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Homemade Taco Seasoning and Garbage Teykos

by Spicie Foodie on December 2, 2011

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

Before we begin you have to know something, these two recipe are not Mexican. I repeat, these are not Mexican recipes.

Let’s address this post in two parts. First we begin with the homemade taco seasoning mix recipe. Those little packages of taco seasoning mix are not used in authentic Mexican cuisine. Okay so many of the spices used in the mixes are spices also used to season authentic Mexican food. But that doesn’t make it authentic nor Mexican. It would be like taking an American hamburger but instead of the buns it was served on a baguette with Camembert cheese and calling it American food. You’d be like what the hell is this. So no matter how many commercials, or text on those packages, tell you that it is authentic, it isn’t. Sorry for the mini-rant but passing off things as authentic, of any world cuisine, that aren’t kinda irritates me.

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

I honestly don’t know why the seasoning and the tacos made with it are called Mexican. It’s more like Mexican food wannabe or Mexican inspired. The most obvious explanation is to point the finger at the fast food restaurants. Perhaps the most famous being the one with the cute talking dog asking for their food. Even if the junky restaurants name their food after real authentic Mexican dishes, at least they don’t try to pass themselves off as authentic Mexican. The sad thing about that though is that many people who don’t know any better consider that junk Mexican food or even worse authentic Mexican food. Sadly this then gives Mexican food an undeserving bad reputation.

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

Rant aside, when you are hung over or feel like stuffing your face with cheap greasy food those junky tacos really hit the spot. That is probably the reason why those taco seasoning mixes are popular. If you are a label reader like me the ingredients list will leave you a bit frightened. Usually the first three ingredients are salt, MSG and sugar. Not very good at all. But making your own homemade taco seasoning mix is very easy. Here is how.

4.7 from 3 reviews

Homemade Taco Seasoning and Garbage Tacos
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
No more preservative filled Taco Seasoning Mixes. Make your own at home and simply store in your spice rack.
Author:
Recipe type: Seasoning, Spice Mixture
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp ground cayenne or chile powder
  • ½ tbsp. sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin or 1 tbsp whole cumin*
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic
  • small pinch sugar
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ⅛ tsp ground black pepper
  • ⅛ ground coriander or ¼ tsp coriander seeds*
  • 1 tbsp a.p. flour
Instructions
  1. *If using whole spices you will need to place all ingredients in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind them. If using ready ground spices them just place all ingredients in a bowl and throughly mix until very well combined.
Notes
Makes 40 g or 1 packet or 1.4 oz

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

Second part, the tacos. Growing up in a Mexican home my mom made real authentic tacos. But once she got to taste the junk food tacos she craved them every once in a great while. So we did have them for dinner on a few occasions. Also a very once in a while occurrence was when she would buy the kits to make those tacos for us kids.

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

My hubby loved that junk taco restaurant. In case you are wondering he doesn’t consider it Mexican but rather a restaurant type all its own. On several occasions his craving was so bad that I had to learn to make them for him. But I refuse to call this tacos, no sir in my home they are called garbage teykos. We haven’t found hard shells here so usually we eat them with commercially prepared tortillas. On this day I was just too lazy to go out and buy packaged tortillas so instead used my homemade. Yes, it is a waste for perfect homemade flour tortillas but the laziness won that round.

homemade taco seasoning; taco seasoning mix; how to make taco seasoning; taco spices; spices; spice mix; homemade; Spicie Foodie

I wonder how many people that only have time to look over the pictures, will leave a comment saying this is good Mexican food. I’m giggling to myself with that thought. Many of you already know how to make these garbage teykos so proceed as usual. For those that don’t, cook 500 grams or 1 lb of ground beef along with the spice mix above, some chopped onion and garlic. Serve alongside your favorite toppings or any you see in these photos. Enjoy and eat responsibly.

P.S.
For authentic Mexican recipe please check my archives here or on “Mexico on My Plate” Column.
 
 

 

Yummy Pics: A Food Blogger's Guide to Better Photos, Photography eBook by Spicie Foodie

 

in American,Beef,Spice Mixtures,Tacos

{ 62 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liz December 2, 2011 at 8:16 AM

Your taco seasoning looks perfect! And such gorgeous photos of your garbage tacos…I need to get these on our menu soon :) Happy Friday, Nancy~

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2 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 9:06 AM

Thank you Liz :) They are a fast meal so great for this busy season. You too, have a great weekend !

