When we were in Ireland, I ate a different soup for lunch and dinner every day. This one was at the Muckross Museum.


Parsnip and Apple Soup


4 TB. Butter

4 apples (the recipe called for Fuji. I use Gala in everything….that is what we eat if we want an apple, so I don’t buy anything special to cook with.)

1 onion (I use just a regular yellow onion, whatever I pull out of the bag. Probably chops to ¾ of a cup.)

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

2 pounds parsnips, peeled and chopped

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups water

1 cup milk

1 /2 cup   heavy cream or Half and Half



Melt butter in large, heavy pot. Add apples, parsnips, onion, carrots. Stir until onions have softened.

And water and broth. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat then cover and simmer until the vegetables are tender, about 15-20 minutes.


Puree soup in batches in blender until smooth. (This can be done the day before.)

Return to pot, add milk and half and half. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 12 people easily, depending on the size of your soup bowl.


The day before I serve the dish, I cook

One chicken…(I buy a whole one and put it into the pressure cooker with water and cook…always follow the directions for loading your pressure cooker)…no spices, no salt/pepper…just chicken and water.)

***Just a pot with a lid would work as well, the object here is to cook the chicken and reserve the water that it has been cooked in.***

Cook…..Remove the chicken and cool in the fridge.

Pour the chicken broth into a container and place in the fridge….allow to cool until the fat all rises to the top.

The next day I de-bone the chicken and cut the meat into bite-size pieces. SALT and PEPPER to taste.

Take the broth from the fridge and skim off all the fat. You should now have some fab-u-lous chicken stock. I put this into a large pot that has a lid (lid is going to get to be very important) and add more water….anywhere from 2-4 cups, depending on how large of a crowd I am going to serve (that is the magic of soup, just add more water when company is coming).

Heat this and at this point I add the SALT and PEPPER to taste….Bring this to a boil…

Because here comes the very best part of this dish…the dumplings…



1 cup all-purpose flour

2 tsps baking powder

½ tsp salt

½ cup milk (I use powdered skim)

1TB oil

Mix dry ingredients in bowl. Plus milk and oil and stir, until moistened.

Drop the dumplings by spoonful into the boiling stock.

I use two soup spoons, one to scoop with, the other to push the little darling dumpling into its awaiting destiny in the merrily bubbling pot.

Cover with a lid. The mixture will return to a boil. The way that I know this is because it boils over so do not stray far from the stove. Whenever this happens I turn down the heat and DO NOT LIFT THE LID….have faith, my friend, and let the dumplings cook and steam for the next 12-15 minutes. And that is pretty much the secret to fluffy dumplings….they have to steam and any peeking does not allow them to fulfill their potential.

Okay, the timer goes off and now it is just this side of heaven. Have a dumpling to make sure that you are not going to poison your family. I always do this and sometimes I have to have a second, just to make sure…thankfully I have not poisoned anyone yet…better that I should fall in the line of battle, she said while blowing on the dumpling and having that first bite.

Add the cut up chicken and if no one is lactose intolerant about 1 cup of fat-free half and half or your milk of choice.

You can, of course, dress this up or down according to your family’s needs, wants, desires.

You could put all manner of herbs into that dumpling mix.

If there is any left over I mix in all those left over veggies that are in the fridge, make pie crust, and it becomes one of the best chicken pot pies, ever.

Now, I have purchased a chicken that has already been cooked, either from the deli area on in a can and used canned biscuits and canned chicken broth to do this…….but this is not even close to the same thing and to quote Strider/Aragorn, son of Arathorn, “It is just the shadow of a thought that you love.”



More than OK Tomato/Carrot Soup

2 T. butter

1 medium onion, chopped

½ – ¾ lb carrots, sliced

1 t. curry powder

2 T. basil

2 large cans whole tomatoes, without the juice

3 ½ C. (2 cans) chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

In a stockpot sauté the onions in butter. Add carrots, ½ (1 can) of broth, tomatoes and spices. Cook until tender (approx 30-45 min). Pour into blender and puree until smooth, about 1 minute. It usually takes 3 batches to puree all of it. Return the soup to the stockpot and add remaining ½ (1 can) of broth. Heat through.


Calico Beans

8 ounces bacon…that’s about 10-12 pieces

1 pound lean ground beef

1 cup chopped onion

½ cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp dry mustard

2 cans pork and beans…..(apx. 1 pound each, depends on whose brand you purchase)

1 can lima beans or butter beans or black beans…(apx. 1 pound, depends on whose brand you purchase. I prefer black beans in this, but pick your favorite.)

