Tag Archives: Mexican food

Toni’s Tasty Tostada Tuesday

20 May

“When people ask me if I like Mexican food, I always reply, “Growing up, we just called it food.”

~ Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Talk about a lazy Tuesday. I finally got dressed somewhere around 2, then whiled away the day. It was pretty hot out, in the 90’s, so I wasn’t planning on walking until around 7:30. I went out on the back porch around 7 pm with a tall glass of water and my phone, so I could call my sister.

After we made some small talk, she asked me if I did anything today. I said, “Why yes! I did DIDDLEY and I did some SQUATS and I combined them and did DIDDLEY SQUAT today.” Ha ha, it wouldn’t be so funny if it wasn’t so true.

I did go out for a nice evening walk, about two miles, then made some dinner. It is Taco Tuesday, but I made tacos twice last week, so today I made Tuesday tostadas, still trying to use up some left overs.

I had some leftover pot roast. No, I didn’t make a pot roast. Kathy across the street did, and she gave me a big container full. So I sautéed thinly slice pot roast and some red onion, and added about three big tablespoons of Bernard’s Gourmet Foods Tomato y Red Pepper Salsa. A little goes a long way, adds wonderful flavor and just a tiny spiciness,

Then I warmed up two flour tortillas in a dry pan until they got crispy. No need to fry. Then, added the meat mixture, top with pepper jack cheese and warmed on low with a lid so the cheese melted.

Then, I cut up some spinach, (I prefer spinach instead of iceberg lettuce-healthier) added a couple more teaspoons of salsa, a drizzle of ranch dressing, and voila. You can substitute what you like, but I use what I have on hand.

My inspiration on Tuesday always comes from my friends Chef David and Michele Bernard and their delicious salsas. (Which I always happen to have in the pantry.) When I see Chef David’s video on Facebook every Tuesday, I get very hungry and very inspired.

Saturday:) Some Special Hispanic Holiday Cooking

3 Dec

“When someone asks me if I like Mexican food, I always tell them that growing up, we just called it food.”

~Toni Armenta Andrukaitis


Growing up on the south side of Chicago, we never thought of food as Mexican, Italian, Polish, or whatever nationality of choice, we just called it food. Mom cooked a big pot of pinto beans, carnitas, juevos rancheros, enchiladas, and tacos on a regular basis. Every Saturday afternoon, she lined up the Formica counter with small orbs of flour tortilla dough, then would roll out each one, and place each, one at a time on the hot comal. (A flat griddle) This was a painstaking labor of love. Three little girls would huddle around the stove for the first fresh off the comal delicacies. A dab of butter and a quick roll up, then devoured quicker than Mom could roll them out. Nice memories.

Back then, we didn’t think of it as Mexican food. It was just food. We didn’t even speak Spanish. I never learned Spanish until I went to high school.

So last week, I was really in my element. I had a chance to make “food” for some friends.

I prepared a build your own burrito lunch: a roasted corn and black bean salsa, sautéed green peppers and onions, shredded turkey, refried beans, diced tomatoes, sliced avocado, salsa, and warm flour tortillas.

We started with chips and salsa, conversation, and “food” would not be complete without margaritas.

(If you’d like any of my recipes, you can call or write me. But, it won’t do you much good. I don’t use recipes.)

Oh, and there were roses. Over a dozen knockout roses from my front yard. Late November, and beautiful roses. A perfect setting, great food, and wonderful friends.


The best part was that because I was home, I could have a margarita. I have a very strict NO DRINKING AND DRIVING policy. I have honored that rule for nearly four decades. Being a festive occasion, I had two.

Then, for dessert, I prepared my traditional Toni funny face brownies. I make the funny face before I mix. It just makes baking a lot more fun. They were delicious. ( my secret…add some mini marshmallows into the batter and sprinkle chocolate chips on top before baking.

I love to cook and bake, and my friends love to eat. What a winning combination.

Theme Song Thursday: Try Something New

26 Jun

Why not go out on a limb? Isn’t that where the fruit is? ~Frank Scully
I’m a creature of habit. I don’t like change. Very rarely will I order something other than my usual, go-to-written-in-stone favorite meal at a restaurant, much less go to a new place. Sandra, Daniel and Beth at Snug will attest to that. (Yogurt parfait story.) Miss Zelda and I meet at Olive Garden and I ALWAYS get the eggplant parmasean. See, I don’t do change well.

But, how will I know if something out there is better, or the food more delicious, or a new place more exciting? But then again, if where you always go, or what you always order, always makes you happy, then why change? You see my dilemma???

Yesterday, when Lynne and Karen invited me to join them for lunch at a Mexican restaurant (not on the square and I’d never been to before) for lunch, I actually said, “Sure.”

