Friday, December 2, 2016

Easy Crockpot Potato Soup

1 30oz. bag of frozen diced hash browns
1 32 oz box of chicken broth
1 can of cream of chicken soup (10 oz)
1 pkg. cream cheese (8 oz, not fat free)
3 oz bacon bits 
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese 
salt and pepper to taste 

Put the hash browns in the crockpot.  Add in the chicken broth, cream of chicken soup and half of the bacon bits.  Add a pinch of salt and pepper.  
Cook on low for 7-8 hours or until potatoes are tender.  
An hour before serving, cut the cream cheese into small cubes.  Place the cubes in the crock pot.  Mix a few times throughout the hour before serving.  
 Once the cream cheese is completely mixed in, it's ready to serve.  
Top with cheddar cheese and some additional bacon bits.  

**** I've used both frozen shredded and diced hashbrowns.  Both worked the same.  Instead of bacon, I use cubed ham.  And don't use fat free cream cheese.  I know it's tempting so to make it less fattening but it doesn't mix well.  I tried it and it stayed clumpy in the soup.  I also add velveeta cheese to taste to help make it creamier.  And I don't a blended cheese such as casserole blend or Monterey jack.  Cheddar can be a little greasy.  It usually takes less than 7-8 hours.  Just keep checking to see how tender the potatoes are to your liking.

All 3 of my boys love this soup.  So when it's a winner for all 3, it's a keeper. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Devil Dogs

For the cakes:

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

For the filling:

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 
  • 3 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1 cup marshmallow fluff  (marshmallow crème)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats.

Step 2:

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt. Set to the side for the moment.

Step 3:

In a bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 minutes on high speed.

Step 4:

Pause mixing, and add the egg. Mix briefly on low speed, until combined.

Step 5:

Pause mixing, and add the milk and vanilla. Mix on low speed until everything is combined. The mixture can look a little curdled — this is OK.

Step 6:

Add the dry mixture to the wet in two to three additions, pausing the mixer and scraping down the sides of the bowl with each addition. Mix until the batter comes together into a smooth, lump-free mixture but don't mix longer than needed. 

Step 7:

Using a spoon, spread the batter into fingers on the prepared sheets, about 4 inches long by 1 inch wide. Leave space around each mound of batter to allow for some spreading. I found that 8 portions of batter fit comfortably per sheet, making for a total of 24. 

Step 8:

Bake for 5-8 minutes, or until matte on top. If you lightly touch one of the cakes, it should spring back.

Step 9:

Remove, and let cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely. Once cool, match them up so that you create pairs of the most similarly sized cakes.

Step 10:

When the cakes are cooled, make the filling. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter until nice and smooth. Add the confectioners' sugar, one cup at a time, mixing on low to prevent a snowstorm. Once you've added all of the confectioners' sugar, add the marshmallow fluff and vanilla. Mix on high speed until fluffy and spreadable. If you prefer it firmer, add some more confectioners' sugar. If it is too thick, add milk, one teaspoon at a time, until it reaches your desired consistency.

Step 11:

Once the frosting is made, turn one of each paired cake upside down. Spoon a healthy dollop of frosting on top, and then gently place the second cake on top. Your devil dogs are ready to be consumed. 

****These are very similar to whoopie pies but with a much sweeter filling.  I think the name Devil Dogs comes from an actual snack sold in stores called Devil Dogs but I'm not sure. 

We loved these.  The less sweet, devil foods cake type cookie pairs well with the sweet crème filling giving this treat a perfect balance. 

I found this recipe on Pinterest but it was pinned from

Friday, October 28, 2016

Slow Cooker Crack Chicken

2 lbs boneless chicken breasts

2 (8 oz) blocks cream cheese

2 (1 oz) packets dry Ranch seasoning

8 oz bacon, cooked crisply and crumbled (do not substitute bacon bits or pre-cooked bacon)

In a slow cooker, combine place chicken, cream cheese, and Ranch seasoning.

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 4 hours, until chicken shreds easily.

