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Easy Kid Friendly Taco Cups

Today I have a yummy kid friendly recipe to share with you. We love tacos in our house, but sometimes the same old tacos can get a bit boring. I had seen a recipe for taco cups made with cut and shaped flour tortillas on Pinterest, but I had another idea in mind.

 
I had wonton wrappers left over from making my daughters favorite Ranch Sausage Stars, so I decided to try them out and make some Easy Taco Cups. Everyone loved them and the kids gobbled them right up.  Finger foods and bite size items are always appealing to kids, so these these taco cups are sure to please.       

What I love best about this recipe is that you can interchange the ingredients for a variety of tacos. Use chicken, ground beef, shredded beef or even pork. Our favorite is ground beef mixed with beans for added protein. This is especially great for a crowd because adding beans to your meat mixture can easily turn one pound of meat into almost two pounds of taco filling.

I like to pre bake the wonton cups just a bit before adding the filling. This gives the taco cups an extra crispness as a taco should be. Baking the cups first is a huge time saver, and also comes in handy for parties, potlucks, or football games.  Just bake up the cups, cool and store in a zip lock bag until ready to use. 


When it comes to beans there's  no rule of thumb here. Just use your favorite bean that pairs great with tacos. I prefer Bush's Pinto Beans , but you can use kidney or even black beans. Bush's also makes a reduced sodium variety of beans. This is especially great for people watching their sodium intake, but don't want to compromise on taste.  

To get started first gather all your ingredients. You will need ground beef, taco seasoning, canned beans, wonton wrappers, shredded cheese and all your favorite taco toppings. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a regular sized muffin tin with non stick spray. 

Add two wonton wrapper to each muffin cup (I criss cross the wrappers).  Bake 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. Watch them carefully so they don't fully cook. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef or turkey until browned. Drain off any grease. Add the taco seasoning, water and drained beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.  

Spoon two tablespoon of the meat and bean mixture into each wonton cup. Top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.

Carefully remove the cups from the oven and garnish with your favorite taco toppings and serve.  



Kid Friendly Taco Cups

1 - pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 - packet taco seasoning
1 - cup water
1 - can bush's pinto, kidney or black beans, drained and rinsed
24 - wonton wrappers
1 - cup shredded cheddar cheese
taco toppings of your choice:  lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream
additional cheese, avocados , black olives, salsa and cilantro

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a regular sized muffin tin with non stick spray. Add two wonton wrapper to each muffin cup (I criss cross the wrappers). 

Bake 5-7 minutes until lightly golden brown. Watch them carefully so they don't get too brown.

Remove from oven and set aside. In a large skillet over medium heat cook the ground beef or turkey until browned. Drain off any grease. 

Add the taco seasoning, water and drained beans. Bring the mixture to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes or until heated through.  

Spoon two tablespoon of the meat and bean mixture into each wonton cup. Top with shredded cheese. Return to the oven and bake an additional 5-7 minutes until cheese melts.

Carefully remove the cups from the oven and garnish with your favorite taco toppings. 


Recipe yields: 12-16 taco cups

This is a sponsored post by Bush's Beans, but as always all opinions stated above are 100% entirely my own. 

     


Rhodes Curly Dogs & Kid's Baking Prize Pack Giveaway!

My kid's are in their 4 week of school, so it's safe to say that everyone is finally easing back into their regular routines. The beginning of the school year can be crazy, but so can summer break. Everyone is kind of in limbo doing and eating whatever they want.

 
One of our biggest challenges during the school year is getting back on track and eating breakfast before the sun rises. Both my kids are used to eating breakfast after sleeping in all summer long. It's a battle, but I don't want them going off to school hungry. By the time lunch rolls around they're pretty hungry, and down right starving when they return home. 

When my son gets off the bus, and heads through the door he immediately drops his back pack, removes his shoes and heads straight for the kitchen. There isn't too much time between my sons arrival and when were headed off to pick up my daughter, so having something ready to snack on has been a lifesaver.

In order to avoid consuming junk food I've been making a few fun snacks for the kids while they're still at school. These fun Curly Dogs pictured above are one of my sons favorites. I found them in the Kid's Ideas with Frozen Dough Cookbook. It's packed full of fun and easy bread dough recipes that your kids can make. 

All of the recipes are easy to read with lots of "how to" photos. The Silly Face Pizza's above is on my list next, because my son loves mini pizzas. I also want to try a breakfast pizza version as well. Stop by and check out the Rhodes New Kid's Baking Site for more kid friendly snacks, recipes, and treats.  They even have a holiday section with some pretty neat ideas.  

Lets get started and make some curly dogs. My son Carson prepared the whole recipe from start to finish, so this one is easy peasy my friends. Start by removing the frozen rolls and defrost them on the counter until the rolls are thawed, but still cold. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non stick spray or use parchment paper. Roll each roll into an 8-10 inch rope. 

Twist the dough around each hot dog and tuck the ends under the dough. 

