Taco Bake

July 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm (Food) (, , , , , )

Well hello again!

I know it’s been a while, but I have to say, I’ve been completely, totally bored with food lately, so there hasn’t been a whole lot of creativity going on in my kitchen.  HOWEVER, I saw a recipe for something called baked tacos, looked interesting, but each one was a single serving, and I thought, well, I can do something a little different, a little better maybe, and feed the whole family instead of one person. And THIS is what I came up with!


2 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1/2 cup taco seasoning mix

1 1/3 cups water

3 cups shredded taco or fiesta blend cheese


8 flour tortillas, soft taco size


1 1/2 – 2 cups mild picante sauce


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Brown and drain ground chuck.  Put back into frying pan, add in water and taco seasoning, stir and simmer about 10 minutes.


Spray bottom of a 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray of your choice.  Place 2 tortillas side by side in the bottom of baking dish.


Spoon on about 1/3 to 1/2 cup picante sauce onto tortillas and spread all around, out to the edges of the tortillas.


Spoon on about 1/3 of the taco meat,


and sprinkle over about 1/2 – 2/3 cups shredded cheese.


Repeat these layers ending with tortillas topped with the last of the sauce and cheese.  Should sort of be like a lasagne!


Cover very loosely with foil, in fact you want to tent the foil up so it doesn’t steal your cheese.


Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

P1060343 P1060344P1060345

Cut into 8 equal servings.


I hope you enjoy this as much as we did!  Of course, my picky eater William wouldn’t eat this because there were “chunks” in the sauce, but Mike and I ate it for several days as lunches, and it was awesome!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 208

July 29, 2012 at 8:18 pm (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back to my little world!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and are ready for all the fun that Monday brings! (yeah, I know, a little sarcasm goes a long way…)

So, laundry is done, kitchen is MOSTLY cleaned up, I’m showered, I’ve packed some snacks for work, although I just realized I forgot to get bottle water, hmmm…  cars are cleaned out, kids helped!  And Mike and I went to the movies this morning!  So, all in all, it’s been a really good day!  Great way to end the weekend.

AND, for a change, Mike helped ME figure out a problem with my meds!  Usually it’s the other way around, but I didn’t recognize my symptoms as “fatigue”, I was thinking I was depressed.  So I stopped my pain pills last night, and today I feel better than I have in months!  Going to call my doctor today and see if I can get something with different side effects that will do the same job without messing up something else!  I’ve been through so many over the years, and they’ve all messed with me in one way or another, I’m almost ready to say I’ll just deal with the pain, but then when things get really bad I just can’t deal with the pain, so I guess I need to call…

Anyway, good day for cooking, and getting things ready for later in the week since Mike won’t be home Tuesday through Friday, and I’ll have no transportation on the night James is working, so I have to be prepared!!  Dinner was AWESOME, and there are left overs, so that’s one lunch taken care of already.  Now I need to think about the rest of the week.  Thinking I might make some bread one night, that’s easy enough to do, and I’m dying to try a fish in the crock pot recipe I found, so now that I have a little more energy, maybe I can actually do these things this week!

Here’s tonight’s entry for you, it was a HUGE hit:

Meatloaf with Sausage

1 1/2 pounds ground chuck

1 package of 5 sausages, Great Value brand, mild Italian flavor

1 cup quick oats

1 small can tomato paste

1 egg

1/4 cup dried onion flakes

salt and pepper to taste

One Perfect Meatloaf Pan!! (got it for my birthday, and am ashamed to admit, this is the first time I’m using it, but I am now HOOKED!)

Squeeze or cut the sausage meat out of the casings.

Mix all your ingredients by hand in a large bowl, squish it all around really good, make sure there aren’t any obvious chunks of sausage anywhere, it should be relatively smooth when you’re done.  Form this mixture into a rough loaf shape, and put it in the Perfect Meatloaf Pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for at least 1 and 1/2 hours.  It should be pulled away from the sides of the pan, and crispy on top.

This was all that was left after we all dug in.  Told you it was a hit!

Along with this, we had steamed broccoli, steamed peas, mashed potatoes and gravy, and fresh cut fruit.

Oh, and I forgot to share my new dip recipe last night, so here’s a little bonus for you:

Bacon Ranch Dip

4 strips bacon, cut into pieces and cooked crispy

1 container sour cream

2 Tbsp ranch dressing mix

Mix everything together in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to sit in the fridge for a couple of hours before serving.

Serve with chips or veggies or whatever you usually dip! YUM!!!

