Archive for May 21st, 2009

Quest Post by Sarah Ludwig

May 21, 2009

Sarah E. Ludwig is a freelance writer and mom to four busy kids between the ages of 10 and 5, including a set of twins. She blogs at Parenting By Trial and Error  and her philosophy is that anyone who has kids knows that parenting is all about trial and error, learning, growing and, most importantly, staying flexible. Each child is unique. What might work for one, may not for another. Nobody knows better than you, the parent, how to best handle your child, but sometimes you have to try several solutions before finding the right one. Discussions, advice and shared experiences between parents can help us find the right formula for our children’s personalities and needs, and it is with that in mind that she created a blog.


I’ll admit it; I’m not much of a cook. The smattering of times I’ve stretched my culinary skills have always ended up with complaints such as, “Ewww, what is this??” or “Do I have to eat this?” and me angry that I wasted my time. Even though I really like trying new dishes, as a busy mom of four, I just don’t have the time to make even semi-complicated meals that nobody but me enjoys anyway. It’s not worth it.

So when one of my friends introduced me to her taco salad recipe, I was intrigued. It’s easy, delicious, feeds a ton of people and has fast become a potluck and family gathering favorite. Fat- and calorie- free it’s not, but it’s rare for me to find a dish that all my kids love. This is one of the few.


  • 1 lb. hamburger
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning
  • 1 head lettuce, chopped
  • 1-2 tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bag Doritos, crushed
  • 1 lb. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 bottle Catalina salad dressing
  • 1 small can black olives, sliced 

Cook hamburger with taco seasoning according to the package directions. Add the kidney beans and chill for at least 2 hours or overnight. Stir tomatoes, olives and cheese in with the meat. Just before serving, add lettuce, Doritos and dressing. If you add these too soon, the chips will get soggy.


  • I never add tomatoes because I’ve found that most of the people I serve this to don’t like them.
  • This recipe makes a huge bowl full, so unless you’re taking it to a big gathering, sharing with another family or don’t mind soggy leftovers, you’ll probably want to halve it.