Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Warming Up

It's the day before Thanksgiving, and everyone has their own traditions.  For me, it's a free holiday, as we traditionally visit my husband's family for our Thanksgiving feast.  So, today I am warming things up with an easy Taco Soup recipe.  So easy, in fact, that even if you are slaving in the kitchen for tomorrow's big meal, this is a great dish to throw together to stave off the hunger pangs and ease the hassle of having to prepare yet another meal today.
The hardest part of the job is browning your meat and chopping onions, but I even eliminated the chopping by using dehydrated chopped onions - easy!  Here's the recipe, passed along to me from my sister-in-law several years ago:
I usually cook mine in the crockpot for about 4 hours on high, but you could really get away with less time or lower heat; it's just a matter of letting the flavor ingredients simmer well.  If you'll notice, I didn't have plain diced tomatoes on hand, but I did have a can of Rotel diced tomatoes with green chile peppers - all the better for this recipe.  As a side note, the large tomato juice can is a perfect size for saving drained grease from browning meats.  I keep one on my freezer door just for this purpose, and when it's full, just toss it, solid.

Super easy meal, just add some cornbread, rolls or crackers on the side.  This makes a large pot, at least eight good servings, more than enough for my household.  The easy remedy for that is to freeze individual servings in something like Pyrex, and label it.  I've even separated the mixed ingredients prior to slow-cooking (before I got my six-quart crockpot), and it still tasted great just reheated.
Great meal for days like what we're having today - cold, snowy, and - for most of you - super-busy!  And if you have guys (or gals!) who are out hunting, they'll really appreciate something like this to warm them up afterward.  :)

Totally off subject but worth sharing.....remember when I told you I was fluffin' the nest - figuratively and literally?  Well, my bird hasn't returned since I removed the nest in the attic, but this morning I thought I heard him again, so I went upstairs to check (still in my robe and slippers).  The sound was coming from the other side of the house, near the chimney, but the bird was definitely outside.  I decided to kick the eave to try to scare the bird away.  The first time was barely audible, so I decided to kick harder......OUCH!  Apparently, without the light on in the attic, and the fact that it was barely dawn, I didn't see the NAIL sticking out of the eave, and I literally impaled my slipper and punctured my foot!  I wish I had taken a picture....my slipper was STUCK on the eave, while I jumped back, waiting for a pool of blood to start flowing.  I grabbed my slipper and ran back downstairs.  I cleaned my foot of the dripping blood with alcohol, and put some triple antibiotic and a bandaid on it.  I figured since the nail went through the slipper first, I'll have no worry of tetanus.  As for the score:  Bird - 1; Rita - 1.  I guess even birds just want to stay warm on a day like today.

In that same post (hyperlink attached above), I was indecisive of my tablescape in the dining room.  Here's what I finally went with on the dining room table (below). This was an embroidered felt runner I already had, and it warmed things up, tying together the Autumn plaids and print on my large Transferware platter (glimpses of each in the photo).  Next week it's all about to change.....enjoy your holiday.