Crazy Easy Potato Soup & Simple Drop Biscuits

Thank you Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups for sponsoring this post. Treat your SOUP-er significant other to a delicious meal!

My husband and I spent this past Valentine’s Day apart. With our family embarking on our cross country move, it’s been a complicated season of life for us. Husband is already working up in Northern Michigan while the kiddos and I stay back here in Southern California packing our home up and tying loose ends. My love language is food and it’s how I best communicate my love for my family and friends, and with my home mostly in boxes, I just don’t have the resources to make meals like I’d want to. Thankfully, I’ve found some incredible meal solutions and one of my favorites are the Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups. They’re rich, creamy, and taste like they were made from scratch and slow cooked in a restaurant, but take just five minutes over a stove! All I do is whip up some quick and easy drop biscuits and I’ve got a meal that tastes amazing!

To make the biscuits, I start by adding some flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, pepper, and garlic powder to a large bowl. I whisk it all together until all the ingredients have incorporated.

I add in some cubed butter and dive in with my hands to mix it all together until it’s a crumbly texture.

Then I add in some shredded cheddar cheese and freshly chopped chives.

And then a full, almost overflowing, cup of buttermilk. I mix it all together until a sticky dough forms and then start scooping the dough out by quarter cup sized scoops and dropping them onto a greased baking sheet.

I pop the biscuits into the oven and while they bake, I get started on my super tasty Idahoan Steakhouse Soups by adding four cups of water to a saucepan. Once the water is boiling, I open my Idahoan Steakhouse Soup packet and pour it into the boiling water. I give it all a good stir and let it come back to a boil. Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are available in four super tasty varieties: Loaded Potato, Creamy Potato, Cheddar Broccoli and Cheddar Potato. For this particular meal, I made the Loaded Potato variety.

Once the soup is at a boil, I reduce the heat to a simmer and let it cook for about five minutes or so.

By the time my soup is ready, the biscuits are too, which is why I love this meal. It’s such a cinch to pull together last minute. The Idahoan Steakhouse Soups varieties are full of slow cooked flavor and take next to no time to make for a totally satisfying meal that feels like I spent hours creating.

I mean, is there any better way to enjoy soup than with a delicious crusty cheesy biscuit? I think not.

While my kitchen was in boxes this Valentine’s Day, Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups allowed me to express my love through food. And it’s so simple to make, my husband is even able to enjoy it alongside me even though we’re far apart, allowing us to experience a tasty meal together.


Be sure to visit the Idahoan® Steakhouse® Soups website to learn more about the delicious meal option for your family.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of CLEVER and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Get Well Onion and Garlic Soup

This flu season is forecasted to be one of the worst on record. Here in Southern California, hospitals have even had to erect tents in the parking lots to take in sick patients. While my family hasn’t been hit with it, we have been battling the seasonal sniffles. When getting over any bout of sickness, I like to whip up a big batch of this Get Well Onion and Garlic Soup that’s filled with sweet caramelized onions, garlic, and turmeric to help our bodies heal and mend.

To start this soup, I grab my big French Oven pot and add some oil. Once the oil is hot, I add in some rosemary, bay leaves, diced onions, and a pinch of salt. I cover the pot cook the onions until they are translucent.

Then I remove the lid, drop the heat to low, and continue cooking the onions until they caramelize into a beautiful golden brown color. This takes a few hours, but it so worth it.

While the onions work their magic, I begin roasting some garlic by peeling back the skin and trimming off the tops of two full heads of garlic. I place each head of garlic on a piece of tinfoil and drizzle them with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper over them.

I wrap each of them up in the tinfoil and bake them in a 400F degree oven for about 45 minutes until the center cloves are soft.

Once the garlic is cool enough to handle, I pop out the cloves by pushing on the bottom of the garlic and they slide right out.

I add the garlic to the onions once they’ve completely caramelized and mash them using a wooden spoon.

I add in some ginger, turmeric, and chicken broth and bring it all to a boil.

