Archive | soup and salad

auntie shannon’s taco soup

Baby it’s cold outside…so here is a great recipe from my sister-in-law who is wonderful in the kitchen…really…she can make anything!  We call it Auntie Shannon’s Taco Soup and I just made it for a gal who has a new baby at home (forgot to snap a pic)!

Trust me it is good!

Shannon’s Taco Soup

·     1 pound extra lean hamburger or turkey
·     (I used pre-cooked chicken from a “store-bought” rotisserie chicken and just shredded it up)
·     1 cup onion(chopped)
·     celery,carrots, leeks or any other veggies you like (diced) (optional)
·     1 can tomatoes w/ liquid (16 oz.)
·     1 can corn w/ liquid (16 oz.)
·     1 can kidney beans w/ liquid (16 oz.)
·     1 can tomatoes sauce (8 oz.)
·     1 package taco seasoning (1.25 oz or whatever you have on hand that you use in tacos)
·     salt &pepper (to taste)
·     (I used some garlic salt and cumin but you can play around with spices depending out what you like and how spicy you like things and some people like to add a ranch seasoning package (1.25 oz) for a different twist)
Brown meat in a large stock pot (if using shredded pre-cooked chicken just add after the vegetables are browned). Add onion (and optional veggies) & mix. Add the remaining ingredients & bring to a boil. I added some chicken broth because I had it and wanted to make the soup stretch a bit more! Cover and simmer 15 minutes.Garnish with toppings! Fast & Easy! Yum! (serves 6)
**optional garnish toppings: avocado, cheese, sour cream, corn chips, green onions,cilantro

summer & spring RECIPES {easter menu re-cap}

This was our lovely Easter feast…yum!
And as promised here are my favorite recipes from that meal. They are great for spring or summer and would be wonderful for the 4th of July! Whatever you make this weekend I hope you have fun!

Laura’s Bacon & Date Roll-Ups

Select pitted dates (or pit yourself). Add cream cheese. Wrap with bacon (about half a slice per date). Bake at 400 for 15 – 30 minutes (bacon should be cooked & golden)!

Aunt Evelyn’s Strawberry-Romaine Salad
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• ½ cup red wine vinegar
• 2 cloves garlic (minced)
• ¾ cup sugar
• ½ tsp. salt
• ½ tsp. paprika
• ¼ tsp. ground white pepper
• 1 large head of romaine lettuce
• 1 head of Boston lettuce
• 1 pint strawberries (sliced) (you can sub w/ raspberries or kiwi’s*)
• 1 cup (4 oz) shredded Monterey Jack Cheese
• ½ cup chopped walnuts (toasted)
Combine first seven ingredients for dressing. Blend in blender or
shake in large covered jar or container.  Tear washed lettuce into
bite size pieces. Combine lettuce & other ingredients in large salad bowl. Pour dressing over salad and toss gently (you will have more dressing than you need so go easy on pouring it to toss).  The dressing should keep in your fridge for at least a week and the salad should easily serve 12 people making this great for a party & left-overs!
*for 4th of July you could add blueberries for color*


squirrel mix {aka muddy buddies} & grandma Lil’s potato leek soup

 So here is a new idea for Valentine’s Day…something for your neighbors or teachers that will warm the soul!
First you can double this potato soup recipe, add a loaf of bread and a bag of this scrumptious dessert and you are set to make someones day! How delighted would you be to receive something like that on a cold afternoon?  Here is a great attachment for a free gift tag you can print to add to your package:
grandma Lil’s potato leek soup
2 ½ cups Chicken or Veg Broth
(or 2 ½ cups water + 4 chic bullion)
4 or 5 Medium Potatoes (cubed)
2 or 3 good sized Leeks (washed well)
2 or 3 good sized Celery stalks
1 piece of Bacon (plus more for garnish if desired)
Lots of Salt & Pepper (to taste)

Place chopped bacon in the bottom of a medium-sized pan with butter (or oil)…after a few minutes of browning bacon add veggies and cook until sautéed. Season with Salt & Pepper.  Add broth and cook about 30 minutes until potatoes are tender. Add more seasoning, to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, green onions, bacon, sour cream; any or all will be great with this soup. Enjoy!
*For a creamy texture…slowly add 1 ½ cup milk at the end of the 30 minutes. I did not add the milk, it was so good with out it!
*If you are not a bacon eater just use your favorite sausage or skip this all together and just use your favorite oil to brown the veggies for a minute before adding the broth! Be sure to season it well if not using the salty bacon!

Squirrel Mix {a twist on Muddy Buddies}
For my Muddy Buddies (or Squirrel Mix as we called it) I used a slow-cooker recipe that allowed me to make the soup on the stove while the chocolate was melting in a crock-pot on the counter.  I added craisins, pistachios, dried cherries and almonds to ours.  We gave it away as gifts so I tried to make it more personal by calling it “Squirrel Mix.” We call Paige our little squirrel these days because she loves to pile little “treasures” into tiny boxes and bags and hide them in corners all over the house.  She carts them around as she scurries about her day and can always find what she is looking for even if it’s in a random & tiny spot…that girl keeps us laughing. You can often hear us saying, “Don’t squirrel that!” as she scurries away with a stolen treasure! Click on this link from for a Traditional recipe for “puppy chow OR muddy buddies” (I don’t like to bake so this is a good dessert for me to whip up and somehow feel more domestic)!
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