Taqueria Hernandez is on Tennessee, a couple of miles north of the square. It’s a tiny “mom and pop” type place with a handful of tables, one waitress and maybe half a dozen things on the menu. I ordered the crispy tacos and they were just like I make at home, and how my mom makes them. They were delicious. I may go back there again real soon. But, you guessed it, I’m going to order the same thing every time. (Baby steps…)

Sometimes I have to go out on a limb, isn’t that where the tacos are?
Every day is a brand new day, and each day holds new possibilities.

Here’s the theme song for today…

20140626-181716-65836739.jpgdoesn’t that look yummy?

1105 N. Tennessee St. McKinney


Tuesday Tips from Toni: Take Time

14 May

Tip Número Uno: Take time out to enjoy each day, even if it’s five minutes on the phone, an hour in front of the TV, or lunch with a friend. Today, I had lunch with my talented artist friend, Ed Hernandez. We met at El Juarez Mexican Restaurant off the Square. I’d never been there, and it was yummy, home cooked food. I tried something new, and that’s not like me. Progress! (Notice the Spanish influence in my numbers?)

Tip Número Dos: Take time to celebrate life. Today was Sandra’s birthday, (owner of Snug) and her parents surprised her with a visit. Happy Birthday, Sandra! Glad I was able to share the day.


Tip Número Tres: Take time to play with your food. I always make funny faces with my brownie mix, and today, I was making brownies. (So, what else os new?) Yes, I’m a bit crazy, but that’s what makes me…ME.

Tip Número Cuatro: Take time to see the beauty in all things. I was spooning out some melted chocolate to drizzle over afore mentioned brownies, when I saw a beautiful rose taking shape. As I scraped out the liquid brown gold with a spoon, delicate petals created a chocolate rose. (Fancy way of saying I was licking the bowl) Art is everywhere! Mmmmm, chocolate good! (Say that in your Cookie Monster voice!)

Tip Número Cinco: Take time to share with others. I have been so blessed. It seems like every day is a wonderful adventure and I want to crow about it to the whole world. Caw…caw…caw! I feel that when I recount my adventures and share my thoughts, it’s like everyone gets to share my joy. Hope so! Here’s hoping you have a joyful day!


Taco Tuesday

12 Feb

Every day should be a special day…don’t ya think? If we gave each day a label, we could make each one special. Yes, a category for each day, then at the end of the year, you could count how many Manic Mondays or Terrible Tuesdays you had. Wouldn’t it be great to have 50 Fabulous Fridays or 50 Wonderful Wednesdays? I think I’ll do that. At the end of the year, I’ll sum up all my categories and post the results.

“It was a dark and gloomy Tuesday.” I just wrote that for my writer friends, because we always joke about the cliché opening lines of stories that are so annoying. But, in fact, today was cold, dark, rainy and dreary all day long. But that’s OK, because, when the going gets dreary, the dreary go out to lunch with friends.

Today was Taco Tuesday at Rosa’s Cafe and Tortilla Factory in McKinney, so when I called my friend Della to see how she was feeling, she suggested going out to lunch. Well, you don’t have to ask me twice, or even once. The decor and colors in the place are so bright and cheery, that it could brighten up even the gloomiest of days. So, I’ll share some photos that I took at Rosa’s with my high tech super camera with telephoto lens…NOT! I used my iPhone. They turned out fine.






Taco Tuesday

23 Jan


There are two words that can bring delight to my heart, and they are…Taco Tuesday! I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to texting, but when I hear that little “ping” and my friend, Karen, sends a text that only reads…Taco Tuesday, with a question mark, I’m quick on the draw with a two letter reply..O and K.

The food at Rosa’s Cafe in McKinney isn’t out of this world fantastic, but it is pretty good, and the three taco platter is so darn cheap, I couldn’t make it at home for the price.(Under $4 on Tuesday) Believe me, I should know. I’ve been making delicious homemade tacos since I was a little señorita.

But, it isn’t just the food, colorful decor, and authentic ambiance that entices me. I thoroughly enjoy an impromptu lunch invitation from a friend. It means we get to sit for a couple hours jabbering about our week, complaining about our husbands, and extolling the praises of our now grown children. Funny how, as the children get older and move out of the house, they tend to become so wonderful and accomplished, and when the husbands are around all the time, they tend to lose their glowing status and credibility. I guess we just need something to complain about.

The point I’m trying to make is, friendships are special, and Girlfriends are extra special. So if you have the opportunity to make someone’s day with a note, a call, or an impromptu lunch, JUST DO IT! And to quote Carly Rae Jepsen…”Here’s my number. Call me maybe!”