Recipe For A Simple Life

Simplify your life, one day at a time

Taco Pizza

My friend, Justine, made this…

Justine’s Taco Pizza
Flour tortillas
meat, browned and taco seasoning added and prepared according to package
Taco toppings of choice (black olives, pico, shredded lettuce, sour cream, etc)
Preheat oven to 400*
Take two tortillas and fill with cheese like a quesadilla. This is the pizza crust. Then spread salsa/sauce on top. Sprinkle meat and cheese and put in the oven (I also added a layer of refried beans and meat on one) When the cheese has melted and tortillas slightly browned they are finished.
Serve with the taco toppings.
I think it’s a great idea to make these using small tortillas and each family member gets their own and made just the way they like it!
You will not regret trying this!!
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Crock Pot Beef & Broccoli

My friend, Katy, posted a picture of her dinner on Facebook.  So, I had to borrow it for here!  Especially since (1) My husband loves Chinese (2) This is a crockpot recipe!





1 lb. boneless beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips

1 cup beef consomme, Katy used beef bouillon

1/2 cup soy sauce, reduced sodium

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. sesame oil, Katy skipped this as she didn’t have any :o)

3 garlic cloves, minced, Katy replaced this with 1 Tbls Garlic powder 

2 Tbsp. cornstarch

2 Tbsp. water Fresh broccoli florets (as many as desired), Katy used frozen broccoli and it turned out just fine.

Hot cooked rice

Place beef in crock pot. In a small bowl, combine consomme, soy sauce, brown sugar, oil and garlic.  Pour over beef. Cover and cook on LOW for 6-8 hours. In a cup, stir cornstarch and water until smooth.  Add to crock pot.  Stir well to combine. Blanch broccoli florets and add to the crock pot.  Stir to combine. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes on HIGH or until thickened. Serve over hot, cooked rice.


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Crockpot Lasagna

This has to be one of the easiest lasagna recipes EVER.

Do everything you would normally do for your lasagna, except you don’t boil the noodles.

Spray or line your crockpot – just helps with cleanup.

Put a mixture of your spaghetti and browned ground beef/turkey in the crockpot.  Top with cheese of your choice – american makes it very creamy, but I do love mozzarella.

Place a layer of unboiled lasagna noodles on top of the mixture.

Put a layer of spaghetti/meat over the top of the noodles, top with your choice of cheese.

Repeat 3-5 times total, depending on how thick you like your lasagna, making sure your top layer is the spaghetti/meat mixture otherwise your noodles will brown and harden.  Cheese can again be sprinkled on the top.

I wouldn’t add too much cheese unless you like things really cheesy-  just put a little bit of cheese on each layer or put cheese on every other layer.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  I cooked it on high for about 2 hours, and 2 hours on low and it turned out fine 😀

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Corn Dog Muffins

My 3-year-old loves these and asked for these for every meal for days.

This is a simple recipe.

1 box Jiffy Corn Muffin Mix
2 hot dogs (I use turkey dogs)
Prepare the Jiffy mix according to the box, mix in chopped up hot dogs and bake per recipe on the box.

Optional – add a handful of cheddar cheese, shredded.

This makes about 6 large muffins. You can use your own recipe for corn bread muffins 😀

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Tator Tot Pizza Casserole

My friend, Dana, posted this recipe that she tried the other week.  I’m so going to try this with my family.  If you are vegetarian, just leave out the meat and I think you’ll still have a great meal.  Dana is a former co-worker of Carrie’s and a fellow Harley lover 😀

1lb. lean ground beef
1/4cup chopped onion
1(10 3/4-oz.) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1(8-oz.) can pizza sauce
2oz. sliced pepperoni
1/2cup chopped green bell pepper
4oz. (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1(16-oz.) pkg. frozen potato nuggets (about 3 1/2 cups)
Optional – I think any ingredient you would put on pizza would be a fantastic addition to this recipe – italian sausage, mushrooms, olives, chopped chicken, red peppers, jalapenos, etc.
Heat oven to 375°F. Spray 8-inch square (2-quart) glass baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. In large skillet, cook ground beef and onion over medium-high heat until beef is thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Drain.
Reduce heat to medium; stir in soup. Cook until mixture comes to a boil, stirring occasionally.
Spoon beef mixture into sprayed baking dish. Spoon pizza sauce evenly over top. Arrange pepperoni and bell pepper over sauce. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange potato nuggets over cheese. Cover with foil.
Bake at 375°F. for 30 minutes. Remove foil; bake an additional 15 to 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.
Plus, once you know that your family loves this recipe, the next time you make it, double the batch and put half of it in the freezer for a quick and easy meal when you’re running late in the future 😀  The dollar store has big aluminum disposable pans just for this.  Or if you don’t have a family to feed, use the original recipe amounts and split it into single/double servings and freeze the remainder.  Just remember to change the amount of time you cook it so you don’t burn it 😀
Go HERE to see the original recipe at
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Impossibly Easy Cheeseburger Pie

