Chicken Taco Soup

I recently shared this with an online friend – and I thought I’d better share it here, too!  🙂

Chicken Taco Soup

Ingredients: (for a really big ol’ batch)

  • 5 lbs chicken quarters
  • 1 small can green chilies
  • 1 small yellow onion
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans yellow hominy
  • 1 packet of taco seasoning
  • 1 packet ranch dressing mix
  • Garlic powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil
  • Optional toppings: salsa, sour cream, shredded cheese


In a large pot, boil the chicken quarters in water with salt, pepper and garlic powder until cooked through. Remove the chicken from the broth and debone. Pour broth through a mesh strainer into a large bowl and set aside.

Dice the onion and place in a large pot with a few tablespoons of olive oil and the green chilies. Allow onion to brown slightly. Add shredded chicken to the pot along with taco season and ranch dressing mix. Stir and then add the chicken broth back to the pot.

Open two cans of black beans and drain and rinse before adding to the pot. Open the hominy, drain and add to the pot. In a blender, combine the stewed tomatoes, blend well and add this to your soup.

Stir well to mix all the wonderful flavors. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for 30 minutes.


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.



Hot rolls! Freshly baked bread to thrill your family!

My grandmother always made the most wonderful hot rolls. One blessed day she shared her recipe with me and took the time to teach me how to make them. My family has praised her name ever since. Make a batch of these rolls for your family and you’ll be Queen of the World!

Hot Rolls

2 cups warm water

2 pkgs dry yeast

1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup oil

1 1/2 tsps salt

5 (sometimes a little more) cups of flour

Disolve your yeast in the warm water, mix in the sugar. In a large mixing bowl add the oil to the eggs and beat to mix. Add the salt. Pour in the yeast-water-sugar mixture. Now add the flour and mix completely.

Pour out the sticky dough onto a lightly-floured surface and sprinkle the wad of dough with flour. Now take the edges of the dough, pull them over and tuck them in, creating a smoother ball of dough. Now flip this over and knead this ball of dough for about five minutes.

In a large bowl, pour a couple of tablespoons of oil and coat the bowl. Take your ball of kneaded dough and place in the oil, roll it around to fully coat the dough and then cover this bowl with a hand towel and leave it in a warm area where it is unlikely to be bothered. Leave it to rise for about two hours.

After it has had its first rise, punch the dough down in the bowl to release the gas caused by the yeast and gluten. Get a large baking pan and spray it with cooking oil. Pinch off handfulls of dough and roll them out – like we did when kids and we played with play-dough and made long snakes. Once you have your long dough snake, coil it up – like a pretty rose and set this dough coil into the baking pan. Repeat with remaining dough. Then cover the pan with the hand towel and let this dough rise again for at least an hour, maybe an hour and a half.

Preheat your oven to 400.

Once the dough has risen again, place in a 400 degree oven to cook for 20 to 25 minutes. After the rolls have browned, brush them with melted butter.


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


Chicken and Dumplings

Everyone has their own way to make chicken and dumplings. My bestest friend in the whole wide world asked for my recipe – so since I had to type it up anyways, I thought I’d share it here.You need:

Chicken – (the appropriate amount for however many people you’re feeding, for the five of us it takes one whole chicken)
Evaporated Milk – (one can)

Put the chicken in a big pot, with some chopped onion (large pieces are easier to remove later) and some celery, some salt (to taste) and garlic powder. Let this come to a boil and then cover and simmer until the chicken is cooked fully. I usually leave mine on for like an hour or more.

While the chicken is cooking, you can mix up your dumplings. I’ve listed the amounts for a normal batch, but for our family we make a double batch – and there’s never enough dumplings.

You need:

2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 tablespoons of shortening
3/4 cup of buttermilk
(if you don’t have buttermilk, just get 3/4 cup of milk and add a few drops of white vinegar or lemon juice, to sour the milk – let it sit for a few minutes, and ta-daaa, you have buttermilk… sort of!)

Combine the flour, baking soda and 1/2 teaspoon of salt; cut the shortening into the flour with a fork or a pastry blender or two knives… whatever you have, until the flour mixture has the consistency of coarse meal. Add the buttermilk, stirring just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface (like making biscuits) and knead four or five times – but no more than that, otherwise your dumplings will be tough. And who wants tough dumplings?

Now I like to pinch off about a ping-pong ball size of dough, roll it up into a little ball and then set it on a plate and repeat with the whole batch of dough. Then I stick that plate into the fridge until I’m ready to drop in the dumplings.

After that’s all done and your chicken is cooked, get out a big bowl and a strainer. You’re going to drain the chicken stock through a strainer into the bowl. The strainer catches all the chunks of onion and celery and the chicken, leaving you with your stock. Pour the stock back into the pot.

In a large pan, seperate your chicken from the bone and skin and all that, put the chunks of chicken into a seperate bowl and stick that into the fridge.

Turn up the heat under your pot to get your chicken stock boiling again. Once it is boiling add the can of evaporated milk. Now get out your plate of dumplings and drop them in (one at a time, but quickly so they all have relatively the same cook time). As the dumplings cook, they’ll rise back to the top. Turn down the heat to a simmer and put a lid on the pot and allow your dumplings to cook for ten to fifteen minutes.