So that’s it for tonight.  Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 131

May 12, 2012 at 11:03 pm (Food) (, , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  Hope you’re having a wonderful weekend.  I know I am!!

Slept in a little today, was planning to head to a free shred event at our bank, get rid of all the crap we keep putting off shredding, decided we might be better off playing catch-up on our own.  We came up with a (maybe) cool idea…  William can earn a penny a piece for shredding for us after school.  We’ll have to wait and see how that works out…

Went grocery shopping, Mike went with me, was a nice little trip.  Used a little of my birthday money, picked up my favorite beading thread and a decorate-it-yourself photo cube for my desk.  Been working on it a little today, need to find my rhinestones to add some bling!  Finished another custom order, well, almost finished.  Have one more piece on order, should be here soon, then I can get this order on it’s way.  Made something for my mom for Mother’s Day.  Did some laundry, cleaned up the kitchen, got help from my guys.  Good day all around!

So for dinner, felt like cooking, but nothing too fancy or complicated.  So here we go:

Bacon Ranchburgers

1 Pound thick sliced bacon

1 pound ground chuck

1 egg, lightly beaten

4 Tbsp ranch dressing mix

Fry bacon until crisp, drain on paper towels, set aside.

Mix burger, egg and ranch dressing mix very well, form into however many patties you need.  I did three tonight, because there were only three of us for dinner.  Fry, turning once, until well done and juices run clear when patty is pressed, or about 15 minutes total.

Put each burger on roll of choice, I used potato rolls tonight, top with cheese of choice, bacon slices, and toppings of choice.

There was so much burger and bacon, there just wasn’t really need for side dishes, so we just had popcorn later while watching a movie.

Hope you enjoy this one, it’s GOOD!  And until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 55

February 26, 2012 at 12:52 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!

Feeling much better tonight, so I cooked!!!  And it was fun, tasty, and popular!!  WOO HOO!  Everyone got something they liked, which is always a challenge around here…  So here’s the menu:

Taco Muffins

1 Pkg canned biscuits (I used Great Value, of course), 10 biscuits per can

1 pound ground chuck

2/3 cup cold water

1/4 cup taco seasoning

1/4 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese (again, I used Great Value brand)

Butter flavor cooking spray

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray 10 muffin cups with cooking spray.  Flatten the biscuit dough with your fingers, make it as flat as you can, and place it in a muffin cup.  It should cover most of the way up the sides of the cup.

Brown the ground chuck, drain excess fat, add in water and taco seasonings.  Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Spoon meat mixture into biscuit lined cups, should use up as much of the meat mixture as possible without overflowing cups, might have a few tablespoons left over.  Top with shredded cheese, using all the cheese across all the muffins.

Bake 8-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and biscuit cup is browned.  Serve!

Sausage Sandwiches

1 roll crescent dough

1/2 pound Italian sausage, skins removed

2 slices Provolone cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Line baking pan with parchment paper.  Unroll crescent dough on lined pan.  Break into four rectangles, pinching diagonal seams together.

Brown sausage, separating into small (less than bite sized) pieces, make sure it’s cooked through.

Split cheese slices in half, place one half slice on one end of each dough rectangle.  Top with a couple spoonfuls of cooked sausage.  Fold over dough into shorter rectangles, seal edges by pressing with a fork all the way around.  (You can also add a couple spoonfuls of spaghetti sauce if you want, but I didn’t this time.)

Bake at 400 degrees 15-18 minutes. Serve with dipping sauce!

Apple Pie Bites

1 pkg rolled pie crust

1/2 can apple pie filling

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tsp cinnamon

3 Tbsp melted butter

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl, set aside about 2 Tbsp.

Unroll pie crust one at a time, brush with melted butter, sprinkle with half the cinnamon sugar mixture.  Cut with a pizza wheel into 8 pie shaped wedges.  Place a full apple slice with a little of the sauce on the outer edge of each “pie slice”, roll inward towards points.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.  Repeat with second pie crust.  Brush rolls with melted butter and sprinkle with remaining cinnamon sugar.  Bake 13-15 minutes or until edges of pie crusts are lightly browned. (mine actually took about 17 minutes total)

Serve warm, with or without ice cream or whipped cream.

Hope you all enjoyed one or all of these recipes!  We certainly did!!  🙂

Until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink 1 Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 50

February 21, 2012 at 1:40 am (Food) (, , , , , )

Hello again friends, and welcome back!  So glad you could join me again on this adventure!

