School holidays and I am losing the will to cook. Perhaps it is the lazy vibe and the absence of routine but frankly, if everyone ate eggs, that is all I would be dishing-up.

But there is nothing like a house guest to give you a jolt. Particularly one of the smaller variety whom you don’t want to send home with ghastly tales of a lazy mother and eggs for breakfast, lunch and tea.

So TACO NIGHT it is (with a few deceptively healthy accompaniments). It couldn’t be easier, more colourful or look more impressive. It’s a great MM dinner cheat to add to your repertoire.

I have pulled together my recipes from all the usual suspects – Jamie, Nigella and Bon Appetit – and made a million changes so small palettes will enjoy themselves without being out-spiced. Feel free to change back my turkey chilli to beef. I opt for bird because its lighter, quicker-to-digest and nobody can tell the difference.

Hitch your wagons MM’s, throw on a sombrero and get your Mexican-on. This is an easy, tasty sure-fire winner that will make you look like one clever madre. Ole!


Turkey Chilli


• 1 red onion, diced
• 1 red capsicum diced
• 1 green capsicum, diced
• 1 tbsp fruity olive oil
• 2 garlic cloves, sliced
• A big pinch of paprika
• 1½ tablespoons of cumin seeds
• 500g minced turkey (dark meat is best)
• 250ml beef stock
• 12 corn taco shells
• Grated cheese and ice-berg lettuce, to serve


  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Soften the onion and peppers in the olive oil in a large pan over a low heat.
  • Add the garlic, paprika and cumin and cook for 1–2 minutes.
  • Add the mince and stir until it has browned. Pour in the stock, cover, and cook for 45 minutes.
Kid's Salsa

Kid’s Salsa

Kids Salsa


  • 2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • 1 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, chopped
  • 1 red onion, diced finely


  • Combine tomatoes and coriander in a bowl and mix.
  • Add juice and sea salt to taste.
  • Keep the chilli and onion on the side for adults and adventurous children.
Quick cheat: Stealing Old El Paso's thunder.

Quick cheat: Stealing Old El Paso’s thunder.

Taco Shells

  • Buy El Cheapo taco shells and quickly discard box.
  • Spread the taco shells out on a baking tray and place in the oven for 3–4 minutes until crisp.
  • Present in a way that looks like you made them yourself, complete with wooden box and fab Anthropologie linen.


Kids Guacamole


  • 2 avocados
  • One whole lime
  • 2 tablespoons of natural yogurt
  • seasalt


  • Mash the avocados with a fork.
  • Squeeze in the lime juice and yogurt and season to taste, and gently mix it all up.

Finally, toss the lot on the table, turn on some tunes and let everyone help themselves.

Don’t forget the red wine and  jalapeños for the adults. Loving it.

Some musical inspiration: More Spanish than Mexican but any excuse to play Madonna. Enjoy x