Tag Archives: taco bell

Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

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Delicious Guacamole Recipe & Cilantro Lime Rice

Hello! This past Saturday was a very busy one. We visited my mom at the Cleveland Clinic, I cooked up a feast, and watched my niece while her baby sister was born. For dinner, I treated my dad, brother, and Johnny to homemade Cheesy Gordita Crunches. This is the second time that I have made them and the meal turned out excellent. And in the words of Emeril Lagasse, I definitely kicked things up a notch.

The last time I made Taco Bell style Cheesy Gordita Crunches for dinner, I used the beef crumbles by MorningStar. While I didn’t care for it, Johnny liked it well enough so I just decided to use real beef for the guys and vegetarian refried beans for me. I have never cooked ground beef in my life and apparently it turned out good lol. Not that I was surprised because, I hate to toot my own horn, but Johnny says I cook bacon better than someone who eats meat. GREAT SUCCESS! πŸ˜€

Not only did I make all of the fixings for our taco dinner but I also prepared some extra additions to enhance the meal. I made a new Pinterest recipe for cilantro lime rice, which can be found here at Downshiftology. I also whipped up a batch of my own personal recipe for guacamole that I think is simply the best. Check it out:

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^^^ Obviously I should have taken a picture of my guac before we chowed down!

Of course, Taco Bell was the source of inspiration for this meal and my life in general. However, I was also trying to serve major Chipotle vibes. The recipe that I used for the cilantro lime rice claims to be a Chipotle taste alike and I completely agree. It. Was. Delicious. The zingy lime and cilantro balanced out the garlic and salt perfectly and I honestly think that I could have ate the entire bowl. I highly recommend making it during your next taco dinner!

I also hate to toot my own horn again but I truly believe that my guacamole is a Chipotle taste alike too. It is SO easy to make with minimal ingredients and tastes divine. This is my recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 mashed avocados
  • A small portion of red onion, finely chopped
  • Juice, pulp, and zest from one lime
  • Several sprigs of cilantro
  • Course sea salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper to taste

While you can add anything you please to your guacamole like chopped olive or tomato, I always say that simple is best. All of the different flavors and textures in my recipe blend together so well and that extra dose of lime in the zest and pulp sends it over the top. I also just mash up my avocado with a spoon, which makes it very similar in texture to Chipotle’s, which is definitely more chunky. Now, if only I could make a taste alike for their tortilla chips. YUM!

As you all know, I love cooking for Johnny but it was SO nice to be able to make a meal for my dad and brother too. Cooking soothes my soul and watching people enjoy what I make makes it even better. ❀

What are some of your favorite taste alike recipes? How do you prepare the perfect taco? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

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Vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches

Hello!!!! Cooking in the kitchen of mine and Johnny’s new apartment will, honestly, never get old to me because it feels like an actual kitchen. Counter space for days and lots of room to spread out makes for a very happy me and I have had a blast cooking lots of yummy Pinterest recipes for dinner. Even the simplest of meals feels like a special event!

As you all know, Johnny and I are avid fans of Taco Bell and I decided to try my hand at vegetarian Cheesy Gordita Crunches. I drew inspiration from my undying love of TBell, of course, but I also took a peek at Texas Cookin’ At Home on Pinterest. I didn’t end up using the recipe, which featured a homemade sauce because Taco Bell has graced us with their own Baja sauce that can be bought in store. Now, let’s get to it:

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Cheesy Gordita Crunches are super easy to make and only requires dressing a hard taco shell to your liking, microwaving a soft shell tortilla with cheese on it, and putting two and two together. Viola, a TBell level dish in under twenty minutes. For my crunches, I made MorningStar vegetarian beef crumbles, refried beans, lettuce, tomato, cheese, and the Taco Bell brand Baja sauce. They were so incredibly delicious and filling – Johnny and I couldn’t have had another bite after two Gorditas no matter how much we wanted to!

Prior to going vegetarian in my youth, I had never tried actual taco meat before for no other reason than that it looked gross to me lol. I had never made the MorningStar crumbles before and was curious to try it on a taco. I love that Johnny will eat and actually enjoy the fake meat that I make and he ended up really liking the crumbles. Myself, on the other hand? Not so much. I couldn’t get down with the texture, I didn’t like the taste, and was so happy that I made some refried beans just in case this were to happen.

Although I wouldn’t eat the crumbles again, Johnny would and I definitely plan on making this meal often. It was fun to make, different than what I’ve been cooking, and that TBell Baja sauce? *Chef’s kiss*!

What are some of your favorite meals to cook? Have you ever made a recipe inspired from a restaurant before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Summer Fun!

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Summer Fun!

