Mom's Tacos

My Mom’s Tacos

Mom's Tacos

I don’t think more than two weeks ever passes at our house without my husband asking me to make tacos for dinner. But he doesn’t mean authentic Mexican roadside tacos, or fish tacos with fresh guacamole, or even hipster tacos with kimchi or pork belly. He wants my “tacos,” which are really my mom’s tacos. This is weeknight, working mom, dinner on the table in 20 minutes food. It’s not pretty or trendy or sophisticated. It’s just damn good. No need to set the table or uncork the wine. These tacos are meant to be eaten in front of the TV with a big glass of milk. That’s how I did it when I was a kid, and that’s how I do it now.

taco ingredients

It’s so simple I hesitate to even share it with you, except for the fact that this is literally the most eaten dinner in our house. My mom’s secret is a can of refried beans mixed into the meat. It bulks up the tacos in the best possible way. Tacos that are just ground beef are so boring. Why aren’t they doing this at every drive thru taco place on the planet? My mom was so clever.

She also fried the flour tortillas in a bit of hot oil. This is delicious, but I’m mostly too lazy, and trying to keep the calories down ever so slightly, to bother with this step. But by all means, if you want to make these extra ridiculous, slide your flour tortilla into about an eighth of an inch of hot oil. It only needs about 30 seconds a side. Just stand right there and turn it when it gets brown. Drain them briefly on a paper towel, then load up your taco meat and toppings. It’s 80’s suburban familial bliss.

Mom's Tacos

My mom died in 2009, so I’m always looking for ways to keep her close by. Cooking the food she made when I was a child is one of my favorite ways to do that. Don’t tell anybody, but I still put ketchup on my tacos, just like when I was 10. I don’t recommend it to normal humans. I’m not normal.

Next time you’re exhausted on a Wednesday, make these tacos. They’re so simple you could make them in your sleep, and so freakin’ good you won’t be able to move afterward. 

Moms Tacos3

 

Mom's Tacos
Yields 6
Fast and simple week night tacos just like the old days
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1 packet hot taco seasoning (you should probably make your own, but I always forget)
  6. 3/4 cup water (or just refill the seasoning packet)
  7. 1 can spicy jalepeno refried beans
  8. whole wheat tortillas
  9. shredded cheese
  10. sour cream
  11. salsa
  12. and all your other favorite taco toppings
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, break up your ground beef with a wooden spoon and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
  2. Drain the fat from the ground beef by pouring it into a colander. Return it to the pan.
  3. Sprinkle your seasoning packet over the cooked meat and add water. Stir to combine.
  4. Add refried beans and smoosh everything together. It will become easier to stir as it heats. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. For a softer tortilla, heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spoon your taco meat onto your tortilla and add all your favorite toppings. You can even have ketchup. I won't tell.
Adapted from my mom, Traci
Adapted from my mom, Traci
http://awesomeon20.com/
Bacon and Egg Salad

Bacon and Egg Salad

Bacon and Egg Salad

I have a problem. I eat like an eight year old. It’s wonderful and terrible all at the same time. It’s pretty much cheeseburgers and ice cream around here all the time. After all, the four food groups of awesome aren’t exactly designed for bikini season. This is especially ironic since I live in the land of endless summer. But regardless of imminent swimsuit wearing possibilities, I’ll always go for another slice of pizza. I like to enjoy myself

And yet, sometimes even I can start to feel weighed down by all the cheeseburgers, cookies and pizza. Oh and one too many ciders. Unfortunately, even my attempts at “healthy” eating end up with bacon in them.

Bacon and Egg Salad

Look, I just don’t like vegetables. If I could be hypnotized into believing that broccoli and kale were delicious, I’d do it in a second. It just doesn’t make me happy. In fact, it kind of grosses me out. I have issues. I don’t mind the occasional simple salad, provided it doesn’t contain frisee. This, however, is a salad I actually look forward to.

The dressing is made from Dijon mustard whisked right into the bacon grease, and it’s topped with tender lovely boiled eggs. And bacon. Did I mention bacon?

Bacon and Egg Salad

Life is too short to eat bad food. This salad is delicious and is bound to have fewer calories than a bacon cheeseburger. Maybe it’s not clean or skinny, but it definitely tastes awesome. Do it!

