In The Kitchen: Taco Soup: A spicy bit of comfort

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By Robin McDaniel
Blount Today

The cold snap we had this weekend gave me the perfect opportunity to prepare Taco Soup, one of our family’s "comfort foods." My friend Lynn Waters gave me this recipe. Contrary to what some of her friends seem to think, Lynn does cook and enjoys it. The family work schedule doesn’t allow for a lot of cooking, which is why Lynn loves this recipe. It is quick and has very little clean-up, perfect for busy schedules.

I wasn’t sure the hominy was necessary for this soup, but Lynn said it was, and had the added benefit of adding color to the dish. She was right. Add the chips of your choice and serve it with a side dish of sour cream and shredded cheese.

This soup makes enough to share. I made it in a large Crock Pot, which made about 13 cups of soup.

Lynn’s Taco Soup
1 lb. ground beef
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (chopped)
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn with liquid
1 can (15 oz.) hominy with liquid
1 can (28 oz.) chopped/diced tomatoes with liquid
2 cans (15 oz. each) pinto beans
1 can (15 oz.) black beans with liquid
1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 pkg. Hidden Valley Ranch dressing
2 cups water
1/4 cup Picante sauce

Brown ground beef with the green pepper and onion in skillet. Drain. Into a large pot or Crock Pot, pour in all other ingredients. Add browned ground beef mixture and simmer about 1 hour.

If you want something very chocolate and fudgy for dessert, these little cakes are a perfect treat. These are especially
good when you have friends for dinner because they look like they take a lot more time than they do.

You need individual custard cups or soufflé dishes to make these. Serve with a scoop of ice cream, and you’ve got a perfect dessert.

Molten Chocolate Cakes
4 oz. semi-sweet baking chocolate
1 stick butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup powdered sugar
2 extra-large eggs
6 tablespoons self-rising flour

Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter 4 (6 oz.) custard cups or soufflé dishes. Microwave chocolate and butter in microwaveable bowl on high for 1 minute. Whisk until chocolate is melted.

Add vanilla and powdered sugar. Stir until well-blended. Whisk in eggs and flour.

Spoon into prepared cups. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes. Let stand for 1 minute, then loosen edges with sharp knife. Invert each cake onto serving plates and dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm, with ice cream, if desired.

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