Snack & Appetizer Recipes

I used to live in this little town (seriously, only three stoplights) in Ohio. And there was a wonderful little privately owned pizza place in town that made the BEST Taco Pizza EVER!!!! It was our family tradition to order pizza once a month and when it was my turn to pick what we ordered it was always Taco Pizza from Hungry Howies. The crust was crispy, the taco meat with beans was delish, and the towering toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, black olives, and sour cream was so heavenly that my mouth waters just writing about it.

But sadly, I moved away from that little town when I was 14 and haven’t tasted a bite of Taco Pizza since then (until I recreated it myself). Actually, everyone I have ever asked, had never even heard of Taco Pizza! So while this isn’t exactly the wackiest on my list of Wacky Wednesday ideas, since it seems no one outside of my sleepy little childhood town has even heard of Taco Pizza, I  just have to share my recreation of this delicious marriage of two of my favorite foods, Pizza and Tacos! Now, I know what you are probably thinking, and it is probably pretty close to my husbands reaction, “taco?…..pizza?…..That sounds really gross but if you must……” But I assure you, give it a shot and your family will have a taste-bud explosion and it will soon become a family favorite like it has in our house.

And it is so versatile, cut small squares and it can be an appetizer at a casual party or larger slices and it’s dinner, you choose!

What you need:

1 Pizza Crust (store bought or homemade, it doesn’t matter but crispy is the key!)
1 lb. Hamburger
1 Taco Seasoning Packet
1/2 can of re-fried beans
8 oz. Taco Blend shredded cheese
1/2 head of lettuce
2 small tomatoes
Black Olives
Taco sauce
(any other taco toppings that your family prefers)

How to make this simple taste-bud masterpiece:

Roll out your pizza crust to get it as thin as possible without tearing onto a greased cookie sheet or pizza pan. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium-high heat until just browned, drain well and add taco seasoning mix and 1/3 c. of water until well mixed as if you are making traditional tacos.

Spread a thin layer of re-fried beans over your pizza crust (not to much, we don’t want to overpower the meat). Even if you don’t care for re-fried beans, this is a necessity, it isn’t true taco pizza without it! Top this with the prepared taco meat, and drizzle with desired amount of taco sauce. I used about 1 cup for my pizza. All that is left to do for this part is to top with cheese! Cover the pizza with the entire bag of cheese and pop it into the oven at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or the cooking time recommended for the crust that you use. Since everything is already cooked except for the crust, the goal is to just get the crust cooked through and melt the cheese.

 

While your pizza is in the oven, shred your lettuce to bite size strips, dice the tomato, and open the olives so you are all ready to add your toppings and eat!

After your pizza comes out of the oven, immediately top with shredded lettuce (don’t be afraid to really pile it on!) The crunchy chill of the lettuce contrasts so nicely with the warm gooey-ness of the taco meat, cheese and beans. Now top with diced tomatoes and black olives and any remaining ingredients you would like to add! Cut into squares, not triangle slices, this pizza works better with squares. It could be because that was how Hungry Howies always cut their pizza but it could also be because the toppings are loose and will fall all over the place if it isn’t in small easy to manage pieces. The last step is to add a dollop of sour cream to each piece and enjoy!

As you can see this is just like any other pizza so you can add or subtract ingredients to suit your families tastes. My recommendation is to NOT take away are the refried beans, taco meat, and lettuce! Those make it the best EVER!

Let me know what you think, just scroll down a little and leave a comment in the box below and give it to me straight, is it just me or is this the best pizza ever!?!?!?

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Frugal Recipes

 

A great easy recipe for Super Bowl Sunday!

Easy Stuffed Mushrooms
Recipe Type: Appetizer
Ingredients
  • Mushrooms
  • Cream Cheese
  • Bacon crumbles
Instructions
  1. Clean mushrooms and remove stems.
  2. Mix together cream cheese and bacon.
  3. Fill mushrooms with heaping amount of cream cheese mix.
  4. Bake at 350, on cookie sheet, until warmed through.
Notes

These can be messy. Serve with a napkin.

