Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Chipotle marinade for beef

This marinade gives steak a real kick! I like to cut up some red onions into thin thin rings and marinade them along with some flank steak. Throw them all together in a zip-loc bag, and when you're ready to grill, stick the onions in a grill pan to cook up with the steak. To get the details on grilling flank steak, check out our technique post.

If you wanted an overdose of chipotle and orange, you could add some of our Chipotle-Orange Barbecue Sauce in the last few minutes of cooking. Or maybe that would be too much...

Chipotle Marinade

2 T olive oil
3 T lime juice
2 T orange juice
2 T minced chipotle peppers

1 red onion, sliced in thin rings (optional)
Cumin seeds (optional)

Mix the olive oil through the peppers in a zip-loc bag and add your steak and onion rings. Grill the onions in a grill pan along with the steak. For more spice, sprinkle the steak with cumin seeds before serving.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Chipotle-orange barbecue sauce

I used this on grilled chicken last night, and it was amazing. You’ll want to adjust the amount of chipotle peppers in the sauce to suit your family…we like it hot hot hot! In fact, I pounded out the boneless chicken thighs between waxed paper to make them thinner so that they would hold more sauce. They cook faster that way too ;-)

Since we like our food spicy, I sprinkled the chicken with ground cumin before grilling. Remember not to add the barbecue sauce until the last minute or so of grilling, otherwise you’ll just have a burned mess. Don’t ask how I know this! I spread the sauce on each side twice, flipping and searing each time. This barbecue sauce works great for beef too!

Chipotle-Orange Barbecue Sauce

1 T olive oil
1/4 c catsup
2 T white vinegar
2 T molasses
2 T brown sugar
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T chipotle peppers in sauce (more or less)
Orange, grated peel and juice
1 T lime juice (half a fresh lime)
Salt and pepper

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Friday, June 26, 2009

Grilled chutney, avocado, and turkey panini

Oh, these flavors are wonderful together! Use a hearty wheat or country white bread and grill them until the flavors merge. Layer the sandwiches in this order:

Cranberry chutney
Avocado splashed with lime juice
Smoked turkey

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Book review: Notes on Cooking

by Lauren Braun Costello

A book with nothing but cooking tips could be a boring, dusty list of rules, but that is far from the feel of this little volume. I found it delightful. Here are all the essential things that we used to either learn from our mothers (or possibly in school during home ec class), but that just aren’t necessarily passed on anymore in this age of convenience foods. Don't get me started...you already know how I feel about that!

Author Lauren Braun Costello say that “A recipe is like a road map. A road map shows you where to go and how to get there, but does not teach you how to drive.” The “how to drive” part is what this clever book covers, the knowledge that will help you to think like a chef.

Some of the advice is practical (such as add butter to a cold pan, oil to a hot pan, and why) and some is philosophical. Here’s my favorite so far:

Embrace the mundane.
Do not bemoan the pedestrian tasks. Find pleasure in peeling a carrot, steaming rice, searing a steak, prepping, cleaning. Your reward is in the work, not around it.

Cooking is not about convenience, but the pleasure earned through creation and in giving pleasure to others. Shortcuts are tempting, even necessary from time to time. But it you rely on pre-cut vegetables, pre-marinated meats, and canned sauces, you are not cooking. You are assembling.

I don’t want to be an assembler. I want to be a cook.

Lemon cream pie

This is an amazing cream pie. It's also a very soft one, so refrigerating between steps and before serving is very important...make it at least 24 hours ahead of time. Even though it's fussy, it's so worth it! Do not make any substitutions in the recipe or mess with the proportions. And for heaven's sake, don't even think about substituting Cool Whip for the real whipped cream!

Lemon Cream Pie

6 large eggs
3/4 c sugar
3 lemons (2 t lemon zest plus 3/4 c fresh lemon juice)
1/2 c butter, cut into tablespoons
1 c heavy or whipping cream, chilled
1 prepared graham crumb crust

Beat the eggs, sugar, and 2 t lemon zest together in a heavy medium-size saucepan until it is smooth. Add the lemon juice and butter; cook the mixture over medium low heat, whisking constantly, until it is thickened, 7 to 9 minutes. Do not allow the mixture to boil.

