Beefy Enchilada Soup {Secret Recipe Club}

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Beefy Enchilada Soup

Who wants a big bowl of enchilada soup today? Well, lucky you! ‘Cause that’s what I am serving up.

Today is my first reveal with Group B of the Secret Recipe Club (due to the holidays and a glitch … aka I forgot to fill out a form). I’m excited to have a whole new group of blogs to peruse, although I will miss my Group A-ers a lot!

My assigned blog for this month was An Affair from the Heart. I’ve been following Michaela on Facebook since I got this assignment, and I really enjoy interacting on her Facebook page! Every Tuesday she announces a theme and shares recipes on the page based on that theme. It’s fun to see the round-up without ever leaving FB. Not that I am on there all the time …

Michaela is a stay-at-home mom of four (one in college, one in high school, and two a little younger), and she loves to throw big parties and entertain as well as feed her family. I would call her recipes down-to-earth, the kind of things I love to make: not fussy, not necessarily gourmet, but good and delicious.

I was very tempted to make something from the Popcorn & Snack Mix category, but for the benefit of my weight-loss attempts decided to go with soup instead. This Beefy Enchilada Soup will be great for lunches this week. It made a ton, so I froze about half for a later family meal.

Beefy Enchilada Soup

I had to make a few adjustments based on what I could find at my store. They didn’t have Mexicorn, so I used one can of regular corn and one can of hominy, which I love. I used mild enchilada sauce, and I think the soup could have used a little more kick, so I would recommend using medium or serving with some hot sauce. I also made this on the stovetop instead of using a slow cooker, 100% because I didn’t want to have to wash the slow cooker. Because I AM THAT PERSON. But I am adding the slow cooker instructions for you at the bottom of the recipe if you want them.

Beefy Enchilada Soup

Yield: 8-10 servings


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 20 oz. enchilada sauce
  • 15 oz. Mexican-style stewed or diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 15 oz. canned pinto beans, with liquid
  • 15 oz. canned yellow corn, drained, or about 1 c. frozen corn
  • 15 oz. canned hominy, drained
  • 20 oz. water (two enchilada cans)
  • hot sauce, to taste
  • 2 c. Mexican-blend shredded cheese, divided
  • 6 small corn tortillas, cut in half and then into strips
  • optional: diced avocado, sliced olives, sour cream, diced tomatoes, etc.


In a large soup pot, brown ground beef and onion together until beef is done. Drain off fat. Add enchilada sauce, tomatoes, pinto beans, corn, hominy, and two enchilada cans of water.

Stir well and bring soup to a boil. Cover; reduce heat to low and simmer.

Simmer soup at least an hour or as long as you can. Take off lid and add 1 1/2 cups of cheese and tortilla strips. Stir well, then cook another 15 minutes or so (uncovered).

Taste and season with hot sauce if desired (or pass at the table). Top bowls with the rest of the cheese and any optional toppings.


To make this in the slow cooker, cook beef and onion as directed. Then mix beef/onion with remaining ingredients except cheese and tortillas in the slow cooker. Cook on low 8-10 hours. During the last hour, stir in 1 1/2 cups cheese and tortilla strips and season with hot sauce if desired. Serve with additional cheese and optional toppings.

Marinated Steak Kebabs {Secret Recipe Club}

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Marinated Steak Kebabs

After wondering if I had been assigned to every single person from group A in the Secret Recipe Club, I got my blog for this month. And it was Chef in Disguise! Aha! Someone whose recipes I always lust over during the SRC reveal. This was a fun month for me.

Sawsan grew up in Jordan and lives in the United Arab Emirates, where she is an orthodontist. She offers recipes with Middle Eastern flair as well as those from around the world. I was in awe of all the different cultures represented in her recipe index.

I love to try new things and am an adventurous eater, so I would love to test out some of Sawsan’s recipes like Cauliflower Makloubeh. I almost made the Baked Kibbeh, but I was afraid my kids would turn up their noses or it wouldn’t taste right.

