Archive | July, 2012

Charlie says…

31 Jul

That black bean & cheese taquito recipe could not have arrived at a better time…

Hmmm, yes, I see a very bright future for me and cheese.


Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos

30 Jul

I promise I will post more than just recipes on this blog. I’m just having fun actually experimenting in the kitchen while I continue the long and tedious search for a job in Austin. Today’s recipe is a variation of something I used to eat from the freezer A LOT in college. I decided to try to make a “healthier” version by limiting some of the fatty ingredients as much as I could and opting to bake instead of fry. I have to say I was pretty surprised at how well they turned out! Let me know what you think and if you would make any substitutions. If I had to make some changes for next time, I think I would try corn tortillas (the whole wheat proved to be a little too heavy) and I might also add some corn inside and skip the cheese – yum!

Black Bean & Cheese Taquitos


  • 1 can of black beans
  • ½ medium onion, minced
  • ½ tablespoon oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or cayenne powder)
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup reduced-fat shredded cheese
  • 6-8 whole wheat tortillas
  • Cilantro (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Add 2 cups of water to a small pot and heat to a simmer.
  3. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat – add onion and sauté. 
  4. Stir in garlic, chipotle chili powder, paprika, and salt and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  5. Add black beans to mixture and cook until the beans are completely heated.
  6. Line a baking sheet with parchment/wax paper and spray lightly with cooking spray.
  7. Dip tortillas, one at a time, in the hot water and then place on a cutting board and add one scoop of the black bean mixture and one small pinch of cheese.
  8. Roll tortilla tight and place seam-side down on the baking sheet.
  9. Spray all “taquitos” lightly with cooking spray.
  10. Bake taquitos for 12 minutes, turning them over once halfway through.

Serve with salsa and sour cream for an easy and delicious meal. A little guac on the side would also be absolutely de-lish!

I Missed the Bus!

27 Jul

And I’m never ever ever gonna do it again.

Shout out to the West Leigh Posse circa 1998! We’d purposefully miss the bus in the hopes that whoever had to drive us to school would stop for donuts on the way. Or was that only my ultimate goal? The worst was when Bus Driver Bill saw us hiding behind the powerlines and kept the bus at the stop for way too long. I think one of us had to pretend we were getting sick in order for him to leave. And I wonder why my first boyfriend wasn’t until college…

Anyway, Tony and I are NOT going to miss the bus on our upcoming trip to NYC for his cousin’s wedding. We are going up Saturday morning and coming home Sunday afternoon so we didn’t want to mess with the hassle of flying and don’t want to pay for parking in the city, so we’re taking the bus! Our expectations are very low since we’ve only taken the Chinatown bus, but from what we’ve heard Bolt and Megabus are much better.

Fares are comparable, so I wanted to hear what others thought about the two companies. Which bus would you take from DC to NYC? Leave a comment with your reasoning if you have a strong opinion either way!

Crane Me Up, Scotty

26 Jul

Not many people think, “Man. I wish my Nana was here to see this,” when the picture below is the first thing they see out their window in the morning:

But I do. Because my Nana loves cranes. And I’m pretty certain that we will always think of Nana when we see a crane. Especially a ginormous red and yellow one only 20 feet away from our window.

This one’s for you, Nana!

Tortilla Roll-Ups

25 Jul

We used to beg Mama Lauer to make her delicious tortilla roll-ups during summer days and nights at the pool when we were growing up. While I’m sure a bit more went into those roll-ups, I have created a low-budge, easy version for those “what can I make with these random 3 items in my fridge?” days. Check out the recipe below and whip these up for a light summer snack – perfect for a day at the pool!

Turkey Roll-Ups


  • Whole-wheat tortillas
  • Cream cheese
  • Sliced deli turkey


  1. Spread cream cheese on whole-wheat tortilla (I used chive & onion flavor for this batch but jalapeno cheddar is also a favorite!)
  2. Lay thin slices of deli turkey over cream cheese.
  3. Start from the bottom and roll tortilla up. Add a little extra cream cheese to the end of tortilla to “seal” the roll into place.
  4. Slice into 1-inch pieces.

That’s it – seriously, you are ready to enjoy! If tortilla roll-ups didn’t flow as freely in your house as they did in ours, let us know what YOUR favorite summertime snack was as a kid. Other than bomb pops, of course.

So I Married Shrimp and Quinoa

24 Jul

I am not Deirdre “Giada Dean Pinterest” Lauer. My cooking skills are more in line with that scene from “So I Married An Axe Murderer” where Nancy Travis’ character’s sister tries to entice Mike Myer’s character to stay for breakfast:

 Rose Michaels: Let me make you some breakfast.

Charlie Mackenzie: Oh gee, you know, I-I’d love to but, you know, I’m really running late.

Rose Michaels: What would you say to silver dollar pancakes, fresh squeezed orange juice, bacon, and Kona coffee?

Charlie Mackenzie: Well, that sounds great.

[scene changes to her pouring Charlie a bowl of Fruit Loops]

Rose Michaels: Sorry, I didn’t have those other things.

My intentions are always there; it’s the follow-up that seems to kill me. In order for you to understand my point, I have provided the recipe that I had planned to follow below with my adjustments in parenthesis.

Quinoa with Shrimp and Zucchini

Serves 6 


  • 1 pound bag of large shrimp
  • 3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium zucchini, halved and thinly sliced (Squash)
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons fine sea salt, divided (Mortons)
  • 1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed for 1 minute (Boxed, no rinsing involved)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (Bottled lemon juice)
  • Zest of 1 Lemon (Nope!)
  • Lots of chopped fresh dill (Pinch of dried dill)
  • Crumbled feta (optional) (Omitted, not by choice!)

Heat 1 teaspoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shrimp and cook until pink. Set aside. Heat another teaspoon of oil and add zucchini (squash) and 1/4 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring, until zucchini (squash) is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Remove zucchini (squash) from the pan and add quinoa, water and remaining 1 teaspoon salt. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer, covered, until quinoa is tender but still chewy and a white spiral-like germ appears around each grain, about 15 minutes.

Toss quinoa with zucchini (squash), lemon juice, zest (nope!) and dill. Serve warm or room temperature, topped with feta cheese if you like. (No cheese on hand- blessing in disguise?)


Per serving: 170 calories (45 from fat), 5g total fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 5mg cholesterol, 570mg sodium, 25g total carbohydrate (3g dietary fiber, 1g sugar), 6g protein

I have to say, even with the downgraded ingredients, this meal was delicious and nutritious! Imagine what it would be like if all the ingredients were fresh….

Let me know if you try it and what you think. Would you make any substitutions?

Happy Birthday Papa John!

23 Jul

To the man who has persevered through 25 YEARS  of a 4:1 woman to man ratio in the Lauer household, we wish you a HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!  Thank you for always being patient, courageous, understanding, loving, and supportive.  We could never thank you enough for all that you’ve given us, but we thought we would try by offering you three son-in-laws and a grandson.  It looks like the women will finally be outnumbered!

 We love you so much, Dad!

%d bloggers like this: