Quick and Easy Spicy Chicken Gumbo

Here is my wonderful easy spicy chicken gumbo recipe.  I had many ask for this recipe, so here it is.  All measurements may be changed in your own kitchen to make more or less for your family.  Soup is pretty unforgiving, but by using frozen and canned the time taken to cook this is easy.  When making this for my children, I omit the red pepper.  It is a great recipe for the middle of the week, or on a night you need to get moving quickly.  It is great for fall get togethers because you can double the reicpe and  be on the move fast.

Quick and Easy Spicy Chicken Gumbo

(Adapted from Cooking Light)


  • 4 servings rice cooked
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup frozen cut okra
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper (Optional)
  • 2 cups chopped roasted chicken breasts (or leftover Chicken)
  • 8 ounces andouille sausage, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth


  • Cook rice according to package directions, omitting salt and fat.
  • While rice cooks, combine flour and oil in a Dutch oven; saute over medium-high heat 3 minutes. Add onion and next 6 ingredients (onion through red pepper); cook 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
  • Stir in chicken, kielbasa, tomatoes, and broth; cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Week of October 24 --Meal Plan Monday

This week it is looking kind of warm at the beginning of the week and a lot colder by the end of the week. 

Monday:  Grilled pork chops seasoned potatoes, and glazed apple slices

Tuesday:  Crockpot stroganoff

Wednesday: Spicy Gumbo:  Did not make it last week.

Thursday:  Leftovers

Friday: Pizza

Sat:  Eat Out at Harvest Party

Sunday: Halloween meal (Look for post about how I make Halloween fun for the kids).

As always I will be linking up at http://orgjunkie.com/


Halloween Snack Mix

Halloween is just around the corner and here is my go to snack mix

Halloween Snack Mix

4 cups rice chex

4 cups corn chex

4 cups popcorn popped

1 bag of caramel corn

I mix up all the cereal and popcorn.  Then I make the caramel sauce:

Caramel Sauce:

Caramel Sauce

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1/2 tsp baking soda

combine sugars and water in saucepan on stove.  Heat until boiling then turn heat to simmer and simmer 5 mins. Pour over cereal mix, stir to combine, and bake in a 250 degree oven for 1 hour and stir every 15 mins.  When done baking pour onto cookie sheets or parchment paper to cool.  When cool break apart and mix in the candy corn or m & m's. 


Candy Corn Cupcakes

You can check out this recipe at The girl who ate everything.  I followed it pretty much to the letter! 

Today I made wonderful Candy Corn Cupcakes for my daughter's dance group.  It was Fall week and they were encouraged to dress up in costumes and bring treats.  These cupcakes were the perfect addition.

I started with a boxed white cake mix.  (Yes, I use cake mixes!  I love to make things homemade, but I still find a boxed mix does the job.)  I doctored it up using 1 cup sour cream, 2 eggs, 1/2 cup of milk, and 1/3 cup oil. 

Took half the batter and colored it yellow

The other half I colored orange

Layer half yellow and half orange in standard muffin tin with liners..I chose to use Halloween inspired liners. 

Bake according to package directions.  350 degrees for 18 minutes. 

Frost with a white frosting and decorate as appropriate.

I used a marshmallow frosting for some ooey gooey fun!!  The children loved these!!


Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,166,152171-237207,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
3 egg whites
2 1/4 c. sugar
3/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1 1/3 tbsp. vanilla
3/4 c. boiling water

Combine egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar and vanilla. Mix at low speed then add boiling water
while mixer is at low speed. When all water is added turn to high speed and beat until peak stands.

Caramel Apple Cake

The weather has become COLD in my world...A sure sign that fall and holiday baking will be in full swing soon.  I absolutely love this time of year.  With the coolness in the air, I decided to go full speed ahead and bake up some of my favorites this week.  This recipe is great as a dessert option with company.  It looks very pretty on a platter or cake stand.  It also is a wonderful recipe for an afterschool snack option.  It has the great taste of caramel apples in a cake. 

Caramel Apple Cake

1 box spice cake mix (Plus ingredients as called for on package)
3 c. cubed apples
1/2 cup chopped nuts (You don't have to use these)

Prepare cake mix according to package directions.  Add apples and nuts and stir until well blended. 

Put in an 8 or 9 inch bundt pan. 

Bake at 350 degrees for 45-60 minutes. 

While the cake is baking prepare the frosting:

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine sugars, butter, and cream in saucepan. Bring to boil. Remove from heat. Serve frosting warm or cold on warm cake.