Pour the curd through a fine mesh strainer into a large mixing bowl. Cover the surface with plastic wrap and refrigerate 3 to 4 hours.

In a medium mixing bowl, whip the cream to soft peaks. Gently fold it into the lemon curd in the large bowl, and scrape the filling into the prepared pie shell. Cover and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours. You may be able to get away with a shorter refrigeration time, but this is a very soft creamy pie, so longer is better.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Grilling tough brisket or shoulder cuts

The leanest cuts are also the healthiest cuts are also the cheapest cuts! So, what to do when you like your steaks juicy and flavorful? Well, you can follow the directions for flank steak, which involves cutting across the grain and very thin, but there’s even more you can do to make a thick but not-so-juicy piece of beef just delicious: crock pot cook it first, and slather it in a delicious sauce! :-)

Step one is to always plan to have these cuts of meat on a day that you can set up the crock pot early. Or you can even do the crock pot part a day or so ahead (great make-ahead meal!). I’ve found that 4 to 6 hours on a low setting works best. You want to break down the fibers enough with long slow cooking, but not enough to make the piece of meat fall apart on the grill. Not a lot of chance of that happening with a shoulder cut, but you can never be sure!

When you’re ready to start grilling, it will take 5 to 10 minutes per side, depending upon whether or not it’s been sitting in the fridge for awhile. Cook it on a medium heat grill and just get a nice little char on it. Otherwise, there’s really no point in grilling, since you’ve already thoroughly cooked the meat!

Slice it thin, just like you would a flank steak, and slather it with a great homemade barbecue sauce that you’ve mixed up in the crock pot (how efficient is that?). Here’s a great recipe for brisket that we had the other night. I added a small green salad and some bread to sop it up!

Beef Brisket with Barbecue Sauce

2 lb beef brisket
Large onion, sliced into really thin circles
Large clove of garlic, minced
1/2 c water
Salt and pepper
14 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes

Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of the crock pot with the brisket on top. Mix the water through the tomatoes together and pour over the brisket. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours. Remove the meat, scraping off the vegetables and either store it in the fridge for grilling later or place it directly on the grill. Prepare the barbecue sauce in the crock pot using the recipe below.

Barbecue Sauce

3/4 cup of the brisket cooking liquid
1 c ketchup
1/3 c molasses
2 T cider vinegar
1/4 t cinnamon
1/4 t allspice
1/8 t ground cayenne pepper (or more to taste)

Pour out the liquid from the crock pot into a large measuring cup, leaving the vegetables behind. Pour 3/4 c of the liquid back into the crock pot, and save the rest in the freezer for another batch of sauce later. Mix the ketchup through cayenne pepper together and stir into the crock pot mixture. Heat on low until time to serve. Slather it over the cut meat on each plate.

Image: MorgueFile

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Thyme and shallots marinade for lamb

Although you can cook this lamb dish in a hot skillet either on stove top or in the oven, I prefer it for grilling! This marinade has a lot of ingredients, but if you whip it up the night before, or first thing in the morning, and let the lamb soak in it all day in the fridge, you’ll have some terrific little pieces of meat to grill in the evening.

We had this with asparagus, which I did nothing other than rinse, snap, and grill on top of aluminum foil, and some fresh rosemary and olive bread from my grocery bakery :-)

Thyme and Shallots Marinade for Lamb

1/2 c olive oil
1/4 c red wine
3 T lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Shallot, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 t dried oregano (or 1 T fresh)
1 T dried thyme (or 3 T fresh)

Please please please try to use fresh thyme! Crush the herbs, and scatter them over the chops in a shallow pan. Scatter the shallots and garlic over them as well. Whisk the olive oil through the salt and pepper together and pour over. Let them marinate for at least an hour, but preferably all day or even overnight if need be!

This is enough marinade for about 2 lbs of lamb chops or other grilling pieces. We usually just buy around a pound, or even less, so I do cut back on the amounts slightly!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Red pepper pasta

My girlfriend Kathy shared this recipe with me a long time ago. I don’t know where she got it, and we’ve each made a few modifications, but it remains a wonderful dish, flavorful, colorful, and fun! Warning: this is not a diet dish!

