Sunday, March 6, 2011

Slow Cooker Taco Soup

I love taco soup, BUT my sister makes the best taco soup. I am not entirely sure what is so different. This turned out tasty, still not my sister's though!

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (16 ounce) can chili beans, with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans with liquid
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn, with liquid
  • 2 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans peeled and diced tomatoes with green chile peppers
  • 2 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • shredded mexican cheese
  • sour cream

  1. In a medium skillet, saute the onions. Then cook the ground beef with one taco seasoning packet until browned over medium heat. Drain.
  2. Place the ground beef, onion, chili beans, black beans, corn, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and taco seasoning mix in a slow cooker. Mix to blend, and cook on Low setting for 8 hours.
  3. Serve in bowls topped with cheese and sour cream... YUMMO!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Vegetarian Spaghetti Squash Lasagna (with meat option)

This is an awesome meat optional dinner! I made half meatless for me and half with ground beef for my boyfriend and his roommate. I would attest that mine was better!
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons italian seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 1 spaghetti squash
  • 2 cans diced italian tomatoes
  • 1 cup diced bell peppers (any color (I used green, yellow and red), diced
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 carton fresh sliced baby portabello mushrooms
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

  • 1 lb ground beef or bulk italian sausage

1. Slice spaghetti squash in half and remove seeds.
2. Place squash on cookie sheet facing up and coat with olive oil, 1 tablespoon italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon black pepper, 1 tablespoon garlic powder.
3. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove squash from shell.
4. While squash is baking, mix tomatoes, bell peppers, onions and mushrooms, and remaining spices.
5. Bring tomato mixture to boil then reduce to simmer for 20 minutes. Then add tomato paste and simmer until squash is done.
6. In a 13x9 casserole dish layer half of spaghetti squash, grated parmesan cheese, tomato sauce with vegetables, the other half of spaghetti squash and top with mozzarella.
7. Bake at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes, until the mozzarella is bubbling.

(If you want to add meat, brown and crumble 1 lb of bulk italian sausage or ground beef with garlic powder, italian seasoning, pepper and salt. Add this as a layer in your lasagna.)


Sunday, January 23, 2011


I love soup. I could eat soup every day. I usually eat Campbell's Condensed Tomato Soup a few times a week. I generally don't make canned soup as a meal for other people, but I still make them eat homemade soup with me all the time! My attempts lately have been trying to use up ingredients (namely, pastas and rices) that are sitting in the cabinet. This week I made Meatball and Orzo Soup. The conclusion was this is the second best soup I have ever made!

  • 8 cups of chicken broth (I used water and chicken base)
  • 24 oz bag of Italian Meatballs (Kroger is tasty!)
  • 1 small zucchini
  • 3/4 cup orzo pasta
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Bring chicken broth to boil. (This is most important if you are using water and chicken base.
  2. Shred zucchini.
  3. Add meatballs, orzo and zucchini to broth.
  4. Season with pepper, parsley, garlic powder, and onion powder.
  5. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.
  6. In a bowl, beat together lemon juice and eggs.
  7. Mix 1/4 cup of hot broth from the pot into the lemon/egg mixture.
  8. Stir mixture into the full pot of soup.
  9. Add Parmesan cheese.
  10. Serve hot.
 Easy and SOOOOO tasty! For left overs, you may need to add a little water to thin out broth. I thought it tasted better the next day. I forgot to take a picture that night, so this is my left overs at lunch the next day. MMM mmm good.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Smoked Sausage and Sauerkraut with Mashed Potatoes

I love my slow cooker! Another thing, besides the food chopper, I think everyone should have is a slow cooker. You will find a lot of my recipes that I use are with a slow cooker. Most of them can be modified to make on the stove top or in the oven. 
  • 16 ounces sauerkraut, bag or can
  • 1 pound smoked sausage
  • 2 cooking apples, peeled, cored, and sliced
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 2/3 cup beer (anything you have around will work)

  • 5 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup cream cheese
  • 1 cup milk
For Sausage and Sauerkraut
  1. Rinse sauerkraut; drain and squeeze dry. 
  2. Place half of the sauerkraut in a slow cooker.
  3. Cut sausage into 2-inch lengths. Place in slow cooker. 
  4. Continue to layer in slow cooker, apples, brown sugar, salt, and pepper, sprinkling with caraway seeds. 
  5. Top with remaining sauerkraut. Add beer. Do not stir mixture.
  6. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 3-1/2 hours or on low for 6 to 7 hours, or until apples are tender. 
  7. Stir before serving.
Mashed Potatoes
  1. Place potatoes in pot covered with salted water.
  2. Boil for 15-20 minutes, or until tender all the way through.
  3. Drain the water from the potatoes.
  4. Add garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt, pepper and butter.
  5. Begin mashing potatoes while adding cream cheese and milk.
  6. Serve HOT!

