Crock Pot Vegetable Beef Stew


Sorry, I didn’t take the time to find good lighting for this. I promise it tasted a lot better than it looks. We had such a cold, windy, cloudy, rainy weekend here that I figured I wouldn’t find the right light anyway… I was trying to make something that didn’t require a lot of my time because I also had to make lemon muffins, corn bread and apple dumplings. It took me less than 5 minutes to throw this together. Definitely doing this again for when I need a crock pot meal.

2 lbs Stew Meat
2 (14.5 oz) cans Beef Broth
12 oz bag Frozen Vegetables with peas, corn and green beans
4 New Potatoes, each cut into 8 pieces
1 envelope Lipton Beefy Onion Soup Mix
1/2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Pinch Pepper
Pinch Garlic Salt

Place meat in crock pot. Add frozen vegetables and potatoes. Add beef broth. Stir in onion soup mix, Worcestershire, pepper and garlic salt.

Cook on low for 8 hours.

Servings: 5
Calories 519
Total Fat 13.0g
Total Carbohydrates 34.0g
Dietary Fiber 5.1g
Protein 62.2g
Nutrition Grade A-

Today’s Leopard Print Find:  Yellow Box Women’s Lundy Flip Flop



I was a little disappointed with the Superbowl commercials. My favorites were the wolves and the Clydesdale. Although I was crying so hard through the Clydesdale one that I missed some of it I’m sure. I don’t know why I bawl like a baby when I see horses. The girls just look at me like I’m crazy. Maybe I am?? I know it’s very normal for people to love animals, but I feel like I take it to the extreme. Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of people in my life that I adore and love very deeply, but for some reason in movies I am always more empathetic towards animals than people. Animals just make me extremely emotional. I can’t bear the thought of animals getting hurt, being abandoned or having to leave their person. The very thought of War Horse is enough to make me burst into tears, but I see a person getting shot and it doesn’t phase me. What is wrong with me??

This is great comfort food after a good cry. Really quick and simple to make.

1-1/2 lb Ground Beef
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
2 cups Crushed Tomato
1-1/2 cups Elbow Macaroni
8 oz Velveeta
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/2 teaspoon Pepper

Cook pasta according to package directions.
Brown meat and drain.
Add salt, pepper, chili powder and tomatoes.
Add pasta and mix well.
Add cheese and simmer until melted.

Servings: 8
Calories 316
Total Fat 11.7g
Total Carbohydrates 18.5g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Protein 34.4g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Hot Leopard Halter Evening Gown Sexy Long Maxi Dress

Beef Stew


We didn’t have this for dinner tonight. I wish we would have. Instead I made something with a little curry in it. I learned something about Johnny that I didn’t know before. He absolutely HATES curry. It actually sent him running to the bathroom. I think he was just being dramatic. He didn’t actually get sick. Not quite the reaction I was hoping for when I spent an hour cooking. So the brand new bottle of curry is now in the bottom of the trashcan…. (I should have saved some to spike his food in case he ever makes me mad)

This on the other hand, he loved!

2 pounds Stew Meat
2 tablespoons Vegetable Oil
2 cups Water
1-1/2 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce
1 Garlic Clove, minced
2 Bay Leaves
1 medium Onion, sliced
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Pepper
1 teaspoon Paprika
1 pinch Ground Allspice
3 cups Baby Carrots
3 Celery Ribs, chopped
2 tablespoons Cornstarch

Warm oil in skillet. Add meat and brown. Add water, Worcestershire, garlic, bay leaves, onion, salt, sugar, pepper, paprika and allspice. Cover and simmer for 1 and 1/2 hours. Remove bay leaves. Add carrots and celery. Cover and cook for 40 minutes.

Remove 2 cups of hot liquid. Using a separate bowl, combine 1/4 cup water and cornstarch until smooth. Mix with a little of the hot liquid and return mixture to pot. Stir and cook until simmering.

Adapted from Paula Deen.

Servings: 8
Calories 353
Total Fat 18.4g
Total Carbohydrates 8.9g
Dietary Fiber 1.8g
Sugars 3.8g
Protein 36.0g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Large Rain Leopard Animal Print Women Chic Umbrella with trim

Chili Cheese Mac


We got snow again! And ice. My Camaro doesn’t drive very well on ice and the schools decided to open. My car started fishtailing at the first red light. Note to the Texas drivers that don’t know how to drive in winter weather….if you see that my car is fishtailing, don’t drive on my tail!


Lily had a spa day….


Perfect for a snowy day….yummy Chili Cheese Mac.

1 tsp Canola Oil
3/4 lb Ground Beef
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Ground Coriander
1 tsp Ground Cumin
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 cups Beef Broth
1 cup Water
10 oz can Rotel, undrained
8 oz Elbow Macaroni
1/2 cup Fat Free Milk
4 oz Cream Cheese
4-1/2 oz Cheddar Cheese, shredded

Heat a large pot over medium-high heat. Add oil. Add beef, garlic, coriander, cumin and chili powder; cook 3 minutes. Add broth, water, and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Stir in pasta; cover and cook 10 minutes.

