Saturday, December 9, 2017

Copycat Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Supreme

Sometimes I really get to craving a Taco Bell crunchy taco supreme. I know they aren't really good for me, especially since we have been trying to watch our sodium more. They just taste so good though that every once in awhile I give in and have just one. So I decided to try to make some at home and try to get close to the Taco Bell taste. Well this really hit the spot! It tastes a lot like the real deal. I don't use much salt so I will encourage you to salt to your tastes. If these had been more salty they would have been almost the same. I hope you enjoy them as much we did!

Copycat Taco Bell Crunchy Taco Supreme

2 lbs ground beef
8oz can of tomato sauce
8oz of water (use the tomato sauce can to measure)
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp chili powder (I used Penzey's Chili 3000. It is so good!)
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
crunchy taco shells

Taco toppings: shredded lettuce, shredded cheese (I used cheddar), diced tomatoes and sour cream

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown hamburger meat. Then add the tomato sauce, water, garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, red pepper flakes and salt. Cook and stir until well combined. Should only take a few minutes.

Then assemble tacos. Add the taco toppings of your choice, though the standard for a taco supreme is cheese, lettuce, tomato and sour cream. Enjoy!

You could also make double decker tacos (which is one of my husband's Taco Bell favorites). Use flour tortillas and smear refried beans on them, then fold it around the crunchy taco and proceed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Salt-Free Ranch Dressing Mix

I don't know about you but I really enjoy ranch dressing. The stuff in the bottle is okay, but if you look at the ingredients it contains some not so good stuff like MSG and added sugar. It also has a lot of added sodium. I'm trying to watch my sodium so I decided to make a salt-free ranch mix, then I can control the salt whenever I make the dressing or add it to a recipe. It's super easy to make your own ranch mix. If you make a batch of this up, you can have it already on hand to make ranch dressing or add it into other recipes. Let's get started!

Salt-free Ranch Dressing Mix

4 Tbsp of dried parsley
4 tsp of dried dill
4 tsp of onion powder
4 tsp of minced dried onion
2 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of ground black pepper

Combine the spices in a bowl and from here you can process them for a bit in a mini food processor to mix well and make some of the parsley smaller or you can use a coffee grinder as a spice grinder. Then place in a container and make sure to label it. I used a small canning jar.

If you use a coffee grinder, make sure you keep a separate one for coffee so that you don't get spice flavor where you don't want it and coffee flavor in your spices. Some may prefer just to leave it as is and that's okay too. The first time I did mine in the coffee grinder I got kind of carried away and got it a bit too fine, but I feel it's really personal preference.

When you're ready to make ranch dressing simply mix 1 Tbsp of this mix, 1/3 cup of mayonnaise and 1/4 a cup of buttermilk. This is where you might add a dash of salt if you like as well. Now that's just a starting point, you can add more of the mayo and buttermilk if you like. Maybe even try plain greek yogurt for the mayo or mix them both together. Lots of different ways to do it. I found mine was a bit too thick at first and added some milk to thin it out a bit. Again, personal preference and what you're using it for will make a difference. I hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Best Chicken Salad

I hope that all of you have had a blessed Christmas and New Year! I know many of us start the New Year off with the resolution to eat healthier. I definitely want to be on the path to being healthier and am trying to make better choices along the way. Sometimes that can be hard when things are busy but baby steps help. So hopefully I will have lots of new recipes to post of some yummy goodies that are healthy as well!

I feel that chicken salad is a pretty healthy dish. Especially if you are careful to check the ingredients of the mayonnaise. I use Hellmann's Olive Oil mayonnaise and really enjoy it. Chicken salad is a favorite of mine, but I usually make the same recipe. Chicken, mayo, dill, celery, nuts, etc. Sometimes I add grapes to it as well. However, this time I tried something a bit different. I added relish and hard boiled eggs. I loved the result! This chicken salad is so good! I hope you try it and if you do, let me know what you think!

The Best Chicken Salad
2 cups of cooked, diced chicken
1/2 cup of celery, finely diced
2 hard boiled eggs, finely chopped
2 tbsp of sweet relish
2/3 cup of mayonnaise
salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, combine the chicken, celery, eggs, relish and mayo until they are mixed well. Taste and see if you want to add salt and/or pepper. I find that some of that will depend on how seasoned your chicken was when you cooked it. I didn't need to add salt to mine but I did add pepper. Also, if you like your chicken salad a bit on the drier side, you may add a bit less mayo, then add more as you need to. This is a very adjustable recipe! The next time I may it I may add a bit of dill and try that.

This chicken salad really is delicious! My son finished his sandwich of it and then wanted more of the chicken salad. Hope you enjoy it as well!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Cookbook Review: Kitchen Matrix

Christmas is almost here! It sure is hard to believe. Time goes by so much more quickly than I realize. I had meant to get to this cookbook review before now, but have been very busy with school. I was anxious to get a look at Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix cookbook. It is indeed a very interesting book. He promises "more than 700 simple recipes and techniques to mix and match for endless possibilities." This definitely sounded like something I wanted to check out.

