Drugstore Divas received coupons for Old El Paso for this post. Additional items were purchased by Drugstore Divas without compensation.
When I first moved out on my own, I didn’t know how to cook. I’m not kidding when I tell you how horrible I was at cooking. I tried to make soup once for these kids I was babysitting. The can said, “Heat to simmer.” And so, I turned to the oldest daughter (who was 14; I was only 16, so we were basically babysitting her siblings together) and asked, “Do you know what heat to simmer means?”
Neither of us really knew.
And for a long time, I didn’t get much better. Years later, when I moved out on my own, I wanted tacos. So I went to the store, bought the ingredients, and came to cook. Thank goodness, my building-mate happened to knock on the door while I was trying to cook the beef. “Do you know how long to cook beef?” I asked him as he stepped into my apartment.
“You brown it,” he said.
“But what does that mean?” I asked. “I don’t understand what ‘brown the beef’ means.”
“It will turn brown,” he said.
“Really?” I was so skeptical. And confused. And really overcooking my beef because this gray-ish wasn’t brown in my very literal eyes. So my building-mate helped me and after that, I felt very confident making tacos. It was something I could serve to guests and give them the false impression that I could cook. It’s easy, delicious, and no one ever get sick or leaves hungry. I can cook now (lucky for Pete), but I still have a soft spot for tacos and creating a full spread for my taco fiestas.
If you’re learning how to cook, I’m here to help show you how to throw a taco fiesta so you can fool your guests into thinking you’re a pro too.
How To Throw A Taco Fiesta
What You’ll Need:
- 1 pound ground meat (I use turkey now, but you can go with beef or chicken)
- Spinach, cut into strips
- Tomatoes, cut into slices
- Shredded cheese
- Taco dinner kit
- Refried beans
- Cheesy Mexican rice
What You’ll Do:
Put a non-stick skillet on the stovetop and turn it on medium heat (which is at “6” on the dial). Open the package of meat and drop it into a skillet. Use a bamboo spoon (never metal!) break up your meat so it’s not in a big clump anymore. Flip it, turn it, smash it, until it goes from pink to a gray-ish brown (it’s not brown brown, like a crayon).
Add the seasoning packet (from the Old El Paso package) and water (according to the back of the box) to the meat. Stir and cook for as long as the back of the box tells you. Remove it from the stove (or it will burn).
Cut your spinach (or lettuce, if you prefer) into strips and put them in a bowl. Open your cheese and put it in a bowl. Slice your tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Pour the sauce from the Old El Paso package and put it in a bowl. All these bowls just make it look more fun (plus they make it look like you did a lot more work than you actually did).
Open the plastic that the shells are wrapped it, put them on a plate, and microwave it for 30 seconds.
That’s all. You’re done.
Now, if you’re a little more adventurous (or need a little more food), go with Old El Paso refried beans and cheesy Mexican rice. The beans are easy. Just open the can, plot it in a bowl, and heat. Simple. The rice actually will take the longest to cook of everything. There are directions on the package, though, that you can follow. Start that first, before the meat, and everything will be ready at about the same time. Then you’ll really look like a pro.
What I really like about Old El Paso is that the directions on the packages are really easy to follow when you’re cooking. It’s written in English so no matter how (un)skilled you are at cooking, you can make a meal. Plus, the seasoning packets are right inside the boxes. You can just open them and use them. No measuring, no trying to figure out spices, no guessing on how it will taste. And if you’re anything like me the first time I made tacos, you’ll really appreciate that.
If these pictures look familiar, it’s because we previewed them on Instagram. Be sure to follow Drugstore Divas on Instagram to get a behind the scenes look at our life.