Creamy Potato Soup & F.A.R.E. Walk

Last week I participated in Sacramento’s F.A.R.E. Walk.  It was a sun-shining day & warm, especially after we got started walking.  The walk was to raise money for Food Allergy Research and Education (F.A.R.E.)  I only found out about it the Tuesday before, but I have great family & friends & I met my goal of $100.  Donations are still being accepted through December 31st, if you would like to donate to allergy research & education (donate here).

F.A.R.E. also has a great website with lots of information (start here).  I was especially pleased to find an emergency plan form that I immediately completed & put in my purse with my Epi-Pens & at work.  It is a resource, that in an emergency, gives exact information of what I am allergic to (food & medicine), who to contact, which hospital to take me to & my doctor’s information.  It would be especially helpful if I am ever unconscious & can’t respond as I have been able to do in the past.  I hope you check it out for yourself.

Creamy Potato & Bacon Soup


6 potatoes, scrubbed clean & cubed in 1-inch pieces

1 quart water

1 box of stock (I used chicken/use vegetable for vegetarian/vegan option) or homemade equivalent

1 onion, diced

1/2 pound carrot medallions

12 ounces to 1 pound bacon (I used beef bacon, yes, it is a real thing – SO delicious & hard to find), cooked to crispy & crumbled (omit for vegetarian or vegan or use your favorite vegan substitute)

Several garlic cloves, minced or 1-2 tablespoons minced, to taste (I like garlic, I used a lot)

2 potatoes, peeled & chopped small


1 tablespoon chicken bouillon (vegetable for vegetarian/vegan option, use beef if you used beef stock, etc)

Earth Balance, Melt, etc

Cashew milk (if needed to thin – I ended up no needing it so I just omitted it)

1/2 tsp soy sauce

splash or two of Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon ground thyme

dash paprika


Add the 6 chopped potatoes to the quart of water & box of stock; start cooking on medium-low on the back burner.




 Cook bacon, remove from pan & set on paper towels to drain; set aside until cool enough to handle; chop up.


(Beef Bacon!)



While bacon is cooling add onion & carrots to the skillet with the bacon drippings & saute until soft & onions are translucent.



With a slotted spoon, transfer onion & carrots to the potatoes cooking.


The two peeled potatoes – place in small sauce pan & cover with water & add chicken bouillon; bring to a boil over medium-high heat & boil until potatoes are mushy;


remove & puree in blender, adding EB or Melt & blend until smooth.  If too thick, use cashew milk to thin.  Set aside.  This is potato “cream”.



Turn up soup & let it simmer about 30 minutes & liquid has reduced; add potato “cream” &  seasonings; salt and pepper to taste;


continue to simmer over medium-low heat until thickened.


Add chopped bacon & serve.



What is your favorite go-to comfort soup for the winter months?  Comment & let me know.

Biscuits and Country Sausage Gravy

My family loves biscuits and gravy (B&G), especially my youngest brother.  Before he married he was attending college near where I lived & could come hang out between classes & his job; I made B&G often for him.  Now that I’m allergic to dairy I knew I needed to create a non-dairy country gravy recipe so I can continue to enjoy this feast.   This is my new (non-dairy) gravy recipe.


Fluffy Biscuits (here)


1 chub (1 lb) turkey breakfast sausage (or sausage of choice, you could also use bacon)


6 tablespoons flour

6 tablespoons fat (Earth Balance, Melt, Coconut oil, Bacon fat, etc)

4 cups almond or cashew milk

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/8 teaspoon ground thyme

1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (can be found in the same aisle as barbecue sauce, hickory is my go to)

1/16 to 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon pink Himalayan sea salt


Cook sausage; drain & set aside.  In same skillet make roux: add fat of choice & melt over medium heat; add flour & cook about 2 minutes.




Add milk & whisk until starts to thicken & color deepens; add seasonings & liquid smoke & continue to whisk until about desired thickness; add in sausage & heat through.





Serve over fluffy biscuits & enjoy.




Are biscuits & gravy a favorite in your household?


Halupse (Heirloom Recipe)

I’m not one for eating cooked cabbage, I’d rather have it raw; however, this is one of two ways I will eat it cooked… (the other is minestrone soup).  This recipe is one of my dad’s favorite meals.

Today I’m sharing one of my mother’s recipe that has been handed down at least 3 generations (my grandmother, my mom & me); not sure where my grandmother got it but possibly from her mother, which would make it 4 generations. I hope you enjoy it.


1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
Head cabbage, chopped
¼ to ½ c chicken broth
Dill seed, to taste

Combine beef and onions; brown until most of meat is no longer pink;





add cabbage and dill seed, mix well.


Add broth; put on lid, lower temperature;



cook, stirring occasionally until cabbage is tender.


*** Update:  I would use 2 pounds ground beef next time I make this.  I also added salt, pepper, garlic powder and onion powder to taste. ***


Do you have an heirloom recipe that has been passed down?  Comment & share.

Julie’s Granola

This week I am sharing my granola recipe.  I created this base recipe after reading many different recipes; it is very versatile and you can change it up with most anything.  Homemade granola, even though it doesn’t last a super long time, it so much better than the store bought versions.  My favorite way to eat the regular recipe was on plain, non-fat greek yogurt.  Since I’ve been non-dairy I’ve not had it with yogurt, now I just snack on it for breakfast.  Yum!!


2 cups rolled oats

1 heaping teaspoon cinnamon

½  teaspoon salt (1 tsp if nuts are unsalted)

3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon oil

¼ cup honey

¼ cup firmly packed light brown sugar (& approximately 1/8 c, not packed), to taste

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

½ to 1 teaspoon almond extract

½ cup slivered almonds

¼ cup walnut pieces

½ – ¾ cup cashews

½ – ¾ cup pistachios

¾ cup golden raisins

½ – ¾ cup toasted coconut

(other ideas:  1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/3 cup chocolate chips*, 1/3 cup dried cranberries)

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. In a large bowl, toss the oats and coconut with cinnamon and salt.
  4. In a medium bowl, stir together the oil, honey, brown sugar, almond extract and vanilla.
  5. Whisk until completely combined.
  6. Pour the honey mixture over the oats mixture and use your hands to combine them.
  7. Gather up some of the mixture in each hand and make a fist. Repeat until all of the oats are coated with the honey mixture.
  8. Pour the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet.
  9. Spread it out evenly, but leave a few clumps here and there for texture.
  10. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola.
  11. Sprinkle the nuts over the granola and return the baking sheet to the oven.
  12. Bake for 5 minutes, then remove from the oven and use a metal spatula to lift and flip the granola.
  13. Return the baking sheet to the oven.
  14. Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven.
  15. Let cool completely.
  16. Sprinkle the dried cranberries and chocolate chips over the granola and use your hands to transfer it to an airtight container.
  17. The granola will keep for 1 week.


*if using chocolate chips or other chocolate you will need to let it cool completely before adding to the mix or they will melt.


Happy Snacking!!


Did you make this?  What did you put in yours?  Comment & let me know.