Creamy Taco Soup

We’ve finally started to get some cooler weather here in Indiana. It’s beginning to feel more like Fall. I had been hankering for some thick soups/stews, so last week I made some chili. Since it’s just me and I haven’t mastered the art of cooking for one, I ate it for a couple of days, then put the rest in freezer bags for this Winter. I’ve been seeing a ton of recipes for soups and Taco Soup has been calling my name!

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The smells while this was bubbling away on the stove were incredible!!  The colors and the different spices sure made this a beautiful pot of soup!  This is such an easy recipe and the finished product is just delicious!!

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As with the majority of my recipes, you are welcome to adjust ingredients to match your tastes.  You can see by the pics that my onion bits were rather large, but that’s the way I like it!  I LOVE onions!  I did feel like it has a few too many beans to suit me, so I’ll probably only use one can next time… but for feeding a family or a bunch of hungry friends, I would definitely keep them!  You may notice that I used 2 packages of taco seasoning… that isn’t a mistake.  I knew that the addition of the cream cheese might take away some of the spicy flavor.  It turned out great!

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Ingredients:

1 1/2 -2 pounds ground beef
1 Large diced onion
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans
2 (15 1/4-ounce) can whole kernel corn
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style tomatoes with chiles (Rotel)
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1-2 (4 1/2-ounce) cans diced green chiles

1 tbsp Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning Mix  (you can use any seasoning you prefer, I just happened to have this on hand.)

1/2 cup shredded cheese
2  package taco seasoning mix

1  package ranch salad dressing mix

1 8 ounce pkg of cream cheese, cut into chunks

Corn chips, for serving (Optional)

Sour cream, for garnish

2 cups chicken broth
Shredded cheese, for garnish
Jalapenos, for garnish (Optional)

Cilantro for garnish

 

Directions:
Brown the ground beef and onions in a skillet; drain the excess fat, then put the browned beef and onions in a large pot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, green chiles,  taco seasoning, chicken broth and ranch dressing mix. Simmer over low heat for about 30 in a pot on the stove.  Add shredded cheese and cream cheese and continue to cook on low heat for another 30 minutes.  Serve in a bowl.  Top with sour cream, cheese, cilantro or anything else you desire!

 

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Spicy White Chicken Chili

Yes, I know it’s July… yet, I’ve made Chili. lol. I have been on a quest the last few months to eat a more low carb diet. Is it working? It is!! I tend to get into a rut when cooking for myself and I wanted to try something different. This recipe is a variation of one I saw somewhere (not sure where) on facebook. Annnnddd… I’ve gotten my sleep schedule out of whack again, so I was cooking this at one in the morning.  The smell of this bubbling in the pot was incredible!

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Every time I make something new, it’s so exciting to me to tweak it and make it my own… then, taking that first bite and the explosion of flavors on your palate. This recipe doesn’t have a tremendous amount of ingredients, but you can add and subtract ingredients to your liking.

 

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This was such an easy dish to make. I’ll definitely be making it again.

 

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Spicy White Chicken Chili

Ingredients
1 T. oil
2-3 chicken breasts, cubed
1/2 large onion
1- 14.5 oz can of chicken broth (this makes it thick after it sets. use a 32 oz box of broth to make it more soupy)
2-15 1/2 oz. can Northern Beans, drained and rinsed
2-4 oz. cans chopped green chiles
1 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1 block (4 oz) cream cheese
1 can Rotel

In a large pot, saute chicken in oil over medium heat until no longer pink or you can use rotisserie chicken from the grocery deli. It is just as good and a lot faster when you’re in a hurry. Add onion and saute until transparent. Add broth, beans, chiles, Rotel, and seasonings. Reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add cream cheese and stir to combine. Optional: Serve over Fritos corn chips and top with shredded cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

 

Since I’m doing my best to cut out/cut down on carbs, I only added one can of great northern beans this time. I also think black beans would be amazing in this dish. AND CORN!! I LOVE CORN!! Even though it’s a high carb vegetable, I would have added it if I’d had some on hand. I also added shredded cheese… just a sprinkling. I didn’t measure it. I also used the meat off of six chicken legs, (instead of chicken breasts) as I prefer dark meat instead of white. I did not drain and rinse the beans. I also didn’t realize until I’d added the green chiles, that I had instead added chopped jalapenos. I have a hard time with super spicy foods, so I removed as much of it as I could since the Rotel is spicy enough for me. Still very spicy! Definitely using green chiles next time.

