Category Archives: Friends

Swanky’s Taco Shop

I love Swanky’s Taco Shop. 4 years ago if you had told me that I would love Swanky’s one day I would’ve laughed at you. Four years ago we went to Swanky’s in East Memphis with some of our friends and all I remember about it was that it was dark inside, there was music playing so loudly that I couldn’t hear our friends talking, and the food was semi-okay. Well, last year Christopher’s work had Swanky’s catered for an event and he ended up bringing some of it home. I LOVED it. I couldn’t believe how good it was. The difference was that when we had eaten there I had gotten the shredded beef, but Christopher’s work had ordered the ground sirloin. Um, so good.

So naturally I had to go back to the actual restaurant, but I’ve only been to the Germantown location over the past year. The East Memphis location might not be as dark/loud as I remember, but the Gtown location DEFINITELY isn’t. The walls are massive windows  so there is tons of light and the music played quietly in the background. It has been a great spot for dinners with friends and impromptu dates (like last night). So without further ado… I give you SWANKY’S:

swanky'sSwanky’s in Germantown

swanky'sMuch like Chipolte, you can either order a specific menu item or walk through and make your own burrito, tacos, salad, or bowl. I always get the burrito bowl!

swanky's burrito bowlMy bowl pretty much always looks like this. Ground sirloin, black beans, rice, lettuce, gaucamole, salsa, chip strips, pico, tomatoes, and whatever else happens to look good to me that day. It is SO good! Their salsa is my favorite ever. No joke. And these burrito bowls are amazing! I cannot recommend this place enough!

Swanky's Taco Shop on Urbanspoon

So prepare yourself for this smooth segue: Swanky’s is delicious and when it comes to eating delicious food we often like to go with friends. For example, how we like to go to Corky’s with our neighbors, Tim and Stephanie. Speaking of them… this past weekend was their baby shower! Yeah, that was probably the smoothest transition from writing about a taco shop to baby shower ever. 😉 Anyway, Stephanie and Tim have become really close friends of ours over the past couple of years (see here for example). 🙂 They are about to have a new little addition to their family this January and I am super excited for them!

me and stephMe and Steph at her baby shower {photo snagged from Facebook}.

Love Rach


Celtic Crossing

When we first moved to Memphis nearly five years ago, we lived in an apartment on my grad school campus and immediately fell into a great group of friends from our complex.

grad school friends

Since then, jobs and PhD programs took our grad school friends far away, but we had a solid 2 years of great times together. And many of those great times took place at a pub called Celtic Crossing. 🙂

celtic crossingThis is actually us at Celtic Crossing. 🙂

So why do we love Celtic Crossing so much? Well for one thing, they have 2 for 1 fish ‘n chips on Tuesday nights. And they just so happen to be the BEST fish ‘n chips we’ve ever had!

celtic crossing fish 'n chipsI haven’t been to the United Kingdom so I can’t say that these are the best in the world, but of all the places we’ve tried in Memphis, this is definitely our favorite! Plus, 2 for 1 on Tuesdays! TWO FOR ONE! It’s fabulous. 😀

appetizersAlso, if you show up before 6pm you get HALF PRICE appetizers! So we would always arrive at 5:30pm on Tuesday so we got our half price appetizers with our 2 for 1 dinner. What can I say? We were poor grad students. 😉 We’ve tried several of the appetizers. The bruschetta is unbelievably delicious (pictured at the top)! Also pictured here are the Delicious Dublin Duo (shrimp wrapped in bacon), Potato Skins (also SO good), and Fried Potato Balls (they don’t have these on the current menu, though).

As a heads up, this is a pub which means you have be 21 to enter even if you don’t plan to drink. And if you, like me, look 16 then will definitely ID you so don’t forget that ID! And since this is a pub the inside is pretty smokey, but they have great live music in the evenings that helps make up for it. They also have patio seating which is our favorite when the weather is nice. We don’t smoke or drink so we prefer to be outside where the “pub smells” aren’t quite as overwhelming.

So the moral of this story: Go to Celtic Crossing at 5:30pm on Tuesday for 2 for 1 Fish ‘n Chips and 1/2 price appetizers. Bring friends and your ID! Sit on the patio if it’s nice weather and enjoy the live music! 🙂

Celtic Crossing on Urbanspoon
Celtic Crossing on Foodio54

Love Rach

A little authentic Mexican dinner

Remember that one time I was a wedding coordinator? The bride, Mandy, is my go-to person for reliable information when it comes to authentic Mexican food. She has spent lots of time in South America (Dominican Republic and Panama to be exact) and knows the food and language well (she’s a Spanish teacher at a local high school). So when I heard that there was an authentic style Mexican restaurant called Taqueria La Guadalupana off Summer, I knew she needed to come with Christopher and I! And since we like her husband, he got to go come too. 😉 And of course, two of our other close girlfriends who also love Mexican food!

