CRAVE: Cheesy potatoes make great get-together dish

“Don’t forget the extra cheese!”

Cheesy Potatoes are a perfect choice for a potluck or family gathering, because they transport well in a slow cooker, and they can be prepared in advance and baked the day they’re needed. This dish is always requested for birthdays, anniversaries or holidays.

Cheesy Potatoes

Ingredients

1 bag (1 pound) frozen shredded or diced potatoes

4 cups shredded cheddar cheese, mild or sharp, divided

2 cups sour cream, regular or light

1⁄4 cup butter, melted

1 can (10 3⁄4 ounces) cream of onion soup, or 1⁄4 cup chopped onions and 1 can (10 3⁄4 ounces) cream of chicken or celery soup

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 9-by-13-inch casserole dish, or coat with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. Allow frozen potatoes to thaw slightly. (I usually set the bag in the sink while I combine the other ingredients.)

3. In large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, sour cream, melted butter and soup. Add frozen potatoes, a bit at a time, and mix gently until thoroughly combined.

4. Pour mixture into prepared dish, and flatten with back of spoon.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, and top with remaining cheese, spreading evenly. Return to oven and bake for 30 additional minutes.

TIPS: To reduce cooking time a little, this can be baked at 400 F for 30 minutes, topped with cheese, and baked for another 15 minutes.

It can also be prepared in advance, refrigerated overnight, and baked the next day. Or it can be prepared and baked, then transferred to a slow cooker and refrigerated until morning.

NOTE: I double the recipe for office food days. To take it to work, I coat the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray, and pile in the hot potatoes.

Chicken and Noodles

Ingredients

2 cups flour

1⁄2 teaspoon baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons butter

1 cup milk, or more as needed

6 to 8 cups chicken broth

3 cups cooked, chopped chicken

Directions

1. In large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together with fork or whisk. Cut in butter with pastry blender. Add milk, and mix with fork until a ball of dough forms.

2. Generously sprinkle additional flour on work surface. Roll dough out thin. Dip pizza cutter in flour, and cut dough in thin strips. Cut again, in other direction. Sprinkle tops generously with more flour. Let noodles dry for 1 hour.

3. When noodles are about done drying, place broth in large stockpot, and bring to boil. Add noodles, a few at a time, stirring gently so they don’t stick together and clump. (Do not shake off excess flour; it will thicken the broth.) Once all noodles are in broth, cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until done.

4. Add chicken, and continue cooking for an additional 5 minutes, or until heated through.

Food-day request

From Jean Teller, associate editor:

COMMENTS

Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.