This soup is Paula Deen meets StoneGable! I started out making Paula's wonderful Taco Soup... but I just got a little carried away! I took out a little of this and that from her recipe... and added a pinch of this and a pound of that to make a soup all my own.I ended up with a soup that the 3 men at my table just loved.
This is not a delicate or gourmet soup. If you are looking for a stick to your ribs, hearty, BIG flavor meal-of-a-soup, then this is the one for you. So easy to make, it is almost embarrassing. I got so many compliments from my men... but I didn't tell how little work went into it.
And Paula... if you are reading my blog, I would love to meet you! I am in Savannah again this coming March for the Historic Home and Garden Tour... it's like finding the Mothership! So let's get together for some sweet tea and and a goodie with lots of butter!
And to all of you... "Best dishes from my blog to you"!
Recipe: Taco Cheese Soup (Adapted from Paula Deen's Taco Soup)
2 pounds ground beef
2 cups diced onions
2 (15 1/2-ounce) cans pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1 (15 1/2-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups frozen corn
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
1 (14 1/2-ounce) jar mild salsa
1 32oz. box beef broth
2 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 (1-ounce) package ranch salad dressing mix
1 medium pkg mild mexican velveta cheese, cubed
Crisy Tortilla Strips- recipe follows
Sour cream, for garnish
Grated sharp cheese, for garnish
chopped green onions, for garnish
Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large slow cooker or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, tomatoes, salsa, beef stock, taco seasoning, velveta cheese and ranch dressing mix, and cook in a slow cooker on low for 6 to 8 hours or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a pot on the stove(if cooking soup on stove omit cheese and add at the end of cooking time- stir in until it melts) . To serve, top with sour cream, cheese, green onions and crispy tortilla strips.
3-4 large flour tortilla
Heat a large skillet. Add 1 inch of oil in skillet and heat to 350 degrees. Cut tortillas into 1/2 inch strips. Add strips in skillet and watch them very carefully so they do not burn. Turn when brown. They only take a minute so watch them carefully.
Remove from skillet and drain on a paper towel. Salt immediately. Yummy!
This swan soup tureen sits on my dinning room table all year 'round. Rarely do I use it as a centerpiece in a tablescape, but it is really center stage worthy.
Today's table isformal... using very old and traditional elements. Quiet colors reign against a dark table. I wanted this table to speak of the past, because these adornments have been collected for ages and some are almost 100 years old. I am so comfortable in a style that is a marriage of the past and present. A collected feel is how I would describe it.
The inspiration for the table was not the swan but theantiquecut crystal and silver coffee carafe (or wine) my daughter and son-in-law gave me for Christmas.
I also decided to dig out my Noritake "M" porcelain china. I purchased this 14 years ago just before we moved into our present home. I found this set in a local antique store. I am not sure what the pattern is, but with some brief investigation, it was made by Noritake anywhere from 1914-1940ish. I loveyellow and wanted to use it in my built in hutch.
The colors are very light and like a gentlewhisperof a yellow. The china has a hand painted gold scalloppededge around the rim.
I am particularly fond of the square salad/dessert plates. Square dishes are not a new phenomenon after all!
When I first saw this china it was the cup and saucer that captivated me! I knew I wanted to have a cup of hot something from it. I thought they were so beautiful and delicate. The detail inside the cups gave them such quiet importance.
I also loved the lines of the sugar bowl and creamer. These were not just auxillary pieces, they commanded to be noticed. I am using a sterling silver sugarspoon my mother-in-law gave me as a gift many years ago.
No tablecloth for today's tablescape- I wanted the beautiful mahogany wood to continue the traditional feel.
Ivorydamask placemats and antiquelinenand ivory cotton lace napkins add texture and softness to the table. The detail in the lace and the napkin itself is lovely. Simply folded napkins show off the detail best.
The tall stemware were passed down to me from my Grandmother. They were her wedding crystal.
Fluted and slightly iridescent, very reminiscent of the early 1920's, Nani's glasses grace another table 70 years later. I use and enjoy mybelovedthings.
The little cordial glasses were a Goodwill find. I paid $3.00 for all of them! They are etched with a floral design and I thought they would be very pretty on this table.
Can you imagine my surprise when I opened this beauty on Christmas morning? Heavy and detailed, what a magnificent and thoughtfulpiece! My daughter, Jacqueline and her husband Jonathan found it in a Washington DC antique shop. It was waiting for me!!!!
