Difficulty: **

4-5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2 cup onion, diced
1-1/2 cups water
2 chicken boullion cubes (do not substitute)
1/2 tsp salt
2 cups milk, 2% or whole (1% or skim gives the soup a funny texture)
1 cup sour cream (8 oz)
2 Tablespoons flour

In a large saucepan, combine potatoes, celey onion, water, boullion cubes and salt. Cover and cook until potatoes are tender - about 20 minutes. Watch carefully. DO NOT OVERCOOK. They should still be tender, not mushy. Add 1 cup milk into the pan with the potatoes and heat. In medium bowl, mix sour cream, flour, and remaining 1 cup milk. Gradually stir this mixture into soup. Cook over low heat. STIR CONSTANTLY - don't let it burn to the pan. Remove from heat after it thickens.

Yield: 4-6 servings

Tip: After I've cooked over low heat for 30 minutes, I usually put the mixture in a crockpot and let it simmer on low for several hours. Keep checking and stirring. 

WADF Chili (A Family Favorite)

This is basic, delicious mild chili is a YOU CAN COOK recipe.


1 pound of ground hamburger
1/2 onion chopped
1 large can of kidney beans with liquid (can be two cans if you like beans)
1 small can of tomato sauce
1 medium can of diced tomatoes
1 small can of diced Ortega chilis
1 package McCormick Chili mix


1. Brown the hamburger and onion in a large frying pan - and I mean large.  Drain any excess fat.
2. Add the kidney beans, tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, and Ortega chilis with the liquids from the cans. Add the chili mix and stir.
3. Simmer for 15-20 minutes.


1. Vary your enjoyment by topping with cheddar cheese, sour cream, crumbled corn bread, or crackers.
2. This recipe can also be used as a topping for a baked potato.

Serves 4-6.

Beef Stew (A Family Favorite)

Difficulty: *

In the Crock Pot or Oven:

2 lbs boneless stew meat
1 Tablespoon sugar
1 can tomatoes (16 oz)
3 medium onions, chopped
4-5 medium potatoes, diced
1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons Tapioca
1 cup celery, chopped
5-6 large carrots, chopped

Wash and chop the vegetables. Put everything into the crockpot or a casserole dish. Do not brown the meat. If using the crockpot, let it simmer away on medium to high for 5-8 hours. If using a casserole, bake at 250 degrees for 5 hours or more. As a rule, the longer it cooks the better it is. Stir frequently and add small amounts of water as necessary to keep from drying out.

Tip: I vary the ingredients in this depending on what I have. I've left out the onions, the Tapioca, the celery. I've used beef stock to make it more liquid, and I've used water when I didn't have any. If you have the basic stew meat, sugar, tomatoes, potatoes, carrots and salt, you can make this recipe.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (A Family Favorite)

Difficulty: **

  • 2 sticks of butter
  • 3/4 cup of sugar
  • 3/4 cup of brown sugar (packed)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs

  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

Stir in:
  • 1 package (12 oz.) chocolate chips

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray baking sheets with cooking spray.
  3. Drop by spoonfuls onto the sheet.
  4. Bake for 8-10 minutes.

  • Any kind of chips can be substituted - butterscotch, white chocolate, etc.
  • For gooey cookies, check at 8 minutes and remove from oven when center is still soft.
  • Let sit on the tray until they set.
Makes approximately 3 dozen medium cookies.

Onion Rings (A Family Favorite)

Difficulty: ***


1 large onion, cut into 1/4 inch slices
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt or Serendipity Salt (visit:
1 egg
1 cup milk, or as needed
3/4 cup dry bread crumbs
seasoned salt to taste
1 quart oil for frying, or as needed


1. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 365 degrees F (185 degrees C).
2. Separate the onion slices into rings, and set aside. In a small bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt.
3. Dip the onion slices into the flour mixture until they are all coated; set aside. Whisk the egg and milk into the flour mixture using a fork. Dip the floured rings into the batter to coat, then place on a wire rack to drain until the batter stops dripping. The wire rack may be placed over a sheet of aluminum foil for easier clean up. Spread the bread crumbs out on a plate or shallow dish. Place rings one at a time into the crumbs, and scoop the crumbs up over the ring to coat. Give it a hard tap as you remove it from the crumbs. The coating should cling very well. Repeat with remaining rings.
4. Deep fry the rings a few at a time for 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove to paper towels to drain. Season with seasoning salt, and serve.

Tips: I did NOT set the battered rings on a wire rack to drip dry...instead, I sort of gave them a little wrist-flick shake and then put them right in the oil, which meant more fried batter which equals yummy.

I also added Serendipity Seasoning (instead of seasoned salt) to both the dry mixture and sprinkled over the top when cooked.

I flipped them over after about 2 minutes of frying and let fry another minute or so.
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