Once the soup is boiling, I reduce it to a simmer and add salt and pepper to taste. From here I add more water if necessary to tone down too bold a flavor. My kiddos prefer it a little less bold while I love the flavor, so I add some extra water when feeding it to them. This Get Well Onion and Garlic Soup is full of warm soothing flavors and packs the benefits of anti-inflammatory turmeric, the anti-oxidant properties of garlic, and tons of vitamin C from the onions. It’s the perfect soup for healing after a cold or the flu.



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Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

Like I promised, I’m bringing you yet another soup recipe and, friend, I’m coming at you every Tuesday this month with a new soup recipe, so settle in. There’s nothing better than a piping hot bowl of soup, chili, or stew on a frozen winter evening. I love that soup warms you up from the inside out, comforts and soothes, and also satisfies your belly. This Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili recipe is bean free (I love beans, but I know lots of people don’t) and full of flavor and warm spices that give just enough kick to satisfy a craving but not too much that you can’t enjoy the chili.

To make this chili, start by adding a diced onion, some bell pepper, a jalapeño, garlic, and plenty of spices to a slow cooker. I used cumin, oregano, chili powder, and a little salt and pepper.

Lay a couple of chicken breasts right over the top of the vegetables.

Then add in some chicken broth and cover the slow cooker with the lid. Cook it on low for about seven hours or until the chicken is done.

Remove the chicken and shred it using two forks. If you have a stand mixer, you can also shred it up using that, saving some time.

Return the chicken to the slow cooker and add in some coconut milk.

Turn the slow cooker to high and let it cook for about another fifteen to twenty minutes until everything is heated through.

Once the chili is ready, I like to serve it in nice deep bowls with a couple lime wedges, fresh cilantro, and maybe even a piece of cornbread. One of my favorite things about this chili is that it can set on warm after it’s done and you can help yourself whenever you feel like it. Guests and friends coming and going can enjoy it as well. We’ve always got people coming and going, so being able to serve them a nice hot meal is extra special.


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Loaded Beer Cheese Soup

During the winter months, there’s nothing I love more than enjoying a piping hot bowl of soup. This January, I’ll be sharing five soup recipes, one every Tuesday, that are some of my favorites to make during the frigid months. With a move to Northern Michigan on the horizon, I’ve been brushing up on new soup and stew recipes, honing in on the perfect blend of flavors. This week, I pulled together an incredible Loaded Beer Cheese Soup that’s one for the record books. This thick, cheddar based soup is loaded with chicken, bacon, and a blend of spices that are crave-worthy.

To start, I diced up a whole package of bacon and cooked it until crispy in my French oven. I added about 3/4 a cup of water while it was still raw to ensure bacon bits that are the perfect crispy texture.

Using a slotted spoon, I removed the bacon from the pan and set it aside. I drained out about 3/4 of the leftover fat and then added about a pound of diced boneless skinless chicken breast to the pot.

Once the chicken was cooked through completely, I removed it and set it aside with the bacon.

I added several tablespoons of butter to the pot with the leftover fat and let it melt completely.

Then I added in some flour to make a quick rue. And I also added in some garlic powder, cayenne pepper, smoked paprika, salt, and pepper, whisking the entire time to ensure the mixture didn’t clump or burn.

I added in about a cup of Belgian-style wheat beer and whisked it into the rue, letting it cook for a couple of minutes. This mixture gets very thick and gooey, but is the flavor base for the soup and so tasty!

Next I added some chicken stock and half-and-half, whisking to combine everything together.

From here, I reduced my heat to medium-low and let the mixture come to a slight boil. Then I stirred in some shredded cheddar cheese, a little at a time, letting it melt before adding in more.

Once the cheese was melted and my soup was nice and smooth, I added in some Worcestershire sauce and placed my bacon and chicken back into the pot.

I let everything simmer together for several minutes, allowing the flavors to marry together and the chicken and bacon to warm back up.

