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Entries in paprika (2)


Mini Taco Bites

I cannot believe it is already Tuesday and the third week of August. Holy crap. Where does the time go? I know time flew by this weekend because my bestie, Scott, was visiting. We spent most of Saturday at our new property. I love going up there because it is a constant reminder of how much I will love living there. Because our community offers so much in the way of activities and amenities we thought it would be a great adventure to take Scott up to explore a little bit. Also, it doesn’t hurt that we have two professionally designed and signature golf courses. So we decided to hit a round of 18. After 18 holes we sat down and stuffed our faces at our country club for dinner. Seriously, we ordered almost everything on the menu. It was nice to catch up over dinner. It doesn’t hurt that we can check up on the construction of our house. I think we will go up again to play some golf this weekend, too.

I cannot wait to get out of Fredericksburg and this apartment complex. It is such an incestuous building that we are living in that it feels like the walls are closing in on me the moment we drive through the gate to come home. It does not help the cause that we live in close proximity to some of the most intolerable people that have graced my life in quite some time. I mean, the husband smokes like a chimney, doesn’t appear to appreciate personal hygiene and may be dumber than a pile of bricks {he attempted to make an argument that unions were not protected by the constitution}. At that moment, almost a year ago, I wrote him off. I cannot talk to somebody who has the potential to spew ignorance and believe in it.

Yes, I have a low threshold for stupid. But, can you blame me? He cannot take a breath without spewing his liberal banter {not that I mind liberal banter… I tolerate it as much as I stomach conservative banter} and puffing on a cigarette. He’s giving everybody around him lung cancer. Oh and each time I see him I have a hard time not breaking out in hysterical laughter. That piece of the puzzle inhibits most conversation.

I crack myself up.

I’m sitting in my office and I’m making myself giggle at the thought of this entire soliloquy.

Anyway, I didn’t cook much of anything this weekend. That was not my plan, actually. But I have to roll with the punches. However, I do have a fantastic appetizer recipe for you. Well, I guess I am a little biased. I love tacos. I love crescent rolls. Because of this love I decided to marry the two together. How about some Mini Taco Bites? They are delicious. Take a look!

Nutritional Information
Servings: 15
Serving Size: 1 Taco Ball
Calories: 82.8
Fat: 5 g
Carbohydrates: 6.8 g
Fiber: 0 g
Protein: 3 g
Points+: 2


¼ pound ground beef, 90% lean

2 ounces cheddar cheese, shredded

1 container crescent rolls

¼ to ½ bottle taco sauce {hot}


Cayenne Pepper





Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Cook the beef, drain and return to the skillet

Add ¼ cup water, taco sauce, cumin, cayenne pepper, paprika, salt and pepper to the ground beef

Mix thoroughly and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes or until the mixture thickens up

While you wait for the mixture to thicken up, roll out the crescent rolls. Do your best to real seal the perforated edges of the crescents {instead of crescent triangles we you want a pizza – like rectangle}

Now cut the rectangle into 15 squares {slice lengthwise into thirds and then widthwise into 5 sections}

Fill each square with ½ tablespoon of the taco meat mixture and sprinkle with a bit of cheese

Seal completely

Place each crescent ball on a pre-greased baking sheet

Bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown


They are super easy to eat, so be careful!! You could also dip it in some extra salsa or something. I didn’t have time for semantics; I just started popping them in my mouth. But we all know I have a slight self-control issue.


xoxo Mel


Smoked Prime Rib

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, foodies! Many people in my life now do not know this, but I am a huge MLK buff. Well, I was growing up. In the past several years my focus has been routed to other issues, perspectives and intellectual analysis. However, I really was a Dr. King junkie when I was younger. I remember reading every book I could get my hands on about him; or, old magazine and newspaper articles about his journey and what life was like back in the 1950s and 1960s. In fact, one of the biggest reasons I wanted to become an attorney was because I identified with the Civil Rights cause.

So when people tell me I am an ultra-conservative or scoff at me because I don’t support President Obama; or they treat me like I am a racist, it bugs me.

Me, a racist? What the hell has this world come to? It is upsetting that people form opinions of me based on a Facebook status; it bothers me when people say something like ‘you and your party,’ when in fact they have no idea who my party is. My party? What about my ideology? What about having a conversation with me? What the heck ever happened to getting to know somebody, their beliefs and their justifications and explanations?

Damn you Facebook. You have somehow perverted the minds of more people in a short period of time than I think history could manage to do twice over.

It’s quite sad, honestly. I mean, even my best friend Scott pulled the ‘your party’ card the other day.

It bugged me.

I called over to Nick to read him in on the situation.

We both laughed.

We did not laugh at Scott, but at the situation at hand. Even one of the closest people to me does not get it. He does not get me.

I digress.

Where was I? Oh yes, I am a huge Dr. King fan, follower, loyalist – whatever you may call it. He was a huge inspiration to me growing up, as were some of his confidants. One of the last inklings of inspiration I drew from was as a senior in college. I had a paper due in my Advanced Writing class. I was exhausted. I was in the library at some God-awful hour on a Sunday morning and I needed to whip a paper together to turn in sometime that week. I tried to focus, but not even shots of espresso could save me.

Yes, I fell asleep at the table, nestled in the stacks of the bottom part of U. Grant Miller Library. When I woke up I had drool on my chin. It was not the proudest moment {nor the worst} in my life; but I did have inspiration.

I drew on the 1960s Civil Rights movement setting; I drew from years of reading books about a man and a movement close to my heart and I created a story like I had never created before. I wrote about people that only exist on paper; that were born in my brain. I got an A on that paper. Well, I got an A on every paper in that class, but that’s because my Professor gave me the creative leeway to choose my topics with care.

I remember my professor being so surprised and impressed by what I wrote that he shared with the entire class the content of my paper. The fact that at 1 in the morning, as he picked up the last paper to be graded {my paper} he was in no mood for mediocrity. And that’s when the content of my paper sprang to life and captured him. I was proud, embarrassed and cared in the moment only about the grade and red comments he had made to help me improve in my writing.

It seems like a lifetime ago that I had an inspirational rendezvous with Dr. King, but it’s never far from my mind.

You know what else is never far from my mind? Food. I cannot believe you let me talk so long; come on people! You have to keep me in line or I’ll go on forever.

Anyway, I’ve got a great recipe for you today! Are you ready for it?! Smoked Prime Rib. It’s super easy to make.

Nutritional Information:
Serving Size: 3 ounces
Calories: 250
Fat: 18 g
Carbohydrates: 0
Fiber: 0
Protein: 21 g
Points+: 7

 Here is what you need:

Inspired by Joh McLemore's Prime Rib from Dadgum, That's Good! 

  • 1- 5 pound Prime Rib
  • ¼ tablespoon onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ tablespoon salt


  • Place prime rib in a large pan
  • In a bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients and mix well.
  • Season roast with the mixture and let stand for 30 to 45 minutes


  • Load the wood try with one small handful of wood chips and preheat the smoker to 250 degrees F
  • Place roast, fat side up, direct on rack in smoker
  • Reduce temperature to 225 degrees f and add more wood chips
  • Add extra wood chips every 1 to 1 ½ hours during cooking time
  • Using meat thermometer to check temperature, cook until desired temperature is reached. For a medium done prime rib, you want to smoke it 1 hour per pound.
  • Once you have removed the prime rib, cover it with foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before cutting
  • This will help keep the prime rib warm and juicy
  • ENJOY!!!

125*: Rare
135*: Medium Rare
145*: Medium
155*: Medium Well
165*: Well Done {I would not suggest this!}

Until Next Time,

Happy Prime Rib Smokin'

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