Frito Lay Tailgate Kit Winner

Wow, I think this will be the last giveaway I host and have to choose a winner. You all made it too hard! All your recipes sounded delicious, and from the amount of white chicken chili recipes that were entered, I am going to have to make that recipe soon.

I finally chose Ellie’s recipe for Taco Soup. This recipe seemed to be a healthy and inexpensive recipe for fall football. I also thought her directions were hilarious. And while I was not judging based on the funniest recipe, when you have been getting less than 5 hours of sleep a night because of a teething baby a little laughter goes a long way!

I have posted the recipe below. Congrats Ellie!

In honor of Autumn, I share my never-fail-to-please Taco Soup. There are loads of good recipes with Frito Lay products but this works especially well for my families who are one or more of the following:

a) on a budget
b) health minded
c) short on time
d) like one-dish meals

All the ingredients can be as fresh or as canned as you like… I’ll write out the cheap/easy recipe and put the healthy substitutes in parentheses.

TACO SOUP– feeds my family of six with leftovers.

  • 1 lb. ground beef (you can use turkey or go nuts with free range/organic beef if you can afford it)
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (feel free to make up your own, if you’re laundry pile is low and you’ve no diapers to change: Allrecipes has a good recipe)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes, Italian seasoning is best (or you can chop up about 3 fresh tomatoes and spice it how you like)
  • 1 15 oz. can tomato sauce (if you’ve time to can your own tomato sauce, you probably don’t need to be inspired with any old recipe like this one)
  • 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained (all right, seriously everyone… if you want to soak dry beans overnight and cook them, it defeats the purpose of this being a quick and easy meal)
  • 1 can corn (or about 1 1/2 cups fresh kernals or defrosted frozen)
  • cheddar cheese (if you aren’t able to find Tillamook cheese, you have my pity and best wishes to find a substitute)
  • plain yogurt (optional– and it’s way better than sour cream, so long as you don’t even THINK about getting a low or non fat kind!)
  • avocado (optional and if you can afford it!)
  • Any kind of Frito Lay corn chips… we like Tostitos.

Brown meat, drain fat and add taco seasoning as the package directs. In separate large saucepan or pot, add all the other ingredients and dump in cooked meat. You can add water to make this stretch further for more people. Let it simmer for a bit. It’ll look more like a very thick stew than a soup, unless you’ve added water.

Crunch up chips in bowl; dump a ladle full of soup on top. Sprinkle on cheese; dollop on yogurt and garnish with avocado in a way that tickles your fancy. Perfect for curling up on the couch with in front of the fireplace and watching leaves fall outside the window… unless you have three boys and baby girl like me and are better off to don full-on rain gear to avoid any “unintentional” blasts that may hit you across the table while the children devour their favorite meal and forget all my painstaking efforts to teach civility and manners at the mealtime. Enjoy.

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Mega Pasta Salad

The following is a guest post by my friend Liz who blogs at Hoosier Homemade. Liz is a Hoosier Momma, wife, and mom of three boys.  She blogs about cooking, baking, decorating, frugal living, organizing, sewing, crafting and life in Northwest Indiana. In a small world blogging twist, Liz just happens to live about 10 minutes from most of my extended family, but we met on Twitter!

Mega Pasta Salad

Do you ever get tired of the same ole’ pasta salad with Italian dressing? I had been wanting to try a different pasta salad, and our Labor Day get-together was the perfect time.

It turned out very tasty and I was able to use up quite a lot of leftovers in my frig..

Mega Pasta Salad.6

Now, I’m calling it Mega, because the batch that I made turned out to almost fill my 32 cup stainless steel Pampered Chef bowl, as you can see here.

Mega Pasta Salad.2

Here is what I put in, and I’m sorry I don’t have measurements on this one.

  • 1 box of tri-color rotini
  • 1 box of mini farfalle (bow ties)
  • 3-4 handfuls of elbow macaroni
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped
  • some mushrooms, sliced
  • some carrots, chopped
  • some celery, chopped
  • some ham, cubed, small
  • some pepperoni, cut into quarters
  • 1 block of colby cheese, cut into cubes
  • 1 small zucchini
The dressing was a bit of an experiment too…
  • Miracle Whip
  • Ranch Dressing
  • Italian Dressing (just a splash for flavor)
  • Poppy Seeds (a handful)
  • Celery Seeds (a good amount)
  • Accent Salt (a little)
  • Oregano (a little)
  • Basil (a little)
Whisk and fold into cooked pasta.
Cooks note: Be sure to rinse the pasta in cold water and let it cool down a bit. I got in a hurry and added it hot and the cheese melted some. We kind of liked it that way, but you may not.

Here is a close up picture to make you even more hungry :)

Mega Pasta Salad

This post is linking to Tasty Tuesday.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Bacon Cheese Dip in a Bread Bowl

This picture has nothing to do with the post, other than it was taken the same weekend I was introduced to Mrs. Miller and her amazing bacon cheesy creation.

This dip was served at our annual 4th of July gathering. It was so yummy I just stood by the bread bowl and ate it for about an hour, hoping no one would notice. It isn’t healthy but it is delicious! Bringing this to a gathering will guarantee you a repeat invite, as long as you bring the dip.

Marvelous Miller's Bread Dip
  • 1 round loaf of bread (any kind)
  • 12 slices of bacon crisply cooked and crumbled (I use bacon bits from Costco)
  • 8 oz shredded colby/mont. jack cheese
  • 1 cup mayo
  • 1 cup grated parm cheese
  • 1 glove garlic, minced
  1. Cut top off bread and remove center, leaving a 1 inch thick shell.
  2. Mix remaining ingredients and spoon into hollowed out bread. Cover with top of bread.
  3. Place on a cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 1 hour.
  4. Serve with crackers.


Sorry no pictures, I was too busy eating…


This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.

Mama Jones’ Chip and Veggie Dip

Chip and Veggie Dip at The Happy Housewife

My sister’s mother-in-law gave me this delicious dip recipe last week. I made a huge batch of it for the party and it was almost all gone by the end of the night. It was so good I made it again two days later!

Mama Jones’ Chip and Veggie Dip
  • 1 jar of medium picante sauce
  • 2 8-ounce blocks of cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoon mayonnaise
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  1. Soften cream cheese by letting it sit out for a few hours or putting in the microwave for minute or two.
  2. Add picante sauce and stir. I used a potato masher and it worked well to get rid of the cream cheese clumps.
  3. Add mayo, garlic, and lemon juice and mix.
  4. Chill before serving


Chip and Veggie Dip at The Happy Housewife


This post is linking to Tempt My Tummy Tuesday and Tasty Tuesday.

This post may contain a link to an affiliate. See my disclosure policy for more information.