taco soup and my favorite cornbread

taco soup and cornbread

Happy New Year! As always, it’s hard to believe that we have begun a brand new year. I’m sure you feel as I do – the older you get, the faster each year goes. I just want to yell “hang on a minute!”…can’t I just enjoy each day a bit more? It’s so hard to get life to slow down. I do love that feeling of a fresh new year, full of possibility, new opportunity and a chance to start over if needed. I don’t make new year’s resolutions, but I have sort of made goals the past couple years – things like reading a book a month, new ways to keep up with the house, plans on ways to spend more time (or better time) with my kids, ways I want to be a better wife to Mr. Chaos and things like that. What about you? Do you make resolutions? Goals? Nothing? 🙂

We’ve been having a real winter here, low temps and a couple decent snow falls. Last year my 2 oldest boys started skiing with their dad and they LOVE it. This year they are 6 and 8 and can keep up with adults pretty well! On Friday the high was around 16 degrees and they went skiing for 9 hours – I was at home with my baby 3 1/2 year old next to the wood fire. 🙂

They were well bundled, here is my oldest Jacob, I think he looks a little like Darth Vader 🙂

j skiing

Since we are in the dead of winter, a hearty soup and bread is what we need, right?! I’ve been making this soup for years and it’s one of my favorites. Every time I have it I think “wow, this is really good!” It’s a good one to make if you need to feed a crowd or perhaps some hungry skiers. It’s so easy, dump everything into the crock pot and go your merry way. Once again, my kind of meal.

taco soup

The cornbread I just discovered this year and I’ve already lost count as to how many times I’ve made it. My kids beg for it…of course they do, it’s sweet cornbread and I probably could eat the whole pan. This is also simple to make and I like it because it’s done in under an hour and it is wonderful served warm. I’m a sweet cornbread person, it has to be sweet, and this recipe is perrrrrrrfect.

cornbread

cornbread

Make this on a weeknight after a busy day, or a snowy, cold weekend when your family is all together or next time you have friends over for game night. I wish you a cozy winter’s evening with this yummy meal!

taco soup and cornbread

taco soup

Taco Soup

taco soup

1 pound ground beef, browned and grease drained

1 can diced green chilies

1 can diced tomatoes

1 can diced tomatoes with chilies

1 can corn or bag of frozen corn

1 can black beans

1 can pinto beans

1 medium onion, chopped

1 package dry ranch dressing mix

1 package taco seasoning

Add all ingredients to crock pot, including juice from tomatoes and corn. Cook on low 4-6 hours (I know I’ve done longer if needed). Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream, and/or shredded cheese. This can also be adapted to taste – change out the types of beans, leave the meat out, or make it more or less spicy. It will taste great! The meat can be browned the night before and the entire recipe can even be put together. The next morning just pop it in the crock pot and you’re done!

My Favorite Cornbread

cornbread

1 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 cups yellow cornmeal

1/4 cup white sugar

1 tablespoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon kosher salt (use slightly less table salt)

1 1/4 cups buttermilk (I’ve only used butter milk, but I’m sure you can sub regular milk)

1 (14 oz) can of condensed milk

2 large eggs

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a 9×13 pan. In large bowl, stir together all dry ingredients – flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In medium bowl whisk together wet ingredients – buttermilk, condensed milk, eggs and butter. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix gently until no lumps remain; do not over-mix. Pour into prepared pan and bake 30-40 minutes or until light brown around the edges and set in the middle. Keep an eye on it and start checking around 25 minutes, mine is usually done by 30 minutes. Allow to cool some and serve warm with butter.

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