Place on a baking sheet.  

Bake the curly dogs for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven, cool slightly and serve with ketchup and mustard. 


Rolling the dough around hot dogs also make fun Mummy Dogs for Halloween. We usually use crescent roll dough, but the bread dough taste much better. Stop by the Rhodes Bake n Serve Blog where I'm guest posting and sharing this recipe. Before you go I'm hosting a giveaway here on Mommy's Kitchen. See below for all the detail and how to enter.  

Do your kids like to help out in the kitchen? If they do then today is your lucky day. One Mommy's Kitchen reader will win their very own Rhodes Kids Baking Prize Package. All you have to do is leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite frozen bread dough recipe is?


Rhodes Kids Baking Prize Package Includes: 

  • 1 - child Size Apron in blue, red or yellow
  • 1 - large Cutting Board (various colors)
  • 1 - Rhodes Kids Ideas with Frozen Dough Cookbook 
  • 1 - Pastry Brush
  • 1 - Pizza Cutter

Giveaway Rules: Giveaway is open to US Residents only due to shipping charges. Giveaway starts Thursday, September 18th and ends on Midnight September 24th. The winner will be chosen and emailed on September 25th. Winner will have 48 hours to reply to the winning email or a new winner will be chosen. 

This is a sponsored post by me on behalf of Rhodes Bread Company. I'm a contributing guest blogger where I share recipes and ideas using Rhodes Frozen Dough Products. I was given a kids baking prize pack for the purpose of this recipe. A second prize package was offered to use in reader giveaway.

     

Baked Brown Sugar & Honey Acorn Squash

Acorn Squash is a winter squash, but baking it with brown sugar, honey and butter reminds me of the flavors of Fall!!! Squash isn't a vegetable that my family prefers, but they are getting better. It's the same thing with yellow and zucchini squash unless I disguise it.

 
Me, I love just about any vegetable imaginable. I grew up eating a variety of squash, so it's hard for me to try and come up with recipes to convince my family just how delicious squash can be. When my kids were babies I could bake acorn squash with salt and pepper, mash it up, and they would eat it by the spoonfuls. Now that they're older they just don't seem to care for it.  


Baked Acorn Squash is the perfect Fall side dish!!! Roasting or baking acorn or butternut squash with a little, butter, brown sugar, honey, salt & pepper is the easiest way to prepare this squash. I like to score the inside of the squash with a knife so all the yummy juices really get down into the squash as it bakes.

When the squash is done it will have a nice caramelized color and be fork tender. To eat you can scoop the squash out into a serving bowl, or just mush around in their shells and eat with a fork. Baked acorn squash also makes a beautiful side dish for Thanksgiving.  


These are the ingredients you will need: 4 acorn squash, butter, salt and pepper, brown sugar and honey. If you don't like honey you can substitute with maple syrup. 

Acorn squash has a tough outside skin, so cutting in half can be difficult. Carefully cut squash in half, using a sharp knife. Remove the seeds until the inside is smooth. Use a paring knife to score the inside of each half in a criss-cross pattern. 

Place squash halves cut side up in a baking pan with sides or use a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour about a 1 cup water around the squash to keep it from drying out while baking. 

Season with salt and pepper, butter (1 tablespoon per halve), brown sugar (1/2 tablespoon per halve) and honey (1 teaspoon per halve). 





Baked Brown Sugar & Honey Acorn Squash

2  - whole acorn squash
salt and pepper, to taste
4 - tablespoons butter 
2 - tablespoons brown sugar
4 - teaspoons honey 
1 - cup water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Carefully cut each squash in half, using a sharp knife. Remove the seeds until the inside is smooth. Use a paring knife to score the inside of each half in a criss-cross pattern. 

Place squash halves cut side up in a baking pan with sides or use a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour about a 1 cup water around the squash to keep it from drying out while baking. 

Season with salt and pepper, butter (1 tablespoon per halve), brown sugar (1/2 tablespoon per halve) and honey (1 teaspoon per halve). 

Bake in the oven for about 1 hour or until the tops are lightly browned and the squash is fork tender. Cool a bit before serving. 

Cooks Note: The hardest part is cutting the squash, so be careful. It has a tough outside skin and the squash can rock back and forth when cutting, so use caution with a sharp knife. If you do not like honey you can substitute using Maple Syrup and add a sprinkle of cinnamon.  

     


DIY Homemade Rotel (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)

One of my favorite things about summer is our vegetable garden. This year wasn't too unbearably hot, so we were blessed with a variety of fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, cantaloupes, watermelon and a variety of squash. 

August and September is the time of year when we start getting overloaded with tomatoes, squash and peppers. This year our squash plants did very well, so we have tons of squash to deal with. I've made squash casserole a few times, canned zucchini pickles and grilled zucchini. 

Our tomato plants seemed to take off a bit late, so now we have tomatoes coming from everywhere. It's funny how we spend all summer tending to our gardens trying to get everything to grow, and then before we know it we are in garden overload.