Red Pepper Pasta

1/4 c butter
1/4 c olive oil
2 large sweet red peppers, chopped
8 oz prosciutto, chopped
6 scallions, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced

T fresh basil (2 T dried)
6 T fresh parsley (2 T dried)
4 T fresh oregano (1 T dried)
Salt and pepper

1-1/2 c chicken stock
6 T lemon juice
2 t sugar

1-1/2 lbs thin spaghetti

Wedge of parmesan cheese

Heat the butter and oil in a large skillet. Saute the peppers through garlic for about 10 minutes. Add the herbs and stir for 2 more minutes. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the stock through the sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened, about 5 - 6 minutes. Let it stand while the pasta boils.

Drain the pasta and place in a serving bowl. Pour the sauce over. Serve with fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Master mix for cookies

Use this Master Mix for making lots of different varieties of cookies. Simply add different nuts or chopped fruits, or cocoa powder and chocolate chips…

Master Mix for Cookies

1-1/4 c butter, softened
1 c sugar
1 eggs
2 T milk
1 t vanilla extract
4 c unbleached white flour
2 t baking powder
1 t salt

Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the eggs, milk, and vanilla and mix well. Add the salt and baking powder to creamed mixture, and mix well. Add the flour and stir until just combined. Divide dough into four 2-cup portions. Cover and refrigerate.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I was told that one of the things I simply must try/buy while I was in Italy is limoncello. OK, I’m game! Made from Sorrentine lemons, this lemon liqueur has its birthplace on somewhere on Italy (the websites don’t all agree who started it!). Here’s a recipe using limoncello that I hope to try, compliments of Limoncello di Capri.

A sophisticated fusion of the flavours of Capri.

1/3 Limoncello di Capri
1/3 Espresso coffee
1/3 Single cream
Grated Sorrentine lemon
Serve in a glass

Just in case you’d like to try making it yourself (it seems very simple), you can find instructions at What’s Cooking America.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Berry coffee cake (OAMC)

This coffee cake is the perfect make-ahead or OAMC treat! It freezes very well, and can be served either at room temperature or warm. Wrapped in foil, it goes from freezer to oven to table in about 30 minutes.

Berry Coffee Cake

1 c unbleached white flour
2 T sugar
1-1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1/4 c butter

1 egg
1/3 c milk

1/2 c sliced berries (strawberries, raspberries, etc)
1/4 c orange marmalade

1/4 c sugar
3 T flour
1/4 c butter

Stir together well the flour through the salt. Cut in the butter until the mix is crumbly. Mix egg and milk and stir into flour mixture until just moistened. Spread in an 8×8 inch baking pan. Mix the berries and the marmalade together and spread over batter. Mix the 1/4 c sugar with the flour, and cut in the butter. Sprinkle it over top of the fruit mixture. Bake at 400 for 30 - 35 minutes. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan. Serve warm, serve when cool, or let it cool completely to freeze. Wrap in foil and freeze.

To reheat, put into 350 oven for 30 minutes, still in foil. Open foil for the last 10 minutes.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Arugula salad with pears and prosciutto

This salad is fantastic! It’s a little bit fussy, because you need to prepare some of the ingredients separately before assembling, rather than just throwing everything together as you chop. But it’s worth it. If you’re planning on having a meal of left overs, this is the type of accompaniment that will make your family sit up and take notice…and will cut down on complaints about the left overs!

Arugula Salad with Pears and Prosciutto

Olive oil
4 thin slices of prosciutto, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 pears, cored and sliced lengthwise
Lemon juice

8 oz arugula, or mixed greens with arugula

4 T olive oil
2 T balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper

Parmesan cheese, wedge

Fry the prosciutto in a tiny bit of olive oil until crisp. Set aside. Sprinkle the pear slices with lemon juice and set aside. Whisk the olive oil, vinegar, and seasonings together and pour over the greens in a bowl. Toss. Divide the greens onto 4 plates, top with pear slices and prosciutto crisps. Finally, top with a few shaved pieces of parmesan cheese.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Smother your flank steak in mango sauce!

