Favorite Meals of 2015 (January 17-23)

Well this week was fun because we got to celebrate Michael’s birthday at Chuck E Cheese’s on Friday.  Besides that and a single visit to Chick-fil-a, we ate at home.

We didn’t have a bunch of home run meals this time, but here are the two that went over the best.

Simple Stew

This is a great one to use up leftover meats, veggies, beans, broth, and more, so feel free to adjust to your family’s tastes.  Use canned, fresh, dried or frozen ingredients.  This is very forgiving – throw in everything but the kitchen sink! 🙂

Simple Stew


  • 1 lb ground meat (we used turkey since it’s half the price of beef!)
  • 1 Tbsp dried minced onions or up to 1/2 cup fresh/frozen onions
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt or garlic powder and salt to taste
  • 1 carton or 2 cans broth (we used vegetable this week, but I almost always use beef)
  • 1 can carrots
  • 1 can green beans
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes (28 oz)
  • 1/2 cup corn (or up to one can)
  • salt & pepper to tastes
  • Additional water (optional)

To Make:

  1. Brown your meat in a large soup pot with onions.
  2. Drain the meat, then add the garlic and stir while cooking about a minute.
  3. Add all of the other ingredients.
  4. Add additional seasonings and/or water depending on your tastes.
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes or eat immediately.

My family liked this served with shredded cheese as a garnish/topping.  Another yummy add in is sour cream.  It is great with garlic bread or cheesy bread on the side.


Homemade Taco Mac


  • 12 oz elbow macaroni, prepared as the package indicates
  • 1 lb browned and drained ground beef or turkey
  • 1 envelope taco seasoning (and 3/4 cup water)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp flour (we used whole wheat)
  • 2 cups milk (we used skim)
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar Cheese or taco blend cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream (optional)

To Prepare:

  1. Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside back in its large pot.
  2. Once ground meat is browned and drained, stir in taco seasoning packet along with 3/4 cup water.  Bring to a boil and simmer 7 minutes.
  3. Melt butter in a small saucepan and whisk in flour.  Cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add milk to the flour and butter and whisk constantly for around 5 minutes, until it all thickens.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into the pasta pot and mix together with the macaroni.
  6. Add the cheese and beef to the pasta mixture and stir it all together.
  7. Top with sour cream to serve. (optional)
About Jenn L

Jenn lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her husband and 5 children. The family likes to eat healthy and try new recipes. Jenn homeschools all of the kids. She is heavily involved with local bloggers and is slightly addicted to social media.