Pumpkin Spice Tacos

Pumpkin Spice Tacos: sometimes a bandwagon is a very good thing. (Yes, they’re savory.)

Pumpkin Spice Tacos #vegetarian #vegan #gf #dairyfree

Pumpkin Spice Tacos

Not long ago, the advent of fall made itself known via the onslaught of pumpkin spice everything, everywhere. Judging by my social media streams, roughly half the population couldn’t possibly be more stoked about it, while the other half rolled their eyes at the now annual flavor phenomenon. Clearly in the latter crowd, a friend posted this picture:

On display at the Rosepepper Cantina in Nashville

On display at the Rosepepper Cantina in Nashville.

And being me, I thought, ” . . . that actually sounds pretty good.” Okay, not as in a sugared-up dessert, but with savory spices, in a vegetarian Southwest context. What’s not to love? By the way, the pic above, from the Rosepepper Cantina? They have a long history of hilarious signage – check out a collection of their hits here. …

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Buffalo Chicken Burritos

buffalo chicken burritos

Our burrito festival continues with this creative spin on Buffalo wings: Buffalo Chicken Burritos!

Our new BURRITOS! book came out a few weeks ago – filled with 70 of the most creative burrito recipes west of the Pecos. We have an amazing International section in the book with a burrito twist on the world’s iconic dishes: Tikka Masala, Bahn Mi, Corned Beef and Cabbage, Massaman Curry, Seafood Paella – need I go on?

I grew up in southern Arizona with my main childhood staple of bean burros. And yes, they were called BURROS back then.

In the book we also have an All American section with classic regional American cuisine – Surf and Turf, Cajun Jambalaya, New Orleans ed Beans and Rice, California Cippino, just to name a few. One of my favorites is the Buffalo Chicken. Spicy hot chicken with a vinegar tang, cooled down with celery and carrots. So many delicious flavors rolled into a tortilla! Arriba!

Please enter to win a cookbook – we will be giving them away on Monday – by going to the Tequila Lime Burrito post and leaving a comment. Abundant BURRITOS! may be in your future!

Buffalo Chicken Burritos
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4 to 6
  • 2½ cups cooked chicken, shredded into large chunks
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup cayenne pepper sauce
  • 1 large avocado, diced
  • ¼ cup celery, diced
  • ¼ carrot, grated
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, finely sliced
  • 2 tablespoons blue cheese dressing or ranch dressing
  • 2 cups cooked rice
  • 6 ounces blue cheese, feta or queso fresco, crumbled
  • 4 to 6 flour tortillas (12 inch diameter), warmed
  1. Melt butter in a large skillet with garlic. Mix in hot sauce and bring to a simmer. Add chicken to skillet and stir gently and cook until most of liquid has evaporated and sauce clings to chicken.
  2. Combine avocado, celery, carrot and green onion together and toss with blue cheese dressing to make an avocado salsa.
  3. Assemble burritos by spooning rice onto a warmed tortilla. Top with chicken, avocado salsa and blue cheese crumbles. Roll burritos as desired.


Memorial Day Recipe Roundup

Fire up your grocery lists: A roundup of grill and picnic pleasers for your Memorial Day Weekend!as ever.

Grilled Mexican Corn (Elotes)

Grilled Mexican Corn (Elotes)

The kickoff of summer grilling season is upon us, and I couldn’t be more stoked (pun intended). We’re having a tamale-and-tequila party, which will feature the above-pictured grilled elotes on my brand-new Char Broil grill, as well a shrimp ceviche, the titular tamales in a few varieties, and some other summer favorites.

Naturally I had to share a handful of our own best recipes that fit the Memorial Day bill. Plenty of shopping time left to prepare! Have at it! …

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Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup with Sorrel and Sunchokes

A creamy (yet vegan) soup that’s perfect for the very beginning of spring.

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup with Sorrel, Sunchokes and Roasted Asparagus (Dairy-Free!)

Creamy Spring Vegetable Soup with Sorrel, Sunchokes and Roasted Asparagus (Dairy-Free!)

If you’re not hitting farmer’s markets in your area yet, have faith, you will be soon. Really. And this soup is just the thing to celebrate the very beginning of the season – still a little chilly, cloudy, rainy (or even downright snowy in some regions, I know), but with green shoots of hope juuuust starting to emerge. Hunker down with a dish of this cozy vegan comfort, and start planning your garden. …

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Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce

Nothing but goodness in this all-veggie curry with veggie sauce, plus extra veggies.

Cilantro Veggie Curry

Cilantro Veggie Curry with Veggie Sauce, plus extra veggies with veggies on top.


This is the perfect warm, mildly spicy dish for January, as it fits into just about ANY health-conscious approach to eating you can think of. It’s vegetarian. It’s vegan. It’s gluten and dairy-free. It fits with paleo, Whole 30, and all other manner of dietary reset plans. Even if your only resolution was to eat more vegetables, period, this fits the bill and then some. Bottom line, it’s absolutely packed with vegetables and vegetables only, save for the spices and broth – the sauce itself is made from pureed veggies that are incorporated into the dish itself.  You cannot go astray with this one.

I fist discovered a version of this in Nigella Lawson’s How To Eat, and have been tinkering with it for years. My latest additions are golden beets and cilantro, plus a touch of turmeric, all of which brighten the dish up. This iteration isn’t terribly spicy – you could certainly add more cayenne if you like, or more heat in another form. Add it to your meal in any of the aforementioned approaches. …

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Cranberry Orange Nut Cookies Cookie Exchange and Cookies for Santa’s Milk Drive

Cranberry Orange Walnut Cookies

All the Christmas flavors in one little cookie.

