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Let me just say right at the beginning . . . this recipe uses processed foods. It is a family favorite, the quintessential comfort food. Cheesy Potatoes is a nice accompaniment to ribs or meatloaf or fried chicken. You will need an extremely large bowl (mine is 32 cups) to mix it in. Do not thaw the potatoes, use them straight from the bag.

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Southern Style frozen hash brown potatoes
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 pint sour cream
½ cup onion
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup butter, melted
Pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients together

Mix all ingredients together

Place into a greased 9X13” pan

Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours (or at 375 degrees for an hour).

Bake at 350 degrees for 1.5 hours (or at 375 degrees for an hour).

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Alert: This recipe requires special equipment. There is a device called a spaetzle maker, which makes this recipe quite simple. Alternatively you could use a flat cheese grater, although it takes more time. I’ve used a spoon a few times and it’s quite tedious.

Alert: This recipe requires special equipment. There is a device called a spaetzle maker, which makes this recipe quite simple. The batter is dolloped into the bowl-shape you see here, then the bowl slides across the holes and the batter drips through. Alternatively you could use a flat cheese grater, although it takes more time. I’ve used a spoon a few times and it’s quite tedious. There may be other kinds of spaetzle makers, too.

Spaetzle is like pasta, but the batter-like dough is pressed through small holes into salted boiling water. Note, do not let whatever device you are using rest upon the edges of the pot for very long or the device will heat up and the batter will cook as soon as it touches the device. My friend Jo learned this from experience. She had to stop, clean her cheese grater, and begin again. Avoid this type of kitchen crisis by working quickly and don’t allow the spaetzle maker to rest on the rim of the kettle.

Spaetzle is like pasta, but the batter-like dough is pressed through small holes into salted boiling water. Note, do not let whatever device you are using rest upon the edges of the pot for very long or the device will heat up and the batter will cook as soon as it touches the device. My friend Jo learned this from experience. She had to stop, clean her cheese grater, and begin again. Avoid this type of kitchen crisis by working quickly and don’t allow the spaetzle maker to rest on the rim of the kettle.

We like to eat spaetzle with Hungarian Pork Stew, Baby Back Ribs with Sauerkraut, and Chicken Paprika. All those recipes can be found here by using the Search box. Oftentimes people like to sauté spaetzle in butter and serve that way. I’ve never tried that, but it sounds good.

Mix together 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp. oil, ½ cup water, ½ cup milk.

Mix together 2 eggs, 2 Tbsp. oil, ½ cup water, ½ cup milk.

Mix together 2-1/2 cups flour, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir well.

Mix together 2-1/2 cups flour, ½ tsp. salt, ¼ tsp. baking powder. Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture and stir well.

Let rest while waiting for a large pot of salted water to boil.

Let rest while waiting for a large pot of salted water to boil.

Working in batches, press a batch of batter through the device (spaetzle maker or flat cheese grater or dripping it off a spoon) into the boiling waterThe batter is supposed to drip into the pot and cook in the water.

Working in batches, press a batch of batter through the device (spaetzle maker or flat cheese grater or dripping it off a spoon) into the boiling salted water. The batter is supposed to drip into the pot and cook in the water.

The spaetzle is done once it floats to the surface.

The spaetzle is done once it floats to the surface.

Using a slotted spoon

Using a slotted spoon, scoop out the spaetzle and place into a bowl or a colander in a bowl. Complete all the batches in a like manner. The longest part of this process is waiting for the water to boil. Seriously.

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P1030812

It’s been a very long time since I served whole chicken pieces without first deboning. When my kids were young I learned that it was much easier to debone while I was still cooking, than to do it after serving. And I was more likely to eat while the food was still warm. Thus, most of my chicken dish recipes use only the meat of a chicken, not the whole pieces.

For the chicken paprika dish, I cut up a 6 lb. chicken into a large pot, covered with water and cooked the chicken until it was done. 6 lbs turned out to be way more than I needed, so I only used half of the breast and one thigh, deboned, along with broth created by the cooked chicken.

P1030791

In a large skillet heat 3-4 Tbsp. oil and then saute 1 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika in it for a minute. Add a cup of chopped onions and saute for a few minutes. Stir in 2 Anaheim chile peppers, seeded & coarsely chopped; 1 medium tomato, chopped; 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced; 3 cups chicken broth; salt and pepper to taste; enough chicken meat to suit you.

Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes.

Bring to a simmer and cook, covered, for about 45 minutes.

Mix 4 Tbsp. flour into 1/2 cup sour cream until well blended. Scoop out a cup of paprika gravy and stir into sour cream mixture until smooth.

Mix 4 Tbsp. flour into 1/2 cup sour cream until well blended. Scoop out a cup of paprika gravy and stir into sour cream mixture until smooth.

Mix 4 Tbsp. flour into 1/2 cup sour cream until well blended. Scoop out a cup of paprika gravy and stir into sour cream mixture until smooth.

Scoop out another cup of gravy and stir into sour cream until smooth.

 Stir sour cream mixture into gravy skillet and stir until smooth.

Stir sour cream mixture into gravy skillet and stir until smooth.

 Return skillet to heat and simmer until gravy has thickened a bit.

Return skillet to heat and simmer until gravy has thickened a bit.

Serve over spaetzle or noodles or rice.

Serve over spaetzle or noodles or rice. Serves 4.

Chicken Paprika Ingredients

Chicken or pieces cooked in water. Debone the chicken and save 3 cups broth.

