I love to cook. I do not like to bake. Cooking leaves room for experimentation; baking is like a chemistry experiment where any little variation from the instructions can cause a disaster. Where is there room for creativity in chemistry…or baking? I spent a lot of years telling myself that if only I practiced baking more, knew more about it,…then surely it could be fun as well. However, my friend Pam is a professionally trained cook, and when I asked her about creative baking and her response was, “Well, it can be if you know the right ratios for what makes things rise the way you want, or be the consistency you want…” I just tuned out and signed off on baking as an art form right then.

ANYWAY, we often have nights where I throw whatever is in the cabinet together to find out what happens, and I am proud to say there has only been one memorable flop (This happened when I decided that if white wine, crm chkn soup, and chkn breasts mix well in the crock pot, why not try this left-over red wine. The result was one of the most unappetizing, putrid purple colors you can imagine. Although, if you could make yourself put it in your mouth, it really tasted pretty good :)). Last night, I was wondering, as I have many a night, what in the world I could do with my hamburger meat besides A)spaghetti B)beef stroganoff C)hamburger steak. I have a pretty serious addiction to all things Mexican and spicy, and I got pretty excited when I saw the ingredients waiting for me in that cabinet.

1 1/2 lb lean hamburger meat
1/2 yellow onion
minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

taco seasoning packet
chili powder

2 Uncle Bens microwave pouches of Spanish rice
1 can black beans–drained and rinsed
1 can corn–drained
1 can diced tomatoes

shredded cheddar cheese

Sautee first 4 ingredients together until meat is browned. Drain and rinse. Replace in pan and simmer with next 3 seasonings to taste. Cook rice according to packet instructions and combine with next 3 ingredients in 9×13 pyrex. Add meat to rice/veggie mix and add more seasoning if needed. Sprinkle cheese on top and bake at 350 until hot throughout (about 25 minutes). Garnish with salsa, sour cream, and jalapenos.

We LOVED this! All of us including Mapple Dapple 🙂 and it was super easy.

5 Responses to “Gettin’ Crazy in the Kitchen”

  1. Lauren says:

    Love Mary Aplin’s bottom teeth!

    I love to BAKE. I don’t want to experiment. I want to follow the recipe precisely as it’s stated. I would think you were the same. 🙂

    Ben loves to experiment. He is in charge of most of our nightly meals. He just looks in the pantry and gets an idea and about an hour later, we have a delicious meal on the table. I don’t know how he does it. Y’all are lucky. I guess I don’t have much imagination.

  2. The Jernigan's says:

    I will deinately have to try that. We love Mexican too so it sounds yummy!!

  3. Anna & Ben says:

    if only I could get Ben to eat a casserole…none of his food can be mixed together! I know, he’s weird

  4. Abby Euten says:

    I love Pace’s fancy shoes, those are fabulous! We’ll have to try the casserole, thanks for the recipe. Matt LOVES mexican and he often just mixes stuff together anyway so it should go over well!

  5. Margaret says:

    Hey Abby! I am so glad I found your page! I think the last time we saw each other was at Jessica’s wedding and you were like 12 weeks pregnant with Mary Aplin and I was maybe 7 weeks with Simms! Your family is so sweet and your postings are so sincere and witty! I finally started a blog but it is nowhere near what I would call creative! Great to see your family and I am excited about keeping in touch! Love, Margaret

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