Friday, August 31, 2012

Cheesy Potato Soup

I can not take any credit for this picture or for the recipe. This is how it unfolds. My husband & I were both sick at the same time. At the same time!!! We have not been sick together in a very long time. I said my good nights to our youngest and went to bed. First thing Sunday morning, he tells me that he stayed up late Saturday night and was going through his Betty Crocker Kid Cookbook and found a great soup recipe that would make me and Dad feel better. He also had some other recipes we should try during the week. Melt my heart....Feeling better with just that!!! Where in the world did he get this from??? Staying up at night reading cookbooks! Hmm.. This is what he choose for us. Cheesy Potato Soup. How could I say no, especially, when I have been asking God to reveal spiritual gifts that our children have, and let me see that they are aware of them as well.  Do you ever stop and ask God to show you how he is working in your children's lives. Do you ever  just observe their gifts in action... He showed me once again that morning, our youngest' s gift of mercy, compassion and thoughtfulness for someone else. I saw this a few years back when he asked if he could make chocolate chip cookies and bring them along with hot coffee to our town plowers. He wanted to thank them for plowing our roads at all hours of the night. He was not prompted by anyone, except the whisper of the Holy Spirit prompting his spiritual gifts at a early age! I was just the vessel God used to accomplish these requests. We shopped for soup ingredients, made this very delicious and quick soup and everyone loved it. He even asked to take a picture for my blog. Yes, this is his photo not mine.

We are commanded by God to encourage each other, including our children. Hebrews 3:13 But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin's deceitfulness. Just by taking him shopping, and making the soup he picked out helped to cultivate that gift of mercy. Helping him make those cookies, picking up the coffee and driving him to the town hall encouraged him to have compassion on others who are up working all night doing something for us. Encouragement should not be limited to your friends, those that attend church with you, co-workers or strangers, but those living with your from youngest to the oldest.

Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. If a man' gift is prophesying, let him use it in proportion to his faith. If it is serving, let him serve, if it is teaching, let him teach, if it is encouraging, let him encourage, if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously, if it is leadership, let him govern diligently, if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully. Spiritual gifts in action!!

This soup is wicked easy, quick, delicious, healing to a body with a cold and balm for the heart. I'll probably never eat potato soup without thinking of  how this came to be.

Cheesy Potato Soup
Betty Crocker Kids Cookbook
6 servings


1 medium stalk celery diced
2 14oz cans chicken broth or vegetable broth
1 bag (32oz) frozen southern style diced hash brown potatoes thawed
1/2 cup frozen chopped onion (from a 12oz bag thawed) I just used one small onion
1 cup water
1 cup milk
3 Tablespoons all purpose flour or cornstarch
1 bag (8oz) shredded cheddar cheese just about 2 cups

Toppings if desired-

4 medium green onions chopped
sour cream
lots of cooked chopped bacon


Place the celery, chicken broth, the potatoes, onion and water in a medium stock pot. Cover and cook over medium heat for 10-15 minutes.

Put the milk in a small bowl and add the flour or cornstarch and mix well. Pour this mixture into the potato mixture. Turn the heat to high, cook & stir with a wooden spoon for 6-8 minutes or until the mixture thickens. Add the cheese and stir until melted. Turn off heat & remove from burner.

EASY, EASY, after you make this you won't even need to follow a recipe the next time... 

Serve along with desired toppings. We had ham & turkey sandwiches along side of the soup. Double for lunch leftovers the next day....

Eat Well, XO Sonya

Monday, August 13, 2012

Rustic Berry Tart

Rustic Berry Tart, one of my all time favorite summer desserts. This is the season when local farmer's markets and drive by fruit stands have an abundance of fruit to choose from. I mean an abundance, from your berries to your stone fruits. You can create any kind of fruit tart. A throw together of whatever suits your fancy. Mixed berries, peaches, plums, apricots, peaches & raspberries, plum & apricots. You get to choose! I love food like that. What I love about this dessert is that there really isn't a recipe to follow. You don't even have to make the crust! Store bought pie crust works just as well. I just so happen to have an extra pie crust in the freezer that I used. I do have a box of  pie crust in our refrigerator as a matter of fact. Just waiting to be the base of another tart or the cover for a pot pie. I'm sure with these hot days of summer and just the business of summer activities you probably don't want to be spending a lot of time putting a dessert together. Keeping a box of refrigerated pie crust on hand, and picking up a few pints of fruit, some ice cream or whip cream and you will have a quick & easy treat in no time. You can pretty much make this no matter where you go. Go ahead be creative, bake on the wild side!!!

When thing that I do enjoy doing is putting a meal together with what I have stashed in the freezer or pantry. I do like the challenge of what can I make with whats on hand. Some of our favorite soups, stews, pot pies & chili have been using what's on hand. Since I always have things rotating in & out nothing will taste the same twice. Always an adventure! I have been working on being more flexible when it comes to throwing a last minute meal together, packing for a day on the water or just a weekend of whatever comes our way. No plans at all, or changing plans to do something else. What I do love is the fact that God has the perfect plan. He created His world in Six (6) perfect days, a little on each day and rested on the seventh (7). Genesis 1:1-31 & Genesis 2: 1-3. I find myself being happy doing very little activity on Sundays. His perfect plan of salvation, through the sacrifice of His only Son, so that I have eternal life with Him. Romans 10: 1-13. His perfect plan of my life, never a throw together or mix match of this and that, but that everything and everyone who comes across my life is His perfect plan for me. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Rustic Berry Tart-


1 Store bought refrigerated pie crust or one of your own favorites.
3 pints or roughly 3-4 cups of mixed fruits of your choice. I used blueberries, raspberries &
blackberries. Rinsed just before using and drain in a strainer.
2 Tablespoons or so of sugar & flour
Sprinkle of cinnamon or nutmeg if desired
Some grated lemon peel if lemons on hand


Preheat oven to 350.
Mix the fruit with sugar & flour. Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg if desired. Can add some grated lemon peel if you want. Just a sprinkle. 
Roll out pie crust gently into a 10-12" circle.
Place the fruit in the center of dough but leaving a good 1" or 1 1/2" around the edges. Bring edges up on top of the fruit so that it just lays on top of the fruit. Lightly brush the edge with a little 1/2 & 1/2 or heavy cream or milk & then sprinkle the entire tart with a little more sugar. I like to add a dot or two of butter.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes or just until the crust is evenly browned. Let cool. Slice and serve with vanilla ice cream or whip topping.

Eat & Love Well, Sonya