While the cake is baking prepare the frosting:

Frosting Ingredients
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup heavy cream

Combine sugars, butter, and cream in saucepan.  Bring to boil.  Remove from heat.  Serve frosting warm or cold on warm cake.


Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast

Well, I chose to make a new creation in my kitchen.  Sometimes, I am not sure about a recipe I want to make, but with the temperature in the 40's and that crisp fall air.  I decided that our wonderful fall day needed a wonderful fall dinner.  I looked at my pork roast and decided it needed some flair.  I searched the grocery store, and what did I find?  I found cranberries.  The sign said just arrived.  Well, these were just begging to be used so I created a great pork roast recipe incorporating the cranberries.  This recipe has some sweet and savory vibes to it, but the family gobbled it up.  Why not use this in your own kitchen and be the hit of the day.
Cranberry Stuffed Pork Roast

1 Pork Loin Roast, slit cut into for stuffing purposes

1/2 lb. cranberries

1 Tbsp. Fresh Sage

1 tsp. cloves

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate

Heat oven to 350 degrees.  Mix cranberries, sage, cloves, brown sugar and orange juice concentrate. Stuff into the slit cut in roast.  Place in baking pan.  Bake for about 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until done.  Enjoy!! 

My kids and husband claimed this was the best meal they have had in a while.  I served this with fresh brussel sprouts from my garden and some applesauce.  Simple meal, but good!


Menu Plan 10/17

Menu Plan Monday is hosted at Organizing Junkie - stop by for hundreds of menus

This week fall is back in the air.  I haven't been very faithful in following my menu plan, but it is there and we do abide most days by it. 

Here is this week's menu
Monday:  Tostadas with homemade salsa
Tuesday: Crockpot Chicken with apples
Wednesday: Spicy Gumbo
Thursday: Lefotvers
Friday: Pepper Steak Crockpot Style
Saturday:  Date night to celebrate our anniversary/Pizza for the kids and babysitter
Sunday: Old fashioned beef stew

For more great ideas head over to I'm an organizing junkie


Friday Finds--Pumpkin Edition

Here are the wonderful recipes I hope to make in the next couple of weeks.  The pumpkin cake rolls are on my agenda for tomorrow.  I usually make these and invite my mom friends over to enjoy some quiet girl time.  These also make a great fancy dessert for a special occasion.  I make one of these and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving. 
Pinned Image
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cake Roll
Pumpkin Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
Pumpkin Cupcakes

candy-corn sugar cookies
Candy Corn Cookies


Chicken Pot Pie

Well, it is a rainy day here in central Iowa.  I spent my morning doing my schoolwork for the week.  Yes, I am in my mid-thirties and still in school.  I suppose it is my quest for greatness?  Nope, just my quest to become a Dr. and help people.  Some days I think I am crazy, but I have a wonderfully supportive husband who wants me to succeed.  What more can a girl ask for?  Today I am using leftover chicken to make a wonderful old-fashioned chicken pot pie.  This is a cure to anything that ails you.  It reminds me of something you would get at an Amish dinner table.  Very comforting! 
Chicken Pot Pie      

1/2 roasted chicken, chopped up
1 cup sliced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1/2 cup sliced celery
1/3 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
 1 3/4 cups chicken broth
 2/3 cup milk                    

 2  (9 inch) unbaked pie crusts


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C.)
  2. In a saucepan, combine chicken, carrots, peas, and celery. Add water to cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and set aside.
  3. In the saucepan over medium heat, cook onions in butter until soft and translucent. Stir in flour, salt, pepper, and celery seed. Slowly stir in chicken broth and milk. Simmer over medium-low heat until thick. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Place the chicken mixture in bottom pie crust. Pour hot liquid mixture over. Cover with top crust, seal edges, and cut away excess dough. Make several small slits in the top to allow steam to escape.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until pastry is golden brown and filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.


Wednesday Fun!

This week I am off on Wednesday.  All school work finished and actually have a day to spend with my wonderful 4 year old little boy.

I am so excited.  We are going to make some cookies.

Pumpkin Pie Cookies

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, ground cloves, and salt; set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, cream together the 1/2 cup of butter and white sugar. Add pumpkin, egg, and 1 teaspoon vanilla to butter mixture, and beat until creamy. Mix in dry ingredients. Drop on cookie sheet by tablespoonfuls; flatten slightly.
  3. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven. Cool cookies, then drizzle glaze with fork.
  4. To Make Glaze: Combine confectioners' sugar, milk, 1 tablespoon melted butter, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk as needed, to achieve drizzling consistency.


