Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Crock Pot Taco Soup

I got a recipe for this soup off the internet and then customized it to what I had on hand and what my family likes. The original is on allrecipes.com and is by Janeen Barlow. It says it serves 8 but my family had it for two meals, plus there was enough for me to have it for two lunches also.

1 pound ground beef
1 chopped onion
1 (16 oz.) can chili beans, with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can kidney beans, with liquid
1 (15 oz.) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
1 (8 oz.) can tomato sauce
2 cups water
1 (14.5 oz.) cans peeled and diced tomatoes
1 (4 oz.) can diced green chile peppers
1 (1.25 oz.) package taco seasoning mix

(I substituted black beans for the kidney beans and 1 quart of bottled tomatoes from my garden last year for the diced tomatoes.)

In a medium skillet, cook the ground beef until browned. Drain the fat off and put the meat in the crock pot. Add the onion, beans, corn, tomato sauce, water, tomatoes, green chiles, and taco seasoning mix to the crock pot and stir to mix.

Cook on low for 8 hours or on high for about 4.

Serve with sour cream, grated cheddar cheese, and corn chips if desired.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Potato Bar

This isn't really a recipe. I just realized that I make this quite a bit, my family really likes it, and it's pretty easy.
You just cook as many baked potatoes as your family needs. Then you decide what the toppings will be and you prepare them. Here is a list of the things I usually offer -

eggs (scrambled if I'm lazy or boiled if I'm not)
grated cheese
Ranch dressing

You could also offer -

some kind of beans
fresh tomato
chopped fresh spinach
alfalfa sprouts or bean sprouts

Pretty much anything you see on a salad bar in a restaurant you could offer on a potato bar. Just think of the possibilities. Pinto beans, cheddar cheese, olives, tomato, hamburger and salsa to make a taco potato. Any veggie you could think of for a vegetarian version. Mozzarella cheese, tomato, chopped basil, and pepperoni or sausage for a pizza flavored potato.

The sky is the limit with this one, folks.


Friday, April 3, 2009


I must be getting towards the end of my list of recipes I make frequently. I could not think of anything to add to this blog, so I decided on granola. It's really yummy and everybody loves it. You can adapt it to your own likes - add raisins after cooking, delete the coconut, etc.

4 cups rolled oats
3 cups rolled wheat
1 cup wheat germ
1 cup coconut
2 1/3 cups brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sliced almonds

Mix all ingredients together. You can find most of these things in the bulk food section at a lot of grocery stores or at a health food store.

After it's mixed, mix together and sprinkle over the top-

1/2 cup water
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla

Stir together well. Spread on a large flat pan (cookie sheet) and bake at 300 degrees for around one hour (more or less to taste - longer for crunchy granola, less for a chewier granola). Stir every 15 minutes while cooking.

If you are doubling this recipe, use 2 1/2 lbs. of brown sugar.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mom's Potato Soup

I was at my mom's house this morning and she was making this for dinner. I will be making this tomorrow. She has a 6 quart crock pot, so that is what this recipe is for.

1 onion
1 can of corn
1 can of evaporated milk
2-3 cups of grated cheddar cheese

Cube enough potatoes to fill your crock pot just over half way. Rinse them off so your soup isn't too starchy. Put the potatoes in the crock pot. Add one diced onion and the can of corn - juice included. Let this cook in the crock pot until it's boiling pretty well, then turn to low. Mom didn't start this until around noon, so she put the potato/corn/onion mix in the microwave to heat up. Then the crock pot just starts cooking without having to heat up the food first.
About a half hour before you are going to eat, take it off the heat and add 1 can of evaporated milk, 2-3 cups of grated cheddar cheese, a few shakes of Mrs. Dash and some pepper, some chives, some parsley, or whatever sounds good to you.
The heat of the potato mixture will heat up the milk and melt the cheese.

This is great served with some crusty bread, a salad, or by itself.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Orange Chocolate Chip Cookies

The name of this dessert is somewhat misleading. It is really more of a cake. It's so delicious.

2/3 cup margarine
1 1/3 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup milk
2 cups oatmeal
2 8 oz. packages of chocolate chips
1 teaspoon vanilla

Cream together the margarine, brown sugar, and the eggs. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, soda, and salt. Mix in with the creamed together ingredients. Add the milk, oatmeal, chocolate chips, and the vanilla. Mix well. Pour into a sprayed 9x13 pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes.

Orange Glaze

1 1/2 cup sugar
1 cup orange juice
6 Tablespoons orange rind, optional

Mix together to make a glaze. Pour the glaze over the cake as soon as it comes out of the oven. I find that if you spoon it on, mostly in the middle of the cake, it runs down the sides, but doesn't pool up there. That way you have glaze throughout the cake instead of just on the sides.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Applesauce Gingerbread

Makes one 8 x 8 pan or doubled makes one 9 x 13 pan. Believe me, you will want to double this recipe.

6 Tblsp. shortening
1/3 c. sugar
1 egg
1/2 c. molasses
1 3/4 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ginger
1/4 tsp. salt
2/3 c. applesauce

Cream shortening and sugar together. Add egg and beat well. Add molasses. Add dry ingredients and applesauce and mix well.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes.

To double:

3/4 cup shortening
2/3 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
3 1/2 cup flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cup applesauce

Best if served warm with a dollop of freshly whipped cream.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Barbara's Orange Rolls

This is a recipe I got from my mother-in-law (I don't know where she got it). It is super yummy. We only get to have them a couple times each year or we would all weigh ten thousand pounds. Make sure you make enough for everyone to have two or three. They'll be glad you did.

12 dinner rolls
1 grated orange rind
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup melted butter

for two dozen - triple the orange and sugar part but not the butter part.

Spray muffin tins WELL. Even the tops of the pans, because these rolls rise. Sometimes a lot.
Roll each blob of roll dough into a snake shape. You will want to roll out all rolls before dipping any.
Mix together the rind and the sugar. Dip each roll into butter and then into the orange sugar.
Tie each roll into a knot as you go and then put each one into a well of the muffin tin. ( I have also just put them on a well sprayed cookie sheet before when I didn't have enough muffin tins.)
Let rise then bake at 350 degrees for 15 - 20 minutes. Watch them closely toward the end because the sugar mixture can burn easily. This will make the rolls yucky and will cause you to "test" your smoke alarm. Ah, good times. Good times.
Take the pans out of the oven and dump them out onto tin foil to cool. DO NOT LET ANY OF THE SUGAR MIXTURE TOUCH YOUR SKIN!!! It burns immediately.
Soak the tins immediately or you will just have to throw them out. Dried cooked sugar does not come off easily.