Confession time. Life happens. You can have the perfect plans and still something can go wrong. Take dinner for example. You have your menu planned, you have the meat defrosting in the refrigerator or cooking in the slow cooker. Then life happens. The power goes out late in the afternoon so the meal in your slow cooker stops cooking and is ruined. Maybe the meat you defrosted for dinner hasn’t defrosted by the time you are ready to cook dinner. Or like me your car dies.
The kids had music lessons last night. It has been super cold here with the windchill not above 0 for three days. When I started my van last night it started hard but that is typical of an old car in the bitter cold. We went to lessons which are just two miles down the road. When we got there I had a fleeting thought that I should stay in the car and keep it running because I really did not want to go out into the cold. But, I know my son’s cello teacher likes to talk to me afterwards so I shut the car off and went in. We came out and I went to start the car, click. No. The lights were on, the bell for the door worked but not just quite enough juice to start the car. Darn.
So we got everyone back in the building and called AAA. It was an hour and a half after lessons ended that we finally got the problem solved. I hadn’t quite driven enough to recharge the car after the hard start and I needed a new battery (which I knew about but was trying to not think about). They got the car started and told me to drive it for 40-45 minutes to charge it and warm it up. It was already 7:10 and everyone was starving. So, the Mexican Corn Bread I was planning to make was out as I still needed to go to the store and buy cornbread mix and creamed corn.
So, it was International Night. Yes, we all do this when we need to. Even me. I asked the kids where they wanted to order dinner from and everyone chose a different restaurant. So we had egg rolls and Happy Family, gyros and kibbe. Chinese, Mediterranean and Lebanese food. It was good and made us all feel better. Some days are just like this.
So, this Taco Braid was a recipe that I had from a meal we had over Christmas vacation. They had a $1 sale on crescent roll dough which I love to use for appetizers for football game. So I bought several to use and when the kids saw this on one of the Facebook posts they wanted to try it.
This was better than I thought it would be. It was great to have the pre-made dough but I think it would be even better with a fresh bread or pizza dough.
I served this with green side salad and green beans.
- 1 can of Pillsbury Crescent Dough (I used the sheet of dough)
- olive oil
- 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
- 1/2 cup onion, diced
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon powdered garlic
- 2 tablespoons cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper (more or less to taste)
- red pepper flakes (more or less to taste)
- 1 large tomato, chopped
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- sour cream, green onions, salsa and taco sauce as desired for toppings
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Brush a baking sheet with olive oil.
- Lay the dough on the baking sheet. With a pizza cutter cut strips along the long sides of the dough 1 – 1 1/2″ wide and 3-4″ long. (see picture above)
- In a large skillet over medium heat cook onion and ground beef. Break ground beef into fine pieces with the side of the spoon. Once beef is browned drain any fat from the pan.
- Add water, chili powder, garlic, cumin, onion powder, salt, pepper, Cayenne pepper and red pepper flakes. Return pan to heat. Stir well and allow water to evaporate. Taste and adjust spices to your liking.
- Place the ground beef down the center of the dough. Sprinkle with 2/3 cup of shredded cheese and diced tomatoes.
- Starting at one end bring the end two pieces of dough up over the end. Then start crossing the dough pieces crossing over the top until 2 pieces of dough are left at the other end. Bring the last two pieces up over the end of the braid and secure to the sides.
- Brush top of braid with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the braid.
- Bake braid until golden brown about 20-25 minutes.
- Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes before serving. Top with salsa, sour cream and taco sauce as desired.