Taco Soup

My mother gave me this recipe that a friend of hers had shared. I changed their recipe a little because I think the ranch dressing mix that they added made it too salty. Also, they said to drain all of the canned beans & vegetables, then add water – this seemed ridiculous to me, so I don’t do it.

Servings: 4-6

1 lb ground beef, cooked
15 oz can corn, undrained
2 – 15 oz cans pinto beans, undrained
15 oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
4 oz green chiles, chopped
1 pkg taco seasoning
Cheddar or Jack cheese, grated
sour cream or plain yogurt

  1. Dump all ingredients in a large saucepan.
  2. Heat over medium heat until heated through.
  3. Serve topped with grated cheese and sour cream or yogurt.
  • I keep containers of precooked ground beef in my freezer. I use it still frozen – it will be ready by the time everything is heats.  If you don’t have this, you can cook the meat in the saucepan before adding everything else.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces. You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.

Goulash Soup

Adapted from The Ground Beef Cookbook by Joanne Waring Lindeman. I reduced the amount of meat and changed the seasoning.

Servings: 6

1 pound ground beef
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup potatoes*, chopped
1 cup carrots, sliced
½ cup celery, chopped
1 cup cabbage, shredded
2 – 15 oz cans diced tomatoes*, undrained
1 ½ cups water
1 cup rice*
1 bay leaf
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt, or to taste
¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper
1 ½ cups cheddar cheese*, grated

  1. Saute beef and onion in a hot large pot until browned. Drain fat.
  2. Add veggies and water. Bring to a boil.
  3. Add remaining ingredients except cheese. Cover and simmer for about 1 hour, or until rice and veggies are tender.
  4. Serve topped with cheese.
  • The potatoes and rice are not cooked before adding them to the pot.
  • I prefer “petite diced” tomatoes which are cut into appx ½” pieces.  You could also use fresh or frozen tomatoes.
  • Parmesan cheese is also very good on this soup.








Newport Beef Casserole

McCall’s Great American Recipe Card Collection 1973

1/4 cup oil
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
1 lb ground beef
1 can (6 oz) mushrooms, drained
1 cup sherry
1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
1 can (17 oz) diced tomatoes
salt to taste
1/2 tsp pepper
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1 Tbsp dried basil
8 oz small shell pasta
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen chopped spinach
1 cup sharp Cheddar, grated
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Parmesan, grated

  1. In hot oil in large skillet, saute onion, garlic, carrot, and celery until onion is golden – about 5 minutes.
  2. Add beef; cook, stirring, until browned.
  3. Add mushrooms, sherry, tomato paste, tomatoes, salt, pepper, oregano, and basil: simmer, uncovered 1 1/2 hours.
  4. If desired, cool, cover, and refrigerate until needed.
  5. About 45 minutes before serving time, preheat oven to 350F.
  6. Cook shells and spinach as package labels direct. Drain well.
  7. Reheat sauce if needed. Add shells and spinach.
  8. Turn into 3-quart casserole.
  9. Top with bread crumbs and Cheddar.
  10. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.
  11. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.
  12. Makes 8 servings.


My mother cut this recipe out of a magazine in the 70s. I have a photocopy of it, but it does not show the magazine’s name. Like many old photocopies, it is faded and very difficult to read. The recipe, however, is as delicious as always.

Servings: 6

Meat Sauce

2 Tbsp butter
1 cup onion, diced
1 ½ lbs ground beef or lamb
1 clove garlic, crushed
½ tsp oregano, dried
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp cinnamon
dash freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
16 oz tomato sauce
2 Tbsp dry bread crumbs

  1. Melt butter in 4 quart Dutch oven.
  2. Add onion and meat, stirring until brown, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, herbs, & spices. Cook until fragrant, 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add tomato sauce, bring to boil, stirring often. Reduce heat; simmer uncovered, 1/2 hour.
  5. Stir in bread crumbs.

2-2 ½ lbs eggplant
½ cup butter, melted

  1. Halve unpeeled eggplant lengthwise, then slice ½ inch thick.
  2. Place in broiler pan and brush lightly with melted butter. Sprinkle lightly with salt.
  3. Broil 4 inches from heat, 4 minutes per side, or until golden.
Bechamel (Cream Sauce in original)

2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp flour
½ tsp salt
dash pepper
2 c milk
2 large eggs

  1. In a medium saucepan melt butter; remove from heat and stir in flour, salt and pepper.
  2. Add milk gradually. Bring to a boil, stirring until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat.
  3. In a small bowl, beat eggs.
  4. Temper eggs by adding a small amount of hot bechamel sauce, whisking constantly. Return mixture to saucepan. Mix well and set aside.

