You know when you wake-up in the morning and the first thought that goes through your head is, “Maaaaaaaaan. I am going to bed way earlier tonight. This sucks.” I feel like that every morning lately. What the heck. I’ve done some research on how to adjust little one’s sleep schedules and it seems consensus is: don’t even think about. Little ones are typically early risers.
So, pass the coffee.
Unfortunately, every night around 9pm, I seem to get a second wind of energy. Suddenly, I’m inspired to clean or prep meals, or at the very least, keep my eyeballs open for one more TV show on the DVR.
And then the cycle repeats itself.
Speaking of second winds…or wind…my parents are in Puerto Vallarta and were fortunate enough to be spared the wrath of Hurricane Patricia. I have begged my parents to vacation closer to home with some health concerns with my dad, the brutal humidity, and the “rainy” (ahem, hurricane!) season…but to no avail. They insist on traveling this very same week to Puerto Vallarta every year with friends.
When the weather reports started pouring in about Hurricane Patricia and how it would be the worst hurricane to ever hit the Pacific coast, I began FREAKING OUT. My mom has this very passive, CHILL-OUT-NICOLE way about her that over email is amplified. If I could’ve reached through the computer and SHOOK her, I would’ve.
But, they are safe…and they even made the news! Not how I envisioned their debut TV appearance (mom is in the blue and white stripes, dad is in the orange/blue/black tropical shirt), but hey. They’re going to have some good stories to tell from the trip, that’s for sure.
Since they have another 6 days or so to enjoy what I hope is sun and fun, I’m going to tuck away the worry wort in me and focus on being envious of their tropical adventure. I’m sure this includes margaritas (confirmed via email this morning) and great food. Pineapple and margaritas and fresh fish…mmm! There’s nothing better than authentic Mexican food.
State-side, I’ve got some tropical flavors to share with you. Do not be afraid of the rather long ingredient list – this recipe is all about bursting flavor – everything from cumin to pineapple to cayenne to jalapenos. The sweet heat on this delicious marinaded chicken is dreamy…and that creamy avocado dollop on top is the perfect final touch. Consider making a double back of the salsa – it’s nothing short of amazing!
- 4 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp chipotle chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 2 tsp brown sugar
- ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
- zest of 1 lime
- juice of 2 limes
- 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
- ½ ripe pineapple, trimmed, cored and sliced
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and quartered
- ½ red onion, peeled and cut in half
- 1 jalapeno, whole
- ½ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
- ¼ tsp ground ginger
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp salt and black pepper to taste
- ½ avocado
- ¼ cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 Tbsp light mayonnaise
- 1 Tbsp lime juice
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp ground cumin
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- To make the chicken, combine the olive oil and next 12 ingredients (through lime juice) in a ziplock bag; massage bag to mix well and add chicken. Turn to coat and refrigerate for 4 hours, or overnight. Allow chicken to sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before cooking.
- To make the salsa, preheat grill to 400 degrees F and grill pineapple, bell pepper, onion, and jalapeno until charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. Remove from grill and allow to cool slightly. Dice the grilled ingredients and combine in a medium bowl with the cilantro, ginger, cumin, salt, and pepper; toss well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- To cook the chicken, grill for 6-8 minutes per side or cook in a nonstick skillet over medium heat for 10-12 minutes, turning once, or until cooked through. Remove chicken to a cutting board; allow to rest for 5 minutes before slicing.
- Meanwhile, combine the avocado crema ingredients in a mini food processor or blender and pulse until nearly smooth; set aside.
- To assemble, layer ~3.5 ounces of chicken in each tortilla and top with salsa and avocado crema. Serve immediately.
- Sunday: Pittsburgh “Skyline” Chili
- Monday: Pumpkin and Kale Pasta Bake
- Tuesday: Cream Cheese-Stuffed Everything Chicken with roasted brussels sprouts
- Wednesday: leftovers
- Thursday: breakfast for dinner – omelets and hash browns
With our first daughter, we sleep trained her from the beginning (about 6-weeks when a routine started to form) of not acknowledging her until 7am. This was so I could get ready for work without her ‘assisting’ since my husband travels for work. It was easy in the beginning as she would sleep until about 3-4am, eat a bottle and nap the normal 3-4 hours in-between and then it was 7am and time to start the day/routine. Now that she sleeps 11-12 hours each night she sleeps until 7am or later… this past weekend she slept until 7:45 (or that’s when she protested the crib). I don’t know as she’s our only child if we got lucky or not, but I did read a bunch in the beginning about setting their internal (circadian rhythm) clock to what time you wanted them to get up and allow 15-minutes give or take until the new routine is established. We never let her CIO or fuss – we’d always help her. But now she’s fine and talks or falls back asleep… I think it definitely made the difference that we consistently were waiting to wake her up until 7am each day. Now it’s her time to rise… now for DST. Sigh.
Stacey, thanks for your comment! I think parents could talk about sleep forever! We did much of the same technique with a bit of CIO at night. She has a very good bedtime routine, in that…she understands, now it’s time for bed. Shush and do it 😉 Naps at home are much of the same, never really protested and generally really nice in length (1-3 hours). It seems that since daycare has started the “toddler” transition to 1 nap/day (and this is non-negotiable if she’s to move beyond the infant room) has really turned her world upside down. At home, she either naps 2x/day still OR her nap is from 10am-1pm-ish. This Saturday she napped 3 1/2 hours and was a joy the rest of the day. At daycare, we’re lucky if that nap is over an hour and 90 minutes is unheard of. Basically, daycare is ruining my child!! Kidding, but it’s hard. 🙁 They keep us on our toes, don’t they!?
I have been embracing the flavors of fall but you have me taking a step back with these tacos. Grill!? And pineapple!? Oh man.
First, I really enjoy your blog. I’ve made several of your recipes with success. Incidentally, I also live in Michigan, just outside Detroit.
I notice that you get a lot of recipes from Cooking Light, which I also enjoy. I wondered if you could highlight some of the blogs you frequent and use for inspiration. I checked out one of the ones you have listed above. I thought a more comprehensive list might be good for your readers. Thank you!
I’m so glad your parents are ok!! Phew. Scary stuff. I too, have the same burst of energy to cook around 9pm every night. And yet all day I am exhausted. Why is that?! I love tacos – they are a staple in our home. I definitely am going to make these. Your photos are jumping out of my screen!
This looks amazing! It would be perfect to add to meal planning towards the middle of the week when you really need something tasty.