Posts Tagged "kid friendly meals"

What’s New For Dinner? Mini Taco Cups

Posted in From My Kitchen | 5 comments

Welcome to this week’s edition of “What’s New for Dinner?” Jaycie at CouponGeek and I have made a commitment to each other and to you, our readers, to try ONE new thing in our meal planning each week. There are several reasons for this:

  • Meal planning can get a bit tedious. We find ourselves making the same dinners over and over again. We are forcing ourselves to get creative and step outside of the lines.
  • Hopefully this will inspire you, the reader, to try something new that you haven’t done before.

And Finally,

  • To show you that adding new recipes or tricks to your culinary routine does not have to be expensive or time consuming…you can have your dinner and eat it too!

We eat a lot of Mexican food; Enchiladas, Taco Salad, Black Beans and Rice, Quesadillas. It occurred to me when I saw this recipe at Hoosier Homemade that I’ve never made actual tacos for my kids. I can only imagine what a mess that would be! This recipe for Mini Taco Cups seemed like the perfect solution. Designed as an appetizer, it is the perfect size for little hands and mouths.

The Ingredients:

  • Ground Beef (we use venison)
  • Taco Seasoning
  • Tostitos “Scoops” tortilla chips
  • Refriend Beans (I used fat free to make myself feel better)
  • Shredded Cheese
  • Any assortment of toppings you want!

The Directions:

  • Brown the meat and add taco seasoning per package directions.
  • Set the Tostitos “Scoops” in mini muffin tins.

  • Put a little bit of refried beans in the bottom of each scoop.
  • Layer with a small amount of prepared taco meat.

  • Sprinkle with cheese and bake at 325 degrees for about 10 minutes.

  • You could continue here and add toppings to each little tiny taco cup… or you could set out your toppings a la Taco Bar.

This seemed easier to me; I thought the kids would enjoy putting their own toppings on and it would keep them involved and in control of how they want to eat their taco cups!

The Results:

Voila! Mini Taco Cups!

I was absolutely right, each one of the kid wanted theirs done up a different way…and they all liked “decorating” their own food for dinner.

SuperDad and I both liked these, too. Baking them in the oven to melt everything together also softened up the chips so they didn’t completely break apart when you bit into them.

What I Would Change:

Nothing! We liked these just the way they were.

Be sure to stop on over at CouponGeek and see how Jaycie’s experiment with crock pot beef stew went. Want to see more of my culinary challenges adventures? Check out other recipes From My Kitchen or ask yourself “What’s New For Dinner?” this week! Be sure to check back on Sunday when I post my weekly menu (and link one up yourself!) to see what I’ve decided to try out on the family next week!

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What’s New For Dinner? : Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken and Artichokes

Posted in From My Kitchen | 2 comments

This year, my friend Jaycie at CouponGeek and I have vowed to trying one new recipe each week … all.year.long.  For me, this also means posting my weekly menus; more of an attempt at getting myself organized than anything else… but also to share some recipe ideas with you.  Sometimes we just need a little help getting inspired and out of our “same ol’, same ol’ ” routines….and we need a little kick to remember that being innovative in the kitchen doesn’t mean blowing the budget OR slaving away in the kitchen for hours at a time.

I get a lot of email newsletters…one I’ve discovered is worth the time it takes me to poke around is  We are SuperBusy in the SuperHousehold these days … packing and sorting and de-cluttering… so I’m trying to keep dinners as simple as possible.  Slow cooker is top of my list for new recipes right now!!  This week sent out a letter with a yummy looking recipe for Slow Cooker Tuscan Chicken and Artichokes you can see the full recipe there.

The ingredients:

  • Boneless, skinless chicken thighs I found a super duper sale at Target on Gold N Plump chicken last week… I ended up paying $0.47 for the entire 2# I needed for this recipe
  • Frozen artichokes 2/$4 at Dillons
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Chicken broth
  • Seasonings (pepper, salt, Greek seasons)
  • Grape Tomatoes This was my big splurge for this recipe
  • Zucchini
  • Whole Wheat Couscous I bought the exact amount I needed in bulk and saved some money that way

**TIP**When I buy chicken I always take it out of the package, trim it and freeze it single layer in a Ziplock.  This saves so much time when it comes time to preparing a meal.  When it isn’t in the strofoam packaging it defrosts much more quickly and I don’t have to get my hands all “chicken-y” but once in a while.

The Directions:

There is no “pre-cooking” involved in this recipe… just throw your ingredients in the pot and call it good; my absolute favorite way to go on busy days.

The first step is just to get the chicken, garlic, onion, artichokes and seasonings in the pot and cover with the broth.

I was going to post a picture here…but there is just NOTHING pretty about raw chicken…no matter what angle you shoot from…so use your imaginations.

Cook for 3 hours on high then add more artichoke hearts, tomatoes and zucchini.  I have to tell you, it was really nice to have the bright colors of the veggies cross my cutting board in the middle of January… I didn’t realize how much I don’t use produce like this in the winter.

Now see? Aren’t they pretty?  Bright colors in my normally brown and white winter cooking wonderland.

Cook for another 15 minutes and voila!  You are done! (Well, almost)

You take everything out with a slotted spoon then dump in the couscous and let it set for about 5 minutes.

NOW it’s done.

The Results:

My kids are pretty adventurous when it comes to food.  We can normally convince them to at least try things.  They like fish, okra…all kinds of non-essential kid foods….but I wasn’t sure they would go for this.  They did!  SuperBoy approached the table saying “EEEWWW! GROSS! What IS this?”  But when he realized it was chicken…and tomatoes … he was willing to give the rest a try…and he liked it.  They all liked it.  SuperBaby, who we’ve been struggling with to eat veggies, shoveled in the artichokes and the zucchini…as well as his favorite food: meat.

SuperDad and I both liked this as well…we were waiting on company who arrived a little late…so dinner went on the table fast (which is why I have no finished pics!) and the meat cooked a little too long; the only result being it was super SUPER tender and falling apart…still yummy.

Things I would change:

I would actually add MORE veggies..the green and red ones…to enhance the overall color of the meal.  Make sure to serve a nice green salad or something similar to brighten up the plate.

More Greek Seasoning.  A LOT more….like maybe three times as much.  Or maybe I just need fresh seasoning… maybe there is a happy medium there…regardless; we needed a little more flavor.

Now.  Be sure to head on over and check out Jaycie’s adventure with Breaded Beef and Roasted Vegetables.

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