Let the Christmas cookie season begin!

This cookie packs so many holiday flavors into one little cookie: cranberries, orange and walnuts. They truly are packed with flavor, and so many wonderful textures.

These cookies are dairy free as well, so you can serve them up to even the vegans on your cookie list!

Christmas is the one time of year that I do actual baking, so I need recipes that are easy and no-fail, like these cookies. I promise you will not be disappointed – they are like a burst of sunshine in your mouth!

We are thrilled to be joining the Cookie Exchange put together by Liz Latham at Hoosier Homemade – please visit these food blogs for their fabulous recipes!


And, cookies are just so much more delicious with milk, as any kid can tell you. Did you know that milk is one of the items which food banks never get enough of during the holidays? Please consider donating to Santa’s Milk Drive this holiday season by visiting santasmilkdrive.com and donating a gallon of milk.

Santa just might put you on the “nice list” if you do!


Happy Cookie Days, All!

— posted by Donna

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Easy Fourth of July Recipes for Your Patriotic Party Needs

Patriotic Cookie Tarts

Easy enough for a preschooler to make. And – Pretty enough for a fancy picnic.

So if you come to my house anytime in July – and. really, who am I kidding? August, too – you will see red white and blue decor everywhere. Little Uncle Sams and Betsy Rosses abound. Flags in various shapes and sizes. And, I LOVE making red, white and blue food. Isn’t it nice of Mother Nature to produce red and blue fruits for us on the Fourth of July???

So, here, food fans, is two of our favorite from right here at Apron Strings. Easy. Last minute. Festive. Flavorful. (( No saluting required! ))

How about these Red White and Blueberry Cookie Tarts that you can even make with tiny kids! Can’t wait for Little Miss Ruby to get old enough to make these with me! (And, yes, I pointed that out so that I could post a cute pic of my little grand darlin’)

Ruby Fourth of July

Itsy Bitsy Betsy Ross!

And finally, I am re-sharing these American Flag fruit skewers I just posted a week ago. An astute commentor pointed out that I had the stripes going the wrong way. Dang it. So, no worries – here are new photos with the correctly positioned stripes!

Fruit Skewers 1

Check out the original INCORRECTLY placed stripes on our original post of American Flag Fruit Skewers.

And, here’s another pic just to reaffirm that I do know what the American flag looks like!

Fruit Skewers 3

Have Fun on the Fourth All!

— posted by Donna

Real Fruit Flavored No Sugar Lemonades

Flavored Lemonades

Summertime and the Livin’ is Easy, especially if you are sitting on a porch swing with a flavored lemonade to sip. Southern Belle fan optional, but recommended.

I love making lemonade with a simple syrup base. But I have discovered that using stevia makes lemonade that is just as delicious. This is when the fun starts. Fruit and herb flavorings for lemonade turn a classic drink into a Wow! drink. I like this ratio: 8 cups water; juice from 4 lemons (plus a little lemon zest if you like), and 1/2 cup stevia. The sweetness level is between you and your taste buds, but I like mine less sweet.

As for the additional flavorings, the possible combos are endless. I do have some favorites so far, although I must add that I will be experimenting all summer long on this one. == Must sacrifice in the name of research, no? == So here are my top three – so far: Pineapple Thyme Lemonade, Cucumber Dill Lemonade and Peach Ginger Lemonade. All refreshing.

The key to getting intense flavors into your lemonade is using freshly muddled fruit and herbs – the technique is hilariously demo’ed over at Chow.

I am not the only one who loves flavored lemonades. Check out some other food bloggers. These lemony drinks are easy enough for kids to make. Or, they can be fancied up for guests with fruit ice cubes.Smoked and Salted Lemonades? Why not? Must try Basil and Mint Lemonade next. I’m also craving sparkling Rosemary Ginger Lemonade.

So many lemonades! So few lazy summer days!

Flavored Lemonades 2


— posted by Donna

Peach Cobbler Upside Down Cake Recipe

Peach Cake Square

Peach Almond Upside Down Cake

Classic peach cobbler flavors can take so many forms – why not cake?

Peaches always bring back such great summer childhood memories for me.

My brother and I would visit our grandparents in Cochise Stronghold in southeast Arizona and we would earn money by picking peaches. Juicy, ripe white-fleshed peaches. Eat right off the trees peaches. Drip down your elbows peaches. In the Arizona heat after several hours peach fuzz  got everywhere – all over our hands and arms, in the sweat that was dripping down our necks,  in our hair and even tickling our nostrils.

But we pressed on – knowing we were getting rich on that paycheck of 50 cents an hour. And a splash in a cool mountain stream – and picking wild watercress – awaited us at the end of the day. We picked bushels and bushels, and ate ourselves sick as we picked. And then there was grandma’s peach cobbler at night. I am pretty sure there is a law somewhere that says if you’re a grandma, you MUST make peach cobbler. Not optional.  This grandma had only two dishes that were predictably exquisite: beans and ham hocks and peach cobbler.

Peach cobbler is one of my very favorite desserts. And, I’m in good company – even the fabulously low-glycemic Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kicthen has a weakness for this peachy deliciousness.  Maybe that is why I love this cake so much –  peach cobbler flavors and textures. This cake is mostly soft, sweet baked peaches with a little cake at the bottom. And I love the upside-down approach!

Peach Almond Upside Down Cake

— posted by Donna


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