Menu Plan Monday 10/10

This week I have a very busy week ahead of me.  I also have my yearly health screen...Ugh!  Wonder where all the numbers that tell me how healthy I am will be at.  Hopefully, a little bit better than last year.  We will see.  Here is the menu for this week.  As always I will be linking up to Menu Plan Monday !

Monday:  Crockpot tomato soup and dressed up grilled cheese sandwiches

Tuesday:  Crockpot beef roast and all the fixins' (didn't make it last week, because summer returned)

Wednesday: Beef pot pie

Thursday: Cranberry pork roast

Friday:  Leftover night

Saturday: Hot wings

Sunday: Roast Chicken

Tomato Basil Soup and Grown Up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Crockpot Tomato Basil Soup

3 lbs cherry tomatoes
4 cups chicken broth
14 leaves fresh basil
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste


  1. Place tomatoes andstock in a crock pot. Cook for 4 hours on low. Puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves, and return the puree to the crockpot.
  2. Turn crock pot to high, and stir in the heavy cream and butter. Season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. Do not boil.


Grown up Grilled Cheese

  • 2 slices Italian bread
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter, divided
  • 1 tablespoon prepared pesto sauce, divided
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 slice Cheddar cheese


  1. Spread one side of a slice of bread with butter, and place it, buttered side down, into a nonstick skillet over medium heat.
  2. Spread the top of the bread slice in the skillet with half the pesto sauce, and place a slice of provolone cheese, the tomato slices, and the slice of Cheddar cheese onto the pesto.
  3. Spread remaining pesto sauce on one side of the second slice of bread, and place the bread slice, pesto side down, onto the sandwich. Butter the top side of the sandwich.
  4. Gently fry the sandwich, flipping once, until both sides of the bread are golden brown and the cheese has melted, about 5 minutes per side.


Pumpkin Spice Cream Cheese Muffins

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
4 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
1 pinch cardamom
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 cups pumpkin
1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
8 ounces cream cheese
Chopped pumpkin seeds or walnuts or pecans (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Put the entire brick of cream cheese on a piece of wax paper or parchment paper and shape it into a long log. Put it in the freezer while you mix and fill the pans, up to an hour. Unwrap and cut with a sharp knife so each cream cheese disk equals 1-2 teaspoons. If the cream cheese disks are too big around, cut thick slices and then cut them in half. This lets you push it down into the batter easier. Mix all ingredients together (except cream cheese and nuts.

Fill muffin tins (greased or paper cups) half full. Put cream cheese disc in the middle, pressing down. Sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped nuts. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the muffin part (do not touch the cream cheese!). Let cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove to racks to cool completely. Do not touch the cream cheese until it cools.


This recipe is being made, because I still have tomato plants that do not want to stop producing. I know that the days are limited because we should have frost anytime. Once the frost comes, there will be no more tomatoes. This recipe is definitely a keeper. I found it in my email from a friend. I was begging for recipes last week because I wanted to be frugal and not let any tomatoes go to waste. Try this recipe you won't be disappointed.

Makes 4 servings.


3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth

1/2 tsp dried oregano

Salt and Pepper

3/4 cup chopped olives

1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

4 pounds bone in chicken parts, breasts, drumsticks and thighs

Season chicken with salt and pepper and place in a slow cooker. Top with garlic and oregano. Add tomatoes and broth. Cover and cook on low heat until chicken is tender and 165° on a thermometer, 5 hours. Top with olives and feta cheese, cover and cook 15 min. then SERVE...



This year, I actually planted Leeks. They grew, and now I am trying to find things to make. With colder weather approaching. I am making this soup. In my house we love potato soup. I added leeks to my good old potato soup recipe and we have perfection. I never new something could be so good!! I encourage you to try this soup. If you don't have leeks don't worry. Just add a chopped onion. It will change the flavor a bit, but it will still be good on those cold days.

Potato, Corn, and Leek Chowder

2 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
1 1/2 C. coarsely chopped leek (about 1 lg. leek)
1/2 C. finely chopped celery
1/2 C. finely chopped red bell pepper
2 C. whole milk
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
3 C. fat-free, low-sodium chicken broth
2 C. fresh corn kernels (about 4 ears)
2 lb. cubed peeled Yukon gold or red potatoes
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper .
1/4 C. finely chopped fresh parsley (or 2 tsp. dried parsley flakes)
3 Tbs. chopped fresh chives

Heat butter and oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add leek, celery, and bell pepper;
cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently.

Combine milk and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Slowly add milk mixture to pan,
stirring constantly. Stir in broth, corn, potato, salt, and freshly ground black pepper; and bring
to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until potato is tender.
Stir in parsley and chives.


