Mediterranean Mahi Mahi Tacos

It's All Greek To Me Fish Tacos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Yup, it’s officially Cinco de Mayo and, according to my phone, it’s TACO O’ CLOCK. So are the other 23 hours in the day.

Because science.

As I’ve said before, Cinco de Mayo is my Super Bowl. It’s really the best justification I can find for eating my weight in chips, salsa, queso, tacos + margaritas. Which made choosing which recipes to create + post here was like choosing a favorite child or a favorite Karen Walker one-liner.

So I did what any girl could do: took one of my new favorite dinners and transformed it into a taco.

HUZZAH!

P.S. I kinda cheated + will be posting my favorite guac + marg recipes today over on my Instagram, join the fiesta there!

P.P.S. Also HIGHLY recommend you get these pulled chicken + mango pineapple salsa tacos into your life ASAP. And make this adorable cactus DIY. That’s all.

It's All Greek To Me Fish Tacos | dcgirlinpearls.com

While I was home over Easter, my mom challenged me to make dinner using the mahi mahi she picked up from Trader Joe’s earlier that week. GAME ON!

When in doubt about how to make something taste absolutely out of this world good, always ALWAYS reach for the buttermilk. Now isn’t the time to worry about your waistlines, ladies!

I sliced up the mahi mahi strips in half and placed them in a deep glass dish and made it rain buttermilk all over them until they were completely covered. If you don’t want to buy buttermilk just for one dish (I’m not big on high-maintenance ingredients either), one of my favorite food bloggers Serena from Domesticate Me has a handy tip to DIY buttermilk. Let the buttermilk-covered mahi mahi strips hang out covered in the fridge for about 2 hours. Or overnight if you have the patience of a saint, which I do not. 2 hours it is!

You could also prep the mahi mahi in the morning just before you head to work so BAM, built-in fool-proof self-control.

Once the mahi mahi + buttermilk become BFFs, it’s time to break out the panko. I like to season my panko with just a sprinkle of salt + pepper and the zest of 1 small lime. Mix to combine and plop the mahi mahi into the mixture. Press the panko firmly into the mahi mahi to coat.

Place in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15 minutes at 375 degrees until the panko is golden + crispy and the fish is thoroughly cooked.

My family + I had a fun time playing around with different toppings for the panko crusted mahi mahi but the crowning champion? Tzatziki.

Who knew??

It's All Greek To Me Fish Tacos | dcgirlinpearls.com

When I was thinking of a favorite dish to transform into a taco, it had to be the tzatziki topped mahi mahi.

So let’s get building our Mediterranean Fish Tacos!

It's All Greek To Me Fish Tacos | dcgirlinpearls.com

On a tortilla, spoon some of Trader Joe’s delicious feta spread right down the center and then top with the golden, crispy mahi mahi. And on top of those pieces of heaven, add chopped tomaotes + creamy tzatziki. Trader Joe’s tzatziki comes loaded with thinly sliced cucumber but feel free to add more  if that floats your boat. I also added raw zoodles to the taco (not pictured but happily eaten) for an awesome crunchy slaw and because I can’t not have a kick to a meal, I added sliced jalapeños.

Make this taco your own! Add kalamata olives, load up a white queso made with goat cheese + Greek herbs. You do what you think will taste incredible.

All I ask is that you have a margarita while you’re at it.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!!

It's All Greek To Me Fish Tacos | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Union Kitchen Grocery

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Not your average corner mart, Union Kitchen Grocery opens shop today at 3rd + F St NE to make special, locally-made products a part of the every day convenience store! I’m pretty excited for the newest addition to the neighborhood, I do my big grocery shopping on the weekend but during the week I go to corner markets for little things like Diet Coke or pick up a sandwich and soup for those nights when the last time I want to do after work is cook dinner + do dishes.

Enter Union Kitchen to save the day! Open every day from 8AM to 9PM, Union Kitchen Grocery has a mix of locally made products and your every day corner store items like Diet Coke, peanut butter + paper towels. You can also grab a coffee and a quick bite from the deli to eat inside or out on their patio.

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

I can’t wait to try out some of the locally made items like…

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Bloody Mary Mix? Sign me up! And Glover’s Pepper Sauce (red sauce on the right), I’m comin’ for ya. And while I’m there, I’ll pick up a bag of popcorn from The Popcorn Queens (a Union Kitchen favorite of mine) and a sweet treat from Cakelove. What can I say? I love my sweets!

