Last summer Tastefully Simple released their Giddy Up Guacamole. It is AMAZING! There are a couple problems, though.
Problem #1: It’s expensive — $6.99 for a box of two packets. Basically, you’re paying $3.50 plus shipping and the price of avacados to make one batch of guacamole. A little steep for my budget. Oh, but it’s SO GOOD!
Problem #2: You can only get it through them.
My Solution: Concord Foods Guacamole Mix. It’s only $1.09 per pack and available at every grocery store in our area! You can find it in “mild” or “spicy.” It’s easier to make and tastes just as good. The “mild” version is definitely more mild than Tastefully Simple’s mix, but that makes it more palatable for preschoolers. My kids love it. If you want a little more spice, a little more like the “Giddy Up” version, buy the “spicy” pack and simply add in an extra avacado or two, depending on their size.
Problem solved, and my wallet thanks you.
Lately I’ve slacked off on my Recipe Swap Sundays and I’ve already got a Mexican theme going today, so I’m going to give you my Taco Ring recipe! It’s kind of an American version of empanadas.
At one of my bridal showers (over ten years ago), each guest brought a copy of their favorite recipe (or two). It was a great way to start a marriage — with time-tested and well-loved recipes! This recipe is one of those and definitely a favorite around here, partly because it was one of the few recipes we didn’t have to severely alter for Zach’s allergies. Pilsbury crescent rolls are dairy- and egg-free, so I simply made a separate “ring” without cheese. (For those who don’t know: Zach suffered from major alleries for the first three years of his life. He couldn’t have any dairy, eggs or peanuts. His eyes would swell shut within seconds of ingesting a touch of cheese or un-approved bread. His whole upper body would be covered in hives. Scary stuff, but — PRAISE GOD!! — Zach outgrew ALL of these allergies last summer. Woo-hoo!) Without further ado …
1 lb ground beef
1 pkg taco seasoning
2 cans crescent rolls
1 large tomato, diced
2 c lettuce, shredded
1 ½ c shredded cheddar cheese (or “taco blend”)
1 avocado, peeled, pitted and diced (optional)
¼ c sour cream (optional)
Any other taco toppings you like
Preheat oven to 375’. Meanwhile, brown ground beef in a skillet. Add taco seasoning and water according to packet instructions, but make sure it’s not too runny.
On a large baking sheet (a pizza stone is perfect!), arrange the cresent rolls into a sunburst pattern. (See picture at right.) Add beef and cheese (if using) around the center ring; fold points over to seal. Bake at 375’ for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and no longer doughy. Serve with tomatoes, avocado, sour cream and other toppings. Guests can pile it high or keep it simple as they like.
Prep Tip: How do you dice an avocado? Using a very sharp knife, cut down the center through the skin and flesh. Twist the halves and separate. The round pit will stick to one half. Slam your knife into the pit, twist and remove. Use a large spoon to scoop the flesh out of each half in one piece. Dice. After you dice the avocado, squirt a little lime juice on it to prevent the flesh from oxidizing (turning brown).
Alternatives: Instead of using a full pound of ground beef, fill your ring with two layers: first refried beans, then a half pound of taco meat (seasoned ground beef or turkey). Also, if you’re in a rush, use Pilsbury’s “Crescent Creations” instead of crescent rolls. Fill the flat, rectangular layer in a long line and roll up to encase. It’s not as pretty, but tastes just the same!