Apple Grunt

I love Amish cooking. I am often reading books, and some of my favorite books are novels about Amish people. I tend to gravitate toward the simple living. I am not sure I could ever live as simply as they do, but I do like to slow myself down and enjoy a good dessert now and then. I made this for a quick weeknight dessert. It was wonderful. If doubled, it would be great for company.

Amish Apple Grunt

1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp. butter
1 egg
1 c. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking powder
2 c. sliced apples
1/2 c. sour milk or buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
6 tbsp. brown sugar
1 1/2 tbsp. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tbsp. butter

Cream sugar and butter together; add eggs and mix. Blend flour, salt and baking powder together and add to mixture. Mix soda with milk and vanilla; mix all together. Add apple slices and pour batter into a buttered baking dish. In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, cinnamon and butter, mixing until crumb texture; sprinkle over apple batter. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes. Serve hot with rich milk, Half and Half or a scoop of ice cream.
Makes 4 generous servings.


Chicken Club Sliders-Thursday night dinner

This recipe is a great late summer early fall dinner.  I make this when I am feeling like I need to go to a restaurant.  The kids love it and I serve it with a side of chips.  Just like a little bistro by my house. 
Makes 8 servings.

8 slices bacon
Salt and Pepper
1 clove garlic, grated
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup finely chopped chives
1 tsp hot sauce
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast
A few sprigs flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small red chile pepper, finely chopped
1 lemon, juiced
Salt and lots of pepper
A few sprigs thyme, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, grated
1/3 cup olive oil
2 plum tomatoes, sliced
8 standard size English muffins, toasted
Chopped iceberg lettuce or romaine heart

Heat oven to 375°. Arrange bacon on a broiler pan and bake until crisp, 20 min. Let cool, then halve slices. Heat an outdoor grill or grill pan or cast iron skillet. Combine all dressing ingredients in a bowl, season to taste with salt and pepper.
STEP 2---In a baking dish, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, chile pepper, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Add chicken and let marinate 10 min. Grill until cooked through. Let rest briefly, then slice. Arrange chicken on English muffin bottoms. Layer each with 2 half slices of bacon crisscrossed in an "X", some lettuce, tomato, dressing and a muffin top, then SERVE...


Dr. Pepper Roasted Pecans

I love making my presents at holiday time. My neighbors expect to get homemade baked goods delivered to their doors during the rushed holiday season. Here is a recipe that I recently tested. These was gone very quickly. The smell while the pecans were cooking reminded me of the warm roasted nut smell at fall festivals. My husband even emerged from his man cave to find out what I was making. Thumbs up all around!

Dr. Pepper Glazed Pecans

1/2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1/2 cup Dr. Pepper
1 cup pecan halves
1/2 tsp. cinnamon

Melt butter in small saucepan and add Dr. Pepper and cinnamon. Bring to the simmering point, then add pecans and simmer for 15 minutes or until Dr. Pepper evaporates, stirring frequently.

Pour pecans over cookie sheet and bake at 275 degrees F for 40 minutes or until crisp, turning at least every 10 minutes while baking.

National Walk to School Day

Today is national walk to school day. 

Did you or are you going to walk to school with your children? 

Here is a great breakfast idea for the next day you decide to walk to school!


Read more about it at www.cooks.com/rec/view/0,1718,153178-237205,00.html
Content Copyright © 2011 Cooks.com - All rights reserved.
2 slices (1 inch thick) bread, sourdough
1 fresh banana
1/3 c. granulated sugar
2 whole fresh eggs
1/2 c. milk
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Oil or shortening for frying

Cut bread loaf into 1 inch thick slices. Cut a 2 inch pocket into one side of the sliced bread. Set aside. Split one medium sized banana in half; then cut across. Remove peeling and stuff 2 pieces in each pocket of bread. Set aside. Mix sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. Mix eggs, milk and vanilla extract until well blended. Dip stuffed bread into batter to cover entire surface. Fry in 350 degree oil for about 1 1/2 to 2 minutes on each side. Remove from oil. Let drain then roll in sugar-cinnamon mixture, covering all sides. Serve hot. Serve with whipped butter and warmed maple syrup. Yield: 2 servings.


Apple Thins

It is fall and that means going to apple orchards.  My favorite apple to cook with are Jonathon apples.  They are spicy and tangy.  Perfect for a wonderful fall treat.  I like to make a dessert once a week on Sunday.  I have been trying to make something everyone will love.  In honor of Apples the perfect fall treat I found my late grandmother's recipe for apple thins and decided to make these for my family this weekend.  These will definitely be packed in the lunchbox this week. 