I think it’s safe to say I’ll be popping into Union Kitchen Grocery during the week, even just to check out the awesome local products they carry and admire the awesome detailing in the tin ceiling.

And if I happen to walk out with some ice cream and a chai, we’ll just roll with it. Yes or yes?

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

Union Kitchen Corner Grocery Store on Capitol Hill, DC | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Cinco de Mayo Margarita Madness

You didn’t really think I was going to leave you high + dry without a cocktail this week? Especially during the High Holy Week of Cinco de Mayo?! It’s margaritas on margaritas on margaritas.

True life: I’ve eaten tacos every single day this week. Except when I cheated on tacos with these ruggedly handsome tater tot nachos.

Shhhh…they don’t know about each other!!

Cinco de Mayo checklist:

– Eats, check! Though we’ll be hitting the trifecta on Monday ; )

– Cute DIY cactus decoration, check!

– Margaritas, quadruple-check! Pick your poison, people.

Have a great weekend!! Going to any derbys or fiestas?

Cinco de Mayo Margarita Roundup | dcgirlinpearls.com

Jalapeño Lime // Blood Orange Jalapeño // Mixed Berry // Pineapple Chipotle 

 

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Loaded Tater Tot Nachos

HEY YOU GUUUUUYYYYSSS!!!

Are you ready for this? Actually, press play and then keep reading.

I’m demanding today, aren’t I? But the Space Jam theme? Yup, that’s exactly what my tastebuds were doing as soon as I dug into this basket of heaven. Welcome to the Taste Jam.

Loaded Tater Tot Nachos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Not the prettiest dish to photograph but it’s what’s inside that matters.

Especially when that means tater tots, melted cheese, chorizo, fresh guacamole and lime crema.

!!!!

Ready for my close-up, Mr. Guacamole.

Loaded Tater Tot Nachos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Really, this all started because a couple of weeks ago I got a nacho craving and, oh the humanity, I had neither chips nor salsa in my wee little pantry. Probably because Past Me knows damn well Present + Future Mes have zero willpower when it comes to having chips ‘n salsa in the house and swimsuit season’s coming up.

Well, joke’s on you, All Tenses of Me, because these loaded nachos don’t need chips. Totally didn’t see that one coming.

Moving on.

Loaded Tater Tot Nachos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Grab your favorite frozen tots (or make your own if you want to be a total domestic goddess) and bake them until they’re golden ‘n crispy. Sprinkle Mexican cheese blend over them and pop them back into the oven for a few minutes until the cheese melts. Dear god yes.

Now it’s time to load up your tater tot nachos. Here’s where you do what feels right to you. Namaste, nachos.

For me, that’s fresh guacamole loaded with minced jalapeño and zesty lime cilantro crema to cool some of the heat. But the one topping I am absolutely, categorically insisting you try?

Hear me out on this one, people.

SOY CHORIZO.

THERE, I SAID IT! I’m condoning a fake meat product. It’s so wrong but so right.

Once again, my boyfriend Trader Joe knocks it out of the ballpark with soy chorizo. It’s $2 and holy guacamole is it good. And foolproof. I heated up a tablespoon of olive oil and tossed the chorizo into the skillet, it’s crumbly so don’t try grilling it. I sautéed it until heated through and it’s got enough spicy zip and savory texture to fool this carnivore.

Add it to lentil chili. Toss beans + rice into the skillet with this chorizo. Good things will happen. I promise.

Loaded Tater Tot Nachos | dcgirlinpearls.com

Oh and did I mention the soy chorizo is vegan? And has no cholesterol?

It’s practically a vegetable. Which means these loaded tater tot nachos are a health food, right?

UGH fine.

Diet starts tomorrow.

But before that happens, if you want to take these loaded tater tot nachos and lovingly tuck them into a burrito, your secret is safe with me.

Loaded Tater Tot Nachos | dcgirlinpearls.com

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DIY Cactus Centerpiece with IZZE

What are you doing right now? Eating tacos? Drinking a margarita? I HOPE you picked up the ingredients to make those rockin’ pulled chicken + pineapple salsa tacos. Seriously. It’s #TacoTuesday and you earned it.

Oh and pro tip: the pulled chicken + pineapple salsa are AH-MAZING additions to jazz up a Caesar salad. Buh bye, sad desk lunch. Now that we’ve got your dinner + tomorrow’s lunch plans all set, let’s get our DIY on.

