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After a busy holiday of cooking and baking, we look for easy but delicious meals. Baked Potato Soup, thick and hardy is good as a main meal or snack. All you need is a good thick slice of delicious bread. We love the Brioche loaf from the Publix bakery. Sliced thick, we butter and toast it in a skillet…This Spinach Casserole is a great little recipe when you need a side dish and it’s so easy to make!  I keep a 10-oz. box of frozen chopped spinach in the freezer, and always have some cream cheese in the fridge and cream soups in pantry.  Bon Appetite!!!

Baked Potato Soup

 

4 large baked potatoes

2/3 cup butter

2/3 cup flour

6 cups whole milk

2 green onions, cut in small slices

6 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (8-oz.), divided

8-oz. sour cream

Salt & pepper, to taste

6 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled for garnish

2 more green onions, sliced for garnish

 

Bake potatoes in 450 degree oven for 1 hr. or use left-over baked potatoes.

Cut potatoes in half and scoop out pulp.  Melt butter in a large heavy stockpot over low heat; add flour, stirring till smooth; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Gradually add milk, whisking till smooth, thickened and bubbly.  Add potato pulp, 2 of the green onions, chopped, 6 of the bacon slices crumbled and 1 cup of the cheese. Heat thoroughly on low; stir in sour cream and more milk, if desired for preferred thickness. Add salt & black pepper to taste. Garnish with other 2 green onions, chopped, other 6 slices bacon, crumbled, and more cheese.  Makes about 5, 2-cup servings.

 

Note: this soup thickens as it gets cool. When re-heating, you may want to add more milk.

To microwave potatoes, prick them several times with a fork. Set Microwave time to 5 minutes for each potato and cook on high.  Stop and turn them at the half way point.  Very large potatoes may take a little more time.  but they are done when the sides are soft to press. 

Spinach Casserole

 

10-oz. pkg. frozen chopped spinach

10.75-oz. can cream of celery soup (or cream of mushroom), undiluted

8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, cubed

3-oz. can French Fried Onions

15 Ritz crackers, crushed

 

Thaw spinach and cook according to package directions. Drain well or squeeze dry. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, combine the condensed soup, cubed cream cheese, stirring constantly until smooth. When completely melted and smooth, add the spinach, mixing well. Stir in the onions, mix well but do not beat. Pour into a greased 9-inch square casserole dish (1 qt. size) and top with the crushed Ritz crackers. Bake in preheated 375 degree oven for 20 minutes.    Makes about 6 servings.

 

Note: not good as a left-over because the onions and crackers tend to get soft overnight.

Keep a variety of “cream-of” soups in the pantry. There are so many good recipes that call for them. Watch the grocery sales. Often your favorite super market will have a “10 for $10” sale…or “buy one, get one free” special, great time to stock up!

Recipe Archives
 
January, 2014