1 can (1 pound) kidney beans, drained.

½ cup ketchup (Sadly, I have not tried substituting Sweet Baby Ray’s for the ketchup.)

1 tsp salt

1 Tbsp vinegar

Brown bacon, beef and onions. Put everything in a slow cooker and cook on low for 3-5 hours.


Sookie’s Cravin’ Sauerkraut Sausage Balls
2 pounds sauerkraut
1 pound hot breakfast sausage (Comes in a plastic tube. Slit open the tube and break it up as you put it in a large bowl.)
1 pound mild breakfast sausage. (Do the same.)
1 egg
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs. (Progresso Italian Style is the one I keep on hand.)
Drain kraut well. Chop fine. Drain again. Place in bowl.
Mix kraut, mild and hot sausage.
Add bread crumbs. Mix well.
Plus egg, mix again.
Roll into golf ball size balls.
Roll in seasoned bread crumbs.
Bake at 350 for 35-45 minutes.
You can make these ahead and freeze them. You can re-heat in the microwave. I put them between two paper plates and turn them about every ten seconds until desired temp.
Pregnant Mommies’ Rueben Dip
8 oz deli corned beef….(I buy the Carl Buddig 2 oz packages over in the lunch meat area of the grocery store. Less expensive and no line to stand in.) Slice very thin, then chop.
8 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
8 oz sauerkraut, drained.
4 oz shredded Swiss cheese
For a party, I do this in a small crock pot. Set desired temp. Add the first four ingredients, stirring well to melt the cream cheese. Stir in Swiss cheese until melted. Serve with crackers or pita chips or bread bits like fondue.
The recipe has been around for a while. Still delicious and different when you get tired of The Turkey. And no, I don’t make it with the 1.000 Island dressing. If you like your Rueben with the dressing, make this and try it without first. Just a suggestion.

Cornmeal Crepes
1 cup milk
3 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
2/3rds cup flour
¼ cup cornmeal
Salt to taste
In blender:
Whirl all the ingredients together until there are no lumps.
Heat 7-8 frying pan over medium heat.
Add oil or butter to grease.
Pour in ¼ cup of batter all at once. Tilt the pan until the batter covers the bottom. Cook until the surface of the crepe is dry…about 40 seconds…depending on your heat source.
I spray the top side with Pam, turn, brown the other side.
Keep warm on a plate in the oven. (They don’t stick when you stack them.)
Note: Blend batter before each crepe as cornmeal tends to settle.
Fill with you favorite crepe filling. If you are doing a Tex-Mex brunch, these go with, nicely. Yummy good with apricot jam and a whoosh of sour cream through the inside folded into quarters. Even better, spread with a tiny bit of butter and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar and roll up. Ho Ho Ho!

La La’s Potato Soup
Saute in 2 Tbs butter:
2 grated carrots
1 medium sized chopped fine, onion
Clean, peel (if that’s your thing) and cut up and boil about 3 pounds of potatoes about 20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through. Easily cuts with a fork.
Drain. To this add chicken stock to cover half the potatoes in the pan. (Or, drain off ½ the potato water and add two-three cubes of chicken bullion.)
To this add:
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp celery seed
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups hot milk
Heat and stir to uniform temperature. I add cooked, crumbled up bacon to this…oh yum…..
Served at Hunter’s Celebration Lunch
Jack Daniel’s Glaze
1 tsp onion powder
1 TB Tabasco sauce (start with 1 tsp and season to taste)
2 TBS Red Wine Vinegar
¼ cup Jack Daniel’s
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup water
2 beef stock cubes
2 TBs Worcestershire sauce
Combine all ingredients in a small sauce pan, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for five minutes.
Use as a sauce on any grilled meat… is spectacular on grilled salmon.

