Monday, September 22, 2008

Poor Man Tacos

I got this recipe out of a book I got from Christine (I think I still owe her $10 for it...need to ask about that). When she still lived in Arkansas, she worked at Helping Hand as one of their Occupational Therapists; they sold these cookbooks as a fundraiser. Of course, I don't have the cookbook right now because it's in a box somewhere in our storage unit, but I covered the basics and they turned out pretty yummy. This would be a great way to stretch your hamburger meat into two meals and save a little money.


1 lb ground beef (I use 90/10 ground sirloin, but use whatever your tastes/budget allows)
Taco seasoning
1 can chili beans (do not drain!)
5-6 slices Velveeta
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese (if you're a cheese junkie like us)
Lettuce, etc. (as desired)


Brown your ground beef with the taco seasoning. If necessary, drain some of the fat and put beef back in pan.

Pour chili beans over taco meat and cook on low until beans are heated through. Top with Velveeta slices and stir until cheese melts.

Serve in tortillas with cheese and whatever other taco toppings you might like.

We had them with just the meat/bean filling and a sprinkle of cheddar. But you can top them however you like. And then have leftovers to do it all again in a couple of days.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Dad's Banana Muffins

My dad got this awesome banana bread recipe from a friend when he was in college finishing his bachelor's degree at Southern Arkansas University in Magnolia. The recipe is technically for muffins, but we sometimes just make loaf bread instead. It's super yummy!


1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup buttermilk
1 cup mashed banana (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup nuts (walnuts or pecans)


Cream shortening with sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time.

Combine dry ingredients. Add to shortening mix, alternating with buttermilk.

Stir in mashed banana and vanilla. Add nuts, if using.

Pour into muffin tin or loan pan(s). Bake at 350° for 20-30 minutes (muffins or mini-loaves) or about 45 minutes (regular loaf). Let cool on rack.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Popcorn from Lori

Here are some more recipes from Lori's blog. One night I saw on her Facebook that she'd made a Popcorn Cake and I asked about it. She posted that recipe and two others that sounded yummy. Let me know if you decide to try them!

Grandma Clever's Popcorn Cake

4 qts. popped popcorn
1 lb small gumdrops (
sometimes we have to use the bigger ones and cut them. That’s pain.)
½ lb salted peanuts
½ c butter
½ c oil (
my gma has ‘salad oil’…. I think that I normally use canola or something like that. Also, you can get away with not using that much - maybe between 1/4 c. to 1/2 c.)
1 lb marshmallows
Buttered angel food cake pan

Add popcorn, candy, and nuts in large bowl.

Melt oil and butter in large saucepan. Add marshmallows. Bring to boil. Pour over popcorn mixture and mix.

Press into pan. Let cool.

Red Hot Popcorn

I also thought I'd post another popcorn recipe. I can't take credit for this one - Kristi found this one and it's so yummy and different. The young women especially liked it! :) I wish that I had a picture for you. It turns out bright red, just like the red hots, and tastes so yummy!

2 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 c. unpopped popcorn
1/2 c. butter
2 Tbsp light corn syrup
2 (2.25 oz) packages cinnamon red hot candies

Pop popcorn and place in large brown bag (or large Ziploc).

Combine the butter, corn syrup and red hots in a microwave safe bowl or saucepan. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the candies have melted. Pour the hot syrup over the popped corn, and shake bag for 1 minute, until completely coated. Cool and serve.

Caramel Popcorn

This is not your normal crunchy caramel popcorn. It's got real, gooey caramel on top of the popcorn. We used to make this a lot growing up when 'the family' would sit down and watch a movie. SO good. SO easy.

1 c. unpopped popcorn
½ c. butter or margarine
1 c. brown sugar
1/3 c. white Karo syrup

Pop popcorn with an air popper. (
You can also pop it in the microwave in a brown paper bag.) Try to take out the seeds that don’t pop.

Mix butter, sugar, and Karo into small saucepan. Boil 2 minutes and then pour over popped corn.

Cashew chicken

My friend Lori made this for me after I had Abby. I was able to figure out most of the ingredients and made it several times after. Zac had to tell me not to make it again for a long time, if that tells you how many times I made it...

And so I am copying her blog post with the recipe. I don't use bean sprouts, because they kind of freak me out. And I'm lazy, so I usually use spices instead of celery and onion. But what she brought me was amazing, so following the recipe would definitely not hurt. Although part of cooking is making things to fit your taste and your style. So....make some cashew chicken!!

Mom's Cashew Chicken

1 chicken (I use chicken breasts instead of a whole chicken)
12 oz can of bean sprouts
1 can cream of mushroom soup
large can (or 2/3 of a bag) chow mein noodles
1 c. chopped celery
1/2 c. milk
1/4 lb salted cashews
1/2 c. chopped onions

1. Set aside some chow mein noodles (about 1/3 of what you're using). Mix all ingredients together in a medium to large bowl.
2. Spoon ingredients from bowl into a greased casserole dish. Top with the remaining chow mein noodles. Don't worry if they don't fully cover the dish.
3. Bake uncovered for 1 hr at 350 degrees

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

World-famous green chile enchiladas

I came up with this recipe a couple of years ago when I needed to use up some pantry ingredients. They freeze well and, in my experience, make a great meal to take to new moms or other people who need dinner. Amounts will differ, depending on the size of your pan(s). But here are the basics for a 9x13 pan:


3-4 chicken breasts, cooked and cubed/shredded (I cook mine with salt, pepper, and garlic powder)
Taco seasoning
2 cans green chile enchilada sauce
1 can cheddar cheese soup
Flour tortillas
Shredded cheddar cheese


In a medium mixing bowl, toss chicken with a liberal amount of taco seasoning to coat. Set aside.

In another bowl, combine the enchilada sauce with the cheddar soup. Add enough of this to the chicken so that it holds together. Set aside the remaining sauce mix.

Lightly fill the tortillas with the chicken mixture. Line up in greased 9x13 pan, seam side down, until pan is full.

Pour the remaining sauce mix over enchiladas, spreading out to cover ends of tortillas. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

Bake in a 350° oven for 20-30 minutes, until cheese is golden brown and sauce is bubbly.

Enjoy. Yum!