Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays

With one of the year's biggest cooking holidays being just over a week away, I planned this week's menu to include quick meals that would be relatively inexpensive to prepare. On the menu tonight, a taco bake casserole. With just a few simple ingredients, this meal can be table ready in just under half an hour. Olé!

Taco Bake
1-2 lbs. ground beef
1-2 pkgs. taco seasoning mix
1 c. water
1 1/2 cans crescent rolls
1/2 to 1 reg. size bag corn chips
1 1/2 c. sour cream
1 1/2 c. Cheddar cheese

Brown the beef, drain. Add seasoning mix and water. Simmer 5 minutes.

Line 9x13 pan with the rolls. Bake rolls at temperature listed on package for 5 minutes. Crumble 1/2 of the bag of chips and put over rolls. Top with meat mixture, sour cream and cheese. Sprinkle with remaining chips. Bake 11-13 minutes, 375 degrees.

The Dish---Last Week's Recipe
Chocolate Fudge Pie

I'm pretty sure that whoever coined the phrase, "Easy as pie..." never actually tried baking a pie. Although the pie can be made successfully without it, a double broiler would have made melting the chocolate much easier. Having a large grater for making the chocolate shavings would have also been helpful. With only a small grater, creating chocolate curls for the topping was impossible! Only after beginning the recipe and then realizing that I didn't make it home with unsalted butter (and yes, it was on my list), I substituted the missing ingredient with regular Land O'Lakes salted butter. Having never made this pie before I cannot tell you if the change from unsalted to salted butter effected the taste, but can say that the chocolate fudge part of the pie lived up to its name as it was chocolately fudgey deliciousness!

Being a baking novice, I didn't realize that pie crusts could be found on the frozen dessert aisle of the supermarket. Duh! Instead, I purchased a ready-made graham cracker pie crust from the baking aisle. The graham cracker crust was tasty, but if I don't make my own pie crust next time, I will plan to use a frozen pie crust. A frozen pie crust would have also helped the first direction in the recipe---bake pie crust for 20-25 minutes until golden brown---make more sense. Other than that one step in the directions, which I now understand, I found the recipe easy to follow and all the preparation/baking times accurate.

Knowing that my Dad would provide an honest critique of the pie, I sent a few slices home with Mom. Both Dad and Mom agreed that the pie was divine and shortly after arriving home the pie was gone! With approval from Mom and Dad and a happy hubby to boot, I decided this recipe was a success and a keeper. I've even been asked to make it next week for Thanksgiving! With not much room to improve upon taste, I'll focus all my efforts on improving the overall look of my pie. Let's just say mine didn't quite turn out like the picture in Real Simple.

First slice---Not so much of a slice really! I've heard that the first slice is the hardest to get out but give me a break!