October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Our town celebrated Halloween on Saturday this year, & the kids had a great time.  They wore their costumes all day - then went trick or treating...followed by a camp out in the backyard complete with a small bonfire & s'mores.  I hope that you all have (or had!) a great Halloween too!

October 29, 2010

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Is it getting cold where you live?  It sure is starting to get chilly here.  As someone who lives in the South, I consider anything below 60 degrees COLD!  Once Winter comes & it gets super cold, I like to go into hibernation.  

To help warm up my bones - and because I plum just love any & all potato dishes, I decided to make a bit pot of Loaded Baked Potato Soup.  I came up with the one a few years ago with ingredients that I had on hand, and it just stuck.  It is husband & kid approved, and I really enjoy it myself :)~

Here is what you need:

Go ahead & scoop out the potatoes from the skins.  Reserve the skins for later use...or make potato skins to go along with the soup like I do.

In a large pot, fry up the pound of bacon until it's nice & crispy.  I fried up 2 pounds of bacon instead of just one because I decided to make potato skins too.  Plus, my family has a way of stealing the bacon off the plate!

Now, don't throw away all the bacon grease that has collected in the bottom of the pot!!  That is going to help flavor the soup!  You will need to keep a couple tablespoons in the pot.  Add a stick of butter to it & melt.

Stir in the flour to make a roux.  Let it cook for a minute or two.

Slowly pour in the milk, a cup at a time, whisking to combine until all the milk is in & it has thickened nicely.



My youngest daughter, Madison, came running at the opportunity to whisk the soup!  

Add the potatoes to the soup.

Then the green onions...

And the bacon, salt, & pepper...

Then the cheese!

Stir in the sour cream.

Serve immediately.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

  • 8 medium to large baked potatoes
  • 1/2 cup - 2/3 cup bacon grease (from frying bacon)
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup chopped green onions
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 pound cooked bacon, crumbled (reserving 2 tablespoons bacon grease!)
  • 1 stick butter
  • 2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 heaping cup sour cream


  1. Scoop out the inside of the potatoes and set aside. Reserve the skins for another recipe or discard.
  2. Stir the flour into the bacon grease to make a roux. Cook about 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually pour in the milk while stirring until all the milk has been added. Bring heat to medium and keep stirring until the soup mixture starts to get thick.
  3. Add the potatoes, green onions, salt, ground black pepper, bacon, cheese, & sour cream.. Stir well .  Serve immediately.

October 26, 2010

Caramel Apple Dumplings

It's that time of year where the weather is starting to finally cool down & the leaves are slowly starting to change colors - and that means it is also apple picking time!  We went out to the orchard earlier & bought a whole slew of different varieties of apples.  Some for just eating, some for baking, some for making applesauce, some for apple jelly & apple butter - and who knows what else.  I just love apples.  It is hands down my favorite fruit of all.

I wanted to make some kind of apple dessert after dinner...but was running a little short on time, so my usual apple pie was out of the question (for now!).  I decided to prepare some Caramel Apple Dumplings, & my family sure was glad that I did.  I have to admit, I was pretty stoked about these little gems too! 

Here are the ingredients that you need:

Yes, that is Mountain Dew in the ingredient picture.  Yes, it is a little odd - but trust me...it's good!

Grease a 9x13 baking dish.

Roll up an apple piece in each crescent roll triangle.  Start from the small end - and seal the edges with your fingers when you are done.  Place each finished dumpling into your greased baking dish.

In a medium saucepan, melt the 2 sticks of butter.  Whisk in the sugar & cinnamon.

Pour the caramel-ly sauce on top of the apple dumplings.

Pour on the Mountain Dew...

Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.  

Spoon you out a dumpling or three & make sure you drizzle some of that ooey gooey-ness on the bottom of the dish on top! 

Enjoy, & eat plenty.  Afterall, an apple dumpling a day keeps the doctor away ;)

Caramel Apple Dumplings

  • 2 large Granny Smith apples, peeled and cored
  • 2 cans refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 1.5 cups white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1.5 cups of Mountain Dew (12 fluid ounces)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9x13 inch baking dish.
Cut each apple into 8 wedges and set aside. Separate the crescent roll dough into triangles. Roll each apple wedge in crescent roll dough starting at the smallest end. Pinch to seal and place in the baking dish.
Melt butter in a small saucepan and stir in the sugar and cinnamon. Pour over the apple dumplings. Pour Mountain Dew over the dumplings.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown


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