Sissy’s Spoon Corn Bread
1/2 c. butter (1 stick)
2 eggs
1 can whole kernel corn, drained 14.75 oz
1 can cream style corn , not drained 14.75 oz
8 oz. sour cream
1 (8 1/2 oz.) size box Jiffy corn muffin mix or any corn bread mix this size. (Or your favorite corn bread recipe that contains this much corn meal/flour mix.)
½ cup to 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Melt butter. Beat eggs. Combine all ingredients. Stir to mix. Pour into a well greased 11 x 7 inch baking dish. (I’ve also done this in a round cast iron skillet and a deep dish stone pie plate. Always grease well! Put down your heat proof trivet and bring it to the table. I like this served hot with lots of butter. I have my own little plate that I put it on and eat it with a fork or spoon. I treat it like dessert…with a great deal of reverence and yummy noises…I guess it is good reheated…this is normally gone before bedtime.)
Bake at 350 degrees for about an hour or until the top is a light golden brown.
There are a lot of variations on this recipe. You can add cooked and crumbled pork sausage or bacon or cubed ham.
You can also add ½ cup diced green chilies, drained, or jalapeños, drained, or ½ cup onion or all of the above.
Whatever you family enjoys.
I have also seen this done and called a Taco Bake. My niece will add the green chilies and onion to the corn batter.
She cooks and seasons hamburger like she is doing for taco’s. Drains the meat. Into the greased baking dish she spreads out ½ the corn batter, spreads the meat on top of that and then adds the other ½ of the batter. Bakes for one hour at 350.
Then, she set sets out the lettuce, tomato, chopped onion, salsa, and shredded cheese like you would for tacos.
I know, you’d think, why not just make tacos? I have thought that myself while watching the process. Then it dawned on me. She only does it this way during the winter. Something a bit heartier. Besides, you could put this bad boy in a bowl of pinto beans. Yum!
And if you have never cooked a pot of pinto beans, you should. There is something very satisfying and yummy smelling about cooking beans.
Pinto Beans
Pick a day when you are home.
The night before, pick through the beans…rinse…put in a big pot and soak over night.
The next morning, you will probably need to add more water.
Put on heat, bring to a boil, reduce heat to a very gentle boil.
Stir occasionally from the bottom and add more water.
Don’t add salt while they are cooking.
Do add one (1) clove of garlic while they are cooking. One clove, no more. This is all that is necessary. Makes all the difference to the taste of the beans.
Cook until done.
Then season with salt and pepper.
I normally make the whole one pound bag. After letting them cool, I measure out about one cup liquid and beans together, and put them in baggies and freeze. Great for chili.


1 9 inch high fluted pie shell, unbaked….if you buy the frozen… cut the second one into strips and wetting the pie shell with your fingers, attach the strips along the top of the one you are going to put the quiche in. This will give it added depth. Using your fingers, pinch into the dough a nice pie crust design. Everyone will think you made it yourself!

½ pound cooked, crumbled bacon

½ cup chopped ham (opt)

1 ½ cups grated Swiss cheese

1 small onion, minced

Asparagus, 14 oz can… chopped. If you use fresh, boil it first until tender. Chop into ¼” lengths.

½ cup mushrooms (I like mushrooms so I always add a variety of these and more than ½ cup.)

4 eggs, beaten

1 cup heavy cream…ouch but yummy!

½ cup milk

½ tsp salt (the pork products are going to add salt to this dish. So proceed sparingly with the salt.)

½ tsp pepper

½ tsp dry mustard (or not…sometimes I omit this.)

dash of nutmeg (I always include this.)

dash of cayenne pepper….if you like yours with a bit more zip, set out the Tabasco on the table.

Cook the bacon. Crumble.

Plus all meats on the bottom of the pie shell. Layer on the cheese. Spread the sautéed onion over the cheese. Add asparagus then layer the mushrooms.

Combine eggs and remaining ingredients. Beat until well blended. Pour into shell.

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until firm and brown.

Mock Boursin

1-8 oz package cream cheese

2- sticks butter or margarine  ( 1 cup)

1- tsp garlic powder

1- tsp dill weed

1- tsp oregano

½- tsp thyme

½- tsp marjoram

¼- tsp sweet basil

Soften cream cheese and butter. Mix well. Add seasonings. Refrigerate. Make ahead. Taste best when allowed to marinate. Serve with crackers, veggies, put it on beef, serve it with baked potatoes or smear it on bread.

You can cut this recipe in ½. However, it does freeze nicely.

Now, I have used this as a base for a cheese ball….and have added a bit of onion and fresh grated Parmesan cheese and grated Dubliner Cheddar Cheese. A word about Dubliner Cheese. It is yummy. If you have been to our home, this is the cheese you could not stop eating. Don’t purchase the Blarney Cheddar or some of those other Cheeses with an Irish name. Not the same thing, not even close.

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