Creamy Garlic Potato Soup

Did you know you can make the best soup ever in less than 30 minutes? I used to think it had to simmer all day like chili.  but this is  good right away. Be careful not to let it boil though, the milk will scald and instead of being  creamy, it will be grainy.

Start with a big soup pan. Put in 1 & 1/2 sticks butter. Then a bag of Ore Ida O'Brien potatoes. Now that the potatoes are frying, add a teaspoon or two of some Spice World roasted garlic, you can find it in a glass jar in the produce section. Now, add some  onion "shavings." 
**I hope you have Lipton Herb Garlic Soup Mix in your cupboard, and if you haven't, please see the following post. This mixture will  undoubtedly change your life. Yum.
Melt the butter and whisk in 2 cups of chicken broth and 1 packet of Lipton Herb Garlic Soup Mix. Then whisk 2 tablespoons of flour or corn starch into 1 cup of milk and add, Now add milk or half & half.

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Deep Dish Sausage Alfredo Pizza

This pizza is inspired by the white nachos that used to be an appetizer on Macaroni Grill's lunch menu in the mid-ninties. Sautee a diced red onion and some roasted garlic with a package of Johnsonville mild Italian Sausage. While that's happening, put a tube of Pillsbury French Bread in a bowl and add 1 package of Lipton Herb Garlic. Spread the dough out in a pizza pan, or a deep roaster as I used here.

 I cooked the dough for 5 minutes. Stir the sausage around, don't "brown" it, cook it well done and in tiny pieces. Now make your alfredo sauce. Take your dough out of the oven. The oven should be @400' For the alfredo, put 3 TBS real butter in a saucepan and then whisk in 3/4 Cup Kraft Parmesan Romano. As a side note, don't ever get the lame store brand parms. They aren't ever good. The fresh or shredded parm is not as good to make alfredo sauce because it will be all stringy instead of smooth.

 Okay, now add about 3 C Heavy Whipping Cream and whisk away until thick. Spread over dough. Add sausage then some Kraft four cheese Italian shredded is good. It now comes with "a hint of cream cheese." LOL Like that's necessary! I put some shredded cheddar on too. Bake it about 13 minutes. Oh and if this looks weird, I'm on my phone. Just make the pizza!

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Brad's Taco Tot Casserole

My brother Brad is still talking about this casserole, and I haven't made it for him since 1998. He's weird that way. Well, he's weird in every way really. He's very picky, so if he likes it, I'm sure anyone will!
1 pound lean Hamburger
1 pkt Taco Seasoning mix
1 Can Green Giant Mexicorn, drained
2 TBSP Butter
1 Can Nacho Cheese Soup
1 Bag Tater Tots

Heat oven to 375. Brown the ground beef and add the taco seasoning mix, and 1 Cup water.

Spoon meat mixture into (ungreased 2 qt) casserole. Sprinkle corn over meat mixture. Spread the soup over the corn.

Place tater tots in a single layer over soup. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned and the mixture is bubbly.
Top with sour cream if you want

Banana Toffee Sauce Pastries

You'll Need:

* 1 Package Pepperidge Farm Pastry Shells

* 1 Stick Real Butter

* 1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

* 1/2 tsp. Vanilla

* 3 TBSP. Heavy Whipping Cream

* 5-6 Ripe Bananas, thinly sliced

* Powdered sugar (optional, not needed)

Bake the pastry shells for 15 minutes at 400', cool.

Do this on a cookie sheet that's lightly greased.

While they are cooking, make the sauce.

Put the butter in a saucepan on medium heat.

Whisk in the brown sugar and vanilla.

Simmer carefully about 2 minutes.

Remove from heat, and whisk in the whipping cream.

Add banana slices.

If you want, you can sprinkle powdered sugar on top.

When the pastry puffs cool, remove the lids and fill with sauce. These are delicious warm, or, at room temperature.
Photo shown are banana pastries made with P. Farm pastry sheet instead of the puffs. The puffs are just easier and prettier!

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Cinnamon Rolls by Accident

Tonight I needed a snack. I was out of smarties and swedish fish. Frozen pepsi just wouldn't be enough tonight... I went to my cupboards (pathetically bare) and found cinnamon,powdered and regular sugar. I had some good french bread and some icy milk. I still wasn't too excited.

