Recipe roundup: taco soup, refried beans, chicken chili, green smoothies and choco/pb cookies

Before the baby came I was on a cooking rampage. (Post baby, not so much.) Here are a few notables in Jan/Feb that we loved to eat.

We made this taco soup and it was perfect. I found the blog through pintrest and it looks like it has some great go-to family recipes. Definitely doesn't trump my trusted and true Mel's Kitchen Cafe, but it looks promising. The soup was satisfying and a great base for mixing things up and adding or subtracting whatever you want. I made it meatless and added a can of rotel, doubled the diced tomatoes and didn't add the stewed tomatoes. I also used some Western Family brand taco mix that I saved from our Provo days, but I can't wait to make this using my fave taco mix--Trader Joe's. It's super powerful so you don't have to use a whole bag each time, and I think the mix is perfectly seasoned and spicy. Mmm.

I busted out the crockpot to make refried beans in the crockpot, using the same site as a reference point and they turned out SO good. I seem to have a thing for Mexican food as of late. I even made the chicken chili recipe from Our Best Bites earlier in the same week. Anyway, I modified their recipe by adding a whole jalepeno (de-seeded), and still using 9 cups of liquid but only 2 cups of that was chicken broth. We made bean and cheese burritos with the beans and they were so so good. I've made refried beans before, using the stovetop instead of the crockpot and both times they were just so much better than the canned stuff, I don't know why I even bother. Just make a big batch of this, use some, and freeze the rest for next time!

As of late I've been really into making smoothies for breakfast. I see "green smoothie" recipes floating all around Pinterest so I wanted to give them a try. I didn't want to use a recipe with an OJ base since I didn't feel like making any, so I used this Green Monster smoothie recipe. It was my first time making any sort of "green" smoothie (adding spinach) and with the addition of blueberries it didn't even turn the smoothie green! Either way it was delicious.

Also, the smoothie recipe makes 2 adult-sized smoothies, so Ryan and I ate them for lunch after church.

OH! And I made these awesome choco/pb/oatmeal cookies. Delicious. I haven't made cookies since we've been here in Boston (I know, I know, but I've made fudge and homemade hot chocolate, so that makes up for it kindof, right?!) and these were the perfect babes to start out with. I don't have a go-to recipe-there are just too many on Pintrest to distract me- but these may just become #1 (until another recipe gets my attention at least).

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