Thursday, August 18, 2011


Boy, I haven't blogged about cooking in forever. No wait, I know why. Oh ya, I haven't cooked in forever. Right now my husband is on a very limited diet - so all my cooking creativity has gone into trying to make his 5-6 choices interesting. And, then well it is summer, it is 106 degrees, and yuck, who wants to cook?

However, this summer I have stumbled onto some really interesting things I am going to work on. First, making flour out of oats (just in the blender) and using it for pancake mix. Very interesting. Needs some further experimenting - and for me to get up earlier. For the first time this summer, my kids have all totally handled their own breakfasts. It has been wonderful, and I have gotten lazy.

The second very interesting cooking thing I am experimenting with is - I have eaten this summer two wonderful meals where the meat and vegetables were wonderfully prepared in a crockpot and then added over rice. I know this is not a new concept, but the two meals I ate were really wonderful - one being kind of gumbo-ish and one chickeny and tangy. Have you ever eaten something somewhere and thought about it for several weeks later? I do that. Usually by the time I figure it out, I forget where I had it.

So, those are my two cooking projects for the rest of August - to perfect those two ideas/meals. I am open to suggestions and recipes! I'll share my findings when I figure something out.

My inlaws gave my husband an awesome set of cast iron cooking stuff to make neat dutch oven meals outdoors in the fire pit this fall and winter and we can't wait to try that out. Right now, one spark might set the whole county on fire, so those recipes will have to wait.

I recently purchased a brand new breadmaker for $10 at a garage sale, and have been really enjoying breadmaking again. My previously well-loved breadmaker broke about 2 years ago, and although I have been making bread some the old fashioned way -breadmakers are just SO easy. I can grab a kid and have them dump everything in in 10 minutes. The kid part really makes it easy.

I have had two people ask me this week for my Taco Soup recipe - which is really strange because I cannot even think about any kind of soup in this heat. It is absolutely ridiculous here, the cracks in the ground are so big I worry we might lose the dog (or a kid). Anyway, here is the recipe. And you know...technically this would be a good summer recipe to put in the crockpot so you didn't heat up your whole kitchen. And, by the way, it is quite good over rice instead of chips. Mmmm....possibilities?

Tara's Taco Soup

Such a simple dump in a pot recipe! Works great in the crockpot too.

Brown 1 lb of ground beef with a chopped medium onion. I also sometimes use shredded chicken. When I am in a huge hurry, canned chicken makes this recipe less than 5 min. to prepare.


1 can of tomato sauce

1 can of pinto beans

1 can of Rotel (I use mild)

1 can petite diced tomatoes

1 can of Ranch Style beans (Texas style beans)

1 pkg. taco seasoning

1 pkg. ranch dressing mix

1 small jar picante

Optional things I add:

1 small can of chopped black olives

1 can of corn

Serve over tortilla chips, top with grated cheese and sour cream.

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