Flank steak just begs for some super-tasty sauce! I almost always start out by either using a spice rub or marinade on my beef, usually letting it sit and soak in the fridge for the day (or overnight if morning is too rushed). You can find my tips for the basics of grilling flank steak at this post in order to end up with the most tender beef you can. Once it comes off the grill, the real fun starts! This mango sauce is amazing, and you can vary the proportions of ingredients until it is custom-blended for your family.

You can make all the elements of this meal ahead of time if you want, or you could put the sauce together while someone else is grilling the marinated steak. Not counting the marinating time, this is easily a thirty minute meal since it doesn't usually take more than 5 - 10 minutes per side to do a flank steak.

Flank Steak in Mango Sauce

Marinade (for 1-2 lbs of steak):
1/3 c soy sauce
3 T sherry
2 T toasted sesame oil
2 t dry powdered mustard

Mix the marinade ingredients together and divide in half. Stick the steak into a zip-loc bag with half of the marinade ingredients and turn to coat. Save the other half of the marinade for the sauce (below). Keep the steak in the fridge for at least several hours, turning occasionally if you can. If not, don't worry about it!

Mango sauce:
Other half of the marinade
2-3 scallions, sliced thinly
1 T fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 c of mangoes, either fresh diced, mango salsa (spicier), or mango jelly (sweeter)
Juice from 1 lime

Combine in a small bowl, either ahead of time or while steak is grilling. Serve on the side or slathered over the steak once it's sliced up.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Baked hominy

My darling has told me many many times about how much he hated hominy as a child. His family moved to Tennessee for a year when he was in upper elementary school, and many of the foods served for school lunches were unfamiliar to him. Once he found out it was just a corn product, he thought that maybe he didn't like it simply because it had been unfamiliar.

I took it as a personal challenge to see if I could fix hominy in a way he would find appealing. I didn't grow up with it either, so I didn't really have any preconceived ideas about what it would be like.

Well, when I first opened a can (Goya brand), the appearance was a bit off-putting. If I were the type of person who ate with my eyes, that might have been it. But it tasted pretty good to me, even if a bit bland. It has that alkaline kick that you expect in Latin corn products, and I liked it. And so did my darling, after I doctored it up a bit!

Baked hominy

2 - 15 oz cans of hominy, white or yellow (I used white)
4 oz can green chilies, chopped
Salt and pepper
1/2 c sour cream
1 c Monterey Jack cheese, shredded

Drain and rinse the hominy. Grease a casserole dish and layer the ingredients as follows: 1/3 hominy, 1/2 chilies, salt and pepper, dots of sour cream. Repeat layers, ending with a third layer of hominy. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes. Serve hot.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Artichoke hearts in wine and garlic

Such a simple marinade can make such a difference! Prepare these artichoke hearts ahead of time, maybe during your once a week food preparation time, and then you can just toss them onto a salad of mixed spring greens throughout the week!

Artichoke Hearts in Wine and Garlic

10 - 12 artichoke hearts (frozen, canned, or fresh “babies”)
3 T olive oil
2 - 3 cloves of garlic
2 springs of fresh thyme
1/2 - 3/4 c white wine, dry
Salt and pepper

Saute the hearts, along with the garlic and thyme, in oil until heated through (fresh artichokes will need to go a bit longer, maybe up to 8 minutes or so). Add the wine and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered for 10 minutes (maybe up to 15 if using fresh). Discard the thyme sprigs, and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot, cooled down with salad, or refrigerate for later use. Do not chop (if desired) until ready to serve.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Spinach strata (OAMC)

One of my very favorite egg and cheese dishes is any type of Strata. This one is delicious, with the addition of (preferably fresh) spinach. Using ricotta cheese instead of milk makes a heavier dish, but it also cooks up a lot faster and doesn’t have to be refrigerated overnight before baking like some recipes call for.

This strata can be made ahead of time and re-heated, or served fresh. It makes a terrific OAMC recipe and freezes well. It takes about an hour to make.

