Keeping it Simple: Tex Mex Taco Night

finished 2

I had a great neighbor growing up named  Pinky. She was the mother to seven and a smart, crafty Irishwoman to boot. While she did work hard (did I mention she was the mother to SEVEN kids?!) she was also very good at avoiding unnecessary work and sneaking in some time for herself. Once the kids were old enough, she would send them to school and hit the golf course with her ladies, usually arriving home just before her husband returned home from work. Not wanting him to catch on to her golfing, Pinky would put as many large pots as possible on the stove and boil water inside of them so that when her husband got home he would see all the boiling pots and Pinky would exclaim “Oh! How hard I’ve been working cooking dinner!”.

So what does Pinky the crafty Irishwoman have to do with tacos? Pinky had mastered a very specific skill that enabled her to golf with friends and make dinner for 9 people all while taking it relatively easy, Pinky was a master of making it look hard. These tacos fit that same bill; they taste great, look great and make it seem like you’ve been slaving over dinner, but these are so incredibly easy that you can make them in 15 minutes. These are my go-to on a long day, whether I’ve been working late or, like Pinky, playing late, these tacos are a sure hit. Enjoy!


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 fresh pasilla chili pepper, seeds removed and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced fine
  • 1 pound of 90% lean ground beef
  • Taco seasoning:
    • 1 tablespoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    • 2 teaspoons Adobo seasoning
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Taco bar favorites:
    • avocado
    • salsa
    • tomatoes
    • shredded lettuce
    • cheese
    • sour cream
    • cilantro
    • crispy taco shells
    • whatever you like!


1. Heat olive oil in large pan, saute onion over medium heat until translucent.


2. Add pasilla pepper and garlic, saute mixture for an additional 3 or so minutes, until you see the pepper start to soften.

saute veggies

3. Add ground beef to vegetables, breaking up any clumps as the meat cooks. Saute meat for an additional 5 minutes, until it is nearly cooked.

add meat

4. Turn heat to low and add spices of taco seasoning one by one, stirring beef mixture well between each addition.

taco bar

5. Top with favorite taco bar fixings and enjoy! Simple as that, Pinky would be proud.



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