 

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Frugal Recipes

Quick tasty snack.  My kids loved these when they were young.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Corn Oil
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1 tsp Dill
  • 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
  • 2 pkg. Oyster Crackers

Directions

1.  Mix all ingredients (except crackers)

2.  Put Crackers in container large enough to allow for occasional mixing.

3.  Pour mixture over crackers and mix.

Cooking Tips & More

An ice cream container works very well.  These are best after they have set for 24 hours. Eat as a snack or with soup.

Craving more?   Browse the recipe index to find more frugal, quick, and kid-friendly recipes.

 

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Renae is a mom of two young boys who keep her running. She blogs at Madame Deals and helps people make dollars out of change. In her spare time, she loves to work in her vegetable garden and cook.

As mid-summer hits, zucchini and squash are in abundance. If you have zucchini and yellow squash growing in your home garden, you most likely have a never ending supply. I like to preserve zucchini by freezing it. It can be frozen shredded or cut in slices or cubes. When winter rolls around, you will have a nice supply of zucchini to add to a stir fry, casseroles, soups or make zucchini bread.

The shredded zucchini is best used for bread. If you are working with a large zucchini, take the seeds out of the middle before grating. Shred the zucchini with a cheese grater and then place in a freezer bags. I freeze mine in 2 cup increments since that is what my bread recipe calls for. When sealing the freezer bag, makes sure to squeeze out as much air as possible. If you have a vacuum seal machine, use that instead. Mark your freezer bag with the date and contents so you don’t forget what it is!

If you want to freeze zucchini or squash slices or cubes, blanch the squash before freezing. The blanching helps kill enzymes that break down the zucchini and make it mushy. There are various thoughts on whether to blanch squash or not – some people do and some people don’t! I don’t blanch the shredded zucchini but I do blanch the slices and cubes to prevent sogginess.  Simply cut the squash into the size you prefer. Blanch in boiling water or steam for 2-3 minutes. Immediately immerse in ice cold water to prevent over cooking.  Drain the squash well. Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and flash freeze. This step will allow you to freeze the squash in large freezer bags and pull out a small amount when needed.

My favorite way to eat zucchini is breaded and fried. Yes, the unhealthy way! I have found a way to make breaded squash with fewer calories by baking it though.

- – Baked Zucchini & Squash Nuggets Recipe – -

Ingredients

  • Sliced or Cubed squash & zucchini
  • Italian Salad Dressing
  • Italian Bread Crumbs

Preheat your oven to 375 °. Cut zucchini and squash into ¼” slices or cubes. It really depends on how big the squash is that you are using. Place cut squash in Italian dressing to coat all sides. Then dip the squash in Italian bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes or until tender. Turn over halfway through baking.

Beth’s Note: You know I’m all about freezing foods to preserve it and to help combat cooking burn-out.   And, I love zucchini and squash, but it’s usually on the grill, then gone before I have time to think about freezing it.   However, this recipe sounds delicious!   I’m definitely trying it out. Do you have a favorite zucchini or squash recipe?

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Allison is a slightly OCD momma (yes, you do have to eat M&Ms in pairs of matching colors) who blogs over at Alli ‘n Son. She’s a wanna-be photographer, gourmet chief and highly creative woman, all rolled into one.

One of the biggest things that I do to help save money, especially on our grocery budget, is to make as much as possible from scratch.

Yea, I know what you are thinking. I’m crazy.

Well, while that’s a good possibility, there’s a reason for my insanity. I can cross off tons of items from my weekly grocery list. All I need are the ingredients, an oven, and some time.

So what exactly do I cross off my list each week?

