Homemade Taco Seasoning

How to Make Homemade Taco Seasoning

Tacos are one of my go-to easy dinner ideas during the work week. Not only can they be thrown together in less than 30 minutes, the kids LOVE tacos and they’re easily built to each person’s specific and particular tastes:

  • Husband: meat, cheese, green onions, sriracha sauce
  • Nine-year-old: meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, refried beans, sour cream
  • Five-year-old: meat, “only a little” cheese, lettuce, tomato
  • Me: meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato, green onions, avocado, refried beans, sour cream

For years I used a yellow taco seasoning packet. It’s what I grew up with, so that specific brand’s blend is super nostalgic.

But then I realized it’s just as easy to make a similar tasting taco seasoning at home … with spices and herbs I already had in my pantry. Love that.

The homemade taco seasoning blend I use is simple: chili powder, garlic salt, black pepper, paprika, cumin, dried parsley.

It takes all of 2 minutes to throw together.

And it tastes GOOD.

With no preservatives or unpronounceable ingredient words.

You might like this blend, or you might play around with other add-ins like red pepper flakes or dried onion. It’s flexible, which is terrific!

Next up: homemade refried beans. (With or without lard? That is the question.)

5.0 from 1 reviews
Homemade Taco Seasoning & Tacos
 
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Why buy a packet when you can make homemade taco seasoning in just a minute or two? These tacos are SIMPLE and delicious.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • ⅔ cup water
Instructions
  1. Combine the chili powder, garlic salt, paprika, cumin, black pepper and parsley.
  2. Sprinkle the mix over your favorite taco meat while it's cooking. Once the meat has cooked through, add the water and bring the meat to a simmer, then cover the pan, reduce the heat and continue a low simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Serve the taco meat hot with crispy shells or soft tortillas. Seasons approximately one pound of meat.

 

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

May, June and July proved to be three of the busiest months of my life. OF MY LIFE.

Okay, perhaps I’m being a little melodramatic.

The reality is, we did have a lot going on – mostly good stuff – and I’m glad that it’s all over.

We sold our house and moved to a new house. My daughter had her dance recital, final competition in southern Maryland and Nationals in Virginia Beach. I traveled to Boca Raton, Fla., as a blogger for ADMERICA! My husband coached a travel lacrosse team. My son had a week long kindergarten camp. I changed jobs (same company, different position). We finished renovating the garage to a family room in the new house. My sister got married! And we spent a week with my family at Slaughter Beach in Delaware.

And I didn’t write at all. I miss writing.

What’s the saying? Distance makes the heart grow fonder. (Right?)

So, the craziness is starting to die down, and I’m [clearly] writing again. WRITING!

That feels good.

You know what else is good? These strawberry banana oatmeal muffins.

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

I baked a big batch in June just when the craziness was in full swing so that we could grab and go for breakfasts and snacks. The chunks of strawberries and bananas were a HUGE hit with the kiddos and the husband, and I loved the texture of the oatmeal.

They’ll also freeze well, which can be extremely helpful if you bake a super huge gigantic batch of muffins. Simply stand them in a zip top bag (flat) and then lay the bag (flat) in the freezer. Pull one out to throw in a lunch bag – it will thaw by lunchtime, or microwave it for a few seconds for an easy breakfast.

Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins

I mean, how can you go wrong?

Deep breath. Hello, August!

5.0 from 7 reviews
Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Muffins
 
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A delicious grab & go breakfast or snack!
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup quick cook oats
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • ¼ cup canola oil
  • 4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • ¾ cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup roughly chopped strawberries
  • 1 cup chunky mashed bananas (2-3 over-ripe bananas)
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F and place paper liners in your muffin pans.
  2. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl until they're combined.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fixed with the paddle attachment, add the eggs, oil, butter, milk and vanilla. Place the setting on medium and mix for 2 minutes. Gradually add the flour mix to the wet ingredients, and continue mixing until the batter is just combined. Add the oatmeal, banana and strawberries, and mix on low for 30 seconds.
  4. Use an ice cream scoop to fill each muffin tin about half-way to two-thirds full, and then sprinkle each one with a little more oatmeal.
  5. Bake the muffins for 25 minutes, or until the tops are golden and they bounce back when you gently press with your fingertip. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing them to a wire rack to cool completely. Makes about 24 muffins.

