I’m not a cook by nature, but I have picked up a couple of recipes along the way that are my go-to when it comes to East Tennessee’s amazing fall weather. Like so many folks in our area, I love fall. Cool weather, cozy clothes, and so many delicious snacks!
As soon as the temperature starts to drop I get excited to break out my “must make” recipes and get to work.
Taco Soup (serves 6-8)
This staple works well in the crock pot or stove top.
- 1 lb. of hamburger [I prefer to use ground turkey]
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning
- ½ cup of taco sauce
- 2 cans of diced tomatoes [I have recently discovered “fire roasted” – great if you like an extra kick!]
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 can of tomato sauce
- 1 ½ – 2 cups of tomato juice
- 1 small bag of frozen corn
- 1 packet of ranch seasoning mix
- Optional toppings: avocado, sour cream, shredded cheese, tortilla chips/strips
Instructions for Crock Pot:
- Brown meat, diced onion, and taco seasoning over medium heat.
- Drain and transfer to slow cooker.
- Add remaining ingredients except frozen corn. Stir to combine ingredients.
- Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- Add the frozen corn in the last 45-60 minutes of cooking. Add extra tomato juice if the soup is too thick for your liking.
I also learned recently (through successful trial and error) that this recipe can be made in an Instant Pot, if you’ve got one on hand…and it only takes 5 MINUTES plus prep time!
Instructions for Instant Pot:
- Sauté onion and meat in oil (drain if needed).
- Add remaining ingredients (including corn) and stir.
- Close and lock lid, turn vent to seal.
- Click cancel, then cook on Manual for 5 minutes.
- Do quick or natural release.
- Serve with optional toppings above.
My next recipe was actually stolen from my mother-in-law!
Homemade Chex Mix
Be sure to make this one in the oven.
- 2 cups of Corn Chex
- 2 cups of Rice Chex
- 2 cups of Crispix
- 1 cup of mixed nuts
- 1 cup of pretzel rods
- 6 tablespoons of butter or margarine
Homemade seasoning mix:
- 2 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 1 ½ teaspoons of seasoned salt
- ¾ teaspoons of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of onion powder
- Preheat oven to 250F degrees.
- In large roasting pan: mix cereals, nuts, and pretzels – set aside.
- In small microwaveable bowl, microwave butter uncovered on high about 40 seconds or until melted.
- Stir in seasonings.
- Pour over cereal mixture, stir until evenly coated.
- Place in oven and “toast” for approximately 50 minutes.
- Cool on paper towels and store in airtight containers.