White Trash ’Taters


I have heard them called many things.  Funeral potatoes, cheesy potatoes, picnic potatoes.  I like our name best.  No idea where the recipe came from originally.  I have been coming here to look for recipes and I noticed I hadn’t posted it here.  I posted it on a blog I never really kept up with.

I made these for Christmas in lieu of spending all the time it takes to make my decadent cheesy scalloped potatoes.

White Trash ’Taters Recipe

  • 2 lb. bag of Ore Ida frozen hash browns (cubes)
  • 2 cans cream of chicken soup
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1 stick oleo/butter
  • 3 tbsp. Onion (optional)
  • 1 bag sour cream & onion potato chips.

Pre-heat oven to 350°. Grease 9” x 13” pan.

Mix all ingredients except potatoes in large bowl. Put frozen potatoes into pan, break clumps if necessary. Stir in cheese mixture, mix well.

Crush sour cream & onion potato chips and sprinkle over top of pan.

Cover with aluminum foil, bake for 1 hour at 350°, remove foil & bake for 10-15 min. longer.

Substitutions/Variations: I don’t use onions in mine… but I have bought the potatoes “southwest style” with green peppers. Also, if you don’t like cream of chicken… cream of mushroom or celery or potato or just about anything will do. I usually double the sour cream called for above, and use I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter instead of butter or oleo. Also… in place of the chips I have seen corn flakes or Ritz crackers. Once you get it down, you can adapt it any way you like.

Do you make this?  Do you change it up?  I have used shredded gouda in addition to the sharp cheddar and it is awesome.  I usually end up doubling this for some reason.  I want to try BBQ chips on top one of these days.

Ham N’ Bean Soup.


I was really hungry for ham n’ bean soup after the Christmas ham.  Usually I make a Ham, Green Bean, & Potato Soup with ham leftovers, but this time I wanted something different.  Plus, I made a sweet glaze for this ham which may not have played well with that soup.  I have made ham n’ bean soup before with the dried beans that I had to soak overnight, but I remember my last batch being way too salty.

This one turned out a lot better.  I used canned beans.  While we generally do most of out shopping at Aldi (& via Instacart), there are some things that Aldi doesn’t sell so I made the trip to Giant Eagle to get all the beans.  I think it turned out well.  This is more of a method than a recipe.  Here’s what I posted on Instagram (edited for terrible typing and a clear blatant lack of proofreading/editing);

AiXeLsyD13's Ham n' Bean Soup

Ham n’ Bean Soup | @AiXeLsyD13

Finally made the ham n’ bean soup.

Started with some carrots cut up, half of a Spanish onion minced, and 3 each red & yellow mini sweet bell peppers chopped very fine, sautéed them in a bit of butter, added spices

Next I added a @yuenglingbeer traditional lager, some vegetable broth, and some water & a bit of ham bullion/paste stuff.from a jar.

Then I added some leftover gravy from the Christmas ham which included ham drippings and my glaze that dropped down (beer, yellow mustard, Herlocher’s, honey, brown sugar, garlic, water, & corn starch). Then I cubed up some leftover ham from Christmas, popped it in the mix, then added some canned great northern beans, pinto beans, cannelloni beans, red beans, white kidney beans, and canned diced new potatoes.

Finally I added some bisquick mix to make some dumplings after the beans cooked a bit.

I have to say it hit the spot. @bcarroll_13 liked it, and Molly did eat a bit, Ian said he liked it but didn’t eat any. Molly REALLY liked the dumplings.

I bought peas to add, but wasn’t feeling then in this mix so I kept them out.

I may try the “bags of gold” cheese-filled dumplings soup that grandma used to make next.

I forgot to mention that one can of great northern beans I mashed before putting it in because I like a thick soup.  The dumplings were my mom’s idea, which is funny if you know her & that she hates biscuits & dumplings.  I also used a few drops of liquid smoke for the first time ever at the advice of a good friend!  I also sometimes like to cook with Straub American Amber instead of Yuengling Traditional Lager.  I thought about adding garbanzo beans, but I didn’t.  I bet they would have gone well in here too.

Do you make your ham n’ bean soup?  This is something I probably make slightly different every time.  Share your secrets, tips, & tricks in the comments!