 

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Creamy Enchilada Casserole

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As I may have mentioned in the past, I rarely use measurements when cooking for myself… unless, of course, it’s baking… or a new recipe.  This is a variation on a recipe I’ve made several times over the years.  I’ve never found the original recipes in my stash and have yet to find the exact one I used to begin with.  Every time I’ve made it, I add or subtract ingredients.  The last time I made this, I made it for our church group that met once a week.  I made one pan with chicken as the main ingredient and ground beef in the second.  This time, I was cooking for myself (I know… that’s a big pan!  But I’ve never learned to cook for one)  and I used ground beef.  As always, feel free to add your favorite ingredients… change it up to suit your taste!  Enjoy!

 

Ingredients

1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup french onion dip
1 lg can cream of mushroom soup
2 lb ground beef
1 medium white onion, chopped
1-2 packets taco seasoning – depends on your taste… I used one.
1 package tortillas
4+ cups shredded cheddar cheese – I like a lot of cheese!
1 can green chiles
1 can mild rotel
1/2 can green chile enchilada sauce
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper to taste
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Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a 9×13 pan using non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Mix cooked ground beef (with taco seasoning in it) with garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper onion, chiles and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese.
  3. In another bowl, mix dip, sour cream, soup, green chile sauce and 1 1/2 cups cheese.
  4. Mix the ground beef mixture with 1/2 of the soup mixture.
  5.  Roll up in tortillas and place in pan.
  6.   Stir in sour cream, can of chilies, cilantro, black pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.
  7. Pour remaining soup mixture over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese.
  8. Bake 25 minutes and then place under the broiler on high for 3-4 min to brown the cheese.

 

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Super Yummy No-Bake Cheescake

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I made this yummy cheesecake for our family Easter Dinner today.  It’s the first time I’ve ever made the cheesecake filling without a box mix and it was heavenly!!  Since I was in a time crunch, I used a pre-made graham cracker crust… I don’t recommend it.  Next time, I’ll be using the easy homemade recipe that I will share below.

I loved the creamy texture of the filling and the sweet flavor.  You can tweak this recipe and add less sugar if you prefer it, but it was a big hit today… NONE left!  I will be making this again!

 

Ingredients

    • 1 prepared graham cracker crust
    • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
    • 1 cup powdered sugar
    • 1 (8 ounce) containers frozen dessert topping (Cool Whip)
    • 1 (19 ounce) cans cherry pie filling (Comstock)
    • 6 (ounces) sweetened condensed milk
    • 1/4 (cup) heavy whipping cream

Directions

  1. Blend cream cheese, heavy whipping cream, sweetened condensed milk and powdered sugar.
  2. Fold in frozen dessert topping.
  3. Pour into graham cracker crust, spreading filling in bottom of dish.
  4. Pour cherry pie filling onto top of filling.
  5. Chill at least 3 hours.
  6. You will have extra filling left, but you can use it in a second crust or serve it in a bowl with pie filling of your choice on top!

 

Graham Cracker Crust  – courtesy of Martha Stewart

http://www.marthastewart.com/336402/graham-cracker-crust

Ingredients

  • 6 1/2 ounces graham crackers (12 crackers), finely ground (1 1/2 cups)
  • 2 1/2 ounces (5 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Pulse graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar, and salt in a food processor until combined.

  2. Firmly press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of a 9-inch pie dish. Bake until crust is fragrant and edges are golden, 12 to 14 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

 

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Ham, Cabbage and Potatoes

I love comfort food.  It’s what I grew up on.  Today has been an especially cold day in Indiana and I was craving a hot meal in my warm home.  I fixed one of my favorites, but it’s one that is usually reserved for New Year’s Day and eaten for good luck.  My Mom always made it for us when I was growing up.  I highly recommend serving it with warm cornbread.  I took the easy road and used Jiffy mix this time.  Use whatever recipe you favor.