IZZE challenged me to upcycle one of their pop bottles (yes, I say pop) and originally, I thought about filling them with bright, colorful candy like jelly beans and M+Ms or creating designs using Washi tape.

But with tacos on the brain, it hit me that an IZZE bottle kinda looked like a…

DIY one schnazzy centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party! Just grab an empty IZZE bottle, construction paper, scissors and tape. | dcgirlinpearls.com

CACTUS!

{Salsa dancer emoji // Cactus emoji}

Let’s get this fiesta started, people!! All you need to create a DIY cactus is an empty IZZE bottle, construction paper, scissors and tape. And BA-BAM you’ve got one schnazzy centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party!

DIY one schnazzy centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party! Just grab an empty IZZE bottle, construction paper, scissors and tape. | dcgirlinpearls.com

Still thinking about those candies? Green M+Ms or jelly beans can easily replace the crinkled paper.

I’m just sayin’…

DIY one schnazzy centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party! Just grab an empty IZZE bottle, construction paper, scissors and tape. | dcgirlinpearls.com

Supplies

IZZE pop bottles (Remove the label, let soak in warm, soapy water to loosen the label glue. Goo-B-Gone also removes the glue)

Scissors

Green + pink construction paper (at least 3 green pieces)

Tape

Directions

Cut the green construction paper in thin horizontal strips and fold back and forth to create a crinkled look. Fill the empty bottle with the paper shreds.

Freehand the cactus “arms” and be sure to leave a little extra length at the arm’s base, you’ll fold this and tape it to the bottle to secure the arm.

Freehand flowers and tape to the cactus “arms.”

DIY one schnazzy centerpiece for your Cinco de Mayo party! Just grab an empty IZZE bottle, construction paper, scissors and tape. | dcgirlinpearls.com

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IZZE Sparkling Juices

This post was sponsored by IZZE®.  All opinions and product sentiments are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that keep the DC Girl in Pearls party going!

Pulled Chicken + Pineapple Mango Salsa Tacos with Lime Crema

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Have you had your double decaf latte with mocha sprinkles yet? Yes? Okay good because we need to have a chat, a dialogue, a conversation.

A taco, if you will.

C’mon, you had to know that was coming.

It’s almost Cinco de Mayo, which means a taco + margarita extravaganza. Chips + salsa on chips + salsa.

Cinco de Mayo is like my personal holiday. Which means for the next week or so it’s going to be a fiesta as I eat my feelings about there STILL not being a taco emoji.

First up, this dy-na-mite combo: Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema. Bow down.

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Well, before we bow down to this flavorfest, I gotta tell you something. In college, my roomie, best friend + favorite California girl came to our dorm loaded down with a Whole Foods bag. Among the contents? Pineapple salsa.

A sweet salsa?!?

What is this unholy creation?!

As far as I was concerned, salsa should only be made with tomatoes, cilantro, onions. Heavy on jalapeños. I couldn’t handle the idea of pineapple salsa. Don’t even get me started on natural peanut butter. Still think that’s a crime. Peter Pan PB 4-eva.

Where was I? Oh yeah.

Today I’m eating my words on pineapple salsa. And as many of these bad boys as I can.

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

But you want to know my absolute favorite part about this whole meal? It takes less than 30 minutes to come together. Because I cheated a little bit and instead of chopping up organic pineapple and mango, I let my boyfriend Trader Joe do the work for me.

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Pulled Chicken Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

2 chicken breasts

1 tbsp butter

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 tsp cayenne

Lime Crema Ingredients

1 cup sour cream

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1 lime squeezed

Directions

Heat the olive oil in a skillet on medium heat and add the chicken, cooking for about 8-12 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Place to the side and let it cool. Now would be a prime time to whip up the lime crema.

In a bowl, mix together all lime crema ingredients and voila, place in the fridge until needed.

Once the chicken is cooled, shred using two forks.

In the same skillet, heat 1 tbsp of butter until melted and then add the shredded chicken and spices. Toss to evenly coat.

In a tortilla, load up on pulled chicken and top with Trader Joe’s Tropical Mango Pineapple Salsa and lime crema.

Fiesta on, guys.

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

Let's taco about this dy-na-mite combo in time for Cinco De Mayo!! Pulled chicken tacos topped with pineapple mango salsa + lime crema | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Pineapple Gin Fizz

Pineapple Gin Fizz | dcgirlinpearls.com

Oh gin, you sassy minx.

