Slow Cooker Spicy Chicken Soup – with variations to fit your pantry

This soup has a lot of things going for it.

It can be made entirely in the slow cooker.

The chicken cooks in the soup, so no need for an extra step.

Just like taco soup, there are a million variations.  Use what you’ve got available in your pantry.

Here’s what I used:  [Read more…]

Ingredient Spotlight: Taco Seasoning

Maybe this focus on taco seasoning and Mexican foods will warm us up.  January has been a cold, snowy month so far.

Taco seasoning is definitely one of my pantry staples.  I’ve taken to buying it in a can instead of one packet at a time.  But I also use a combination of cumin and chili powder in quite a few recipes.

Off topic note: Keep your cumin away from your cinnamon.  These two bottles look a lot alike and can easily fool a 12 year old boy.  Cumin-sugar toast is not good!

Here are a few of my recipes that use taco seasoning or a combo of cumin and chili powder: [Read more…]

Black Bean and Rice Freezer Burritos

freezer burritos done

These have been the handiest things to have stashed away in the freezer.  We’ve eaten them for a quick lunch or when someone needs to have dinner at an odd time.  The heat up in the microwave and taste great.

I read about the idea on the SC Johnson website in a post written by Sandy of The Reluctant Entertainer.  She shared her method for freezer burritos, but didn’t share a recipe.  I took her idea and decided to create a black bean and rice filling.  In just a little time I had 20 delicious burritos in the freezer.

Here’s what you’ll need:

[Read more…]

Bean and Cheese Enchiladas

bean and cheese enchiladas done2

Please forgive my photo.  I didn’t take the time to plate this before taking the pictures, so you get to see the serving dish and even the cheesy spatula.

I made these for a quick and easy weeknight dinner after scrounging my pantry and fridge for ingredients to pull together a meal.  We all really liked them.

Here’s what you’ll need:

[Read more…]

Chicken Tacos

chicken tacos done

Chances are, you already make chicken tacos or some version of them.  Three ingredients and a slow cooker (plus the taco fixings) – that’s my kind of meal!  As a bonus, you can throw the chicken in the slow cooker still frozen.  That’s perfect for those days you only have 5 minutes to get dinner started. [Read more…]



A few years ago we were lucky to get to go to Walt Disney World on their free dining plan.  We ate at the Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Lodge one day for lunch and ordered Nachos.  They were wonderful.  Meaty, cheesy, just the right amount of spice.  I set about to create a version to make at home and this is what I came up with.  Not only are they delish, they are also easy and quick.

[Read more…]

Taco Soup

This is a great recipe! First of all, it tastes wonderful. Secondly, the ingredients can be changed up and substituted as needed. I’ve used pork sausage and ground turkey instead of the ground beef. I’ve used chicken broth instead of beef broth. Often, I find that I don’t have any tomatoes and green chilis and I throw in salsa instead. I’ve even used a can of chili beans in sauce instead of the kidney beans.

The recipe makes a very big batch of soup. It’s enough for my family of 6 to have two dinners and a lunch. Sometimes I put the leftovers in the crockpot to heat for our second day of soup. (A whole recipe is too much for the crockpot.) The soup freezes well too, if you want to save it for another time.



Taco Soup


  • Large package of hamburger 2 lbs. or so
  • Large onion chopped
  • 2 cans Black Beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Dark Red Kidney Beans drained and rinsed
  • 2 cans Corn drained (you could use frozen)
  • 1 can Tomatoes with Green Chilis Rotelle
  • 1 can Diced Tomatoes
  • 1 15 oz can Tomato Sauce
  • 1 can Beef Broth
  • 2 packages of Taco Seasoning
  • 2-3 cups of Water


  1. Brown the meat and onion together. I like to rinse the hamburger under very hot water to get rid of the extra fat.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients and cook until it’s hot.
  3. Serve with cheddar cheese and corn chips or with corn bread.

Recipe Notes

I usually put half of this in the freezer for another meal. I dump it frozen, into a 6qt. slow cooker and cook it on low all day.