la guadalupanaThe first thing we noticed when we walked in was that everything was ORANGE! But in a festive happy sort of way. 🙂

la guadalupanaThe chips and salsa were ah-mazing! They never refilled them for us, though. So I’m not sure if a refill costs extra or if they just didn’t get around to it.

mattMatt (Mandy’s husband) waiting anxiously for our food!

la guadalupanaI ordered the chicken fajitas and they were yummy. You can find the full menu here.

la guadalupanaChristopher got the steak burrito which he RAVED about. I think he managed to eat half of it before he had to call it quits. It made a great lunch the next day (as did my leftover fajitas). 🙂

la guadalupanaI had heard that the goat taco was a must-try here so we ordered one and passed it around the table for everyone to try. It was interesting. I think the flavor I could most closely associate with it was deer meat. It had kind of that gamey wild flavor. Anyway, not my favorite, but definitely interesting to try!

Taqueria la guadalupana As we got ready to check out, we saw all the bottles of Jarritos!

DSC_1013We all went home with leftovers and happy bellies!

So how did this place do on authenticity? Mandy called it a win. She had a torta (Mexican sandwich) and said it was definitely on par for food she has eaten in the Dominican Republic. 🙂
La Guadalupana on Urbanspoon
Taqueria La Guadalupana on Foodio54

Love Rach

Matthew’s House Warming Party

A friend of ours just moved into his new place and we have discovered that he is lacking in all the normal household items. I’m not just talking cleaning supplies and dishware, the man doesn’t own a can opener. I know, right. So we bought him one. And we also gave him a mug because he borrowed one over a year ago and it got passed on to my bestie Whitney so now he gets his very own identical mug. 🙂 Oh! And Disinfecting Wipes because they are super versatile.

Since Matthew didn’t own anything to cook with before tonight, we all brought dinner to his place! I made my mom’s Macaroni and Cheese. And my gracious, it is cheeeeesy! People loved it. Not a bit of it was left. So thanks, Mom, for another delicious recipe. 🙂

Mom’s Macaroni and Cheese


1lb elbow pasta, cooked
1 stick butter
3 eggs, beaten
1 (10 oz) can evaporated milk
½ pound Velveeta, cubed
1 pound sharp cheddar, cubed
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
3 cups sharp cheddar, grated


Put cooked macaroni in slow cooker. Add all ingredients except grated cheese. Mix well and add more milk to make it very soupy if needed. Put grated cheese on top and cook on low setting for 2-3 hours


Freezer Meals (with recipes)!

EDIT: After years of trying out different freezer meals, I put together my absolute favorites and some tips in an updated post here: 13 of the Best Freezer Meals. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

On Tuesday we did Freezer Meals again! It is so helpful to have these in my freezer for those days when I want to just toss something in the slower cooker and have dinner ready by the time I get home. 🙂

All the supplies!

Whitney, Courtney, Mandy and I were busy in the kitchen! And Hadley kept an eye on us to make sure we did everything right. 😉

The goods!

Cheesy Broccoli Chicken
Minestrone Soup
Balsamic Pork Chops
Spaghetti & Meatballs
Honey Garlic Chicken
Lemon & Rosemary Chicken
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Sweet & Spicy Asian Chicken
Oatmeal and Chocolate Chip Muffins

Banana Muffins

As always, all of that for $50! And again, we just throw it in the slow cooker and come home to dinner ready! Well, except for the muffins – those weren’t really for the slow cooker, ha! Though it wouldn’t surprise me if someone has made muffins in the crock pot. I’ve seen bread, cakes, and banana bread made in there! 😉 But yeah, they definitely did not last long enough to go into the freezer at our house. 😉

Happy Friday, friends! 🙂

Freezer Meals!

EDIT: After years of trying out different freezer meals, I put together my absolute favorites and some tips in an updated post here: 13 of the Best Freezer Meals. Be sure to check it out! 🙂

Every Tuesday night our besties get together for dinner. Afterward the boys go play basketball while the girls hang out. Last night we decided to use that hang out time to make freezer meals! We’ve done this once before and it was lots of fun. I forgot to take pictures while we were doing the process, but I do have a shot of everything I brought home! 🙂

Twice baked potatoes, Cilantro Lime Chicken Tacos, Balsamic Chicken, Spaghetti Sauce, Meatballs and Sauce, Baked Ziti, Chicken Cattiatore, Gumbo, and Veggie Delight! $50/9 different meals = $5.55. And really even cheaper because it’s not like we will eat all of any of these the first time. Most all of them will be at least 2 meals for us if not more (depending on who all we are feeding)!

And remember… these are FREEZER meals! That means that they are ultra convenient! (1) remove from freezer. (2) put in crock pot (preferably with crock pot liner for quick clean up). (3) turn on. (4) come home and FEAST! 😀 The baked ziti and twice baked potatoes are the only ones that need to go in the oven (though that’s easy peasy too: 350-375 for 45 minutes to an hour. 🙂

I love freezer meals. They make my life so much easier. 🙂