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Local potluck had everything from soup to nuts
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When members of the Central Kansas Partnership held a meeting with a potluck meal, the samples of hearty soups and sweet snacks were abundant. Afterward, Partnership member Janel Rose from the Barton County Health Department fielded requests for the sharing of some recipes, starting with her own recipe for Taco Soup.

Rose also provided the recipe for Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup. With a simple variation, this can become Ham & Cheese Potato Soup.

For dessert, Partnership member Mary Klinge shared her recipes for Microwave Salted Nut Rolls and Mock Toffee.


Taco Soup

2 lbs. Ground beef, browned and drained

1 medium Onion, chopped

1 15-16 oz. can of Whole kernel corn

1 15-16 oz. can of Pinto beans with juice

4 15 oz. cans of diced tomatoes or 2 29 oz. cans of diced tomatoes

1 pkg. Original Hidden Valley salad dressing mix

1 pkg. Taco seasoning mix


Simmer above ingredients together for about 2 hours or in crock pot on low for 4 hours.

Add 8 oz. sour cream and mix in before serving

Serve with tortilla chips and shredded mixed cheese if desired.


Suggestions: Rose blends some juice from the tomatoes with the chopped onion before adding it to the soup. She drained the corn and added a second can of Pinto beans. For the canned tomatoes, she used a petite diced variety. Finally, she topped the soup off with fat-free sour cream.


Broccoli Cheese Potato Soup

6 cups Water

7 tsp. Chicken bouillon granules or 7 chicken bouillon cubes

2 pkg. 8 oz. each cream cheese, cubed

1 pkg. 30-32 oz. frozen cubed/shredded hash browns, thawed

1 pkg. 15-16 oz. frozen broccoli florets

½ c. chopped onion (I blend mine with some of the water)

1 tsp. Garlic powder


In a large kettle, combine the water and bouillon. Add cubed cream cheese; cook and stir until cheese is melted. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, reduce heat; simmer uncovered for 18 – 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.


Suggestions: Rose blends her chopped onion with some of the water.

To make Ham & Cheese Potato Soup, substitute 1 ½ cups of cubed fully cooked ham for the broccoli.


Microwave Salted Nut Rolls

1 16 oz. pkg. Dry roasted peanuts

1 12 oz. pkg. Peanut butter chips

3 Tablespoons butter or margarine

1 14 oz. can Sweetened condensed milk

1 10 oz. pkg. Mini marshmallows


Place half the peanuts in buttered 9-by-13 inch pan. Place peanut butter chips and butter in microwave-safe dish. Microwave on low until melted. Add condensed milk to chips mixture. Do not boil. Fold in marshmallows. Spread mixture over peanuts. Top with remaining peanuts. Chill.

Yield: 16-20 servings


Mock Toffee

1 lb. Butterscotch confectioners’ candy coating (or use white almond bark and add a few drops of oil of butterscotch)

2 cups Butter brickle chips

1 cup Chocolate chips

½ cup Chopped pecans


Place confectioner’s candy coating and butter and brickle chips in large bowl. Microwave at 50 percent (medium) for 5 to 6 minutes or until softened. Stir until smooth and completely melted. Spread to one-fourth inch thickness on wax paper. Cool until hard.

Microwave chocolate chips at 50 percent 3 to 5 minutes or until chips are shiny and softened. Stir until melted. Spread chocolate on set brickle and sprinkle with chopped nuts. Chill until set. Break into pieces.

Makes about 3 lbs.