Recipes for Busy Moms

Harvest Pumpkin Soup


1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced
1 small potato, finely cubed
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 tbsp. butter
2 cups pumpkin puree
2 cups chicken broth*
1 tsp dried parsley (or 2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp thyme
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
Chives for garnish (optional)


In a 1-quart sauce pan over medium heat, saute the onion, potato and sugar in the butter until onion is transparent and slightly caramelized (about 8 minutes). Add the pumpkin puree, chicken broth*, parsley, thyme and bacon. Stir to combine well, bring to a boil and reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm or serve immediately. Before serving, season with salt and pepper, to taste and garnish with a tablespoon or more of the heavy cream spooned onto each individual serving. Garnish with chives (optional).

*More or less broth can be used to adjust the thickness of the soup. The soup can be pureed in a blender or food processor before garnishing for a smoother texture.

Dawn's Potato Soup
In a large crock pot set to "low" add the following, combining well:
6 potatoes, cubed
2 leeks, sliced
2 onions, chopped/sliced
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 chicken bouillon cubes dissolved in 4 cups of water
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 tbsp parsley (fresh or dried)
2 tbsp butter

Cook for four hours on the lowest setting. One hour before serving add one can of evaporated milk
and garnish with chives.
Optional garnishes: bacon bits or minced garlic, chopped ham, whatever is on hand.

Do you like the fresh-baked,  homemade taste of buttermilk biscuits but can't find the time to mix, flour the cutting board, roll and cut, roll and cut some more and bake (need I mention the floury mess)? Then this is the recipe for you! Another bonus is that, unlike canned biscuit dough, these are free of additives and preservatives. The leftovers are great for breakfast, too.*  If you are on a low-carb diet, my sincerest apologies.

 Fast & Easy Drop Biscuits
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup cold butter 
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon white vinegar or lemon juice
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Stir the vinegar/lemon juice into the milk and set aside. In a large bowl mix the flour, baking powder and salt with a wire whisk. Cut butter or shortening in with a pastry blender or two knives until the particles are the size of small peas or until it resembles a coarse meal. Add the milk mixture all at once and stir until just combined. Do not over-mix! Drop by heaping 2-tablespoon sized portions onto greased baking sheet or parchment paper and bake in the center of the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Variations: You can add (to the dry flour mixture) 1/2 cup of shredded cheese or 1 teaspoon chopped,  fresh herbs, perhaps a bit of crumbled bacon...or all of the above! Could someone please pass the butter?

* Reheat in the microwave for 10-12 seconds for two or 30 seconds for three or more (times vary depending on your microwave).

Monster Bars
  •  1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon honey
  • 1 1/4 cups peanut butter (creamy/chunky)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla
  • 4 1/2 cups quick-cooking rolled oats
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 2 tablespoons baking soda
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts (or any type of nut)
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips/chunks
  • 1/2 cup of any combination of the following: peanut butter chips, butterscotch chips, white chocolate chips, coconut, granola, peanuts/other nuts, dried fruit, etc.
  • 1/4 cup flaked or shredded coconut (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prepare a 13 by 9" pan by lining with aluminum foil, leaving 2 inches to hang over two sides and coating bottom and sides with butter or non-stick cooking spray (the foil is optional but makes it much easier to remove the bars from the pan when cool). Combine first 5 ingredients and blend will with a wooden spoon or electric mixer. Add in the eggs one at a time, blending well after each addition then mix in the vanilla. Add the remaining ingredients (except the coconut) and blend thoroughly by hand or on a low speed with an electric mixer. Spread and press evenly into the prepared pan, top with coconut (optional) and bake in the center of the oven for 35-45 minutes or until the edges have risen and are golden brown and the center is dry to the touch (like brownies). The middle will set as it cools. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan and cutting into squares. Enjoy!