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3 Tina@flourtrader December 2, 2011 at 9:49 AM

This is a real money saver. Actually we should all be making our spice mixes instead of purchasing blends of what we already have in the spice cabinet. I had someone from Mexico say that Mexican food is not food with all the cheese and the chili sauce on top. I think that the southwestern food as well as Tex Mex food always seems to get named “Mexican Food” in error. Thanks for posting this spice blend recipe!

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4 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 10:47 AM

Hi Tina, Yes or at least make sure to read labels so we aren’t buying the unhealthy packages. Your Mexican friend is correct, cheese is used sparingly. I know there is some Tex-Mex labeled food that is also incorrect and not true Tex-Mex food. Really it just seems to be an erroneously labeled big group of Mexican inspired foods.

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5 Felicia December 2, 2011 at 10:04 AM

Your rant made me smile — as a Chinese-American in a small town in the Deep South, I can totally relate; the stuff that passes for “Chinese” food in restaurants here (and that my friends inexplicably love) just baffles me! The only consolation is that fake Chinese places have better Mai Tais than real ones. Anyhow, your Mex-American taco mix sounds like a great thing to have on hand for late nights!

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6 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 10:49 AM

Hi Felicia, It is funny you say that because Chinese-American was on my mind as one of those foods that gets an undeserving bad reputation. But it is good that you’ve found a good thing about those restaurants :) Thanks!

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7 Heather @girlichef December 2, 2011 at 11:01 AM

While I’m an all-out fan of authentic Mexican food, I totally grew up on trash tacos and get a craving for them at least once a month! Esposo and I call them Ameri-Mex…whether that’s accurate or not, I don’t know…but that’s how we decipher what kind of tacos we’re having for dinner… “Tacos or Ameri-Mex Tacos tonight, honey…” ;)

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8 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 11:15 AM

Hola Heather, I love the name you and your esposo have for those tacos :)

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9 Kelly December 2, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Ohh I’ve always wanted to make my own taco seasoning, but always end up buying the pre-made package at the store! I’ll make this for sure, thanks for the great recipe!! Also feel free to stop by my blog and check out the $50 Williams-Sonoma gift card giveaway going on right now! xoxo

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10 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Hi Kelly, Yeah give it a go. Thanks I’ll stop by in a bit.

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11 Michelle December 2, 2011 at 12:02 PM

this is a wonderful blend… now I am craving a taco night!!

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12 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Thanks!

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13 claire December 2, 2011 at 12:22 PM

We use tempeh crumbled up and sauteed in a little olive oil with some of the seasonings in your mix. Lots of chopped fresh veggies (like radish, peppers, tomatoes, avocados, shredded kale, mashed no-sodium black beans. Then I toast corn tortillas in the oven flat until crisp, and layer all the above on top. Our version of healthy tostadas I guess.

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14 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 12:28 PM

It sounds like a Mexican-Asian fusion tostada, yum!

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15 Kiri W. December 2, 2011 at 12:34 PM

I totally get your point. I spent a few weeks in Mexico when I was 15, before I ever visited the States, and when I did come here, I was very surprised as what passed as Mexican. I guess most of it is tex-mex, and it’s not that it isn’t delicious, it’s just different.
Your teykos look delicious! :)

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16 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 3:35 PM

Thank you Kiri. It always makes me feel better when others can relate or at least understand my point :)

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17 Asiya December 2, 2011 at 2:12 PM

Thank you!!! I have been wanted to make Taco Seasoning at home…that stuff in the store is just loaded with sodium. Loved your rant :) I feel the same way when people use curry powder in Indian cooking. Curry Powder was something the British came up with because they couldn’t handle the huge amount of spices we use in Indian cooking. Growing up my mother never had any curry powder in her pantry. Look forward to making your Taco Seasoning soon….

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18 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 3:34 PM

Hi Asiya, I’m glad that you can also relate to my rant:) Lol! Only a a few occasion have I bought curry powder from the store. I much prefer to make my own masala when I cook Indian foods. Perhaps my favorite is Garam Masala. Thanks!

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19 Melissa@EyesBigger December 2, 2011 at 3:15 PM

Thank you for the seasoning mix! I hate buying packaged mixes but sometimes, they’re just fast and easy. Do you ever increase the amounts and keep the mix indefinitely for when you need it? Does it keep well?

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20 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 3:54 PM

Hi Melissa, I actually don’t make this very often so the amount is for 1 meal only. But it will work fine if you double, triple or quadruple the recipe. Ground spices loose their freshness or taste a lot sooner. But just like any other spice mix this should keep fresh for a few months.

