Somehow, when the genes were being passed out, I got passed over. At least, in the kitchen prowess department. Now, my Mom is a terrific cook…she loves new recipes, and she loves feeding her family. We love it when she calls us over to eat. Joy is also a great cook. She does ‘from scratch’ cooking like Mom. She makes her own egg rolls, for goodness sake! But, the thought of chopping veggies and onions, cutting meat into little pieces, smashing garlic, etc. has about as much appeal to me as sitting in the dentist’s chair for a root canal. I can do it, and have. But my motto is FROM THE CAN TO THE PAN TO THE MAN! When I told my Granny Merritt that many years ago, she laughed so hard…and said, “You’re a smart girl!” And then she had me write in down for her because she couldn’t remember it. When she died several years ago, that old piece of paper was in a box of her papers. She obviously though it had merit. (Her last name was Merritt, by the way!:))

Anyway…here’s my recipe for TACO SOUP…

1 1/2 -2 pounds ground beef….brown and drain
1 onion…chopped (or onion flakes…or you can buy frozen chopped onions)
1 package taco seasoning
1 package dry ranch dressing mix
1 can pinto not drain
1 can black beans…do not drain
1 can whole corn…do not drain
1 can Ro-tel tomatoes…do not drain
2 cans stewed tomatoes…do not drain
Here, my recipe says: add the dry mixes to the browned ground beef…mix.
Add the beans and vegetables…mix
Heat to simmer for 35-45 minutes.
Now…Tonja’s version…
I put it all into my crock pot and cook it on low until I get back to it. I have added kidney beans, too. But, we prefer the black beans and pinto beans. If there is room in the crock pot, I’ll add 2 cans of the beans…or corn..whatever I have on hand. This is better the second day…and the third, if it lasts that long! I serve it with grated cheddar cheese on top. You can also pour it over corn chips, if you like…we don’t like.

So…that’s it. It tastes like you spent way more time on it than you did…and there’s no reason to tell anyone any different…just hide all the cans!