Friday, February 22, 2013

Oven Tacos -- So Good!!

 So delicious!

I originally saw this on Pinterest and it is from this blog post - at Mommy? I'm Hungry Blog.

Oven Tacos

2 lbs. ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
1 sm. can chopped green chilies
Homemade Taco Seasoning (below)
8 oz. tomato sauce
16 oz. can refried beans
2 C. shredded Colby-Jack cheese
20 or so hard taco shells

Add any toppings you might want to add to the taco before serving.

Homemade Taco Seasoning -
1 T. chili powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
In a separate bowl - mix this all together.  Add a little water (maybe half to full tsp.) to it when ready to use.

In a skillet brown the ground beef and onion.  Drain.  Then, add green chilies, refried beans, tomato sauce, & the taco seasoning (mixed with a little water).  Mix well and cook for a little bit just until it isn't too liquidy.

Spoon this mixture in the taco shells - about half full.  Place upright in a large baking dish.  Sprinkle some cheese on top of each meat mixture.  Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.

All set to serve.  Have handy any of your toppings for everyone to add their favorites.  We like lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and taco sauce.   Add whatever you like!

First I got the taco seasoning ready.  This is the dry ingredients -

Then, a little water added and set aside -

Meat and onion already browned and drained.  The other ingredients added -

Mix it up -

Heated and cooked down a little -

Filling up the taco shells -

I filled them a little full so I suggest doing it just half way.  I don't add much to my tacos, but Mr. Cardigan likes to add a LOT and needed more room!!  Now the cheese added -

While baking I got the toppings ready -


This is how I like mine - a little tomato and some sour cream on the side -

I also served some taco rice as a side dish - just a package that you add a few things and microwave.  That was in the microwave while the tacos were in the oven.

Lucy really gets comfy during her naps.  I had to do a double-take to figure out where was her head!!

I am linking to Sunflower Supper Club's Weekend Potluck.  Just click here to see all the great recipes.
Weekend Potluck Linky

Monday, February 18, 2013

Easy Shepherd's Pie

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Shepherd's Pie

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
salt & pepper to taste
1 can tomato soup
1 can cut green beans, drained

Mashed potatoes
dashes of paprika
dots of butter

Make your mashed potatoes as you normally would.  Add less milk than usual - making them a little on the dryer side.  Set aside.

Brown ground beef and onion.  Sprinkle with salt & pepper. Drain any grease.  Put this in the bottom of a 2 qt. baking dish.  Mix the drained green beans with a can of tomato soup and put on top of the meat mixture.  Top with the mashed potatoes - making a ring around the outside sealing the edges.  Dot the potatoes with butter and sprinkle with paprika.

Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.

See!!  Super easy!!

Here's the ground beef & onion in the dish -

Toss the beans with tomato soup - then place on top --

Mashed potatoes all ready -

Form a ring around the top with the potatoes, then sprinkle with paprika & dot with butter -

This is one of Mr. Cardigan's favorites -

It's still very cold outside but we have had some sunny days here along Lake Erie.   Lucy decided to sun herself (I love how she props open the blinds!)

I am linking to Craft-O-Maniac's Linky Party.  Just click here to see the fab ideas!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Chocolate Mint Cookies

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Chocolate Mint Cookies

3/4 C. butter
1 1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 T. water
2 C. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 eggs
2 1/2 C. flour
1 1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
36 Andes mint wafer candies

In a large pan over low heat - cook butter, sugar and water until butter is melted.  Add chocolate chips and stir until partially melted.  Remove from heat and continue to stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Pour into a large bowl and let stand for 10 minutes to cool slightly.

Beat in eggs, one at a time, at high speed with your electric mixer.  On a low speed - add in dry ingredients until well blended.

Chill dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Roll dough into balls and put on cookie sheet (I always line mine with parchment paper.).  Bake about 8-10 minutes.

While cookies are baking unwrap the mints and cut each in half.

As soon as cookies are taken out of the oven - place a half mint on top of each cookie.  Let the mint set for about 5 minutes - then spread the mint on top of the cookie (this is the frosting).

Here is the butter melting -

All melted -

Chocolate chips have been added -

They are now melted -

Now in a large bowl and cooling for 10 minutes -

Rest of ingredients (eggs & dry) added -

Rolled balls on cookie sheet -

Getting the Andes Mints ready -

I used about 1 1/2 boxes and put the rest in with the Valentine candy -

Mints placed on 'just out of the oven' cookies -

In a little less than 5 minutes you can spread them around with a small knife -

They are delicious!!

I hope your Valentine's Day has been good!!!!  I am making some favorite dishes for Mr. Cardigan tonight.  Then, on the day after, we are going to enjoy our favorite pizza - they closed a while ago and their son opened a place about a half hour away and we are going to see if the pizza is how we remembered it!!

Lucy wanted to say Happy Valentine's to you all - but she was might distracted by the feathers!!!

I am linking to Designs By Gollum's Foodie Friday.  Just click here to see all the great recipes!
A Foodie Friday Tutorial

Monday, February 11, 2013

Valentine Mesh Wreath

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This took less than an hour to make and you really can't go wrong with it -- even if it's your first time trying one.

This is a work frame - see how the branches are spaced apart and that there are 2 rows of them?  This is the deco mesh I used.  This was a part roll that you will see later that I used it also on a Christmas one.  So, you can get a lot out of one roll.

I went around and attached one row - then came around to do the other row -

Just grab a handful and twist the branches once or twice to secure it -

It needed something more so I looked thru my ribbon stash to find something coordinating.  I just went around it once - gently unsecuring the branches to put in the ribbon then twisting it back -

All finished --

I embellished with a couple heart picks and heart sequin ornaments.  I will keep this all attached - not quite sure where yet - to just bring out next Valentine's.

I made one for Christmas that I keep hanging on a spare bedroom closet door with a door hanger.

You can see how I made that one by clicking here.

Lucy just loves her little mice and she has quite a collection.  Still - she has some favorites as I discovered when I found a handful under the couch.  She immediately gathered up the smallest one - a white one.  Here you can see her playing with it -

Carrying it in her mouth -

Guarding it -

Hiding it - or trying to --

Finally, playing with it under this skirted table - see Lucy's tail and to her left you can see part of the white mouse (you can always click on any photos to see them larger) --

I am linking to Boogieboard Cottage's Masterpiece Monday.  Just click here to see all the fabulous ideas!
Boogieboard Cottage