 

 

 

Easy Cornbread Recipe

Cornbread is a dinner accompaniment that everyone seems to forget about. And, I have to wonder…why?

Easy Cornbread Recipe

Here’s what’s funny. Cornbread’s REALLY easy to make and I bet you already have the list of ingredients sitting right in your pantry and fridge.

The exception, one might argue, could be buttermilk. Good news – that’s an easy fix!

Buttermilk is essentially dairy with a little acidity, so if you don’t have a carton of real buttermilk in your fridge it’s simple to make an effective substitute.

BUTTERMILK SUBSTITUTE

  • MIX one scant cup of milk and one tablespoon lemon juice or white vinegar.
  • LET the mixture set for 10 minutes until it’s curdled and slightly thickened.
  • USE the buttermilk substitute just as you would regular buttermilk.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Easy Cornbread Recipe
 
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Cornbread is a simple side dish to throw together with ingredients you already have in your pantry and fridge! {This recipe is adapted from Paula Deen's recipe for Moist and Easy Cornbread.}
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Serves: 4-6
Ingredients
  • 6 tablespoons salted butter, melted (plus a little more for the baking pan)
  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 1-1/2 cups buttermilk or buttermilk substitute
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F and grease the bottom and sides an 8x8" baking pan with butter.
  2. Mix together the cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, buttermilk and butter together, and then pour it into the cornmeal mixture. Use a rubber spatula to fold the ingredients together until a lumpy batter forms and all the dry spots are gone. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  4. Bake the cornbread for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, and the top is golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

 

Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta

Whole Wheat Shrimp Pasta

I’m a big fan of pasta.

Like, I could eat it just about every night if given the chance.

The other evening we needed a quick dinner thrown together after a busy afternoon of dance practice, a lacrosse game, errands and work. Pasta’s great because most of the time the entire meal can be cooked in 20 minutes or less, from start to finish.

I also had a slew of beautiful veggies from my Hometown Harvest delivery that screamed, “PASTAAAA!!!!”

Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta

So, naturally I whipped up a quick seared shrimp with whole wheat pasta (angel hair, to be exact), and as part of the sauce I sauteed organic sliced cremini mushrooms and green onions, and then topped the whole thing off with a sprinkling of fresh basil and diced Roma tomatoes.

And Parmesan. Love Parmesan.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Seared Shrimp with Whole Wheat Pasta
 
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Delicious, easy and quick weeknight dinner!
Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 bag frozen raw jumbo shrimp, thawed and peeled - tails removed
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt + 2 tablespoons for the pasta water
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 oz whole wheat angel hair pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 1 Roma tomato, diced
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil
Instructions
  1. Set a large pot of water with 2 tablespoons of salt on the stove to boil.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the shrimp with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Add the shrimp to the skillet, and let them cook for 3 minutes on one side. Flip them, and continue cooking for another 2 minutes. Remove the shrimp to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the butter to the skillet. Once the butter has melted, add the mushrooms, ½ teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper. Saute them for 2 minutes and then add the green onions and continue for another minute.
  4. Add the angel hair pasta to the boiling water and cook it for 3 minutes. Meanwhile, add the milk to the mushroom mixture, turn the heat up a little and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, add ¼ cup Parmesan, and continue cooking until the pasta is finished - the sauce will reduce a bit.
  5. Drain the pasta and toss it into the skillet with the mushroom sauce. Add the shrimp, tomatoes and basil, and continue tossing it gently until the pasta is coated. Serve with the remaining Parmesan and a loaf of crusty bread!

Disclosure: Hometown Harvest is a blog sponsor, which means I’m compensated for spreading the word about what they do, my experiences and the deliveries I get. Interested in signing up? Click here and make sure to tell them I sent you! All opinions are my own, and I only work with brands whose missions I support!

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