2014 – Celebrate the New Year, New Moon & Counting My Blessings

First of all, I want to thank all the readers who have purchased my books and I hope many of you took advantage of the Kindle Countdown special pricing of my novels during the Christmas holiday. It’s my sincere wish that everyone will enjoy reading them as much as I enjoyed writing them.

Secondly, I’m very glad the end of 2013 is only a couple of days away.  This year has been a trial for me from start to finish…  Our family,  as well as many friends and business associates have not only lost one or more loved ones this year, but have family members that have been, or are, critically ill.  I’ve worn black way too often this year… the last time just yesterday.  And while we lost two dearly-loved family members, thankfully, my father’s cancer is in remission. On the first day of 2014, I plan to spend a few moments remembering the loved ones we lost and counting my blessings – deeply thankful and appreciating time spent with family members and friends who are near and dear to me. This year has reminded me to cherish everyone I care about because you never know what tomorrow will bring…  So, to all my family and friends out there… I love you!

Now, despite the fact that we live on the east coast, with a husband who is a pilot, we observe the start of the New Year at London, England time, or more specifically, Greenwich mean time (which is +5 hours or at 7 pm EST).  So, with the New Year’s celebrating only hours away, followed by a day that, for us, features the Rose Parade and numerous college football games, usually with friends and family, I thought I would post a delicious escalloped potato recipe that will feed lots of people.  My family loves it and asks me to make it all the time!  And, what’s even better, the recipe is very simple to make! If necessary, you can even make it up the day before and refrigerate it covered overnight.  Just made certain you bring it up to room temperature (usually takes a couple hours) before putting it into a hot oven.

If you only need about half of the recipe (approximately 6 servings – bake for about an hour), take the remaining  uncooked mixture and freeze it in plastic containers. I do this all the time. When needed, take them out of the freezer the night before to thaw in the refrigerator. Place the thawed mixture in a casserole dish, mix in a Tablespoon of water, top with crushed crackers or Corn Flakes, and bake until golden brown and delicious.



1      32 oz. bag of Southern Hash Brown Potatoes    completely thawed

1/3  C   Butter    melted

1 can  Cream of Chicken Soup    undiluted

1/4  C  Water

16  oz. Cheddar cheese    shredded

8  oz.   Sour Cream

1     tsp.   Salt

¼  tsp.  Pepper

1      medium Onion    finely chopped

1     C  crushed Townhouse Crackers or  Corn Flakes


Combine Cream of Chicken soup, Sour Cream, Salt, Pepper, melted Butter, and chopped Onion in a large bowl. (And I do mean LARGE bowl) Mix in shredded Cheddar in 2 to 3 increments until incorporated.  Stir in Hash Brown Potatoes until completely covered with cheese mixture.  Place mixture in a extra large 2 1/2 to 3 inch deep casserole dish. (or it may be put into two medium sized ones)  Top with crushed Townhouse Crackers or Corn Flakes.  Bake uncovered 1 ¼ – 1 ½ hours in preheated oven at 350 degrees.