It’s invisible internet friends baby shower day for Jessica of How Sweet It Is—the well loved lady who taught us all a thing or two about how to get creative in the kitchen. She has mad chops in the recipe department, a plethora of sprinkles up her sleeve, and a babe inside ready to partake in all this goodness. But not until we’re done celebrating. And there’s lots of celebrating yet to be done.
Bev and Ashley tasked us with “trashing up” recipes Jessica style. In other words, get creative. I had to sleep on this one and step way, way outside of my simple recipe self. Several sleeps later, I came up with boozy beef tacos with a butternut squash crema. That sauce, it’s a stunner. That neon color, it’s 100% real. It’s a little bit spicy, a little bit sweet, and a little bit sour. If I had a taco food truck, I’m pretty sure there’d be a line. Excuse me while I take pride in this little number.
My ego was quickly deflated after realizing I forgot to add avocados. Avocados! I’m blaming Hal, who woke up halfway through assembling and shooting these. I had to scramble to get a couple shots in before she got ahold of them. She’s been a bandit lately. She’s fast, stealthy, and steals anything edible within arms reach. Hide your food.
Enough about the tacos and the bandit. Let’s raise a mocktail to Jessica and that babe inside! Here’s to upcoming baby hands in Instagram shots, make-ahead mom recipes, pictures with missing ingredients, trashed up cocktails with a shot of espresso, pureed food (aka “sauces”), and of course a side of sprinkles. Huge congrats, Jessica! Welcome to the club. Now go stock up on sleep. PS—here’s my minimalist baby registry if you’re still on the hunt.
And the celebration continues. You should probably sit down for this.
Fresh Fall Tacos. Have you heard of such a thing? I love this recipe for the shear fact that everything can be made and prepped ahead of time. I dream of recipes like this one. Use the butternut sauce/crema generously. It’s a stunner.
Make butternut squash sauce. In a food processor or high powered blender, combine all ingredients. Puree until evenly combined, about 30 seconds. Pour into a squeeze bottle, cover, and store in fridge until serving. Shake well before serving. Can be made several days in advance.
Serve. Just before serving, prep garnish ingredients. Warm tortillas. Shred beef, pouring a generous amount of the liquid over top to keep hydrated and flavored. Assemble. Generously squeeze butternut squash over the taco (more than pictured).
Tortilla notes: Making your own tortillas allows you to control the size, and gosh are they good. For these tacos, make them on the small side, about 4-5″ in diameter. Roll out until tortilla becomes translucent. You should be able to see the counter underneath.
Beef notes: I didn’t have all the ingredients on hand, however, I followed the recipe instructions fairly close. I used about 1 lb of lean beef chunks. I seared them in the salt mixture as mentioned (replacing the pepper for chili powder), then slow cooked them in 12 ounces of beer, 2 lightly chopped garlic cloves, 2 lightly chopped chipotles peppers in adobo, half a jalapeño, and a generous squirt of honey.