As you know by now, Mondays are a little hectic around here, but I’m getting a better handle on things.  Tonight, I was feeling a little adventurous, and I had time to play a little, so here’s what I came up with:

Mexican Beef Skillet

1 jar Great Value MILD picante sauce

2 pounds ground chuck

1 1/3 cups cold water

1/2 cup Tone’s taco seasoning

1 cup shredded cheese (I buy this in bulk at Sam’s and split it into several individual packages and freeze about half so it doesn’t go bad before I can use it all)

1 pound package egg noodles (I buy them in bulk at Sam’s and split them into 1 pound packages)

Cook noodles to package directions, drain and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a large pot (dutch oven works well) brown ground chuck and drain.  Put back in pan, add in cold water and taco seasoning.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Mix in picante sauce and noodles, mix well. Cover with cheese, cover pot, heat over LOW heat 5-8 minutes or until cheese is just melted.  Serve!

Everyone seemed to like this, except of course William, who had to pick out the pieces of peppers from the Picante sauce, but other than that, it went over well!

So until tomorrow, eat well, love well, live well!!

Permalink Leave a Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 40

February 11, 2012 at 2:12 am (Food) (, , , , , , , , , )

Hello friends, and welcome back!

I’m so glad you guys can join me in my nightly ramblings!  As you know, I’ve had some successes, and a few failures, but so far it’s been more good than not, so I’m happy.

Tonight, William picked the recipe, Cheeseburger meatloaf.  Friday is supposed to be burger night, you know, I made that deal with William that we could have burgers on Fridays, supposed to help keep the peace…  well, we talked about it, and as long as the dish is hamburger based, he’s good with it, so I don’t have to make actual BURGERS every Friday!  Thank goodness, I was running out of ideas on how to make them different every week!

So here’s the recipe:

Cheeseburger Meatloaf

1 pound hamburger meat (I used ground chuck)

1/2 cup ketchup, divided in half

1 egg, beaten

1/4 cup bread crumbs (I used Italian seasoned)

6 slices American cheese

2 Tsp mustard (I used brown)

2 Tsp dill relish

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix 1/4 cup ketchup, beaten egg, bread crumbs and salt and pepper in a bowl.  Mix in burger VERY WELL.  Spread onto waxed paper into a 10″ x 6″ rectangle.

In a small bowl, mix remaining 1/4 cup ketchup, mustard and relish.  Spread onto meat mixture.  Top with 4 slices American cheese.  Using waxed paper to lift, roll into a spiral starting with a shorter edge, will only roll a couple times, don’t expect too much!  Make sure to only use the paper to lift and help roll, don’t include it IN the meat roll!

Place meat roll into a loaf pan, and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  Top with remaining cheese slices, put back in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese it just melted, not browned. (I actually used shredded cheese since I have SO MUCH of it around right now) Remove from oven, allow to rest for about 10 minutes before slicing.  Serve!

I also made a “plain” meatloaf, since I had everything together anyway, and I’m glad I did!  Everyone went for seconds, or thirds in some cases, so we actually went through a meatloaf and a half!!  Here’s the other recipe…

Mom’s Meatloaf

1 pound ground chuck

1 pound ground sausage

1/2 cup bread crumbs, Italian seasoned

1 egg

1 can tomato paste (NOT sauce)

Salt and pepper to taste

Mix everything in a large bowl, USE YOUR HANDS, it will be messy, but it’s the only way to get it all mixed right and smooth.  Put the mixture into a loaf pan, bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Remove from oven and allow to rest at least 10 minutes before slicing.    Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy, it’s awesome!  Also makes really good meatloaf sandwiches the next day…

Until tomorrow, friends, eat well, love well, live well!


Permalink 1 Comment

The Great 2012 Cooking Extravaganza! Day 33

February 4, 2012 at 2:23 am (Food) (, , , )

Hello again my friends, welcome back!

Friday around here is burger night, a little deal I made with William so he wouldn’t whine so much about all the new and different foods he’s being subjected to (yeah, like that’s really working!), but it works for me, too, since I get to cook something a little more familiar, but with a little different twist each week.

So, tonight’s burgers…

1 pound ground chuck

1/2 cup plain bread crumbs

1 egg

2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce (needed a little more in my opinion)

Mix the above VERY well, form into four patties, fry until cooked through.

I also fried up a little bacon to go on these, then melted cheese on top of the bacon on top of the burgers!  Everyone got to pick their favorite cheese and other toppings.  We had take out fries (yeah, we cheated) to go with these burgers, and served the burgers on hard rolls.

So, a quick and easy Friday night dinner that everyone enjoyed, and anyone can make!

Until tomorrow friends, eat well, love well, live well!

Permalink Leave a Comment