Heat milk and cream cheese in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Add cheddar and stir until melted. Add cheese sauce to pasta mixture; toss well.

Adapted from

Calories 439
Total Fat 19.2g
Total Carbohydrates 33.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.0g
Protein 31.8g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Ultra Soft My Pillow Pet LEOPARD SLIPPER

Crock Pot Lasagna


Today was the first day back to school for the girls. Megan went all out. She has a very unique fashion sense. She found the vintage suspenders and tutu on Etsy. Taylor said people were going to think that it was dress like a clown day at school and she followed that with “Please don’t make me walk in with her!”


In honor of Megan and her “explosion of greatness”….. This was really good and crock pot meals are always a plus.

1 lb Ground Beef
2 tsp Garlic, minced
1 tsp Italian Seasoning
26 oz Chunky Style Pasta Sauce
1/3 cup Water
8 Lasagna Noodles, uncooked
15 oz Part-Skim Ricotta Cheese
1-1/2 cup Lowfat Mozzarella Cheese, shredded

Cook beef, garlic, and seasoning in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain and set aside. Combine pasta sauce and water in a small bowl and set aside. Place 4 uncooked noodles in a 4-quart slow cooker coated with cooking spray, breaking noodles to fit. Layer with half of beef mixture, pasta sauce mixture. Spread ricotta. Sprinkle with 1 cup mozzarella. Layer with remaining noodles, meat and pasta sauce mixture. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Cover and cook on high for 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 hours.

Adapted from Cooking Light.

Servings: 8
Calories 462
Total Fat 12.8g
Total Carbohydrates 49.3g
Dietary Fiber 1.5g
Protein 35.4g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Dickens and Smith Fun Purple Leopard Print Blanket / Throw

Spicy Crock Pot Tacos

Last year I had to get rid of the Pottery Barn Kids advent calendar that the girls had used for 9 years. I hated to get rid of it because that was the one they had grown up with, but it kept falling apart and I didn’t really like it anyway. So when I saw this one, I knew it would be more special to my animal crazy girls anyway. I probably should get a second one so they both have one for when they are grown. The same reason we adopted a second elf, so they both have their own. They’ll probably still have to work out visitations with each other’s elves when they get older though.

I couldn’t even get the girls to try this one, but it was soooo good! They hubby loved it too. It was really, really tender.

3 lb Chuck Roast
2 cans Pinto Beans
2 cans Rotel
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 pkg of Taco Seasoning
1-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, shredded
12 Flour Tortillas, taco size

Mix all ingredients except roast in crock pot. Add roast and submerge in mix.

Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Servings: 12 Tacos
Calories 365
Total Fat 16.4g
Total Carbohydrates 17.4g
Dietary Fiber 3.0g
Protein 37.1g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: 4×6 Picture Frame

Deep-Dish Taco Pizza

Yesterday was Taylor and Megan’s 10th birthday. I tried so hard to make everything perfect. Everything that could have possibly gone wrong went wrong.

Every year I’ve served them cinnamon rolls on the their Birthday foot plates.

When I went to make them I realized it wasn’t cinnamon rolls in the refrigerator, it was crescent rolls. So I improvised and they had pancakes.

Then came the worst part of the day….I was supposed to take them Braum’s for lunch. For some reason I have a mental block on their lunch being at noon. In my mind it is 12:30. So at 12:18, as I’m sitting in the school parking lot waiting for it to get closer to 12:30, my phone rings. It was their math teacher telling me that they’ve been waiting on me to bring them food and lunch is almost over. My heart sank. When I got to their table I could clearly see that Megan had been crying. I felt awful. After they inhaled their food, I made it out the door and cried forever. On my way to get them the biggest stuffed animal I could find. (with leopard print balloons!)

When I picked them up from school Taylor tells me that she wasn’t able to have her birthday treats because there wasn’t enough for everyone. Apparently Little Debbie (because birthday treats have to be sealed) likes to switch things up a bit. The kind Megan picked out had 8 per box. Taylor’s only had 5. :/ So she gets to celebrate today. (and on Friday when we have our lunch do-over)

Then they wanted to go to La Hacienda for dinner and I forgot my camera. So the only pictures I got of their birthday were the one at breakfast, the one before school, the zombie picture…

and one of Megan on her favorite chair in the restaurant…


1 pound Ground Beef
1/2 Onion, chopped (I use the food processor so that my girls won’t notice the onions)
1 (15-ounce) can Rotel diced tomatoes with green chiles
2 tsps Taco Seasoning
1 (13.8-ounce) can Refrigerated Pizza Crust Dough
1 cup Sharp Cheddar, shredded

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 13″ x 9″ baking dish with cooking spray.

Cook beef and onion in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until beef is browned, stirring to crumble. Drain well, and return beef mixture to pan. Stir in tomatoes and seasoning; cook over medium-high heat for 1 minute; set aside.

Unroll pizza dough. Press into bottom and halfway up sides of baking dish. Spoon beef mixture over dough.

Bake for 12 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake 5 more minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes before slicing.

