The Shared Shrimp Tacos by Amy Cantu

It's late. We had just spent three days hoofing it all over Disneyland, (24,600 steps per day, if you're counting,) in extreme heat. We had just arrived in San Diego to visit Grandma Sheryl and Grandpa Bob. My husband pulled into the driveway and began unloading what always turns out to be too much stuff from the trunk of the car, while I gingerly carry each child into the house as quietly as I can. We're exhausted. I feel the blisters on my feet with each step and my legs ache. As I groggily pull open the refrigerator, I start making a mental grocery list of all the things I needed to get from the store before heading to bed, so the kids would have have something that they would eat in the morning. Suddenly I hear angels singing, as I squint through the bright light of the refrigerator. I rubbed my eyes and wondered if I was hallucinating. Grandma Sheryl and Grandpa Bob had us covered - milk, fruit, iced coffee, waffles, bagels, sandwich supplies, and animal crackers - they had stocked up for us, so we wouldn't have to rush to a grocery store to feed ourselves or the kids! Angels!

I know in-laws get a bad rap sometimes, but I won the lottery with mine. Both sets of my in-laws welcome in our family zoo and are always eager to take the kids off my hands and usher me away to take a nap. (How do they know that I ALWAYS need a nap??? Do I look that bad . . . no one answer that. I'm just grateful.) They are early risers, so somebody (not me or my husband!) is always up when our first child wakes at 5:30 a.m. Did I mention angels? They are ANGELS! And so, after a couple days of lounging around with my feet up and calling out, "I don't know, kids, go ask Grandma or Grandpa!" I thought maybe I should repay some of this kindness with a family meal of Mango-Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw. These tacos are special enough to seem like a treat, but easy enough to pull together on a weeknight or just to say, "Thank you for being totally awesome!"

Follow us the recipe:

Mango-Shrimp Tacos with Honey-Lime Slaw

The Shared Mexican Meal by Cynthia Raub

Sometime last year, I had Amy and our friend Puja over for an intimate brunch potluck. I made a crostata and a simple fruit salad, Puja made a delicious quiche with her very own fresh hen eggs, and Amy brought a sinfully moist Coconut Tres Leches Cake. I have been craving that cake since the first bite I took last year. I mentioned my longing of eating it again and she offered to make it for us! I got excited, and maybe a little sweaty, and my mind began to race in delicious ways I could repay her for helping to satisfy my craving. Since we couldn't eat just cake for dinner (well, WE could. But we have children and husbands that need wholesome and nutritive meals blah blah blah . . . ) so I decided to make beef fajitas for both of our families. You can learn a lot about a person and how they build and eat their fajita. My kids ate the soft and fresh tortilla first, then nibbled on the meat and were persuaded to finish their peppers and onions so they could partake in Amy's dessert. Amy's tortillas were a lot like mine: ridiculously full on the verge of collapse. It was another reminder of why we get along so well and how fun it is to cook and eat with her.

Follow us to the recipes:

Steak Fajitas and Guacamole

Coconut Tres Leches Cake

Pico de Gallo