Uncluttered and understated, I wanted the elements in this tablescape to shine. I wanted the formality and elegance to come from fine pieces simply put together.
With my china I have many serving pieces. A small dish and an ornate silver spoon finds a place on a corner of the table.
Yellow Primroses in Waterford bowls add a splash of color to an otherwise soft color palate. I couldn't resist these little harbinger's of spring in the dead of winter!
The Swan was a purchase from a shop in Alexanderia, Virginia just after we built our present home. Graceful and stately, I must admit it is one of my favoritethings!
This tablescape was a joy to create because it displays some of the pieces I love the most.
Collected or gifted, thesetreasures of the heart are filled with memories.
I am participating in Tablescape Thursday hosted by Susan at Between Naps On The Porch. Don't miss seeing all the creativity!
This is the fourth week in my "Eating From My Freezer/Pantry Challenge". I am still pretty well stocked, and able to find many recipes to accomodate my stockpile of food. But, I can now see the back of the top shelf of my big freezer. Big accomplishment!
Last week I invited anyone who wanted to clean out their freezer and pantry and get organized to join me in the challenge. It's not too late to join! Just click on the hot pink refrigerator at the right side of my blog to learn more.
Mrs P at Faithfullness Farm and Jeanette from Starting Over jumped right on board! Let us know how it is going! Others joining us are Yankee Doodle at From My Suitcase, Kathleen at Cusine Kathleen, Marty at A Stroll Thru Life and Lucky at Making My Own Luck. Good for all of you! Keep us posted. I also heard from my dear friend at The Tablescaper- she just took an inventory of her freezer this week. Way to go! Astrisked (*) food is from my freezer or pantry.
It is my goal to use up what I have and then keep an organized freezer and moderately stocked pantry. I want to know what I have at all times so I never again have 5 frozen chickens in my freezer or will never have to run out to get ingredients for a dish in the middle of making it!
Monday: Salmon Cakes With Dill Sauce Spinach Splashed With Vinegar* Tasty Taters
Recipe: Tasty Taters
4 Baking Potatoes*
2 sticks butter*
1-2 onions, thinly sliced*
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven 400 to degrees. Scrub baking potatoes. Place potato horizontally on a cutting board and make 5 evenly spaced cuts in the potato almost all the way through ( If you cut it through, don't worry, just stick it together when you wrap it). The potato will fan out slightly. Slice all 4 potatoes.
Place a thinly sliced onion and a pat of butter (aprox. 1 tsps.) in each slit in the potato. Onion will stick out of the potato. Salt and pepper potato.
Wrap securely in aluminum foil. Put potatoes on baking sheet and bake until done, approximately 50-60 minutes. Potato should be fork tender.
Serve with foil intact and take off foil just before eating.
Tuesday: Veal Picatta Spaghetti* Greek Salad
Recipe Veal Picatta
See Chicken Picatta Recipe from Menu Nov 30- Dec 3, 2009- Tuesday's Menu, http://stonegable.blogspot.com/2009/11/menu-nov-30-dec-4-2009.html. I have 3 veal cutlets* in the freezer, capers in the pantry and lemons in the frig. I LOVE veal and it makes a great picatta. Just replace the chicken in the recipe with the veal.
Recipe: Greek Salad
4 cups romaine lettuce (I like lettuce in my salad)
1 english cucumber. peeled and diced
1/2 green pepper, diced*
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/2 cup diced red onion
1/2 cup kalamata olives*
1/2 cup feta cheese*
1/2 cup croutons- homemade or large store bought*
Gazebo Room- Greek Salad Dressing and Marinade*, enough to coat salad ( I am a bit of a salad dressing snob- I love to make my own, they taste light-years better, but this dressing is as good as I could ever make so this is a staple in my pantry)
Mix all ingredients except croutons and dressing. Coat salad with salad dressing and add croutons and lightly toss.
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Day Taco Soup Chips and Salsa
I have not tried this one yet- but here is the link. I have so many of these items in my pantry I can't resist making it, and anything from Paula Deen has to be wonderful!
Recipe: Venison Bordelaise
Thanks to Maggie at The White Farmhouse where you will find this wonderful recipe. She posted it just for me- what a gracious friend. She knows that I am anxious, to say the least, about making the game meat in my freezer. Maggie, you are a dear. Just be near your computer for a little cyber hand-holding and encouraging!