Servings: 6
Calories 366
Total Fat 7.7g
Total Carbohydrates 39.0g
Dietary Fiber 3.6g14%
Protein 34.5g
Nutrition Grade B+

Adapted from Cooking Light

Today’s Leopard Print Find:

Beef Macaroni and Cheese

This weekend was totally crazy and exhausting. I think I slept a total of 10 hours. Yet somehow I got a second wind to write this blog. If none of it makes sense at least you’ll know why….

The weekend started with a 40th Birthday party for my sister at Terelli’s. Once we got there  her fiancé threw a surprise at us….they were getting married on the roof top on her birthday. It was beautiful.

Next was the only non-fun part of the weekend….a funeral for a truly wonderful lady that I’ve known my entire life….Mrs. B. I love the slideshows at funerals now, but they make me a sobbing mess. Love you Mrs. B!

Then T & M’s sleepover for their 10th birthday. It started out with 6 and quickly grew to 13 because there were just too many people they couldn’t leave out. They sang karaoke, we walked up the street to look at Christmas lights (and along the way they managed to ding dong ditch a few boys) and they wrote about 5 letters with 20 questions for the elves.

One of the letters to the elves asked them to “please make a mess”. They sure did that for them….

Then finally….my niece Rya’s 4th Birthday party…little sweetheart…

After that I got to go home, Johnny still had the Cowboy game to go to.

Somehow through all of that I did manage to cook once….

1 tsp Basil
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Oregano
1 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Pepper
3 cups Crushed Tomatoes
2 lbs Ground Beef
3 cloves Garlic, minced
1 small Onion, chopped
2 Tbs Vegetable Oil
1 lb Pasta Shells
2-1/2 cups Cheddar Cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Cook the pasta according to package directions; drain and set aside.

While pasta is cooking…Heat the oil in a skillet; add the onion and garlic, and saute until soft.

Add the ground beef and cook until browned.

Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper basil, cumin and oregano.

In a large bowl, combine the pasta and the beef mixture.

Pour mixture into a 9 x 13-inch baking dish.

Top with cheese and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until the cheese is lightly browned.

Adapted from Paula Deen

Recipe makes 8 servings
Calories 681
Total Fat 37.47g
Total Carbs 46.2g
Dietary Fiber 2.7g
Protein 38.04g

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Michael Stars Women’s Leopard Print Off Shoulder Dolman Shirt

Spaghetti with Meatballs

Taylor carved her pumpkin yesterday. Before she did it I decided to do a little research about how to make the pumpkins last longer. I had seen something on Pinterest about a bleach solution. I found an interesting science project that someone had done testing out these different solutions. Turns out the best option is to not do anything at all.

This meal was a Taylor request that I kept putting off. She was happy and since it made so many meatballs, she even used some of the leftovers for a meatball sandwich.

1 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
¼ cup Whole Milk, room temperature
2 Large Eggs, beaten and room temperature
½ cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
¼ cup Basil, chopped
¼ cup Parsley, chopped
1 Tbs Tomato Paste
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
¾ tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
1 lb Ground Beef
1 lb Italian Turkey Sausage Links, casings removed
Extra-Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling

¼ cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
1 Onion, finely chopped in a food processor
1 tsp Kosher Salt
½ tsp Black Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
2 tsp Oregano
2 tsp Fennel Seeds
2 (28-ounce) cans Crushed Tomatoes
¾ cup Basil, chopped

16 oz Spaghetti

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine the bread crumbs, milk, eggs, Parmesan cheese, basil, parsley, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir to blend. Add the ground beef and sausage meat. Using fingers gently mix all the ingredients until combined.

Using a 1-ounce cookie scoop, form the meat mixture into 1-1/2-inch balls (about 24 meatballs). Place the meatballs on a heavy non-stick baking sheet. Mist with olive oil and bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through.

Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook for 6 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, fennel and 1/2 cup basil. Bring to a simmer. Cook over medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup basil.

(At this point, cook spaghetti according to package directions)

Add the meatballs to the tomato sauce and simmer for 10 minutes.

Servings: 8
Calories 613
Total Fat 20.4g
Carbohydrates 61.2g
Dietary Fiber 7.7g
Nutrition Grade B

Today’s Leopard Print Find: High Heel Shoe Christmas Ornament

Spicy Crock Pot Brisket Tacos

Sorry, but I was so hungry I didn’t have time to get a good picture of this.

It has been challenging trying to find time to cook lately. Megan is getting ready for her big Cheer Extravaganza and they are practicing like crazy. Today they have to get their cheers and dance approved by the judges. I had no idea she was so competitive. She wants to win!!! Until then, (just a few more weeks) thank goodness for crock pots!! (and for yummy Brisket Tacos) – Go Saints!!!

3 lb Brisket
2/3 cup Water
1.25 oz Taco Seasoning
2 – 10 oz cans Ro*Tel
8 Flour Tortillas

Combine water, taco seasoning and rotel in crock pot. Add brisket. Cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Calories 518
Fat 16.9g
Carbohydrates 26.6g
Fiber 1.4g
Nutrition Grade B-

Today’s Leopard Print Find: Snoozies Fleece Lined Womens Footies