 

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Ham, Cabbage and Potatoes

 

 

Ingredients:

One large head cabbage

2-3 baking potatoes

16 oz ham (I prefer a lot of meat in mine)

3 TBSP butter

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

In a stock pot or similar pan, boil potatoes (cut into large cubes), cabbage that has been cut into wedges for 10-15 min.  Drain off some of the liquid, to keep it from being too soupy and add ham, salt and pepper.  Continue to boil for another 15 minutes.  Serve hot with warm cornbread.

 

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Four Can Soup

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I found a recipe for this soup online about 6 months ago… I changed it to suit my taste and my lifestyle.  Since my daughter doesn’t live with me (technically… she has the one bedroom apartment on the second level of my home, with a separate entrance), I cook for myself.  I did that a lot anyway as she got older since she prefers a vegetarian menu.

I made my version with half the number of cans called for and added one of my own.  Even at half the amount, this made quite a bit of soup.  I also added seasoning.  You can tweak this recipe and make it your own as well!  As you can see by the picture, I prefer to top off my bowl with some shredded cheese and a dollop of sour cream.  Delicious!

 

Ingredients

 

1 tsp garlic powder

1 (10 3/4 ounce) cans minestrone soup

1  (10 3/4 ounce) cans water

3  teaspoons beef bouillon granules, dissolved in the cans of water

1  (16 ounce) cans pinto beans, drained

1  (10 ounce) cans rotel

1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 1/2 lbs cooked ground beef

1 medium onion

1 medium bell pepper

salt and pepper to taste… you won’t need much.

macaroni – I didn’t measure… approx 1/3 cup uncooked

 

 

Directions
Brown ground beef in skillet (with onions and green bell peppers if desired).

Drain meat.

Combine all ingredients in large pot and simmer for 40 minutes.

Serve with corn bread or crackers.

 

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Savory Meatloaf and Creamy Mashed Potatoes

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The first two weeks here in Indiana were so cold!  Cold weather makes me want a hot meal of my favorite comfort foods.  This meal was delicious!  You may notice that the onion chunks are a little large in the picture.  I love onions! Depending on your taste, you may want to chop the onion more finely.  As with most meals, I don’t make my meatloaf the same way every time.  I rarely measure and I change the ingredients.  I like to think of it as a nod to both of my grandmothers.  My Dad has told me many times about when he and Mom were first married and she wanted to make him one of his favorite meals.  She asked my Grandma Stanton for her recipe and while she was happy to share, there were no real measurements.  It was a pinch of this and a handful of that… very frustrating for my Mom as a new wife.  I’m not sure if my Mom started out as a great cook, but she sure became one!  There were very few times that I ever remember Mom or Mammaw Hatfield using a recipe or cookbook.  If Mom used one, it was because it was a new recipe or one she rarely made.  I tend to use a recipe the first time or two that I make something… then I usually wing it.  What is your cooking style?  Do you follow a recipe to the letter, or do you make things up as you go?

Savory Meatloaf

Ingredients:

1 1/2 lbs ground beef

1/2 cup milk

1 egg

1 TBSP Worcestershire sauce

1 TBSP Heinz 57 sauce

1/4 cup ketchup

1 TBSP mustard

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

1/2 tsp garlic powder

3 slices bread, torn in very small pieces

1/2 medium onion chopped ( I used approx 1/2 cup)

Directions:

Heat oven to 350°F.

Mix all ingredients.  I use my hands to insure everything is mixed thoroughly.

Spread mixture in ungreased loaf pan.

Bake uncovered 1 hour.

 

Creamy Mashed Potatoes

Ingredients:

3 large baking potatoes

1/2 stick of salted butter

1/4 cup milk

1/2 – 1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 cup sour cream

Directions:

Place potatoes in a saucepan; cover with water.

Bring to a boil.

Reduce heat; cover and cook for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are very tender.

Drain well.

Place potatoes in a mixing bowl.