Recipe: Fried Cabbage
1 head cabbage washed and thinly sliced* (I have 1/2 head, so I will make it with what I have)
1 onion, chopped*
3-6 TBS veggie oil*
salt and pepper*
In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat 3 TBS veggie oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent and soft, about 4 minutes.
Add 1 TBS veggie oil and cabbage. Salt and pepper generously. Cook on med high heat, stirring ocassionally letting cabbage wilt and brown. Add additional oil if it sticks to pan. Cook for 15-20 minutes until reduced, soft and brown. It will be mellow and sweet/savory. Yummy!
Friday: Roasted Chicken* (3 to go!) Left Over Mashed Potatoes Roasted Root Veggies
Recipe: Roasted Root Veggies
1 onion peeled and sliced into strips*
2 carrots, peeled, cut lengthwise and sliced into 1-2 inch chunks*
1/2 lb celery root, rough chopped
2 potatoes, scrubbed, and rough chopped*
1 turnip, rough chopped*
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced*
3 TBS olive oil*
salt and pepper*
Preheat oven 450 degrees. Put all veggies in a large bowl. Toss with olive oil. Salt and pepper liberally.
Turn veggies out onto a large baking sheet with edge. Bake for 30-40 minutes, turning once. They should all be fork tender.
Recipe: Pecan Crusted Cod
I have cod, cashews (instead of pecans), and most of the ingredients in this recipe. I am using hash browns from the freezer instead of shoestring potatoes.
Sunday: Soup Day Matzo Ball Soup
Recipe: Matzo Ball Soup
3 Chicken Legs*
3 Chicken Thighs*
1 yellow onion, rough chopped*
3 celery ribs, rough chopped*
2 carrots, peeled, rough chopped*
2 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced*
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced*
4 cups water*
4 cups chicken stock*- I have a small box, but need 1 more
Bouquet garni -handfull of fresh parsley, bay leaf and thyme, tied together
Salt and pepper*
Box of Matzo ball mix* (I have 6 boxes- who on earth has 6 boxes?)
Put chicken in a large pot and cover with water and chicken stock. Put onion, celery, carrots and bouquet garni in pot on a meduim heat. Bring to a simmer and skim off any scum. Continue to simmer, uncovered for 1 hour.
Remove chicken to a plate and cool. Using a hand stainer, catch all vegetables and bouquet garni in strainer and discard. Add 2 chopped carrots and celery to broth and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
Make matzo balls according to instructions on box.
Take chicken meat off of the bone and shed into the broth. Heat and add matzo balls.
Bon Appetit! I am participating in Menu Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.
Christmas is just behind us and New Years Eve is a day away, and I'm in the mood for a cup of tea with a few close friends. I wanted a serene setting away from the hustle and bustle to regroup and calm down, before the second wave of family arrives for a Rockin' New Year's Eve!
The inspiration for this buffet tablescape were these hot house roses. I wanted to showcase them by keeping the rest of the decorsoftand white and light.
These roses are bright little blooms! Spilling over a Mikasa cream pitcher, they take center stage in this tablescape.
Draping a white tablecloth on the mahogany buffet keeps the background subdued and unnoticed. Using elements of the same color but different values gives subtle depth and interest to this snowy white tablescape...it also let's the rosesPOP!
One white goodie stands out along with the roses. Who could resist these miles-of-whipped- frosting cupcakes? And yes, this frosting is as light and delicious as it looks. One for each of us having tea!
They deserve to be put on a pedestal, don't you think?
Tea is poured from a Mikasa Italian Countryside tea pot. Perched on a worn white pedestal, it is ready to give us a spot of tea.
Another pot of tea is hot and ready when needed under this white-on-white, handmade tea cozy.
Antique silver keepers, bought long ago at an auction, with gold fleur de lis and edging, hold silver spoons and dessert forks.
White Artichokes fit the color scheme.
A cup of tea and a demurevintage napking awaits a guest.
Tea, cupcakes and girl-talk... come, join us. There's room for 1 more!
I am joining Susan at Between Naps On The Porch for Tablescape Thursday- it's like a "dish parade".
I am participating in Pink Saturday hosted by a Beverly at How Sweet The Sound. This is a wonderful community, full of pink attitude! Go see...