Category Archives: Recipes

How to Make Taco Meat in Your Instant Pot

As homeschool moms, easy meals are one of your best friends. So if you have an Instant Pot, here’s just the recipe! Special thanks to Melanie as I shadowed her for this.

Easy Instant Pot Tacos

2 lbs. ground beef
Taco seasoning
Water

The night before, pull the beef from the freezer and put in the refrigerator to thaw. Late morning, put the ground beef into the Instant Pot and turn it on the “brown” setting (for browning meat: depending on what model you have, yours may be different) and cook for about 20 minutes. Take off the lid, and crumble the meat using a meat chopper or something similar (our favorite is the Chopstir from Amazon: we’ve had ours for five years, and it’s going strong:: the Amazon link is Titus2’s Affiliate link, see our disclosure here). Add taco seasoning and then enough water to not quite cover the meat. Cook on low temp for the rest of the afternoon.

That’s all there is to it!

With tacos, you can add so many tasty embellishments and even the shells are versatile (hard shell, soft shell, large or small or make it a taco salad!).

Enjoy!

Step #1: Put the meat into the Instant Pot. Then, choose the option for browning meat.

Step #2: Make your own taco seasoning or use purchased packets.

Step #3: When the meat is done, add the seasoning.

Step #4: Add water and stir.

Step #5: Cook on low temp the rest of the afternoon.

Step #6: Add yummy embellishments and enjoy several!

“And he arose, and did eat and drink, and went in the strength of that
meat forty days and forty nights unto Horeb the mount of God.”
1 Kings 19:8

Delicious Vegetable Beef Soup

Remember when I multitasked and browned ground beef for something sometime? I was working in the kitchen doing other meal prep.

Recently, we put that ground beef to good use. All the kitchen helpers were going to be busy during normal lunch (which is our bigger meal of the day) prep the next day. We decided to make soup the afternoon before that could simply be heated up the next day.

We had available:

  • ground beef
  • a small ziplock bag of green onions that had been previously chopped and frozen
  • about 8 cups of frozen pork roast broth
  • frozen little smokies sausages
  • frozen tomato sauce
  • big bag of organic frozen mixed vegetables from Costco

The pork roast broth was a good amount of liquid for the amount of meat we were using. We just put it into a pot to defrost and boil. I dumped the ground beef into the pot along with the green onions. Then I sliced some of the little smokies sausagesan amount that seemed to compliment the ground beef as secondary meat.

When we tasted the broth that way, we decided not to use the tomato sauce since the flavor was already delicious.

Then we let that simmer a while before adding the mixed vegetables and boiling them.

We finished the seasoning by adding garlic salt and other seasonings to taste.

The result? Delicious soup! If your weather is anything like we’re experiencing in Kansas, soup is the perfect thing right now.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”
Psalm 34:8

Make the Most of Your Leftovers, Part 1

Welcome to a new series: Make the Most of Your Leftovers. We plan to continue this, giving you ideas on how you can use leftovers.

Anna has developed quite an art of putting together leftovers into delicious soups or casseroles. When we rave over the casserole, she tells us to enjoy it that time because there won’t ever be another one just like it. I am trying to learn from her.

Here are the leftovers I had available:

  • rice
  • ham gravy with ham chunks
  • 3 biscuits
  • pork spare rib meat

 

Since there are only 6 of us at home now, we have downsized our casseroles to 8×8 pans.

First I greased the pan, and then put a layer of rice on the bottom. I would say about 1/3 the depth of the pan had rice.

Anna suggested I sprinkle a light seasoning of garlic salt on the rice to give it some extra flavor.

Our next layer was the meat we had picked off the spare ribs from a couple of days earlier.

Next, we added a layer of ham gravy that we had thinned a little so that it would seep nicely into the rice. 

We put the casserole together and refrigerated it two days before we used it.

Before baking at 350 degrees for 1 hour, we topped it with the cubed biscuits and sprinkled parmesan cheese over that.

It really was delicious!