This delicious soup is filled with bold flavor and one of my favorite comfort foods. The gooey cheese marinates perfectly with the yeasty wheat beer. And the bacon just brings everything together for the perfect party in a bowl. My favorite toppings for this soup are crusty crunchy croutons, zesty green onion, and extra bacon. It’s also phenomenal for dipping soft pretzels into or all on it’s own.


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Oven Roasted Olive Bread

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #GrabSomeCheer #CollectiveBias

Our family’s schedule has been insane lately. In a blended family, the holiday season is filled with to and from, multiple feasts, and tons of baking. While the kitchen is my favorite place to be, I can easily get burnt out from all the holiday fun so I like to keep a few tricks up my sleeve. Okay, maybe more than a few. My freezer is packed with Red Baron Pizza. No, friends this isn’t some silly play on words or an exaggeration. It’s literally filled with my kiddo’s favorite frozen pizza. Keeping these bad boys on hand saves me during the nights when I just have no energy left. I toss one or two into the oven and throw together a yummy side and everyone’s bellies are full and satisfied. My favorite side to make with our pizza is my Oven Roasted Olive Bread. My olive loving kids ensure that every last piece is enjoyed alongside their favorite pepperoni Red Baron pizza.

To make this tasty Oven Roasted Olive Bread, I start by slicing a loaf of French bread in half, long ways.

I add plenty of parmesan cheese.

And load up the bread with as many black olives as it will hold. If you prefer green add some of them too!

I add some more parmesan on top because you can never have enough cheese.

And then I pop it into the oven for about 15 minutes.

Once it’s done, I sprinkle on some garlic and parsley before cutting it into slices for us to enjoy.

This savory cheesy olive bread is so delicious and satisfying. It pairs perfectly with Red Baron pizzas and an ice cold Coca-Cola. Since it’s the holiday season, I love to treat my family to a glass bottle for a special touch during dinnertime.

Because I purchased Red Baron and Coca-Cola together at my local Vons (find your closest Vons store here), I was able to take advantage of a Fandango movie reward and take my kiddos to see a movie. I earned $5 towards a movie ticket, with my $10 purchase of participating products in one transaction. Shoppers receive a code on the Catalina receipt and will be directed to the Fandango site to redeem the movie ticket reward. Offer ends 12/31/2017. Find out more about the Fandango offer and how you can get yours here.

Enjoy a Red Baron pizza and Coca-Cola this holiday season with your family. Your schedule will thank you and so will your family, I promise. Not only because of the delicious meal, but because of the rad Fandango offer.

Pizza Salad

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, INC. and The Coca-Cola Company, all opinions are mine alone. #WinCoPizzaNight #CollectiveBias

During the holiday season, you can usually find me baking up a storm in my kitchen. I love the holidays, the soft glow of Christmas lights, the steaming hot cocoa, and yes, I even love the cheesy holiday movies (anyone else have them on repeat all day?). While I love to be in the kitchen, the holidays are such a crazy busy time for our family that I like to keep a few quick meal solutions up my sleeve. One of my favorite ways to save some time during the holidays is to pick up WinCo’s ready to bake pizzas and some Coca-Cola® (because what is pizza without Coca-Cola?!) while I’m out doing my usual weekly grocery shopping. I can’t be the only mom who doesn’t like to cook on grocery shopping day, right?

My husband and kiddos love when I bring home a couple of WinCo’s take and bake pizzas because as far as they’re all concerned, pizza is life! Whenever I bring home their favorite pizza, I also like to create a quick pizza salad for the side to ensure they’re getting some greens. My Pizza Salad recipe is a zesty, flavor filled side dish that everyone loves. It’s filled with all of the best pizza toppings like black olives, pepperoni, parmesan, and even pepperoncinis..

I start by chopping up an entire head of lettuce.

I add in a generous amount of pepperonis.

And salami.

Then I add in black olives.

And pepperoncinis.

And finally plenty of parmesan.

I toss the salad up to ensure maximum topping spreadage (is that even a real word, if not it is now!).