Hello! After a long and dreary winter, it is so nice to finally be enjoying the sunny days of summer. I have certainly been making the most of it with lots of fun in the sun… And the sunburns to prove it. -_- Despite looking like a lobster, I am already fantasizing about more days spent by the pool at my apartment community with a good book!

This past weekend was one filled with ACTIVITIES and I think that I am still recovering from it:

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This past Saturday, my sister and darling niece came over to go swimming and it was such a blast. To make it even better, Kristen surprised me with a Taco Bell inner tube that I am still freaking out over. Her and Valerie went to Five Below to stock up on pool toys and couldn’t not get me this TBell themed masterpiece. Val had so much fun hitching a ride on it with me and it will definitely be joining me every time I hit the pool!

My brother and his wife and son also came to visit from Georgia over the weekend and Johnny and I loved accompanying them to the park. We swung on the swings to our heart’s content and I have to laugh at Johnny’s outfit choice on such a hot day! He is nothing if not committed to our preferred OOTD choice of All Black Everything. πŸ˜€

I have never been a huge lover of summer and will forever be fall’s number one fan. However, I have a brand new appreciation for the season now that I can share in the joy with my niece. Trips to the pool, zoo, and park have never been more fun and will be even better once I remember to wear sunscreen smh!

What is your favorite summer activity? How about your favorite season? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Blogging Bestie Birthday Gifts

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Blogging Bestie Birthday Gifts

Hello!! When I first began lifewithlilred almost eight (!!!) years ago, it put me in touch with the amazing Kate of Live In The Nautical. We became fast friends and bonded over our Gemini twinhood, figure skating, shopping, and a shared love of Harry Potter. Ever since, it has felt weird to have a day when we are not in touch and I live for our FaceTime dates.

Kate is, truly, the best friend a gal could ever ask for and we love spoiling each other for gift giving occasions. And, spoil me she did with these glorious gifts:

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My love for Taco Bell knows no bounds and if I wouldn’t blow up like a balloon, then I would eat there every day lol. Kate knows this all too well, which is why she went with that theme for my birthday gifts! Her and I both love collecting coffee mugs so I was thrilled to be able to add a new one to my always growing coffee mug shelf. And, yes, my princess name absolutely would be Taco Belle. πŸ˜€

I also received an amazingly comfy cute sweater that featured my favorite color and my favorite place on the graphic on the back of it. I can’t believe I’m saying this because it still feels so foreign but it actually gets chilly in my new apartment! This was far from the case in the old one where the heat was suffocating. It feels so good to cozy up in this sweater in the air conditioning. And, of course, I can’t wait to rock it while out and about this fall!

My almost decade long friendship with Kate will always be the best gift that I could ever ask for. She brings me so much joy and I am thankful for her every day – especially since we talk literally all day every day! Her birthday gifts to me are so thoughtful, hilarious, and perfectly showcases everything I hold dear lol. Make sure you check out her page at Live In The Nautical! ❀

Who is your best friend? What do you admire about them? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

If You Were To Visit Me…

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If You Were To Visit Me…

Hello! When I was younger, I used to consider where I lived in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio to be somewhat boring. However, my opinion has changed with age and, while it isn’t the best, it’s definitely not the worst, either! There are many staples in the greater Akron area that I just love and if you were to visit me, we would most certainly be hitting up the following:

Elysian Nails:

Elysian Nails has been my preferred salon for several years now and it would be a must to go get some pampering there if you came to my neck of the woods. The salon is absolutely beautiful and the work there speaks for itself. At Elysian, you will enjoy the best company with their wonderful staff, a huge selection of treatments, and a wide variety of polish and gel colors. It is the perfect place to unwind after a long day!

The Shear Shop:

The Shear Shop is the hair salon that I have been going to for forever because the only person who I trust with my hair works there. A pampering day isn’t complete without a fresh cut and color, after all. The staff at The Shear Shop are insanely talented and I love the boutique feel of the salon, making the time spent there even more luxurious. As soon as my appointment is over, I am always already counting down the days until I head back. However, fair warning that you will fall in love with this place too and will need to come to Ohio every time your hair needs done. πŸ˜€

TJMaxx:

Okay, so everywhere has a TJMaxx but my local TJs holds a very special place in my heart. My dream day would be visiting every single TJMaxx in my area but the one in Cuyahoga Falls will do just fine. It is where I find shelter from the storm and the only place where the world makes sense lol. And, of course, a brand new outfit is a must after new hair and nails!

