Tasty Thursday (instead of Tuesday ;-): Taco Bars

Here’s a recipe that I found on the internet a long time ago. I made it for dinner tonight, and the boys loved it.

Taco Bars


1 pound ground beef

1 package taco seasoning

2 tubes crescent rolls

1 cup sour cream

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1/2 cup salsa


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.


Brown ground beef; drain fat; add taco seasoning and prepare meat according to taco seasoning instructions.


Unroll one tube of crescent rolls, and place on bottom of 9×13 pan. Press seams together, and spread to cover the pan.


Bake in 375 degree oven until rolls just start to brown, about 6 minutes.


Cover pre-baked crescent rolls with beef, spread sour cream over the beef, top with salsa and cheese. Unroll second tube of crescent rolls, and place on top.


Bake for 20-25 minutes. Let set for 10 minutes before serving.

Tasty Tuesdays: Skillet Beef and Noodles with Sour Cream

This recipe is a huge hit at dinner time. It’s an easy skillet dinner, which is done within 40 minutes, and is so delicious. We never have leftovers when we have this for dinner. I don’t add the mushrooms with this recipe, but you can add them if you like.

Skillet Beef and Noodles with Sour Cream

2 tablespoons butter

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup finely chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 beef bouillon cubes or equivalent base or granules

1 cup water

2 cups uncooked wide noodles

salt and papper

dairy sour cream


beef broth (as needed for last part of cooking)


In skillet, melt butter. Saute’ onion and garlic until onion is translucent.  Add ground beef and brown until done. Drain fat. Add wine, lemon juice, bouillon cubes, and water. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Add noodles, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes, or until noodles are tender. Check occasionally, and add beef broth if necessary. Season with salt and pepper; stir in sour cream and heat through. Sprinkle with paprika.

Serves 4.

Tasty Tuesdays: Eggless Chocolate Cake

I got this off the back of a King Arthur Flour bag years ago. This cake is a family favorite, and it is quick to make. I love that I can make it any time since it doesn’t require eggs. If you have egg allergies, or someone is trying to reduce their cholesterol, then this is the recipe for you!

Eggless Chocolate Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Then in a 9 x 9 cake pan, measure and blend thoroughly with a fork:

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (I use unbleached flour- the results are better)
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

Next, make three indentations in the dry ingredients with your fork.
Into the first, pour 6 tablespoons vegetable oil;
Into the second, pour 1 tablespoon vinegar;
Into the third, pour 1 teaspoon vanilla

Then, over all ingredients, pour 1 cup cold water or strong, cold coffee. Stir with a fork (or wisk) until evenly blended. Make sure the corners are mixed well so you don’t get dry spots.

Last, bake for 35 to 40 minutes. Insert toothpick in center to check for doneness. If it comes out clean, cake is done.

Serve alone, or with whipped cream, ice cream, your favorite frosting, or your favorite topping!


Tasty Tuesdays: Hot Cocoa Mix

Here at The BearTwinsMom’s Den, I’m going to start a new thing for Tuesdays- a running feature for Tuesdays called “Tasty Tuesdays” where I’ll post recipes or food reviews- anything food related you’ll see here on Tuesdays.

For the first Tasty Tuesday, I’m posting my favorite Hot Cocoa Mix recipe. This recipe makes a HUGE amount, so you can make it into pint jars to give as gifts. I can usually get about 11 pints out of this recipe.

Hot Cocoa Mix

10.5 cups non-fat dry milk

4 cups powdered sugar

2- 8oz.  French vanilla flavored non dairy coffee creamer

Large container of Nesquick

1.5 cups non-dairy coffee creamer

.5 teaspoon salt

Whisk everything in a LARGE bowl. Make sure it is well incorporated. Pour into gift jars of your choosing.

Directions for gift tags: Hot Cocoa Mix- Mix 3 tablespoons of hot cocoa mix with hot water.

Hope you enjoy! Merry Christmas!!

