Taco Soup


  • 1 lb. ground turkey or beef
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1(1 ounce) package hidden valley ranch dressing mix
  • 1(1 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
  • 1(16 ounce) can kidney beans
  • 1(16 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1(16 ounce) can whole kernel corn
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced Mexican style tomatoes
  • 1(8 ounce) can diced tomatoes(any flavor)
  • 2 cups water
  • optional toppings: tortilla chips, cheddar cheese, and sour cream. Cornbread muffins also go well with this meal.
    [sometimes I double the amount of tomatoes (I don’t use spicy tomatoes) and use half the amount of water]


    1. Brown meat and onions and drain.
    2. Mix ranch dressing and taco seasoning into meat.
    3. Without draining, add all of the other ingredients.
    4. Simmer 1 hour. Serve with any appetizer or side dish
      [sometimes I put it in the crockpot and simmer on low 4-6 hours]

      Recipe adapted from: Genius Kitchen


Cooked Pumpkin for baking recipes


IMG_4934 2



Step 1

Wash your neck pumpkin under running water to clean debris off the surface.

Step 2

 Slice the pumpkin in half and remove the seeds from the center with a spoon. Scoop out the stringy flesh.

Step 3

Wash the inside of the pumpkin under running water to remove any remaining seeds.

Step 4

Cut the pumpkin into chunks. The size of the chunks is not crucial. Just slice the gourd into sections.


Step 1

Preheat your oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Place the neck pumpkin into a baking dish, with the rind pointing up. Add 1/4 inch of water to the dish.

Step 3

Set the baking dish in the hot oven. Bake the neck pumpkin until it is tender. The time will depend on the size of the pumpkin. Poke the rind with a fork. When the tines slide through easily, the pumpkin is done.

Step 4

Allow the pumpkin to cool thoroughly before attempting to handle the pieces.
Remove the rind and scoop out the pumpkin flesh into a food processor. Process until the flesh is smooth, 3 to 4 minutes.  Place cheesecloth lined colander on a plate. Place pumpkin on the cheesecloth and let it drain in the refrigerator overnight, covered with Saran Wrap on the top. Store pumpkin in the fridge in containers/sealed bags for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months.


Recipe adapted from Livestrong

Perfect Pumpkin Pie

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1 (15 oz) can of Pumpkin (or cooked pumpkin)
1 (14 oz.) can of Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (9″) unbaked pie crust
whip cream for topping (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Whisk pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, eggs, spices and salt in medium bowl until smooth. Pour into crust. Bake 15 minutes.
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F and continue baking 35 to 40 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from crust comes out clean. Cool. Garnish as desired. Store leftovers covered in refrigerator.


Recipe from Allrecipes 

Roasted Potatoes & Baby Carrots with Garlic



2-3 lbs. red potatoes, peeled and cut into about 2″ pieces (I don’t peel mine)
5-6 cups baby carrots (can use more or less)
4-8 garlic cloves (I use 1 tsp. powdered garlic)
1/3 cup olive oil (you can use more or less)
2 Tbsp coarse salt (I use slightly less)
fresh ground pepper


  1. Dry the veggies well with a paper towel and place in a large bowl.
  2. Prepare a large non-stick baking sheet, you can line with foil and spray the foil liberally with cooking spray.
  3. In a small bowl combine olive oil, chopped garlic, coarse salt and black pepper; mix well to combine.
  4. Pour over the veggies and toss to coat with a wooden spoon or clean hands.
  5. Set oven to 400 degrees F.
  6. Roast in oven for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are fork-tender, tossing occasionally with a spatula (might take more or less time depending on the size of potatoes). I find it usually takes longer in my oven.Recipe (slightly adapted) from:genius kitchen

Herb Marinated Chicken


  • 1/2 small sweet onion, minced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 3/4 pounds skinned and boned chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon, halved
  1. How to Make It

    1. Place first 8 ingredients in a 2-gal. zip-top plastic bag, and squeeze bag to combine. Add chicken; seal bag, and chill 30 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade, discarding marinade.

    2. Preheat grill to 400° to 450° (high) heat. Grill chicken, covered with grill lid, 7 minutes on each side or until done. Remove from grill; squeeze juice from lemon over chicken.

Delicious Vegan chocolate cake

2 1/2 c. sifted whole wheat flour
1 c. cane sugar
2/3 c. cocoa powder
2 t. baking soda
1 t. salt

1 c. apple sauce or maple syrup
2 c. warm water
2/3 c. vegetable oil
2 t. vanilla extract
2 t. white or apple cider vinegar


1.Preheat oven to 350
2.Grease baking pans with Earth balance natural buttery spread
3.To ensure the cakes don’t stick , place a handful of flour in each pan and shake the pan until covered. Or with a pencil, trace the bottom of the baking pan on the wax paper; cut out circles and line pans.
4.Sift flour into a large bowl, adding flakes of bran back into the flour if sifted out.
5.Mix in the rest of the dry ingredients.
6.In a separate bowl, combine all wet ingredients and whisk.
7. Add wet ingredients to dry and mix until smooth
8.Pour vegan chocolate cake mixture equally into baking pans.
9.Place pans in oven and bake for 30 -35 min. until a fork comes out clean.
10.Allow chocolate cake to cool before removing from pans

Mom’s Chicken Pie

1 bag of peas and carrots
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 c. milk
1 c. chicken broth
1 small onion chopped
1 T flour
ground pepper
1/2- 1 lb. cooked, shredded chicken
1 pie crust.

Cook vegetables 6-8 min. until tender.
Drain vegetables and then add soup and milk and heat it up.
Saute onion in oil, then add flour and then add broth
Combine all  ingredients and pour into pie shell.
Bake at 425 for 10 min and 350  for 1 hour

No bake pineapple cheesecake

1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. graham cracker crumbs
4 T  melted butter
1 (3 oz) pkg. pineapple jello (you can use lemon if you want)
1 c. boiling water
2 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese
1/2 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
2 c. cool whip

Combine powdered sugar and graham cracker and butter and press into 9″ spring form pan.
Dissolve jello in the boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Chill until syrupy(about 1 hour)
In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until soft.
Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fluffy.
Add the jello mixture and beat lightly until blended.
Fold cool whip into cream cheese mixture. Pour into prepared graham cracker crust. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or more until set.
Can serve with toppings of fruit like cherry pie filling etc or drizzle with strawberry syrup.

Gingerbread men

3 c. sifted flour
1/2 t. baking soda
2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
3/4-1 t. ginger
1/3 c. butter
1/3 c. brown sugar
2/3 c. molasses (dark or light)
1 egg

Sift together flour, soda, powder, salt, and ginger.
In a second bowl, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy, then add molasses and egg.
Add in the dry ingredients.
Roll out doug to 1/2 -3/4″ thick on lightly floured board.
Cut into desired shapes.
Place on greased or parchment lined cookie sheets. (Allow for expansion)
Bake 375 for 8-10 minutes.
Cool on wire racks