A Movie Night, a New Family Tradition, and Chicken & Black Bean Taco Pizza. Yum.

Warning.  Self-indulgent nostalgia ahead.

As a kid, I loved Halloween but it wasn’t something necessarily “celebrated” in our home.  (Probably something to do with the fact we were a Pastor’s family and all.) There weren’t any decorations or scary movie-athons, but we still had a few hours of trick-or-treating.

I *loved* the once-a-year chance to dress up and parade our costumes to the 5 or 6 elderly family members and country neighbors in exchange for home-made popcorn balls and wax candy lips.

(Anyone else remember those things? I loved them.)

My mom made our costumes each every year — yeah, handmade costumes for four girls!  I can remember transforming into Nefertiri (from the Ten Commandments, thankyouverymuch), a Rag Doll, Scarlet Ohara, and (of course) the Biblical Rachel.

Mom spent countless hours at her sewing machine, transforming yards and yards of fabric and tulle and thread into the best costumes a nerdy, book-loving girl could envision.  All for an hour or two of trick-or-treating, hundreds of smiles and thousands of girlish laughs.  And lots and lots of memories.

It’s funny now, as a mom of three (and only three, forever and ever amen), I find myself excitedly planning and doing things JUST to watch my kids’ faces light up.  I make silly lunches every morning to hear their giggles when I let them have a sneak peek.  We dance and pretend we have Tinkerbell wings and fly around the house, sprinkling invisible pixy-dust over Max the Dog and Baby Barney Kneeknuckles and the beta fish.  Who cares if the UPS man might show up and get a glance of a 34 year old woman galloping and flapping her arms like a not-so-graceful fairy?

My kids eat it up, eyes sparkling and laughter incontrollable.

These are the moments that make up for the times when they shame me in public or try to pull one over on me.

Motherhood can be fun, if we let it.

Last weekend was a fun weekend in Motherhood and a fun weekend for the Kidlets.  We started a new tradition: It’s The Great Pumpkin Movie Night.

It started with matching “Great Pumpkin” shirts I found at Target.  I look for any opportunity to make my children wear identical clothing (I have no shame) and the thought of having adorable Kidlets with matching Snoopy and Charlie Brown shirts was too tempting.

Then, I stumbled upon a dvd copy of “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” and I was struck with inspiration for a new “October”  family night.  A new tradition.

A Great Pumpkin Event, if you will.

We spent time picking out little pumpkins to use as decorations around the house.  We raided Wal-Mart (Yes, three Kidlets and I … alone in Wal-Mart .. at 5:25 with the rest of College Station, TX.  I don’t recommend it.) for pumpkin plates and cups, cilantro and orange bell peppers, and the makings of pumpkin s’mores.

Our little family was going to have a party.

The Kidlets made and gobbled up Jack o’ Lantern Pizzas . . .

and Mommy made grown up versions for the parents.


A New Taco Pizza

The flavors in this Chicken and Black Bean Taco Pizza are simple and addictive.  The crispy Flatout Thin Crust Flatbread presents the flavors of my favorite taco in a new way — whole wheat flatbread crunching with each bite.  Fresh tomatoes and bell pepper, cilantro and Mexican cheeses dance a tango as they bring a punch of flavor to the simple black beans.

And the chicken?  Perfectly seasoned with my Homemade Taco Seasoning.

Using the Flatout Thin Crust Flatbreads was fun and they easily shave minutes off dinner prep; once topped with your pizza ingredients, the crusts only need six minutes in the oven before dinner is ready.

Six minutes.  I can handle that while Kidlets run through my busy kitchen, playing Spiderman vs. Spidergirl vs. Spiderbaby.

(Oh, yes — true story)

With this recipe, you can prepare everything fresh for your pizza night or you can save some time by prepping the chicken ahead of time and freezing it.  Either way, the meal is ready in well under 30 minutes.

Thirty minutes for homemade pizza and then thirty minutes for our movie.

A brief hour of Kidlet fun  … and Mommy fun.


Chicken and Black Bean Taco Flatbread Pizza

(creates six individual pizzas)


  1. 1 pound Ground Chicken
  2. 2.5 Tablespoons of Taco Seasoning (equivalent of 1 package of seasoning)
  3. 1 14.5 ounce can of Black Beans (or 1.5 cups of prepared black beans), drained and rinsed
  4. 1 medium orange Bell Pepper, diced
  5. .5 cup chopped Cilantro
  6. 1 cup of Cherry tomatoes, halved
  7. 1-2 cups of Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese
  8. 1 cup of Queso Fresco*, crumbled
  9. 1 package of Whole Wheat Flatout Thin Crust Flatbreads



  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Over medium high heat, cook the ground chicken till cooked through. Add the taco seasoning and 1/2 cup of water.
  3. Cover, raise heat, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer till liquid is evaporated.
  4. While chicken is cooking, prepare the fresh vegetables as stated in the ingredient list

To Assemble:

  1. Separate the Flatout Thin Crust Flatbreads and place 1-2 (as will fit) on a cookie sheet.
  2. Place into the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove and then top in the following order (the amount of each ingredient placed on each crust is a matter of personal preference):
    1. Seasoned and cooked chicken
    2. Black Beans
    3. Shredded Cheese
    4. Bell Pepper
    5. Tomatos
    6. Crumbled Queso Fresco
    7. Cilantro.
  3. Return to the oven and back for 3-4 minutes or until cheese is bubble and beginning to get golden.
  4. Remove from the oven and serve.


To make Jack o’ Lantern Pizzas: core and slice the Bell Pepper into rings. Assemble the Pizza in this order: chicken, black beans, shredded cheese, queso fresco, cilantro, bell pepper rings, tomatoes. Then, add more cheese (either variety) to the interior of the pepper rings and use black beans to design a Jack o’ Lantern face. Place in the oven and cook 3-4 minutes till the cheese is melted and bubbly.

Queso Fresco is a semi-soft, crumbly cheese similar to Feta in texture. It is sold as a thick disk in sealed packages in the refrigerated cheese section of the grocery store.

Look for Flatout Flatbread Products in the Deli/Bakery displays at Wal-Mart.

Copyright © http://followinginmyshoses.com
Recipe by Rachel Lacy



disclosure: I wrote this post on behalf of The Motherhood and Flatout Thin Crust Flatbreads. All opinions expressed are my own.


  1. says

    Taco stuff is awesome. I giggled imagining you galloping around like a faerie. I used to do stuff like that with Jake all the time, he just rolls his eyes at me now.

  2. says

    That pizza looks AWESOME. We love pizza in our house so I need Melinda to make me one of these ASAP (maybe this weekend, LOL). And I also remember getting wax lips for Halloween as a kid :) They were too cool.

  3. says

    Why is anything with taco in it always awesome? And I LOVE that movie!

    Off topic…is that a real stone fireplace? My new home doesn’t have a fireplace and I’m planning to look into getting an artificial one, so if that one was added in later (not part of the house) it’s exactly what I’m looking for.