Comfort Food…

Adding to the Regular Girl’s Favorites List, we can’t forget recipes since most regular girls do a fair amount of the cooking. Okay, okay, I take some heat from my kitchenista friends that I am less than a stellar cook (you know who you are) but I do have a couple of specialties for which people ask repeatedly.

When you’re the girl with limited culinary mastery, you are more than happy to share the dishes you have mastered. In that spirit three yummies are presented here. They’re all pretty calorie-laden and full of fat because why not play to one’s strengths, hmm?
Cheesy Potatoes

This one comes from The Norwegian’s side of the family. My chickens won’t eat it but everyone else revels in the sheer fat and deliciousness. Enjoy.

1 bag Ore-Ida Shredded Hash Brown Potatoes (frozen)
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 12 oz. container sour cream
½ stick melted butter
2 cups cheddar cheese, grated

Mix together cream of chicken soup, butter and sour cream. Add cheddar cheese, holding back enough to use as topping. Add potatoes (do not thaw) and mix thoroughly. Pour into baking dish. Top with cheese. Bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until browned on top.

Artichoke Dip

This one comes from an old friend who brought it to a dinner party where three women, myself included, hoarded and ate the whole thing. It’s been my go to appetizer ever since. Again, you just have to ignore the fat and deliciousness. Let it go.

2 cans artichoke hearts in water, not oil
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
2 blocks cream cheese
6 tablespoons butter
1-2 baguettes, depending on your level of bread love

Drain and chop artichokes, set aside. Melt butter and combine with softened cream cheese and all but a handful of grated Parmesan cheese. Once mixed with no solid bits, add artichokes. Mix thoroughly. Add mixture to baking dish. Top with remaining Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Top will be browned. Slice baguette diagonally and arrange around dip. Stand back.

Wild Rice Soup

I miss only two things from Minnesota where The Norwegian forced me to live for seventeen years. Can you say square peg, round hole? My gardens and wild rice soup. This one comes from Dayton’s River Room, which was the most amazing lunch spot in all of St. Paul about a million years ago.

6 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped finely
½ cup flour
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup whipping cream
1/3-cup sherry
1-½ cups cooked wild rice
½ teaspoon white pepper
1 cup cooked, shredded chicken
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt butter. Sauté onions in butter until translucent. Stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add broth and whisk until smooth. Add cream and sherry and heat to simmer. Add chicken, rice, pepper and Better Than Bouillon. Simmer five minutes until heated through. Add extra milk, cream or broth if too thick but it is a thicker, creamy soup.

All three? Worth the holiday poundage. Guaranteed.


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