Smokey Mountain Cabin Soup

This Cheesy Comforting Soup is a real keeper! Full of potatoes and vegetables, this soup is actually a great one to pull together from a few pantry staples! You won't believe how easy it is!

I first found the original recipe in a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch, and it was submitted by a J. Kovach. I am so glad she did, because my husband said to keep this one in rotation.

I can totally see how easy this one is to take with you to cabin for a family trip. Comforting, yet easy to transport the ingredients too! So next time you are taking the family on a ski vacation or fall getaway, take along this recipe and you'll be so glad you did!

Ok, I did make a few tweaks to the recipe, partly because of what I had on hand, and also to add a bit of protein to the soup. It is perfectly fine without my changes, so I'll post the orginal along with what I added to the recipe.

Jan's Tip: Her recipe says it feeds 4, but I cut the recipe in half and there was enough for 4 regular sized bowls. I raised boys, so my 1/2 recipe would not have been enough if there were 4 kids home, but the original seems like it would feed for than 4 servings. The original recipe called for 1 (9 oz) box of au gratin potatoes. The stores today only have 3.5 (oz) boxes, so I guess you are supposed to use 2. We are empty nesters and that seemed like a LOT of soup, so I used one box and cut the rest of the recipe in half. I honestly think 1 box is probably just fine for the whole recipe, but have not made the full recipe to know for sure.

Jan's Tweaks: Besides cutting the recipe in half. I also :
1) Used cauliflower instead of corn
2) Added 1 1/2 cups shredded/diced cooked chicken (for added protein)
3) Crumbled in 1 slice of Bacon on top of each bowl of soup. (Cause, ummm. YUM!)

Smokey Mountain Cabin Soup

2 (3.5 oz) box au gratin potato mix
15 oz. can corn, drained
14 1/2 oz can tomatoes with green chiles
2 1/2 c. water
16 oz. cubed Velveeta Cheese
2 c. milk


  1. Combine potato mix with cheese sauce packets, corn, tomatoes and water in a large sauce pan.
  2. Bring to a boil. reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes, stirring often.
  3. Add cubed cheese and milk let simmer and stir until cheese is melted. k
  4. Serve Warm.


Scarecrow Munchie Mix

This Autumn Party Mix is the perfect recipe to throw together when you want to make something seasonal without spending a lot of time baking! Everyone will not be able to stop munching when you show up to the party with treat bags filled with this delicious mix!

My kids say that eating candy corns and peanuts at the same time tastes just like eating a Baby Ruth candy bar. Since this recipe also drizzles a bit of white chocolate over the mix, it really should be named: Baby Ruth Popcorn Mix! In our family Baby Ruths brings back memories of Nana Kelley, whom we lost this year and so this mix is in memory of her.

Autumn Party Mix:


2 bags Microwave Popcorn

1 bag Candy Corns

1  cup salted peanuts

1 (16 oz) bag white chocolate chips

1 cup orange candy melts

Optional: Fall Candy Sprinkles


Put wax paper on 2 large baking pans.

Pop the popcorn and remove the unpopped kernals

Divide popcorn evenly among both baking pans

Sprinkle the candy corn and peanuts evenly into the popcorn, dividing equally between both pans.

Melt white chocolate chips according to package directions.

Drizzle white chocolate all over the popcorn mixture between both pans.

Melt Orange Candy Melts according to package directions.

Drizzle Orange over popcorn mixture on both pans.

While Chocolate/Orange is still wet sprinkle candy sprinkles over the popcorn mixture.

Place pans in fridge to speed up the chocolate setting firm.

Break popcorn mix into pieces and store in airtight bags/containers

(and for heavens sake, sneak a taste or two!)



Country Fair Blog Hop: October 15

It's another great blog party starting!  This is a month long link up. Come on and join us!
 Here are your hosts for the month: 
                       Jan                               Nicole                              Laurie                                Val
                 Tip Garden               A Kansas Farm Mom          Country LINKed     Corn, Beans, Pigs, Kids

My First Place Favorite from last month:

Ok, I actually have 2 this month. I could just not pick between them so I chose them both! Please go visit their blogs and see why I chose  them!
Thanks Ladies for 2 great posts! Grab a Grand Champion Ribbon button for your blog!

Kelly over at Kelly For Ag: shared her post about how farming is a great Anti-depressent.
I feel the same way about just getting outdoors, getting my hands in the garden, going for a walk, filling my bird feeds, and bird bath, etc. Just getting outside and out of your own head is a great way to regroup and battle the blues!

Sarah Eliza over at Devaste Boredom: Shared her first post and switching over to a minimalist wardrobe with easy mix and match features, and really reducing it only to things you really love! I am starting this journey as she blogs, so come join me!

Country Fair Blog Part

Ok, I am ready! Bring on your Autumn! Pumpkin patches, warm comforting recipes, parties, costumes, apple picking, football games....
What are you up to????

Here is my quick and easy treat idea:
Pretzel Pumpkins
Grab small pretzels, orange candy melts, and some green chocolate candies for this one!

Country Fairs are full of food, friends, farming, animals, arts and crafts, canning, baking, and more!

 So is our Country Fair Blog Hop!

Come Share what you are up to this month!

  • Link up to 3 of your best posts!
  • Visit a few other party goers and let them know you stopped by to see them!
  • Grab the button below and post it on your blog, so others will be invited too!
Country Fair Blog Party

Ready? Get set... Go!


How to Peel and Slice Butternut Squash

Butternut squash is really such a great fall and winter squash. The lightly sweet yet buttery flavor of it  is just so delish! But how do you peel and slice it the easiest way possible?

Let me show you how I do it.

Cut off the top and also the bottom of the sqaush. (Make sure it can stand up on its bottom)

Butternut squash
Using a peeler, peel the rind off all the way around the sqaush.

Cut it in half the "long" way, Starting at the top using a large knife, cut through the center of the squash down through to the bottom. Here's the hardest part of the whole thing!
Scoop out the seeds and stands from the inside of each half.
If desiring to dice the squash into bite sized pieces, cut through each half into 1 inch strips, then cut the strips into 1 inch cubes.
Cook as recipe calls for.


Friday Feature: Freezer Tape

Friday Feature is a once a month post where I share some of my favorite things! I do not get paid to endorse these products (and will always tell you if I do!). I just happen to love them!

Today's feature is so simple, but I can not live without it! (Or I regret if when I do!)
Freezer Tape. I know, it's been around forever but it is a money and food saver for sure!

I think we all have had those  "UFO"'s in our freezer: Unidenitied Food Objects. Those frozen baggies or containers that we were sure we'd remember what they were, and now months later the strawberry purree looks remarkably like tomatoe puree! or the mystery meat?

A quick label with freezer tape on any of your freezer containers will save you from throwing out food you never used,because you don't really know what it is!

You can usually find it in the same section as your aluminum foil, and storage bags. Pick up a roll, you won't regret it!

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