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Finally made the ham n' bean soup. Started with some carrots, half of a Spanish onion minced, and 3 each red & yellow mini sweet bell peppers chopped very fine, sautéed them in a bit of butter, added spices Next I added a @yuenglingbeer traditional lager, some vegetable broth, and some water & a bit of ham bullion/paste stuff.from a jar. Then I added some leftover gravy from the Chriatmas ham which included ham drippings and my glaze that dropped down (beer, yellow mustard, Herlocher's, honey, brown sugar, garlic, & corn starch). Then I cubed up some leftover ham from Christmas, popped it in the mix, then added some canned great northern beans, pinto beans, cannelloni beans, red beans, white kidney beans, and canned diced new potatoes. Finally I added some bisquick mix to make some dumplings after the beans cooked a bit. I have to say it hit the spot. @bcarroll_13 liked it, and Molly did eat a bit, Ian said he liked it but didn't eat any. Molly REALLY liked the dumplings. I bought peas to add, but wasn't feeling then in this mix so I kept them out. I may try the "bags of gold" cheese-filled dumplings soup that grandma used to make next.

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

What’s it like to be a parent? (a.k.a. The Great Christmas Tree Shenanigans of 2019) 🎄


If you want to know what it’s like to be a parent, let me give you some insight.

Tonight we were putting up the Christmas tree. It is old & the top 3rd didn’t all completely light up last year. I did sort of attempt to fix the problem to no avail. Again this year with a replacement bulb to no avail.

Because the kids were excited, we continued to decorate. About 95% done, I remarked aloud (my mistake?) that we should get a new tree. So, everyone got out of their PJ’s into regular clothes and we ended up going to Home Depot. Excitement was off the charts.

At Home Depot, there were a bunch of great trees for all kinds of price ranges. All four of us finally settled on a tree that we liked. (It’s really cool… pre-lit, and can be all white or different colors!)

Looking for the tree on the shelf, of course they didn’t have one. Neither did any of the other local stores. We bought the floor model for a slight discount but the caveat was that there was no box.

The kids managed to bounce around the store with Christmas Spirit like Will Ferrell in Elf while sort of processing that this was the only tree if we wanted that tree.

Us purchasing the tree from the floor was apparently the most exciting thing we have ever done and we (well, half of us) danced to the checkout with 3 shopping carts in tow… the useless race car one because we can never not get it, and two regular orange carts, one with 2/3 of a tree and one with the remaining 1/3 & stand.

I had wanted to get a rubbermaid tote for it, but the ants in our pants had grown great in their numbers and were humming the chorus to “Ode to Joy.” We checked out and came home with the plan that we could continue the tree decoration process tomorrow.

So of course, once in the house, we promptly assembled & started to decorate the new tree while un-decorating the old tree. Oh the excitement was uncontainable!

Being that garbage collection was pushed back a day due to Thanksgiving, I wanted to put the old tree on the curb.

I told the kids to say goodbye to the old tree and Ian looked like I just told him we were going to skin and eat Butterscotch (our cat) after roasting her over an open flame. Once the crocodile tear rolled down his cheek, it set Molly into big sister sympathy tears mode.

We had talked before about getting a second tree for the dining room because it looks nice in that window from outside.

Guess who is going to try harder to fix that Christmas tree because he is a sucker for recently overjoyed and now crying children?

I’m glad they’re sensitive and sentimental, but wow.

Mandalorian Maze


I, apparently like every other Star Wars fan, am fascinated by the Mandalorian and “the child.”

I was in a maze mood earlier too.

Help the Mandalorian find the child, or help the child find the Mandalorian.

Please excuse the drawings. I am wholly out of practice when it comes to things other than squiggly lines.

Mandalorian Maze by @AiXeLsyD13

Mandalorian Maze by @AiXeLsyD13

Print it. Solve it. Snap it. Post it. Tag me. (Or post it here in the comments.)

That’s @AiXeLsyD13 on most every social media platform.

If you’re so inclined, you could probably use a program on your phone, tablet, or ancient laptop or PC to solve & post.

I posted it on Instagram earlier.

My 6 year old saw me drawing and drew her own “Baby yoda.”

She is cooler than me.

So is it Baby yoda? Baby Yoda? Baby Not-Yoda? Baby Yoda-Clone?

Hit me up in the comments, then go read my last post.

All the #StarWars things.


I know I posted about this before, but a lot has changed since then.

All the Star Wars Things

(-o-)

So, if you were going to try to watch it ALL in chronological order, except the Lego cartoons, would it go like this?

  • Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace
  • Star Wars – Episode II: Attack of the Clones
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars (animated microseries)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI movie)
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars (3D CGI series)
  • Star Wars – Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
  • Star Wars: Droids (animated series)
  • Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars Rebels
  • Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
  • Star Wars – Episode IV: A New Hope
  • The Star Wars Holiday Special
  • Star Wars – Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
  • Caravan of Courage: An Ewok Adventure (made for TV movie)
  • Ewoks: The Battle for Endor (made for TV movie)
  • Star Wars: Ewoks (animated series)
  • Star Wars – Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
  • The Mandalorian
  • Star Wars Resistance
  • Star Wars – Episode VII: The Force Awakens
  • Star Wars – Episode VIII: The The Last Jedi
  • Star Wars – Episode IX: The Rise of Skywalker

Forces of Destiny and Galaxy of Adventures are messing with me by jumping all over the place.  Does Blips belong there too?

Shut up about canon.

|-o-| [-o-] |-o-|

Also, would be fun to see in the mix:

  • Fanboys
  • Laugh It Up, Fuzzball: The Family Guy Trilogy
    • Family Guy: Blue Harvest
    • Family Guy: Something Something Something, Dark Side
    • Family Guy: It’s a Trap!
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars
  • Robot Chicken: Star Wars Episode II
  • Spaceballs
  • Spaceballs: The Animated Series
  • Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back

Light it up in the comments.  Maybe someday we’ll continue Star Wars movie nights.  Peep all my Star Wars related posts.

 

Wanna do a Halloween #maze or two?


Well. They’re not all Halloween themed. But they’re all mazes. I messed around with some of them in PicsArt and Instagram.

Try a few. Get the solutions on your social media of choice. Tag me in it. I’m always @AiXeLsyD13 unless someone is being a butthole and takes it first for some reason even though it’s my handle across all platforms.

Share them too. This may be a fun Halloween activity for the kids or for the whole family.

Teal Pumpkins Are Not a Political Issue.


Never read the comments.

I wish I could follow that advice. Wading through the temperamental pool that is social media, one occasionally finds a bright spot in a news story. I thought I found that with an article posted by a local news channel notifying those that aren’t already in the know about the significance of teal pumpkins.  It subtly linked to this cool little video:

Simple enough, right?

It’s a brief article explaining the significance and the history of the Teal Pumpkin Project.  If you go through to the FARE website, you an even get free activities and advice for non-food treats.  We have participated since 2014, and I have written about it before.

View this post on Instagram

#HappyHalloween! #TealPumpkinProject #StaySafe!

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

Then, I read the comments.

Some people are garbage.  I mean, I know that is harsh, and I know what we are supposed to be kind to everyone, but that can be a struggle when people out themselves as disgusting human beings.  Did these people not ever watch Mister Rogers?

I think this is why they are teaching kids these days to “Be The I in Kind” or to Be the kind kid.  They’re not going to pick it up at home if these are the mentoring adults.

REALLY.

 

I had a few replies that still stand.

To some nut job making this political:

Just so I can understand, how do any of the following (totally optional) things ruin your holiday, and just exactly how are they associated with liberals?

1. Putting out a symbol to indicate that your house is safe for food allergies.

2. Providing nut and/or gluten free treats, and maybe even non-food treats in addition to whatever you normally provide.

3. Displaying compassion and empathy to others already afflicted with a life-altering medical condition.

4. Teaching others by example how to be kind to others.

I never did get a direct reply there.

To the uniformed, absolutely resisting this new information:

No one is forcing you to buy a teal pumpkin or to pass out allergen safe treats. The article is just to inform you of the meaning so you don’t buy one as a decoration just because it matches your cold frozen emotionless heart.

Just some more advice:

We have been doing this for years. Having food allergies myself, dining out, social gatherings, and many events can be a harrowing experience.

We have 3 separate bowls… traditional things like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, nut-free stuff like Smarties, and a bowl of totally non-food treats like pencils, stickers, little toys, etc.

We help spread awareness, the toys go as well as the candy, and hopefully we teach a bit of kindness and empathy.

I don’t even have the energy to get into the “it’s been a tradition for hundreds of years” comment.  I think candy and trick or treating weren’t a thing until about the 1920’s in the United States… so that’s ONE hundred years ago at best.  The push for chocolate was after WWII’s rationing… So, kick it back to 70 or so years.  Earlier Celtic/Samhain traditions probably didn’t involve candy, but what do I know?

So please, this year, show a little compassion, empathy, and kindness.  Pass the word along to your friends, family, and neighbors.  You don’t have to preach about it, but you can lead by example.  Also, learn to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction for yourself, your friends, and your community.  You may help save someone’s life!  That is, if it doesn’t inconvenience you in any way or support the grand liberal agenda.