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As If Making Dinner Every Night Doesn't Suck Enough

Relentless food prep is a drag with kids hanging around, so do yourself a solid and make these easy and insanely delicious Sweet and Spicy Tacos.

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MamaGourmand / Via mamagourmand.com

Does it ever blow your mind just how relentless meal preparation is when you have kids? You may not think about this huge asterisk while you are spitting out the babies, but multiple the number of meals a day by the number of kids you have and that equals how much you will never leave the kitchen. You will feed everyone, get it all cleaned up, put everything away, about to walk away, and Just kidding! Where do you think you’re going? It’s time for the next meal!

So, in case you didn’t catch the vibe, this post is going to be me throwing a pity party for myself and whoever wants to throw a fist in the air and shout, “I hear ya sista! You’re preachin’ to the choir!” If Debbie Downers aren’t your thing, just scroll down to the Amazing Spicy Sweet Tacos with Lime Sour Cream recipe and continue on with your Snow White life. I kid, I kid. Geesh.

Maybe meal prep wouldn’t feel like such an arduous task if I could just encase myself in a titanium kid-proof bubble while I cooked. Alas, the only version I have of this is my husband who will intercept only if on premises. Unfortunately he has this little side dish called “work” and instead of being my 24/7 human shield, I am often left with a lot of kids hassling me while I cook. There’s the homework, diaper changes, fights to break up, kitchen utensils I clearly don’t extend to use such as steamer baskets and canning jar tongs being pulled out of drawers, and a healthy handful of “I’m hungry. Can I have a snack?” to deal with.

With all this going on, it’s really hard to concentrate on the talking points your kids want to hash out with you at the time as well. Suddenly they are insistent on telling them which monster truck you like the best. If your answer isn’t satisfactory, it’s not like they’re letting it drop either. There will be several follow up questions to verify your rationale. Why do you think it’s the coolest? Who would you beat at the monster truck rally? Would you shoot mud up with your tires? What tricks would you do? FOR THE LOVE OF PETE! CAN WE JUST MOVE ON!

Sure we can, because there is always the exhilarating game of Which-Hand-Is-My-Car-In? They must know I can only take so much of the nail-biting suspense, though, because after a few dozen rounds my breaking point will result in a bowl of animal crackers being whipped out.

But instead of quietly eating them and allowing me to concentrate on dinner, Finn will want me to answer which animal I think each of his crackers are. He’ll hold one up, and ask, “What do you think this one is, Mommy?”

“Uh, cheetah.”

“No it’s not! I think it’s an elephant. What about this one?”

“Umm, lion.”

“Mommy! You didn’t even look!”

So I did. But have you ever really looked at animal crackers? They actually don’t look like any distinguishable animal. They all more or less just take on the shape of bloated roadkill. I’m sorry, Finn. I now realize why you were so confused and had to interrupt my task at hand 27 times.

If you’ve made it this far, congratulations! You’ve survived my monologue on the difficulties preparing food with kids around. Now I will reward you with a little image to brighten your day that wouldn’t be possible if my kids weren’t by my side while I cooked.

MamaGourmand / Via mamagourmand.com

Finn helped me take pictures of this photo shoot. He thought he really captured the essence of the meal and wasn’t at all put off by Captain America continually showing up in his viewfinder instead of taco meat. Obviously, as you can tell by his outstretched tongue, he was really struggling with obtaining the correct depth of field. I think he nailed it, though.

MamaGourmand / Via mamagourmand.com

If any of this is ringing true, this is the perfect recipe for you. It’s easy, requires minimum concentration, and there’s a huge payoff at the end with some freakin’ good tacos. This recipe has much more complex and robust flavor than your average taco seasoning. Plus there is the added twist of baking it at the end to achieve a slightly charred crust, which is simply amazing and helps the spices meld more. I highly recommend using the ancho chile powder, but it does intensify the heat. If your kids are prone to dinner-time spice dramatics, you may want to tone back the ancho chile powder a bit or substitute regular chile powder. Happy cooking! 😉

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