Homemade Taco Seasoning

I absolutely adore shopping in bulk. It amazes me how much cheaper things are, and my OCD loves having a pantry full of pretty matching jars and canisters 😉

Another bonus of shopping in bulk is that it makes it even easier to make your own spice mixes. Yes, I am aware that they sell taco seasoning in bulk, but when you create your own spice mixes you know exactly what ingredients are included, and you can adjust them to your family’s taste.

This seasoning makes a good amount of mix. I keep it in my cupboard and use it whenever a recipe calls for taco seasoning.

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup chili powder (I used mild, but can use medium or hot)
  • 3 tablespoons cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried onion flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons red pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano leaves

Instructions

  • Combine all the ingredients in a bowl or ziplock bag, mixing thoroughly. . Store in an airtight container in a cool, dry place. Use 2-3 tablespoons per pound of ground meat.
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    Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

    Hello winter, I have been dreading your arrival. You can hurry up and leave now please! Now that the cold days and even colder nights have arrived, I crave comfort food. This sandwich is perfect for the nights when the kids are gone and I want something filling that won’t feed and army.

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    The sandwich consists of all the things I love: cheese, sourdough, sauerkraut and kielbasa. Mmmm I am drooling just thinking about it! Of course, if you are going to open a can of kraut and cook the sausage, you might want to make more than one sandwich, but I find that both ingredients freeze well. Depending on how thick you slice the kielbasa, you may need to put a weight on the sandwich while it cooks, like a heavy skillet.

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    Grilled Kielbasa Sandwich

    Yield: 4 sandwiches

    Ingredients

    • 13 oz package kielbasa (I used turkey kielbasa)
    • 14 oz can sauerkraut
    • 1 package sliced Swiss or provolone cheese
    • 8 slices sourdough bread
    • butter

    Instructions

  • Cook kielbasa according to package instructions. While kielbasa is cooking, drain sauerkraut well.
  • Heat skillet over medium heat. Butter two slices of bread. Slice the sausage into 1/4 inch slices, and layer cheese, kielbasa and sauerkraut onto bread. Place sandwich, butter side down, into preheated pan. Cook until golden and cheese is starting to melt, then flip and cook on other side. Serve immediately.
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    Harvest Salad

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    The season of hearty, calorie laden comfort food is upon us! I do love big bowls of chowder, pumpkin bread and anything creamy and cheesy as much as the next person, but my motto is “everything in moderation.” I eat a lot of salad, and I really do love it. I ate my fill of caprese and salads topped with fresh corn  and garden tomatoes this summer, but now fall produce is getting its turn.

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    Spring mix is topped with crisp apples, tart dried cranberries, candied pecans, blue cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. A perfect way to enjoy fall flavors while being both light and delicious.

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    While you could buy candied pecans, homemade are so simple to make and completely customize-able. Add a little cinnamon or even a pinch cayenne for flavor. If you want to switch it up some, replace the apples with pears and the blue cheese with goat cheese.

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    Harvest Salad

    Ingredients

    • 5 ounces of mixed gourmet/spring greens
    • 1 apple (I used Fuji), cored and chopped (to equal about 1¼ cups)
    • 1 cup candied pecans
    • ⅔ cup dried cranberries
    • 4 ounces crumbled blue cheese
      Dressing:
    • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 1½ tablespoons pure maple syrup
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • ½ teaspoon smooth dijon mustard
    • a pinch (about 1/16 teaspoon) kosher salt
      Candied Pecans
    • 1 cup pecans
    • 1½ tablespoons packed brown sugar
    • 1½ teaspoons water
    • ⅛ teaspoon vanilla
    • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt

    Instructions

  • For pecans: Mix together all ingredients but the pecans. In a medium-large saucepan over medium heat, toast pecans for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. When you begin to smell them, they're done.
  • Quickly drizzle the sugar mixture into the pan, on top of the pecans, stirring the nuts as you drizzle. Stir constantly for about 15 seconds, until the pecans are thoroughly coated in the sugar mixture. Immediately remove from heat so they don't burn.
  • Spread the pecans on a piece of parchment to cool. Once cooled, you can break the nuts apart, if needed.
  • Enjoy immediately or store in an airtight container. The pecans will be slightly sticky at first, but the coating hardens further within a few hours.
  • For the salad: Place greens in a large serving bowl (or divide it among individual salad plates).
  • Sprinkle apples, pecans, cranberries, and cheese over top of greens.
  • For dressing, whisk together balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, olive oil, mustard, and salt until emulsified.
  • Dress salad just before serving.
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    Recipe Source: Two Healthy Kitchens

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