, and were impressed with the presentation.
We walked around a bit more after dinner to allow our food to settle, and to check out the rest of the scene. Fellow 409’er, Mary, recommended checking out the drum circle that takes place every Friday night for people watching. Her suggestion did not disappoint.
After awhile we decided to keep walking, checking out the shops along the way.
And then we came across Kilwins and popped in for a sweet treat. While the fudge and the ice cream looked amazing, we were still *very* full from dinner. We opted to try their chocolate covered pretzels (Josh went with milk chocolate and I went with the white chocolate).
I’d also like to note that there’s a Kilwins in Atlantic Station, which may be a good or bad thing for me to know…
The combination of our drive to NC, walking around, and all the food, left us ready to fall asleep fairly early. Knowing we had a big morning on Saturday led us to calling it a night – excited for what the next day would bring!
Twelve weeks in and I swear after this one I’ll get better about posting. B has been a little challenging sleep-wise at night lately, so I pretty much fall asleep in his bed waiting for him to fall asleep, wake up an hour or so later, and then crash for the night. Fingers crossed that we all get back on a normal sleep schedule soon!
Since things are warming up, I figured this week would be a great time to try a grilling recipe. The weather was gorgeous, it’s a Friday, and the grill hasn’t been used in awhile. What I wasn’t counting on was Josh not feeling up to grilling. So we ended up baking the recipe instead of grilling. This week’s new recipe was Honey BBQ Bacon Chicken and Sweet Potatoes. I scrapped the bacon though, because Josh is having a temporary aversion to bacon after a bout of a stomach bug a few weeks ago. No further text needed there!
So I got home from work and got to work while the guys played with play-doh in the living room.
First off I preheated the oven to 400F. I ran around doing things around the house and finally got to peel and cut up the sweet potatoes. Before I finished, the oven was ready. Oops.
Once the sweet potatoes were in pieces, I placed them on the foil, and then stacked the chicken on top.
Then came time to pour the BBQ sauce/honey mixture onto the chicken. I used the Stubbs BBQ that was used on the BBQ chicken pizza, so I knew it’d be good!
I closed the foil up with another piece, creating a nice little packet. I popped them into a 9×13 dish and popped them in the oven for 40 minutes.
When the oven timer beeped, I could smell the BBQ sauce and was excited to try this out!
I transferred the sweet potatoes and chicken to our plate with a spatula and attempted to make it look a little more presentable.
Meh. We’re going to try a variation of it…not the biggest fan of the recipe as is. In all fairness, we decided to bake it instead of grilling, so next time we’ll grill too.
Amy – 2.75 out of 5 stars. It was easy enough to make, but there was just something weird about the combination of BBQ sauce and sweet potatoes.
Josh – 3 out of 5 stars. To be fair, Josh squeaked out a 3-rating. He isn’t a huge fan of sweet potatoes. He thinks it’d be better with red or russet potatoes, so we’ll try that next time.
Not going to lie, I feel like I phoned it in with this One Pot Chicken and Potatoes recipe. It looked easy, but not really exciting or different. But since it’s one I’ve never made, it counts as part of the challenge, right? 😉 Sometimes you just need something easy.
I rinsed off the boneless chicken thighs, placed them on the foil lined and parchment covered baking sheet. Sprinkled the chicken with salt and pepper, then added the chopped up potatoes, baby carrots, and garlic cloves.
The recipe called for you to bake it at 375F for an hour and twenty minutes. Say wha? It’s a weeknight…ain’t nobody got time for that. Clearly, I wasn’t paying attention when I picked this one. I bumped the heat up to 400F and cooked it for an hour.
I was running around the house trying to take care of other things, so the above and the final product are the only photos you get. Not that there was a lot to this one, see what I mean by phoning it in?
Meh. This one wasn’t exciting or anything to write home about. It was okay, but we’ve definitely had better. If I’m struggling for options on a weekend, I might pull this one out and try it again.
Amy – 2.75 out of 5 stars. Easy, but it took too long. I think I was thinking I’d pop it in before I went to pick B up from daycare, but that didn’t happen, so dinner got started late. Oops.
Josh – 2.5 out of 5 stars. He agreed, it was pretty basic. Chicken was a little dry (perhaps it really is better to cook this at 375F instead of 400F?) but the potatoes and carrots were good.
Clearly, from the recipes I’ve tried to date, I love one pan recipes. When I saw the One Pan Enchilada Pasta recipe, I knew I had to try it!
I liked that this recipe used ground turkey, instead of beef. I thought it was a nice change of pace with the chicken and beef recipes we’ve tried. I started off browning the meat, cooking it all the way.
Then I added the taco seasoning, because I didn’t get the already taco-seasoned turkey like the recipe author did when she made her meal.
Once the seasoning was mixed in well, I added the two cans of enchilada sauce, chicken broth, and the rotini noodles.
After the liquid came to a boil, I reduced the temp and let it simmer for around 15 minutes. The recipe then has you remove the lid and let it sit for another 5 minutes uncovered.
When the noodles were finished simmering, one cup of shredded Colby Jack cheese gets added. Yum.
Mixed it up, added a little more cheese (since the recipe calls for 2 cups), and then served it immediately. This would be good to pair with a nice salad of your choosing.
This recipe will be mixed into the go-to recipes for sure!
Amy – 4.5 out of 5 stars. The ease of this recipe made me happy, and the taste even happier. We don’t do enchiladas often, but this pasta was delicious. I may or may not have eaten the leftovers for lunch the next day, and dinner the day after. Delicious!
Josh – 4.5 out of 5 stars. Josh enjoyed it, and if I recall correctly, had seconds while we were eating. He said he’d definitely be down for having this recipe again.