Southern Potato Chowder


I am sure that by now everyone is tired of eating Thanksgiving leftovers, somehow after the first couple of days they lose the novelty that they once had. Or something like that. Southern Potato Chowder is a creamy, delicious winter soup. It combines both comfort and simplicity to create a timeless classic that your family will devour every time. I know mine did! Who doesn’t like potato soup?

Southern Potato Chowder: 2 large carrots, 3 stalks celery, 4 large red potatoes, 2-3 green onions, 5 cups water, 1/2 to 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 2 tbsp. sour cream, 1 tsp. parsley flakes, 1 tsp. basil, 1/2 tsp. no salt seasoning, 1/2 tsp. cumin, 2 vegetable bouillons, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Pour water into a soup pot, when it comes to a boil add the milk and bouillon. Stir until dissolved. Peel and roughly chop potatoes, dice carrots, celery, and green onions. Add these to the pot with the spices. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. When the time is up add the sour cream and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Pour half of the soup into the bowl of a food processor, pulse until pureed. Add the puree back into the soup, turn off the heat and let sit for 10 minutes. Serve while warm, garnish with grated cheese and additional parsley flakes.

Here it is up close! Creamy, beautiful, naturally rich….but I’ll let you see for yourself!



Turkey Veggie Tetrazzini

Do you have a fridge full of leftover turkey, cornbread dressing, turkey, sweet potato casserole, broccoli casserole, turkey, and more turkey?  Looking for something to do with all that leftover Thanksgiving turkey? Well, look no further! Turkey Veggie Tetrazzini delicious baked pasta with a to-die for creamy cheese sauce. Many tetrazzinis contain mushrooms, I do not like mushrooms, so I had to come up with an alternative. This recipe is a complete original by yours truly, I hope that you enjoy my creation!

The Ingredients: 1 lb. spaghetti, 1 large can Campbell’s cream of Cheddar Cheese soup, 1/2 soup can of water, 2 cups cooked turkey (shredded), 1 green bell pepper, 1/2 Vidalia onion, 1 can green peas, 2 tbsp. olive oil, 2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese, 1/2 cup Colby Jack cheese (grated), 1 tsp. no salt seasoning, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder, pinch of black pepper.

Dice onion and bell pepper, saute in a large skillet until the onion is translucent. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti noodles until al dente, set aside. Reduce heat to low and add cheese soup, water, spices, peas, and turkey to the skillet. Stir slowly for 10 minutes over low heat, remove from stove and combine cooked noodles, sauce, and Parmesan cheese in a large casserole pan. Sprinkle grated cheese evenly over the top, cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

Sadly, there is no picture of this scrumptious delight, it was consumed before Friar Tyst had a chance to photograph it.

Our Family’s Thanksgiving Recipes

Today I am sharing our family’s favorite Thanksgiving recipes that have been passed down to me through the generations, some of them are Southern Baptist favorites and others are more unconventional. The first one I am sharing with you is my personal favorite, this is my grandmother’s recipe, she makes it every year and it is always delicious.

Baked Sweet Potatoes: 5-6 sweet potatoes, 1 cup brown sugar, 1 cup cane sugar, 1/4 cup flour, 3/4 cup milk, 1/2 stick butter, 2-3 eggs, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg. Boil sweet potatoes whole for 30 minutes, remove skins. Mash the sweet potatoes in a large baking dish and stir in milk, eggs, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. In a small bowl, mix together cane sugar, flour, and additional cinnamon. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the sweet potatoes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes.


Next up, the turkey!

Ingredients: 1 15 pound fresh turkey, 1 tbsp. garlic, 1 tbsp. basil, 1 tbsp. rosemary, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tbsp. cumin, 1 tbsp. no salt seasoning, 12 tbsp. melted butter, aromatic chopped vegetables. Remove turkey from bag, stuff cavity with chosen vegetables. Mix together spices and softened butter, rub the butter mixture over the surface of the turkey until coated. Place the bird in a oven bag and refrigerate overnight. The next morning, place turkey (still in oven bag) in a roasting pan. Cook at 425 degrees for one hour, reduce heat to 345 degrees and bake for an additional 3 to 3 1/2 hours. Carve turkey and serve while warm.


Cornbread Dressing has long been a traditional Thanksgiving food for our family, the original recipe was created by great-grandmother, this is Queenbee’s  favorite and a southern baptist classic.

Cornbread Dressing: 1 pan of cornbread (crumbled), 2 cups Pepperidge Farm Herbed Stuffing, 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cups chicken broth, 3 eggs, 1/2 yellow onion (diced), 4 stalks celery (diced), 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning, 1 tsp. basil, 2 tsp. parsley flakes, 1 tsp. no salt seasoning. Combine all ingredients in a large casserole pan, mix well. Adding more broth as needed. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50  minutes.


Many like to have Broccoli Rice Casserole as a Thanksgiving side, but we have always preferred Broccoli & Cheese Casserole.

Broccoli & Cheese Casserole: 1 pkg. Eat Smart Broccoli Florets, 1 10 oz. can cream of mushroom soup, 1 cup crushed Club crackers, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese. Steam broccoli for 20 minutes, combine with soup in a baking dish, stir well. Top with cracker crumbs and cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.


We can’t forget dessert! This is one of my mom’s classic recipes, no one makes it better than her!

