It’s the little things that make you happy

It seems like we all spend an inordinate amount of time working toward the big events in life only to be disappointed when they don’t live up to the hype.  Think about the time you spent getting ready for the big dance and how often that turned out to be a major downer.  Christmas with all the preparation, buying presents and wrapping and planning for every little thing was often just a giant let down.  And that doesn’t even count the disappointment most of us feel when we open our own presents.

What I have realized over the years is that the unexpected small things are the ones that give me real flashes of joy.  I had no expectations so the event had nothing to prove.

Last week, I was grocery shopping with my husband.  As wives everywhere can attest, this is more likely to be stressful than joyful since they either wander off or keep saying things like “Are we done yet?  Are we really having that again?”

On this occasion, I was already in the check out line when he wandered over with a box in his hand and said, “Why don’t we buy this?”

“This” was the newest “As seen on TV” gimmick – little pans that let you turn a taco into a freestanding shell to hold salad without frying!  I absolutely never order anything off those commercials but I had secretly lusted after the little pans.  Guess what?  They work exactly as advertised!

taco_pan2   taco_shells_pushed_in
Single pan and all four pans with the taco pressed down inside

The pictures show a single pan and the set with tacos inserted.  I didn’t want to lift them into the 400F oven one at a time, so I turned over a cooling rack and put them in two at a time.  The feet on the rack face up so they won’t snag the oven rack.


Eight minutes later they came out perfectly browned.  I didn’t bother waiting for them to cool but used hot mitts to dump them out and fill them up.  I keep homemade cooked Mexican style chicken in the freezer.  I chopped up some lettuce and added cheese, spicy corn & chile from Trader Joe’s and salsa.


If you are one of those people who likes pre-eaten beans, you could put those in, too.  Or add olives, guacamole or sour cream on top.

   taco salad_done
One of life’s little pleasures

I’m not ashamed to admit that we each had two both nights.  We are trying to think up other things to put inside – like scrambled eggs with the extras of your choice such as mushrooms, peppers or fried onions.

This was a lot of pleasure for just $11!


10 thoughts on “It’s the little things that make you happy

    • Interesting – if I was going to do that, I might use a waffle! Or a big pancake. My husband was so disappointed when I came home from the store without taco shells today but I was ready for some yummy pot roast sandwiches. Seems like they would be great for chili, too. All diet food, of course. LOL

  1. Sounds good, Carol. I’m going to run right out tomorrow and pick up the little pans. I’ve been craving a taco salad for a couple months, but the ones in restaurants or at Taco Bell have an ungodly amount of calories. For my filling, I will cook ground beef with onions, drain, then add Newman’s Salsa to the meat, top with refried beans, diced tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced olives, diced avocado, shredded cheese, and top with sour cream. Enjoy and, forget about the calories. :):)

    • I suspect my salad has as many calories as theirs, especially if it is a guacamole night. Of course, I don’t eat the fried taco when I have their salad. I would like everything about your salad except the beans. :> Enjoy!

  2. Well, Carol, I ran right out to pick one up but the Walmart here didn’t have it. At least not yet. We’re kind of slow down here. So, I picked up a small aluminum baking pan and will use that. No reason why that wouldn’t work. “Where there’s a will . . . “

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