Lemongrass Grill & The Saffron Patch:

My two favorite restaurants in my neck of the woods has to be the Lemongrass Grill and The Saffron Patch. I love ethnic cuisine and, as a vegetarian, you can’t beat the variety of choices that Thai and Indian food offers. It’s nice to be the majority shareholder on the menu for once! I actually just had Thai food at the Lemongrass Grill with my sister and her family a few days ago and it was divine, as always. My only regret is that I didn’t order an extra helping to eat at home. πŸ˜€

Taco Bell:

The piece de resistance of visiting Lil Red would, obviously, be fine dining at the local Taco Bell. I honestly could eat there every day of my life and still not grow tired of it. TBell would be the ideal way to end a day of tomfoolery in the 330 and, while each one in my area has its own unique qualities, the one in Cuyahoga Falls just hits different. 20/10 would recommend. ❀

Are these the most exciting places to go to if you visited me in Ohio? Not necessarily. But, they are a major reason of why I love my stomping grounds. Wish you were here!

Where would you take someone if they visited you? What do you love about where you live? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Jeans & A T OOTD Bonus Pictures

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Jeans & A T OOTD Bonus Pictures

Howdy and welcome to some bonus content from my Jeans & A T OOTD! I don’t know if it was my hair, my outfit, or the setting at Taco Bell but I liked so many of the pictures that Johnny took for me that I had an insanely difficult time narrowing it down. That’s why we are going to look at some extra pics as well as a few blooper ones as well as discuss how we ended up at Taco Bell in the first place! Let’s get to it:

^^^ Can you guess which ones the bloopers are?! πŸ˜€

On Saturday morning, Johnny told me what every girl wants to hear when she wakes up: “I’m getting us Taco Bell for lunch”. It was the nicest thing that anyone has ever said to me and I couldn’t wait for my husband to return home from errands with TBell in hand.

While Johnny was out, I texted him what I wanted and, instead of putting a “medium Baja Blast” I just texted “medium Baja”. I assumed that he knew I meant the drink but assuming makes an ass out of U and ME. Once he got home, I didn’t see my blue drank and figured that he left it in the car. When I asked Johnny where it was he told me: “I thought you meant a medium amount of Baja sauce on your food”. LOL!

The Taco Bell was delicious, as always, but it would have been even better to wash it down with a Baja Blast. I joked with Johnny about it and in between laughter, my sweet husband told me that we could go back to TBell on our way to taking pictures at a new hiking trail.

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, we drove around everywhere and could not find this trail to save our own lives. I also still really wanted my Baja Blast so I told Johnny let’s just forget it and take pictures at Taco Bell. At first, he didn’t think I was serious but I meant it with every ounce of my being. So, we turned around and headed to TBell and after getting a drink for the both of us, the photo shoot commenced!

Taking pictures for my Jeans & A T OOTD was a mini road trip and one hundred percent hilarious. It also gave me some of my favorite pictures that I have ever taken for my blog. Johnny’s silly mistake ended up being a blessing in disguise! ❀

What is your favorite fast food place? What is your usual order from Taco Bell? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Jeans & A T OOTD

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Jeans & A T OOTD

Hello and welcome to a brand new OOTD here on lifewithlilred! After getting my hair done and having a wildly successful Fall Haul, I just had to take pictures this past weekend. I wanted to check out this new hiking trail nearby with my husband/photographer but we couldn’t find it to save our own lives. So, Johnny and I settled for taking pictures at Taco Bell instead lol. As we all know, T-Bell is my absolute favorite so this was just fine by me! Check it out:

Who? What? Wear?

When it comes to my OOTDs, the more extravagant the better. However, there’s some days where you just have to throw on jeans and a T and go. This outfit is one of the most minimal looks I have featured on my page but it packs a punch thanks to the accessories, super distressed jeans, and pops of color. It was a perfect look for running errands with Johnny because we always try and show out even if we are just making a Target run!

To add some interest to a simple jeans and T look, it is all about the accessories. I didn’t want to overpower the black and white palette that I had going so I relied on the extras in my OOTD to give small but effective pops of color. I started by putting on my platform heels which added a fun surprise with the flames on the heels. It also helped create the illusion of length as it blended seamlessly with my jeans.

I went with my Union Jack shades and purse to give a pattern to my OOTD without being overwhelming to the muted palette. These accessories provided visual interest that enhanced the look because the colors weren’t too bright and minimal enough that it didn’t put all of the focus on one piece of the outfit. To complete the look, I put on my favorite bracelet from Claire’s that has a chain which connects to a ring and walked out the door feeling my damn self.

