Paula Deen’s Taco Soup

This is a set it and forget it kind of meal. I threw this together last night and let it cook in the crockpot while we slept so I could send it to work with my husband this morning. He just texted me saying that 3/4 of it was gone before 11:00. It must be good stuff! I love one-pot meals. The less fuss the better….

Paula Deen Taco Soup

Here is a recipe to print!

Paula Deen's Taco Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 2 cups onion chopped
  • 2 14.5 oz cans pinto beans
  • 1 14.5 oz can of light red kidney beans
  • 1 15¼ oz can of whole kernel corn - drained
  • 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 oz can tomatoes w/chilies
  • 1 14.5 oz can Mexican style stewed tomatoes
  • 2 4.5 oz cans of diced green chilies
  • ½ cup sliced green olives (optional)
  • 1 4.6 oz can sliced black olives - drained (optional)
  • 1 package of ranch dressing mix
  • 1 package of your favorite taco seasoning mix
Instructions
  1. Brown meat and onion in skillet. Drain. Spoon meat into large crockpot .
  2. Add all other ingredients and stir well. Cook on low for 8 hours.
  3. You can serve with tortilla chips and top with sour cream and cheese if you like.

 

Coconut Cream Pie

Coconut Cream Pie is one of my favorites. I love anything coconut.. food, lotion, candles, etc. I’ve always been a little intimidated by ‘the pie’. I’ve only recently begun to make homemade chocolate pies. That was kind of like dipping my toe in to test the waters. That was pretty easy, so I figured I would try and tackle Coconut Cream next. It was so easy! I don’t know why I wanted so long….

Coconut Cream Pie

Here is an easy printable recipe!

Coconut Cream Pie
 
Cuisine: Dessert
Ingredients
  • 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust
  • ½ cup suger - plus 3 tablespoons
  • ¼ cup corn starch
  • 2 cups of half and half
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 4 tablespoons butter softened
  • 1 cup sweetened coconut - plus additional ½ cup for top of pie
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ pint of whipping cream
Instructions
  1. Bake pie crust according to directions. You can also use this time to toast a ½ cup of coconut for top of pie. Spread coconut on a cookie sheet and toast until lightly browned.
  2. In a medium saucepan whisk cornstarch and ½ cup of sugar until combined.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk egg yolks and half and half.
  4. Gradually add liquid to dry ingredients in sauce pan, whisking as you pour.
  5. Continue whisking all ingredients constantly on medium high heat.
  6. Bring to a boil and stir quickly for one minute or until it begins to thicken.
  7. Stir in flaked coconut, butter and vanilla. Let sit 30 minutes before filling pie shell.
  8. While filling is setting prepare the whipping cream. Whip cream on high speed, gradually adding 3 tablespoons of sugar. Whip until soft peaks form.
  9. Spoon filling into pie shell and chill for one hour. Top with whipping cream and toasted coconut.

Crack Dip – Seriously good stuff…

I bring this dip to every get together and it’s always a huge hit. This is another one of those super easy crowd-pleasers. Great things happen with you mix bacon, ranch, and cheese. Before you know it, 1/2 (or all) of it’s gone!

 

crack dip

Here’s an easy printable recipe

 

Crack Dip - Seriously good stuff...
 
Prep time
Total time
 
Ingredients
  • 1 24 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 4.3 oz pkg Crumbled Bacon Bits
  • 1 pkg Ranch Dressing Dry Mix
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
Instructions
  1. Combine dry ranch mix and sour cream, mix well. Add bacon bits and cheese and mix until combined. That's it!
  2. Serve with Ruffles or Fritos.

 

I want my MTV…

mtv

 

It was 1980..something.. and life was good. It was back when the ‘M’ in MTV actually stood for Music.. instead of Mindless. You could see Bon Jovi sing about being wanted Dead or Alive… Madonna was telling her Papa not to preach.. and Dire Straits had the coolest music video we had ever seen… Money For Nothing. Ah, those were the days. That’s what sparked my love of music. I can hear a song today..  like Van Halen’s ‘Jump’ and still see David Lee Roth with those ridiculous, leave nothing whatsoever to the imagination, tights.. or hear a Whitesnake song and see Tawny dancing on cars. We didn’t have cable at our house.. because we lived on the outskirts of town and we couldn’t get cable.  My sister and I spent a lot of time at our Grandmother’s house and the first thing we did when we got there was turn the TV to channel 23. My poor Grandmother HATED it… she thought we were going to be warped by watching that filth… we probably were.. a little.  My sister is 8 years older than me, which meant we didn’t agree on a lot of things, including what to watch on television… but this was one thing we agreed on.

