Skip to content

Ranchy Baked Potato Salad

I hate potato salad, or at least I did until I discovered a twice baked potato version in my husband’s hometown in coastal Mississippi. Since I liked it so much, I decided I needed to come up with a version of my own, and while mine tastes nothing like the beloved original, I believe mine is just as good.

Ranchy Baked Potato Salad

4-5 large Idaho potatoes, chopped into chunks (peeling is optional!)

1 cup sour cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1 packet of dry ranch dressing mix (I use Hidden Valley Ranch)

pepper, to taste

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese

4-6 slices of cooked bacon, crumbled

Boil potatoes until tender. (A knife should pass through easily, but don’t over-cook!)

Mix sour cream, mayonnaise, and ranch mix well and allow to sit and mingle while the potatoes are cooking.

Drain potatoes well, and allow to cool slightly on a sheet pan. You don’t want them to be screaming hot.

When potatoes are cooled, mix it all together and top with cheese and bacon. Chill for a minimum of 1 hour and serve cold.

Recipe Revamp – Potato Soup

This fabulously stormy weather has me in the mood for food, so you get two posts today!

My great-grandmother made the best potato soup. Unfortunately, and despite my MANY hours watching her in the kitchen as a child, I am unable to recall exactly what she did that made it so yummy. As a result, I’ve never really attempted potato soup on my own–until now.

Thanks to the absolute fantastic-ness that is Pinterest, I recently came across a recipe for crock pot potato soup that sounded interesting. As I do with most of my recipes, I made some adjustments to suit my own tastes and came up with IMHO the most delicious potato soup ever. Whether or not you choose to use the crock pot is totally up to you.

Potato Soup

6-8 medium sized potatoes (cut into 1 inch chunks)

48 oz chicken broth

1 can cream of mushroom soup

1 small onion, chopped (optional–I use dried onion flakes, personally)

black pepper to taste

8 oz full fat cream cheese (She’s right. The low fat stuff doesn’t melt.)

Stovetop – Combine all ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese into a large pot and simmer on med-low heat about 40 minutes before adding cream cheese. Stir well.

Crockpot – Combine all ingredients EXCEPT cream cheese and cook on low 6-8 hours. Add cream cheese about 20 minutes before serving and stir well.

Serve with shredded cheddar, bacon, etc.

Quick and Easy – Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

When I presented the standard dinner options of chicken or beef to my husband this morning, he actually scowled at me. So, I decided to break out my crock pot and repeat a dish that worked out well for me a couple of weeks ago. It couldn’t be easer, and there are only three ingredients. I plan to serve it with wild rice and green beans.

Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin

1lb boneless pork tenderloin
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 small onion, cut into chunks

Place all into crock pot and cook on low 4-5 hours.

A Dish for Company – Stuffed Shells

It’s been said that you eat with your eyes first, so it’s incredibly important to me for a dish I’m serving to friends to not only taste delicious, but look impressive as well. One of my go-to meals for visitors is Stuffed Shells.

Stuffed Shells

15 oz ricotta cheese

3 cups shredded mozzarella – divided

2 eggs – beaten

1lb ground beef – browned, drained, and cooled

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder (You may also use fresh onion and cook it with the ground beef.)

1/4 cup chopped parsley (or 2 tbsp dried)

2 jars of your favorite marinara sauce (I use Bertolli Olive Oil & Garlic)

1/2 parmesan cheese – grated

1lb jumbo pasta shells

Boil pasta according to package directions, then drain and cool on a baking sheet coated with olive oil. These guys like to stick together, so make sure to separate them before they cool. Spoon about half of one jar of sauce onto the bottom of a 9x13x2 inch casserole dish. Meanwhile, combine ricotta, 2 cups of mozzarella, eggs, ground beef, garlic, onion, and parsley in a medium-sized bowl and mix well. Transfer cheese mixture to a zip-top bag and snip one corner off. Pipe the mixture into the shells and arrange in the casserole dish. Cover with as much sauce as you like, then top with remaining mozzarella and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45-50 minutes.

**Notes**

  • There are some people out there who *gasp* don’t like ricotta. A good substituteĀ  in this case would be fresh mozzarella cheese.

Worthy of being first – My Mac & Cheese

Well…I finally did it. I created a cooking blog. I’m not happy with the name, but that can change later.

Perhaps no one will read it, but then it might be the next big thing. Frankly, I don’t care either way. I really enjoy cooking, and especially talking about recipes. To those who know me well, you might say that I like to talk about anything (totally true).

Enough babbling. Let’s get on with the tasty-ness.

My most requested recipe is one that up until now, I’ve been extremely stingy with. It took me over 30 years to come across it myself, and I guard it fiercely. It is the most AMAZING version of the dish I’ve ever tasted, yet it is easy and inexpensive to make. It’s also totally worthy of a main course.

So, without further ado…

Jack Dempsey’s Macaroni and Cheese

1 lb rotini pasta

1 10.5 oz can cheddar cheese soup

1 8 oz package cream cheese

1 stick of butter or margarine

1 large can of evaporated milk

1 8oz block of Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded **THE most important ingredient. Do. Not. Substitute.**

Boil pasta according to package directions and drain. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine cheddar cheese soup, cream cheese, and butter. Microwave about 2 minutes, then whisk until smooth. Pour inĀ  evaporated milk and mix well. Add pasta and stir to combine.

Transfer mixture to a casserole dish (2.5 qt or 9×13 in) and top with cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees until bubbly, approximately 25 minutes.

**I often add steamed broccoli to this before baking to make it easier to get veggies into my picky 3 year old.