I knew I had real butter. But no eggs so no french toast sticks. So I put about 1 Cup of milk in a bowl with about 1/4 cup (yes lots) of cinnamon. Then, I put about 3 TBS of the real butter in a fry pan, dipped the bread, (3 pieces) in the milk & cinnamon. Then I fried it crispy and cut it into little pieces. Then I put some sugar and some powdered sugar in a Target bag and shook the bread pieces in the bag. When I dumped them out, I thought, "Hey... those look just like cinnamon rolls." and they taste like them too.
Hopefully, you'll never find yourself this desperate. But many a great idea has come from an act of desperation. I took photos but they're on my phone. I'll post them soon.

Hot Fudge Sauce

Pour over cake, icecream, or just your head ! This sauce is creamy, fast, and jar toppings don't even begin to compare.

In saucepan, MELT:

1/2 Stick butter
2 oz. German Chocolate Squares
1/4 oz. Unsweetened Chocolate Squares


1 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
1/2 Cup PLUS 1/3 Cup Evaporated Milk (NOT condensed!)
Bring to a slow boil/simmer for 8 minutes
Stay nearby, whisking, till creamy and thick
Remove from stove
Stir in 3/4 tsp vanilla

Parmesan Chicken Creme Over Wild Rice

OMG I love this!
I was addicted to this for almost two years. It was what I thought of every time I was hungry. It is easy, but tastes like it was hard to make.
Sometime earlier, bake 4 chicken breasts for 45-50 minutes at 350'
Cool and dice
Sautee' in lg. skillet in 4 TBSP butter:

Red Onion, Garlic, Celery and Red Pepper (all diced)
**You won't believe how good this smells already
Add: 1 Can Chicken Broth (8 oz)
2 Cups Heavy Cream
1- 8 0z. Philly Cream Cheese (softened)
2 Cups Parmesan Cheese
Mix well
Simmer this, for about 1/2 hour. If it gets to thick, add more cream
Spoon it over Uncle Bens Wild Rice

Yes, that's me making it

Texas Tater Casserole

Put a bag of thawed tater tots in a greased 9x13 glass casserole

In saucepan, melt:

1 Pint Half and Half
1/4 Lg Log Velveeta
1/2 Stick Butter
4 oz Cream Cheese
Whisk until smooth
Add 2 TBSP Chives
2 TBSP Minced Onion
2 tsp Garlic Powder
Pour over Tater Tots
Bake at 375' 60 minutes

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Stubby Roy's Chili Dog Sauce

Stubby Roy with his long suffering wife, Clara Berry

I named this chili dog sauce after one of our family dogs who lives with my daughter now, because for some reason, I know this would be one of his favorites. Stubby Roy is a very overweight dachshund , (alright, he's obese). He finds food no matter where you put it. Anyway, I miss him and here it is:

1 Pound Lean Ground Chuck
1 Small Onion
1 Garlic Clove
2 TBSP Oil
1/2 Cup Beef Broth
1 TBSP Kikkoman (tastes best) Soy Sauce
2 tsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Celery Salt
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
1/2 tsp Ginger

Sautee' onion and garlic in oil
Add beef, cook
Add spices, soy sauce and broth
Spoon onto any hotdog
Top with cheese
there is no way to describe these, so try them!

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Peanut Butter Cup Cookies

These turn out PERFECT every time I make them. It is worth the purchase of the mini muffin pan if you don't have one, you will make these many times.

What you'll need:

A mini muffin pan
Mini paper muffin cups
1- Cup Shortening
1- Cup Sugar
1- Cup Brown Sugar
1- tsp. vanilla
2- beaten eggs
1- Cup Peanut Butter
3- Cups flour
2- tsps. baking soda
1/8- tsp salt
72 small peanut butter cups

Mix well the shortening, sugars, vanilla and eggs.
Stir in peanut butter, then add flour, baking soda and salt a little at a time.
Mix well.
Line your muffin pan with paper mini muffin cups.
Form dough into small 1 inch balls and place in each cup.
Bake at 375' for 10-12 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Makes about 6 dozen.
Remove from oven and place one peanut butter cup into the center of each cookie.
I recommend removing the peanut butter cup wrappers ahead of time, and keep in the fridge so you're ready when they come out of the oven.

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Crockpot Italian Meatballs in Sauce

If you were about to skip this one because you think you can't make delicious meatballs, don't you dare. I was afraid to try to make them for years, because when I tried to brown them, they'd fall apart. Then I discovered broiling. These are SO EASY, and you can leave them simmering in the crock pot all day. Make the noodles of your choice right before you are ready to eat though.

