Thanks to The Pink Heart Society for inviting me here to share a Deadline Recipe! Since it's often hard to pull me away from the computer when I'm deep into a work-in-progress, I like meals that are fuss-free and quick to prepare.
We have a great "family" recipe you may already be familiar with, which was inspired by our move to the Southwest. It's incredibly easy to make when you've walked in late from work or an afternoon of errands or after picking the kids up from soccer practice.
Brown 1 pound of ground beef in skillet, then drain on paper towels or in a colander.
Return to skillet and add salsa (approx 1 to 1-1/4 cups) to your taste.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and let simmer, covered, until liquid is absorbed.
Meanwhile, heat desired number of tacos.
Have on hand an assortment of sides—shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado slices, etc.—and let everyone build his own taco.
It doesn't get much easier than that, does it? Well...not unless someone else does all the cooking and prep work for you.
In my latest book, HONORABLE RANCHER (which debuts next week!), one of the owners of the café in the small town of Flagman's Folly, New Mexico specializes in tacos. And, coincidentally, they just happen to be the hero's favorite meal.
Here's a very brief clip to give you a "taste" of the story. (smile)
"I propose," Ben said, "to take a ride over to the Double S and pick up some tacos to feed this gang lunch."
"Thanks," Dana began, "but I—"
P.J.'s hand on her arm cut her off. He hauled himself to his feet. "Can I go with you? I can help you carry the tacos."
"Sure," Ben said. "Pick up your dinosaurs first, though. You wouldn't want them getting trampled."
To her surprise, P.J. immediately began scooping the dinosaurs into their cave. He loved Manny's tacos, but with her need to watch her pennies so closely, they hadn't eaten out in a while.
Over his head, she met Ben's gaze again. Trying to ignore the sparkle in his dark eyes, she said, "I had lunch planned."
"Not enough for me, I'm sure."
None for you at all. But she couldn't say that with P.J. just inches away.
As it was, her son looked up, his forehead wrinkled in concern. "We'll bring a taco home for Mama, too, right, Ben?"
"We sure will. Two for your mama," he promised. "After all," he continued, eyeing her as P.J. finished gathering his toys, "I'm working here through the afternoon. We might as well all eat together." He glanced down again. "C'mon, P.J., let's go see how many tacos the girls want."
"Okay." This time, her son took Ben's hand to haul himself to his feet. P.J. lowered his voice and confided, "I can count high. But don't tell the girls if I have to use my fingers."
"No problem, buddy," Ben said as they started across the sun-drenched yard. "Your secret's safe with me."
On the shadowed porch, Dana shivered. Ben's words rang in her head. She didn't want to think about secrets.
At least, not her own.
Originally from the East Coast, award-winning author Barbara White Daille now lives with her husband in the warm, sunny Southwest, where they love the lizards in the front yard but could do without the scorpions in the bathroom.
From the time she was a toddler, Barbara found herself fascinated by those things her mom called "books." Once she learned the words between the covers held the magic of storytelling, she wanted to see her words in print so she could weave that spell for others.
Barbara hopes you will enjoy reading her stories and will find your own storytelling magic in them!
Her latest book is THE RODEO MAN'S DAUGHTER (February 2012). Her upcoming title, HONORABLE RANCHER, releases next week.
She would love to have you drop by her website: www.barbarawhitedaille.com
and look for her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BarbaraWDaille