3 cups flour
1 cup shortening
1 egg
5 TB water
1 TB vinegar


6 apples, peeled and sliced
3/4 to 1 cup of sugar
3/4 tsp. cinnamon
dot with butter


1 cup powdered sugar

Mix together flour and shortening. Beat egg and add water and vinegar. Combine with flour mixture and stir until mixed, like pie dough. Let all this stand for 20 minutes. Divide dough into two balls. Roll out into rectangular shape in a 15x10 cookie sheet with a slight side. Mix apples, sugar and cinnamon and put on top of crust and dot with butter. Roll out other 1/2 of dough over the apple filling. Cut slits in top of crust. Bake at 400ยบ for 25 minutes. While the pie is still warm, mix powdered sugar and enough milk to make it slightly thin and ice the top of pie. Sometimes I use more icing than it calls for.


Menu Plan Monday 10-3


Here is a feature that became lost in my blog the last few weeks. My meal planning tends to go in spurts, but really I need to find the routine because I spend a lot less at the grocery store when I actually have a plan to follow. Here is the menu for this week


Tuesday--Roast Chicken in Crockpot

Wednesday-- Beef Roast

Thursday--Chicken Club Sliders Using leftover Chicken

Friday--Pizza or leftover night

Saturday--No plan I will be by myself as my family is leaving town and I have to work this weekend. Not sure what I will have yet.

This post will be linked to menu plan monday at orgjunkie.com


Ultimate Blog Challenge


I have decided to take part in the Ultimate Blog Challenge. I have not been posting regularly. My life seems to always get in the way. I have never really had a regular posting routine to my blog. I am now trying to change that. I truly love to blog, it just isn't something I think about all the time. Therefore, it only gets done when I have the time for it. I tend to spend my time in other ways. So, for the next 31 days I am going to challenge myself to post 31 frugal cooking posts. If there is a certain food you would like to see featured please let me know. Just leave a comment. I am looking for a few ideas. Although, I do have a great schedule written out and in November look for holiday posts to begin.

Salted Caramel Hot Chocolate

 This time of the year always gets me in the mood for those wonderful coffee house drinks.  This year I have vowed to recreate many of these recipes in my own kitchen, because it can get very expensive to have these daily.  I can save myself $20.00 a week by making these at home.  Here is this weeks indulgence.

Makes 2 servings.

4 tbs store bought dulce de leche, a thick caramel like milk base sauce or spread

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 tsp coarse sea salt

Warm dulce de leche in a pot, whisk in milk, cocoa and salt.

Cook until starting to simmer, then SERVE.


Lasagna Soup

Tuesday in my house is soup night here is a great recipe to bring in the first week of October!

Lasagna Soup

1 lb mild italian sausage
1/4 tsp garlic powder
2 cans beef broth
1 onion, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
1/4 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups uncooked corkscrew pasta
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook beef with garlic and onion in skillet until browned. Pour off fat.

Add broth, tomatoes, and Italian seasoning. Heat to a boil.

Stir in pasta. Cook over medium heat 10 minutes, or until pasta is done.

Stir in cheese. Serve with additional cheese if desired.

Taco Casserole

Last night we had tacos and I have a lot of meat left over.  I am going to repurpose the taco meat into a casserole and it will be the perfect fall food.  We will be eating this as we watch Wisconsin beat Nebraska!!  (Hopefully)  My husband is a big Nebraska fan, and I grew up a Wisconsin fan.  Here is to a great time at my house tonight. 

Taco Casserole
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 (1 1/4 ounce) package taco seasoning
  • 1 (15 ounce) can refried beans
  • 2 cups monterey jack cheese, divided (or mixed cheddar, jack etc.)
  • 1 cup salsa (I prefer mild, but if you would like to kick it up a notch, go for it)
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 (2 1/3 ounce) can sliced black olives
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 2 cups corn chips, coarsely crushed or chopped


  1. Brown ground beef and drain.
  2. Add taco seasoning and cook according to package directions, adding proper amount of water.
  3. Put corn chips on bottom of 8x8" dish.
  4. Cook refried beans on stove until hot.
  5. Add 1 cup cheese and 1 cup salsa. Stir until combined.
  6. Pour beans over corn chips in dish.
  7. Add beef to top of beans.
  8. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
  9. Sprinkle green onions and black olives over cheese.
  10. Bake in a 375 degree oven until the cheese is sufficiently melted
  11. Take out of oven and sprinkle chopped tomatoes on top. Wait 1-2 minutes and then serve

    So Followed Saturday