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21 Brigitte December 2, 2011 at 6:42 PM

I was surprised at how many ingredients you put in your taco spices. Especially… flour? May I ask you why you add this ingredient? I usually stay away from powdered onions and garlic, but that is purely a matter of personal tastes. Otherwise, I completely agree with you on this post. So often, people just don’t get the chance to learn what real ethnic foods are, and are left with a completely wrong (and often sad) idea.

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22 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 8:39 PM

Hi Brigitte, The amount of ingredients is pretty standard , you can confirm this with a quick search. Flour is used as an anti-caking ingredient and to help the spices bind better to the meat. This recipe wasn’t intended as a traditional type recipe but rather immulating a “junk” food, all of which the aformentioned apply to. I’ve never had a problem with powdered or granulated onions and garlic. In this type of recipe or for spice mixes that is what works best, but as you say it is a matter of personal taste. Yes,I agree and this is a post intended to point out those wrong impressions people can get.

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23 Yvette ~ Muy Bueno December 2, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Too funny! My hubby made me teykos on one of our first dates. Being that I’m a Latina and from El Paso I think he was really trying to impress me. He used Old El Paso seasoning, Old El Paso hard taco shells, and Old El Paso salsa in a jar. I cannot stand packaged hard taco shells and/or jar salsa and the strong salty and cumin taste of packaged seasoning, is well, ummm interesting. I politely gobbled them up, because they were bad, but not that bad. I hate to let food go to waste. It’s kinda funny now, and he knows better now. All I have to say is that I’m lucky my hubby cooks, and I’ve learned to never complain. LOL!

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24 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Ah Yvette that was so sweet and cute of him :) I like how he used Old El Paso since you are from there. I’m with you on the hard taco shells and can’t stand tomato paste salsa- blah! But I have to tell you that I love cumin. Your story made me giggle, thanks for sharing :)

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25 Hester @ Alchemy in the Kitchen December 2, 2011 at 8:19 PM

We don’t have a Taco culture here so haven’t been too contaminated by the packet seasonings. Will definitely be giving your spice mix a try, Nancy!

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26 Spicie Foodie December 2, 2011 at 8:47 PM

Lucky you Hester, lol :) Have a great weekend

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27 Ramona December 2, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Nancy, I must admit that I’m guilty of using the “taco seasoning”. Blame it on ignorance. Thank you for providing this spice blend. I will definitely give it a try the next time I make a Mexican inspired meal. I guess I need to be a better label reader.. Yikes.. MSG. Yuck. Your spice blend sounds really great. :) Have a wonderful weekend.

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28 Spicie Foodie December 3, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Ramona, That is how we learn right :) I’m not sure that all have MSG but the ones I’ve run to across here do and that is a no no for me. Thank you and you too have a wonderful weekend!

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29 Sasha (Global Table Adventure) December 2, 2011 at 10:57 PM

I love the way you think. I definitely think the flavor is better homemade, even if -as you say – it isn’t authentic Mexican. Beautiful photography, btw.

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30 Spicie Foodie December 3, 2011 at 8:00 AM

Thank you Sasha :)!

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31 Amalia December 3, 2011 at 1:03 AM

Wow those tacos look amazing! I love homemade foods because they don’t turn out greasy and nasty like they usually do at restaurants. This is another example of what I’m talking about, beautiful, healthy, delicious food :) Great recipe!

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32 Spicie Foodie December 3, 2011 at 8:01 AM

Thanks Amalia !

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33 Kim Bee December 4, 2011 at 2:23 AM

Oh my goodness the name of this had me in stitches. I’ve had the junk and I’ve had the real stuff. I like them both depending on my mood. I’m going to have to try this. Great recipe and congrats on top 9!

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34 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 9:54 AM

Hi Kim, Thanks :)

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35 Betty @ scrambled henfruit December 4, 2011 at 3:50 AM

I haven’t used those packages since hubby went on a low salt diet- this mix will be great for the times we’re craving those “garbage” tacos! :)

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36 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 9:55 AM

Betty feel free to adjust and tweak the recipe to fit you hubby’s low salt diet. Have fun :)

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37 FoodMuster December 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM

Hi, I have been experiementing with my own mix for a little while now. I will be trialling yours very soon. Thanks for this! It looks and sounds very tasty.

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38 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 9:56 AM

Hi FoodMuster, Thank you and please let me know how you make it better so we can all enjoy your changes too :)

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39 Sandra December 4, 2011 at 10:29 AM

Loved this post Nancy and Congratulations on Today’s Top 9!

