Ms. Kay’s Southern Beef & Vegetable Soup

Here’s another recipe given to me by my second mother-in-law, Ms. Kay. She made this for us one night and it is a nice soup to have on a cold winter night. Her family crumbles the corn bread right into their bowl of soup to eat it. This makes a lot of soup, I freeze some of the leftovers for another night.


  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 4 – 6 potatoes – cut into small chunks (I use Yukon Gold)
  • 4 – 6 carrots – roughly sliced
  • 1 package frozen butter beans (Lima beans if you’re out of the south)
  • 1 package frozen okra (Kay uses canned okra, we don’t have that here)
  • 1 package frozen corn
  • 2 – 28oz cans crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup sugar (optional – Kay uses this to sweeten the tomatoes, I skip it)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 2 – 3 cups water


I use a large dutch oven to make this. On the stove, brown the ground beef until cooked through. Drain any excess fat. Add the vegetables, tomatoes, sugar (if using) and seasonings to the beef. Last add the water – cover the vegetables and get the soup to the consistency you desire. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook for about 2 hours.

Serve with corn bread.


Ms. Kay’s Dessert

I suppose I should start this with who Ms. Kay is. I just realized that some may confuse her with another Ms. Kay currently on the A&E network. Our Ms. Kay is my second mother-in-law, and she enjoys cooking. Last time we were visiting, she shared a few recipes with me.

This is an easy dessert that Ms. Kay likes to bring to gatherings. I like it because you can pick whatever pie filling you’re in the mood for. (She usually uses apple, I like blueberry.)


  • 2 cans of crescent rolls
  • 2 – 8oz bricks of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 can pie filling of choice


Grease a 9″ x 13″ baking dish. Open one can of crescent rolls, and unroll them, keeping them together. Place this layer of crescent rolls in the bottom of the dish. Mix the cream cheese with the sugar; spread on top of the crescent layer. Next, spread the pie filling on top of the cream cheese mixture. Now top this with the second can of crescent rolls to form the top layer.

Bake at 325º for 20 minutes.

Susie’s Potato Salad

UPDATE: OMG, you guys. I just made this with five red potatoes and four eggs, it made an enormous bowl. If you want a reasonable amount, try starting with  three red potatoes and two eggs! (I love how I said “you guys” like there are actually people reading this. LOL)

I enjoy potato salad, but I’m not

This was with five potatoes and three eggs – you can see it made a lot!

a big fan of mustard or pickles. Last summer we visited my aunt (Susie) and she made this delicious (and a little different) potato salad. I am an engineer and I like recipes to have exact amounts. This recipe is pretty loose, so just go with it. (I didn’t note how much we used of cucumber, carrots, and celery, this was clearly the eyeball method.

Ingredients (adjust as you see fit)

  • Potatoes (we used 5 red), cooked and cut into cubes
  • Eggs (we used 4), cooked and chopped
  • Cucumber, cubed
  • Shredded Carrots
  • Celery, sliced

Sauce (Ratio per Susie, multiply as needed for your amount of potato salad)

  • Mayonnaise (Couple of spoonfuls)
  • Yellow Mustard (Couple of squirts)
  • Horseradish Sauce (~ teaspoon, more if you want more kick)
  • Salt


Add the sauce to the other ingredients. Mix it all together and voila! You have potato salad.

Now, for those of you needing more direction (like me) here’s how you cook your potatoes and eggs, per Better Homes and Gardens:

Cook potatoes in boiling water for 20 – 25 minutes until soft, but still firm. Peel & cut. (or leave the skin on if that’s your thing.)

Hard Boiled Eggs – cover with cold water in saucepan. Bring to boil, then reduce to simmer for 15 minutes. Drain. cover eggs in cold water for five minutes to cool.

Stuffed Celery

This recipe was handed down by my Grandma Beckman. She had a love for whipping cream. We usually have this at Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners. I also made (and ate) a lot when I was pregnant.


  • Celery, Cut into 3- 4 inch pieces
  • Pecans, chopped
  • Green Olives (stuffed with pimentos), chopped
  • Brick of Cream Cheese, softened
  • Whipping Cream


Mix cream cheese with some whipping cream until cheese is nice and creamy. You still want it firm and not runny. (Just add a bit of whipping cream at a time until you reach desired consistency.) Then mix in pecans and olives. This is to taste, but you’ll need a lot. The final mixture will be pretty lumpy. (I’ll add a picture to this post next time I make it.) Stuff this mixture into your cut celery and enjoy!