Bacon and Egg Salad
Serves 4
A salad that's not so light, but full of flavor
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs
  2. 1 head of your favorite lettuce (I pick whatever's second cheapest after iceberg, but never ever frisee)
  3. 1 garlic clove (or garlic infused oil)
  4. 4-6 slices of bacon (whatever's leftover in your fridge)
  5. 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
  6. 4 teaspoons cider vinegar
  7. dash of Worcestershire sauce
Instructions
  1. Put your eggs in a small saucepan and fill with water just until your eggs are submerged. Put this over high heat and bring to a boil. Allow the water to boil for one minute and then turn off the heat. Leave everything alone for ten minutes. Pour cold water over the eggs, then park them in the fridge until you're ready for them.
  2. Chop or tear your lettuce and throw it in your salad bowl.
  3. Crack a clove of garlic by placing it under the flat of your knife and giving it a good whack. Peel the garlic and put it in your frying pan with just a touch of oil if you have it. Turn the heat under your frying pan to medium
  4. Using scissors, cut your bacon into small pieces over your frying pan. Stir frequently and cook until the bacon is crisp.
  5. Drain the bacon on a paper towel lined plate, and discard the garlic. (Or not, if that's your thing.) Remove the frying pan from the heat.
  6. Add the Dijon mustard to your bacon fat and carefully whisk these two together until combined.
  7. Whisk in the vinegar and Worcestershire.
  8. Season your lettuce if you like and add your bacon and dressing. Toss lightly.
  9. Peel your eggs, then cut them into quarters and add these to your salad. Give it a final gentle toss, then try to convince yourself you're having a healthy meal whilst eating lettuce coated in bacon fat. It's gonna be so awesome!
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Check us out at Inside BruCrew’s link party
Caramel Butterscotch Muffins
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Southwest Pasta Salad

Picnic Week: Southwest Pasta Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad

There are a few things you need in order to have a totally awesome picnic. Plenty of food is a no-brainer. Also, don’t forget the wine, and/or beer, and/or cider. And bring all of your awesome friends because that makes everything perfect. Here are a few more things to check off your list.

  1. A big tablecloth for covering the possibly gross picnic table in the park, or to use as a big picnic blanket if you can’t get a table.
  2. Cups for discreet sipping of adult beverages.
  3. Matches to light the grill.
  4. A corkscrew (unless you brought screw top wine which I do all the time)
  5. Plates, napkins, and utensils. (I’ve forgotten forks before.)
  6. Condiments because that’s what makes stuff extra awesome.

Southwest Pasta Salad

You should also probably bring along this Southwest Pasta Salad. It totally rocks. It’s simple, bright, delicious, and a bit spicy. That’s where it’s at!

I love this recipe because it’s unexpected. It’s also brilliant for a picnic because it can be made ahead of time. In fact, it’s even better after it’s had a chance to sit in the fridge for a day. Black beans, corn, green onions, and bell peppers, combined with a spicy lime dressing, take this recipe above and beyond your normal every day pasta salad.

It also never hurts to have a vegetarian dish at your picnic. You never know who might stop by.

Pack your picnic basket with plenty of flavors. Trust me. It’s awesome.

Southwest Pasta Salad

Southwest Pasta Salad
Serves 6
A spicy take on pasta salad
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 pound small pasta (I used penne because it was in my pantry)
  2. zest of 2 limes
  3. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  4. 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  5. 3 green onions, chopped (I use scissors)
  6. 1/2 cup frozen corn
  7. 1/2 cup shredded pepper jack cheese
for the dressing
  1. 6 Tbsp lime juice (I combine the juice from the fresh limes I zested with some from the squeezy lime-shaped bottle. Nigella does it, so it’s okay.)
  2. 1/4 cup cider or rice vinegar (really whatever’s in your pantry will probably work)
  3. 4 cloves garlic, minced
  4. 1-1/2 tsp chili powder
  5. 1 tsp cumin
  6. 1/2 tsp coriander
  7. 1/2 tsp salt
  8. 2 tsp sugar
  9. 3/4 cup oil (I used olive oil)
Instructions
  1. Cook your pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, according to the time on the package. Drain
  2. Zest your lime into the bottom of a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add the black beans, bell pepper, green onion, corn, and cheese. Stir to combine.
  4. Add the pasta and stir it up.
  5. The easiest way to make the dressing is to combine all the ingredients in a jar with a tight fitting lid. Give it a good shake until the oil has mixed in.
  6. Pour the about 2/3 of the dressing over your salad and give it a stir. If you want more, add it. If not, save it for something awesome later.
  7. Allow the salad to chill in the fridge for at least an hour, but overnight is even better.
  8. Best served under puffy clouds.
Adapted from Our Best Bites
Adapted from Our Best Bites
http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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