As we roll back into the school year, I find myself having an age old conversation with every mother I run into – how to find balance.
I have long given up on the myth of balance on any given day. Please, let’s just avail ourselves of this crazy notion once and for all, okay? If I have a tough work day or week, my time with the kids suffers. If I have a great week with the kids, my work suffers. Our house projects suffer through it all. All I try and do over the course of any given year is get it all done For the most part, that mantra works for me. But let’s be honest, there is never a moment that I feel this idealized notion of balance. Does anyone?
There is one aspect that I really push myself to the extreme, and that is cooking. The idea of the home cooked meal, served at a family dinner table seems to ground me to what is important. It is in a week like this week, when I know we will not once all sit together at the table to a home cooked meal, that I feel our true balance has come undone. I’m already looking forward to Saturday and Sunday when we can get back around the table and reconnect after a busy week.
We’ve instituted Taco Tuesday at our house for a few reasons. The first is that the predictability seems good for the kids – it has alliteration, it shows up once a week, it’s fun! The second is, they love wrapping things up in corn tortillas and that means I can get fish into them on fish taco nights with no complaints. The third is that I can have fun with the sides to make it interesting for me and TJ. Lastly, it comes together quickly, no matter what night of the week we actually eat it (I’m not above holding Taco Tuesday on a Saturday). Here was last week’s concoction. It took a little planning and a little prepping in the morning, but the extra work was worth it.
Taco Tuesday in a Bowl:
1.5 pounds of slow-cooker shredded chicken – basically, put a whole bunch of stuff over some chicken breasts and let them do their thing while you work. There are lots of recipes on line, but choose a simple one. You barely taste it anyway once you’ve got all the sides!
Pico de Gallo – store bought or homemade. To make homemade, chop 3 tomatoes, a half of a jalapeño, a quarter of a red onion, tons of cilantro, salt and olive oil in a bowl. You can get fancier, sure, but this is completely awesome and does the trick.
Avocado or Guacamole - I’ll serve chunks of avocado for the boys, and guacamole for us. Ina Garten’s recipe is my go-to.
Black beans – please, I don’t even bother to heat them up. Just a quick rinse. Or not.
Corn – fresh, frozen, roasted. Just get some in there. In this picture we had some left over roasted corn with chimichurri sauce on it. It was a delish addition, but not necessary.
Brown rice (corn tortillas warmed up for the kids)
Shredded cheese (We didn’t put any on ours, but essential for the kids)
Shred your chicken and arrange all your sides in a pretty bowl. Top with a dollop of greek yogurt. Look at it longingly in its pretty state and then mix that momma up and dive in! Enjoy with any beverage pairing that sounds good to you – this is about ease, not standing on ceremony.
My parents were in town and the new vintage of Sanguis Couture was released, so that’s what we drank! Who says a California blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Grenache can’t go with Taco Tuesday?!