Simple Pleasures

TACO SALAD… With a Twist
There was once a wonderful little tea room and store in Moberly named “Simple Pleasures.”  It was a place to shop and a place to enjoy some of the best scones you’ll ever find anywhere!  The merchandise sold in this store was very unique and fun.  I purchased this cookbook “The Pastors Wives Cookbook.” right before Simple Pleasures closed. 

Having a pastor’s wife as a dear friend… I’m aware they are often called upon to entertain on a moment’s notice.  Contributed by pastors’ wives from across the country, the delicious recipes contained within this cookbook can be prepared with ingredients most cooks stock in their kitchens.  “Pastors Wives Cookbook” also Includes menus for entertaining at any time of day, party fare and an extensive sweets section from puddings to pies to pastries.  Many of the recipes you’ll find tucked between the front and back covers of this cookbook are ones some of us enjoyed at those after church meals or at community events. You might be looking for one of those recipes so I encourage you to check out this delightful cookbook.

For years, my sister has made a wonderful Taco Salad that is also unique and fun to serve.  It’s one of those recipes that doesn’t sound good when you look down the list of ingredients …but it’s a nice surprise when you take that first bite.  I have my sister’s recipe in my collection but it can also find it in “The Pastor’s Wives Cookbook.” Try this Taco Salad – with a twist… and share with us what your family and friends thought of it when they took their first bite.

Taco Salad
1 head lettuce, broken in bite-size pieces or shredded
1/2 point Cheddar cheese, grated

1 15-ounce can chili or kidney beans, washed and drained
2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 Taco seasoning package
1 8-ounce bottle Catalina dressing
1/2 bag Fritos or similar chips

Taco spice

3/4 cup water

Brown ground beef, drain and cool.  Season with Taco spice.  Add 3/4 cup water, Taco seasoning package and simmer 10 to 15 minutes.  Layer ingredients.  Sprinkle Fritos on top.  Serves 6-8 people.  NOTE:  Omit hamburger meat, if desired.

– I leave the Taco spice out…. the taco seasoning package adds enough taste
-Taco spice can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores
-Don’t let too much time lapse before serving this…assemble just prior to serving as chips get soggy
-Plan to eat it all – does not make good left-overs.  If you think you will have some left-overs, I would suggest putting the lettuce, hamburger mixture, beans, tomatoes, onion, salad dressing, chips and cheese in separate containers and let everyone assemble their own salad.  The kids actually prefer this method.

Source:   “Taco Salad.” The Pastors Wives Cookbook. Memphis: Wimmer Cookbooks, 1978. 111.