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Cooking with Crevolyn: Simple meal on school nights

POSTED: August 20, 2014 1:00 a.m.

I admit it. I was different than most of the other kids.

I was the one who could hardly wait to get back to school. I loved seeing my friends, meeting new teachers, getting fresh crayons, and writing my name in those empty notebooks that held a world of learning possibilities.

Every year I would lay awake the night before school started, imagining what the new school year would hold. I could almost smell the aroma of those yeast rolls coming out of the lunch room. I would pack and repack my book bag to be sure it held all of the necessary items in precise order. I thought school was awesome. I’m pretty sure I was the minority leader.

When I became a mom, I was so hopeful my children would share my enthusiasm for the new school year. Let’s just say, not as much.

Not that this momma didn’t try. My cheery attitude and I got them up bright and early, fixed a healthy breakfast and gave a little pep talk, preparing them the best way I could to face the world of school.

I knew school would be hard in a lot of ways, but I also knew teachers would pick up where I left off. My children were blessed with some of the best teachers known to the profession. I have the utmost respect for those we entrust with our children and who treat them lovingly like their own, all the while, trying diligently to instill knowledge in their little brains. I am so very thankful for those who devote their careers to educating children.

On the parental end, though, school nights are hectic. Trying to get homework, extracurricular activities, supper and family time in the mix can be a challenge.

We always tried our best to sit around the table as a family to eat and talk about the day. Some nights it happened and some nights it didn’t.

I know busy parents want easy and nutritious meals for their families. This taco ring was one of my school night go-to favorite recipes. Even though our children are adults now, I still find myself making this recipe. Maybe it’s because it brings back some good memories of school years’ long past. I think I’ll bake some yeast rolls.


3/4 pound lean ground beef (ground chicken or turkey could also be used)

1 package taco seasoning mix

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

2 tablespoons water

2 (8 ounce) packages refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Salsa, to taste

3 cups shredded lettuce

1 medium tomato, chopped

Optional garnishes: chopped onions, sliced black olives, sour cream

Cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink. Drain meat well. Remove pan from heat.

Stir in taco seasoning mix, cheese and water.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Unroll crescent rolls and separate into triangles. Arrange triangles in a circle on a large round pizza stone or pizza pan (sprayed with cooking spray) with wide ends overlapping in center and points toward outside.

Scoop meat mixture onto widest end of each triangle. Bring point end of triangle up over meat mixture and tuck under the wide ends of dough at center of ring. Filling won’t be completely covered.

Bake 20-22 minutes or until rolls are golden brown.

Serve with salsa, lettuce, tomato, onion, black olives and sour cream.

Crevolyn Wiley is a Gainesville resident with her first published cookbook “Cooking with Crevolyn” available at J&J Foods. She can be contacted at


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