Saturday, December 3, 2011

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers

Told you we're liking our Mexican lately! We've also been looking for ways to make delicious dinners that cost less, and hamburger meat is probably the cheapest out there. I use red peppers in this recipe, they are a bit sweeter and seem to carry a bit more flavor and heat than green peppers. You can actually assemble these peppers ahead of time and bake them later if needed.

Mexican-Style Stuffed Peppers (Country Magazine)
6 medium red peppers
1 lb lean ground beef
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup chopped celery
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/2 - 1 cup fresh cilantro, chopped (use as much as you like - I love cilantro so I use the full cup)
1-1/4 cups salsa, divided
1 tablespoon chopped green chillies (optional)
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup shredded cheese (I like extra sharp cheddar, but others would work like Mexican blend)

  1. Cut tops off peppers and discard; remove seeds. In large pot, cook peppers in boiling waters for 3-5 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water; set aside.
  2. In a nonstick skillet, cook the beef, onion and celery over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the rice, 1 cup salsa, chilies, chili powder, cilantro and salt. Spoon into peppers
  3. Place peppers in a 13x9x2" baking dish coated with nonstick cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup water to dish. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until heated through. 
  4. Uncover; spoon remaining salsa on top of peppers and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 2-3 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Serve.

Mama Julie's EASY Cinnamon-Sugar Rolls

Eat these rolls for breakfast, brunch or along with dinner. They are always a hit, but people are SHOCKED when they realize how EASY they are to make. Thanks to my mom for introducing me to these yummy treats.

Mama Julie's EASY Cinnamon-Sugar Crescent Rolls
1 tube of refridgerated crescent dough (I like the reduced fat version)
Handful of sugar
Generous sprinkling of cinnamon

  1. Preheat oven according to crescent roll directions. 
  2. Combine handful of sugar with a generous sprinkling of cinnamon in a bowl. Coat each crescent dough triangle in cinnamon-sugar mix, roll up starting with the wide end of the triangle, and place on greased (or parchment papered) tray with small end of roll tucked underneath.
  3. Serve immediately!

Homemade Taco Seasoning

We have been loving our Mexican food lately. I don't really like cooking with pre-made mixes, although easy, there is usually fake stuff in there. So, we tried a taco seasoning recipe from, and it has become our go-to for taco making.

If you like pico-de-gillo, but have never tried to make your own, it's so easy and is delicious on tacos. Just dice up a couple tomatoes and one small red onion. Then, chop about 1/2-1 cup of fresh cilantro, put it all together and squeeze half a lemon (or lime) and add a pinch of salt. Delicious! (Add a quarter of diced jalapeno pepper for heat).

Taco Seasoning (Makes enough for 2 lbs of beef)
1 tbsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional - I usually don't add because of the kids)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients together. Cook beef in a little bit of vegetable oil and add seasoning mix (add half if cooking 1 lb of beef, add entire mix if cooking 2 lbs of beef). Cook until beef is no longer pink.
  2. Add 1/4 - 1/2 cup of water to beef, stir, spoon into tacos and enjoy! (My favorite layering is a smear of sour cream on a crunchy taco shell, beef, cheese, homemade pico-de-gillo, and lettuce...and maybe a little hot sauce!).