By the end of my styling session, I felt like a million bucks and had an outfit that I was in love with even though it is a far cry from my norm. For some people, stepping out of their comfort zone means wearing a more bold piece. For me, it means toning things down and my Jeans & A T OOTD definitely did that! The accessories tied this look together but, let’s be honest, the outfit was already made with Britney Spears on my T-shirt. ❀

Tune in tomorrow for bonus pictures from this look as well as the funny story behind winding up at Taco Bell for a photo shoot! πŸ˜€

Who is your favorite pop star? How do you step out of your comfort zone in your outfits? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Hang Ten

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Hang Ten

Hello! I have been in amazing spirits as of late thanks to a welcome change at work and have been all smiles every day when I return home. This past month has been such a game changer because not being in a bad mood once I get home has reignited my love for cooking and I have been having a lot of fun making dinner every night.

I feel like I have so much more energy now after my shift is over and I have been making plans with friends and family during the work week and weekend like crazy. This is also an awesome change of pace because, normally, I would be so drained that I would prefer spending time with my couch and television during the week. Then, the weekend would roll around and plans would seem exhausting rather than enjoyable. Needless to say, I was in a huge funk.

My new job has helped turn hanging out with people back into something that I look forward to and I am so thankful for that. I have been loving my weekly hang outs with my sister and niece most of all. This was a new addition to my work week since July and it is the definition of super happy fun times. My sister and I will alternate between who buys dinner and we’ll do a fun activity with her daughter. Last week, for example, we went swimming at the pool in my apartment community and had Taco Bell. It was perfect!

I have been taking so much more pleasure in going out and about and it feels so nice for it to not feel like a chore. I have been saying yes to every invitation I get which is a huge one eighty from maybe. This past weekend was an especially fun one as I went to a member’s night event at the Akron Zoo with my parents and niece. Johnny and I also had a fabulous date day on Saturday. We went to our favorite Mexican restaurant, El Meson. Then, we played video games and listened to music until one thirty in the morning. It was such a blast and we spent all of Sunday talking about how much of a blast it was lol.

As I look back on this past month of wonderful hang sessions and dinners, I can definitely see how depressed I was prior to making a change at work. I am so grateful for the opportunity that I was given because it, truly, has allowed my mental health to improve tenfold. I can’t wait for all of the good times that are ahead of me and my husband because I am now capable of enjoying them all to the highest capacity. ❀

Do you have any fun plans this summer? What is your favorite thing to do with your friends? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Weekend Road Trip

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Weekend Road Trip

Hello! Given the pandemic, if you would have told me half a year ago that this past weekend Johnny and I would finally get to see some live music, I would have said “no way”. But, thanks to being fully vaccinated, we had that opportunity and took a road trip to Marietta to see our friends in Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds perform. This was our first big outing since we were in Marietta for Valentine’s Day a month prior to the pandemic striking in 2020 and it couldn’t have been better.

When Johnny asked if we could make this weekend road trip happen, I jumped on the opportunity. We had such an awesome time in Marietta for Valentine’s Day and I was eager to go back – hell, go anywhere with my husband. After fueling up with Taco Bell and candy, we hit the road and arrived just in time on Saturday for Jake Dunn & The Blackbirds to perform in an outdoor show. As per ushe, they were fabulous and we actually saw them play the last time we were in the area. Not to mention how fun it was to all hang out again!

Once their show was over, we headed to the Adelphia which is a hotel and music venue to see a honky tonk band play. It was an absolute blast and it felt just like when Johnny and I first started dating and were at different shows almost every weekend. Reuniting with old friends and meeting new ones all to the tune of live music made for a perfect day and I can’t wait for a whole lot more of that in the future. ❀

Have you been on a road trip recently? Where did you go? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Wedding/Taco Bells

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Wedding/Taco Bells

Hi! My wedding day was an amazing but very busy one and I spent the entire day until our late afternoon nuptials preparing. After I blogged and packed for our wedding and weekend getaway, it was off to the hair salon. Then, I had a short window of time to get something to eat until it was time for my appointment to get my makeup done. So, obviously, I ended up in the Taco Bell drive thru!

Taco Bell will always and forever hold a special place in my heart and I couldn’t imagine having anything different for my wedding lunch. You guys have no idea how many people laughed at me for this but, hey, a girl has gotta eat! I must say, the Taco Bell I went to in Tallmadge really delivered on my wedding day and I was simply thrilled because it wasn’t the best the last time I was at that location.

Once wedding bells were about to ring, the tip of the cap to T-Bell continued because our lil flower girl niece threw Taco Bell sauce packets instead of flower petals. Mine and Johnny’s last task to complete before our wedding was opening, emptying, and cleaning handful after handful of sauce packets to be thrown. Our “sauce packet girl” was a hit and I am tickled to have been able to represent my favorite eatery/happiest place on Earth at my wedding!

Were there any nontraditional aspects to your wedding? What is your favorite fast food restaurant? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah