"Hay Grinder on fire. Got it out." That was the text message that Hubs sent to me this afternoon. ¡Ay, caramba! We have had a few awful hay fires in the past, and my mind immediately raced to the memories of those blazes. Tons and tons of hay were lost then. Thankfully, today's sparks caused minimal damage and hay loss. Hubs' quick action and the help of the fire department prevented a huge catastrophe.
Tonight, as my exhausted Hubs naps in his chair in front of the TV, the only heat is my laptop charring my legs as I menu plan for the rest of the week. ¡Ay, caramba! Lately, I have gotten so lazy about planning our meals. Usually, I just open the fridge or freezer and hope that something jumps out at me. It is a hit or miss way to get a meal On My Plate, and I just hope that whatever jumps hasn't been in the fridge long enough to actually (and not pretend) be coming to life again and really jumping.
One recipe that a friend recently shared with me easily fits heated last minute planning. Taco Soup uses basic pantry items and can even be heated in the crockpot, if time is short. I adjusted the original recipe to suit what I have on hand most of the time, and you could alter it to suit your own tastes. Add a can of black beans to stretch the servings further; change out the diced tomatoes to plain or those with jalapenos; brown diced green peppers with the onions and ground beef. (My friend makes a veg version by using meat substitutes instead of the ground beef. She also recommended ground turkey as an alternative.) Serve it up as a soup, or use it as a topping for baked potatoes. Garnish with shredded cheese, sour cream, black olives, even shredded lettuce, diced onion, and tomato. My choice was with Deluxe Corn Muffins (with a can of green chiles added to the mix) on the side and crushed corn chips, shredded cheese, and freshly chopped cilantro on top. It's not On My Plate, but rather, in my bowl, and nobody will be shouting "¡Ay, caramba!" when you ladle up Taco Soup.
1 pound ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 15 oz. can kidney beans, undrained
1 15 oz. can chili beans, undrained
1 15 oz. can fat-free refried beans
2 cups frozen corn
1 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 1/2 cup water (If you want it more like a chili consistency, reduce or leave out the water.)
1 package taco seasoning
1 package Hidden Valley dressing mix(not buttermilk)
Brown the ground beef with the onion in a soup pot.
Combine the remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. (Serves 6-8)