Copycat Taco Bell Mexican Pizza and it all matters…

I know, I know…another recipe for Mexican food!! I told ya’ll we likey our cuisine de Mexicana around here in Cajun mama’s kitchen. Since the Taco Bell in Alexandria opened more than I care to count years ago, the Mexican pizza has been a favorite of mine. Not something I indulge in often, but I love them. My oldest (aka the picky one) is getting into trying different kinds of foods and loves a copycat recipe. He is into restaurant chains and I knew recreating this recipe at home would peak his interest. I know I make it seem like we never eat out and bless our hearts, we have to eat at home, but the truth is, I prefer to save our out to eats for big restaurants. The little fast food splurges here and there add up fast with 4 kiddos to feed. Plus I really like to challenge myself to try new recipes so this was a win win. Oh ya’ll this recipe is so good. So dead on. So close to the actual Taco Bell Mexican pizza that you will swear you can hear the Taco Bell chihuahua whisper “yo quiero Taco Bell”. And I after you try this recipe, you will want Taco Bell Mexican pizza more often.
It has been a regular week around our household. I got a new hairdo…which is really no big feat except when you figure everyone has been sick and finding a time when my amazing hair stylist can fit me in that I am not needed elsewhere and I can still make it to carpool in time…well it’s like trying to reinvent the wheel. The kiddos had their awards ceremonies at school for the 9 weeks. I am so proud of them and am glad I get to be there for them, but I was literally at their school from drop off at 8 until 11. I really cannot remember what all else this week entailed, I just know many times I was short on patience, long on exhaustion and in need of space for creativity. Time to think my thoughts, get a few recipes together and maybe even bang out a few blog posts. Big Daddy has been busy at work and that has meant little help on the Homefront, but you know…that comes with the territory.
And that’s where I get to the meat of this post. The taco meat that is…he he he. This is my calling, part of my path. Raising kiddos to become productive members of society is a big job and sometimes I lose sight. I get swept up in $$$$. What I do does not really hold importance because there is no money in it. Then I see the light. I get stopped in a moment on the way to school, I catch a glimpse of my oldest’s son’s face filled with empathy and pride as he talks about a situation at school that he handled and processed the deeper meaning all on his own. My daughter as she expresses satisfaction with who she is. Picking up my sweet girl and her telling me about reaching her AR goal. Seeing the recognition dawn on my little one’s face as he gets that math problem. Man these kiddos…they are really learning and growing. I lose sight that though my little ole cooking blog is small potatoes compared to another, it matters to some people. When someone comments on my blog and expresses excitement about a recipe that I posted, I smile because maybe my words made a difference to someone. Or when Big daddy finds a recipe for a pie he would like me to make and I do make it for him. Sure, I know moms everywhere who work 9-5 jobs and manage to do all of those things. This is not about that. This is about me fulfilling my purpose that God has laid out for me. I am working on remembering that I am in no competition with anyone but myself because I am my own worst enemy. Aren’t we all? So for me, deciding to make something for supper I know one of my kids or all of my kids will love, maybe that’s my calling. Being me. It’s so important that we all stop and breathe and realize where we are is where are meant to be. It’s always changing, evolving, but in this moment is where we are supposed to be. It’s all divine. It’s all a part of a bigger picture that maybe we cannot see right now. Those copycat Mexican pizzas made on a Friday night might become that memory my kids cherish forever. What I do matters. What you do matters. We just have to do it. It all comes back eventually and the puzzle pieces will fit
together. Just my two cents…for what it’s
worth.
Back to Mexican pizzas…this recipe is awesome. I found it on http://www.food.com and tweaked it a bit…seriously a yum filled experience people. Add it to your culinary bucket list. Here is the recipe for your viewing pleasure…make up a batch and maybe even make a memory. In the end it’s the little moments that matter… What you do matters. Make the most of what YOU have!!!

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Stuck in carpool traffic on a rainy day selfie. I love these kiddos

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new hairdo and a lovely photobomb by two of my favorite people

Copycat Taco Bell Mexican pizza adapted from food.com

makes 4 pizzas

Stuff you need~

1 pound lean ground beef
1 package taco seasoning mix
2 tablespoons water
8 small flour tortillas
Cooking oil
1 16 ounce can of refried beans, warmed*
Taco sauce or picante sauce
I cup Shredded cheddar cheese, Monterey Jack or any blend you like
1/4 cup diced tomatoes
1/4 cup green onions
Small can sliced black olives (I absolutely love black olives so I added them…totally optional)

*I used the leftover homemade refried beans I made using the recipe from my last post. I happened to have some and it was a good way to use them up. Here is the link to that post…
https://cajunmamacookinblog.com/2015/01/22/cheesy-spanish-rice-casserole-and-the-best-refried-beans-and/

what to do with the stuff~

Ok, first add your ground meat to a large skillet. Sprinkle in the seasoning mix and your 2 tablespoons of water. Using a spoon kind of mix that together and then brown the ground beef until completely cooked. Set aside.

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Now, add enough to cooking oil to your skillet to cover the bottom and then a little more. Your oil should be about an inch deep. You don’t need much. Heat the oil over medium hear and then cook each tortilla for about 30-45 seconds on each side. Take special care to keep tortillas as flat as possible while cooking and pop any bubbles that may form. I laid a few paper towels on a cookie sheet and laid each freshly cooked tortilla flat once it was done.

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Now, this is the easiest part. Turn your broiler on the lowest setting. Or you can use a toaster oven. On a large baking sheet, lay out 4 cooked tortillas . Spread some refried beans on each, then ground beef and add some taco sauce on top for good measure. Pretty sure Taco Bell uses this pretty liberally on their Mexican pizzas. Yum.

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Follow up by laying a cooked tortilla on top of each of these half assembled pieces of heaven. Top each pizza with a nice smattering of cheese and then add a sprinkling of your choice of tomatoes, olives and green onions. The great thing is that each person can make it their own. Take the cooking sheet filled with Mexican pizzas and stick it under the broiler for a few minutes or until the cheese is melted.

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yo quiero homemade Mexican pizzas!

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I found this at a local grocery store and figured it couldn’t hurt to try it. Very good. Just the right blend of spices (said Benny Boo, my 11 year old food critic)

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If Benny boo likes it, you can rest assured your picky eater likely will too. This meal is 11 year old approved.

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