mtvvjs

Back in the days of playing MASH with friends… hoping you weren’t sentenced to a life of living in a shack, VJ was always on my list of dream jobs. I wanted to be just like Martha Quinn. I thought they had the coolest gig on the planet. Getting paid to hang out with rock stars and listen to music all day… that’s what I’m talking about. I must be old, because I still remember the original lineup of VJs. Wow. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long ago. *sigh*

Then came the late 80’s, early 90’s… the beginning of the end. It started off promising… all innocent… they lured you in with a little, teeny, tiny break from all music/all day… with a game show, Remote Control… which was fun.  They were sneaky about it that’s for sure… because, then came The Real World, which I watched the first few and liked.  Blocks of music got shorter, and little by little, more reality shows were popping up in the lineup. Before long, our beloved MTV as we knew it was a thing of the past. I do get it, there’s not much need for MTV in today’s world… with music videos at your fingertips just by searching YouTube. It’s not economical.. the reality shows are the network’s bread and butter. The kids of today will never know what it’s like to have to wait for your favorite video to come up in the rotation… or turning it on just in time to see the ending of your favorite song. Videos were how bands and artists made their mark… yeah, of course the music was the biggest way, but the videos were almost just as important. The image. I still get my fix on occasion since VH1 Classic still plays music videos from back in the day. Back in the day… ugh.

Man, I’m old.

 

 

Christmas is over…. winter, you may be dismissed.

It’s no secret that I’m a summer girl. I love the sunshine, the warm breeze, the long days, the trees full of leaves, the smell of fresh cut grass.. all of it. Shorts, flip-flops, and tan lines… doesn’t get much better than that… living life like a Jimmy Buffett song.  Also, there’s that little thing called summer break. I love having my kiddo all to myself for those 3 months (give or take) out of the year. No waking up early, no alarm clocks, no packing lunches, no homework..  absolutely no hustle and bustle whatsoever.

summer girl

 

Seriously.. Christmas is all winter is good for and Christmas is over, so now I’m ready for Jack Frost to get to packing. Winter is just icky. All the sickness gives my inner germaphobe an eye twitch… the sneezing.. the coughing.. just all around germy, flu-like nastiness. No. Thank. You. Hand sanitizer is my friend. We’re tight.. like PB&J.

Another thing the irks me about winter… I hate coats… literally loathe them. I don’t see how people up north tolerate really frigid temperatures. We actually get by pretty easy compared to some places. I wouldn’t survive. I just know it. I am a wuss with a capital ‘W’. I’ll admit it. No shame.

coats suck

This was the first super cold day that I had to break out the coat, coat. Normally, I try to get by with a ‘light’ jacket for as long as possible. 

My feet stay cold.. my skin stays too dry and my hands are chapped from all the extra hand washing. Blah!  My language is so much more colorful during the winter.. nothing like trying to pump gas with a 90mph minus 50 wind blowing the entire time. I’m ashamed at some of the words muttered under my breath during these times.  I’ve tried the whole ‘mind over matter thing’.. chanting ‘it’s 75 and sunny.. it’s 75 and sunny’. Yeah, that crap doesn’t work.

The countdown to summer has officially begun.

160 days… 19 hours.. 56 minutes and 19 seconds.

Bring on the sunshine.

Spicy Garlic Pasta

Oh em gee… this is good. I try not to eat pasta all that much because of the whole bad carbs vs good carbs thing, but I couldn’t resist this one. You could always substitute whole grain pasta if you chose to. This is great as a side dish, or as a meal.. just add garlic toast. Heaven…

spicy garlic pasta

I love recipes like this because they are so forgiving. There’s no need for exact amounts of anything. You can always adjust it to your own personal tastes.

Spicy Garlic Pasta
 
Author:
Recipe type: Pasta
Ingredients
  • 8 oz spaghetti
  • 3 garlic gloves finely diced
  • ⅓ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil (plus an additional Tbsp)
  • 1 Tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tbsp Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1½ Tsp Sea Salt
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Instructions
  1. Add ½ Tsp of salt to boiling water and cook pasta until it's al dente. You want a little bit of resistance when you bite into it, not undercooked and definitely not overcooked. While pasta is cooking add your minced garlic along with 1 Tbsp of olive oil and cook garlic over a medium heat until it just starts to brown. Be careful not to burn it. Just as it starts to darken to a golden color, remove from heat. Set aside. When pasta is done, drain and add remaining olive oil, red pepper flakes, garlic, parmesan, salt, and pepper to taste. Toss well and serve immediately.