Category Archives: Food

Super Easy Stuffing Meatloaf

Is there anything better than walking into the house after a long day and being greeted by the aroma of supper in the oven? If there is I can’t think of it right now.

That’s what was waiting for me tonight!  It was a new meatloaf we were trying for the first time .  The original suggestion came from one of my forum friends and we found the official recipe on the Stove Top Stuffing website.

That’s right!  This recipe calls for a box of chicken flavored stuffing mix.  I would have never thought to try that.  My wife said it was easy to put together.  Only 5 ingredients.

Stuffing Meatloaf Plated

It was incredible!  Very moist.  Great flavor.  Sweet and smokey due to the inclusion of BBQ sauce mixed into the meat and as a glaze.  If you don’t already have a family favorite  meatloaf recipe give this one a try.

Stuffing Meatloaf

Do you have a favorite recipe that calls for a box of stuffing mix?

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Cheesy Crock-Pot Chicken Bacon Tater Tot Casserole

Another busy week and the desire to try some different recipes had us making a new crock-pot recipe today.  It turned out great so I thought I’d share it with you!

The inspiration for this recipe came from something my oldest daughter pinned on Pinterest.  It was a recipe from The Country Cook Blog.

The recipe sounded great… but being me… I felt the need to tweak it just a bit.  I asked my daughter how she would change it.  What spices might she want to use?

What we came up with was fantastic!

Cheesy Crock-Pot Chicken Bacon Tater Tot Casserole

Here’s what you need:

1 – 1.5 pound boneless skinless chicken breast

2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

1 – 10.5 ounce can of Cream of Chicken Soup

10.5 ounces of milk

1 – 30 ounce package of tater tots

1 tablespoon parsley flakes

1/2 pound bacon

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon onion powder

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Ingredients

First, cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces.

Frozen Chicken Breast

Cubed Raw Chicken

Then it’s time to cook the bacon.  I tried a new method; cooking it in water as demonstrated in this video.

Cooking Bacon In Water

It turned out great! I’ll definitely be using that technique again.

Cooked Bacon


Once the bacon is cooked and cooled go ahead and chop it up.

Chopped Cooked Bacon

Time to make the “sauce”.  In a bowl whisk together the cream of chicken soup,  milk (use the soup can to measure), parsley flakes, onion powder, and garlic powder.

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Sauce

Now it’s time to assemble the casserole.  Layer the tater tots, chicken, cheese, and bacon in 2-3 layers.

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Layers

Layering Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole

Pour the sauce evenly over the whole thing.

Adding the sauce

Turn the crock-pot on low and let it go for 4-6 hours.  That’s it!

Ready to cook

Time to serve it up.

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Finished

Cheesy Chicken Tator Tot Casserole Plated

This casserole is delicious and filling!  As we were eating it my wife and youngest daughter suggested that next time we add a bag of frozen chopped broccoli or cauliflower.  Great suggestions that will definitely be tried next time!

Other ideas I might try sometime would be to add some chopped onion, fresh minced garlic, and maybe some water chestnuts for crunch.

What do you think? Does this sound like something you’d like to try? What ways might you modify the recipe?

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Easy Mashed Potatoes

A picture I shared in a recent post on cooking a whole turkey breast side down led to some questions about how I make mashed potatoes.

Turkey Dinner

A friend asked, “What’s the brown things in your mashed potatoes.”

I explained that it was the potato peel and that I liked to make them without skinning the potatoes.  This lead to more questions.  I figured if one person was interested that you might be as well.

So here it is.  My…

Easy Mashed Potatoes

You’ll need:

* A 5 pound bag of potatoes

* Salt

* A brick of cream cheese (non-fat or reduced fat works well)

* Milk

* Lawry’s Season Salt

Mashed Potato Ingredients

You start by washing the potatoes.  Cut them into quarters, removing any bad spots, and place them in a pot.

At this point I like to rinse the potatoes.  Then I fill the pot with enough cold water to cover the potatoes.  Then I stir in some salt.  I never measure but I’d guess that I use about a tablespoon or so.

Potatoes in a pot

Cover and cook on high heat until it starts to boil.  You’re going to want to keep an eye on it so it doesn’t boil over.  Otherwise you’ll have a mess.  I know this from personal experience.

Once it’s boiling good remove the cover and reduce the heat to medium-high and set a timer for 15 minutes.  When it goes off stick a fork or knife into one of the chunks.  If it pierces without any effort the potatoes are done.  If not, give it a few minutes and check again.

When the potatoes are fully cooked, drain them in a colander, and return to the burner… but keep the heat off.

Cooked potatoes ready to mash

Here’s where you’ll use a potato masher to mash them up.  Once you’ve got a good mash going, mash in the brick of cream cheese, and a little milk.

How much milk you use is a personal preference.  If you like stiff potatoes use less milk.  The key is to add the milk a little at a time. Remember, you can always add more.

With everything mashed together, I then switch to a wooden spoon to stir in the seasoning salt.  Again, how much you use is up to you.  I tend to under season figuring people can add more at the table if they choose.

A batch this size gives our family enough for a meal with leftovers to freeze!

By leaving the skins on you cut the prep time down significantly and, I’m told, increase the nutritional value.  Our family doesn’t mind the skins in the mashed potatoes.  In fact, we actually prefer it this way!

That’s how I make mashed potatoes.  Does it differ than how you do it?  Have you ever tried making them with the peels on?

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