Friday, August 19, 2016

A New Look & End of the Summer Recipe

If you've ever visited my blog before, you'll notice Mangia Mamma now has a new look. Thanks to my oldest child, who is much more computer savvy than I will ever be, the blog now has a bit more of a polished look. I had once again thought about just giving it up then Cari (the aforementioned oldest child) noticed how many people actually check it out. I was so shocked that I had her double check, and sure enough, I get enough "hits" that I decided to keep going with it. 

I also now have a page about my Etsy shop, Piccolo Di Luce. It'll link you right to the shop as well as have updates on new items I'm working on & selling. 

Since I'm going to try to start blogging a bit more consistently, I thought I'd let you know what the weekly menu will look like here at MM:

~Tuesday posts will be "Tasty Tuesdays" and feature a recipe from my plethora of cookbooks or new creations from my kitchen

~Thursday posts will either be a link up to Like Mother, Like Daughter's {Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real} or a post on homemaking,, movies, books, podcasts that I've been enjoying and other things like that.

~Friday or Saturday posts will be all about empty nesting & having young adult kids. I am hoping to have some guest posts about these topics as they are relevant to so many people, even if not today then in the future.

I thought I'd add an easy and inexpensive recipe for one of our family favorites during this last part of summer. When it gets too warm to put on an oven, you can still cook up a batch of Mangia Mamma Tostadas! Another bonus for us is that it's gluten free, nut free, low sodium & can be made with lactose free cheese. All of the toppings can be cut up/made ahead of time, so you can just heat up the meat & beans for a quick weeknight dinner.  Enjoy!

Mangia Mamma Tostadas
It's less expensive plus so much better tasting when you fry up corn tortillas to make the shells yourself. If you do use store-bought tostada shells, be sure to heat them for 5-7 minutes in a 300 degree oven which makes them taste a little closer to homemade goodness.

  • Yield:
  •  Serves about 6
Vegetable oil
12 corn tortillas
21 Seasoning Salute from Trader Joe's
1 lb. lean ground beef 
1 finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2-3 tablespoons low sodium taco seasoning 
2-15 oz. cans refried beans 
Toppings can include the following plus anything else your family may like:
cooked rice (I either make a batch or just reheat what I've got in the fridge in my rice cooker), chopped lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, guacamole or avocado, salsa, cilantro, grated or crumbled cheese of your choice (we do whatever we have along with some goat cheese for our lactose intolerant kid), chopped fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream
1 Heat refried beans in a saucepan, until warm. If you are using regular canned beans, drain them, then add them to the pan with a little water, mixing them as you heat them. Keep on low while you prepare everything else.
2 Heat a little bit of oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently until opaque. Add ground beef, cooking until no longer red. Add taco seasoning and tomato paste. Keep on low heat while you prepare the tortillas.
3  Pour enough oil to about 1/4" into another frying pan. Heat the oil on medium high heat until sizzling hot, but not smoking then turn down to medium. As soon as it seems hot enough, fry the tortillas in the oil, one or two at a time depending on how big your pan is.  Fry until golden brown on both sides, cooking about a minute per side. Using tongs, push the tortilla down in the oil, and to turn and lift the tortilla out of the pan, gently shaking the excess oil as you do so.  Place the tortilla on a paper towel-lined plate, to absorb the excess oil. Sprinkle with a little salt (or the 21 Seasoning Salute for anyone who needs to eat low sodium). 
You might need to add a bit more oil to the pan as it gets low, but be sure the oil heats enough before adding another tortilla.
4 We like to serve this buffet style. I just place the pots of beans and beef on trivets on the kitchen counter along with the rice in the cooker plus various toppings in various bowls (I like to use jars or tupperware sometimes in order to expedite clean up). Have everyone serve themselves stacking their tostadas with what ingredients they like.

I usually have leftover oil and tortillas, so since I don't like to waste what can be reused, I make chips with what's left. Cut the tortillas into any shape you want and fry the same way for the tostada shells. Also, you can also use any kind of leftover meat or even eggs instead of the beef. This makes a great "Faithful Friday" dinner when you just use the beans and no meat. 
I'd love to hear what kind of tostadas your family likes to eat as I'm always happy to learn new ideas for recipes!

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