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….


Here is a recipe to print!

Paula Deen's Taco Soup
  • 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
  1. Brown meat and onion in skillet. Drain. Add 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
  • 1 9 inch deep dish pie crust
  • ½ cup suger - plus 3 tablespoons
  • 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
  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
  • 1 24 oz Sour Cream
  • 1 4.3 oz pkg Crumbled Bacon Bits
  • 1 pkg Ranch Dressing Dry Mix
  • 1 Cup Shredded Cheddar
  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.


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
Recipe type: Pasta
  • 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
  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.



Pretzel Turtle Bites

These are so easy and so good… a little salty.. a little sweet.. chewy, crunchy… yum. I called them Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pretzels.. which was a mouthful! Someone informed me that they are Pretzel Turtles. That’s sooo much easier to say. I never knew they had a name. Thanks! ;)

Chocolate Caramel Pecan Pretzel

Pretzel Turtle Bites
  • 1 bag of pretzel snaps
  • 1 bags of Rolo Minis (or 2 if you are taking them to a party, like I plan to do. ;) )
  • 1 bag of pecan halves
  1. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment paper and cover with pretzels. Then put one Rolo on each pretzel.
  2. Pop them in a warm oven for about a minute until chocolate is softened.
  3. Then immediately top each one with a pecan and push down slightly. Boom! Done. :)


chocolate caramel pecan pretzel 2

This is the kind I used. You could use full sized Rolos if you like.

chocolate caramel pecan pretzel 3

chocolate caramel pecan pretzel bites

Coke Ham.. It’s the yummiest ham ever!

My Grandma made ham this way… my Great-Grandma did too.  It’s become a tradition in our family to have Coke Ham at the holidays. We aren’t too crazy about turkey in this family.. so the turkeys get pardoned at our house at Thanksgiving… Christmas too. ;) The Coke helps break down the fat, and tenderizes the meat. At least, that’s what I assume it does. I totally just made that up. I’m not really sure what kind of magical sorcery happens when it cooks, but whatever it is.. it’s yummy.

Coke Ham

It doesn’t get any easier than this either, and the flavor is awesome.

Coke Ham.. It's the yummiest ham ever!
We usually get a large ham since we have a lot of mouths to feed. The one in the photo is about a 20 lb cured ham.
  • a ham
  • large roasting pan
  • 2 liter bottle of Coke
  1. Place the ham in a large roasting pan, pour the Coke in the pan until it comes up a couple of inches on the ham.
  2. Cover with a lid if you have it, or heavy duty foil.
  3. Bake for 8 hours at 250, basting several times.
  4. I usually put mine in the night before and let it cook all night long. By morning, it is fall-off-the-bone tender, and juicy. Mouthwatering good!

This year I bought an electric Oster Turkey Broiler that sits on the counter top. It was awesome! It kept the oven free for any other baking I needed to do. Money well spent.

Robert Reed’s aka Mike Brady’s Beef and Biscuit Casserole

Here’s a story.. of a man named Brady..(well, you know the rest)

I’m always searching for new recipes to try, and I stumbled across The Dead Celebrity Cookbook. Morbid? Maybe a little. Intriguing? Absolutely.. so of course I had to have it. This is one of the recipes featured in this gem of a book.. I made it tonight and we loved it! I’ll be making more recipes from the book along with other celebrity favorites and sharing them here on my blog. Click the link below the recipe if you would like one for yourself. ;)


beef and biscuit casserole

Robert Reed's aka Mike Brady's Beef and Biscuit Casserole
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • ½ cup onion – chopped
  • ¼ cup green chilis – chopped
  • 1 – 8 oz can of tomato sauce
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3 tbsp dried minced onion
  • 1 can of Grands Flaky Layers Biscuits
  • 1½ cup shredded cheddar/monterey jack cheese
  • ½ cup sour cream
  • 1 egg slightly beaten with fork
  1. Preheat oven to 375
  2. In large skillet, cook ground beef, chilis, and onion until beef is browned. Drain. Add tomato sauce, minced onion, chili powder, and garlic powder. Mix well and bring to a simmer.
  3. Split raw biscuits in ½ (peel layers apart into 2 equal halves) place ½ of biscuits in the bottom of a greased 8×11 casserole dish. (I pressed mine to fit the shape of the dish)
  4. In separate bowl, combine sour cream, ½ cup of the cheese, and beaten egg. Mix well then add to beef mixture.
  5. Spoon evenly over biscuits and top with remaining biscuits (I smashed them down to cover more area) and then top with left over cheese.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown.

You now have a meal Alice would be proud of. ;)