Taco Soup

I was hoping to blog about another treat since I’ve only posted one recipe, but Ryan requested my lemon bars for this week, and I didn’t think posting two lemon recipes in a row would be all that fun. So, instead you get a Taco Soup recipe!

I acquired this recipe while visiting my wifey Crystal in Huron, SD in April. Crystal’s been a fantastic friend of mine since 2006 when we were both School Age Leaders at the YMCA. Crystal is a crazy, hyper, God-loving gal, who is one of the most down to earth people I’ll ever meet. She is somebody who thinks about others before thinking about herself, and almost always boasts a huge grin on her face that will brighten anybody’s day. I’m sure wifey’s blushing, so I’ll stop writing about her now!

Unplanned patriotic wifeys

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where was I? Oh, yeah! Taco soup! I made this soup to bring to work this week so I don’t have to eat sandwiches. There are only so many sandwiches this girl can eat before contemplating eating paper for lunch. The soup is hearty, filling, and full of flavor. It’s also super easy to make! Basically, if you’re good at opening cans and dumping the contents into pot or crock pot, you’ll breeze through the prep for this recipe. There’s really no way to screw it up. If you do manage to screw it up, I recommend enrolling in 7th grade Home Economics class to learn about how to properly cook!

Taco Soup:

4 chicken breasts, or 1 lb hamburger

1 28 oz can baked beans

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 can kidney beans, undrained

1 can black beans, undrained

1 pkg. taco mix

If using hamburger, brown meat, drain, and put in large pot. Add taco mix and water until thickened. Add all other ingredients and cook 15-20 minutes.

If using chicken breast, place frozen chicken breast in crock pot. Sprinkle taco powder over chicken. Add all other ingredients and cook on low for 6 hours. When done, shred chicken and stir into soup.

*Serve with cheese, olives, jalapenos, sour cream, Fritos, Doritos,etc.

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Lemon Cupcakes

I love almost all things lemon. Lemon cake, lemon bread, lemon soap, lemon lotion…you get you the point! I was planning on making these lemon cupcakes last week, as I had some cake mixes I wanted to get rid of, and ended up waiting until this weekend due to my hectic schedule. No judging on the boxed mixes!  Sometimes they are just easier to use when you want to make a cake or cupcakes!

I noticed this lemon cupcake recipe a few years ago, and never got the chance before today to make them. The recipe is from Kraft’s Food and Family magazine, which I happen to really like. The magazine offers easy and quick recipes  that everybody can enjoy. I think I like it mostly because the recipes are truly no fuss. Sometimes, you just have to enjoy the simple things in life! 

The cupcake itself is a bit more dense, as dry pudding mix is added with the cake mix. I find that even though it’s not as light as your typical cupcake, it still makes for a delicious and lightly flavored treat. The recipe calls for a cream cheese frosting, but I chose to use a classic buttercream frosting, as Ryan isn’t a cream cheese fan. I mixed in some fresh lemon juice, and found the frosting to be quite delightful. It’s a perfect summer cupcake on a warm and sunny day like today!

Lemon Cupcakes

1 pkg. white cake mix (vanilla is fine too!)

1 pkg. (4-serving size) Jell-O Lemon Flavor instant pudding and pie filling

1 c. water

4 egg whites

2 Tbsp. oil

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat cake mix, dry pudding mix,water, egg whites, and oil in large bowl with electric mixer on low-speed until moistened. Note that the batter will be thick. Beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Spoon batter evenly into 24 lined muffin cups.

Bake for 15-18 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Frost cupcakes with lemon buttercream, or frosting of your choice.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting

1 c. (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

3-4 c. confectioners sugar, sifted

1 Tbsp. vanilla extract

up to 4 Tbsp. milk

1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice

Beat butter for a few minutes with a mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed. (I’ve used a hand mixer, and it works just as well.) Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and turn your mixer on the lowest speed until the sugar has been incorporated with the butter. Increase mixer speed to medium and add vanilla extract, lemon juice, and 2 Tbsp of milk, and beat for 3 minutes.  If your frosting needs more of a stiff consistency, add remaining sugar. If your frosting needs to be thinned out, add remaining milk 1 Tbsp. at a time.

Meet Dottie!

As I sit here, I cannot believe I’m finally starting my blog! It’s been a long time coming, and I’m so excited to be able to share a passion of mine with you! My hope is to be able to update the blog once a week, since I’m not able to bake and blog every day, or even every few days. I certainly wish I could though!

You may be wondering why I’ve named my blog Dottilicious Sweets and Treats. Then again, you may not care! After much consideration, and asking for suggestions on names for the blog, I decided that I wanted to include Dottie, my KichenAid mixer, in the name somehow. Dottie’s an integral part in almost all the sweets and treats I make. She’s typically only used by me, as I don’t feel comfortable letting just anybody use her. I think in the 4 years I’ve had Dottie, I’ve only let two people use her. I even use to make Ryan keep her box for safe traveling! I’m sure by now you think I’m a tish off my rocker!

While Dottie is currently white, my hope is to one day have her painted with polka dots. If you know a great painter who is willing to create a masterpiece on a mixer, let me know! 

 Without further ado, I present my lovely KitchenAid mixer, Dottie!