You'll need:
a large cookie sheet covered in tinfoil
a large crock pot (You can simmer them in a large pot on the stove too)
2 pounds ground sirloin
1 lg. jar Ragu Sauce, or other spaghetti sauce
3 TBSP. roasted garlic
2 beaten eggs
1 cup Italian bread crumbs (found by the shake n' bake)
parmesan cheese (You can use Kraft or the shredded kind in a bag)

I wear plastic gloves when I do this. Who needs meat under their fingernails! (Plus, it's way easier to shape the meatballs)

Set your oven to 500', the BROIL setting.

Put Ragu sauce into your crock pot, set to low setting.

Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add hamburger, mix. Add garlic, mix. Then add the bread crumbs and about 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, mix well. Shape into little balls. Here's something important, don't have them too big. Also, make sure they are all about the same size. This doesn't take long! You'll get the hang of it right away.

Place the meatballs on your tinfoil lined cookie sheet, and broil for 10-12 minutes. Now it's safe to put them in your crock pot into your spaghetti sauce. I still know people who cook raw meat in their sauce. NEVER do that, it's so gross!

That's it! They can simmer all day in your crock pot, but if you're home, simmer them at least 2 hours in the sauce to enjoy the full flavor. Don't add your noodles or they will get starchy and big. Add them at the last 15 minutes or so, or you can ladle the sauce over your noodles.

*If you get the flat linguini noodles instead of regular spaghetti noodles, the sauce will stick instead of sliding off.

Chicken Asparagus Stuffing Bake

The first time I ever made this in 1995, it was so pretty that my daughter took a picture of it. I can't believe I found the picture, but here it is. Anyway, that was back when you took your film in to be developed, and when the ladies behind the counter gave me my pictures, they said "Oh, please tell us the recipe for whatever that is." This is seriously my number one casserole, and I have hundreds. It makes alot of dirty dishes too, and it's still worth it.

4 Cooked, Shredded Chicken Breasts
6 Hardboiled Sliced Eggs
1 Bunch Fresh Asparagus
1 Box Stovetop Herb Stuffing
1 Stick Butter
1 Small Red Onion
2 Cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese
1 Cream of Chicken Soup
1 (5 oz) Evaporated Milk
1 tsp Curry Powder
2 tsp Kikkoman Soy Sauce

Cook chicken 50 min. , shred
Boil eggs (16 minutes) peel and slice
Prepare stuffing
Steam asparagus 5 minutes

Now, make sauce:
Melt 1 stick butter in saucepan
Sautee' the chopped red onion in that
Add milk, soup, cheese, curry and soy sauce, then whisk until thick
Grease a large casserole dish
Layer chicken, egg slices, asparagus, then half the sauce
Repeat, then top with the prepared stuffing
Bake 30 minutes at 350'
There are so many delici
ous flavors going on in this!

Turkey Bacon Sandwiches With Parmesan Sauce

I just thought this one up a few days ago. It takes about 8 minutes or less to make these!

You'll need:

Oven or Mesquite Turkey (Hillshire Farm Deli Select is the best)

Texas Toast Bread

1 TBSP. (real) Butter

1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Real Bacon Bits (even better is real bacon)

1/2 Cup Heavy Cream

Put the bread on a foil lined cookie sheet

Top with turkey

Melt the butter in a saucepan

Whisk in the cream and parmesan cheese

Bubble till thick, about 2 minutes

Put sauce on top of turkey

Sprinkle bacon bits on top of sauce

Put under the broiler (500') until brown

It takes about 4-5 minutes

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Crockpot Peanut Chicken

1 Can Coco Casa Cream of Coconut

4-6 Boneless Chicken Breasts

1/2 Cup Brown Sugar

2 TBSP Kikkoman Soy Sauce

1/2 Cup Jif Crunchy Peanut Butter

2 Minced Garlic Cloves

A few Red Pepper Flakes

Bake your chicken breasts 30 minutes at 350' first

Whisk together the coconut cream with 1/2 Cup Water

Whisk in the peanut butter

Pour into greased slow cooker

Add Chicken, Brown Sugar, Soy Sauce and Garlic

If you want it a little spicy, add a few red pepper flakes

Cover and cook on low for 2-4 hours

Serve with fried rice

Smoked Ham and Egg Crockpot Sandwiches

6 Big Hoagie Buns, Cut in Half (12)

Hillshire Farms Deli Select Brown Sugar Baked Ham

8-10 Hardboiled Eggs, chopped

Miracle Whip

1 TBSP Liquid Smoke


Shred ham and mix with eggs, miracle whip and smoke flavor. Put in the bun halves, and wrap in foil. Put them in the crockpot on low for at least 2 hours.