To help conquer the abundance of all the tomatoes and peppers in our garden I searched around online for a few tomato recipes. I came across this recipe for Homemade Rotel from Canning Granny. We use Rotel a lot, so I thought this was the perfect idea. 


I did adapted the recipe slightly by using a variety of peppers (bell pepper, anaheims, and jalapenos). I also decreased the amount of sugar in the recipe, because I thought my first batch was a bit sweet. Also original Rotel doesn't contain onions, but I thought it was a nice touch. 

I have used a couple jars in a Queso dip, and in chili and both were very good. I will definitely be making this again with next years tomato crops. I hope you will give this recipe a try. 




DIY Rotel (Tomatoes & Green Chilies)

1 -  gallon ripe tomatoes, chopped (I used about 12 cups)
2 - green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 - Anaheim peppers, seeded and chopped
5 - small jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
1 - small onion, chopped
3/4  - cup apple cider vinegar
1 - tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 - tablespoons canning salt
1 - tablespoon lemon juice

First you need to remove the skin from the tomatoes. Do this by preparing a large pot of boiling water. Cut a "x" on one side of the skin of each tomato. 

Place the tomatoes in the boiling water bath for 30-60 seconds. Immediately remove with a slotted spoon and add to a ice water bath.  Remove after about 5 minutes. 

Peel the skin (it should slide off easily), chop the tomatoes and add to a large stock pot.  Chop the peppers and onion, and add to the pot. Add the vinegar, sugar and canning salt.

Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer on medium-low for 
45 minutes. While the mixture is cooking, wash and sterilize the half pint canning jars (about 7-8).

When the mixture is done cooking remove from the heat and add the lemon juice. Stir to combine. Using a ladle fill each half pint jar leaving a half-inch head space. 

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean cloth and add a sterilized lid. Screw on a ring to each jar and tighten each ring. 

Process the jars in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes (for half pints). Make sure the jars are completely covered with water. Start the timer once the water starts boiling.

Using canning tongs, remove and place each jar on a dishcloth to cool completely. Listen for each jar to pop or ping, and make sure each jar is sealed. Store jars in your pantry. 

recipe yields: 7-8 half pint jars
adapted from: canning granny 

     

September Menu - Menu Plan Monthly

I hope everyone has been enjoying this wonderful Labor Day weekend. I will keep this post short and sweet! Today I have my September Menu Plan for y'all. As usual recipes in red are linked recipes, and recipes noted with (New) are ones that I am working on and hoping to post in the future. I hope you find something you like.


September 2014 Dinner Menu

Ma maws Dorito Beef Casserole, Flour Tortillas & Fresh Cantaloupe
Creamy Chicken Enchiladas (New) & Cilantro Lime Rice 
Grilled Lemon Chicken (New) Baked Potatoes & Grilled Zucchini 
Spaghetti & Meatballs, Garlic Texas Toast & Salad
Chicken Ranch Tacos 
Logan Country Hamburgers & Sweet Potato Fries
Barbecue Chicken & Bacon Pizza & Pepperoni Pizza Bites
Chicken Pot Pie & Salad
Fall Off The Bone Ribs, Baked Beans & Roasted Fingerling Potatoes 
Oriental Chicken Pasta  & Baked Crab Rangoon Wontons
Honey Pecan Pork Chops (New), Roasted Broccoli & Skillet Potatoes 
Friendship Casserole, Salad & Peas & Carrots
Red Beans & Rice & Cornbread
Amish Chicken & Rice (New), Roasted Veggies & Rolls 
Smoked Ham, Baked Beans, Potato Salad, Grilled Corn & Watermelon (Labor Day)
Cheesy Hash brown Casserole W/Ham , (Leftover Ham)  Buttery Crisp Green Beans  
Ham Fried Rice (Leftover Ham) & Egg Rolls 
30 Minute Pumpkin Chili & Corn Muffins 
Teriyaki Meatballs (New), Brown Rice & Sweet & Sour Green Beans
Pasta Carbonara (Whole Grain Pasta), Steamed Carrots & Salad
Copy Cat Arbys Ham & Cheddar Melts, Tater Tots & Yogurt Fruit Salad 
All-In-One Crock Pot Pork Chop Dinner
Ground Beef Stroganoff, Brown Rice & Baked Acorn Squash
Breakfast Night (King Hawaiian French Toast, Bacon & Eggs)
Stuffed Bell Peppers, Salad & Fresh Fruit 
Pizza Skillet Bake , Green Beans & Salad
Not My Mama's Meat Loaf, Mashed Potatoes & Brown Sugar Carrots
Sticky Chicken FingersMacaroni & Cheese & Fruit Salad
Soup & Sub Sandwich Night 
Taco Cups (New)Sopa De Conchas (Mexican Pasta) 


Desserts: 
The Best Apple Crisp Ever
Apple Fritters

Chocolate Cobbler
Old Fashioned Peanut Butter Pie

     


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