Spinach Strata

1/2 lb chopped spinach
Small onion, chopped
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
1/2 t basil

1 lb ricotta cheese
1 c sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3 eggs
3 T flour

Slices of bread, preferably whole wheat herb bread, enough to cover the bottom of a pie pan or small baking pan.

Sour cream, optional

Saute the spinach and onion in olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, and basil to taste. Mix it together with the cheeses through the nutmeg, and spread it over top of the bread slices in the baking pan. For an extra special strata, spread sour cream on top of the strata. Bake at 375 for 45 minutes.

To serve after freezing, let it thaw in the fridge overnight, and heat for 10 - 15 minutes at 375.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Tangy snow peas and radish salad topper

Here’s another little vegetable mix that you can prepare ahead of time and then mix into your spring green salad as you wish. This has a nice Asian taste, thanks to the rice vinegar. I like to make this during my once a week food preparation time, along with some other salad toppers, and then alternate during the week which type we have. It makes meal time a snap!

Tangy Snow Peas and Radish Salad

8 oz snow peas

3 large radishes, sliced into thin strips
2 - 3 scallions, white part and some of the green, sliced thin

1/4 c rice vinegar
1 T sugar
1 T canola oil

Rinse snow peas and leave them a little wet. Steam or microwave for just a minute to soften slightly. Cut them into slices on the diagonal. Combine them with sliced radishes and scallions. Whisk the vinegar, oil, and sugar together, letting the sugar dissolve. Pour over the veggies and toss. Serve as a small tangy side dish, over top of greens in a salad, or store in the fridge for later use.

Image: Stock.xchng

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fettucini with blue cheese basil sauce

If you’re all concerned about fat content, then go ahead and use skim yogurt and ricotta…if you must. It will still be delicious, but it won’t match the creamy goodness of the original. Whatever you do, do serve this to your family, even if it’s not often! Add a salad and rolls, and you’re all set.

I made this with 1 lb of fettucini the first time and found that there was more than enough sauce. You can easily stretch the sauce to cover up to 1-1/2 lbs of pasta if your family needs a larger amount.

Fettucini with Blue Cheese Basil Sauce

1 to 1-1/2 lbs fettucini

1 clove of garlic

1 c fresh basil leaves
1/2 c ricotta cheese
1/2 c plain yogurt
1/2 c (2 oz) blue cheese, crumbled
2 t sherry vinegar (or other fairly mild vinegar)

2 T pine nuts
Extra basil leaves, coarsely chopped

While the water is heating and the fettucini is boiling, prepare the sauce. Pulse the garlic clove in a food processor. Add fresh basil leaves through pepper and process until smooth. Stir in pine nuts and extra basil leaves. Once the fettucini is cooked and drained, stir together with the sauce in a serving bowl.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Monday, June 8, 2009

Split pea soup with smoked turkey (OAMC)

Easy-peasy (sorry!) recipe for split pea soup that you can set up in a crock pot before you leave the house and have table-ready in an instant when you return! All you need to add is crusty bread or rolls. This is also an excellent OAMC recipe, freezing very well, and heating up again either on the stove top or in the crock pot.

Split Pea Soup with Smoked Turkey

16 oz bag of split peas

Large onion
2 cloves of garlic
sweet potato (pre-cooked)

3/4 t thyme
Salt & pepper
1 T lemon juice
1/2″ slice of smoked turkey from grocery deli

Cover the split peas with 2 quarts of boiling water in your slow cooker. Set the cooker for medium high: the peas need to cook for about 6 hours. In a food processor, dice up the onion, garlic, and sweet potato, but don’t completely puree them. Add to the peas.

Go to work!

6 hours (or more) later, add the seasonings and the turkey, chopped into 1/2″ cubes.

Note: if you didn’t pre-cook the potato during once a week food preparation, you can still make this. Just peel and chop it up and add it to the peas in the morning. It will soften enough to enable you to mix it through the soup pretty well, just not quite as well as the other method.

Image: Kave Wall Stock

Friday, June 5, 2009

Chocolate mice!

