Friday, January 13, 2017


Makes 1 Pie

Frozen deep-dish pie shell

Lemon Filling:
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
6 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring, optional
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling:
2 packages (one 8 oz., one 3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
1 tablespoon lemon juice

For pastry shell:  Line unpricked pie shell with a double thickness of heavy-duty foil. Bake at 450 degrees for 8 minutes. Remove foil; bake 5 minutes longer. Cool on a wire rack.

For lemon filling, combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir in water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; add the remaining sugar. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter, lemon peel and food coloring if desired. Gently stir in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour.

For cream cheese filling, beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and lemon juice. Refrigerate 1/2 cup for garnish. Spread remaining cream cheese mixture into pie shell; top with lemon filling. Refrigerate overnight. Place reserved cream cheese mixture in a pastry bag with a #21 star tip; pipe stars onto pie. Store in the refrigerator.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Loaded potato soup


  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 1/2 cups milk, or more, as needed
  • 6 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  •  salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate; set aside.

  1. Melt butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Whisk in flour until lightly browned, about 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Stir in potatoes and green onions.
  2. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes. Stir in cheese, sour cream, salt and pepper, to taste. If the soup is too thick, add more milk as needed until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with green onion, cheese and bacon, if desired.

Italian Sausage Orzo Soup


  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage or regular
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 small yellow onion diced
  • 3 14 ounces EACH cans beef broth
  • 1 14.5 ounces can Italian-style diced tomatoes
  • 1 14.5 ounces can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup (~2) carrots sliced
  • 3/4 cup (~2) stalks of celery sliced
  • 2 cups (~1) small red potatoes diced
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 - 1 tablespoon full dried basil
  • 3/4 cup Orzo pasta uncooked
  • 2 cups packed fresh spinach
  • Parmesan Cheese freshly grated


  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, add in the Italian sausage, minced garlic, and diced yellow onion.
  2. Crumble the sausage as you brown it.
  3. Once the sausage is cooked through and onion is tender, add in the broth, both cans of tomatoes (UNDRAINED), sliced carrots, sliced celery, diced red potatoes (cut pretty small), and chopped bell pepper.
  4. Add in the seasonings: Italian seasoning, oregano, and basil (to taste). I add in salt and pepper to taste here. (Depending on the saltiness of the broth, you might want to completely omit salt).
  5. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat. Cover the pot and simmer for 20-25 minutes, OR until all the veggies are crisp tender.
  6. Meanwhile, in a separate pan, follow package directions to cook the Orzo to al dente. Drain and rinse in cool water.
  7. Remove the soup from the heat and stir in the cooked and drained orzo. Then, stir in the spinach gently.

Slow Cooker Broccoli Cheese Soup

Cook Time: 3 hours
 About 6 servings
  • 1/3 cup butter, sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 (12 oz) cans evaporated milk
  • 5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 5 cups small diced broccoli florets*
  • 1/8 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 12 oz sharp cheddar cheese, freshly shredded (or more to taste)
  • 2 oz parmesan cheese, freshly & finely shredded
  • Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and saute until they begin to soften, about 3 - 4 minutes. Add garlic, flour and season lightly with salt and pepper then cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. While whisking, slowly pour in evaporated milk (whisk well to smooth). Cook mixture, stirring constantly until it begins to thicken then pour into a slow cooker along with chicken broth, diced broccoli and thyme. Cover with lid and cook on HIGH heat for 2 1/2 - 3 hours or low heat for 6 hours.
  • Turn heat to warm (or off) and stir in heavy cream, then add in shredded cheddar cheese and parmesan cheese and stir to blend. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve warm.
  • *From about 20 oz broccoli crowns, large stems cut off and discarded (or reserved for another use), florets diced into small pieces.


INGREDIENTS Meat Mixture: 1   Pound   Ground Beef, Turkey or Chicken 80/20 1   Package   Taco Seasoning 1   Cup   Yellow O...