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TacoNess and Happy Monday


Hi y’all! I hope that you had a good weekend.

We had a good one.  We didn’t go anywhere or do anything extra and I have to say that I enjoyed that a lot.  Looking back at the Saturday, it looks like I actually got a lot done, but I assume that is because I’m mother and people were asking for things.  So, I feel like I had a nothing day even though I ironed and sewed on Boy Scout patches and did laundry.  I suppose that it felt relaxing because between all of that I read a fiction book for the first time since June.

The problem with me and a good fiction book is that I have a hard time putting it down when it is time to cook dinner.  This bunch of boys is hungry, though, and even though I would have gladly eaten some crackers and cheese and kept reading…that wasn’t going to work for them.

So, out of desperation, I tried a quick recipe for the first time and, by its many virtues, it shot right to the top of my make it fast/feed a lot of hungry people/tastes awesome list.

When I was making it, James wandered in and saw the ingredients.  He said, “Are we having tacos?”  I replied that we were having something taco-ish.  He loved the resulting meal and asked for seconds, saying, “May I have some more TacoNess?”  So, TacoNess it is.

It is sort of a casserole and sort of tacos.  No little bowls of toppings are required here, though.  There is also no chopping of onions whatsoever.  If you are really moving fast, or happen to have some pre-browned meat in your freezer, it could be on the table in 30 minutes or so.  So, in general, a lot less work than any enchilada recipe or other mexican food recipe that requires rolling stuff in tortillas.  Not that I don’t love enchiladas or recipes like that.  They just don’t fall under dead easy, in my book.

Make this!  There will be happy people in your house.



1 pound of ground chuck or ground round

2 cans of rotel (tomatoes and peppers), cans drained but with 1/2 cup of liquid reserved

1 can of refried beans

3 cups of colby jack cheese or mexican blend

one recipe of homemade taco seasoning

12 taco shells (I used white corn)

Preheat your oven to 475.

Cook the beef until it is no longer pink. ( About 5 minutes.)  Drain off any fat.  Add the taco seasoning, the remaining can of rotel, and the reserved juice.   Simmer until the mixture is nearly dry.

While the beef is cooking, in a bowl, combine beans and one can of the drained rotel.  Spread this in the bottom of a 13X9 casserole dish.  Top with 1 cup of cheese. Stand the taco shells upright  in the bean and tomato mixture.  Put a big pinch of cheese (about 1 Tablespoon) in each shell.

After the beef is finished cooking, evenly divide it between the standing taco shells and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and cook for 10 minutes.  Uncover and cook for 6 more minutes until the cheese is bubbly. and browning slightly.

*One note from this lazy cook:  rotel has, by my measurement, about 1/2 cup of liquid per can.  So, next time I won’t be measuring out drained liquid.  I will, instead, be just draining the one can that I add to the refried beans and dumping the whole other can in with the meat.  So, even faster, if you are a lazy non-measurer like I am.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. ground oregano
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
Mix in small bowl. (This is equal to 1 1/4 ounce package of commercial taco seasoning.)

The recipe for TacoNess was adapted from a recipe that I received from an email that I occasionally get from America’s Test Kitchen.  I changed the amount of meat (I used less than called for) and the seasoning for the original dish.  I also omitted the one tablespoon of hot sauce that they call for in the recipe.

Happy Monday, y’all!




  1. Looks and sounds wonderful! Hope this doesn’t sound stupid, but you are using crisp taco shells, right? Would the recipe work for a potluck dish and how many normal servings would you guess…as opposed to teenage-boy servings? Thanks!

  2. Of course you’re talking about crisp tacos…reread and saw “stand” and “standing” that I missed before!

  3. Sorry Ruth, I missed your comment until now. 🙂 Thanks for commenting. The thing is that you do use crisp taco shells, but the bottoms are not crispy — since they are sitting in the bean mixture. The tops remain really crispy, though. I had a few taco purists who didn’t appreciate the change but, if you are entertaining, this could be a great recipe. Or a potluck. I think that it would hold in a warm oven really well.


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