10/18/17

Nana's Taco Soup

This Taco Soup Recipe is the first version I ever had, and  truthfully, It's always been my favorite.
 This month will be my 2nd Annual "Souper October". Every week I'll share a great soup recipe to warm you up this fall season!

There are a million taco soup recipes out there, I even have a freezer meal recipe on this blog, but the basic simplicity of it creates a craving that  will keep your family coming back for more time and time again.


The best meals start with family: As my regular readers know, this blog started out as personal blog to document family recipes, and expanded from there, but I still post family recipes and today is one of those days! This is my Mother-in-laws recipe. She can just make the best meals seemingly out of nothing. Getting her to document her " Oh I just did a little of this and a little of that" can be a challenge, but we do manage to pin her down to an actual recipe once in awhile!

Surprise Secret Ingredient:This Taco Soup recipe may not have tons of fancy ingredients, but it's just the simplicity of it that makes it so scrumptious.  I do often play around with the ingredients based on what I have on hand, but there is one surprise ingredient, I always make sure to use.. and I'll explain why. Cream of Mushroom Soup. I know.. I know some of you are like.. uggh.. I don't think so. But first, if I had not told you it was in there you would not have known. Second, It just melts into the soup, and adds a smooth, creaminess, that just helps tame the tartness of the tomatoes and the spiciness of the taco seasoning. It's that "secret" ingredient that just makes the soup. Trust me.

Topping it off: I love a bit of cheese, a dollop of sour cream  on top and to use multigrain scoop tortilla chips (they are a bit thicker and hold up better to scooping soup). But feel free to get creative with jalepenos or whatever floats your boat!

Printable Copy
Nana's Taco Soup:
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 lb. Hamburger
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 15 oz. can beef  broth
1 14 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1  8 oz can tomato sauce
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes drained (Optional: Tomatoes w/ green chilis)
1 can pork and beans (I'll sometimes throw in canned pinto or black beans drained/rinsed in addition)
Optional: 1 cup frozen or canned corn

Directions: 

  • In 2 qt. sauce pan, brown hamburger, drain and stir in taco seasoning.
  • Add in remaining ingredients, stirring after each addition.
  • Heat till bubbly and warm. 
  • Serve in bowls, top with grated cheese, sour cream and serve with tortilla chips scoops (and spoons if you must!)


10/15/17

Crockpot and Instapot Recipes: #Celebrate365

Welcome to Celebrate 365 where your hosts gather together to provide you a place to celebrate the seasons and celebrations of life and share your foods, crafts, and decor that make life special all year long!
Crockpot and Instapot Recipes


October seems to bring on the chill, so let's warm things up with a month of #Croctober: Crockpot, Slowcooker, and Instapot recipes that will bring a slow simmered, soul warming goodness to our homes and families.

Speaking of family, here's a photo from a few years ago of my grand daughter. She's grown so much since this photo, but who doesn't love their first "walk" in the autumn leaves, and seeing all the colors falling from the sky, and hearing the crunch of the leavs under your feet?



Join, Carlee, from Cooking with Carlee
Val from Corn Beans, Pigs & Kids
Nicole from A Kansas Farm Mom
and me as we celebrate the beloved Crock Pot!


ALL bloggers are welcome to link up ANY 
 recipes, crafts, and ideas matching our theme
here in this week long blog party!
Come join in on the fun!


10/11/17

Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup

I had many requests to publish my Spinach and Tomato Torellini Soup Recipe, separately from it's original post in the  "7 Items To Create a Soup Pantry" Post, that I am resharing it with you.

It's soup season and that means it's time for my 2nd annual "Souper October" where I'll be sharing yummy soups all month long! The Secret to a Fall and Winter full of wonderful soups is a  a well stocked "Soup Pantry" all Soup Season long!


This Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup  
I got from my local newspaper,  is a perfect example of a soup you can throw together in minutes from ingredients from your "soup pantry" of ingredients and feel warm and satisfied. I like to add little sausage meatballs (See Tip Below)  to the recipe as well! Put a grilled cheese sandwich on the side and .. well... you have comfort right there!

Spinach and tomato tortellini Soup
Jan's Tip:  Short-cut Instant Meatballs: Use Italian Sausages or Brats and cut open the casings. roll the meat into small balls for fast meatballs, already seasoned and ready to go. You can quickly skillet cook them while starting rest of soup and then add to soup to simmer for a few minutes to finish cooking.

Printable Recipe (Google Docs) 



print recipe

Spinach and Tortellini Soup
Ingredients
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Onion diced
  • 3 Garlic cloves minced
  • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 (14 oz) can Petite diced tomates NOT drained
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated tortellini (any flavor)
  • 2 cups baby spinach chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 cup Water
  • Optional: Mini brat meatballs (see above article)
Instructions
Heat Olive Oil in Large Stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes until onions start to soften.Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds.Add the chicken broth, dice tomatoes with the juice, oregano and 1 cup water.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in any optional ingredients, such as mini meatballs.Bring to a boil and add the tortellini.Reduce heat and simmer until tortellini are cooked through, 50 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings
    tortellini Soup

    10/9/17

    Crock Pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls #Crocktober

    Crock pot Cabbage Rolls! Well almost!  Here we have the wonderful taste of cabbage rolls, but in an easy to throw together slow cooker recipe. Just layer the ingredients in the crock pot and set it to go! 
    Cabbage Rolls Recipe

    It's #Croctober and several bloggers are joining together to share crockpot recipes that will warm up your family as the chill comes on and inspire your menu planning!

    The original recipe I shared back in 2013, and it is one of my most popular searched out recipes! I am resharing it again here, in a new recipe card format! Much easier to view and print! 

    Jan's Tips: It  has that wonderful traditional cabbage roll taste and does not need changing, however My husband is diabetic and the tomato soup and ketchup has a bit too much sugar for him, so I substitute out my own homemade marinara sauce to replace the soup and ketchup.  (I still add water, but reduce it by about 14 oz. since my marinara sauce is more water based than the condensed soup.) 

    Okay Okay.. confessional: I also do half ground beef, half  sausage!.

    This makes a TON! We are empty nesters now so I  cut it in half and we had enough for dinner plus lunch for both of us the next day.

    Hope you enjoy it!




    print recipe

    Crock Pot Lazy Cabbage Rolls
    The taste of cabbage rolls without all the work! The ease of crock pot cooking makes this dish even better!
    Ingredients
    • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
    • 4 cups cabbage chopped
    • 1 medium onion diced
    • 5 cloves garlic, crushed
    • 2 rice, (uncooked) brown or white
    • 1 large can (28 oz) stewed tomato chunks
    • 2 cans tomato soup
    • 2 1/2 empty tomato soup cans of water
    • 1/4 cup ketchup
    • 4 tbsp. worcestershire sauce
    • 1 tbsp. dry mustard powder
    Instructions
    Brown ground beef in a non-stick pan, drain any fat and season with salt and pepper.Place half of the cabbage on the bottom of your crock pot. Add the cooked ground beef on top. Add the onion and uncoooked rice.In a bowl, mix together remaining ingredients and pour over top of rice.
    Add remaining cabbage on top, place the lid on, turn on high for 3 hours or on low for 5 hours.To Serve:
    Mix all the layers together by giving it a good stir and you are ready to eat!


    Now onto the rest of our great #Crocktober Recipes!
    Enjoy!



    10/4/17

    7 Items to create a "Soup Pantry"

    It's soup season and that means it's time for my 2nd annual "Souper October" where I'll be sharing yummy soups all month long! The Secret to a Fall and Winter full of wonderful soups is a  a well stocked "Soup Pantry" all Soup Season long!

    We've all been there, you see a great recipe on Pinterest, or one of those great facebook videos and suddenly you want to make it, but by the time you get all the ingredients together on your next shopping trip, you've lost your momentum, or forgotten about it!