Disclaimer for anyone new here (Hi!!), I am not a gin drinker by any means. I remember taking a sip of a g+t and thinking, why would anyone drink a liquor that tastes like battery acid?! Well, what I would imagine battery acid tastes like. I might be a bit dramatic.

As much as I’d love to be, I’ll never be a gin + tonic girl. But there are other gin cocktail combinations…

In my adventures to create gin cocktails I, a non-gin girl would like, I give you: the pineapple gin fizz. Let’s do this.

Pineapple Gin Fizz | dcgirlinpearls.com

Pineapple Gin Fizz | dcgirlinpearls.com

I have a thing for pineapples.

It’s a symbol of hospitality, reminds me of tropical climates and it stands out at the grocery store with its spikes and its bright green leaves. And, oh yeah, it tastes out of this world. Put pineapple in cakes, chopped into a salsa, on a ham with around a maraschino cherry, oh yeah. You can bet your bottom dollar I’ll have at least 2 helpings.

And in a cocktail? A million times yes.

Break out the Jimmy Buffett playlist because we’re on island time now.

Pineapple Gin Fizz | dcgirlinpearls.com

Ingredients

1 cup pineapple simple syrup (see directions here)

1 shot of gin

Splash of lime sparkling water

Basil + pineapple chunks (optional)

Directions

1. Fill a glass with ice. Add the simple syrup, gin and top with lime sparkling water. Cheers!

2. Garnish with fresh basil + pineapple chunks.

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Lemon Bars Recipe

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Last week, my sweet tooth kicked into overdrive. You know when you just need a sugar fix? But it’s swimsuit season and I resisted as long as I could. I didn’t even keep a jar of cookie butter in my pantry. Swear on Chanel!

The other night, I could not stop thinking about ice cream.

Ugh. Now it’s happening again.

I had to get my sugar fix but wanted to keep it light + airy.

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Helloooo, lemon bars from my girl Ina!!

There’s just something about lemon that makes it perfect for a spring sweet. Sweet, tart, crisp, lemon bars are the life of any spring fling party.

Or you know, a wonderful couch companion for Law + Order binge-watching.

Mmmm maybe ice cream can go on this sugar fix fest? AND then some toasted coconut shreds?!

Mission sugar fix accomplished.

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

Lemon Bars for Spring Parties | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Spring Checklist

I’ve got a pretty serious case of spring fever and the only prescription is more cowbell spending as much time outside in the sunshine as possible. Being able to break out the shorts + Jacks (!!!) this weekend made this girl one happy camper. And I’m ready to take advantage of the beautiful spring weather exploring new neighborhoods and rooftop happy hours with friends. Winter hibernation is over, time to spring into action!

I really can’t make it through a single post without a pun.

If you have something to add to the spring checklist, let me know in the comments!

Spring Checklist | dcgirlinpearls.com

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Lilly Pulitzer for Target Big Day

Get excited!! This weekend is the BIG DAY for the Lilly Pulitzer Target collection. We’ve pored over the look books, circled our favorite and (im)patiently waited for April 19th to arrive.

Lilly Pulitzer for Target Big Day

Being no stranger to the chaos + whirlwind of a Lilly sale, I know it’s important to go in with a game plan and nerves of steel. Here are my tips to navigate the sale with your sanity intact and your checkout cart full of colorful items.

Update your Target account info: Double check your Target account info, making sure your billing info and shipping address is up to date. 

Know your size(s): Items will be snapped up left and right in front of your very eyes. While you’re determining the right size for you, the item might sell out. It’s helpful to know which sizes in which Lilly pieces work for you.

Prioritize your picks + Check out often: Know ahead of time which pieces in the look book are your favorites and must-have pieces (looking at you, pineapple swimsuit!) and put those in your shopping cart first and immediately check out. You can continue shopping knowing your favorite pieces are heading your way soon! Even if you save something to your shopping bag, until you check out there’s a chance someone else can snatch it up. It might sound crazy but hey girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.

Stick to your budget: In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get carried away. But be realistic about what you can spend: check your finances + determine how much you can spend on clothes for the month. And then stick to it!!!

Set an alarm: You might want to also put a pot of coffee on. The Lilly Pulitzer Target collection will go live between 12am and 2am CST so set an alarm and make sure your laptop’s charged.

Happy shopping + see you on the other side!

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