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Taco Night Delight

Taco Night Delight

The time comes every year when we can't wait for the kiddos to head back-to-school. Then it happens - school activities. It's almost like a mental block goes up each Summer, where you forget how hectic school days can be. Between driving to ballet classes, football practice and other after-school activities, it's a wonder anyone is able to come up with a meal for dinner. Enter taco night. There are so many taco variations, you are bound to find a recipe that the kids will enjoy.

Mindy Sea was "having tacos for dinner, had won tons in the fridge, and thought why not?" Why not is right! What came out of Mindy's brilliant idea were Fried Won Ton Tacos - a wonderful twist on the classic taco. We took Mindy's suggestion and made some rice and refried beans to go along with these. It was one memorable Mexican-inspired meal! Kids are sure to love these little bite sized goodies.

Another dish the family is sure to love is Jess Weible's Taco Pizza recipe. It's a pizza and a taco - two favorites in my family! Jess says she "Makes this once a month at least. Everybody loves it." We can see why. This isn't just another bland take on a Mexican pizza. The flavors really popped, making this an easy, fast, family-friendly meal that that can be thrown together in about 20 minutes. It's so simple to make you can get the kiddos involved in this one.

Karie Houghton's Slow Cooker Shredded Taco chicken is another easy recipe (and may be the best time saving meal in the dinner department!). It is just so tasty and versatile. You put all the ingredients in your slow cooker before the craziness of the day starts. Then, when you return home, dinner is served. Karie says she "had this super duper easy flavorful chicken in several different meals [last] weekend - as chicken and black bean soft tacos, taco chicken and avocado sandwiches, southwest omelets, and chicken and lime enchiladas." I loved this chicken served as a soft taco, but like Karie says, it's wonderful served as part of so many meals.

Now, let's talk about something really wonderful - Tommy Curtis's Cantina Beef and Lime Tacos. They are a fiesta of flavors in your mouth! Tommy says "this dish is foolproof, you can't mess it up!" A slow cooker is a home cook's best friend on a busy day and is the main cooking tool for this flavorful taco medley. This is a fantastic go-to recipe for adding a little spice into your family's day.

We all know I like spicy. But, when I came across Echo Day's Smoky Chicken Tacos, I was a little worried these may be too spicy for even my tangy taste buds. When I was through making the recipe, though, the flavors melded together to form a scrumptious little bite. "These started out as smoky chicken tacos, using leftovers from a rotisserie chicken, but ended up an instant favorite in our house!" You could definitely turn this recipe into regular tacos as Echo suggests, but there is something fun about switching the typical taco up a little.

If you really want to shake things up, a fun twist on the taco are Dee's Chocolate Tacos by Edie Ogborn. This is a dessert taco and such a treat. Edie loves to serve these to her family "for a special day" ... but I think it's so yummy why not serve them more! I used cherry pie filling when I prepared it in the Test Kitchen, but fresh fruit like peaches or pineapple would also be wonderful!

Taco night was a tradition I started with my son back in the day, and we still do to this day (now with the addition of Connor and Krissi!). I hope you have a few taco nights with your family. The tacos may be what brings everyone to the table, but the conversation and the memories are really the star of the meal.

Photo Caption: Taco Pizza

2011 Just A Pinch Recipe Club. Used by Permission.

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