Mother Nature had one last trick up her sleeve before starting to crank out the snow, sleet and suffering this winter…a 74 degree day. 8)
On November 1st!
I could hardly believe it! I cranked the dusty AC in my car on the way home from work, cursed my programmable thermostat which had started heating the house to a too toasty temp around 4pm, and sweat bullets on my quick and dirty 3.5 mile run in the late afternoon sunshine.
The trail was packed – everyone trying to soak up what was probably the last, remarkably warm day of the fall. I feel like I’ve been saying that about every warm day the past month or so, but this time I mean it, dangit!
Dinner was equally as thrilling. No-fuss, make-ahead, fun and tasty Taco Dippers!
There are no step-by-step photos needed for this recipe – it’s so simple. All you do is you simmer some taco friendly ingredients like ground beef, black beans, savory spices and tomato sauce with a little rice and water in a big ‘ol pot.
The flavors mingle and meld on the stove top, and 30 minutes later it’s time to dunk in the dippers of your choice.
Through a mountain of shredded cheddar cheese, of course.
Slightly adapted from Mels Kitchen Cafe
1 pound 93/10 ground beef
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
3 cups water (could use beef broth for even more flavor)
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1-8oz can tomato sauce
1-6oz can tomato paste
1/2-15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup white rice
Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1. Brown ground beef, onion and garlic in a large pot over medium-high heat. Drain and return beef to the pot.
2. Add water, oregano, chili pepper flakes, cumin, sugar, salt, chili powder, tomato sauce, tomato paste and black beans to the pot. If you are making ahead, cool the pot a bit and place into the fridge. Otherwise, add the rice and bring the entire mixture to a boil.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes, stirring every few minutes.
4. Serve with freshly shredded sharp cheddar cheese and dippers like tortilla chips and apples.
Obviously the smoky, slightly spicy taco dip was bomb digg with tortilla chips, but it was amazing with cold slices of Honeycrisp apple.
I got this idea from 1 Cup Awesome, whose ideas are well, awesome, after I recently saw them top turkey chili with chopped apples. Ummmm, brilliant!
Full and satisfied to the max.
In other news, I am off to self mani/pedi (ugh – I am so inflexible!) & pack – I’m going on a little trip tomorrow! Details to come.
Have a great night!