Dr Pepper Pork Tacos with Cilantro and Sour Cream

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone! I hope the weather is beautiful where you are and you're enjoying the long weekend. You may have noticed there wasn't a Friday food post this week, that's because I decided to take a rare weekend off. I started out catching up on the new season of Dr Who on Friday and went to see the new Sin City movie on Saturday. Now that we have a toddler underfoot date nights are rare things, but I've got the best friend ever who offered to babysit for us so I jumped at the chance. Today she brought her family along for some fun and we spent a good part of the day at Taste of Madison trying out bits and bites from our local restaurants. This event is without a doubt my favorite all year, not that should surprise you since it's food related. Our local restaurants set up tents around the Capitol grounds, the same place the Dane County Farmers' Market takes place. The prices are reasonable, usually $3-4 to sample an item off the menu. I love that this event gives us a chance to sample the best food Madison has to offer all in one place. If you're curious about what I tried this year you can check out my instagram feed for the highlights. We stumbled across some real gems including dessert Sushi and Beer Battered Fries with Truffle Oil. 

Now that I've spent the last few minutes teasing you with the things I've eaten today, I'll go ahead and share a recipe for the Dr Pepper Pork tacos that I mentioned recently. Those of you who made my recipe from last week know that it makes a ton, so if you weren't feeding a crowd, then you've likely got plenty of leftovers. As much as I like eating pulled pork sandwiches I do get tired of them, so when I've had my fill I switch over to tacos. These are quick to toss together and don't require you to do anything more strenuous that reheating leftover Dr Pepper Pork. We all need a few meals like that in our repertoire. If you haven't had the chance to make last week's recipe yet, all I can say is "for shame Doc!" Seriously though, you're really missing out, Dr Pepper Pork is amazing.

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Dr Pepper Pork Tacos

Ingredients

Dr Pepper Pork (use the recipe here)
flour tortillas, taco sized
sour cream
fresh cilantro 

optional

lime wedges

Directions

  • Top tortillas with Dr Pepper pork, sour cream, and fresh cilantro. Drizzle with lime juice (optional) then devour immediately!

Watermelon Coconut Water Smoothie + Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water Review

Sometimes I feel like the only food blogger who hasn't jumped on the coconut water bandwagon. I've seen it everywhere the past few years, but up until recently I haven't had a chance to try it. Despite its recent popularity many of the grocery stores in my area still don't stock it, which is one of the downsides of living in a small town. Last month when Cocozia contacted me and offered to send me a case of their 100% Organic Coconut Water I decided to take them up on the offer to see what all the fuss was about.

There were a number of things I liked about the product right off the bat. Cocozia is 100% Organic natural coconut water, it doesn't contain preservatives, and doesn't come from a concentrate. The packaging is perfect for someone who is always on-the-go (like a certain food blogger we all know and love) and comes complete with a pretty nifty collapsable straw that doesn't bend when you try to puncture the carton. All drink boxes should come with this type of straw, it has some serious puncture power!

As for the flavor, I will say that I wasn't impressed. It turns out that Cocozia coconut water has a bit of an odd salty flavor to it. After drinking four of the tetra boxes from Cocozia as well as four competing brands of coconut water I've come to several conclusions:

  1. I don't really enjoy coconut water, even if it is healthy.
  2. Cocozia has a much less pleasing flavor than several of the competing brands I tried.

I've heard that coconut water is an acquired taste and I've also heard that you either love it or hate it. I find that I'm rather indifferent to it, it's just so bland and uninteresting. I decided that since I don't care for it plain, but do like the health benefits associated with coconut water, I would take my remaining drink boxes into the kitchen to experiment with. Today's recipe was the clear winner in my experimentation because the salty flavor of the coconut water pairs surprisingly well with the sweetness of the watermelon. I've added a bit of peppermint and lime zest to give the smoothie a more robust flavor. This combination makes for an incredibly refreshing summertime smoothie.

Where to purchase

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Watermelon Coconut Water Smoothie
makes 1 serving

Ingredients

6 ounces coconut water, frozen (I used Cocozia)
1 cup watermelon chunks
1 Tablespoon lime zest
1 mint leaf

Substitutions:

If you don't have coconut water on hand you can use regular ice cubes to make this recipe.

Directions

  • Fill an ice cube tray with coconut water and freeze for several hours. You'll need about 6 ice cubes for this recipe.
  • Using a grater, zest lime. In a blender combine lime zest, watermelon, mint leaf, and frozen coconut water. Blend until smooth. Serve immediately.

Notes

In case anyone was wondering I also tried VitaCoco, ZICO, Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, and 100% Naked Coconut Water. These were the only four brands I was able to find locally for a taste comparison. Of the brands that I sampled for this review I preferred the naturally sweet flavor of Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, which of course was the most expensive of the brands I sampled. My mother always did say that I have expensive tastes.

Where to Purchase

Amazon - Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water

Disclosure:

In an effort to be open with my readers I want to let you know that EPICUREX has provided me with a case of Cocozia 100% Organic Coconut Water for review. I purchased packages of VitaCoco, ZICO, Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water, and 100% Naked Coconut Water on my own for comparison purposes. As always, all opinions are my own. 

This post contains my Amazon affiliate links. I try to keep advertising unobtrusive and to a minimum in order to provide you with the best experience possible. Purchases made through these links provide me with a small income and ensure I can continue providing you with quality content.

Guacamole

I love this time of year, mostly because the weather has finally started to warm up and I can ditch my winter wardrobe, but also because avocados are inexpensive and plentiful. They're great as a meal itself, served unadorned and uncomplicated, or as an addition to salads and sandwiches. As much as I love to enjoy them on their own, I could probably eat my weight in guacamole. It's no secret, I have a bit of an addiction and love to slather it on burgers, sandwiches, or eat it with tortilla chips. 

There are a number of ways to make guacamole, but I like to keep things fairly straightforward. It doesn't need to be complicated to taste good, but success in preparing it lies in the small details. You need perfect avocados, ripe but not too ripe, a fresh off the vine tomato (a hot house grown tomato just will not do,) a shallot, salt, and a few herbs and spices. Oh, and don’t forget the lime juice, to help keep it from browning. This small handful of ingredients turns a simple avocado into something extraordinary and because it's quick and easy to make it's the perfect dip to make for parties or last minute guests.

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Guacamole
makes approximately 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 medium-sized avocados
1 whole lime
1 large-sized shallot
1 small vine-ripened tomato
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper 

optional:

jalapeño pepper, seeded 

Directions:

  • Cut the avocados in half and remove the pits and skin with a spoon. Dice into chunks, sprinkle with lime juice, and mash with a fork.
  • Mince the shallot, dice the tomato and optional jalapeño, then combine with the mashed avocado.
  • Add cumin, cayenne pepper, sea salt, and ground black pepper, then stir to incorporate.
  • Chill the guacamole for 30 minutes before serving. 

Notes:

Guacamole doesn't store well, so try to eat it immediately. Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 2 days, but you'll notice heavy browning where the avocado has begun to oxidize. To slow this down place a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the guacamole before storing and scrape away any brown spots before serving.