What’s for Dinner – Mini Mexican Tacos

Thursday night, my bestie cuz (that’s best friend and cousin combined), cooked up a yummy twist on a traditional Mexican dish! Now, I found this idea on Pinterest and they called in Mini Mexican Pizzas, but to me a pizza is flat. So, how this is a pizza is beyond me. Therefore, I am naming my version a Mini Mexican Taco! Enjoy, it was super yummy and easy to make!

Ingredients – (Makes 12 Mini Mexican Tacos)
6 regular size flour tortillas (or wheat)
1 pound hamburger meat
1 packet taco seasoning
1 can refried beans
1 head of lettuce
2 tomatoes
1 pack of shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 425.

1. Take regular size tortillas and cut them into smaller round circles. You are aiming for them to fit nicely in a regular muffin pan. If you have a cookie cutter, great, but if you don’t then get creative like I did. I used the lid of a salsa jar and simply traced around it with a butter knife. Easier than it looks! Make 12 of these mini tortillas.
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2. Spray your muffin pan with non-stick spray and tuck the mini tortillas inside. You could obviously go bigger as my tortillas didn’t reach the top but in the end you will see that this size worked out just fine.
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2. Cook a pound of hamburger meat and add in taco seasoning.

3. At the same time you are cooking the meat, go ahead and cook your refried beans. Now, maybe you know how to make the fancy homemade version and if you do, go for it! I, however, have no idea and bought a can. So, I heated up my refried beans in the microwave.

4. Layer the refried beans inside the mini tortillas. One big scoopful works perfectly.
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5. Layer the seasoned meat on top of the refried beans. One or two scoopfuls works perfectly.
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6. Now sprinkle the desired amount of cheese on top. I used finely shredded Cheddar.
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7. Pop your Mini Mexican Tacos in the oven for about 12-15 minutes, or until cheese is melted. They will come out looking like this! (we added tomatoes to a few just to see how it tastes… thumbs up!)
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8. Top your Mini Mexican Tacos with whatever you would like! We topped ours with lettuce and tomatoes, but you can also use sour cream, olives, salsa, etc. Also, worried about all that leftover tortilla? Just serve it with the meal… everyone loves tortillas, right?
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9. If your mouth is big enough, then these will be bite-size delights! If not, then you’ll probably have to destroy the beautiful creation by cutting it up. (I did.)
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9. Serve with yummy side dishes like rice, beans, chips, salsa and queso!
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I know y’all love my fancy paper plates, right?!

Wondering why I left the bottom row of my muffin pan empty? It’s because I don’t eat red meat, so while my two lovely carnivores chowed down on a cow, I made myself a vegetarian version. 🙂 Recipe coming soon!

Original Pin

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What’s For Dinner – Spaghetti Pie

Tonight we had two cooks in the kitchen! I went over to my cousin’s house where we made this yummy spaghetti pie and watched Army Wives with our men. I know it looks a little weird, and we were a bit skeptical ourselves but I promise it turned out really good! In fact, out of that entire pie, only one slice was left in the end.

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This recipe is basically a veggie mix blended with cheese, eggs, herbs and pasta. It calls for a bundt pan but I used an angel food cake pan (yes, the one that was part of my bestie’s housewarming kitchen cake you saw posted yesterday… I asked first!!!). I recommend the pan I used because I didn’t have to fool with flipping the pie over, but instead just pulled out the pan insert and was still able to slice it properly.

This recipe is pretty detailed, so get the entire breakdown HERE.

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Garlic bread and salad are always perfect pairs for a pasta dish!

We had a lot of fun preparing this dish, and just as much fun eating it!

What’s For Dinner – Skillet Quesadillas, Rice & A Few Disasters

Okay, so tonight was a very interesting night for me. First of all, I was last minute in choosing what I wanted to cook so I had to run to Publix after work. Of course, I forgot an ingredient and picked up a random ingredient I didn’t need. Do I not make a list, you ask? Oh, I make a list. I just never take it out of my purse while I’m in the store!

I decided to make quesadillas and rice. The quesadilla is supposed to be made with tomato and avocado on the inside, skillet style. Well, my avocado was hard as a ROCK. Yes, I picked the darkest one I could find and if felt kinda squishy in the store. NOT. We had tomato quesadillas, but I’m not gonna lie… they were still pretty darn good. Something about cooking them in the skillet was yummy.

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Put a little EVOO in the skillet
Add the tortilla and top with shredded cheese
Layer your stuffings in the middle
After a few minutes (when it’s light brown underneath), flip the sides in
Cook a few minutes longer

Rice:
Cook rice according to package
Cook black beans according to package
Cook corn according to package
Toss them all together
+ add chopped cilantro (the ingredient I forgot)

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Cook cookies according to package (take them out early for soft ones!)
Flip one cookie over
Add a scoop of ice cream
Add fresh strawberries
Top with another cookie

Okay, so the next disaster happened while I was cooking. I was warming up my EVOO in the skillet and got distracted by the TV. Next thing I know the smoke alarm is going off and my Nanny is frantic! Well, after I finally got the alarm turned off and opened the doors for some ventilation, she started giggling. THEN the alarm company called AND the fire department called (which my cousin works at and was working tonight so he will forever make fun of me… wonderful). Sheesh.

