Baked Potato Soup – Chicken Parmesan Tenders

November 13, 2017 at 10:26 am (Chicken, Recipes, Soup)

We are an old-fashioned family.  We eat a protein, a starch and a vegetable every meal.  It often tasks my brain to come up with a different starch.  I’ve been making this soup since 2006.  It uses baked potatoes, which makes it nice for leftovers.  In my opinion, baked potatoes have much more flavor.  I cut the recipe in half since it is just DannyO and I and served it with baked Parmesan chicken tenders and a salad. BakedPotatoSoup-1

Baked Potato Soup

  • 4 large baking potatoes (about 2 3/4 pounds)
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt (I use 1 1/4 teaspoons because I felt it needed a bit more)
  • 3/4 teaspoon white pepper (you can use black pepper but the white pepper keeps the creamy broth all white)
  • 6 cups milk -(or more if the end product is too thick for your liking.  We like it thick 🙂 )
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
  • 10 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  1.  Bake potatoes at 350 for 65-75 minutes or until tender; cool completely.  Peel and cube potatoes. 
  2. In large saucepan or dutch oven melt butter; stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth.
  3. Gradually add milk. Bring to a gentle boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened.
  4. Remove from heat; whisk in sour cream.  Add potatoes and green onions.
  5. At this point, you may need to put it back on the stove to heat the potatoes through.  Make sure you don’t put it on a high heat!  Add more milk at this time if you think it is too thick.
  6. Garnish with bacon and cheddar cheese.  Serve.

The chicken tenders are a recipe I made myself although I’m sure there are many on line.  I will give you the ingredients I use.  The important thing is to bake on a wire rack on a cookie sheet so the tenders are crisp on all sides.BakedPotatoSoup-2

Baked Parmesan Cheese Chicken Tenders

  • 8 ounces chicken tenders
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • Salt/pepper
  • 1 cup seasoned panko or bread crumbs
  • shredded parmesan cheese
  1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Combine flour, salt and pepper in a ziploc bag and put the tenders in.  Mash around until they are covered.  Shake them off well and put on a plate.
  2. Beat 2 eggs in one pie plate.  Add the seasoned panko and parmesan cheese in another.
  3. Using the assembly method, put the tenders in the egg mixture and dredge through the panko/parmesan mixture.
  4. Put on wire rack on cookie sheet.  For convenience, I cover the cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
  5. Bake at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes.


Go forth and cook an easy supper!!


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Minimizing MY Way – Staying on the Journey

November 9, 2017 at 12:28 pm (Minimalizing My Way)

minimalismstruggle-9I’ve been on the “minimalism MY way” journey for 21 months and sometimes I still struggle.  I war between wanting a French Country style with all of its beauty and layers and a minimalist look with its peace and quiet.  {{Sigh}}

The last few days I’ve been “thinking” about adding to my kitchen/dining room.  Thinking about copper pots, ironstone, covered glass domes filled with beautiful things, banners that spell out beautiful words, flowers and more flowers, fabric that adds to the look of “comfort,” candlesticks… you get the idea 🙂

And then I come back to the reason I decided to embark on the minimalism MY way journey; because the clutter in my head matched the clutter in my house.  And I decide to spend a rainy afternoon rearranging what I have.

I still may go to a lighter style of dishes.  My Marcrest is so heavy looking and bulky.  I have a few pieces of “Stubenville Pottery, Fairlane Pattern,” and may choose to replace what I have with those pieces.  I may fill a bowl of spiced orange pomander balls for the Christmas season.  I am painting another breadbox to display on my primitive cupboard.

See??  My journey includes compromise!!  I promise you, if you go on the journey, you will have to compromise too.  And that’s okay!!  Here is my kitchen/dining room sparkling clean and beautiful!!

I am content.


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Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

November 6, 2017 at 8:06 am (Recipes, Soup)

It is a rainy Monday morning here on Blueberry Hill and I wanted to write a quick blog post about the second soup I made this last week.  I usually never make two soups in a week but I had mushrooms and homemade chicken broth that needed used.  I found this recipe on the Damn Delicious Blog but since I’ve made my own changes to it, I am declaring it mine too 🙂

DannyO says to keep it in my recipe file so if he says that, I say it’s good enough to share!!creamymushroomsoup-1-e1509973425911.jpgdefault

Creamy Chicken and Mushroom Soup

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces chicken tenders cut into small chunks
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 16 ounce baby bella mushrooms sliced thinly
  • 1/2 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 cup half and half or more (See Note**)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  1. Heat olive oil in soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.  Season chicken well with salt and pepper.  Add to pot and cook until browned, stirring frequently, about 5 minutes, making sure chicken is cooked completely.
  2. Melt butter in the pot over medium/low heat.  Add garlic, mushrooms, onion, carrots and celery.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-4 minutes.  (See Note*) Stir in thyme and cook about 1 more minute.
  3. Whisk in flour, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute.  Whisk in chicken stock, bay leaf and chicken tenders and cook, whisking constantly, until slightly thickened, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Stir in half and half until heated through, about 1-2 minutes. (See Note**)  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  If the soup is too thick, add more half and half or broth until desired consistency is reached.
  5. Garnish with parsley and serve with a crusty bread.

