As I was making my coffee this morning, Paige emerged from her bedroom — bleary eyed and yawning. Scrappy, who is still recovering from his neck injury, had been barking protests to his aching body as he moved around, trying to get comfortable. It woke her.
“It’s still early. Don’t you want to go back to sleep?” I asked her, “Or do you want to come rest in my bed a bit?”
Minutes later, we were cuddled up in my bed, talking about the dark morning and busy coming day. I breathed in her sweet scent, listening as she talked about clouds and the coming day. Then, too soon, it was time to wake Will, prepare breakfast and start the morning rush.
It was all so normal — a welcome feeling these days.
Part of finding our new normal here is figuring out our new flow of things. We’re only three days into this, but a few things are already clear. The time frames of our day have been shifted. We now have to wake much earlier so Will can catch his much earlier bus to school. And the kids come home from school much later, making dinnertime and after school fun a little harder. Since homework, dinner and all else are now condensed into a short time frame, dinners have to be simple and fast. It makes life easier that way.
One of our favorite fast dinners is tacos — crunchy for Shawn and I and soft for Will and Paige. It’s a meal that we can agree on. Making them takes only about 15 minutes, and there is room for creativity with the toppings for them — like salsas, tomatoes, lettuce and more.
But when it comes to taco seasoning, I’m a little more picky — and thus always make my own homemade taco seasoning. I love the rich, spiced flavor of homemade taco seasoning so much more than the store bought version. Call me crazy, but when it only takes four ingredients to whip up a flavorful homemade taco seasoning, why would you spend more for the packet? Try this, and you really will never go back.
And if you want it a little spicier, add a little cayenne or chipotle pepper powder to the mix — but beware, a little goes a long way.
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp Lawry's Roasted Garlic Salt
- 1/2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Measure out ingredients and combine in a small whisk. Whisk gently to combine.
- To use: Brown 1 1/4 lbs ground beef, chicken or turkey. Drain. Add seasoning and 2/3 cup of water. Cook over medium heat until the liquid evaporates.
(This recipe is a slight variation of my Homemade Mild Taco Seasoning.)
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.