Thursday, October 7, 2010

Taco Week - Day Five

The best so far. Seriously, I was thinking that "Must Have Mushroom and Cheese" tacos would be, at best, weird. They are really delicious!!! My kids thought so too, and they are NOT mushroom fans. However, the pan was nearly licked clean after they had dinner! The recipe is posted over at the Penzey's website, so let me tell you a few things before you go over there and download this utterly fantastic recipe.

1. I have no pictures, because the tacos were eaten before I could get my camera out - yes, even mine. YUM!

2. the Chihuahua cheese is an absolute MUST, it is so mild and creamy, it really elevates the dish.

3. This taco doesn't really taste like Tex-Mex, or anything else you might order at a Mexican restaurant, but don't let that stop you from trying it out.

4. The mushrooms really are good. Even if you don't like mushrooms, and I have some kids here who really don't care for them tell me that these were good.

Tomorrow I'm going to try some dessert-type tacos, with any luck. Yum!!

Taco Week - Day Four

Today's tacos come complements to the Penzey's Spices catalog. I made the turkey tacos with Penzey's Arizona Dreaming spice mix, but I wasn't super impressed with these. Maybe the turkey was a little blander than the steak, it certainly seemed dryer. Fortunately, we topped these with guacamole and chopped red bell pepper, and that boosted the flavor right up to yummy. Next time I make tacos with ground turkey, I think I'll stick to a regular taco spice mix, for the extra flavor.

Tasty Turkey Tacos

1 lb. ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 Tbsp. Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix
1-2 cups guacamole

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and onion and cook for about 8 minutes, until nicely browned, breaking up the turkey into chunks and stirring it to brown on all sides. Shake the Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix and cook, stirring, for about 2 minutes. Served topped with guacamole.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Taco Week - Day Three

Welcome to day three of Taco Week at the Heart household!!

Continuing the theme of TACO, is a classic, Steak Tacos. These tacos are really delish, getting thumbs up all around. What's new about them is the seasoning isn't my usual Penzey's Taco Seasoning, but rather Penzey's new Arizona Dreaming seasoning. The current catalog has an offer for a free bottle of it, so get a catalog, QUICK!

Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix has a different aroma than the normal taco seasoning. It smells like spice, of course, but also cinnamon and cocoa, and other savory things. The aroma really pops when it hits the heat, like nothing I've smelled before. Really good.

The recipe, is from the Penzey's catalog.

Steak Tacos

1 lb. boneless rib-eye steak, cut into 1/2 inch cubes (at $9.95/lb, this was too dear, so I substituted cheaper sirloin. It was still really good!)
1 Tb. canola oil
4 tsp. Arizona Dreaming seasoning mix

Heat the oil in a skillet over high heat. Cook the steak in small batches until it is crispy brown and rare. Return all the cooked steak to the pan, and shake 1/2 of the Arizona Dreaming. Toss the steak around, and add the rest of the seasoning. Serve in your favorite shells with shredded cheddar if desired.

I used crisp corn shells, and topped mine with shredded Mexican blend cheese, and prepared salsa. I served it up with a bean salad with sweet and sour dressing, the kids preferred left over Mexican rice from yesterday.

My photo is a little odd. Nearly every one looks like carnage, thanks to the salsa. This one is the least gory.

The Arizona Dreaming

Taco Week - Day Two

Well for the second day in our week of tacos, I made a Tomato, Avocado and Black Bean Taco from the Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes cookbook, along with Knorr Mexican Rice mix. The kids were okay tending towards meh on the tacos, but they really liked the rice. I thought the tacos were pretty good, with the main bonus being that they were really quick to make. I'm not sure on the size of the tortillas. The recipe called for 6-inch tortillas, but there was way more bean filling than would fill 6 tortillas of that size. But, the extra will be good on a salad, I'll bet!

Tomato, Avocado, and Black Bean Taco

1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 Tablespoon taco seasoning (like that from Penzey's)
1 (15 1/2-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 plum tomatoes (I used 2 regular ones from the garden!)
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
1/2 small Hass avocado, pitted, peeled, and diced
6 Tablespoons prepared salsa
1/4 cup light sour cream

Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and taco seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. Add the beans and the tomatoes, toss to combine.

Sprinkle the center of each tortilla with 1/3 cup of lettuce, 1/3 cup of beans, 1/6 of the avocado, 1 tablespoon of salsa, and 2 teaspoons of sour cream. Fold the tortilla to enclose the filling.

Serves 6

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Taco Week - Day One

Tonight's taco was technically a casserole, but with lots of yummy taco flavors.

The kids really like this one, Deuce and Three ate nearly half of it on their own, they kept going back for seconds until I reminded them that we still had apple cider donuts for dessert.

Taco Crescent Bake

1 (8-oz) tube refrigerated reduced-fat crescent roll dough
2 cups crushed corn chips, divided
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 can tomato sauce
1 pk. taco seasoning (or use 1/4 cup taco seasoning from Penzeys)
1 cup light sour cream
1 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Unroll crescent dough into a rectangle; press onto the bottom and 1 in. up the sides of a greased 13x9 in. pan. Seal seams and perforations. Sprinkle with 1 cup of chips, set aside.

In a large skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain. Stir in tomato sauce and seasonings; bring to a boil (I added some water as well.) Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Spoon over chips. Top with sour cream, cheese, and remaining chips. Bake, uncovered at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until crust is lightly browned.

Yield: in theory 8 servings, but probably less, if they had their way.

Adapted from 2005 Taste of Home Quick Cooking Annual Recipe book.

Apple Fest!

The lovely town of Long Grove, Illinois has an apple fest every year. With the kids at home wanting to do something different, we ventured out to Apple Fest.

One "must" at Apple Fest is eating apple cider donuts. The lines for the donuts are long, long, but worth the wait, because they are so yummy. Here Three and Jack O'Hearts are keeping themselves busy playing "Miss Mary Mack" on the wall while waiting for the line to move.

Little Four wants to play too, but she would rather dance to the music being sung at the nearby pavilion. We could hear the music everywhere we went, luckily the band was a generic cover band, and not playing something weird.

Nice Hair!

AT LAST!! Apple cider donuts. Yum! We found a sunny spot out of the wind, and enjoyed our treat.
They are covered in messy cinnamon-sugar, but no one minded.

We walked around a bit, stopping in some of the cute little stores, but decided it was time to go. Before we got to our car, it began to rain lightly, and we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow.

Deuce gave Four a pony ride back to the car, since she was a little sad that I didn't pony out the cash for the real pony rides!

Maybe next time.