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Archive for January, 2014

I. HEART. PINTEREST!

Not really a shocking statement! 😉  I would SERIOUSLY love to know how our parents and our parent’s parents even survived without pinterest!!  Did they just eat the same seven meals every week?  SUCH a conundrum… :p  HA!   Seriously though, without pinterest and facebook and google… my family would be eating BORING food!  Think meatloaf… 😉  I used to (kind of… because they have always been costly) collect cookbooks.  I’d pick up the latest Betty Crocker or Pillsbury paperback addition, in the checkout lane at Meijer while I was shopping, a fairly inexpensive idea database.  I loved those things! 🙂  However, I don’t remember making very many new recipes from them.  We did survive, looooong before the World Wide Web, but I am very happy that today we have so many new (and FREE!) adventures in cooking, right at our fingertips!! 🙂  

I want to share my latest LOVE from pinterest.  It’s not fancy.  It’s not extraordinary.  It’s really not “new”.  But it’s different and it’s GOOD! 🙂  We love Mexican food at our house!!  If my husband were reading over my shoulder he would definitely want me to say that the creation that I am going to share is not “Mexican” food… it would be “Tex Mex”.  🙂  And that’s ok… it’s all “Mexican” to me! 🙂  Another reason he would definitely want me providing clarification on ethnicity and origin is because this creation that I am sharing actually officially originated at none other than……………… TACO BELL!!!  😉  A fast food restaurant that he cannot stand! 😉  Ha!! 🙂 And because he is not AS normal as I am, he does not LOVE these crunchwraps quite as much as the kids and I LOVE them, but he does voluntarily eat them when I tie him up and force feed him, bite after delicious bite…  OR when I tell him his only alternative is spaghetti!!  :p  My kiddos and I love Taco Bell!  And we should be considered true fans, because like many others, Taco Bell often tries to KILL me… I won’t elaborate, but I am sure that more than one person out there knows exactly what I am talking about when I say that… 😉  Taco Bell is NOT for the faint of stomach!! 🙂   (Still love it though… even if I do occasionally swear the place off for a while!) 

Back to the subject matter at hand.  CRUNCHWRAP SUPREMES.  You may notice that I called mine “SUPERIOR” and that is because anything you make at home, you can customize and improve upon.  I am not a huge one for completely changing recipes… usually when I do they flop because I am not one that can just enter the kitchen and start throwing things together, ending up with a masterpiece.  (We won’t talk about those that live in my house that CAN do that… *cough* *hack* *gag* MY HUSBAND! 😉  Love that man…. 🙂  

So, the first place I saw this idea was on pinterest, naturally.  The website provided was this one, http://busymamabird.blogspot.com/2012/04/yummy-crunchwrap-supremes.html.  A great place to start the building process! 🙂

I took her recipe and simply added the things that I love about making Mexican, errrrr TEX MEX 😉 creations at our house.

First you’ll want about 1 1/2 pounds of ground beef. (I always have leftovers with this amount, but like have cooked taco meat in the fridge for a quick lunch type meal!  If you don’t want any leftover, maybe just use one pound.) I brown mine with a 4oz can of chopped green chilis thrown in.  I also add a good sprinkling of onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and a pinch of salt. This would cover having to purchase any packaged “taco seasoning” from the store.  Please!  For the love of all things, SKIP the pre-packaged taco seasoning!!  I don’t even go to the trouble of making my own up to keep on hand because it doesn’t keep that well and starts to clump.  If you just throw your favorite seasonings on your meat each time, you’re good to go and you are not just throwing on a ton of preservatives that the packaged taco seasonings contain!  Complete side note here, but have you ever really looked at what was in a package of taco seasoning?  I read the back of an Ortega taco seasoning once and the only actual spice that I could find included in long list of ingredients, was onion powder.  Why then wouldn’t a person just add some onion powder?  Save yourself the extra buck and the extra addition of fake junk, just add what you like to your taco meat and call it good!  FREE INFO there, folks! 😉  (I’d totally rather be unhealthy in the arena of baked goods than fake taco seasoning!  Come on now, be smart! :))  

WHILE the meat is browning away, I love to chop up some lovely colored peppers and saute them together in a bit of Olive Oil.  I totally cheat and buy the already sliced peppers from the (prepared) produce section of Meijer or Hardings.  It’s a cheaper way to get a variety of colored peppers.  The packages I am speaking of contain green, red and yellow peppers. I believe orange is also included in the Harding’s package.  These pre sliced (fresh) peppers usually cost around $2.00. I would not be able to buy three to four (different colored) peppers for that price if I bought them whole.  (I use kitchen shears and cut the peppers into bite size pieces to cook.)  [Tired already?  Then stop here… this combination is also phenomenal on nachos!!  Cooked meat with chilis and seasonings, sauteed peppers, and loads of cheese placed on top of tortilla chips, (on a stoneware baking pan if you have one) put under the broiler on low until melted and bubbly… talk about delish in a hurrah!!!  😉  Can’t call THAT Taco Bell… ;)]

While the meat and peppers are cooking away I get out all of the other ingredients that I want to use in our crunchwraps.  Your options are really endless.  However, here is what we use:

Large Tortilla Shells

Small Tortilla Shells (You’ll just need a few… I cut one into four pieces and place one on the top of the last ingredients (inside the wrap) to help create a complete seal, since the large tortillas will not wrap all of the way around the ingredients.)