We had a mouse in the house yesterday, which I had to take away from my cat and let go, even though my husband assures me it will be back! When I told my friends at the gym about it, two of them immediately started telling me about how to make chocolate mice. It sounds like a great food project for kids of all ages, so here are the basics:

Chocolate Mice

Maraschino cherries, with stems on
Hershey’s kisses, unwrapped
Chocolate, melted
Slivered almonds
Tube of red cake decorating gel

Dip the cherries into the melted chocolate, or brush it on them if you prefer. Stick the kiss to the non-stem end of the cherry. Stick two slivers of almonds to the back of the kiss for ears, and squeeze out drops of gel for the eyes. Set them on top of oreo cookies to serve if desired. :-)

Image: FreeFoto

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Lamb with black olive paste

Here’s the perfect recipe to use your black olive paste with! I served small but thick slices of lamb smothered in the paste, along with mixed hearty grains, a Greek salad, and some bread to sop up the extra olive paste. Altogether, it took less than thirty minutes to put the entire meal together, since I had already made the black olive paste during once a week food preparation day.

Lamb with Black Olive Paste

1 lb thick lamb slices or chops
Olive oil

Black olive paste

In a cast iron skillet (preferably), sear the meat quickly on both sides in some olive oil. Cover the tops of the slices with a mound of black olive paste and place into very hot oven, 500, on bake, not broil. Depending upon the thickness, it will take 10 to 15 minutes to cook through without losing all the pink.

While the meat is cooking, heat up some water for couscous, orzo, or quick-cook mixed grains, mix up a salad of dark baby greens, feta cheese, and tomatoes, and cut some small rounds of crusty bread. And pour the wine!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Black olive paste

Black olive paste can be used to season so many things, especially Greek and Middle Eastern dishes. It’s also great on crackers, if a bit high in sodium ;-)

This is a condiment that I would make on my once a week food preparation day so that it’s ready for dishes like the lamb that I’m going to post about tomorrow…

Black Olive Paste

Small can of black olives
1 clove of garlic
Olive oil
Bay leaf
1/2 t thyme
2 t brown mustard

Process all together until thick and pastey, but not totally pureed. Add just enough olive oil to moisten. Store in a small jar in the refrigerator.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Chicken panzanella

If you can remember to do it, cut 4 slices of pumpernickel bread into cubes, and leave them out overnight to go stale! If you forget, then just toast the bread and cut it into cubes. This is a very simple dish, but a really nice mix of flavors. Use fresh herbs if you can get them; if not, the amounts for dried herbs are listed. It only takes thirty minutes to make this dish, and it’s pretty much an all-in-one meal. Serve it on a bed of greens like spinach or romaine.

Chicken Panzanella

1 c chicken stock
1/2 lb boned chicken breast

2 T lemon juice
1 t olive oil
1 t dried basil
1/2 t dried oregano
1 clove of garlic, minced

Pumpernickel cubes
1-1/2 c tomatoes, coarsely chopped
3/4 c celery, chopped
1/2 c purple onion, diced

In a skillet, simmer the chicken in the stock until it is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into pieces and reserve the liquid: chill both while you do the rest. In a large serving bowl, mix together the lemon juice through the garlic. Add the rest of the ingredients, one at a time, and toss each. When ready to serve, toss in the chilled chicken pieces, and drizzle the mixture with the reserved liquid.

Image: Stock.xchng

Monday, June 1, 2009

Deb's taco salad

This is a hearty whole-meal salad that just about everyone loves. My friend Deb makes this for our church fellowship dinners, and when she doesn’t show up, there is outrage all around! The recipe is for a large bowlful, and it uses an entire bottle of French dressing. Feel free to make substitutions or to scale it back. By the way, kids love to help make this salad, because they get to crush a bag of tortilla chips ;-)

Deb’s Taco Salad

1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained
2 packages of taco seasoning (or use the real spices if you’ve got them)

1 head of lettuce, shredded
3-4 firm tomatoes, chopped
1 onion, chopped (optional)
2 cans of pinto beans, rinsed and drained
2 c shredded cheddar cheese

1 bag tortilla chips, crushed
1 bottle of French dressing

Mix the seasoning into the beef and toss everything through cheese together in a large bowl. Just before serving, add the tortilla chips and the dressing. Kids find the color to be delightful!

Image: Stock.xchng