My kiddos love to top theirs with ranch dressing, but my husband and I prefer italian dressing.

This Pizza Salad is a great side pairing for WinCo’s take and bake pizzas. And whenI add Coca-Cola to the mix, my taste buds do a little happy dance. This meal is the perfect formula to a simple and quick meal solution during the busy holiday season. Save $1 when you buy any WinCo Pizza and (2) 2-Liter Coca-Cola Beverages! (Offer Ends 2/28/18).

WinCo always offers low prices and I don’t need to clip coupons or worry about bringing in an ad to save money. They limit their advertising, saving them millions of dollars, that they then pass on as lower prices to customers like me. They’re an employee-owned company that always offers quality items at low prices.

Be sure to follow WinCo on Facebook where you can get all the latest updates on their amazing low prices, fresh food, and more. Make sure to visit a WinCo store near you to take advantage of their Coca-Cola and pizza offer. You can also follow WinCo on Pinterest, Twitter, Snapchat (handle ilovewinco) and Instagram to get in on even more money saving fun!

Slow Cooker Pasta e Fagioli Soup

This post was sponsored by Amazon Handmade as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

This holiday season, if you’re wondering what to buy the fellow foodie in your life, look no further than Amazon Handmade. I picked up this gorgeously handcrafted cutting board featured in this post via Amazon Handmade and spent entirely too much time browsing through all the categories while adding items to my wishlist. Amazon Handmade brings convenience, including Prime two-day shipping, and everything else I love about Amazon to the world of handmade items. I am able to search and discover a diverse selection of giftable and beautifully customizable items on Amazon Handmade.

The warm grain of the maple wood on my new cutting board reminded me of the feeling of warmth you get rushing over your cheeks when coming in from a cold winter’s night. Or how it feels to fill your belly with a comforting soup. There are few things better than a piping hot bowl of soup on a cold day. My Pasta e Fagioli Soup is the perfect warm-you-up dinnertime meal that satisfies the belly and delights the tastebuds. It’s a rich soup filled with beans, ground beef, and a combination of mouthwatering flavors. I love to cook mine in the slow cooker to ensure the flavors marinate together all day long. Inspired by my new kitchen tool, I wasted no time whipping up a batch of this delicious soup.

I start by adding some olive oil to a pan and brown some ground beef. Once the ground beef is no longer pink, I transfer it to my slow cooker.

Then I add in a few diced carrots, some celery, and a finely diced onion.

Next I add in some crushed tomatoes, a couple cans of beef broth, two Bay leaves, some oregano, some basil, some thyme, and some salt and pepper to taste.

Finally I add in a can of white beans and a can of kidney beans (both drained and rinsed first).

I turn my slow cooker on low and let it all cook together for about six to seven hours.

About thirty minutes before serving, I add in about a cup of ditalini pasta and remove the Bay leaves.

Once the pasta is tender, this Pasta e Fagioli Soup is ready to be devoured. I love serving this warm soup with biscuits and salad. It’s one of my favorite wintertime meals.

This large Ambrosia Maple Wood Cutting Board was handcrafted by a company called Specialty Wood Designs located in North Carolina. Not only is it a practical addition to my collection of cutting boards, but it’s also so gorgeous, it doubles as a serving tray, cheese platter, and a variety of other entertaining uses. Using Amazon Handmade allowed me to find a carefully cultivated handmade item for my holiday cooking while offering the convenience of my usual Amazon Prime benefits. Amazon Handmade is a total gift shopping game changer!


Be sure to visit Amazon Handmade for that perfect gift this holiday season. You can also check out their Instagram or Pinterest for some inspiration if you just can’t pinpoint the perfect idea.

