Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Stuffed Taco Shells

These stuffed taco shells are a nice way to change up how you eat tacos or pasta. They are super easy to make and leftovers keep well. I have even taken them to book club where they were a hit!

Stuffed Taco Shells
Makes 12 to 16 shells
You will need:
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 oz. regular cream cheese
  • 12 to 16 large pasta shells (I often throw in a few more to boil in case some tear)
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup of shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 3 green onions thinly sliced
  • crushed tortilla chips (I use blue corn tortilla chips)
  • 1 cup sour cream (optional)

In a skillet, brown ground beef (season beef as you would normally). Add in the taco seasoning and prepare as directed on the package. Add in the cream cheese and stir until melted. Stir in the black beans. Set aside to fully cool. While ground beef is browning, cook pasta shells according to directions. Drain and toss with butter. Allow to full cool.

After meat mixture and shells have cooled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9x13 baking dish with foil. Pour salsa in the bottom of the dish, spreading evenly. Stuff each shell with meat mixture and place in the pan on top of the salsa. Top each stuffed shell with taco sauce.

Bake uncovered for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes sprinkle with cheese, green onions, and chips. Cook for another 10 to 15 minutes or until cheese is fully melted. Serve with sour cream.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Thin Mint Cookies

Thin Mints are by far the best Girl Scout Cookie. Those little girls sure know how to make you crave a cookie. I mean you can only get them during a small window every year. Well I have found a recipe for thin mint cookies that comes close to the real thing.

Thin Mint Cookies
You will need:
  • 1 box of Devil's Food Cake Mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 T of water
  • 2 T of vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup of cocoa (powder)
  • 1 package of chocolate chips
  • 2 to 3 drops of Wilton's Candy Mint Flavoring

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, mix the eggs, water, cooking oil, cake mix, and cocoa powder. Mix until well blended. Cover and place aside for 20 minutes. On an ungreased cookie sheet make 1/2 inch small balls of the mixture. Place them on the cookie sheet about 2 inches apart from each other. Spray a large spoon with PAM or any kind of non-stick cooking spray. Use the spoon on the balls to make them flat. Place the cookie sheet in the oven for about 8 minutes. Set aside for them to cool down to room temperature.

Get another bowl and melt the chocolate chips in the microwave. You can also melt them in a double boiler over the range. Gently drop the mint flavoring into the melted chocolate. Be aware that the flavoring is powerful, so watch the amount of drops. Pour or spread the chocolate onto the cooled cookies. You can use a brush or the bottom of a spoon to help spread it evenly. If you want a different way to have thin mints, dip the cookies into the chocolate.