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Hey ladies!  So, I can’t say that my house is quite clean…but, I’m back with a really long post.  Christmas was so fun this year…here’s a few pics from the past couple days:
Here’s Audrey, on Christmas Eve, opening the presents from her siblings.  In one of my Christmas tradition posts, I shared with you how everyone has to say something nice about the recipient before they can open their presents from each other.  We heard some great stuff!  I love hearing the boys call their little sisters “cute” and that they are “fun to play with.”  My favorite part was when Audrey told Shane that he is “nice” to her and his eyes welled up with tears because he knew he had actually been mean to her that day.  An hour later, he completely fell-apart and had to have a heart-to-heart with his daddy.  Shane is my little sensitive child, it’s so cute.


Caden and Shane, during the sibling gift exchange on Christmas Eve.  I can barely get Caden to wear pants, don’t ask me about a shirt.
Isabelle on Christmas morning…
Dan only requires 3 things of me to be coolest, most hot-rockin’ wife ever…good food, good lovin’, and guns.  Easy.
We almost ate Joey for Christmas dinner, but we decided to have roast chicken instead.
This mess multiplied by every room in the house = no post yesterday.


Now, on to what we’ve been grubbing on…
Christmas Eve dinner (like I’ve mentioned before) we always have Baked Potato Soup…topped with bacon and cheese (very important).  It’s one of those meals that is perfect because everyone loves it, even my picky eater.  I usually double the recipe so that we have left-overs for at least two more days…we like it that much.  This recipe came from my mama, who has served you up some Tropical Passion Dessert and Nutty Craisin Chew.
To make it (not doubled) you need 6 Idaho potatoes, butter, flour, salt, chicken broth, milk, chicken bouillon (optional), grated cheese, and bacon (NOT optional.)
First, bake your potatoes (6 of them.)  Poke holes in them so they don’t explode and throw them in the oven for about an hour at 350.  I know what you’re thinking…that kid is how old??  And, he’s using a knife, how sharp??  Back off, he’s fine…besides, he’s allergic to homework so he’s got to do something to keep him busy.
When the potatoes are done, make a roux using 5 TBS of butter, 5 TBS of flour and 1 tsp. salt.  First, melt the butter in a large pot, then whisk in the flour and salt and let cook for about a minute.
Then add your broth and milk, slowly, while whisking.  Let cook until thickened, stirring constantly.  Once thick, cut the potatoes in half (length-wise) and scoop out the good stuff into the soup.  * If you like your soup more salty/chickeny…you can add a couple tsp. of chicken bouillon granules (or 2 cubes.)  Let the soup heat for a few more minutes to bring the potatoes to temperature and serve!  Oh wait…you HAVE to have bacon and grated cheese on top.  I used to fry up a package of bacon, until I discovered the huge bags of precooked bacon at Costco.  I love them, they make life so much more simple.  I’ll pop a bunch of pieces in the microwave until they are crispy, break them into pieces and there you have it…bacon to top the soup.
Serve with breadsticks or rolls, for dipping, and a yummy green salad.
 For the past couple years, we’ve had this New Orleans Bread Pudding with caramel cream sauce for Christmas morning breakfast…along with something savory, like a breakfast casserole or breakfast fajitas.  It’s such an easy dish and always gets people talking, it’s scrum-diddly-umptious!
For this recipe you need: 1 loaf of day-old french bread, milk, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, cinnamon, and nutmeg.

Basically, you just tear up the bread and put it in a large bowl along with everything else (4 cups milk, 2 cups sugar, 1 stick melted butter, 3 eggs, 2 tsp. vanilla, 1 tsp. cinnamon, and 1 tsp. nutmeg.)  Sometimes, I don’t use the very, very ends of the bread loafs cause they’re pretty hard.  Stir everything together and dump in a buttered 9×13 pan or dish.  Place in a cold oven and turn it to 350.  Bake for about 1 hour and 15 minutes.

For the caramel sauce, combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup brown sugar, 2 TBS flour, and 1 cup whipping cream in a saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Remove from heat and add 1/4 cup butter and 2 TBS vanilla (yes, that’s TABLEspoons.)  Pour over individual servings of bread pudding.
Don’t worry, we have until January 1st before we have to start our diet.
New Orleans Bread Pudding with Caramel Cream Sauce
New Orleans Bread Pudding
  • 1 10 oz loaf of day-old French bread, crumbled
  • 4 cups milk
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 8 TBS. butter, melted
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  1. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Pour into buttered 9x13 dish.
  3. Place in cold oven and turn on to 350 degrees.
  4. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until top is golden brown.
  5. Serve warm with sauce.
Caramel Cream Sauce
Caramel Cream Sauce
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 TBS. flour
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • ¼ cup butter
  • 2 TBS. vanilla
  1. Combine sugar, brown sugar, flour, and whipping cream in saucepan. Bring to a boil.
  2. Remove from heat and add butter and vanilla.
  3. Pour over individual servings of bread pudding.
Mom’s Baked Potato Soup
Baked Potato Soup
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 5 TBS. butter
  • 5 TBS. flour
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 tsp. chicken bouillon granules (optional)
  • Grated cheese
  • Crumbled bacon
  1. Bake potatoes in oven at 350 degrees for one hour.
  2. Remove and let cool slightly.
  3. Melt butter in large pot.
  4. Stir in flour and salt and let cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
  5. Add broth and milk, stirring with whisk.
  6. Let cook until thickened, stirring often.
  7. Cut potatoes in half, length-wise. With spoon, scoop out potatoes and add to soup.
  8. Ladle into individual bowls and top with grated cheese and bacon.




Owner & Author at Or so she says...
Mariel (mahr-eeee-elle) is a mother to six, wife to one. Loves homeschooling, golfing, cupcakes, traveling, cuddling, non-fiction books, gardening, James Taylor, and family time. This is her blog. Enjoy!
7 Comments On This Topic
  1. Nanny
    5 years ago

    Mariel, Chicken broth, but no chicken bouillon? I can’t wait to make this. Thanks

  2. Mariel
    5 years ago

    Nanny, the recipe doesn’t call for chicken bouillon, but cause I’m a salty gal…I will sometimes add a couple teaspoons (or 2 cubes). But, you don’t have to.

  3. Reb
    5 years ago

    I licked the screen when I saw this. Merry Christmas friend. I love the picture of the knife kid. Nice. No, I am not alarmed. He fits right in at my home.

  4. Rebecca
    5 years ago

    I loved the Christmas pictures. Everyone is getting so big. I’m glad I didn’t know about your french toast recipe before Christmas … I already have enough weight to try and loose. I’m filing it in the back of my mind though for future reference!

  5. Donna
    5 years ago

    Oh my goodness!!! You just have to love USA. It is sooo hard to even own a gun in Australia let alone find one under your Christmas tree that looks as cool as that. I love the last christmas photo and your husband is looking out the window with his goodies in his hand. is he looking out there hoping a deer will just dash past and he has to whip out his pistol and take care of it. thank goodness Santa had already done our part of the hemisphere or Rudolf could be in real trouble.

  6. Mariel
    5 years ago

    True, true! If there wasn’t strict poaching laws, you could fully expect our freezer to be full of Rudolph’s meat!

  7. ButterYum
    5 years ago

    You know, my mother always poked her baking potatoes with a fork, and so it’s the only way I’ve ever done it. Never even entertained the thought of using a knife, but duh!!


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