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40 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 6:44 PM

Thanks Sandra :)

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41 Trix December 4, 2011 at 3:29 PM

Like many of the commenters, I was thinking also of what passes for Chinese food in many places as another cuisine that gets horribly misrepresented. … also, China and Mexico are HUGE countries – it strikes me that saying something is authentic Mexican or Chinese still doesn’t tell the whole story right? Not that I am an expert, but I definitely love you trying to set the record straight!!! And you are right – homemade spices are always better … when I see a recipe for “taco seasoning” or “taco mix” or any kind of weird seasoning mix I pretty much bypass it! Anyway, your “garbage” teykos are worlds better than most people’s non-garbage food, lol.

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42 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 6:42 PM

That is such a great point I forgot to mention Trix. You are every bit correct too. For example the food from where I am from is so different than say food from the Yucatan. Thanks sweetie :)

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43 Priscilla - Shes Cookin December 4, 2011 at 4:16 PM

hahaha, glad you got that out of your system, Nancy :) It feels good doesn’t it. And the same goes for Chinese food (as Felicia pointed out). It’s sad that so many people really have no clue what authentic Mexican food is – we’re fortunate to have both here in SoCal. Thanks for sharing your taco seasoning recipe and the garbage teykos do hit the spot!

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44 Spicie Foodie December 4, 2011 at 6:40 PM

Hi Priscilla, Lol thanks for letting me rant :) Good thing for you SoCal dwellers. Real authentic foods just taste much better. Hope you are having a great weekend! Hugs!

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45 Liz December 4, 2011 at 7:19 PM

Congrats on the Top 9!!!!

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46 Spicie Foodie December 5, 2011 at 9:21 AM

Thank Liz!

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47 Jay @ LocalFood.me December 4, 2011 at 9:33 PM

This is fantastic. I never really thought about what was in taco seasoning. Excited to give it a whirl.

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48 Spicie Foodie December 5, 2011 at 9:22 AM

Thank you Jay!

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49 booklogged December 5, 2011 at 12:02 AM

All those seasonings only make the equivalent of 1 package of taco seasoning?

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50 Spicie Foodie December 5, 2011 at 9:26 AM

Hi Booklogged, After making the mix I measured it and it came out to this, 40 grams or 1.4 oz. That was the same weight as a package I found at my local store. To double check I looked up Old El Paso and the weight was 1.25 oz. So yes it is just slightly over 1 package of commercial sizes. I’m amazed too :)

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51 Gina December 7, 2011 at 12:42 PM

Laughing at the para on the end, he, he. Confession time, I thought the packed tacos were authentic growing up, because my mom used it. Then I had tacos at my mother-in-laws and I never made them my mom’s way again. Shh, don’t tell my mom, she still doesn’t know.
-Gina-

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52 Spicie Foodie December 7, 2011 at 4:23 PM

It will be our little secret Gina ;)

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53 Magic of Spice December 10, 2011 at 1:38 PM

Garbage teykos…love it! I am going to blame it on fast food that eventually became it’s own entity. But sadly you are right that many do not know the difference. Due to where I live I have access to more authentic Mexican foods as well as the garbage teykos :)

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54 Spicie Foodie December 11, 2011 at 9:30 AM

Lol! You are lucky to have good authentic Mexican foods and ingredients :)

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55 Nicki December 14, 2011 at 10:03 AM

I am so excited to try your recipe. My baby has problems with the packages taco mixes, so we have been avoiding eating the store brand mixes. Unfortunatly my boys seem to think tacos are a food group! Love your rant on Mexican Food. So true!! I have told my husband a million times that Taco Smell is the trash of mexican food, if you could even call it that. Just saying!! Thanks for the post, and love your blog.

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56 Spicie Foodie December 14, 2011 at 10:35 AM

Hi Nicki, Glad you found my recipe then :) Thanks for finding the humor in my rant, lol.

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57 Britney May 9, 2012 at 2:02 AM

Love this recipe! After mixing it together it smelled just like I had open a purchased packet of taco seasoning. It was perfect for simmering chicken in for tacos!

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58 Spicie Foodie May 9, 2012 at 12:20 PM

Hi Britney,

Thank you and glad to hear it ;)

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59 ashley May 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM

i love this toco seasoning

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60 Spicie Foodie May 17, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Thanks Ashley!

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61 Viola May 2, 2013 at 5:23 AM

Thnx for the recipe,i made first only 4x what the recipe calls for,but after tasting our tacos with our five boys ,i made an other 4 :). It tasts great, and to make it perfect i will have to learn to make real taco shells…but thanks anyways.

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62 Spicie Foodie May 2, 2013 at 12:55 PM

That’s great Viola, glad to hear you enjoyed it so much!

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