Sometimes in life you have to strip down, whether it's going skinny dipping, refinishing hardwood furniture or simplifying a dish. Instead of doing an infusion or adding some interesting ingredient I decided simplicity would be the best route to take.

Even if it's slightly cold and cloudy, eat this meal outside the comfort of your dining room that's cooled with centralized air and set up the picnic table. Oh you live in an apartment? Open a window while you eat, it's summer, enjoy the nice weather while it's here.

tomatoes on the vine
corn tortilla chips
homemade tortilla chips


Yields almost enough to forget your troubles
  • 1 bottle Red Wine opened (I went with the cheapest merlot I could find)
  • 2 liters of Ginger Ale
  • 1 Orange sliced
  • 1 Lemon sliced
  • 2 Limes sliced
  • 1 Apple sliced
  • 1 Peach sliced
  • 1 shot Triple Sec 
  • 2 shots of White whiskey
  1. Cut up the fruit and add everything to whatever samovar you have laying around.
  2. Quick note: I used white whiskey, because it was laying around. Bourbon works just as well.
  3. Stir it up a bit and serve.

homemade salsa

Homemade Chips & Salsa

  • 6 Corn Tortillas
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt
  • 4 Tomatoes diced
  • 3/4 medium sized Onion diced
  • 2 tablespoons of minced Garlic
  • 2 Jalapeños diced  
  • 1 Lime juiced
  • 2 small sprigs of Fresh Parsley finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon Caribbean Jerk Seasoning
  1. Pour enough olive oil into a skillet to make a shallow pool, heat over medium. Cook the pieces of tortilla until golden brown on each side. Flip as necessary. This is a very fast process, so keep an eye on them. To drain, place the chips on a cooling rack over paper towels. 
  2. Make the salsa by adding all the cut-up vegetables in a medium-sized bowl along with the spices, stir until well mixed.
carne asada

Carne Asada Taco

Serves two very hungry people
  • 1 lbs. Skirt Steak
  • 1 teaspoon Olive Oil
  • a pinch of Salt
  • 2 Jalapeños
  • 4 Green Onions
  • 6 Corn Tortilla
  • Hot sauce
  1. Rev up your grill. 
  2. To get the most out of your meat, pound it. Pounding your meat will make it flatter and therefor it will have more surface area, which will allow it cook faster, resulting in a more tender piece of steak. Lay some plastic wrap on the kitchen counter, enough to span the length of the steak strips. Lay another layer of wrap over top. You can use anything heavy to pound the meat, even a triple sec bottle.
  3. Once the steak is flattened, but not pulverized, throw it in a mixing bowl and drizzle the olive oil over top and add the salt. Massage the oil and salt into the steak with your hands. Yes your hands, it won't kill you, unless your allergic to beef. And if you are allergic to beef, why the hell are you making these tacos?
  4. Add the steak, onions and jalapeños to the grill. Flip the onions and the peppers as needed to make sure they don't burn. Only cook the steak a few minutes on each side, keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.
  5. Once the vegetables are grilled and the steak is done (and yes that means it's still a little pink on the inside), let the steak sit for 10 minutes. Cut into strips and place on warm corn tortillas with the salsa and hot sauce. Serve with chips & salsa, sour cream and sangria.

Summer is all about simplicity isn't it? It's the season of taking some time off and spending time in the wilderness away from everything that's complex and stressful. Food should be simple too, especially summer fare. Be sure to read next week's post, I'm making something crazy and elaborate.

All these wonderfully colorful photos by Katy Weaver

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