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    Breakfast Time!

    I am not a fan of breakfast. First off, I don't like greasy food too much and breakfast meats seem to be all grease. Secondly, I can't eat when I first get up, so by the time I am ready to eat I am either at work or it is lunch time. I do make breakfast for others though... and of course I eat it at some point most of the time. Here is a casserole that was pretty good.

    • 3 cups of croutons (pick a flavor that sounds good to you)
    • 1/4 cup butter, melted
    • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
    • 6 eggs
    • 1 3/4 cups milk
    • 1 bell pepper, diced (your choice of color)
    • 1 tablespoon mustard
    • 1 tablespoon basil
    • salt and pepper
    • breakfast meat can be used, I did not
    1. If you choose to use meat, you will want to thoroughly cook, and crumble or dice, it.
    2. Preheat 325 degrees F.
    3. Spray a 9 X 13 casserole dish with cooking spray.
    4. Place croutons in the bottom of the dish and drizzle with melted butter.
    5. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
    6. Crack eggs in a bowl and add milk, diced bell pepper, mustard, salt, basil and pepper, and beat until well-combined. (At this point add your meat as well.)
    7. Pour on top of the croutons and cheese in the casserole dish.
    8. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.
    9. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

    Not bad! 

    This recipe is pretty versatile. You could add any chopped vegetables you wanted, as well as any meat. You can also change up the flavor of your croutons and cheese. This could easily become garlic flavored croutons with mozzarella cheese and some Italian seasoning in your eggs, Caesar croutons with Parmesan cheese and a bit of Worcestershire Sauce, or omit the cheese add bacon or ham and make some hollandaise sauce to pour over, an Eggs Benedict casserole. This is a great recipe to use your imagination!

    Sunday, January 2, 2011

    Moo Shu Pork with Mandarin Pancakes

    I got to cook a little more than usually this week. I do most of my cooking on the weekends. Especially the cooking I want to share with you guys. (Although, if you want to learn to make things like Hamburger Helper feel free to email me! Haha!) Well, this was a long weekend for me, thus, more cooking. 
    Last night's meal was a really quick meal. I found a recipe in a cookbook, so I took it and made it the way I wanted... so, really, not the same food they wanted me to make at all! I also rearranged the directions so they read in the order I made them. Also, the recipe offered an easy way to make "mock" Mandarin Pancakes, well, ALRIGHT!

    • 1 cup white wine (I used semi sweet)
    • 3 boneless pork loin chops
    • 5 green onions
    • 1 can waterchestnuts
    • 1/2 cup hoison sauce
    • toasted sesame oil
    • 8oz bag of coleslaw mix
    • 2 eggs
    • 8 flour tortillas (fajita size)
    1. If your chops are thick, flatten with a mallet. (Pork loin roast was on sale, so I bought one and had my boyfriend slice about 5 very thin steaks for me.) Cut into strips.
    2. Marinade the strips with the wine for at least an hour.
    3. Thinly slice green onions and save about 1/4 cup for garnish.
    4. I bought whole water chestnuts and chopped them in my mini chopper. (I am telling you, if you are going to follow my blog GET ONE!) You could also used sliced water chestnuts and then, just open a can.
    5. Cook pork in skillet until no longer pink.
    6. Mix hoison sauce and 2 tsp sesame oil.
    7. Add green onions, water chestnuts, cole slaw mix, and sauce mix to skillet.
    8. Cook for 2-3 minutes, just to warm the mix, you want it crunchy.

    On to the pancakes!
    1. Heat 1 tsp sesame oil in a small skillet.
    2. Beat eggs in a shallow bowl or deep plate.
    3. Dip the tortillas in the egg and place in skillet.
    4. Cook each side about 20-30 seconds, you want the to be a light golden brown.
    5. Add and heat oil as needed to complete all the pancakes.
    I had a small amount of eggs left, so, I scrambled it in the pancake skillet and added it to the pork.

    Now you are done! Spoon the pork into the pancakes and sprinkle with your green onion mixture.

    Sooo... tasty!

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