Best CREAM of Potato with Bacon and Ham Soup EVER!!!!!

It’s still snowy and kind of yucky out.  ALTHOUGH that winter storm they tried to call a weather state of emergency?  Yeah… NOT SO MUCH!  I swear, the weather people had us prepared for the storm of the century and although it WAS more snow than St. Louis is used to having (in these past few years), the temperature rose to 37 F today and pretty much melted all that ice and snow they wanted to call the national guard about!  lol

what Julia’s lips look like after Hannah brutalized her

That’s okay.  We still had fun.  Julia (teenage munchkin) and her friend went to shovel driveways for the elderly people in the “hood”.  That was a blast in itself because Hannah (friend) knocked Julia (who’s a beast so please don’t feel sorry for her) in the mouth with a shovel.  NOW my little munchkin closely resembles Angelina Jolie!  One fat and bloody lip later, they came walking through the door, cold and hungry.  BTW…  These girls are like boys.  This is the way they play.  Earlier, Julia busted Hannah in the nose and they SWORE it was broken.  WHY did she do this?  Good question.  She says it was because Hannah scared her so she tackled Hannah to make her stop.  IDK.  I don’t get it.  lol  ANYHOO…  Hannah’s mama called to ask me about it. The sad thing is that I hadn’t heard a word about a broken nose (exaggeration)!  It happened in my house, granted it was in the basement but still!  The only way I found out about it is because Hannah “texted” her mother to tell her about it!  lol  Wow, I’m still not going to get that mother of the year award, huh?  Thank GOODNESS Hannah’s mom was okay and we’ve known each other ever since the girls were 7.

what Hannah looked like after Julia brutalized HER nose

Broken nose and busted lip deserves something special on this cold day, I think.  SOooooo…. I whipped up my favorite batch of potato soup.  Actually, this is EVERYONE’S favorite potato soup.  I have people telling me that it’s all they want for Christmas, as in for a Christmas present!  I’ve made half gallon sized mason jars full for family and friends to take home.  It’s THAT good.

Michelle’s Cream of Potato Soup

Ingredients:

1 lb bacon, cut up

4 cups potatoes, peeled and diced

1 large, sweet onion, diced

4 chicken bouillon cubes

2 tsp ground thyme (dried)

bacon grease

1 cup chopped ham

4 cups heavy whipping cream

2 cups milk

2 TBSP parsley flakes

2 TBSP cornstarch mixed in 1/4 cup water

Directions

Fry bacon in a Dutch oven or large soup pot until crisp.  Don’t drain bacon grease.  In the same pan, add potatoes, ham, onion, bouillon cubes and thyme.  Add just enough water to cover potatoes.  Bring mixture to a boil and then turn down heat, cover pot and simmer until potatoes are tender.  Drain potatoes in colander to remove water and return to pot.  Add cream, milk and parsley flakes to potatoes, bacon and ham.  Stir in cornstarch and water mixture for thickening.  Heat through and serve.

This is awesome with a little cheddar cheese added to your bowl!  If you don’t THINK you like potato soup, PLEASE try this one because chances are you’ll love it 🙂

Salty Caramel and Pecan and Oatmeal Cookies (OR, When you come to my door, bring cookies!)

I had a nice little surprise visit from my mother a few minutes ago.  Truthfully, her visits can be a little stressful for me due to her constant judgement of whatever it is that I’m doing at the moment BUT NOT this time!  THIS time, she brought cookies!  VERY tasty cookies.  Mom got the recipe from http://www.midwestliving.com/recipe/salty-caramel-and-pecan-oatmeal-cookies/ but made a few of her own adjustments.  These are too good not to share so without further ado, I bring you my mother’s oatmeal cookies!  Probably the best oatmeal cookies I’ve ever tasted and I’ve tasted PLENTY.

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies 

 

ingredients

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 11 – ounce package caramel baking bits
  • 1 cup pecans, toasted and coarsley chopped (she used chopped almonds cause that’s what she had on hand)
  • Coarse sea salt (She completely omitted the sea salt because she thought it would be too salty – I personally think it would be better with it but clearly, they were still delicious without!)

directions

  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Add granulated sugar, brown sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, the baking powder, cinnamon and baking soda. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and vanilla until combined. Beat in as much of the flour as you can with the mixer. Using a wooden spoon, stir in the remaining flour. Stir in oats, caramel baking bits and pecans.
  2. Using a small ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon, drop 1 1/2-inch mounds of dough 2 inches apart onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Sprinkle with coarse sea salt.
  3. Bake in a 350 oven for 11 to 12 minutes, until the edges are light brown. (Centers will look undercooked.) Cool on cookie sheets for 3 to 4 minutes or until cookies can be easily removed. Transfer to a wire rack; cool.

nutrition facts

(Salty Caramel and Pecan Oatmeal Cookies)

Mark as Free Exchange () 0, Potassium (mg) 49, sodium (mg) 421, carb. (g) 21, iron (mg) 1, pro. (g) 2, cal. (kcal) 145, vit. A (IU) 146, Thiamin (mg) 0, Niacin (mg) 0, sugar (g) 14, Riboflavin (mg) 0, Folate (µg) 12, fiber (g) 1, Polyunsaturated fat (g) 1, Pyridoxine (Vit. B6) (mg) 0, calcium (mg) 20, Monosaturated fat (g) 2, sat. fat (g) 3, chol. (mg) 18, Fat, total (g)

Now here’s a little tip from me…  ALL cookies stay soft and chewy when stored with a slice of bread in the container!  For real.  You should try it!  The bread soaks up the moisture that would otherwise make the cookies hard!
Enjoy!

Penne and Smoked Sausage

Every now and then I come across something on Pinterest that works.  This is one of those times.  For dinner last night, I had some polish sausage that I needed to use.  I found this recipe on Pinterest that was taken from http://www.tasteofhome.com/Recipes/Penne-and-Smoked-Sausage.  I’ll have to admit it didn’t look as amazing as it tasted.  I doubled the recipe and between the 3 of us, more than half of it was eaten.  VERY tasty!  Of course, I added more cheese (cheddar) but other than that, I didn’t have to make any modifications.  This one’s a winner:-)  Give it a try and let me know what you think!

Penne and Smoked Sausage

Penne and Smoked Sausage Recipe

Penne and Smoked Sausage

  • Prep: 15 min. Bake: 30 min.
  • Yield: 6 Servings

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Ingredients

  • 2 cups uncooked penne pasta
  • 1 pound smoked sausage, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1-1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of celery soup, undiluted
  • 1-1/2 cups cheddar french-fried onions, divided (*I used French’s French Fried Onions – regualr flavor cause that’s what I had)
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided (*I added about a cup of cheddar cheese to the mozzarella cause that’s what I like!)
  • 1 cup frozen peas

Directions

  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown sausage over medium heat for 5 minutes; drain. In a large bowl, combine milk and soup. Stir in 1/2 cup onions, 1/2 cup cheese, peas and sausage. Drain pasta; stir into sausage mixture.
  • Transfer to a greased 13-in. x 9-in. baking dish. Cover and bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with remaining onions and cheese. Bake, uncovered, 3-5 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Yield: 6 servings.