Monthly Archives: March 2015

Beefy Au Gratin Potatoes

This is an easy slow cooker (Crock Pot) dish to make for your family, ready in just over four hours. It is a recipe that uses convenience foods which I think on occasion are perfectly fine. It can give us some breathing room in our busy lives. If you don’t like using convenience foods, then this recipe may not be for you.


It is a good casserole to take to family and office potlucks. This recipe was originally published as Beefy Au Gratin Potatoes in Taste of Home Ground Beef Cookbook 1999, p70. With a little searching it can be found online.

Serve the casserole with a salad and rolls, if desired.

Beefy Au Gratin Potatoes

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 package (5-1/4 ounces) au gratin potatoes or cheddar and bacon potatoes
1 can (15-1/4 ounces) whole kernel corn, drained
1 can (10-3/4 ounces) condensed cream of potato soup, undiluted
1 cup water
1 can (4 ounces) chopped green chilies, drained
1 can (4 ounces) mushroom stems and pieces, drained
1 jar (4 ounces) diced pimientos, drained
1 pound ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

Set potato sauce mix aside. Place potatoes in a 3-quart slow cooker; top with corn. In a bowl, combine soup, water, chilies, mushrooms, pimientos and reserved sauce mix; mix well. Pour a third of the mixture over corn. In a skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Transfer to slow cooker. Top with remaining sauce mixture. Do not stir. Cover and cook on low for 4 hours or until potatoes are tender. Add shredded cheese on top of the casserole the last 30 minutes of cooking.

Beef Au Gratin Potatoes

It is interesting to note that while all Crock Pots are slow cookers, not all slow cookers are Crock Pots. The Crock Pot has its beginnings from a lowly Bean Pot patented by Irving Naxom in the 1940s. This design was sold to Rival Manufacturing in 1970 who rebranded the device as a Crock Pot. For more about the Crock Pot check out this article in Huffington Post.

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

I discovered these cookies in a roundabout way. A friend gives out small batches of these cookies at Christmas time and I happened to share them with my grandson.  Well, it seems after Chocolate Crinkles these are his favorite cookies. I was surprised to learn that he has even baked a batch or two of these cookies.

He likes the cookies from the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker Peanut Butter Cookie Mix. So these cookies are now included for Christmas and for special events throughout the year.

I admit I prefer a cookie that is baked from scratch. However, these Peanut Butter Blossoms are so good that one should not be bothered by using a cookie mix.  In my opinion, these are as good as the ones made from scratch. So, if you are looking for a quick, easy, and delicious cookie recipe, this is the one. In fact, the hardest part of this recipe just might be unwrapping all of the Hershey’s Kisses.

Easy Peanut Butter Blossoms

  • Servings: 36 cookies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

1 pouch (1 lb 5 oz) Betty Crocker peanut butter cookie mix
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons water
1 egg
2 tablespoons sugar
36 Hershey’s Kisses Brand milk chocolates, unwrapped

Heat oven to 375°F.  In medium bowl, stir cookie mix, oil, water and egg until dough forms.

Shape dough into 36 1-inch balls; roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets or cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.

Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.  Remove from the oven, and immediately press 1 Hersey Kiss in center of each cookie.  Remove from cookie sheets to wire racks. Cool completely and store cookies in a tightly covered container.

Depending on the size of the cookie, amount can vary.


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