Add  sour cream, milk, butter, salt and pepper; mash potatoes with a potato masher, then beat with a mixer until smooth.

 

For this meal, I added some easy Cheesy Broccoli.  Delicious!

 

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Slow Cooker Roast With Gravy

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When I was growing up, we had Sunday Dinner every week.  Just the five of us usually, but once in a while, Mammaw and Papaw Hatfield (Mom’s parents) joined us.  Mom made a special meal on Sundays.  As she usually did, she made things that were my Dad’s favorites.  One of those staples was Beef Roast.  Mom used a pressure cooker to cook the meat, then added carrots and potatoes.  I am not to thrilled about eating carrots, never have been… so as an adult, I wanted a new way to make my roast.  Another back story, I am fortunate (as are my sisters) to receive  1/3 of a beef every year for Christmas in our small chest freezers that our parents also purchased in the early 1990’s.  So!  I have a lot of beef and a sweet daughter who rarely ate it and now does not at all.

I found a simple recipe that I really like and have continued to make my roasts this way.  My daughter will even eat the potatoes and gravy in it.  I am a HUGE fan of one pot/dish meals and this is one of those.  The only problem for me is that I end up eating it for three days since I live alone. lol

Roast with Gravy

Ingredients:

2 lbs. beef roast, any cut

1 packet of dry onion soup

1 26 oz (family size) can of Cream of Mushroom Soup

2-3 Large Baking Potatoes

Directions:

Brown beef in skillet with a small amount of oil, such as Crisco or vegetable oil.

Add salt and pepper (to taste)

Add Cream of Mushroom soup and onion soup packet to crock pot.  Mix thoroughly.

Add beef to crock pot.

Cook on low for approximately 8 hours.

After 6-7 hours, add potatoes and return lid to crock pot.

 

*If You have leftovers as I do, please make sure your crock pot dish has cooled before moving it to the refrigerator.

 

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Stuffed Meatballs and Egg Noodles

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Not sure where I first saw this recipe, but it seemed easy and that is my favorite kind of cooking! I especially love hearty and warm comfort food.

I kind of made up the recipe as I went… based on a recipe I saw in a magazine. I had the ingredients on hand and thought it would make for a yummy supper tonight.

Stuffed Meatballs Ingredients:

One pound beef hamburger
1/2 pound pork sausage
one egg
1/4 cup fine bread crumbs
1/8 cup milk
1/4 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp pepper
One box stuffing mix (prepared)

Additional Ingredients for Dish:
Egg noodles 12 oz bag
one can of Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom soup Family Size

Instructions:

Prepare the box of stuffing and set aside. Mix the ingredients listed for the meatballs in a large bowl. Make some small patties with the meat mixture. Make sure they are flat and thin. Put approximately a teaspoon of the stuffing mixture in the middle and shape the patty into a ball around it. Cook the meatballs in a skillet on your stovetop. Cook the noodles in a separate pot. When the noodles are done, drain some of the water and add the can of soup and the cooked stuffed meatballs. Let the mixture cook on low for an additional 10 minutes to thicken up, then serve!

This meal was tasty and hit the spot. I will probably make it again, but I think I’d prefer a homemade sauce rather than the soup.

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Hashbrown Casserole

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Ingredients
vegetable oil spray (I used Pam)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 onion, chopped
1/2 cup queso cheese (chip dip in a jar)
1 (10 1/2-ounce) can cream of chicken soup
1/2 (8-ounce) package shredded mexican cheese blend
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 (30-ounce) package frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly spray a 9 X 13″ pan or casserole dish.

In a large bowl, add the cream of chicken soup, milk, cheese, garlic powder, onions, hash browns, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. Combine until well blended.

Pour mixture into prepared baking dish (you could top this dish with potato chips for a crunchy crust) and bake for 45 minutes, or until hot and bubbly.

I actually had to change my recipe around a little because the dish I was going to make would be missing some of the ingredients… but never fear, some day I will make my OTHER hashbrown casserole! Equally yummy! My daughter’s boyfriend said this dish was “Flame!” Whatever that means. LOL

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