The Best Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe Ever

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. The following content is intended for readers who are 21 or older. #TurkeyDayTips #CollectiveBias

I remember the first time I attempted to cook Thanksgiving dinner. My sister and I decided to create everything from scratch for my dad and our boyfriends when we were teenagers. Why we thought we could take on the task of cooking an entire holiday meal from scratch when our only culinary skills at the time were microwaving easy mac, I can’t fathom, but we had motivation and armed ourselves with printed recipes for every dish we planned for the feast. From scratch cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie, a roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, and all the classics. We prepared our turkey with my boyfriend’s help and somehow managed to get it into the oven only to realize an hour later that we never pulled out the innards. We managed to rescue our turkey and mastered the let’s just wing it technique with everything else. In the end, our feast was special and memorable, despite our lack of know how. We didn’t burn a thing and nearly everything at the table was edible. Since those days, both my sister and I have grown in our culinary skills and have learned how to plan ahead and put together a Thanksgiving feast for our own families. Over the years I’ve learned that every Thanksgiving has three essential ingredients: good wine, a delicious turkey, and decadent pie. Everything else is secondary. As long as you have the Thanksgiving trifecta, you’re practically a professional. No from scratch cranberry sauce necessary (although welcome).

I’ve experimented with all kinds of ways to cook the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever. From deep fried to baked to barbecued, and the verdict is that a brined Butterball turkey makes for the best kind of turkey. All natural high quality turkey that, once immersed into brine becomes fully flavored down to the bone. Once it’s brine bath is over and it’s baked low and slow the skin becomes slightly crispy and the tender meat is full of flavorful juices. This best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever fills my home with the aromatics only a perfect turkey can. To score savings on that Thanksgiving turkey and all your other holiday needs from brands like Butterball, Woodbridge and Marie Callender’s, download Shopkick.

I’ve also got a special place in my heart because only Butterball has a Turkey Talk-Line where a team of turkey experts is waiting to answer all of the important cooking questions and is accessible however works easier for me: text (844-877-3456), call (1-800-BUTTERBALL), or live chat. Even this mama with fourteen Thanksgivings under her belt needs a turkey hotline.

To create the brine, I grab a large stockpot and fill it with one gallon of vegetable stock, plenty of kosher salt, some brown sugar, whole peppercorns, some allspice berries, and some candied ginger. I bring it all to a boil over medium high heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve completely. Then I remove the pot from the heat to cool down to room temperature before popping it into the fridge.

The day before Thanksgiving, I grab a cooler (a bucket works too) and fill it with a gallon of ice water and the brine along with plenty of additional ice before adding in the turkey (innards removed this time), breast down. The turkey bathes in the brine overnight and I flip it once halfway through.

On Thanksgiving morning, I grab the bucket and pull out the turkey, wash him down in cold water, and place him on a large roasting rack. While the oven preheats, I pat down the turkey with paper towels, grab some softened butter, and give him a nice butter massage. I pull the skin away from the muscles and rub butter under there as well. It’s essential for the crispy skin part, which we fight over every Thanksgiving here in the Sosa house.

The turkey goes into a 325F oven for about fifteen minutes per pound until the thickest part of the breast reaches an internal temperature of 165F. I baste the turkey in the juices that fall into the pan every hour or so and I don’t cover it at all because crispy skin. But if the skin gets too brown for your liking, pull it out of the oven, cover it in tinfoil, and pop it back into the oven to finish cooking.

Once the turkey is finished, I cover it with tinfoil and let it rest for about fifteen minutes before carving. That fifteen minutes is the perfect time to pour myself a glass of wine, if I haven’t already. I usually pop open a bottle of Woodbridge as soon as Santa closes the big parade and I’ve finished my annual Thanksgiving-is-here-and-this-year-has-been-incredible-and-I’m-so-thankful-for-my-family-and-life-and-crispy-turkey-skin cry. The Woodbridge Red Blend wine, my choice for this year’s feast, offers warm and toasty aromas and flavor notes of blackberry, vanilla, and baking spices. It’s full and rich with a long, flavorful finish that pairs well with holiday favorites like the best Thanksgiving turkey recipe ever.