Here’s a side note for you: when I visited Brazil in 2007, we were in a city with a very large Lebanese population. Most of what we did was among these immigrants, and we ate a lot of food that Sawsan features in her Middle Eastern recipes section! I went to a cooking class with a few of my friends, and kibbeh was one of the dishes we “learned” to make. But the one time I tried to make it at home in the States, I felt like it tasted watery and bland. That was probably in 2007 or 2008, though, so maybe I should give it another try. /side note over

Marinated Steak Kebabs with Peppers and Onions

Anyway, I was craving steak, so when my in-laws were here for Libbie’s birthday last weekend I decided to make Sawsan’s recipe for Yogurt-Marinated Steak. But since I’d also been eyeing her recipe for Honey-Oregano Beef Onion Skewers, I had kebabs on the brain. So I cut my beef into cubes and made kebabs with the marinated meat, bell pepper chunks, and onion. I seared my kebabs on a grill pan, then finished them in the oven. We ate them alongside Cheesy Scalloped Potatoes. And it was all wonderful!

I can imagine using this marinade for chicken or pork as well. It has great all-around flavor.

Marinated Steak Kebabs

Marinated Steak Kebabs

Slightly adapted from Chef in Disguise for the Secret Recipe Club. The recipe calls for fresh rosemary, but I used thyme because I had some on hand. Any earthy, fresh herb would work well here, like parsley or sage.


  • 2 lbs. top round beef
  • 3 T plain yogurt
  • 2 T white or red wine vinegar
  • 1 T Dijon mustard
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 c. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1 T fresh thyme or rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp. dried)
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 2 sweet bell peppers, diced into large chunks
  • 1-2 onions, cut into very large dice


Cut steak into large cubes. Place in a gallon zipper freezer bag.

In a bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, olive oil, salt, pepper, thyme or rosemary, oregano, and paprika. Pour into the bag with beef and squish around to cover beef. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, as long as overnight.

(You can also freeze this in the marinade for a make-ahead meal. Just defrost completely in the refrigerator before making kebabs.)

On wooden skewers (soaked in water for 30 minutes before using), alternately thread beef, pepper pieces, and onion pieces.

Sear on a lightly oiled grill pan or skillet, then broil in the oven until to your desired doneness. Alternately, cook on a grill until to your liking.

Real Food Recipe Roundup via Jo-Lynne Shane and Alison Ray

Family Recipe Fridays: Beef Stew

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I’ve posted this recipe before, but since most of you probably haven’t found it out there in the VW archives, I thought it needed a second take here for Family Recipe Fridays. With the nippy weather this week, I’m definitely itching to make stews and soups.

This is our very favorite beef stew in the whole world. The first time I made it, scoured from the pages of my Stuffed Cougar cookbook, Mr. V declared it was “better than his mama’s.” Have you ever met a Southern man? THAT IS THE ULTIMATE COMPLIMENT!

The simple ingredients meld together for ultimate yumminess. Try it! I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. And let me know if you do!

Also, my friend Meredith made this after I posted the recipe originally. She subbed tomato juice for the wine and she said it was still great. A little mix of red wine vinegar and beef broth would also work.

Beef Stew (Slow Cooker or Oven)

Yield: 4-6 servings

Beef Stew (Slow Cooker or Oven)

Adapted from The Stuffed Cougar cookbook


  • 1 lb. stew beef, cut into small pieces
  • 4 potatoes
  • 4 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (11 oz.) condensed cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 c. red wine
  • salt and pepper


Peel potatoes (if needed) and dice potatoes, carrots, and onions. Mix all ingredients together. Either cook in a slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours or in a 300 degree oven for 4 hours.

(In more more grown-up cooking days, I sometimes sear the beef in oil quickly, but it's not necessary.)

Serve with a crusty bread, homemade biscuits, or grilled cheese. Be all warm and tingly inside.


