7/23/08

A New Spin on Cheesy Potatoes - Amazing!

*updated July 30th*

Necessity is the mother of invention and that is true in the kitchen as well! Our household is on the tail end of a tough month when an expected bonus didn't materialize on the last check and we've had emergency bills come up such as an unexpected car repair and mouth surgery! Payday isn't until Friday and I'm getting creative with the meals. Ok... I do that anyway... hee hee.

Tonight for dinner I wanted to have grilled catfish or grilled shrimp but since we have no charcoal and we got rid of our gas grill and haven't bought a new one yet, I'm out of luck in the grilling department. Instead we are having a NON-grilled dinner and for the side dish, I wanted to make cheesy potatoes.

One small problem. We are out of most of the ingredients for it.

Has that ever slowed me down? No!

So even though we had no cheese, no sour cream and little butter to spare, I used what we had and in the end, came up with a recipe that is so delicious my family has insisted I make it again... and again.



Hash Brown Casserole (another version of Cheesy Potatoes)


32 oz. hash brown potatoes
2 c heavy cream (less in the crockpot - full 2 cups in the oven)
1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1/2 t fresh ground black pepper
salt to taste (about a teaspoon)
1/2 - 1 t onion powder
1 1/2 c cooked, diced ham* (leftovers)
(*Optional! With it in this can be a main dish, leave it out and you have a great side dish)

Mix well in an extra large bowl and either bake in a well greased 9X13" pan in the oven at 375 for approximately 1 hour or you can put it in the crock pot (which is what I did) and cooked on high for 3 hours, the last hour with the lid cracked to allow it to thicken up.


*I made these again last night and found the heavy cream I was saving to make them had gone sour. Instead I grabbed a 12 oz. can of evaporated milk and used that in its place. Three hours in the crock pot as last time and they were good to go! Delicious.
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