Janet's Notebook
Taco Night Delight


Taco Pizza


The time comes every year when we can't wait for the kiddos to head back-to-school. Then it happens - school activities. It's almost like a mental block goes up each summer, where you forget how hectic school days can be. Between driving to ballet classes, football practice and other after-school activities, it's a wonder anyone is able to come up with a meal for dinner. Enter taco night. There are so many taco variations, you are bound to find a recipe that the kids will enjoy.

Mindy Sea was "having tacos for dinner, had won tons in the fridge, and thought why not?" Why not is right! What came out of Mindy's brilliant idea were Fried Won Ton Tacos - a wonderful twist on the classic taco. We took Mindy's suggestion and made some rice and refried beans to go along with these. It was one memorable Mexican-inspired meal! Kids are sure to love these little bite sized goodies.

Another dish the family is sure to love is Jess Weible's Taco Pizza recipe. It's a pizza and a taco - two favorites in my family! Jess says she "makes this once a month at least. Everybody loves it." We can see why. This isn't just another bland take on a Mexican pizza. The flavors really popped, making this an easy, fast, family-friendly meal that that can be thrown together in about 20 minutes. It's so simple to make you can get the kiddos involved in this one.

Karie Houghton's Slow Cooker Shredded Taco Chicken is another easy recipe (and may be the best time saving meal in the dinner department!). It is just so tasty and versatile. You put all the ingredients in your slow cooker before the craziness of the day starts. Then, when you return home, dinner is served. Karie says she "had this super duper easy flavorful chicken in several different meals [last] weekend - as chicken and black bean soft tacos, taco chicken and avocado sandwiches, southwest omelets, and chicken and lime enchiladas." I loved this chicken served as a soft taco, but like Karie says, it's wonderful served as part of so many meals.

Now, let's talk about something really wonderful - Tommy Curtis's Cantina Beef and Lime Tacos. They are a fiesta of flavors in your mouth! Tommy says "this dish is foolproof, you can't mess it up!" A slow cooker is a home cook's best friend on a busy day and is the main cooking tool for this flavorful taco medley. This is a fantastic go-to recipe for adding a little spice into your family's day.

We all know I like spicy. But, when I came across Echo Day's Smoky Chicken Tacos, I was a little worried these may be too spicy for even my tangy taste buds. When I was through making the recipe, though, the flavors melded together to form a scrumptious little bite. "These started out as smoky chicken tacos, using leftovers from a rotisserie chicken, but ended up an instant favorite in our house!" You could definitely turn this recipe into regular tacos as Echo suggests, but there is something fun about switching the typical taco up a little.

If you really want to shake things up, a fun twist on the taco are Dee's Chocolate Tacos by Edie Ogborn. This is a dessert taco and such a treat. Edie loves to serve these to her family "for a special day" ... but I think it's so yummy why not serve them more! I used cherry pie filling when I prepared it in the Test Kitchen, but fresh fruit like peaches or pineapple would also be wonderful!

Taco night was a tradition I started with my son back in the day, and we still do to this day (now with the addition of Connor and Krissi!). I hope you have a few taco nights with your family. The tacos may be what brings everyone to the table, but the conversation and the memories are really the star of the meal.



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21 Comments
melraeambs
MelRae Ambs - Sep 20, 2013
Is it possible to print the photo bigger? I love the inspiration when I'm flipping through my printed recipes. Thank you!
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 19, 2013
I know what you mean, Margie. I came late to the "healthy cooking/eating bandwagon". For years so many of my meals were eaten on the fly (literally) as I traveled extensively in my job. When you have 20 minutes to change planes, and don't arrive at your destination until after midnight at times, anything you can find open is where you eat. But now I am very careful about what I eat and I think it is paying off. You can reverse the damage you've done in the past to your body.
MargieMcGavern
Margie McGavern - Sep 19, 2013
Thanks Sallye.....I'm new at figuring out "point system" and I know in time, it will become automatic when reading a recipe to know..."it's not worth it". ha Also, substitutions can be made to change a recipe into a more healthy version. I didn't pay much attention to nutrition labeling until now. I love "Pinch It" recipes....so many good cooks!
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 19, 2013
That is excellent info Catie. But as I said, it is time consuming and subject to error. Thanks for the tip. Now that you mention it, I think I have a calorie counter book somewhere in my cookbooks that gives all this info.
CatieBBaker
Catie B - Sep 19, 2013
There is a web site, more than one today, that will give you the statistics of nutrition so you can work out the information on any recipe or food you desire to know.
The Agriculture Dept. of the USA also prints a book that lists every food you can imagine. It includes the regular information such as protein, fat, carbs, fiber, mineral and vitamins, etc., plus other categories you haven't thought to ask about, on each food listed. If you Google it, you should be able to find it or go to the USA Gov. site and search it. It costs, so be aware you have to pay for it. But it is according to US guidelines and recommendations on diet and foods too.

There are also software programs you can buy with extensive nutrition information on the food listings they include.
Hope that helps.
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 19, 2013
Margie, That sounds nice but I don't see how this could be accomplished without a research laboratory and I don't believe that JAP has one (I might be wrong on this). There are websites that give nutritional values of certain ingredients and I guess a cook could take their recipe and compile a best guess chart using them, but it would be time consuming and probably not very accurate. Most experienced cooks intuitively know when a recipe is "user friendly" in the way of carbs, calories, etc.
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 18, 2013
Okey dokey, I posted my fish taco recipe
A FISHY TACO (BATES)
firemanbob59
Bob Cooney - Sep 18, 2013
You as well.... :)
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 18, 2013
See, I told ya they would answer. Have a great day!!!
firemanbob59
Bob Cooney - Sep 18, 2013
Sallye... here it is...

Hi Bob,

We see the comments that you've made on Janet's Notebook and were going to reach out to you. You have beat us to it!

I can assure you that every recipe that is submitted to the site is reviewed by Janet and the Kitchen Crew. Then they determine what they will taste test (not every recipe is taste tested). Blue Ribbons are determined based on a bunch of different criteria. A few being does the recipe have a photo, is it an original recipe (if not, has it been sourced as a recipe from somewhere else), did the recipe turn out for us the way the cook explained it (easy to prepare), does the cook provide a description of the recipe, etc. Another requirement is that the cook has a profile pic.

The Kitchen Crew you are looking at is the Honorary Kitchen Crew. Those are people who have received a certain amount of Blue Ribbons (some voted on by the Kitchen Crew and some voted by JAP members) or they have won a contest where part of the prize was being awarded Honorary Kitchen Crew status.

If you look throughout the site, we have awarded many Blue Ribbons to men.

Hope that helps!

Best,
Suzie

Just A Pinch Recipe Club
firemanbob59
Bob Cooney - Sep 18, 2013
Thank you for contacting Just A Pinch! Suzie, Bea, Lacie or another member of our Customer Support team will be in touch as soon as possible about any questions you may have. Thanks for your patience... and happy cooking!

Cheers,
-Just A Pinch Kitchen Crew
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 18, 2013
Good.
firemanbob59
Bob Cooney - Sep 18, 2013
hehehe A Beautiful Lady ,,, alright I just sent them my first post up above.. we will see.... when I get an answer I will message you...
grandedame
sallye bates - Sep 18, 2013
Not a problem, Bob. I had to get help from Bonnie the first time I hade a question for them and I'm a "girl".
firemanbob59
Bob Cooney - Sep 18, 2013
Thank you Sallye.. I thought this was it okay so I am a man Lol!