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

“Who giveth food to all flesh:
for his mercy endureth for ever.”
Psalm 136:25

How to Plan Your Thanksgiving Meal Efficiently

I like simplifying holiday meal work. Here are a couple of things I do for Thanksgiving. I have a file on my computer simply titled “Thanksgiving” where I list the year, what we had to eat, who was there, what we had too much of, and what I would do differently next year, if anything. I think I won’t forget by the following year, but the reality is that I do.

Baking for Thanksgiving together

On my computer, I also have a master shopping list for our Thanksgiving meal. Earlier in our marriage, I developed a Thanksgiving menu based on family favorites and traditional Thanksgiving foods. By popular demand we continue using that menu except for adding ham as a second meat, which our boys bake at another house because we don’t have room here, and they love the ham. We can’t take turkey out because Thanksgiving dinner with turkey is my mom’s favorite meal of the year. Plus we love our turkey noodle soup the day after Thanksgiving and all the great leftover turkey meals a turkey provides.

We keep our Thanksgiving meal simple with just one salad and one vegetable. We have expanded to two desserts now that there are so many in our family eating the Thanksgiving meal. We use roasting bags for the meat that turn out perfect turkey and ham every year.

On the day before Thanksgiving, we invite my mom over to sit with us while we work in the kitchen. Then we spend several hours prepping as much of the meal as we possibly can. She usually finds jobs she is capable of doing and would like to do with us. It is a sweet time of generational fellowship.

When guests join us for Thanksgiving and want to bring something for the meal, we ask them to bring one of their favorite side dishes. We don’t normally have sweet potatoes or cranberry sauce, but those have been additions brought by guests.

We hope your Thanksgiving is simple, thankful, and full of joy and loving fellowship.

Trusting in Jesus,
Teri

PS: Two of our favorite holiday recipes:
Light and Fluffy Rolls
Teri’s Favorite Salad

Unto thee, O God, do we give thanks, unto thee do we give thanks:
for that thy name is near thy wondrous works declare.”
(Psalm 75:1)

Easy Homemade Chocolate Syrup for Mochas

I want to share with you this super easy homemade syrup that I use in my mochas.

It’s simple. 1 cup cocoa, 1 cup sugar, 1 cup water, a little salt, and vanilla
Add cocoa.
Sugar.
Stir.
Salt.

We use this baking cocoa purchased from either SAMS or Costco.
Heat to boiling and then let boil (still stirring).
The finished product: oh so good!
Store in a glass jar.
Drizzle on top of your mocha too!

Chocolate Syrup

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup cocoa
  • 1 cup water
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla (or a little more)

 

Turn burner on medium heat, and combine cocoa and sugar in saucepan. Immediately add water and whisk. Add salt. Stir occasionally until mixture boils. Keep stirring as it boils, and allow it to boil for at least 1 minute. This will help the sauce to thicken. Remove from heat, and add vanilla. This rich chocolate syrup is perfect for homemade mochas or any type of hot (or cold!) drink. Store in a glass jar in the refrigerator.

How much should you add to your mocha? It depends if this is the only sugar and how sweet you like it. I, for one, like my drinks sweet!

Enjoy!

“My meditation of him shall be sweet:
I will be glad in the Lord.”
Psalm 104:34

How to Make a Healthy Lunch with Leftovers

Anna is our queen of using a mixture of leftovers and turning out an amazing dish. We want to encourage you moms on how you can use your creativity with leftovers and make a quick lunch.

Here is a recent example with four leftovers:

  • Broccoli
  • Shell noodles
  • Green beans
  • Smoked meat

Add some oil to your pan, let it heat up briefly and then add the green beans.

Heat for a bit and add broccoli.

Stir, allowing the mixture to heat, and add the meat.

Lastly, drop the noodles in. Stir gently.

I believe seasonings are Anna’s secret to success. Here she added Jack Stack’s meat seasoning along with some Italian dressing.

Top with cheese, and enjoy!

“Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.”
1 Corinthians 12:4