Taco Meal Makeover

Last night’s family sit down dinner was served warm, but parentless.

After transforming the spaghetti and meatball leftovers from Thursday night into a curious cheese-topped pasta pie, my husband took one look at it and announced that it was date night, an evening devoted to staring dreamily into each other’s eyes over, in this case, a double-serving of sweet and sour shrimp with a side of spring rolls.

Although I suspected my husband’s motives, I told the kids that I entrusted them to carry on with the sit down dinner despite our absence and hoped for the best.

The dirty plates  left on the kitchen table for me to find when I got home removed all doubt from my mind. Er, well done, men…

In contrast, tonight’s dinner was parent-ful. When my three youngest entered the kitchen, they were aghast to see that I had transformed our traditional “taco-bar Tuesday” supper into “sit-around-the-table-and-create-your-own-taco-extravaganza Saturday.”

I must say, it was rather nice watching them build their own feast instead of filling their orders and handing them a full plate.

I know to you, witnessing the affects of this resolution on my family must be akin to watching paint dry, but I’ll take my successes, no matter how small. Granted, with my old method of serving tacos, I never ended up with a dribble of salsa on my tablecloth.

Baby steps…

On the menu for tomorrow night, a new recipe – Chicken, Mushroom and Brown Rice Slow Cooker Casserole (below). My guys like chicken, mushrooms and brown rice and I like slow cookers. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

Rumor has it my oldest will be buzzing home to pick up the items he forgot when we brought him back to campus last week and he can stay for dinner. That’s right – no leftovers for Monday, folks, but it will be worth it.

Chicken, Mushroom, and Brown Rice Slow Cooker Casserole

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 426 min
Serves: 8
cooking spray   
8 thigh uncooked boneless, skinless chicken thigh(s), about 2 1/2 oz each
2 cup(s) canned chicken broth
1/2 pound(s) mushroom(s), sliced
1 cup(s) uncooked leek(s), white and pale green parts only, thinly sliced
1 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), thinly sliced
1 cup(s) uncooked celery, thinly sliced
3/4 cup(s) uncooked brown rice, medium-grain
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp table salt
1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
·       Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm over medium heat. Add the chicken thighs and brown, turning once, about 6 minutes; set aside.
·       Combine the remaining ingredients in a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker; nestle the chicken thighs in the mixture. Cover and cook on low for 7 hours. 


One thought on “Taco Meal Makeover

  1. Tee-hee!Your husband sounds like a very smart man…no complaints…just takes you out to dinner. 🙂 I’m sure the kids understand…there’s always tomorrow night. 🙂


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