Family Recipe Fridays: Tater Tot Casserole

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Tater Tot Casserole

A week or two ago, I asked my mom what recipes I could use for my Friday posts. She is so, 100% NOT a recipe person. She made stuff up, or used a recipe once and then improvised the second time around.

I could remember several recipes she made I didn’t like: bean soup, lima bean casserole, and this tater tot casserole. We laughed over the idea of me using the tater tot casserole as a Family Recipe Fridays post. And now here it is.

It’s not that I don’t like it, exactly. It’s just not what I would prefer for dinner. But my dad and sister love it. It’s like junk food without going through the McDonald’s drive-thru. I remember one time my mom was out of town, and I went to our house and made this for my dad and Ashley. You would have thought I’d hung the stars. They were ecstatic.

At the beginning of my pregnancy with Libbie, I could not even THINK about chicken without getting sick. I think it all started with the chicken salad fiasco and went downhill from there. I didn’t eat chicken again until I was at least 16 weeks pregnant. So during that time, I pretty much ate beef. And one night, out of blue, I decided the only thing I could stomach was Tater Tot Casserole. Pregnancy will do that to you.

All the taste of a Sonic cheeseburger and tots without having to sit and wait there … but without the goodness of a cherry limeade. I suppose you could make your own of that, too! (Another major pregnancy craving of mine.)

Tater Tot Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 generous servings

Tater Tot Casserole

Forget fast food - make your own junk food at home with this traditional, simple, tater tot casserole.


  • about 1 1/4 lbs. ground beef
  • 29 oz. canned green beans, drained
  • 10.75 oz. can condensed Cheddar cheese soup
  • about 2 c. frozen tater tots


Preheat oven to 350.

Grease a 9x13 casserole dish. Press the (raw) ground beef into the bottom of the dish into an even layer. Spread green beans over the top of the beef. Drizzle with condensed cheese soup. Spread tater tots on the top of the casserole in an even layer. You want to cover all the space without overlapping.

Bake 50-60 minutes, until the beef is all cooked through.

Added to Ingredient Spotlight at Finding Joy in My Kitchen


Family Recipe Fridays: Cabbage Rolls a la Donna

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Did I ever tell you about the time my grandpa called me and my sister “study German girls”? He thought it was a compliment.

I have German ancestry on both sides (my maiden name and my mom’s are VERY German). Maybe that is why I like this dish so much. It reminds me of my childhood.

Unfortunately, when I try to weasel a recipe out of my mom, she always tells me she doesn’t have a recipe. She throws in some of this, some of that, and cooks it for awhile. Hm. Which is why I had to try to make her potato soup for three years before I got it right.

So when she was here last week, we made this together and I came up with measurements so that there is now an actual recipe! I hope Libbie will like cabbage and sauerkraut so I’ll have someone to share this with—Mr. V ate the insides of one roll and some mashed potatoes.

Cabbage Rolls a la Donna


  • 1.25 lb. ground beef
  • 1 head cabbage
  • 3/4 c. instant rice (white or brown works)
  • 1 T. dried minced onion
  • pepper
  • 1 15-oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 27-oz can sauerkraut
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar


Freeze the head of cabbage overnight; let thaw in the fridge the next day until dinner.

Core the cabbage from the bottom (you don’t want to cut into the leaves, just cut a circle around it and yank it out from the bottom). Remove cabbage leaves one by one; cut off the very thick part (vein) of the leaves.

Combine ground beef, rice, dried onion, and black pepper. Form into 2-inch balls. Wrap each ball in a cabbage leaf. Place one layer of cabbage rolls in the bottom of a Dutch oven or deep casserole dish. Pour half of the tomato sauce and half the can of sauerkraut over the rolls. Sprinkle with brown sugar. Repeat layers once more. If desired, cut up the rest of the cabbage and add to the top. Pour 1 cup of water over it all.

Cover and cook for 1 1/2 hours at 350, or until the beef is cooked through.