3-4 Tbsp. oil

1 Tbsp. Hungarian paprika

1 cup chopped onion

2 Anaheim peppers, seeded and coarsely chopped

2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

1 medium tomato, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 Tbsp. flour

1/2 cup sour cream

P1030789

This is a hearty soup, especially good served with a crusty bread. It’s easy to make while camping or at the cabin.

Fry 1 lb Italian sausage, 1 chopped onion, 3 chopped celery stalks, 3 chopped carrots, 1 Tbsp. lemon peel in a large pan until the sausage is cooked through.

Fry 1 lb Italian sausage, 1 chopped onion, 2 chopped celery stalks, 2 chopped carrots, 1 Tbsp. lemon peel in a large pan until the sausage is cooked through.

Stir in 1 quart (or liter) of chicken broth, 2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Simmer for 45 minutes. Serve.

Stir in 1 quart (or liter) of chicken broth, 2 15-oz. cans black beans, drained, and 2 Tbsp lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 45 minutes. Serve.

P1030785

Alert: sourdough pancakes require planning. You can’t wake up in the morning and decide to make them. You must have a starter, or create a starter from scratch, and activate it at least the day before. The older your starter, the more sourdough flavor in your recipes. I’ve heard of people keeping their starter active for years and years, sharing and handing down to the next generation.

As a child I remember waking up one morning to the smell of pancakes frying. Oh, yum. Don Bruckner was staying at my house for a few days and treated my family to sourdough pancakes for breakfast. That morning he told me about the time he made sourdough pancakes for a huge group out in one of the villages and he mixed up the batter in the bathtub because it was the only container big enough. That’s a mental image I cannot shake.

What I don’t know about sourdough could fill several volumes. There is science involved in the whole process. I’m all about easy, so I don’t care to know why it works. I do not have an ages old starter, nor have I ever kept a starter for more than a few months. Here is how I do it, right or wrong.

The starter recipe I use to get going is based on the recipe Quick, Overnight Sourdough Starter in Rita Davenport’s cookbook, Sourdough Cookery (1977). I have tried many recipes in it.

In a medium bowl mix 1-1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups flour. Cover, and let mixture stand in a warm place overnight. It bubbles and then separates. I stir mine down occasionally.

In a medium bowl mix 1-1/2 Tbsp. active dry yeast, 2 cups warm water, and 2 cups flour. Cover, and let mixture stand in a warm place overnight. It bubbles and then separates. I stir mine down occasionally.

If you want to save your starter, keep it active by feeding it equal amounts of warm water and flour at least once per week. If you want to stop feeding it, place the starter in the refrigerator or freezer.When you’re ready to use the starter again, add equal amounts of warm water and flour and let it sit in a warm place overnight.

The night before you want to make pancakes, either add 2 cups warm water and 2 cups flour to ½ cup starter or make the starter recipe above. [Remember that using the Quick, Overnight Sourdough Starter recipe doesn’t yield much sourdough flavor if used the next day.] The next morning remove ½ cup starter to save and feed for other uses.

To the remaining mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking powder, and 3 Tbsp. oil.

To the remaining mixture, stir in 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. baking powder, and 3 Tbsp. oil.

Beat in 2 eggs. Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water and gently fold it into the batter. Do not stir it any more.

Beat in 2 eggs.

 Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

 Dissolve ½ tsp. baking soda in 1 Tbsp. water

Gently fold the soda & water mixture into the batter. Do not stir it any more.

Cook

Pour the batter onto a moderately hot, greased griddle in the sizes that you wish. Once the edges are dry and bubbles have formed across the entire pancake, turn over.

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Makes 4 servings. Tastes great served with jam or jelly, syrup or honey.

P1030761

Another favorite, this is based upon the recipe in Betty Crocker’s Cookbook (1969). It goes really great with bratwurst. The dinner you see pictured here includes bratwurst and sauerkraut, but neither of those are in this potato salad recipe. Just sayin’.

I peel and then boil the potatoes, but as long as they’re cooked it shouldn’t matter how it’s accomplished.  The potatoes work best if they’re cooled.3 pounds cooked potatoes, peeled

3 pounds cooked potatoes, peeled
I peel and then boil the potatoes, but as long as they’re cooked it shouldn’t matter how it’s accomplished. The potatoes work best if they’re then cooled.

In a large skillet, fry 6 slices of bacon until crisp.

In a large skillet, fry 6 slices of bacon until crisp.

Remove bacon and place on absorbent towel to drain.

Remove bacon and place on absorbent towel to drain.

Cook and stir 3/4 cup chopped onion in bacon drippings until tender and golden brown.

Cook and stir 3/4 cup chopped onion in bacon drippings until tender and golden brown.

Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. celery seed, and dash of pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until bubbly.

Stir in 2 Tbsp. flour, 2 Tbsp. sugar, 1 tsp. salt, 1/2 tsp. celery seed, and dash of pepper. Cook over low heat, stirring until bubbly.

Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar). Heat to boiling; stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Remove from heat; stir in 3/4 cup water and 1/3 cup vinegar (I use cider vinegar). Heat to boiling; stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute.

Chop bacon, thinly slice potatoes. Carefully stir into hot mixture. Heat through, stirring lightly to coat potato slices.

Chop bacon, thinly slice potatoes. Carefully stir into hot mixture. Heat through, stirring lightly to coat potato slices.

Serves 5 or 6. And tastes pretty great the next day, too!

Serves 5 or 6. And tastes pretty great the next day, too!

Hot German Potato Salad ingredients

3 pounds cooked potatoes, peeled

6 slices bacon

¾ cup chopped onion

2 Tbsp. flour

2 Tbsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. celery seed

Dash pepper

¾ cup water

1/3 cup vinegar

What kind?