Once the dumplings have had time to cook, add the chicken and turn off the heat. Allow it to sit, covered, for about fifteen minutes and then serve! 🙂


When we started this blog in 2010, we had three children.

Since that time we have had THREE MORE CHILDREN. We would love for you to visit us at to see how we’ve grown.


Planning a Two Week Menu and Grocery List

As a stay-at-home mom with three children that are homeschooled, it is important that we streamline our day-to-day activities such as chores, school and meals. The easiest way for our family to operate is to plan a two-week menu, based on my husband’s pay schedule and plan our grocery list accordingly. This saves us a lot of money because our purchases are planned and we rarely go out to eat or buy convenience foods because our meals are planned ahead of time.

There are plenty of websites that offer valuable tips and advice for menu planning as well as some great print-outs to help you get started organizing your meals and saving you money! Some of my favorite sites include:

Darla Shine’s Happy Housewives Club

Darla’s site offers wonderful printables. Check out the Weekly Menu sheet as well as the Grocery List. You can use them as is – or you can use their wonderful example to tailor your own lists. Be sure to stop by their individual pages and get recipe ideas from the cooking section and terrific organization and housekeeping tips from the homemaking section.

Donna Young

There are some fantastic grocery shopping lists here as well! Donna Young is a perfect example of an organized woman! And the lists and tips she offers on her site are invaluable. I really recommend you grab a cup of coffee, or tea, and cruise her site for a while – you won’t be sorry!

Now, for our home this upcoming two weeks our menu is as follows. Notice, I do not have the meals assigned to a particular day. I simply have a master list of 14 to 15 dinner menu options. This allows me some freedom to switch to an easier meal on busy days, or to have something nice to serve when company comes over on short notice. I also plan 7 or 8 dessert items to serve on various evenings when we need something sweet to end our day.

Steak tips and Rice with Green Beans and Corn –  I found the recipe here:  I really do love Christy Jordan’s website. Not only does she offer great recipes with a southern flavor, but she also has the neatest step-by-step tutorials with mouth-watering pictures. I think I’ll be serving this simple but very tasty dish to our pastor and his wife when they come to dinner next week.

Lentil Stew and Cornbread

Spaghetti and Green Beans with Hot Rolls

Baked Sandwiches and Potato Salad – Another great recipe from Christy Jordan:  

Two nights worth of Pot Pies with Mashed Potatoes and Corn – These meals I keep on the list for Wednesday nights. We go to church for children’s services and Bible studies, so we’re usually pressed to eat dinner quickly in order to be at church around 6:15 – so I keep some frozen pot pies around to toss in the oven while we fix our hair and get ready for the evening. Not really the most glamorous of meals, but it’s quick and easy – and super affordable.

Two nights worth of Frozen Pizzas –  This is another convenience item. My husband takes pictures for the local newspaper of all the high school football games. We’re pretty big on high school football in Texas. These evenings are rushed for my husband as he gets home from one job and gets ready to head out to this secondary job. And I like to kick back and watch a movie with the kids on Friday nights, so pizza serves us pretty well.

Chicken and Rice with Peas and Corn

Pork Roast with Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans

Taco Soup

Goulash with Pinto Beans and Cornbread

Baked Chicken with Potatoes, Carrots and Spinach

Chicken Noodle Soup with Homemade Bread –  I absolutely love the beginner’s bread recipe listed on this site:  – if you feel like you can’t make your own homemade bread, please read her wonderful tutorial and start baking!

Our dessert options for this two-week menu are:


Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lemon Chess Pie – Christy Jordan:

Pumpkin Bread

Shoo Fly Pie – Christy Jordan:

 Banana Pudding – Christy Jordan:

 Chocolate Cobbler – Christy Jordan:

 (I told you I just love Christy Jordan’s site!)

Once I have my dinner and dessert options planned, I usually make a shorter breakfast options list. We tend to have the basics for breakfast: eggs with bacon and toast, cereal, oatmeal, breakfast rice, pancakes or muffins. I go ahead and list the options, though – so I can be sure to jot down everything for my master grocery list.

Lunches in our home generally consist of leftovers, soup or sandwiches. For families with children who pack their lunches, parents may want to list those menu options as well. I highly encourage planning lunch options. It can brighten your child’s day to have something special in their lunch box while they’re away from home during the day.

Once you have your menu options planned out on paper, you can begin jotting down all the items you’ll need from the grocery store. This is a good time to go through your pantry and refrigerator and make sure you don’t list items you already have at home. When I’m writing out this first list, I simply put it all in one big jumbled list. I organize that list into another final list later.

I know what you’re thinking, “Two lists?!? Who has time for that?” I promise you, this does not take long. My grocery shopping experience (with three preteens in tow) is a lot more peaceful if I organize my final list into shopping aisle categories such as: meat, dairy, dry goods, canned items, ect. My first list is usually one big mess. It really helps me to separate the items I need into a more organized list. All together, my menu planning and final grocery list composition takes about 30 minutes.

Our family of five eats very well, most meals made at home from scratch (if you don’t count the pizzas and pot pies) and we generally spend about $100 to $150 a week for our grocery bill. This includes cleaning supplies, pet food, homeschool materials, ect. Not bad for a family living on one income! Menu planning and detailed grocery lists are essential for any family looking to save money and enjoy meals at home together.