Chocolate Meringue Pie: 3/4 cup brown sugar, 2 tbsp. flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, 4 tbsp. cocoa, 1 1/2 cups milk, 4 tbsp. butter, 3 egg yolks, 3 egg whites. The Pie Filling: Melt butter in a large saucepan. Meanwhile, bake your prepared pie crust at 350 degrees for 10-15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit. Combine all remaining ingredients in the saucepan. Whisk until combined, be careful not to burn. Remove from heat and pour into prepared pie crust. Set aside and top with chocolate chips (optional). The Meringue: Place egg whites and and two tablespoons of sugar into the bowl of a mixer and let sit on the stove while you make the pie. Using the whisk attachment, mix on high for 5 minutes or until light and fluffy. Spread the meringue evenly over the pie filling and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until the meringue is golden brown.

As you can see, we got a little carried away with the meringue:)


I hope that you enjoy these recipes as much as we have over the years!



My Mama’s Banana Bread

Homemade bread of any kind is a comfort food in my book, but when somebody makes homemade bread that is healthy, AND tastes good….well….more power to them. Today I am introducing the most important member of our cooking team, the person who taught me how to cook. Queenbee. She is the one that laid the foundation that I have built upon, Queenbee is my inspiration in life. When I ruin recipes, she fixes them. She is always there for me exactly when I need her most. Banana Bread is one of the first things she taught me how to make. (She still makes it better than I do). I remember stirring the ingredients in a mixing bowl while she added them and tasting the sweet batter before she put the flour in…did I say that out loud? I could share with you many memories of all the things she has taught me how to cook and bake, but this one is enough for today.

The Ingredients: 2 1/2 old bananas, 1 cup dark brown sugar, 2 cups whole wheat flour, 1 egg, 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk (more if needed), 1/2 tsp. baking soda, 1 tsp. salt, 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. nutmeg,

Place bananas in the bowl of a mixer, beat until pureed. Add baking soda and mix for 15 seconds on medium speed. Add sugar and the egg, mix until combined. Add flour and milk in alternating batches until combined. Finally, add salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Mix until just combined. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-50 minutes. Butter the bread and serve while warm.

Tuna Salad

Tuna, a pantry staple for many Americans, a sandwich companion for generations. Tuna Salad brings out all the natural flavor of tuna and can be classified as a healthy food with it’s 50% vegetable content. Our family loves cold salads, sometime soon I will share our famous Southern Potato Salad recipe, but this one is all you can handle for today.

The Ingredients: 3 cans Starkist tuna (drain 2 of them), 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, 4 green onions, 1/2 cup chopped pickles, 2 hard-boiled eggs, 2 tbsp. olive oil mayonnaise, 1 tbsp. spicy brown mustard, 1/2 tsp. garlic, 1 tsp. italian seasoning, 1/4 tsp. black pepper.

Grate carrots and dice celery and onions, combine with pickles, spices, and tuna. Mix well. Add mayo, mustard, and eggs. Stir until combined. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to an hour. Serve on whole grain mini baguettes with shredded lettuce, ranch dressing, and tomato slices.


Marbled Cheesecake

No bake Cheesecake, the words does not even come close to describing the magnificence of said dessert. The chocolaty crust combined with the creamy, luscious layers of goodness…’s too much for me! Too much! I apologize in advance for sharing this recipe with you, it will make you kiss your favorite jeans goodbye, cry bitter tears as you survive on only salad greens for the rest of your existence…..wait, what am I talking about? Here is your chocolate fix for the week.

The Crust: 2 1/2 to 3 cups chocolate graham cracker crumbs, 1 stick butter, melted. The Chocolate cheesecake layer: 1 8 oz. bar Philadelphia cream cheese, 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip, 4 tbsp. unsweetened cocoa, 3/4 cup Confectioner’s sugar. The Original Cheesecake layer:  8 oz. bar Philadelphia cream cheese, 1 8 oz. tub of Cool Whip, 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar.

Place the graham cracker crumbs and butter into the bowl of a food processor, pulse until combined. Press into the bottom of a large casserole pan, refrigerate for 2-3 hours. Combine all ingredients for the Chocolate cheesecake layer in the food processor, pulse until smooth and no lumps remain. Spread on top of the crust. Repeat for the Original Cheesecake layer, spread this layer on top of the first cheesecake layer. Sprinkle 1/2 cup chocolate chips across the top (optional). Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Serves 8-10.

So good….


Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti

I have just realized that nearly all of my Easy Weekday Dinner posts have involved pasta, probably because it is one of the fastest things to make. However, I promise that in the future I will include a more diverse array of foods within this category. Cheesy Chicken Spaghetti is one of my more recent creations, I would have never guessed that spaghetti noodles could be used for other things besides, well, spaghetti with tomato sauce and Parmesan. As with all my quick meals, this is a family friendly meal that anyone would love.

The Ingredients: 13 oz. of whole wheat spaghetti, 10 oz. can of Campbell’s Cream of Chicken Soup (half of the pictured can), 1 can Margaret Holmes Triple Succotash, 3/4 cup shredded chicken (fully cooked), 1/2 tsp. garlic, 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, 1 tsp. Italian seasoning (not pictured), 1 cup grated cheddar cheese.


Break spaghetti into fourths and cook until al dente, place in a large casserole dish combine cooked noodles, chicken soup, shredded chicken, spices, and succotash, stir well. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the top, cover the casserole with foil, and cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!

Here is the before, there is no after because it was eaten too fast!