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It’s not over yet. Once dinner was over, I spent what felt like an hour cleaning oil off of every nearby surface. My hands were super dry from washing dishes so I went to use my Nanny’s lotion. The bottle wasn’t full so I flipped it over and started shaking it in order to get the lotion to the cap (duh, everyone does this, right?) and, well… lotion went EVERYWHERE! She didn’t have the cap on. Needless to say, I then spent another 10 minutes cleaning lotion off of every surface in her bathroom, off of my foot and my shirt.

I’m happy to be home.

What’s For Dinner – Pesto Pasta {for the human} & Bland Diet {for the canine}

So, this week has been hectic and not going as planned. Normally, I go down to my Nanny’s house every week and cook her dinner. Well, today I just needed a break. I spent four hours at the vet, had a headache and had so much to do! Ultimately, I cancelled dinner so I could take care of my sick puppy. Turns out I still need to eat dinner, so I went ahead and made the scheduled meal.

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This week’s meal was Cashew Pesto Pasta. I crossed through the cashew part because I simplified this recipe by using canned pesto instead of homemade.

Recipe: Serves 4, Cook Time 15 Min

1 12oz box of farfalle pasta
1/2 cup EVOO
2 pints grape tomatoes, halved
Salt and pepper
2 cups flat-leaf parsley leaves
1/4 cup roasted cashews
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1/2 lemon

1. Preheat oven to 375°. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain, return the pasta to the pot and toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Cover to keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, on a baking sheet, toss the tomatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until wrinkled, about 12 minutes.
3. Using a food processor, finely chop the parsley, cashews, parmesan, garlic and lemon juice. With the machine on, slowly add the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil and process until smooth; season with salt and pepper.
4. In a serving bowl, combine the pasta, tomatoes and pesto. Serve with more parmesan.

Or, you can do it like me. This was mostly an inspiration recipe and I didn’t even look at it while cooking. I cooked the pasta. Then I added in two spoonfuls of pesto (to taste), handful of halved cherry tomatoes and topped it off with shredded (because I like that better) parmesan cheese. Viola!

On another yet related note, I spent more time cooking for my dog tonight than I did me. The vet advised me to put him on a bland diet for the next week or so until he’s back to full speed. So, I ran to the grocery store and got to cooking.

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For dinner, Colby had boiled boneless, skinless chicken breast and white rice. He will be having this for a while. Looks “bland” to us but he sucked it down within 10 seconds.

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Here’s Colby being a pitiful sick puppy while we waited at the vet. He probably loved being held for four hours straight. Aww, love my puppy. 🙂

**~** The End **~**

What’s For Dinner – Cajun Shrimp, Spinach & Grits

Every week I go to my grandmother’s house (whom I call Nanny), and fix her dinner. It’s a sort of tradition we have created since my Papa passed away last year. I enjoy cooking, she enjoys eating and we both enjoy the conversation. I cherish these weekly dinners, although I wish she lived just a little bit closer (she lives about 45 minutes away out in the country).

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This week I made Cajun Shrimp, Spinach & Grits which a twist on a favorite lowcountry dish. It was truly delish and I will definitely be adding this to my recipe book to make again. It was pretty simple to make – 20 minutes prep time & 20 minutes cook time (serves 4) – so try it out yourself. Enjoy!

1 cup quick-cooking grits
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 lb large peeleed and deveined shrimp (I purchased small shrimp kabobs that were on sale)
2 tsp Cajun or blackening seasoning (I probably used more than this)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice (totally walked out the door & forgot my lime)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (I use the refridgerated finely chopped… forgot it too though)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed (I used canned)
1 bunch spinach, thick and stems discarded (I left the stems)

1. Cook the grits according to the package directions.
2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Season the shrimp with the Cajun seasoning and 1/4 tsp salt and cook for 2 minutes. Turn and cook until opaque throughout, 1-2 minutes more. Remove the skillet from the heat, add the lime juice and toss to coat. Transfer to a plate.
3. Wipe out the skillet and heat the remaining tbsp oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until golden, 1-2 minutes. Add the corn and cook until heated through.
4. Add the spinach and 1/4 tsp each salt and pepper and cook, tossing for 1 minute. Return the shrimp to the skillet and toss to combine. Serve over grits.

Recipe taken from Woman’s Day magazine, May 2012 issue

**So, even with all my forgotten ingredients and cheap changes, this recipe was yummy!**