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    Thursday
    Aug212014

    Crispy Crunchy Beef and Bean Burritos

    It’s amazing what a difference a short stay in the oven can make.  Feed your family regular beef and bean burritos and you’ll get, “Meh.”  But make the burritos crispy on the outside and, “OMG these are good!  Can I have another?”  You’ll definitely want to add this to your easy dinner repertoire.

    Here’s what you’ll need:

    • ½ lb. ground beef
    • ½ onion, minced
    • ½ teaspoon salt
    • ¼ teaspoon pepper
    • 1 Tablespoon chili powder
    • 1 can (16 oz.) refried beans
    • ¼ cup taco sauce
    • 1 cup grated cheese
    • Tortillas
    • Canola oil 

    In a pan over medium heat, combine the beef, onion, salt, pepper, and chili powder.  I actually substituted dried minced onion for the fresh because I was feeling lazy. Either will work fine. 

    When the meat is chopped up and mixed with the spices and onion, put a lid on for 10 minutes, stirring once or twice.  While it’s cooking, put the beans into a bowl and add the taco sauce.  I like La Victoria, but use whatever brand and heat level is your favorite. 

    Stir those together. 

    After 10 minutes, return to the meat.  Make sure it’s in fairly small pieces. 

    Add the beef to the bean mixture. 

    Stir that in.  (I know, this isn’t the most photogenic food ever.)

    Add the cheese.

    Stir. 

    And now for the fun part.  Wait, first you need to preheat your oven to 375°.  Then, line a sheet pan with parchment and lay out a tortilla.  Mine were quite pliable, but if you’re worried yours might crack, just heat them for a few seconds in the microwave. 

    Spoon on a bit of the meat/bean mixture.  It depends on the size of your tortillas, but I used probably about ⅓ cup in each one.  Don’t get too carried away or you’ll have oozing burritos before you’re done. 

    Wrap the edge around and fold it under itself. 

    Fold in the ends.

    Then just roll it over and gently flatten.  Voilá! Err… ¡Ahí está! Beautifully rolled burrito.

    This is easily enough filling for 8 burritos.  I only made 4 and saved the rest of the filling to use in a day or two.  This is also a small sheet pan, so you should be able to fill 8 burritos and fit them all on one regular sized sheet pan. 

    Now here's the secret for making them crispy.  Drizzle on a tiny bit of canola oil.  Think ¼ teaspoon or less per burrito. 

    Rub it around with your fingers to cover the entire surface of the burrito.  I prefer using my fingers over a pastry brush for this because it’s easier to get a very light coating, which is what we’re shooting for. 

    See?  Nice and shiny, but just barely coated. 

    Bake at 375° for 20 minutes.  They’ll be just starting to brown on top. 

    Flip them over. 

    Then back into the oven for another 10 minutes.  They should be nice and brown now. 

    Crispy burrito goodness.  I’m pretty sure ovens are magic. 

    What easy weeknight meal would you like to see have a facelift? 

     

    Tuesday
    Aug052014

    Love Is...

    I’m giving away 15 Kindle copies of Love Is…!

    It’s a fantastic compilation of 40 short stories by 40 authors. Each one is about love in one of its many varied forms. Authors include amazing writers like my good friend Elise Logan, Kate Pearce, Crystal Jordan… you know what, I’m just going to list them all below because they’re all really great. 

    Oh, and did I metion it's for a good cause?  All proceeds from this anthology go to support the Reach Out and Read, an evidence-based nonprofit organization of medical providers who promote early literacy and school readiness in pediatric exam rooms nationwide by giving new books to children and advice to parents about the importance of reading aloud. 

    I know, this is a food blog, and food has nothing to do with love, right? Wrong! Food and love often go together.  When was the last time you went on a date, whether it be a first date or a celebration of 50 years together, that didn’t include some sort of food? Still don’t believe me? Just watch this memorable clip from Lady and the Tramp. 

    So, what do you have to do for a copy of this fabulous anthology? It’s simple, just comment below.  Tell us about a time in your life when love and food went together (keeping it PG-13 or better, please).  Or if you don’t have a story you wish to share, simply shout out your favorite Authors Kitchen recipe or even just say hello. The first 15 people to comment will automatically receive a copy.  Just make sure to enter your email address so I know where to send it. 

    Authors included in this anthology: S.M. Butler, Kate Pearce, Marie Hall, Zoe York, Kat Cantrell, Sidney Bristol, Cassandra Curtis, A. Catherine Noon & Rachel Wilder, Keri Ford, Sadie Haller, Crystal Jordan, Jennifer Lewis, Molly McLain, Mima, Natasha Moore, Elle Rush, Jessica Stone, Holley Trent, A.J. Vale, Elle Wylder, Clarice Wynter, Sabrina Darby, Bonnie Dee, Jennifer Haymore, Vivienne Westlake, Elianne Adams, Melisse Aires, Mahlee Ashwynne, Sophie Avett, Jennifer Blackstream, Sela Carsen, Cate Dean, Grace Draven, Hailey Edwards, Dayna Hart, Elise Logan, Lyra Marlowe, Tina Moss & Yelena Casale, Cate Rowan, and Faye Hunter.