Potato Soup, Chili-Cheeseburger Mac-n-Cheese, and Beef ‘n Macaroni Bake

With fall starting to settle in, there are so many yummy recipes to try and to share. The best of comfort foods to be sure….warm, filling and full of wonderful flavors. Two new ones I found this week are Mrs. H’s baked apples and Kelli’s dark chocolate chip pumpkin squares (my absolute two favorite flavors!!)

I usually make my own menu plans two weeks at a time (paychecks every two weeks, shopping every two weeks, you see the connection…) Lately, I have been struggling with variety, so I decided to get down some old recipe books. I have one hand-made book from my mom that I treasure where I have added on tried and true family favorites. I came across several yummy meals we haven’t had in quite awhile….but we will be having again soon. Here are a couple of my cool weather favorites.

“Baked” Potato Soup
6 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 large onion, chopped
3 cans chicken broth with roasted garlic
1/4 cup butter
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 cup whipping cream or half-and-half
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3 TBL chopped fresh chives

1. Combine first six ingredients in a slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on HIGH four hours or on LOW eight hours or until potato is tender.
3. Mash mixture until potatoes are coarsely chopped and soup is slightly thickened; stir in cream, cheese, and chives. Warm throughout.
4. If desired, top individual servings with sour cream, bacon and more cheddar cheese before serving. I definitely recommend this last step!!

This next one was originally from Southern Living and is SO much better than those boxed hamburger meals…..you know the ones!!

Chili-Cheeseburger Mac and Cheese
1 box Velvetta shells & cheese, prepared according to box directions
1 pound ground beef
1 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chilies

1. Brown ground beef in a non stick skillet over medium-high heat, stirring until no longer pink; drain and rinse under hot running water.
2. Return beef to skillet and stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. Cook two minutes. Add beans, tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Cook five minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.
3. Stir prepared pasta into beef mixture and serve immediately.

And one more using a box mac-n-cheese dinner (always a hit with my kids…..)
Beef ‘n Macaroni Bake
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 (15oz) can tomato sauce
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 box KRAFT Deluxe Macaroni and Cheese dinner
2 TBL butter
2 TBL flour
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs, beaten

1. Brown meat; drain. Add onion and cook until tender. Stir in tomato sauce, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and spices; simmer ten minutes.
2. Prepare dinner as directed on package. Spread meat mixture onto bottom of 9-inch square baking dish. Top with mac-n-cheese dinner.
3. Melt butter in saucepan on low heat. Blend in flour. Gradually add milk; cook, stirring constantly, on low heat until thickened. Stir small amount of hot mixture into eggs; return to hot mixture. Pour over dinner; sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup parmesan cheese.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until golden brown.

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