Rants, rememberances, and a recipe


→Well, we’ve had quite a historic week in the US, haven’t we? Even though I prayed hard, went to the voting booth, and talked to many people about why we should vote for John McCain and Sarah Palin, my hopes for a McCain/Palin win were dashed at around 11:00pm that fateful Tuesday, November 4th night. Honestly, I was sick to my stomach when the electoral college projections were coming in on CNN. I was almost in tears when I was watching John McCain’s eloquent concession speech. I wanted to throw heavy objects at the TV when Obama was making his victory speech.

Then, something happened overnight. I looked at things with tired eyes, but tried to see things with a little bit of an optimistic view. I looked at the crowds’ faces during the victory speech, and started to feel… a surge of pride.

We actually made history during this election. I’ve never seen such a turnout of support for a candidate. I truly hope that fences can be mended, and we can work together to make this nation great once again.

→ I’m tired of being tired all the time. The medicines that I’m taking are making my blood pressure go higher than my normal ranges. I wake up wobbly and shaking. Sometimes, my hands go tingly and it feels like little needles are pricking my hands. I called my primary care PA-C and she said I had to go to the ER to get checked out. So, I spent about 2 hours on Election Night at the ER hooked up to wires. The attending doc said that even though my BP was what I considered high, it was within normal ranges at that time (136/84). I was sent home with the directive of taking my BP every day, and cutting down my Cymbalta down from 90mg to 60mg.

I’ve called my nurse practitioner psychiatrist, who is the one who prescribed the Cymbalta, and she left me a voice mail saying “Well, I think I’m going to defer to your primary care person.” ACK- Aren’t you the one who prescribed me this medicine and aren’t you the one who’s monitoring me on all these meds??  I’m on Cymbalta, Topamax, and Ambien CR (stopped taking the Ambien CR because I can’t afford the co-payment. Adjusting to sleep  w/o medicine assistance has been a nightmare.)

So, I’ll be back to playing phone tag tomorrow with my nurse practitioner to find out exactly what I need to do. The thing that bugs me the most is that my primary care PA is local; my nurse practitioner psychiatrist is over an HOUR’S drive away. I go to the nurse practitioner for a 20 minute consult, then drive back another over HOUR drive.  It bothers me because I feel like I’m driving so much and wasting so much gas for a lousy 20 minute appointment.

→Now before anyone jumps all over me on this, let me preface with me saying that I LOVE my sons more than I love myself. What bothers me many times is their behavior, and how blase’ they can be about how their actions affect others (okay, how their actions affect me.) Lately, my patience has been tested, put through the fire and back again with my son Casey’s behavior. I love my son, but sometimes I hate autism. There. I said it. I hate how autism just has grabbed a chokehold on our lives and has dictated so much of what happens- all of my son’s extracurricular activities are THERAPY for crying out loud. I wish I could sign him up for something fun. Hell, I wish I could sign myself up for something fun.


→Everyone- please remember our veterans on November 11th. They have done so much for our countries. Freedom isn’t free.

→ One year ago on November 7th, I had my total abdominal hysterectomy. I think that’s when my downward spiral started. Damn hormones and brain chemistry. Do you think I should start looking into getting evaluated at Mayo Clinic to find out what the hell is going on with me?


I’ve been having a huge baking rush this week. The boys had a Harvest Party at school on Friday (their school doesn’t celebrate Halloween.) I made these muffins, and Casey’s teacher just raved about them! I’ve also been talking about them on Twitter (hi to anyone who is here from my Twitter page!), and I promised to post the recipe. So, here is my own twist on a seasonal favorite.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins

3/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup oil

2 eggs

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

3/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease and flour muffin pan or use paper liners.

Beat sugar, oil, and eggs together in a bowl until frothy. Add pumpkin and water; beat some more until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.

Add wet mixture to dry mixture. DO NOT OVERMIX or you will have tough, dry muffins. Add chocolate chips.

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full with batter.

Bake muffins for 20-25 minutes.


If you try this recipe, let me know what you think!

Yes, this blog post was a little longer than my usual ones, but it’s been a while, and I still have a lot to unload.