Your family will want these every day! (as long as they like ham and eggs)

Gooey Butter Brickle Pie

Just invented at 4 a.m. Christmas morning. For the one person who may read this, Merry Christmas. This is the best pie I've ever made.

As always, use Pilllsbury Already Pie Crust. Brown 1 stick of real butter in a saucepan. This is important. Just don't burn it. Sizzle it on medium while you're shaking the pan around for a couple of minutes. Cool it while you mix:

1 C light Karo Corn Syrup,
3 Large Eggs,
1 Cup of Light Brown Sugar,
1 teaspoon of real French Vanilla Extract,
1/2 tsp. salt,
1/2 cup chopped pecans (a tiny bag) and
1/2 bag of Heath English Toffee Brickle Bits.

 Mix the browned butter with the filling, put in crust. Bake at 425' for 10 minutes. Then reduce oven to 325' and bake 40 minutes more.
 Ok I just ate my first piece while I post this from my phone. I have never eaten the crust on any pie before but for some reason, I did just now. I'm saying it: OMG.
 This pie deserves 2 pictures. Do the pics look gross or good? i can't really tell because while I'm eating it, I'm in a hypnotic trance of some kind. I'm scared I will eat another piece. It is truly just sickeningly good. I'm not guilty at all because I was really skinny this year! This pie will make you feel hugely fat, but so what, it's worth it. Let me know if you think so.

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My Six Favorite Potato Recipes

Quick Potato Soup

2 1/2 cups water
1 froz bag (28oz) O'Brien Potatoes
8 pieces crispy bacon
2 1/2 cups milk

Boil water
Add froz. potatoes
Simmer 15 minutes
Reduce heat & add milk and seasonings
*Don't ever let your soup boil after you add milk to it
If you have a chunk of Velveeta you should add that too.

Make Your Own Dry Potato Soup Mix
2 Cups Instant Potato Flakes
2 Cups Dry Powdered Milk
1 TBSP Chicken Bouillon
2 TBSP Dried Onion
1 small package Bacon Bits
Mix up and store in a plastic thing like Tupperware
Then, to make one bowl, you just mix 1/2 cup soup mix with 1 Cup boiling water.
*This recipe makes 7 bowls

At the risk of repeating myself, because this needs to be repeated, and you can't make the next recipe or many others without it. I implore (haha always wanted to use that word) you to get some! If they don't have it in your store, go to Amazon and buy a case of 12 boxes for $17. It will last you a year, and is  a small price to pay for something that will change your life and make everything you fix taste like you are a gourmet chef. It is one of my greatest discoveries, and has even been the reason for many of my recipes winning prizes! 

You add it to tuna as a seasoning, spaghetti sauce, pot roast, add it to softened butter and parm for the best garlic bread paste you will ever taste in your life. Then use that paste to broil a turkey sandwich on Texas Toast the next day. It's a must for all your soups and stews. Whisk it into melted butter and drizzle over your popcorn, put it in the crockpot with some frozen corn and Philly cream cheese, cut little pockets into your steaks and roasts before you cook them and fill the pockets with this. Put 1 pkt into a plastic bag with corn flake crumbs to make your own way better version of shake and bake for your chicken. You have to use it on your Thanksgiving turkey too. You will lay awake at night wondering..."How did I ever get along without this seasoning?" I know I do. Okay Potato Recipe #3:

Hot Garlic Bacon Potato Salad (Prize winner #1)
Boil 5-6 med. red or yellow potatoes

(late Saturday night LOL) But really, for this recipe you should boil the potatoes ahead of time and cool them in the fridge because then when you chop them they don't smoosh all up, you can make nice little pieces.
8 crispy bacon
1 small chopped sauteed red onion (do this while the potatoes are boiling)
2 tsp brown roasted garlic in a jar (from the produce section)
Natures Seasons this is the perfect seasoning. It's your salt, pepper, garlic and celery salt all rolled into one. Another "must have." (sick) 
Boil potatoes 25 minutes
Throw in 2 eggs to boil with the potatoes

