Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Day 21 Cooking basics - Hot chocolate and taco seasoning,

We made hot chocolate by heating one gallon of whole milk on the stove top, Then we added 1/2 cup cocoa, 1 cup of sugar and 1 tsp vanilla. The children loved it. The college friends thought it was great - they had never had homemade hot chocolate.

I bought a 10 pound tube of hamburger at $1.68/pound. To use it I fried 2/3 of it. When all evenly browned, I drained it over a big bowl in the sink with hot water from the sprayer attachment. I caught the run-off to use as a soup base. Left to sit on the counter top, the fat all rose to the top making it easy to skim off. The ground meat is 99.9% fat free (a tip in the newspaper several years ago.) I flavored half of the meat with taco flavoring then froze the meat in meal sizes in sandwich baggies with 1 gallon size bag to keep them organized and together. The remaining 1/3 of the tube I formed into "breakfast patties" to fry up when I want a good protein source for breakfast.

Taco Flavoring (Original recipe from Make a Mix cookbook for 1-1/2 lbs. lean ground beef)

2 teaspoons instant minced onion
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp crushed dried red pepper
1/2 tsp instant minced garlic
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp ground cumin

Add to 1-1/2 pounds ground beef and 1/2 cup water

My modified recipe:

1/2 cup chopped fresh onion
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp flour/cornstarch
1 tsp fresh minced garlic
1 tsp ground cumin (This is the main reason I prioritized cumin as a first purchase.)

Another spice that I make from scratch is Sloppy Joe

1 TBS instant minced onion
1 tsp green pepper flakes
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cornstarch
1/2 tsp instant minced garlic
1/4 tsp dry mustard powder (easily found in Indian stores)
1/4 tsp celery seed
1/4 tsp chili powder

(I add 1 TBS brown sugar)

Mix together, Add to 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 cup water, 8 oz tomato sauce. Heat and serve over 6 hamburger buns.


  1. Thanks! 1 cup sugar in the cocoa for 1 gallon milk.

  2. Thanks Crystal! I've been wanting to figure out the spices for taco seasoning for a while! I appreciate your blog and the recipes!