Behind the scenes look at hosting friends for my favorite night of the week
From following me on Instagram, you all know by now that there are two things that are very important to me: taco Tuesdays, and cooking for friends and family. Growing up in a family that continuously hosts others, it is one of my favorite ways to use our apartment. While Joe and my tradition of Taco Tuesday is consistently just us, and often times our weekly date night, there are many times we open our doors to any friends free to join us. Last week when I was heading home from Florida on a Tuesday morning, I realized it was about to be taco time. Firing out a quick text to see who wanted to join us, and put our new and very overdue dining room table to work, I realized this would be a perfect opportunity for a behind the scenes #FFTacoTuesday VLOG. In an effort to show how easy it can be to throw a dinner party together when serving this crowd-pleasing spread, I’m here to show you all the necessary steps. From creating a grocery list on the plane all the way to the final product, this video and corresponding recipe is here to assist you host your own classic Taco Tuesday with all the fixings.
Inspired by a Family Staple with some Hawaiian Flare
Shredded pork has always been a staple in my household. Typically, it is served straight out of a slow cooker or sandwiched in a thick slider bun. A friend recently texted me, “does your mom know she’s still going strong as the pulled pork influencer?”. I mean it; whenever there is a Linville celebration, there is always pulled pork. (True statement I couldn’t eat it for like a year after college since we had it 2X/week at every lacrosse game tailgate for 4 years). So, while this recipe is very different than my mom’s glorious and infamous pulled pork, she was my inspiration. In an effort to continuously switch up our taco game to keep the tradition alive and interesting, I am always looking for ideas for new combos. After my mom recently brought in a pot full of pulled pork for my sister’s holiday party, I knew exactly what direction I was going to take this week’s spread in. With the shredded pork decided as my star, I took a little inspiration from Hawaii and decided to go a tropical route. Turns out, things I love lead me to more things I love. Who would’ve thought!?
Close your eyes and pretend you’re in California for a second
As part of my ode to Taco Tuesday and the promise of switching things up each week, I recently tossed a new combo into the ring: these shrimp tacos. Boy, they did not disappoint. If you’re like most New Yorkers and intimidated by the act of cooking shrimp for the fear it will stink up your apartment, I promise, it’s not that bad! Plus, this avocado crema makes it all worth it. The perfect creaminess on top of a perfectly charred tortilla with some juicy shrimp. For a second, you can close your eyes and convince yourself you’re actually in California and not this muggy still feels summer when will it ever be fall city. We can dream, right??
A mess-up became a fix up meal
To be totally transparent, this recipe was a total “mess-up becomes a fix-up.” This was a saying my fourth-grade teacher taught me and one I use quite often in my life. Nothing, and sure as heck no one, is perfect, so why stress over all the mistakes we can make? Since Joe and I are now making the family tradition of Taco Tuesdays in our apartment, I set the goal of stepping outside the box to try new taco recipes and keep things interesting. I mean, yes, I could have the same ground beef tacos once a week for the rest of my life, but I’d also be missing out on trying a bunch of new combinations and hopefully inspiring you all! To divert from our usual Tuesday spread, my idea for this recipe was to make tacos with beautifully juicy and gorgeously shredded pork. I turned to my handy dandy freezer and found that we had 1lb of pork tenderloin in there. Without consulting the internet and realizing that I should’ve instead used my slow cooker vs my instant pot for this result, I plopped this baby in my instant pot, turned it on, and got preparing my sides. To my dismay, this pork was in fact not at all the kind that I could shred, but instead a perfectly cooked, tender, and juicy meat. Instead of beating myself up over the fact that dinner was no longer going to look as I had hoped, I sliced the tenderloin, noticed how beautiful and tasty it was, and moved forward with the new star of the show. Turns out, this recipe is one of Joe’s favorite things I have ever made and provided some delicious leftovers for my younger sister. Plus, considering I never told anyone about the original plan, the mistake went was nonexistent. I’d call that a win in the mess-up becomes a fix-up category if I do say so myself.
Cinco de Mayo gave me the perfect excuse to try new recipes, throw a “build your own taco bar” dinner party, and chug kombucha filled margaritas. In an effort to maintain this gluten and grain free lifestyle, I have been a huge fan of the Siete tortillas and tortilla chips. Combining that love with my recent use of a Cauliflower Foods pizza crust, and curiosity, I set out on the goal to create my own cauliflower based taco shells. After setting an extremely low bar for myself, prepared to either be impressed or laugh at this epic fail, and a cabinet filled with back up options, I was pleasantly surprised with the outcome. These shells were a lot easier to make than one would think and, I can guarantee from my experience, you will without a doubt impress your guests. Trust me, my bragging ability of these bad boys only got louder and stronger with every margarita I had. Note: while they can fold to form a true “taco shell” and maintain their shape, I actually enjoyed eating them as tostadas.