In anticipation of Cinco de Mayo parties…

I made these cute, little bite-sized tacos awhile back for a Boy Scout event, and will be making them again tomorrow for a party. They’re super-easy! Make lots — they go fast. Note: I advise setting out the condiments and letting people choose their toppings. I, for example, like mine with a jalapeno!

Cute AND tasty!

1 pound lean ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
Tostitos Scoops

Optional Taco Condiments
shredded cheese
shredded lettuce
sour cream
hot sauce

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef.
2. Add in ground beef and cook until browned and thoroughly cooked.
3. Add taco seasoning and follow package directions.
4. Assemble the meat and condiments into the scoops. Top with cheese and bake until melted.

Arkie Mama: A Christmas gift for my in-laws

Several years ago, my mother-in-law gave everyone a binder full of her most-loved recipes for Christmas. I don’t know about everyone else, but mine has been used a lot. And it’s showing the wear and tear.

My mother-in-law passed away last February. This will be a difficult Christmas for her large family.

So I decided to get creative and put together a sturdier cookbook filled with photos from past and present. I’m planning to give them to my father-in-law, Hubs, two brothers-in-law, my stepdaughter and one of her cousins.

Take a look at it and tell me what you think. I’m this close to putting in my order.

Go here. Then scroll to the bottom until you get to My Photobooks.

Here are a few of my favorite photos in it.

Mammaw shopping with her mother

Mammaw shopping with her mother

Newly married

Newly married



Arkie Mama: For Thanksgiving, I made two casseroles, one dessert and broke a toe

Remember my post about my brother-in-law’s wife, Perfect Linda and how this was going to be my big year?

I had everything planned: my contributions to the dinner, my outfit and my children’s outfits. I imagined sweeping into Perfect Linda’s house, attired in my new sweater dress, carrying my food offerings and wearing a serene smile.

Instead, Hubs had to carry the food while I limped and hobbled along behind him.

So much for my moment of glory.

That afternoon, after whipping up a very pretty banana pudding, I somehow managed to stub the two last toes on my left foot. Trying to preserve at least a shred of dignity, I pulled myself up and hobbled into my father-in-law’s guest bedroom, where Hubs found me cussing a blue streak.

Putting on my tights and boots? AGONY. But I hadn’t brought anything else to wear to dinner.

By the time we drove the 3 1/2 hours home, my toes sported shades of blue and purple.

I’m quite certain the next-to-last toe is broken. Being a klutz, I’m no stranger to broken toes, sadly.

But while my grand entrance was marred, I did manage to get a few raves about my dishes.

My husband’s collage-age niece dashed into Perfect Linda’s kitchen, telling everyone how she couldn’t wait to load up on my banana pudding. And my brother-in-law praised my corn casserole.

So I’m declaring a victory this year, even though I had to cripple myself to pull it off!

Arkie Mama: Mammaw’s Chicken Spaghetti

Chicken spaghetti is the king of comfort casseroles. I’ve sampled many versions of this dish, but none could compete with my mother-in-law’s.

A little pile of heaven.

A little pile of heaven.

A few years ago, for Christmas, she gave everyone binders filled with her favorite recipes. At the front, she wrote this:

For 52 years, Mac and I have devoted ourselves to our children, our grandchildren and each other. These recipes have been collecting for all those 52 years — and are still being collected. The joy of cooking for my family has been one of my presents of love to them. My family and friends are my life, along with serving my Lord.

My mother-in law passed away last February after a lengthy struggle with cancer. During the last few months of her life, I spent a lot of time in her kitchen, cooking for family and the many friends who dropped in to visit her.

The weekend of her funeral, I made her chicken spaghetti. Even as I prepared it, several women dropped by, bearing — you guessed it! — chicken spaghetti. Mammaw would have found it funny, I’m sure. I sampled her friends’ various versions and they were delicious.

But not quite as good as Mammaw’s.

Mammaw’s Chicken Spaghetti


1 can Rotel

1 chicken, whole (I’ve cheated and used breasts!)

1 pound spaghetti noodles

1 small onion

1 medium bell pepper

1 can cream of mushroom soup

Several cups of chicken broth

2-3 celery stalks

Shredded cheddar


Boil chicken. If you’re using a whole one, remove the bones. Boil spaghetti in chicken broth. Meanwhile, saute onion, bell pepper and celery in oil & a small amount of broth. (I sometimes add a little minced garlic.) Mix veggies, cream soups, chicken and noodles in glass baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Casserole's divided due to Hubs hatred of onions.

Casserole's divided due to Hubs' hatred of onions.

Crossed-posted over at Will They Eat It?