Taco Soup

contributed by Carrie-Nell Jessop

1 lb ground beef

1 onion, chopped (my husband hates onion, so I just used onion powder

2 cans pinto beans, drained

1 can black beans, drained

2 cans petite diced tomatoes

1 can Rotell

1 small can of corn, drained

3 packets of taco seasoning

1 packet of dry Ranch dressing mix

brown beef and add onion (here’s where I just generously doused mine in onion powder) in large pot

Dump in everything else

Let simmer for at least 45 minutes before serving

When serving, you can top with crushed corn chips, cheese, and sour cream if desired. My husband also puts enough tobasco on it to start a fire. 🙂

I did this recipe in my crock pot and let it sit on low for about 5 hours, and it was great.

My family loved it!! Even the picky ones. 🙂

Easy Oreo Truffles

Contributed by Carrie-Nell Jessop

1 package cream cheese, softened

1 package of Oreo cookies

1 box Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate

… 

– Set aside 6 cookies, crush coarsley for use later as topping

– Put the rest of the package of Oreos in a ziplock bag and crush finely (I use a rolling pin)

– In a large bowl, combine the crushed cookies (minus the ones reserved for the topping) with the softened cream cheese. Just mash it all together until it becomes a smooth paste-like blob. 🙂

– Roll into 1-inch balls

– Melt entire box of Baker’s chocolate (however you wish)

– Dip the balls in the melted chocolate (I use 2 forks to roll it around and lift it out) then deposit onto parchment or wax paper-lined cookie sheet

– Sprinkle a little of the reserved topping on top of each truffle

– Refrigerate at least an hour or so to let everything harden

(additional notes: makes about 20-30, they freeze well, and you can also dip in white chocolate and drizzle the semi sweet over the top…oh yum!!!)

Pesto Chicken Penne

Contributed by Christina Baranowski

1 cup uncooked penne or medium tube pasta

2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons sour cream

…2 Tablespoons prepared pesto

1 cup cooked cubed chicken or turkey

Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a bowl, combine the Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and pesto. Drain pasta. Added pasta and chicken to Parmesan mixture; toss to coat. Yield: 2 servings. Prep time: 25 mintues.

Toffee Bars

contributed by Alison Alves 

1/2 c butter

1 c oats

1/2 c brown sugar

…1/2 c flour

1/2 c finely chopped nuts

1/4 tsp baking soda

1 can (14 oz) sweetned cond milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

 6 oz chocolate chips

Preheat stove to 350 degrees. In saucepan melt 6 tbl(reserve 2 tbl) of butter. stir in oats, sugar flour nuts and baking soda. Press firmly on bottom of 9×13 (well greased!!) bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until ilghtly browned. meanwhile in medium saucepan melt 2 tbl butter and sweetened cond milk cook and stir until mixture thickens slightly about 15 minutes. remove from heat stir in vanilla. pour over crust bake 10-15 minutes or until golden brown. remove from oven sprinkle choc chips on top. let stand 1 minute, spread while warm. cool to room temp, chill thoroughly cut into bars. store tightly covered at room temp

Snowball Cookies

contributed by Deb Curtis Reno

1 c. butter (NO SUBSTITUTES!), room temp.

½ c. powdered sugar

1 t. vanilla extract (the real kind, not imitation!)

…2 ¼ c. flour

¼ t. salt

Powdered sugar for coating cookies.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Mix butter, powdered sugar and vanilla. Blend in flour & salt. Roll into 1” balls.

Place on ungreased cookie sheets, 1”-2” apart. Bake in preheated oven 10-12 minutes, or until lightly browned. Roll in powdered sugar while warm. Roll in powdered sugar a 2nd time after cookies cool. Makes about 4 dozen.

Easy Popcorn Balls

contributed by Kathlyn Thompson

4 cups of popped Corn

1 stick of butter & butter for hands when making the balls

1 large bag of marshmallows

… 

In a large pan, melt butter and marshmallows together, on a low heat. Be careful not to burn the mixture. Add the popped corn as the mixture is cooling down. Once cooled , form into balls. To color , add the food coloring to the butter/marshmallow mixture. Enjoy !

Chocolate Chip Cake

By Ali Masters

This cake is so easy since you use a box mix, but the German chocolate gives it a richer flavor and it’s become our standard “what to bring” dessert dish.

Chocolate Chip Cake

1 pkg yellow cake mix

…1 pkg(3.4 oz) instant vanilla pudding mix

1 cup milk

1 cup veg. oil

4 eggs

1 cup mini semi-sweet choc. chips

5 tbsp grated German sweet chocolate, divided

2 tbsp powdered sugar

In a mixing bowl, combine cake and pudding mixes, milk, oil and eggs. Beat on low speed until moistened. Beat on medium for 2 minutes. Stir in chocolate chips and 3 tbsp grated chocolate. Put in greased and floured 10 inch fluted tube pan or bundt pan. Bake at 350 for 55 – 65 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan. Combine powdered sugar and remaining grated chocolate and sift over cake.

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