Baked Tacos

Baked Tacos

We love tacos. The great thing about tacos is that you can add any ingredient you like. This taco recipe is the basic recipe using ground beef, beans, onions, tomatoes and cheese. These made 12 tacos, using corn tortilla shells. You can always substitute, ground chicken or ground turkey for the beef.

Oven Baked Beef Tacos
Ingredients:
1 lb lean ground beef
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed, or 1 can refried beans
1 medium onion, diced
1 (1 oz) packet taco seasoning (or 2-3 tablespoons of Homemade Taco Seasoning)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chunky salsa
12 hard taco shells
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 small can black olives, roughly chopped
A handful of Cherry Tomatoes cut in half

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat oil and add onion and garlic – saute for about 5 minutes until soft. Add beef and taco seasoning, cooking until meat is browned. Add beans and salsa. Mix well and let cook for a couple of minutes so that the flavors can meld and the mixture can thicken.
In a large 9×13″ baking pan, line up all the taco shells. Fill each one with a couple of scoops of the beef mixture and pack down into the shell. Repeat until all the shells are filled. Add olives and tomatoes.Top each taco with shredded cheese.
Bake for 8-10 minutes (or until all the cheese is melted).
Serve with your favorite taco toppings (tomatoes, lettuce, olives, sour cream, guacamole, pico de gallo , hot sauce, or whatever you like!).

Makes 4-6 servings (depending on how many tacos each person wants!).

Recipe adapted by Six Sister Stuff

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Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

We love to order Meatball Parm subs and Eggplant Parm subs when we are just too tired to cook. But there is nothing worse than an undercooked eggplant, so disappointing. This is a wonderful dish that is simple and delicious, especially when you have a lot of eggplants in your garden like me!

This is a very simple recipe with not a lot of steps. I used a jar Marinara, but homemade is always the best. I like Rao’s Marinara, it almost tastes like my homemade marinara. Hubs said this was the best eggplant Parmesan he has ever eaten. It’s great over angel hair pasta with a big tossed green salad.

Eggplant Parmesan

Ingredients

1 large Eggplant, Peeled and cut into 1/3 inch slices
2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups Seasoned Dry Bread Crumbs
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
3 Cups Spaghetti Sauce
1/2 lb Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
Instructions

350* oven.
Place a layer of sliced Eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle with salt.
Layer and salt all remaining slices. Let stand for 30 minutes.
Rinse and pat dry.
Beat the Eggs. Dip a slice of Eggplant into the Egg and then cover in Breadcrumbs.
Heat Olive Oil in skillet. Fry Eggplant slices over Medium-High heat for two minutes or until golden.
Drain on paper towels.
Place a layer of Fried Eggplant Slices in bottom of greased 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 square dish.
Cover with a layer of Spaghetti Sauce. Top with Cheese. Repeat.
Bake 20-25 minutes or until warm and bubbly.

Blueberry Muffin

Blueberry Muffin

I am on such a blueberry kick, yes this happens in August, I buy quarts of fresh Maine Blueberries from my local farmer. I love this, there is a box where you place the money that you are paying for the fresh produce, it’s based on the honesty policy. I just bought three quarts, yeah I did, because I could. Blueberry recipes swirling through my mind…

I had to make these, not just because my family can eat a dozen muffins in a day, but because I have been wanting to try one of my favorite baker’s recipe. Joy The Baker is her name, I have tested about 12 of her recipes, they are all wonderful. This is the latest. Brown butter makes the flavor amazing. Get yourself some blueberries and give it a try, you and your kids will be so happy you did!

I doubled the recipe and made 12 jumbo Blueberry Muffins!

Blueberry Muffins

7 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1/3 cup whole milk

1 large egg

1 large egg yolk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

3/4 teaspoon salt

2 cups fresh blueberries

For the Topping

3 Tablespoons cold, unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3 1/2 tablespoons sugar

Put a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line muffin pan with paper or foil liners, I sprayed my muffin pans with Pam and didn’t use a liner.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter. Melt and cook down the butter until little brown bits appear in the pan. The crackling will subside and butter will begin to brown fairly quickly after that. Keep a close eye. Remove from heat.

