Baked Potato Soup

Baked potato soup is another restaurant inspired soup that I keep in my wintertime menu rotation.

The recipe that was given to me by one of the restaurant owners is long gone.  After making it so many times, I just throw things together in a pan and serve it up.

He swore that his secret ingredient was ham soup base.  This can usually be found in the Latin section of local grocery stores.  Apparently, Wally World no longer carries this product.  I prefer to use Goya brand, since it comes in perfect sized little packets, but I have been known to grab a jar of it in the regular soup aisle if the packets aren’t available.

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Spicy Chicken Corn Chowder

This is a recipe that Sam and I have been doctoring and tweaking for years. It’s a cheese spicy soup that’s prefect for those nights you want something warm and spicy.

Believe it or not, it actually gets cold in Mississippi. Once temperatures dip below 60°, people start pulling out their super thick winter coats and women pull out their ugly ugg boots. You would swear everyone around here is preparing to climb Mt. Everest. Even though I don’t share the low tolerance of Mississippian’s cold weather, I do love a nice bowl of hot soup on a cool or chilly day. Especially while watching college football.

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This recipe is super easy and super tasty. It features chicken, corn, and cheese. How can it get any better than that. We have experimented with a variety of cheeses, but our favorite cheeses are what we have listed in the recipe. Also, feel free to omit the cayenne if you don’t want it spicy. Add more if you want it hotter. I typically make the recipe as is and then sprinkle in my cayenne in my own bowl. My wife doesn’t like a super spicy recipe. Anyways, I hope you enjoy the recipe and be sure to give it a go this fall.

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Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan is the perfect marriage of summertime eggplants and Andy’s Favorite Pasta Sauce.  This can also be made with jarred pasta sauce, and Lord knows I have used jarred sauce before when I was too lazy or busy to make homemade.  No really, lazy is the better reason.

One trick I learned long ago, and even use with homemade sauce is to add a 15 ounce can of tomato sauce to extend and pasta sauce you are using.  Unless you are mixing it with less than 16 ounces of pasta sauce, you should not notice a huge difference in taste.  I like how it thins out the sauce for this recipe, as I don’t care for a big stiff glop of sauce on my eggplant or chicken Parm.

Eggplant may seems kind of intimidating, and I confess I was intimidated the first time I ever took a knife to one.  Now, I have never ventured outside my box on eggplant, I only use it for a fried version of eggplant Parm.

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Egg Bagel Sandwich

Egg Bagels with Canadian bacon and cheese makes frequent appearances for dinner on the nights we need something quick.

I started making these because before McDonalds started serving breakfast all day, you could only get a breakfast sandwich before 10:30 am.  Sometimes I want breakfast food for supper.  Pancakes, bacon and eggs, omelets, and even waffles sometimes

This really isn’t even a recipe, it’s more like an explanation of how to put simple ingredients together and make a quick meal.  It’s like a sandwich, but makes you feel like you actually cooked.

Egg Bagels are easy enough to make that you can ditch the frozen variety.  If you want a frozen breakfast sandwich, why not just make your own and freeze them.  I would wait to add the cheese until the Canadian bacon and egg were completely cool.  I would also skip the microwave step until the day I was ready to eat it.

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Midwest Quesadillas

This recipe was also inspired by a restaurant from back in my hometown.  It was the first place I experienced the goodness of quesadillas.  I have to call these Midwest Quesadillas because just plain ole quesadillas might cause folks to expect a recipe containing toasted tortillas with tomatoes, peppers and perhaps some chicken, beef, carnitas, or even barbacoa in them.  Although, all of those options are tasty and I even think Ron may have one he will share on the blog someday, this one has none of the common ingredients in it expect maybe cheese and onions.

Even the cheese is not a common sight in quesadillas, this one uses jack cheese.  I remember when I first started making these I had to shred my jack cheese by hand.  These are so much easier to make now that shredded jack is readily available at most markets. Continue reading “Midwest Quesadillas”

“Too Cheesy” Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love a big helping of homemade macaroni and cheese? My spouse, that’s who. He likes the stuff from the box; powdered cheese, foil packet of cheese, any kind of cheese besides good old fashioned American cheese slices. Now don’t misunderstand, there is something to be said about the convenience of those blue boxes and I have cooked my share of them. I have also served up the frozen and refrigerated prepackaged varieties. I feel no shame.

But I prefer my macaroni and cheese the way my mom used to make it when she was in the cooking spirit. It is swimming in cheese, enough cheese that it gets called “too cheesy” in this house and rarely gets made anymore. I was excited to write this post because it gave me the excuse to make it for photos.

(Side note: while writing the recipe, I realize that the DH might actually be right, this might be too cheesy……. But please do not tell him he was right, I will never hear the end of it.)

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Thin Pizza Crust

I have lived in so many places I believe I may be part gypsy. (No offense to anyone intended).

When I work on my blog posts, I believe my cooking heart may be firmly rooted in Illinois. I have been gone 20 years now and my need to eat foods that are similar to what I grew up on has driven me to create recipes. You would think I would give it up after 20 years and learn to eat what the locals eat in my current locales…….

Today’s feature is thin crispy crust pizza. I have made hundreds of homemade pizzas and this is the recipe I keep going back to. It is fairly quick and I tend to have the ingredients on hand since it uses no yeast.

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