Dawn Kessinger: Share a meal — ‘Taco cat’ the best palindrome

Wow. I forgot how much fun palindromes could be until I walked into Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant and a taco cat T-shirt greeted me and kept me company while I waited to be seated.

A palindrome is a word or phrase that is spelled the same forward and backward. Taco cat immediately claimed the “top spot” (another palindrome) on my palindrome favorites list. How can a taco cat be anything other than a fun-loving character with great taste?

I am sure there are people who dislike both cats and tacos. If you are such a person, I understand if you rolled your eyes at the headline and moved on to a story that interests you. For those of you who don’t mind cats, but especially those who love tacos, this is a friendly reminder that although we all anticipate and savor visits to our favorite Mexican restaurants, there’s nothing wrong with making tacos at home.

Homemade tacos (or burritos, or taco salad, depending on mood and ingredients that are stocked in my kitchen at any given time) are a favorite meal in my household. Despite the fact that I fix enough taco meat to last everyone in my family for at least four meals, no one complains. Even on the fourth day in a row, no one reports being tired of having tacos — again.

It’s less of a hassle than you’d think to pack the goodies to make a taco salad or burrito. Long workdays can be brightened with a lunchbox containing a microwaveable bowl of taco meat and pinto beans, a Ziploc bag of lettuce, shredded cheese and black olives, and individual dishes of sour cream and salsa. Another Ziploc can hold Doritos to crunch for a taco salad, or a flour tortilla to make a burrito.

Don’t nod (another palindrome). Just make the taco meat. Step on no pets (what a cool palindrome), particularly any taco cat you catch running through the kitchen.

While you’re at the grocery, pick up the little extras such as tomatoes or salsa, shredded lettuce, sour cream and your favorite shredded cheese to add to your tacos, burritos or salad (don’t forget the taco shells or tortillas), and try enjoying a meal (or four) of tacos at home.



• 3 pounds ground turkey (it’s healthier, but if you prefer beef, that works too)

• Taco seasoning — McCormick or Ortega are my favorites

• Crunchy taco shells (Old El Paso’s Stand n Stuff)

• Flour tortillas

• Shredded lettuce

• Sour cream

• Shredded cheese

• Diced tomatoes or salsa

• 1 can pinto beans

• 1 ½ to 2 cups water



Black olives

Fry ground turkey or beef in a large skillet until it’s browned. Drain. Add 1 ½ cups of water and taco seasoning (sprinkle it in with your meat and water, then stir and taste — add more seasoning as needed) and stir. You then may want to add another half cup of water if it’s too dry. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes or until it thickens. Remove from heat. Warm the pinto beans in the microwave for 1 minute. I add the pintos on top of my taco meat, which I then top with salsa, black olives, lettuce and cheese.

If you use the Stand n Stuff taco shells, sprinkle some shredded cheese in the bottom of it and microwave it for 22 seconds before filling it. The melted cheese helps hold the bottom of the taco shell together. Then spread sour cream along the side of the shell before piling in the meat and other toppings.

Want to share a meal with The Lima News readers? Send your recipe with your name, city of residence, phone number (won’t be published) and a photo of your meal to [email protected].