Monday, October 14, 2013

Jessica's chicken taco soup

My friend Jessica made this for our freezer meal exchange a couple of months ago.  My kids LOVED it and so it has become a staple around our house.  Lots of people have different versions of something like this but this is ours.


3-4 chicken breasts
1 large can tomatoes, diced or crushed
1 can chopped green chiles
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can corn, drained
1 pkg taco seasoning


In Crock Pot, combine everything except chicken breasts.  Add chicken breasts and mix to coat with tomato mixture.

Cook on low 4-6 hours.  If it starts to look a little thick, stir in a little salsa or water.  We like it thicker, more of a chili consistency.  But you don't want it too dry!

Remove chicken, shred and stir back into soup.  Serve with shredded cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Wonderful white cupcakes

So I needed some white cupcakes for a surprise shower for my soul mate, Janelle.  (Shh...don't tell our husbands.  haha)  She prefers white cake with white frosting.  I couldn't find a white cupcake recipe that seemed like it would make good cupcakes without hours of work, so I decided to try changing up my chocolate cupcake recipe....success!!!  These are definitely a winner, especially when topped with a yummy buttercream frosting!


1 (18.25 oz) pkg white cake mix
1 (5.9 oz) pkg instant vanilla pudding mix  (for the love of cake, please DO NOT use sugar free!)
1 cup sour cream
1 cup melted butter or vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/2 cup warm milk or water
2 cups white chocolate chips


In mixer or large bowl, combine all ingredients except white chocolate chips. Stir in white chocolate chips.

Bake at 350° for 18-20 minutes (or 50-55 min for 9x13 or bundt cake) until toothpick comes out clean. DO NOT overbake!!

Cool about 20 minutes in pan, then cool completely on rack. Frost or dust with powdered sugar.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Thunder Cake

Abby's teacher read the book Thunder Cake to the class and then sent home the recipe for the kids to try.  It sounds interesting, it has pureed tomatoes in it!  Since Cami has already torn the paper once, I figured I should probably type up the recipe before the paper is totally destroyed!!  I'll update once we make it!


1 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs, separated
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup pureed tomatoes
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt


Beat egg whites until stiff.  Set aside.

Cream together, adding one ingredient at a time, the shortening, sugar, vanilla, egg yolks, cold water and pureed tomatoes.  Fold in egg whites.  Set aside.

Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, soda and salt.  Mix into the creamed mixture.

Bake at 350° for 35-40 minutes.

Let cool and frost with chocolate frosting and top with strawberries.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Crock Pot beef tips & gravy

Katie made these for freezer group once and I've seen the recipe all over the blogosphere.  There are a few additions you can make but here's the general run-down.


1 1/2 lbs beef stew meat
1 packet dry onion soup mix
1 can cream of ?? soup (I make my own)
1 (14 oz) can beef broth
Salt & pepper


Put stew meat in bottom of crock pot.  Season with salt and pepper.

In bowl, combine soup mix, soup and beef broth.  Pour over stew meat and stir to cover meat.

Cook on low 6-8 hours, till meat is insanely tender.

Serve over mashed potatoes (our favorite!), rice or noodles.

NOTE: You could add a can or two of mushrooms to the crock pot if desired.  While my husband would love that, I'm not a mushroom fan, so I leave them out.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Amazing green sauce

Zac's sister, Kirsten, has been visiting us the last week or so.  She made this yummy sauce and served it over grilled chicken.  SO.  GOOD.  I think it would also be good over tacos, on a salad...on a flip flop.  It's that good.  :)


4 tomatillos, halved
1 poblano pepper, quartered
1 small jalapeno pepper, remove seeds and membrane
1 medium onion, quartered
3 cloves garlic
1 avocado
1 handful of cilantro
juice of half a lime
Sour cream and/or heavy cream  (Enough to make it creamy and as 'runny' as you want.  But not enough to overpower the other yumminess!)
Salt & pepper, to taste


Roast first 5 ingredients in broiler on high. Make sure you do not burn the garlic!

Blend in food processor.

Add avocado, lime, and cilantro to food processor and blend.

Add sour cream/heavy cream and blend.

Make sure you taste--you will probably need to add salt and/or pepper.

Serve over whatever you can find to serve it on.  :)

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Julie's cheesecake

I haven't actually made this recipe but I've had it and it is FABULOUS.  Once I got the recipe, I realized I loved it even more because it's soooo easy!  I plan to make it very soon!