Family Recipe Friday posts:

Divine Chicken Divan (OhAmanda)
MaMaw’s Chocolate Layer Cake (It’s Come to This)
Mrs. Compton’s Rolls (The MawMaw)
Cheesy Chicken (Giving Up On Perfect)
Homemade Milky Way Ice Cream (Rebekah’s Bits and Pieces)
Chocolate Cherry Cake (Cook with Sara)
Swirled Peanut Butter Bars (Musings of a Housewife)
Orzo with Spinach and Tomato (Hope Does Not Disappoint)
Oatmeal Muffins (PhotoGrove)

Also linking this up with Your Life, Your Blog at Sarah in Real Life. Go, add a link, free publicity and get to see some other great blog posts from the past week!

Family Recipe Fridays: Mom’s Enchiladas

This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my Disclosure statement for more details.

I cook a lot of recipes. Cooking Light, Southern Living, and recipes saved in my Google Reader are my go-tos for recipes on any given night.

But I also have a treasure of family recipes—my family, Mr. V’s family, close friends’ families. These are recipes I come back to again and again, because they are not only tasty but also sentimental.

When we were engaged, Mr. V’s mom gave us a small 3-ringed book, filled with pages on which you can write your own recipes. The green (YES GREEN. Mr. V thinks it’s blue, but he’s obviously blind) book is tattered, stained, and was obviously chewed on by our dog, but there’s no way I would let it go.

I remember spending nearly a whole day at their house, going through my MIL’s own stash of recipes and copying down the ones Mr. V insisted were keepers. I did the same at my home with the collection of church cookbooks and recipe cards my mom kept stashed in a cupboard above the microwave.

I thought it would be fun—now that I think I am at a place in my bloggy “career” where people might participate—to start a carnival where people share their family recipes. These are usually the BEST recipes because they are tried and true, perfected over time.

Here’s my first great recipe.

Mom’s Enchiladas

Mom’s Enchiladas


  • 1 lb. ground beef or cooked, shredded chicken
  • 1/2 c. diced onion
  • 8 6-inch flour tortillas
  • 8 oz. taco sauce or salsa
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 T butter
  • 4 T flour
  • 2 tsp. chicken bouillion
  • 1 1/3 c. water
  • 4 oz. diced green chiles
  • 2/3 c. sour cream


Cook beef and onion until meat is brown and onion is tender. (If using chicken, just saute onions then add in cooked chicken.) Drain fat. Divide meat into tortillas. Top meat in each tortilla with 1 oz. of taco sauce/salsa and 1 Tablespoon cheese. Roll the tortillas up and place them seam down in an oblong baking dish.

In saucepan, melt butter, then whisk in flour and bouillion. Stir in water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly, then stir in chiles. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Pour the sauce over the tortillas.

Cook at 350 for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and bake until melted, another 5 minutes or so.

In case you’re not familiar with carnivals, here’s what you do! Write a post on your blog about one of your family’s “hand-me-down” recipes. Link here to THAT POST, not to your main blog page (if you need help doing that, you can e-mail me). If you don’t have a blog, leave the recipe in the comments. Then we all visit each other’s blogs and see the wonderful, delicious recipes that we can make over the weekend.


WIN IT! [CONTEST OVER!] Everyone who links their post here or leaves a recipe in the comments will be eligible to win this Cath Kidston Recipe Organizer so you can have a place to write all your treasured recipes. If you Twitter about this carnival, you’ll get another entry (just leave a comment that you did). Same for Stumbling/Kirtsy-ing/Digg-ing this post. US and Canada only, please. (Please still link if you’re international, you just won’t be eligible to win.) I’ll pick a winner on Saturday.

Bon Appetit!

[since Mr. Linky went down after this post, I’m inserting the links myself.]

Mom’s Pasta Salad (Lattes and Life)
Cornbread Salad (The MawMaw)
Broccoli Casserole (It’s Come to This)
Chicken Lime Soup (Shannon)
Rainbow Slaw (The MawMaw)
Chicken Parmigiana (Once a Month Mom Tricia)