The book is hardcover and has a nice feel to it. There were lots of photos inside, which is always a very important thing to me. What I really like about this cookbook is that it gives you so many ways to prepare one item. He gives 12 different ways to prepare cabbage, 12 different ways to make beets, 12 different ways to cook shrimp. You definitely won't be bored with the ideas in this book. I like how he shows a variety of ways to make each item. Sometimes it can be easy to get in a rut and make the same things the same way. This would be a big help with that.

I would definitely recommend that you check out this cookbook and see if you might want to add it to your collection. It would be a valuable addition for sure!

Want to know more? Check out this page.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Book Review: Armada

Do you have an avid reader in your household? My daughter could just about live on books alone. LOL She was very interested in reading a book called Armada by Ernest Cline. When it arrived, she was excited to get started reading it. Usually, I review cookbooks and such but this time, my daughter wanted to review this book so I am letting her. Here is her review...

I first heard of Armada by watching a booktuber and it sounded really interesting. I was excited to dive in and get started on the book. However, it didn't quite meet my expectations. The book is heavily based in gamer lingo and I had a hard time following all of it. If you're a gamer, this book might be more up your alley. While the story line was interesting, it just wasn't my cup of tea. I would recommend this book be read at age 14 and above as there was quite a bit of profanity and some other more mature topics in the book.

You can find more about the author here.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Book Review: Called for Life

Do you all remember when the first American with Ebola was brought to Atlanta to be treated? It seems like it's been forever ago in ways. Last year I kept up with all of the news information about Ebola. I had first heard of the disease as a child and I remember how much it scared me because of it's devastating effects and high death rate. One of the things that bothered me most about the disease is how you lose the ability to touch another person because you are so contagious. So when I saw that Ebola was raging out of control in West Africa and that two missionaries had contracted it and they would be bringing them here to treat, I was definitely uneasy. I followed Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol's stories closely. I was so thankful for their recoveries and when I found out that Dr. Brantly would be releasing a book, I was anxious to read it. His faithfulness and devotion to God in such a devastating situation was inspiring. His book, Called for Life, arrived at my house a few days ago and I am already finished reading it. It was very good and I couldn't put it down. This review is a bit different from my others since I normally stick to cookbooks, but I jumped at the opportunity to read and review this book.

The book switches perspectives so that you understand what each one of them were feeling and dealing with. I really enjoyed this book being from both of their perspectives. I love the back story that the Brantly's provided in the book. How they first met and eventually became husband and wife was one of my favorite parts of their story.

Reading through Dr. Brantly's experiences with Ebola in Liberia were heartbreaking. He gives individual accounts of a few people he treated who had contracted this deadly disease. Only one boy that came to their treatment center survived. he would later go on to give Dr. Brantly a blood transfusion in hopes of transferring some antibodies to Dr. Brantly. I desperately hope and pray that they come up with a cure or vaccine to get rid of this horrible disease.

This book is a must read, I would encourage anyone to read it. I think it can really make us think, what are we doing to be the hands and feet of Jesus? These people literally put the lives on the line to help others. That is an amazing thing. Dr. Brantly continued to minister to others after recovering by donating plasma in hopes of helping others that later caught the disease fight it off. Ebola is a scary disease and now that it's not in the news so much, I think many don't probably give it much thought. However, if the world is not vigilant, it can get out of hand once again. I hope this was a lesson for the medical and scientific community that we are not exempt from these rare, deadly diseases and that more time and effort must be placed on finding treatments, vaccines and understanding how these diseases work.

I truly hope you will consider adding this book to your collection. I really think you will enjoy reading the Brantly's story and find their faith in God encouraging and inspiring.

Want to know more? Check out this page.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Cookbook Review: Trisha's Table

Do any of you have any of Trisha Yearwood's cookbooks? I have one and just added another to my collection recently. It's called Trisha's Table and the recipes look so yummy! That is one thing I have really enjoyed about this book is looking at all of the yummy looking photos! They make everything look so tasty!

Trisha includes a great recipe for breakfast burritos that would make a great on-the-go breakfast. I am hoping to soon make her recipe for Spinach Frittata as it looked so good! Some of the other recipes I hope to try is the caramelized onion dip, Mama's egg salad, wild rice and mushroom soup, cornbread chili casserole, chicken enchiladas and so much more!

This book has lots of fresh ingredients that are great for healthy family dinners. As well as recipes for things like unfried chicken, to put a healthier spin on some old favorites. I look forward to trying some of these recipes soon! Do you all have any favorite recipes from Trisha Yearwood?

Want to know more? Check out this page.

Disclaimer: I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review. However, these opinions are my own.