Sprinkle bacon over the potatoes
In a large bowl, whisk together 1/2 of 1 pkt. of Lipton garlic herb seasoning
with 3-4 TBSP Miracle Whip (not too much, just to moisten it up)
add 2 TBSP heavy cream or half & half
Serve warm

*Fun Fact*
I HATE PICKLES. Their juice, the smell, the color, their appearance and texture sends me reeling. I'm even more repulsed by mustard, so I strictly forbid all of you from adding these 2 ingredients to any of my recipes. Okay thanks
Now, FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, I will now offer you, my (2) loyal followers, my prize winning

Baked Potato Salad Supreme
Preheat oven to 425'
Cool them in the fridge the chop them up

Now, make the sauce:
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 Cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
1 4oz Philly cream cheese, room temp.
2 TBSP dried onion flakes
2 TBSP Lipton herb garlic
8 slices crispy crumbled maple flavored bacon 
(or your own sugar plum bacon, 
and if you haven't checked that out yet, go now and make some!)

The sugar plum bacon might sound gross but I make it on Christmas morning and 4 packages of bacon isn't even enough, it's the kind of thing you think you won't like, but you can't stop yourself when you're eating it, trust me. (and I know you do) Because I would never suggest that you make anything with gross ingredients in it.
Oh the recipe was over with. You can chill it or eat it hot
Okay, now for 2 alternative side dishes, especially for Thanksgiving

You know how you never have room on Thanksgiving for both stuffing and potatoes, but you feel obligated to yourself to have both? Okay, this solves that.

Corn Bread Stuffing Potatoes
1 bag frozen hashbrowns (the country kind are good)
2 cups sour cream
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup dried onion
1 can cream of celery soup
1 box Peppridge Farm corbnbread stuffing & seasoning mix
1 cup grated swiss cheese

In a large bowl, mix everything except the stuffing
The melted butter and stuffing mix is to sprinkle on top
Spread the other stuff in a greased 9x13 glass casserole
Bake 350' 40 minutes
Garlic Chive Potato Casserole Prize winner #2

First, cook 2 pkgs of your fave kind of instant potatoes
When they are mashed potatoes, mix them in a large bowl with 
one container of Philly whipped cream cheese with chives
1 clove chopped garlic (or the jar kind)
1 1/2 cups chive chip dip
Then get out your hammer or just put on your plastic gloves and smash up some
flavored chips like 2-3 cups
Melt 2 TBSP butter
The butter and chips are for the top
Bake in 9x13 glass casserole for 1 hr. at 350'
I'm starving now, I haven't made these for 5 years because it's so hot
in Arizona you don't think to cook, it isn't like where I used to have seasons
that reminded you of cooking certain things.

BLT Appetizers

(without the "t")
1/2 Cup finely chopped Pecans, toasted
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
2 TBSP A-1 Sauce
1/2 Cup Mayonnaise
1 Cup Crispy Bacon Bit
Round Onion Crackers (the large fancy kind)
Spread on crackers and broil on high for 3-4 minutes till puffy.

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Nacho Dorito Crockpot Dip

This dip has been requested at every party I've ever had. I make this in a crock pot too. You don't have to, if you make it on the stove you just have to watch it more. It's just so much easier to put everything in the crock pot, and it can simmer on low, staying hot for your friends.

1 lb. cooked hamburger
1 lb. cooked Italian sausage (or a Jimmy Dean roll is good too)
1 Lg. Jar Cheez Whiz
Diced Green Onions
1 Lg. Can Tomato Juice
1 pkt. of taco or chili seasoning
Mix and simmer
Serve with tortilla chips or flavored Doritos

Cracker Barrel Hashbrown Casserole

If you live somewhere where they have Cracker Barrel restaurants, you will know how exciting it is to know how they make their hashbrown casserole. It is a well guarded secret, but I used to know someone on "the inside!"

1 (26 oz) Bag Frozen Country Style Hashbrowns
2 Cups Shredded Colby Cheese
1/2 Cup Minced Onion
1 Cup Milk
1/2 Cup Canned Beef Broth
2 TBSP Melted Butter, plus butter to grease your dish (another 2 TBSP)
2 tsp Garlic Powder

Preheat Oven to 425'
In large bowl, combine hashbrowns, cheese and onion
In smaller bowl, combine broth, milk, the melted butter and garlic powder
Pour over hashbrowns
Transfer to very buttery large casserole
Bake for 60 minutes at 425'

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go make something!

go make something!

and so do I!


i should have used already pie crust

i should have used already pie crust
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what would julie do?

what would julie do?

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