Once chicken shreds stir with a large fork or spoon, so the chicken shreds and all the ingredients combine.

Add in crumbled bacon and stir to incorporate.

Serve warm on hamburger or hoagie buns.

****Crack chicken means it's addictive.  And, yes, my family loved it.  It's a great recipe for football Saturdays, feeding large groups and easy cooking nights. 

Monday, August 29, 2016

Cinnamon Bun Cake

3 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1 tablespoon cinnamon

2 cups icing sugar
5 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350F. Prepare a 9 x 13 baking pan (buttered).

Mix all of the base ingredients together, with the exception of the butter.  Add the melted butter last, and then pour into your prepared pan,

Mix all of the topping ingredients together in a separate bowl.  Mix well.  Drop by teaspoonful over the base, as evenly as you can over the entire base.  Take a butter knife and swirl the topping into the base.  Pop into the oven and bake for 28-30 minutes.

While the cake is baking, prepare the glaze and set aside.

Remove from oven and glaze the cake while still warm.

 This cake is so very rich and buttery and is melt-in-your-mouth heavenly.  It's great for breakfast occasions and holiday fare. 

**I cannot take credit for creating this recipe. I found it on Pinterest so the source is unknown to me. 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad

Sweet and juicy watermelon pairs beautifully with salty feta cheese! Blueberries add an extra bite of sweetness and a pop of color. Drizzle the whole thing with honey lime vinaigrette and enjoy your refreshing Watermelon, Blueberry and Feta Salad!

Serves: 6-8
  • 6 c. cubed watermelon
  • 2 c. fresh blueberries
  • 1 c. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 2 T. fresh mint, or basil, chiffonade
  • 2 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 T. honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Add cubed watermelon, blueberries, feta, and mint (or basil) to a large bowl.
  2. In a separate small bowl, add lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper. Whisk until blended. Add more salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Just before serving toss fruit and cheese together. Drizzle with dressing and toss again to coat fruit with dressing. Serve immediately.

My parents' neighbors have several blueberry bushes that produce an abundant amount of blueberries every summer.  They are so gracious to allow my parents to pick any amount of blueberries they like.  So each summer, we are looking for delicious blueberry recipes.  I came across the above on Pinterest.  While I wouldn't consider this a most fabulous, must have at every meal, it's tasty enough to enjoy the blueberries in salad as a healthy alternative of something to eat. 

(I do not take credit for the picture.) You can find the recipe here

Thursday, September 24, 2015

All Purpose Marinade

1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
1/3 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder
3 tbsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tsp white pepper
1 t. red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced

Mix all ingredients together and pour over your choice of meat or veggies.  Marinate desired time...longer marinating for more taste.

**** I like this marinade because it's so versatile.  I use for on our pork, chicken, steaks and veggies.  When I make it for our meat, I'll make enough to pour over our veggies such as squash, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, mushrooms, etc.  This is marinade is great for grilling the veggies.   

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


4 rounded tbsp of cocoa
2/3 c + 2 tsp shortening
2 c sugar...
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 c four (all purpose)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 c (or less) pecans, optional

Preheat oven to 350. Grease baking pan.

Melt cocoa and shortening in a large sauce pan over low heat.

Remove from heat.

Mix in sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Stir in remaining ingredients.

Spread in pan.

Bake for 30 minutes (it took longer for us, approx. 45 min.) When done baking, cut in squares while still hot.

Some of you may not know, but I homeschool our boys.  We are going on our 2nd year.  The math curriculum that we use incorporates a few hands-on projects to help reinforce the math lessons and concepts we learned from the unit.  The unit we just completed had lessons that included learning measurements.  So in order to reinforce some of those concepts, this unit's project was to cook brownies using the recipe they gave.  How lucky for us to have an excuse to try a new recipe of brownies. 

These were delicious!  I think they are some of the best brownies I have eaten in regards to a basic brownie. 

The project was fun including my boys in the process and watching them use the math concepts they have learned. 

This recipe was in our math book but it is from Montezuma Mennonite Cookbook...Montezuma, GA.