Whisk milk, egg, yolk and vanilla until combined. Add the brown butter and stir to combine.

Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl Add milk and butter mixture all at one and stir gently to combine. Gently but thoroughly fold in the blueberries.

Divide the batter among muffin cups and spread evenly.

To make the topping combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and rub together with your fingertips until crumbly. Sprinkle evenly over the batter in the cups.

Bake until golden and crisp and a wooden pick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes. Cool in pan on a rack for 15 minutes then remove from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Honey BBQ Meatloaf

Honey BBQ Meatloaf

Recently I had a meatloaf party on my Moore or Less Cooking Facebook Page. You may be asking what is a meatloaf party? Well, this is a party where food bloggers share their recipes, with the theme being meatloaf. All of the recipes shared looked so wonderful. I loved the way this one sounded, so I had to try it!

A big plus was that Kyvan’s Sauces sent me samples of their BBQ sauces and Honey. I just had to put their products to the test. They scored and A+!

Their BBQ sauce is light and flavorful, not like some other brands that are very thick and goopey. The Blackberry Honey is delicious. Hubs uses honey in his coffee and tea, so we go through a lot of honey, this honey is great!

I doubled the recipe for the Honey BBQ Meatloaf, we love meatloaf sandwiches the next day. Good thing I did because my son ate almost 3/4 of a meatloaf.

It tastes just like a BBQ burger with BBQ sauce. YUMMY!!

Here is the recipe

Honey Barbecue Meatloaf

serves 4

1 lb 90% lean ground beef
1 slice white bread, ground to crumbs in food processor -or- 2/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
1/2 cup smoky barbecue sauce, divided
2 tablespoons honey, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Toss one slice of soft white bread in your food processor and grind it into crumbs.
In a large bowl, use your hands to mix together the ground beef, fresh bread crumbs, 1 tablespoon of the worcestershire sauce, the spicy brown mustard, 1/4 cup of the barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, salt, and black pepper.
Shape the mixture into a long, thick log and place in an oiled baking dish. Be careful not to pack the meat too tightly or you’ll end up with a very dense, tough loaf.
In a small bowl, whisk together the remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce, 1 tablespoon honey, and 2 teaspoons worcestershire sauce. Spread half of this mixture evenly all over the meatloaf. Reserve the other half for serving.
Bake for 45 minutes. Slice and drizzle with reserved honey barbecue sauce.

Recipe adapted from Can you stay for dinner?

Lemon Meringue Pie

Lemon Meringue Pie

Hubs loves his gingersnap cookies as his afternoon snack with tea. So much so that he buys them in bulk. Yes we could survive on these snaps if we lost our power, knock on wood!!

These crunchy snaps make a perfect crust for my Lemon Meringue Pie. If you aren’t as crazy about meringue as I am, you can always use Whipping Cream or that other stuff in a tub, your choice, I like this one, the lemony custard works so well with the snappy crust and meringue, it’s a lemon party in your mouth.

My son could eat pie with every meal of the day, so this completes his summer dreams… don’t tell anyone, but I had a piece for breakfast…what? It has fruit in it!!

Lemon Meringue Pie

Crust

1 1/4 cups Ginger Snaps (approx 25 cookies)
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter

Filling
3 egg yolks
14 oz Sweetened Condensed Milk
1/2 cup lemon juice

Meringue

3 egg whites
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
3/4 cup white sugar

Place cookies in Cuisinart, blend to crumbs. Empty crumbs into bowl, add melted butter and sugar. Mix until crumbs are moistened. Press into bottom of a 9″ pie plate. Bake shell in 350 degrees oven for 8 minutes. Cool.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In bowl, beat egg yolks. Stir in sweetened condensed milk and lemon juice. Whisk ingredients well.