Note*  The dice on the vegetables needs to be small enough to cook through in 3-4 minutes.  I slit the celery down the middle before slicing and I slit the carrots into 4 long pieces before dicing into little squares.  That is the beauty of this recipe!!  It can be cooked literally in 30 minutes or less!!

Note** If you want to make it a dairy-free recipe, I would add 1/2 cup of extra chicken broth and then check the consistency.  If needed, add more chicken broth.  If you want to be brave and try it without the flour and half and half, go for it!!  You will have more of a regular soup consistency with the mushrooms acting as the noodles!!Creamymushroomsoup-3

Go forth and make soup!!


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Recipe for Shea Butter Moisturizer

November 4, 2017 at 9:25 am (Homemade Beauty Products, Simplifying facial care)

I know my last blog post was probably hard to read for a few of you but, honestly, facing truths is often hard.  I know it spoke to some because I heard from you.

Anyway, I’m moving back to my regular posts… recipes/minimalism/home decor (my way).

As part of my “minimalism MY way” routine, I’ve been making all of my own face cleansing and moisturizer products. While I love my Coconut Oil Moisturizer, I needed a heavier product for the winter months because my face is so dry.  It seems that Shea butter is heavier and better for those with very dry skin.

I found a few recipes but decided to make my own.  It is fabulous!!  I wake up with my skin still soft and supple (which is hard when you’re 58!!  🙂 )  Since the heat has been on, I had been waking up with dry skin.   I will use the Shea Butter cream through the winter months.

Shea Butter Moisturizer

  • 1/2 cup shea butter
  • 1/8 cup sweet almond oil
  • 1/8 cup Vitamin E oil
  • 10 drops Young Living Sweet frankincense Oil (or any other concentrated oil you’d like to use)

Sheabuttermoisturizer-1  Sheabuttermoisturizer-2

  1. Using a double boiler or a glass bowl over a pan of water, melt the shea butter. Sheabuttermoisturizer-3
  2. When completely melted, add the sweet almond oil, vitamin E oil and sweet frankincense oil.Sheabuttermoisturizer-4
  3. Pour into glass container (I would recommend glass). Sheabuttermoisturizer-5
  4. Set in refrigerator until it has completely cooled and is solid.
  5. Store in a dark cupboard.

It is that easy!!  The Shea butter initially had some “granules” in it, but after I melted it, they dissolved.  This is the best moisturizer!!  If you plan to use it only intermittently, store in the refrigerator.  Me??  I use it up quickly enough that I can keep it in a dark cabinet.  If it loses its “solidity,” I just put it back in the fridge for a few hours.  It also feels great on the skin chilled.  🙂

One note, after applying to your face, massage it in.  Then leave the residue on the surface of your skin for 5 minutes.  Much more will be absorbed.  The, using a microfiber towel (exclusively for this), blot your face and continue your beauty routine.  I usually use that 5 minutes to do my “5 minute ab workout!”

Go forth and make your own moisturizer!!  It is easy and cheap!



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November 1, 2017 at 6:00 am (Musings...)

I’ve been struggling to write this blog for a week.

I was face-timing my darling daughter Amanda yesterday. She quoted this, “If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.” ~~ C.S. Lewis

The recognition of what the struggle really was and the blog post came together in that moment.  This is an honest conversation between you, me and one of my inner voices.  🙂

I am not envious of other’s possessions.  Believe me, that jealousy was gone after I took 850 pounds out of our home last year.  I’m not envious (almost never 🙂 ) of other’s looks. At 58 I have finally accepted how I look and am embracing who I am and am working to keep ME in the best shape I can be in.  “I’m not the average girl from your video and I ain’t built like a supermodel, but I’ve learned to love myself unconditionally because I am a queen.”  ~~ India.Arie

No, what I struggle with is contentment in my ability to create and am often envious that others are so much better than I am.  I cannot dedicate 8 hours a day to improve.  My body would curl up in a ball right on my chair and my eyes would be seeing, not double, but quadruple!! I can’t even have a full-time job because of my physical struggles.  How the hell am I supposed to feel good about who I am??? (One of my inner “voices” swears a lot 🙂  )

I actually unsubscribed from blogs that were lovely and inspiring but made me feel inadequate and depressed.  Yes, I know that people who blog often exaggerate their realities but they always make it seem so easy!  They probably have assistants for assistants and housekeepers and all the rest.  They have endless energy and an unlimited supply of creativity!

As I’m muddling through, sometimes I feel like God screwed up!  Here I am with all these ideas and a bit of talent and I can’t do it because my body betrays me!!  Sometimes I think if I didn’t have any talent I’d be better off!! Damn it!!!  (that inner voice again…)

I began to recognize this discontent in September.  I wrote some verses in my journal.


I don’t have a clear handle on this, but I am working to be thankful every day for my abilities and my creative, bouncing brain!!  It’s a destructive pattern that I need to break!!  The prayer in my devotional today was, “Thank You, Lord Jesus, for my journey through the valley of weeping so You might break any destructive patterns in my life, which releases me to enjoy the pools of blessings.  I delight to worship You and live with You in the simplicity of childlike trust.” ~~Hinds Feet on High Places devotional

Now if I could only get that inner voice to stop swearing…


I was made for another world.  I can’t wait!!

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