Monday, March 1, 2010

Finally, a use for leftover taco meat!

Our family always manages to always have a little taco meat leftover, no matter how much I cook. I've recently stuck with 1 lb just because it's easy. I usually have about 1/4 lb left, which I throw in a frezer bag and it gets lost never to be seen again. So I'm always looking for ways to use it on something within a few days, but not something that is TOO similar to tacos.

Todd said he was in the mood for pizza, so into the kitchen I went searching for some kind of pizza to make. Low and behold, my taco pizza was born.

Crust is just a Betty Crocker pre packaged mix since I had it on hand, but any crust would do.

Sauce: 1 6 oz can tomoato paste, 3/4 cup water, 3/4 of a 1.25 oz package of taco seasoning, 1 tsp hili powder, and 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne powder - mix all together and set to the side

Beans layer: mix 1 16 oz can refried beans, 1/3 cup salsa, and 1/4 cup finely chopped onions

Then begin to layer...crust, tomato/taco sauce layer, bean layer, crumbled leftover taco meat, some black olives if you have them left over from tacos, and some shredded mexican cheddar cheese. Bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 15 min!

After done baking, we also drizzled it with thinned sour cream and some fresh green onion, but it's optional.

This recipe is enough for two pizzas but we would never need that much. Instead we used it for lunch the next day...layer of cream cheese, bean mixture, tomato/taco sauce, meat, cheese and olives. Makes a great dip for tortilla chips!

We're ready for spring!

Luke clearly is ready for some warm weather. This weekend, after having the stomach flu run it's course through our house, Luke told me it was time to go out and play. He must have taken his clothes off as he was playing in his room and then came to me with cowboy boots, Todd's winter hat, and holding his mittens saying it was "time for the fresh air mom!" He actually didn't have undies on the first time he came and asked, but I made him put some on and ask me again, HAD to take some photos for daddy!

He also picked out sunglasses that would be "pwetty on Brookey mom" while we were at the Carter's Outlet. Of course the second we got home, he said he needed them for the bright sun. Did anyone else besides him see sun on Sunday? Yeah...I didn't think so...

We did manage to get Brooke's nursery complete though this dreary weekend. Yeah, yeah, I know, this should have been done, oh, 9 months ago or more! Haha! And if I was even half a mom I would have gotten it done BEFORE her pictures in the nursery, but no, couldn't get that done either. Oh well, it is finally 100% finished!

Here is a good picture of the tissue paper poms I got from The store is called Pros to th Host. I'm so going to be getting some of these for Brooke's first birthday party! SOOO cute!

And here's a closeup of the name art I made from scrapbook paper and framed with cheap frames from Kohls. They are hanging behind her crib.

These two photos are on either side of the window in Brooke's room. They aren't the greatest, but I needed something I coul get done in about 10 min while both kids somehow managed to nap at the same time. Todd woudn't let me spend any money so I already had these frames and scrapbook paper laying in the closet. The first is a bird on a branch and the second is supposed to be "mod" flowers that match the crib bedding. Not bad for free hand from the world's most uncrafty person! Haha!

I also have a few recipes to share. Todd and I were going through some old photos this week while we were all sick and came across some of our all time favorite recipes from this summer. I don't think I ever had time to share either of them, so I thought I'd do it now...maybe to get everyone motivated to start the seeds for their gardens soon! ;P

Anyway, the first recipe is a Grilled Eggplant Panini. The recipe can be found here:

We saw this recipe and just happened to have almost everything on hand. Our neighbors garden was overflowin with eggplant, zucchini and tomoatoes so we just had to try this out. Messy, BUT wonderful! We cannot wait for the first eggplant this season!

We served the panini with grilled broccoli (recipe below) and "fried" eggplant. Th fried eggplant was a little heavy with everything else, but I can't wait to make it again, this time as the main dish! All you do is slice the eggplant as thin as you can. Shake with a little salt an place on paper towels to get out as much water was possible. Then mix about a cup of mayo with a little lemon juice and some seasoning. We used a little seasoned salt. Then dip the eggplant into the mayo to cover all sides, then dredge in italian bread crumbs. Bake at 350 for 20 min, flip, and bake for 25 min more. Serve with a little warmed marinara sauce. SO good!

As for the grilled broccoli, this is a staple in our house. I'd never heard of this until my father in law started grilling all kinds of veggies. All you do is grab a square of foil, cut up a large head of broccoli, add a few tablespoons of butter and season with a littl garlic salt. Fold it up so none of the butter can leak out and then place on the grill for about 20-30 min depending on how hot you are cooking other items on the grill.