I call it that, but I must confess: I’ve made it twice this year, and it’s only November. In my defense, I gave 3/4 of the first batch away.  But still….

All year I wait for cold weather to arrive so I have an excuse to my “soup is for cold weather” believing BeachBoy.  I suppose Floridians don’t eat much soup, then.

However, I reserve this to a once-a-year recipe since it is so very unhealthy…but oh so good.

I must warn you though.  Since this is my recipe, the measurements are quite, um, loose.  Just ask my sister. 

This week, my humble potato soup got the coveted Southern nod of approval: from a ten year old….but still.

Once a Year Potato Soup

  • Roughly three pounds of chopped potatoes (I usually use the better part of a bag.), cooked until soft in heavily salted water, along with black pepper
  • 1 package of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, chopped, in their entirety
  • 1 1/2 packs shredded colby/monterary jack cheese blend
  • 3 cans cream of potato soup
  • 1 quart of half and half  (a sad attempt to ‘lighten’ this up)
  • 1 pint of heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Up to 1 tsp. Tabasco, to taste
  • 1/2-1 tsp white pepper
  • Roughly 3/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon dried parsley


Cook bacon and potatoes and set aside. I like to cut my bacon in half before cooking it. 

Heat the soup and creams, whisking until smooth.  Stir in spices, salt and Tabasco.  Melt butter and combine with flour.  Whisk the flour mixture into the cream base and continue to heat while the soup thickens.  Add cheese to melt.  Stir in bacon, potatoes, onions, and parsley.  Simmer until heated through.  Serve with additional cheese, sour cream, bacon, and chives, as your BeachBoy desires.  Or, eat it plain and claim to be eating light. 

This makes a great dipping soup, if you are looking to add some bread to your meal for extra carbs.  I know those are popular these days.  Lucky for you carb-cravers, this recipe makes a large batch.




I love chili.  I love spicy chili.  I love making chili from scratch.  BeachBoy?  Well, he likes soup, but only when it’s cold.  And, tomatoes and spicy foods both give him heartburn.  So, chili is a rare treat.

However, earlier this year, I was given a chili kit by our school’s parents’ club.  With a rainy forecast looming, I thought this would be just the week to try it out. 


They had packaged it in a cute little bag with a note that it was “great for gift giving.”  With the holidays drawing near, I thought I would share their tasty idea with you.

Here is the ‘gift giving’ version of the recipe, as it was printed on the bag.

Taco Chili Mix

  • 1 cup of dried kidney beans
  • 1/2 cup of dried pinto beans
  • 1 (1.5 oz) package of taco seasoning mix
  • 1 (1 oz) package of buttermilk salad dressing mix
  • 3 Tablespoons of dried minced onion
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 1/2 cups tortilla chips

Directions for assembling gift bags:

In a 1 qt. jar (or bag), layer kidney and pinto beans.  In a small bowl, combine spices.  Place seasoning mix in a plastic bag or wrap in plastic wrap.  Add the enclosed mix to the jar (or bag).  Put chips on top.  Cover the lid of the jar with fabric and ribbon.  Don’t forget to include the recipe.


Directions for making taco chili:


  • Bean mix
  • Spice Packet
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 (14.5 ox) can diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • 1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground beef, cooked and drained


Cover beans with water and soak for 8 hours or overnight.  Drain and add to a dutch oven or pan.  Add remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 2 hours or until beans are tender.  Serve with tortilla chips, grated cheese, and a dallop of sour cream. 

 Chili: It’s not pretty, but it’s good!