Pour into prepared crust, and bake for 30 minutes. Cool.

In large bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar with electric mixer until foamy. Gradually add sugar, beating until mixture forms stiff peaks.

Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

Recipe slightly adapted from Sweetzels Ginger Snaps

Blueberry Cake

Blueberry Cake

Friends send me recipes like you can not even imagine. I think I need a staff like Martha Stewart, then I may be able to bake three or four recipes at a time! What a dream!

It’s blueberry Season and Maine blueberries are so amazing. I have five quarts, so I have been searching through Pinterest for the perfect recipe. I wanted a Blueberry Sour Cream Bundt Cake and this is what I chose. This is a wonderfully light and fluffy cake with lemon zest and a sour cream lemon glaze. It turned out perfect! I asked hubs to critique it. Well he is no help, this is what he said, ” MMM not as many poppy seeds as the last one.” WHAT????
I think my voice raised a bit, I said, “There aren’t any poppy seeds in this cake or the last cake I baked, you are off your rocker…” HMMPPPHH, have to find a new critic!!!

Well I did have six of my daughter’s friends try a piece, they loved it.

P.S. There aren’t any poppy seeds in this cake or any other cakes that I have baked ever…. yet!

Blueberry Cake

3 cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 2/3 cups sugar
3/4 cups unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) – room temperature
3 large eggs – room temperature
1 tablespoon lemon zest
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup buttermilk (scant 1 cup of milk with 1 tablespoon vinegar)
2 cups fresh blueberries – mixed with 1 tablespoon of flour.
*This will keep the berries from sinking to bottom of pan while baking.
*Frozen berries can also be used.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Butter and flour a bundt pan.
Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together.
With an electric mixer, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy.
Continue beating, adding eggs, one at a time.
Add vanilla and zest, mix well.
Gradually add in dry ingredients alternating with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture.
Turn off mixer and gently fold in blueberries.
Pour batter into bundt pan.
Bake until a cake tester or wooden skewer comes out clean about 50 minutes to an hour.
Cool cake on rack for 15 minutes.
Turn cake onto cake plate and cool completely before frosting.

Sour Cream Icing

4 tablespoons butter – softened
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 2/4 cups confectioners sugar
Using a hand mixer, cream butter, sour cream, vanilla and lemon juice until smooth.
Gradually add confectioners sugar.
Add salt and mix until smooth.
Pour icing around top of cake allowing it to run down the sides.

Recipe adapted from A Southern Soul

This recipe has been linked up to

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Easy One Pot Pasta

Easy One Pot Pasta

Just in case you don’t know me from Adam, I have a food blog and a facebook page. Every night I ask my readers, “What’s for supper at your house?” Well let me tell you, there are some pretty fabulous cooks out there that inspire me daily. So much of an inspiration, that they said, “Nettie, I made this fabulously easy One Pot Pasta last night, you have to try it!!” Actually 10 readers told me this, how could it not be?? Well I had all of the ingredients on hand, threw them all in a pot….they were right, it was wonderful and it only takes twenty minutes! My kids loved it!!

Now I used chicken broth for my recipe, you can use vegetarian broth, you can put cooked chicken in it, or sausage, or ground beef. I used canned tomatoes and fresh tomatoes from my garden. You can switch it up, using what you have in your pantry and fridge! Give it a try!

*Makes 6 adult-sized servings

INGREDIENTS
12 oz. dry spaghetti
4 cups lightly salted water or Chicken Broth
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 medium sweet onion (julienned)
2 cups spinach
1 medium green bell pepper (diced)
2 tsp. jarred minced garlic (or 4 cloves minced)
2 tsp. dried oregano
2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 – 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flake (opt.)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS
Place all ingredients (except the extra salt and pepper) in a large stock pot.

Cover, and bring to a boil. (If your pot isn’t big enough, like mine, cover the pot when the pasta has softened sufficiently to fit inside.)

Stir, and reduce the heat to low. Let simmer for 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your pasta, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente.

Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Allow the pasta to sit for 5 minutes. There will be a small amount of liquid remaining in the pot. Toss the pasta to coat with the liquid. As it cools, the liquid will thicken into a sauce-like consistency due to the starch from the pasta.

Serve hot. Garnish as desired with parmesan cheese and fresh herbs.
From Donna at Apron Strings

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

Pie Crust Cinnamon Rolls

There always seems to be at least a little bit of leftover crust when you make a pie. This recipe puts those leftover scraps to use! These are great for the family to snack on before the pie is served. My mom always makes these when she bakes a pie and we were the lucky recipients of these yummy treats. My Mom doesn’t measure when she bakes, so I followed along to get the measurements.

Ingredients:

1/4 cup leftover pie crust
1 tablespoon soft butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Directions

1 Roll out the pie crust very very thin (about 6×12 at 1/8″ thick) in a rectangle.
2 Brush the soft butter on carefully with a knife (or your fingers) so that it covers the whole rectangle in a thin layer (use more or less butter as needed). Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon evenly over the butter.
3 Roll up from the shorter end. Leave the seam side down and fold the ends under. Then cut into 1 inch pieces and put in an oven safe dish along with your pie (350 degrees works well) and bake for about 20-30 minutes.

Recipe from Mom

Easy Crumb Cake

Easy Crumb Cake

Where has the summer gone? It was winter forever and then a crazy spring of rain, then a really hot summer, now August with the perfect Maine summer days that you don’t want to end. I just want those lazy summer days never to end. My perfect morning is a cool breeze flowing through the kitchen, Pandora playing Etta James, and a Crumb Cake in the oven, like it’s no trouble at all, sit down and have a coffee and a piece of coffee cake perfect kind of morning.

Make all my mornings like this, life is perfect.

Easy Crumb Cake

yield: Serves 8 to 10
prep time: 30 minutes
cook time: 35 to 40 minutes
total time: 1 hour

INGREDIENTS:
For the Crumb Topping
1/3 cup granulated sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
1/3 cup dark brown sugar (2 2/3 ounces)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon table salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 stick), melted and still warm
1 3/4 cups cake flour (7 ounces)

For the Cake
1 1/4 cups cake flour (5 ounces)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter (3/4 stick), cut into 6 pieces, softened but still cool
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Confectioner’s Sugar (Optional)

DIRECTIONS:
1. To make the Topping: Whisk sugars, cinnamon, salt, and butter in medium bowl to combine. Add flour and stir with rubber spatula or wooden spoon until mixture resembles thick, cohesive dough; set aside to cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.

2. To make the Cake: Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 16-inch length parchment paper or aluminum foil and fold lengthwise to 7-inch width. Spray 8-inch square baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and fit parchment into dish, pushing it into corners and up sides; allow excess to overhang edges of dish.

3. In bowl of standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt on low speed to combine. With mixer running at low speed, add butter one piece at a time; continue beating until mixture resembles moist crumbs, with no visible butter chunks remaining, 1 to 2 minutes. Add egg, yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk; beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 1 minute, scraping once if necessary.

4. Transfer batter to baking pan; using rubber spatula, spread batter into even layer. Following photos below, break apart crumb topping into large pea-sized pieces and spread in even layer over batter, beginning with edges and then working toward center. Bake until crumbs are golden and wooden skewer inserted into center of cake comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool on wire rack at least 30 minutes. Remove cake from pan by lifting parchment overhang. Dust with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Note: Don’t be tempted to substitute all-purpose flour for the cake flour, as doing so will make a dry, tough cake. If you can’t find buttermilk, you can substitute an equal amount of plain, low-fat yogurt. When topping the cake, take care to not push the crumbs into the batter. This recipe can be easily doubled and baked in a 13 by 9-inch baking dish. If doubling, increase the baking time to about 45 minutes. Cooled leftovers can be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored at room temperature for up to 2 days.

(Recipe adapted from Cook’s Illustrated)

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