After we’ve enjoyed our turkey and feast, it’s pie time. No polite obligatory wait time with my kids. It’s turkey and pie day, lady! We use Marie Callender’s pies every year. It saves me time, allowing me to focus on my turkey and annual parade cry, while still offering that homemade from scratch taste (because they are!) that our Thanksgiving feast desires. Pumpkin and Dutch Apple are mandatory and finish off our meal on a high note.

Take advantage of these special offers on Shopkick when you purchase these Thanksgiving trifecta essentials!

The Thanksgiving trifecta has served me well over the years. Feeding people is my love language and I live for the holidays, but I think it’s important to not get too caught up trying to create a perfect meal. Keeping it simple, with a few essentials, means I have time to enjoy the holidays with my husband and children.



Brown Butter Garlic Carrots

This post contains affiliate links.

Two things in life I deeply admire: buttah and garlic. I mean, they’re practically guaranteed to make any meal delicious. These Brown Butter Garlic Carrots embrace both of the ingredients for a flavor filled side dish that’s perfect for any table during any season, but they’re a favorite Thanksgiving side dish of mine and I love serving them among the turkey, stuffing, and other classics.

I start by melting a generous amount of butter over a skillet (here’s the one I use) until it’s nice and brown.

I add in plenty, oh and I do mean plenty, of garlic and sauté it in the butter for about a minute (garlic cooks quickly in a skillet and I don’t want it to burn) before adding carrots.

I give it all a good stir and add in some honey and a bit of thyme.

I transfer the skillet right into my oven, which I preheated to 425F, and cook the carrots for about 15-20 minutes until my carrots are tender.

When the carrots come out, they’re drenched in buttery garlic flavor and positively drool worthy. My veggie hating kiddos even enjoy these carrots. They’ve become a holiday favorite in my home, but they’re a great side dish for any meal.


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Quick Mongolian Beef Lettuce Wraps

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Conagra Brands. All opinions are mine alone. P.F. Chang‘s and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu® are registered trademarks owned by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. and are used with permission. #AuthenticMadeEasy #CollectiveBias

Busy weeknights are a regular occurrence in my home. Between weekly community group meetings and school events, cooking for my family has become a competitive sport, ha! I’ve learned that having some quick and easy recipes on hand helps to keep me a little less frazzled about dinnertime and my family’s bellies full. I’m not one to sacrifice flavor, so I’m known for being picky about which recipes make the cut. Fast and easy doesn’t always mean delicious, but I know when I use the new P.F. Chang’s® Home Menu sauces, I’m practically guaranteed a mouthwateringly tasty meal. My recipe for these Quick Mongolian Beef Lettuce Wraps delivers all the bold Asian flavor I love in an easy recipe.

In a skillet, I add some ground beef and finely diced onion along with some salt and pepper and cook it all together until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent.

Then I add in some garlic and ginger.

And here’s where the flavor makes it’s appearance with a hefty drizzling of P.F. Chang’s Home Menu Mongolian sauce. They make a variety of sauces in flavors like the newest addition, Soy, along with Sesame, Kung Pao, and Teriyaki, any of which would work beautifully in this recipe.

Next I add in some green onion and water chestnuts and let everything come to a simmer, allowing that delicious sauce to penetrate the meat and veggies.

Once it’s done, I serve the beef inside a fresh piece of romaine lettuce for a fresh crunch.

These versatile Quick Mongolian Beef Lettuce Wraps are a delicious weeknight meal solution for moms like me who refuse to sacrifice flavor when pulling together a last minute meal. The new P.F. Chang’s Home Menu sauces, available at Walmart, are going to be a regular flavor saver in these parts and will be readily available in my pantry for when I want to add easy Asian flavor to not just my quick weeknight meals, but any of our dinners.


For more P.F. Chang’s Home Menu sauce inspired recipes from bloggers like me, be sure to visit the social hub where we’ve gathered our favorites.

P.F. Chang’s and P.F. Chang’s Home Menu® are registered trademarks owned by P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Inc. and are used with permission.