  • Bread
  • Crackers
  • Graham Crackers
  • Granola
  • Buns
  • Pita Pockets
  • Cookies
  • Frozen pizzas or pizza dough

Instead I make wonderful things like Whole Wheat Bread (bread machine), Beer Batter Pizza Dough, Graham Crackers, Blueberry Muffins and Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. And those are just a few of my favorite recipes.

By far, the most loved recipe that I make just about every week, are crackers. Similar to Wheat Thins only better. Much better. Plus, I can control the ingredients that I use. There’s nothing in here that I can’t pronounce, no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial colors. I like to know what I’m feeding my family, so I avoid processed foods as much as possible.

Homemade Crackers

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds
  • 3 tablespoons honey (or sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Mix the whole wheat flour, wheat germ, flax seeds and paprika. Add the oil, water, honey and vanilla, mix until smooth. I normally use my hands, it’s faster, and kind of fun. It the dough is too crumbly, add more water 1 tablespoon at a time, so it holds together. You don’t want it too wet though.

Preheat the oven to 400 º. Pop in your baking stone to warm with the oven. If using a baking sheet, lightly grease (no need to preheat the baking sheet). Divide the dough into 8 balls. Take one ball and roll it out on the stone. Get it as thin as possible, the thinner you roll it the crunchier your crackers will be. I use a pizza cutter to cut the dough into squares about 15 inches wide. Well, actually they usually end up more like rectangles, but the shape isn’t really that important. If you want, you can add the oddly shaped edges to one of the remaining dough balls. Or just bake them, and snack on them as you are cooking. Someone needs to test the after all. Sprinkle the dough lightly with kosher salt.

Pop the crackers into the over for 5-10 minutes. 8 minutes is just about perfect for me. You will know they are done when the edges are very lightly browned. The edges cook faster than the middle, so you may need to remove these and let the rest bake for a few more minutes. Keep a close eye on them, they can burn quickly.

Cool the crackers on the pan, this will help them crisp up even more. Once cool, store the crackers in an air tight container.

This recipe is a modified version of a recipe I saw on Kitchen Stewardship. One of the things I love about the original recipe is that it’s so easy to modify. I’ve made cinnamon sugar crackers and I’m thinking of trying some garlic and olive oil crackers. The possibilities are, seriously, never ending.

Beth’s Note: Okay, I have (sadly) never even considered making my own crackers at home, but I can not wait to try this, because they look absolutely delicious!!   And that Beer Batter Pizza Dough… well, I’m all over that one, since I do love cooking with beer.

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I’m not sure if my family is terrified of the dreaded, “Did you eat all the crackers?” question or what, but they often leave just a tiny bit of food in the bottom of bags and boxes.   Maybe they are being nice and leaving some for the next person.   Maybe they are being lazy and don’t want to have to have to head to the trash.   Really, I have no clue!   But, I often find bags and boxes in the pantry with just a few left over.   Not quite enough for a filling snack, but not something you want to throw away.

Well, here’s how we turn those dwindling snacks into a new and exciting snack quickly.   Dump them all together.   Just take half full or mostly empty containers and mix them for a fun snack mix!

- –   Possible Ingredients – -

  • Crackers
  • Cereal
  • Dried Fruit
  • Marshmallows
  • Cookies
  • Candy
  • Baking Chips (Chocolate, Butterscotch, etc…)
  • Nuts
  • Granola, Breakfast, or Snack Bars
  • Pop-Tarts
  • Pretzels
  • Fruit Snacks

- – Directions – -

  1. Cut, crush, tear, or break any larger ingredients into bite size pieces.
  2. Toss into a storage bag.
  3. Shake to mix.
  4. Serve or store for later!

- – Cooking Tips & More – -

  • For Kids - Let them do it!   They will have a blast making new creations!
  • Spice It Up - Add spices to punch up the flavor and make your snack mix Garlic Herb, BBQ, Mexican, or another great flavor.
  • Sweeten It Up - Toss in cinnamon, sugar, or a drop of honey to sweeten your mix.

Want more?   Brows the recipe index to check out all of my recipes!

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