Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Easy Beef Shells and Cheese

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Sometimes you need a fast, easy meal with ingredients you have in the pantry.  This is one of my favorite "go to meals".  It is really simple and it tastes good.  I hope you enjoy!

Easy Beef Shells and Cheese

  • 1 Family Size Box of Shells & Cheddar (or 2 regular size boxes)
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes

Brown the ground beef in a skillet.  When finished, drain any excess grease from beef and set aside.

At the same time, prepare the Shells & Cheese according to the box directions.  Once the cheese sauce has been mixed into the shells, mix in the ground beef and both cans of diced tomatoes. 
(For my 2 year old, I stir in the regular diced tomatoes first and then serve hers before adding the diced tomatoes with green chilies. The tomatoes and green chilies are a little spicy for her). 

Once mixed, it is ready to serve.  Easy!!!

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Thursday, August 30, 2012

Black Beans and Tomatoes

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Black Beans and Tomatoes

My 2 1/2 year old daughter loves black beans and tomatoes.  One day I had a light bulb moment and realized I could mix them together to make a delicious side dish for tacos.  It is simple and easy to make.  She just loves this! 

  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup of diced onions
  • 1/8 tsp. powdered garlic
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh cilantro

Mix all of the ingredients together in a small pot.  Simmer on medium-low heat for 30 minutes or until the sauce thickens.
I love to make this as a side dish for my Crock Pot Chicken Tacos. Print Friendly and PDF

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

From Crock Pot Chicken Tacos to Chicken Taco Soup

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I love repurposing my meals.  One of my favorites is to make Crock Pot Chicken Soft Tacos and then make Chicken Taco Soup with the leftover chicken the next day.  The Chicken Tacos couldn't be easier and the soup is very simple too.  Both are delicious!!!

Day 1

Crock Pot Chicken Soft Tacos

  • 3-6 boneless skinless chicken breasts - they can still be frozen (I used 4 breasts)
  • 1 package of taco seasoning
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes with chilies
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
Mix all of the ingredients together in the crock pot and cook on low for 8 hours. 

Shred the chicken to your liking and place on flour tortillas. 

Top with preferred toppings.  I like to add shredded sharp cheddar, shredded lettuce and sour cream.  Try serving them with Black Beans and Tomatoes.

Day 2

Chicken Taco Soup

  • leftover chicken from chicken tacos (shredded)
  • 2 cans of black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of mexicorn (drained)
  • 1 can of corn (drained)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/3 cup of chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 mild jalapeno (seeded and finely chopped)
  • 3 cups of water
  • 3 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • shredded sharp Cheddar cheese (or any type you like)
  • 1 sliced avocado (optional)

Put the leftover chicken from the chicken tacos in the pot and make sure the chicken is shredded.

Mix together all of the ingredients (except the avocado and cheese) in a large pot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until done.
Add a few slides of avocado and some shredded cheese to the soup after scooping it into the bowl.  Serve with tortilla chips.  Yummy!!!

****This makes a large batch of soup!  We will eat it again for another meal this week, but it could also be frozen for later. Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Playdough

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Homemade Playdough
This is the same playdough recipe my mom used to make with me when I was little.  I still remember standing on the chair by the stove helping Mom make it.  The texture is a little different than store bought playdough.  It actually feels silkier to me.

 What you will need
  • ½ cup of salt
  • 1 cup of flour
  • 1 cup of water ( if color is desired, add food coloring to the water)
  • 2 teaspoons of cream of tartar
  • 1 Tablespoon cooking oil
  • food coloring
First pour the water in the a large heavy skillet and add the food coloring.  I added about 5-6 drops, but you can add more for a darker color.  Then mix the rest of the ingredients together with the water in the skillet, cook over low heat stirring constantly.

The mixture will become stiff. Keep stirring until the mixture cleans the bowl like pie dough.
 Remove from heat and cool then knead like bread dough until pliable.
Helping knead her new playdough

Store in plastic bag or air tight container.

No refrigeration needed.
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Monday, August 27, 2012

Shrimp Creole

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Shrimp Creole
This is a tasty and simple meal that is actually made in the microwave! 

  • 4 green onions (thinly sliced) - I didn't have any, but 1/4 cup chopped onion work great too.  I also threw in a handful of chopped chives from my herb garden.
  • 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped green pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes (chopped)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (drained)
  • 1 6 oz. can of tomato paste
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 12 oz. package of small frozen, cooked and pealed shrimp - thawed
  • rice cooked separately, according to directions (I made about 5 cups of white rice)
In 2 1/2 quart casserole dish, combine onions, celery, green peppers, butter and garlic.  Cook in the microwave on high for 3 minutes (or until onions are transparent).  Stir in everything else, but not the shrimp.  Cook covered for 5 minutes.  Stir and cook covered for another 4 minutes.  Stir in the thawed shrimp and cook for 3 more minutes.  Serve over hot, cooked rice.



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