    Whether you want to try a new recipe or just whip together a quick new version of a classic soup, keeping ingredients on hand to throw together soups fast enough for a weeknight meal, only requires keeping a few key ingredients on hand, so you have some flexibility for quick meals.

    Some of these ingredients might surprise you, some will not, but may be worth checking your pantry, fridge, or freezer for supplies and stock up. These are meant to help you pull soups together in just mere minutes, but with that yummy slow cooked taste!

    1. Wonton Skins: Look for these in your produce section. Using your pizza cutter, cut these into thin strips for noodles and drop them into simmering broth. In just a mere minute or two you'll have noodles! (way faster than cooking up dry pasta).

    2. Short-cut Instant Meatballs: Use Italian Sausages or Brats and cut open the casings. roll the meat into small balls for fast meatballs, already seasoned and ready to go. You can quickly skillet cook them while starting rest of soup and then add to soup to simmer for a few minutes to finish cooking.

    3)Tiny Pastas: Using Orzo or acini di pepe,, refrigerator tortellini's  means they don't soak up as much broth (which would normally make your soup too thick), plus the cook in less than 10 minutes usually.

    4) Canned Beans: Can't live without them! Whether I'm tossing one can drained and dumping into a diced kielbasa/ bacon and bean soup, taco soup, chili, white chili, it just goes on and on. I keep great northerns, pintos, black beans, kidney beans, chili seasoned beans all on hand in my pantry!

    Jan's Tip: If you are using beans and you want to thicken your soup, you can use 2 cans, one can to dump into the soup, and the other to puree and add as a thickener.

    5) Bases: Fast bases that reduce prep times such as peeling and chopping is the game: So think; Frozen hashbrowns, frozen corn, etc, both of which can be turned into a quick chowder. (I keep frozen hashbrowns in shreds and dices on hand at all times)

    6) Quick Cooking Vegetables: Quick cooking Vegetables and short cuts is what we're talking about: (Both fresh and frozen) so for example, if it calls for cabbage, grab a package of shredded coleslaw mix, precut veggies such as carrots, butternut squash, onion peppers,  Spinach, etc.

    7) Flavor Boosters:  To help recreate the taste of slow cooking, lets start with a few key ingredients to help you get there. They are worth keeping on hand.: I like to use: Balsamic Vinegar, Asian Fish Sauce, Plenty of good chicken, beef, and even ham soup base/boullion, any seasonings you like that adds depth of flavors to the recipes.

    This Spinach and Tomato Tortellini Soup  I got from my local newspaper,  is a perfect example of a soup you can throw together in minutes from ingredients from your "soup pantry" of ingredients and feel warm and satisfied. I like to add little sausage meatballs (from the above list) to the recipe as well! Put a grilled cheese sandwich on the side and .. well... you have comfort right there!

    Tortellini Spinach Tomato Soup





    print recipe

    Spinach and Tortellini Soup
    Ingredients
    • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    • 1 Onion diced
    • 3 Garlic cloves minced
    • 4 Cups Chicken Broth
    • 1 (14 oz) can Petite diced tomates NOT drained
    • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
    • 1 (9 oz) pkg. refrigerated tortellini (any flavor)
    • 2 cups baby spinach chopped
    • 2 Tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
    • 1 cup Water
    • Optional: Mini brat meatballs (see above article)
    Instructions
    Heat Olive Oil in Large Stockpot over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently 2-3 minutes until onions start to soften.Stir in garlic and cook about 30 seconds.Add the chicken broth, dice tomatoes with the juice, oregano and 1 cup water.Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add in any optional ingredients, such as mini meatballs.Bring to a boil and add the tortellini.Reduce heat and simmer until tortellini are cooked through, 50 minutes. Stir in the spinach and cook just until it begins to wilt, about 2 minutes.Serve immediately, sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
    Details
    Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 4 Servings
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