Tostada Shells (round, flat, hard shells, found in with the regular taco shells in the supermarket)

Queso cheese sauce (will need to be heated through, I use the microwave)

Refried beans (will need to be heated through, I use the microwave)

Sour Cream

Lettuce

Tomato or pico de gallo

Black Olives

Shredded Cheese (could skip this since there is already cheese sauce, but why would you want to?? :))

Salsa for dipping, of course 🙂

(Need an awesome “out of season” homemade salsa recipe?  I make this one and keep it in a jar in the fridge year round… good enough for me to not even mess with fresh tomatoes in the summertime… http://www.food.com/recipe/chilis-salsa-59635… I do add fresh garlic, and just use plain salt. I also throw in some cilantro if I have it on hand.  Do not be afraid to go overboard on the jalepenos, it’s hardly even possible! 🙂 (proper Cusano pronouncation: JAH-LA-PEN-OHS) … easy peasy and yum city!)

Now for construction…

With four kids in the house, I make theirs first… I call them all out to ask what they’d like, or just let them make it their very own! (Talk about a crowd pleasing dinner… no complaining necessary when you’ve made your own! :))

I warm up the large tortillas to make them more workable. I have all of the ingredients chopped and ready to grab in an assembly line for ease.  (As well as appeal factor when it comes to getting the kids to add in the extra good stuff!) 🙂

This is the perfect time to plug in your griddle to preheat, if you have one.  Otherwise you should probably just throw everything in the garbage and go to get McDonald’s, because you’ll be cooking ALL. NIGHT. LONG.   😉  Ok… so you don’t need to be THAT dramatic, a regular skillet will work, cooking one at a time, but if you have a griddle, GO PLUG THAT BABY IN! 🙂

1. Lay a large tortilla out flat.

2. Smear some refried beans onto the tortilla, leave about an inch around the edges clear, for folding up later on.

3. Smear or SCHAMEAR (such a fancy word, eh?) queso sauce over the beans.

4. Sprinkle some prepared meat over the cheese sauce.

5. Add sauteed peppers, if using.  (I put all of the hot ingredients on the bottom, my kids usually skip the peppers)

6. Place a flat tostada shell on top of the hot ingredients.

7. Smear (yep, getting fancy again…) sour cream over the top of your tostada shell.

8. Sprinkle tomatoes (yes, it’s a well thought out system… the tomatoes will stick to the sour cream and not move!) 🙂

9. Sprinkle on lettuce.

10. Add Black olives, if using

11. Sprinkle on shredded cheese

12. Add the cut, quartered piece of small tortilla shell (you may need two pieces if you used all of the ingredient choices, because your wrap will be bigger.  For the adults I used two, the kiddo’s wraps only required one.)

13. Throw some butter (yes, the real kind… if planning to use fake stuff just throw all of your concoction thus far into the garbage and go get McDonalds, because it’s clear that you don’t even care… 😉  Ha!  Yes, I do crack myself up sometimes!! :))  on the griddle and thoroughly grease the surface area.

13.  Begin folding your outer big shell around your masterpiece.  Just grab one side and fold in, continue folding a little section at a time, folding over in that same direction, over the last section, creating a “pretty” folded up top.  (Make any sense at ALL? 🙂  Read my mind here, ok??!!)

14. Carefully flop the top of the wrap onto the hot, buttered griddle and cook until nicely browned, this seals the top together. Flip, and cook the other side.  To get the second side to brown nicely you may have to add some more butter before flipping, depending on how much you used when you first buttered the griddle.   I usually cook three wraps at a time on our regular sized griddle.  Repeat the process until your entire clan is served.  

15. WAHLAH!  Put that (seriously superior) bad boy on a beautiful plate with a generous dollop of sour cream and a generous plop of  spicy salsa and ENJOY!!  

Disclaimer: These are NOT Taco Bell crunchwraps… these are SUPERIOR crunchwraps… you may require a fork! 🙂  (NOT a spork!) 😉

 

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In case you do not have time or the desire to whip up your own salsa, here is the perfect compliment for any SUPERIOR Crunchwrap Supreme! 🙂  (Found in the ethnic aisle of your favorite major supermarket!)

 

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Happy eating, my Peeps!! 🙂   Don’t you dare be caught eating BORING food!! 🙂

 

 

 

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