By Lisa

While Caroline is out of town at the annual AWP conference, enjoying drinks and such at Frontera grill, I am home, sampling Rick Bayless’ prepackaged goodness with my family.

That I chose this pack of skillet sauce off the shelf of the market the same day that Caroline was enjoying the real thing is either a) sheer coincidence or b) proof that after years of working together, we’ve achieved mind meld.

Or you could say I bought the sauce because I broke the first cardinal rule of grocery shopping:

1) NEVER shop while hungry.

My lapse led me to purchase, in quick succession:

  • “fajita” meat (precut strip steak. Dumb. I know. )
  • Frontera Fajita sauce

Then I went to the Mexican market for the rice my son loves but which I have never been able to make successfully.  Driven by falling blood sugar mania, I left that market with:

  • Mexican rice
  • Fresh refried Pinto beans
  • Whole Pinto beans
  • Al pastor (but that is another story…)

Which left me with all the fixings for a really fast, festive dinner.

Cabbage salad, fajita meat with peppers and onions, Mexican rice, guacamole, whole pintos, refried pintos, salsa, lime, fresh corn tortillas

My daughter, the ranking carnivore of our family, whose love for hamburgers is surpassed only by her love for carne asada, gobbled up the meat. And then she ate all the leftovers the next night.  And asked for the same thing the night after that.  I had to draw the line somewhere.

Which is to say: my quest to simplify my cooking life continues, and this night was an unqualified success.  I can add to the list of Things I’m Okay With Feeding My Family:  Meals cobbled together with some fresh foods, some premade foods, some packaged products.