This is a favorite at Carrie’s house.

1 pound ground beef

1/2 t. salt

1 small onion, chopped – or 1/4 c. minced onion

1 c. shredded cheese

1/2 c. Bisquick

1 c. milk

2 eggs

1 c. veggies, corn works great

Grease 9 inch glass pie plate.  I use a 9 inch glass casserole dish.

Brown the beef and onion.  Stir in salt.  Spread on bottom of pie plate.  Top with veggies.

Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl and then pour mixture over beef.  Sometimes I toss an extra handful of shredded cheese on top.

Bake at 400* for about 25-30 minutes.

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Hiding Veggies – Onions

I’m really getting into hiding veggies in our food.  I know how great they are nutitionally.  So I decided to try one of the veggies I can’t personally stand 😀  Onions.  Ish.  The thought makes me cry lol

So I decided to chop up an onion and hide it in the ground beef along with the mushrooms.


I had about 10 pounds of ground beef to freeze.  So after I added the chopped onions and mushrooms, I decided to make burgers for dinner that night, and then make extra patties and freeze them for two dinners and the extra beef can be saved for meatloaf.




I bought freezer paper, cut them into squares and put patties in between them.  I had meant to add 2 eggs to the mixture before I formed the patties, but I forgot to.  They still turned out just fine, so I didn’t undo the freezer patties I formed.  I love burgers, but I hate forming them, so this was a great idea for me to freeze two different batches of patties for future meals.

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Hiding Veggies – Mushrooms

I know how nutritionally awesome mushrooms are. Has anyone done the research to figure out which mushrooms are the best to cook with?  I chatted with the produce manager at Hilltop Hy-Vee and learned that the darker the mushroom, the higher the vitamin content is.  So the brown portabellos are better than the white mushrooms.  But I know there are other types – shiitake, crimini, etc.

I chop up mushrooms, in this picture I used baby portabellos, and add them to ground beef. I fry up the mushrooms right along with ground beef. Then I put a pound of browned beef and mushrooms into freezer bags. Then it’s super easy to just grab one bag out of the freezer, add to spaghetti, tacos or chili.


I had three pounds of 93/7 ground beef that I split into two freezer bags of browned ground beef with mushrooms, and the other third I mixed with mushrooms, minced onion and an egg and put it in the ‘frig for a meatloaf dinner tomorrow 😀

What do you hide in your ground beef?

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Pizza Pasta

This is a favorite at our house!  It’s super easy and so versatile, you can accommadate any taste and customize it to your family’s tastebuds!

16oz Cooked Pasta – we love to use Rotini pasta, but anything will work, but I’d skip the spaghetti noodles

1 jar spaghetti sauce or pizza sauce

Toppings – Whatever you’d put on your pizza, put on this pasta!  Pepperoni, browned ground beef or sausage, ham and pineapple, green peppers, black olives, onions, etc.

Sprinkle with cheese.  I didn’t have mozzarella, so I used colby jack.

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Our family loves meatloaf, however, that takes too long.  So I use a muffin tin instead, and it cuts the time in half!

1 lb of ground beef or turkey, the leaner the better.

1 egg

Oatmeal.  I don’t measure, I use 1-2 handfuls, whatever I feel like 😀

1/4 c. minced onion.  You can use 1/2 c. freshly chopped onion, I just don’t like the crunch.

2 T. Worchestershire sauce

Mix all together.  Scoop into muffin pan that’s been sprayed with Pam, fill each spot about 3/4 full.  Bake at 350* for about 30 minutes.

Then, for fun, I’ll “frost” the meaffins with mashed potatoes and “sprinkle” them with mixed vegetables.

Hey, whatever it takes to get my kids to eat 😀

What kid friendly recipe is your go-to recipe?