½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ cup Cheddar cheese, grated

  1. Preheat oven to 375℉.
  2. In the bottom of 9″x13″ baking dish, layer 1/2 of the eggplant, overlapping slightly.
  3. Mix cheeses. Sprinkle 3 tablespoons over eggplant.
  4. Spoon meat sauce over top.
  5. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons cheese.
  6. Layer rest of eggplant, overlapping as before.
  7. Pour cream sauce over all.
  8. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese.
  9. Bake 35-40 minutes or until golden brown and top is set. If desired, brown top under broiler for 1 minute. Cool slightly before serving.
  • You can replace the Cheddar cheese with more Parmesan.

Clam Stuffed Tomatoes

this is the filling I used for cherry tomatoes at my wedding reception

cherry tomatoes
1 part grated cheddar cheese
1 part minced clams
1/2 part minced onion
salt & pepper to taste

  1. Cut a small slice off the top cherry tomatoes & hollow out.
  2. Mix cheese, clams, & onion with enough mayonnaise to hold the mixture together.
  3. Salt & pepper to taste.
  4. Fill tomatoes with mixture.

Chile Cheese Squares

recipe from Sara Garretson – a friend of my mother’s in New Mexico

2-3 roasted green chiles, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
6 large eggs, beaten

  1. Heat oven to 350 F.
  2. Spread green chiles in a greased 9″ square pan.
  3. Sprinkle with cheese.
  4. Pour eggs over chiles & cheese.
  5. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until set and slightly browned.
  6. Cut into small squares.
  • I even like these cold the next day.
  • You can also cook this as a frittata in a skillet.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

1 small onion, chopped (~ 1/2 cup)
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 oz green chile, chopped
2 Tbsp oil
15 oz can diced tomatoes
10 oz can chicken, undrained
2 cups chicken broth
1 cup beef broth
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder (not ground chile)
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
4 corn tortillas
1 cup grated cheddar or jack cheese

  1. Saute onion & garlic in oil until soft.
  2. Add chicken, chile, tomatoes, broths, spices & Worcestershire. Simmer 20 minutes.
  3. Cut tortillas in quarters, then into 1/2″ strips.  Add 3/4 of strips to soup & simmer 10 minutes. Fry remaining strips until crisp.
  4. Serve topped with crisp tortilla strips & cheese.
  5. Makes 4 servings.
  • I use “Petite Diced” tomatoes that are about 1/2″ cubes – the regular canned “diced” tomatoes are what I would call coarsely chopped – about 3/4″ cubes.
  • You can substitute leftover chicken, shredded.
  • If you don’t have beef broth, you can substitute chicken broth, but the flavor will not be as rich.

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Lyn Ortega, Albuquerque, New Mexico (1980)

Lyn was a friend of my mother’s – a fun person and a wonderful cook.

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green chile, roasted, peeled and chopped
5 tomatoes, diced
1 med onion, chopped
1# chicken breast, cooked & shredded
1 pint sour cream
1/2 lb grated cheddar or cheddar/jack blend
12 corn tortillas or 8 flour tortillas


  1. Combine garlic, chile, tomatoes & onion in a saucepan. Cook until onions are tender & sauce is thickened.
  2. Combine chicken, cheese & sour cream. Fill tortillas with mixture & roll up. Top with sauce & sprinkle with more cheese.
  3. Bake at 350 until browned & bubbly, about 30 minutes (45 min if refrigerated before cooking).
  4. Serve with sour cream.
  • You can substitute 1 can diced tomatoes, undrained.
  • I use nonfat sour cream or plain yogurt.

Ham & Spinach Quiche

adapted by Marissa Davis Hefner
from Linda on Allrecipes.com

6 eggs
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
4-6 oz ham, chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
2 – 9″ unbaked pie shells (not deep dish)


  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs; whisk in milk, 1 cup cheese, salt, mustard and paprika.
  2. Saute onions until tender, add spinach and ham, cook a few minutes longer.  Let cool.
  3. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese onto each pie shell, bake for 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  4. Combine egg mixture with onion mixture, pour into pie shells.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until a knife inserted halfway between the center and the edge comes out clean.
  • This can also be made in muffin cups with no crust.

Chicken Taco Pie

This recipe was given to my mother by her friend, Jan Linneweh, when we lived in Carlsbad, New Mexico.

1 small can chicken
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 – 10 oz can red enchilada sauce
½ cup onions, chopped finely or onion powder
garlic powder to taste (I like a lot)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 small pkg Fritos


  1. Mix chicken, soup, sauce & onion & garlic powder.
  2. Place 2/3 of the Fritos into a greased casserole, top with chicken mixture. Sprinkle with cheese & top with remaining Fritos.
  3. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes, or until bubbly.
If you use fresh onions, they may still be underdone after baking for 15 minutes. I frequently have chopped onions in the freezer, this had softened them enough that they will be done in the baking time. You can also use onion powder instead.
For different flavors you can substitute cooked ground beef for the chicken, green enchilada sauce for the red and/or Doritos for the Fritos.