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Use up leftover taco meat

By on August 9, 2012

Taco recipes often call for one pound of ground beef. You can use leftover taco meat in almost any dish that has ground beef, such as taco salad, soup, casserole, chili, nachos, lettuce wraps, spaghetti, lasagna, pizza, empanadas or omelets, or serve over French fries or baked potatoes. Or make mini tacos by lining each cup in a muffin tin with a wonton wrapper or refrigerated biscuit (spray the tin cups with nonstick cooking spray first), then filling each with heated taco meat and adding shredded cheese topping. Bake 6 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees F.
The first reader tip shares another idea:


Leftover taco meat:

We use leftover taco meat the next day to make taco burgers. Warm up the taco meat, put it on a bun and add some shredded cheese. Serve with a salad and you have a quick meal. — Bev, email

Store ginger:

I love to use fresh ingredients, but I hate to see them go to waste when I don’t use them up quickly enough. When I buy fresh ginger, I peel it and cut it into smaller pieces (if necessary) before storing it in the refrigerator in a small glass jar full of vodka. The ginger keeps beautifully, indefinitely. I’ve stored several batches of ginger without ever replacing the vodka, but if I ever decide it is time, I’ll bet the “ginger vodka” would make great cocktails! — Janet N., email

Clean range hood:

WD-40, the common lubricant and water displacer, is great for removing grease from range hoods, microwave grills and the like. It’s inexpensive, widely available and most people already have an aerosol can of it sitting around. Just spray it on the greasy area and wipe it off. Because WD-40 has its own lubricant, it will leave behind a clean, light, oily film. Window cleaner or dishwashing soap will quickly and easily remove it. I heard about WD-40 as a grease cutter from a mechanic and used it on kitchen cabinet tops where nothing I tried would cut years of grease buildup. A spray of WD-40 and a wipe with paper towels cut the grease with amazing ease. — Steve S., Illinois

Three ounces of rubbing alcohol plus three ounces of Simple Green cleaner is another great solution to clean a range hood. Mix it in a spray bottle, spray and wipe off. — Don P., email

Cheap and easy meal:

Peanut soup makes for a simple and inexpensive meal. Just combine chicken broth and two tablespoons of peanut butter in a small pan and heat until it all mixes together. — Bev, email

Copycat recipe:

I loved the old Hardee’s ham and cheese sandwiches so much when I was a kid that my mom came up with her own (much cheaper) homemade version! She boiled Buddig deli-cut ham slices until they were bun-sized, then buttered both sides of a hamburger bun and toasted it. She added sliced Swiss cheese on top and put it into the broiler for a couple of minutes. They were so good!
We were poor growing up, but I never knew it because my mom was (and is) a genius at making things stretch. She would boil sliced bologna until it made a dome shape, then serve the slices up as “hats” — one of our favorite meals. My dad, rest his beautiful soul, never once complained about eating a frugal meal. — Bev, email

photo by Stefano A

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