#handcraftededibles: Spice Blends

#handcraftedediblesIn an effort to make all of her holiday gifts this year, Camilla at Culinary Adventures with Camilla invited some of her favorite foodie bloggers to share recipes for hand-crated edibles. Over the course of the next twelve weeks, we’ll be sharing recipes from libations (last week’s theme) to cookie platters. Hope you’ll follow along for inspiration.

I’m bummed I completely lost track of dates because I could’ve shared my Homemade Baileys for last week’s Libations theme. But looks like Rebekah of Making Miracles had that covered for me!

Today I am re-sharing my Homemade Taco Seasoning for the spice blends theme. I thought about my Gingerbread Spice Mix, but I saw someone else was already bringing that to the gift basket.

The following recipe makes approximately 1/2 C of seasoning.

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 4 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 tbsp cumin
  • 4 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Store in an air tight container. Use in your favorite recipes.

*This recipe is adapted from Bill at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/detail.aspx *

Taco Seasoning

To give homemade taco seasoning as a gift, place taco seasoning in a nice canister or mason jar and include a couple recipe cards of your favorite Mexican recipes.

Here are some other sensational spice blends perfect for giving:

Next week check back for our recipes for special diets; dishes that may be gluten-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, or nut-free. Or check out our #handcraftededibles pinterest board.

Tortilla Pie

They say you’re not a true cook until you’ve owned (or at least cooked in) a cast iron skillet. I don’t know who “they” are, but I do know why “they” love the cast iron. Cast iron provides the most even cooking temperature, it’s oven safe, and the more you use it the better your food tastes.

I’ve always dreamed of using a cast iron skillet. I’ve even gotten really close to buying my own – but I chicken out at the price. I’ve seen many recipes that require or heavily suggest the use of a cast iron skillet. I always save these recipes but they’re filed under the “yeah-right-that’ll-never-happen” category. (Like ice cream maker recipes, until my husband gave me an ice cream maker for Christmas!)

These cast iron skillet recipes are no longer only in my dreams because I am now the happy owner of a cast iron skillet. But not just any cast iron skillet! I have Stuart’s grandfather’s skillet! My mother-in-law had two and generously gave me one.

Naturally the first thing I use it for is Mexican Monday!

This tortilla pie tastes better than it looks (now that the sun goes down at 5:30 it’s impossible to get good food photography). If you want to see photos that do this pie justice check out the original recipe. There are a lot of steps but they can easily be done in advance. And let me tell you, it’s completely worth it. This tortilla pie takes the flavors of enchiladas, combines it with the volume of a burrito, and assembles it in pie form. Crispy on the top and creamy on the inside.

The size tortillas you use will depend on the size of your skillet. Because my skillet is a square, my tortillas were smaller than the original, therefore I used less of the filling. What was left of the filling ingredients created a perfect burrito that Stuart took to work for lunch.

Tortilla Pie

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 2 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 C beef broth
  • 1 – 2 tbsp canola oil, divided use
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 C milk
  • 3 scallions
  • 1 can (15oz) refried beans
  • 1 C enchilada sauce
  • 5 flour tortillas (size to fit in cast iron skillet)
  • 1 – 2 C shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. In a cast iron skillet, brown ground beef over medium-high heat. Season with taco seasoning and add the beef broth. Cook until reduced. Remove from skillet and place in a bowl.
  2. Add up to 1 tbsp oil to the skillet (if needed) and saute the onion until translucent. Add garlic and cook 60 seconds. Remove and add to the beef.
  3. Create a roux by putting 1 tbsp of oil in the skillet and whisking in 1 tbsp flour. Reduce heat to medium and slowly add the milk to the pan, whisking constantly. When thickened add the beef and onions. Add scallions. Remove from skillet.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Wipe out skillet. (Careful, it’s hot!) Spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. In a bowl, mix together refried beans and enchilada sauce.
  7. Place 1 tortilla in the cast iron skillet. Top with up-to half of the bean mixture. (This will depend on the size of your tortillas.) Place a tortilla on top of the beans. Top with up-to half of the beef mixture. Repeat. Top pie with last tortilla, cover with shredded cheese.
  8. Bake 30 – 40 minutes, until golden brown.

*This recipe is adapted from Anita at http://www.hungrycouplenyc.com/2014/06/mexican-tortilla-pie.html *

Tortilla Pie

Taco Seasoning

After starting the tradition of Mexican Monday in our house over three (can that be right?!) years ago, I’ve been making my own taco seasoning. Or rather, followed the recipe I found on allrecipes.com. This taco seasoning has a nice subtle kick but if you really want to crank the heat, include the crushed red pepper flakes that I omit. I make a large batch (triple the recipe below) at a time and keep it in an air tight canister.

Taco Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)

Steps:

  1. Combine all ingredients. Store in an air tight container. Use in your favorite recipes. Makes 1 ounce.

*This recipe is adapted from Bill at http://allrecipes.com/recipe/taco-seasoning-i/detail.aspx *

Taco Seasoning

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

This taco recipe is probably the most popular taco recipe on foodgawker! After making this dish it’s obvious why – you couldn’t come across a simpler recipe! 3 ingredients, set it and forget it. Except that you can’t forget it because your kitchen will start to smell like a Mexican restaurant. I don’t suggest making this when you’re home all day – it’ll just make you hungry!

Stuart has been raving about last month’s Healthy Chicken Tacos so I served my tacos with the same avocado lime sauce.

The shredded chicken also makes for great nacho meat. For lunch the next day I took Tostido’s Scoops, topped them with chicken and cheese, popped it in the microwave for 25 seconds and dipped in salsa!

Slow Cooker Chicken Tacos

Ingredients:

  • 5 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 16 oz jarred salsa
  • 1 oz taco seasoning

Steps:

  1. Place chicken in slow cooker. Sprinkle with taco seasoning and cover with salsa. Cook on LOW 6 hours.
  2. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred.
  3. Assemble tacos with desired toppings: sour cream guacamole, tomatoes, lettuce, cheese.

*This recipe is adapted from Sarah at http://www.mychocolatetherapy.com/2012/01/crockpot-chicken-tacos.html*

Slow Cooker Tacos Slow Cooker Tacos