Baked Potato Soup

It is starting to cool off with pleasant days and chilly nights – the perfect time for hearty soups and stews. Baked Potato Soup is one of our most requested recipes – it’s creamy and rich with the perfect balance of flavors. It’s a good way to use planned leftovers as well; have baked potatoes during the week and simmer a pot of this satisfying soup on the weekend. Start with 4 large baked potatoes, cooled. The recipe calls for scooping out the insides and discarding the peels, but I have long since abandoned peeling potatoes for anything. The peels are healthy so I include them in mashed potatoes, soups, potato salads, and just about everything else. Feel free to use only the white insides if you wish.

Greet Fall With This Wonderful Pumpkin Trifle

This beautiful dessert is almost as much fun to look at as it is to eat. With gingerbread, pumpkin, gingersnaps, and pudding, you know it is going to be good. if you don’t have a trifle bowl, you can use a large, clear salad bowl. You can probably get away with making just one gingerbread recipe if you want to – I used about 1-1/2 of the two that I made when I prepared it in a trifle bowl, and you can see that I almost ran out of room in the bowl.

Chipped Beef Gravy

We love to have breakfast for dinner at our house, and one of our favorites is biscuits and gravy. You can make this gravy with either sausage or dried beef, and it can be served over buttermilk biscuits, toast, or soft rolls.

Easy Buttermilk Biscuits

My grandmother has been making these easy buttermilk biscuits for as long as I can remember. They have 3 ingredients and are pretty much fool-proof. I make a double batch and freeze them either before or after cooking. Freezing them before cooking makes it easy to have fresh, hot biscuits for breakfast, but if you cook them first, you can make your own sausage biscuits for the freezer instead of buying them already prepared.

Apple Pie

Pastries are my weakness. Luckily, I had a houseful of teenagers that devoured this pie and saved me from the mental anguish of trying to avoid it after the first slice. This pie uses our bulk pie crust recipe, which makes 6 crusts for the freezer. I took 2 crusts out to thaw the morning I made the pie and by afternoon they were thawed and ready to go. You can use any fresh fruit in this recipe, just be sure to omit the cinnamon if you are not using apples, peaches, or another fruit that goes well with cinnamon.

Spinach Ravioli with Sun-Dried Tomatoes in Cream Sauce

I love the unusual taste of sun-dried tomatoes, and paired with ravioli in cream sauce they are exceptional. I used spinach and cheese ravioli, but cheese or meat ravioli would also work in this dish. You will also need cream, pine nuts, bacon, Parmesan cheese, crushed red pepper, and salt.

Easy Orecchiette Florentine

Tonight’s dinner was supposed to be Chicken Marsala but alas, my distracted nature had me running all over the grocery store for items needed for a science experiment and I didn’t realize until I got home that I forgot to get the mushrooms I needed. I didn’t want to head back to the store so I decided to figure something out using what I had on hand: pasta, a jar of roasted red peppers, grilled and chopped chicken in the freezer, an onion, some bacon, a jar of Alfredo sauce, and a bag of baby spinach that I had planned to use in a salad. Everyone loved it and the name was voted to be Orecchiette Florentine. Doesn’t it look yummy?

Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies

Honestly, I will never make these cookies again. Okay, I’m lying. I will make them again, but not often. I am pretty sure that I ate most of them myself – they were that good. My daughter assures me that she ate her fair share of them, but honestly, I couldn’t eat one cookie without eating three. Without further ado, I present to you… Nutella Peanut Butter Cookies.

Lemon Bars

Lemon Bars just might be my favorite dessert. This is my "go to" recipe when I have to take a dessert to a get-together because I always have the ingredients on hand and they are simple to make. Now that my daughter is old enough to cook, she has taken over as the lemon bar baker in our house. She made the batch in the photo below, and I am thoroughly enjoying them.

Chicken with Basil Cream Sauce

This rich and creamy chicken dish is one of the recipes first featured in our Busy Mom Menu. Served over pasta, it is delicious with a salad and bread. Start with chicken (flattened to an even thickness works best), milk, and bread crumbs in an assembly line for the chicken base. The cream sauce includes cream, basil (fresh is always best—I keep 2-3 pots of basil going in my brightest window all year long), Parmesan cheese, pimientos, chicken broth, cornstarch, pepper, and thin spaghetti or angel hair pasta.

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