Soup Season: Spicy Taco Soup

Ya’ll… It’s 50 degrees and therefore I’m in a parka… Brrrrr!

So it just makes sense to make a big batch of soup in the CrockPot. This time… Spicy Taco Soup (my ultimate fave soup everrrrrrr)!

Taco Soup

Spicy Taco Soup

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of meat (ground turkey or beef)
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 can whole kernel corn
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 can of red kidney beans
  • 1 can of Rotel diced tomatoes with Habeneros
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing mix
  • Shredded cheese
  • Fritos
  • Avocado (optional but highly recommended)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Open cans.
  2. Dump them in the CrockPot (along with the seasoning packets). DO NOT DRAIN ANY OF THE CANS BEFORE DUMPING! I promise… You want all those juices to form your delicious soup!
  3. Brown the meat.
  4. Dump it in the CrockPot.
  5. Cook on HIGH for about 3 hours or until warm all the way through.
  6. Serve HOT with sliced avocado, cheese, and Fritos on top. Mmmmmm. 🙂

Ta-da! This is THE BEST recipe to start in the morning and come home to in the afternoon piping hot and ready for you to eat. And it is so easy. That’s my main criteria for recipes if you haven’t noticed.

Also, I’d love to hear about your taco soup variations!! The best thing about this recipe is that I tweak it a little every time to make it slightly different than before! What will you do with your taco soup??

Homestyle Sweet Potatoes: Sugary OR Savory?

More sweet potatoes = More sweet potato recipes!

I initially wanted to make some sweet potato tater tots, but my food processor is packed in a box somewhere. Loft life… Soooo I opted to make homestyle fries (basically cubed hashbrowns)! YUM!

The only problem… Will wanted sweet brown cinnamon sugar fries, and I wanted salty parmesan cheese fries. Solution? Make both!

Sweet potatoes

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 sweet potatoes
  • For the sweet version: 1 tablespoon of brown sugar, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • For the salty version: 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, pinch of salt

Easy-peasy. I actually made a half batch of each 🙂

Sweet potatoes on baking sheet

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Let the sweet potatoes boil in water for about 5 minutes or until soft on the inside. I poked holes with a fork all over the potatoes… It helps the water steam them more quickly!
  2. Remove the soft potatoes from the water. Cut the potatoes in half and use a fork to remove the skin from them. I promise it’ll come off really smoothly with a fork!
  3. Chop, chop, chop! Cube up the potatoes as small as you can.
  4. Add your “seasonings”, whether sweet or salty.
  5. Take a teaspoon and scoop your seasoned potatoes onto a well-oiled baking sheet. I did this to spread them apart and make sure that they all cooked evenly.
  6. 10 minutes in the oven at 375 degrees, and you’re done!

Sugary Sweet Potato Homestyle Fries  Savory Sweet Potato Homestyle Fries

Yum yum! Will loved his sweet homestyle fries, and I favored my cheesy ones! Enjoy them both, and tell us your favorite! Also, let me know if you try a different seasoning! The possibilities are endless 🙂

Carrot Cake-Pumpkin Cheesecake Extravaganza! (What?!?)


My mom is the best. No question.

For my birthday she made the most ridiculously delicious and decadent cake I’ve ever had… She named it the Carrot Cake-Pumpkin Cheesecake Extravaganza!! Haha! The top and bottom layers, her famous carrot cake. The middle layer, a perfectly smooth and impressively sturdy pumpkin cheesecake. And the icing… Don’t even get me started on the MAPLE cream cheese icing.

Drooling yet?

Since my mother is also a saint, she’s agreed to let me share her recipe!! So here it is (just in time for Thanksgiving if you start RIGHT. NOW!) It’s really 3 recipes… Bonus!! But she also has instructions for how to put it all together!

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Click here for a PDF copy of the recipe to add to your cookbook 🙂

Enjoy! And let me know how it turns out if you make it! Even if not for Thanksgiving, you’ve got to try this recipe before the end of the season!

Easiest Apple Crisp

Whether you’re a pro baker or just a fall-enthusiast, this is the most wonderful dessert. And darn easy too!

All you need:

  • 6-7 Apples (duh…) – I chose my beautiful Pink Ladies from our mountain trip. Fresh mountain apples can’t be beat. And these are my favorite variety to make applesauce with too.
  • 1 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick of butter
  • Granola – I prefer Trader Joe’s Maple Pecan granola because why not add some maple syrup to your oats??
  • Cinnamon to taste (so if you’re like me… lots of cinnamon)

All you have to do:

Cut your apples into little chunks.

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Pour the apple chunks into a pre-buttered 9×13 baking dish. (Add cinnamon.)

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Add you flour, brown sugar, & butter in a bowl. (Add more cinnamon.)

Pour the clumpy (yes, clumpy on purpose) mixture over your apple chunks. (Add granola.)

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Bake for 30 minutes at 350.

Scoop that ice cream… Voila!

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I prefer more Apple than Crisp, but if you disagree try adding more flour and butter to make it more like a dump cake. I hope you enjoy it!! Nothing says fall like apple desserts… except maybe pumpkin desserts… 🙂