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Taco seasoning

In my slow-but-steady quest to eat and cook "real food", sauce packets were one of the first things to go. At first I just didn't make tacos or Hamburger Helper anymore... and I eventually found a good, easy mac & cheese recipe. But I missed the ease of these start-from-raw-hamburger skillet meals.

Well, food blogs to the rescue!

Dad's Cheeseburger Helper is pretty awesome. And not complicated.

And today, I finally found a homemade taco seasoning recipe that tasted right! (When I infrequently make tacos, I had been using some other recipes i found a few years ago. One didn't have the variety of spices you need and used maple syrup - weird... another was more like a mexican-style hamburger helper with rice, and it wasn't quite satisfying either.) There were two keys here:

1. I combined from two recipes I found, to make something that looked right to me.
2. There's starch (cornstarch) to give a little bit of body.

  • 1 1/2 T. chili powder

  • 1/2 T. dried minced garlic

  • 1 T. corn starch

  • 1 tsp. onion powder

  • 1 tsp. cumin

  • 1/2 tsp. salt

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika

  • 1/4 tsp. oregano

  • 1/4 tsp. marjoram

Use 1-2 heaping tablespoons per pound of meat. I also added a can of diced tomatoes - next time, I might also add chopped onion and some beans, to stretch the meat a little farther - my family is eating more all the time! I fear for our grocery budget in the days of teenagers.

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etherial February 23rd, 2014
I eventually found a good, easy mac & cheese recipe.

Does it taste even half as good as Kraft Dinner? Because I have not found such a beast.

anitra February 23rd, 2014
Nothing tastes quite like Kraft dinner. But I had already grown accustomed to eating Annie's instead (no scary yellow dyes) most of the time, which has a more solid cheddar taste anyway.

The recipe (more of a technique than a recipe) is in this blog post that I found. I usually make it with super-sharp white cheddar and some kind of fun shape of pasta (like wheels, farfalle, or specialty shapes) - something you wouldn't get from a regular box of Kraft (or Annie's).

And I feel good that my kids like most homemade mac & cheese. I grew up only having Kraft dinner and HATED any other kind until I was an adult. Nothing wrong with liking Kraft as long as it's not the only "acceptable" mac & cheese... especially given the amount of stuff in Kraft that I don't really want as a regular part of my diet (yeast extracts, artificial colors, corn syrup solids, etc.)

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