My friend, Lela, gave me an advance copy of her newest book Who Peed on My Yoga Mat?, and  I read the whole thing in one sitting! It’s a collection of essays about family and marriage from a perspective that only Lela can give.  This girl is funny, y’all.




If you read her first book, Blacklisted from the PTA, you already know she’s funny.  But do know why she got Blacklisted?  You have to read Who Peed on my Yoga Mat to find out.   And you’ll also find out who did, in fact, pee on her mat.  You’ll laugh.


Something Lela doesn’t talk about in her books is how she’s a great cook.  She makes jokes about it, but she really is!  Let me tell you a story about how Lela is funny in her real life, too.


If you have a mother in law, then you know that when she comes to visit, your house should be spotless and you should cook her a fancy dinner. Especially if your mother in law is sophisticated and an excellent cook herself.   Lela could have made some sort of elaborate dish for her mother in law’s visit.


But she didn’t.  She made the ubiquitous Taco Soup.  Every southern gal knows how to make it: dump in a bunch of cans of stuff, add some packages of spices, and cook it in the crockpot.  You pile fritos and cheese on top and call it dinner.  I kind of like it, but it’s certainly not a mother in law dinner.  But that’s just what Lela did.  And then she sat back and watched the reaction.  Can you even imagine?  It’s funny.


Here’s the recipe for Taco Soup I’ve had for 15 years.  While it does require a sturdy can opener, it’s a kid-friendly meal that might make your mother in law smile awkwardly and struggle for a compliment for her daughter in law.


Taco Soup


(all cans are the regular 15 oz. size)


1 pound ground all white meat turkey (original recipe calls for ground beef)
1 can pinto beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can tomato sauce
1 cup frozen corn
1 package taco seasoning mix
1 package ranch salad dressing mix
1 cup water
Fritos, salsa, grated cheese, avocado, sour cream, green onions, cilantro for serving.


Add the raw ground turkey (or beef) to the slow cooker.  Sprinkle with taco seasoning and ranch dressing mix.  Rinse and drain the beans and add to the slow cooker.  Add the tomatoes, Rotel, tomato sauce, corn, and water.  Stir.


Cook on low for 8 hours.  Serve with salsa, Fritos, grated cheese, avocados, sour cream, cilantro, and green onions.