Graham cracker pie crust (store bought or homemade)
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1 tub Cool Whip
1 can fruit pie filling (I recommend raspberry!)


Whip cream cheese and sugar till fluffy.

Fold in Cool Whip.

Stir in a little bit of the pie filling.  Pour cream cheese mix into crust.

Top with remaining pie filling and chill. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

BBQ meatballs and rice

My friend, Katie, made these for our freezer meal exchange.  This isn't exactly her recipe - I wrote hers down and lost it.  :/  So I've included the generic meatball recipe that I used tonight but I do have her sauce recipe.  She referred to the recipe as a "guideline;" she cooks like me!  These are sooo yummy!  Definitely one of my kids' favorite meals.


1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup vinegar
1/2 cup bbq sauce
2 tsp mustard
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

Combine all ingredients and mix well.


2 lbs lean ground beef  (I used the 2.25 lb pkg from Wal-Mart)
2 eggs
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup finely diced onion (I used a few Tbsp of dried onion instead)
3 Tbsp milk

Combine all ingredients except ground beef and mix well.  Add ground beef and mix just to combine (I use my hands).  Then shape into meatballs, about 1-inch.  Here's where you have some options...

     **Fry in a skillet just to brown them.  Put in a baking dish, cover with sauce and bake at 375° for about 30 minutes, till inside is done (160° internal temp)
     **Throw them on a cookie sheet and flash freeze them.  When you're ready to start dinner, put the meatballs in a baking dish and bake at 375° for 20 minutes.  Then cover with the sauce and bake for another 30-40 minutes, till meatballs are done.

Serve over cooked rice with extra sauced drizzled on top.  Mmm.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Collin's Mexican Chicken

I got this recipe from a friend I used to work with.  Definitely my favorite mexican chicken recipe!


1 lb chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 bag Nacho Cheese Doritos, crushed
1 lb Velveeta, cut into small squares
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can Ro-Tel


Combine chicken, Velveeta, soups, Ro-Tel and 2/3 of the Dorita crumbs.  Spread in greased 9x13 pan.

Bake at 350 for 25 minutes.

Spread top with remaining Dorito crumbs and bake another 5-10 minutes.  Enjoy!

Tammy's Teriyaki Chicken

We have made this several times since we got it in our freezer meal exchange.  So good!


1/2 c soy sauce
1/2 c brown sugar
1/4 c lime juice
1/2 tsp minced ginger
1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
3/4 c apple juice
2 green onions (chopped)
1 1/2 - 2 lbs chicken (thighs or breasts)


Mix all ingredients together & then marinate chicken overnight (if possible).

Cook the chicken.  Grilling will give the best results.  You could also bake it at 350 for about 20 minutes or cook in Crock Pot for 4-5 hours on high.

Cook the remaining marinade on the stove top over medium heat until it boils and reduces.  DON'T over cook!!

Serve over cooked rice with steamed/sauteed veggies.  Makes super yummy rice bowls!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Baked black bean and sweet potato burritos

Several months ago, I came across this recipe for burritos.  I earmarked it in my magazine and then kind of forgot about it.  Then a few weeks ago I came across this recipe - similar ingredients but in a smaller flauta.  I ended up making a sort of hybrid of these recipes.  They were AWE.SOME.   My hubby raved about them and even the kids enjoyed them!  I served them with Mexican rice and fruit - a great Meatless Monday meal!


1/2 small onion, diced
1 medium/large sweet potato
1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can (15 oz) corn or mexicorn, drained
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cayenne (optional)
1 tsp cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup sour cream
2 heaping Tbsp salsa verde (or taco sauce or other salsa)
3/4 cup shredded cheese
6 flour tortillas
Oil or cooking spray
Garnishes: salsa, guacamole, sour cream, lettuce, tomato, etc.


Preheat oven to 425.

Wrap sweet potato in a damp paper towel and microwave for 7-9 minutes, till done.  Let cool, then peel and cube.  Set aside.

Heat small amount of oil or cooking spray over medium heat.  Saute onions until soft.  Add beans, corn, sweet potato and spices.  Cook 2-3 minutes, until heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in sour cream, salsa and cheese.

Divide mixture between the six tortillas.  Fold in ends and roll.  Place, seam side down, in greased 9x13 pan.  Bake for about 15 minutes, till lightly browned.  Serve with garnishes.

Picture from

NOTE: If desired, you could add some cooked and shredded chicken, pork or steak to the filling.