Monday, May 27, 2013

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This soup has everything I love about a baked potato; cheese, green onions, bacon, sour cream...  
Obviously, the potato itself isn't the star of this dish.  The toppings just make it wonderful.
Also, this soup gets a thumbs up from the hubs; which means that it is dense and thick and hardly resembles a soup at all.  Very filling pure comfort food.

This recipe is all over the internet and pinterest, but I wanted to try it most after viewing it at my sister in laws blog, Cupcakes with Sprinkles.  And seriously, if you haven't been over there to check it out it is worth it!  You might end up making a dessert instead of dinner, but is that entirely a bad thing?

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1/2 lb. bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 onion, diced
5 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 cans chicken broth
3 Tbsp. butter
3 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 c. milk
3/4 c. Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 tsp. black pepper

For garnish:
green onions, cheddar, sour cream and bacon

In a large pot cook bacon until crisp; remove and dry on paper towels.
Saute onion in bacon drippings until tender; remove excess grease if necessary.
Add potatoes and chicken broth and bring to a boil.
Reduce and simmer until potatoes are fork tender.
Remove 1 c. of potatoes to a small bowl and mash with a fork.

In a small sauce pan melt butter and stir in flour to create a roux.
Cook for 2 minutes, then whisk in the milk.
Bring to a boil, and simmer until thickened.
Slowly stir into the soup pot along with the bowl of mashed potatoes.

Add 1/2 c. of the cheese, three-fourths of the bacon and pepper to the pot.
Stir to combine and cook an additional 5 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with desired toppings.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Apple Pancakes

I have such a love/hate relationship with breakfast.  I love breakfast foods, but I hate taking time to prepare it in the morning.  These came together faster than I imagined, and they were a great alternative to the "plain" pancakes that my 7 year old constantly requests.

I was worried that the pancake batter would overpower the apples, but that wasn't the case.
It was a great mellow flavor that paired perfectly with maple syrup.

This is a great way to use up leftover pancake/waffle batter as well.  Just slice your apples, dip and cook.

Apple Pancakes
Recipe from Heat Oven to 350

2 medium apples, cored and sliced thin
1 c. flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/2 c. buttermilk

Mix together dry ingredients in a bowl.
Whisk in egg and milk.

Heat a large skillet over medium-low and spray with Pam.
Dip apple rings into batte and allow excess to drip off.
Cook rings until golden brown, tuning once, making sure apple is softened slightly (do not cook too hot).
Serve with maple syrup.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Vegetable Cheese Chowder

This is not a new recipe on this blog, but it is one that has been sadly overlooked by many.  It may have been because it desperately needed a new photo.
Either way, this is a fantastically cheesy, and fully loaded with veggies and flavor.  It comes together quickly too, which I love!
This here is my momma's soup.  We loved dinner whenever she prepared it for us.

Vegetable Cheese Chowder
Recipe from Sandy Bishop

2 chicken bouillon cubes
3 c. hot water
1 c. chopped, of each of the following:
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 lb. Velveeta Cheese

Dissolve bouillon cubes in water.
Add vegetables and simmer for 30 minutes.
Add soup and mix well.
Stir in cubed Velveeta.
Stir until melted.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lemon Vinegar Kitchen Cleaner

I decided a while ago to try and find a more "green" kitchen cleaner.  I didn't like the idea of spraying the counters and tables that my kids so regularly ate off of with things that may be unhealthy for them to accidentally consume.
I think that is when I fell in love with the cleaning power of vinegar.  That is also when my husband started complaining that our house smelled like, well, vinegar.
To appease his distaste, I started searching the internet and found this method.

There are a lot of different "recipes" to this cleaner.  Most just use lemon peels and vinegar, with a 50/50 ratio of water.  In my experience, I have found the addition of essential oils and a minimal addition of water (or none at all) is best for me.  It definitely gets the job done.

Lemon Vinegar Kitchen Cleaner
12-15 lemons
2 quart mason jar
white distilled vinegar
10 drops lemon essential oil
water (optional)

Wash lemons to remove any dirt.
Juice lemons (I freeze it in ice cube trays in tsp. and Tbsp. amounts to use in recipes)
Scrape out skin from peels and discard.

Rough chop peels.
Stuff peels into jar, pressing down to fit as many peels as possible.
Fill jar with vinegar, ensuring that ll peels are completely covered.
Seal jar and set aside to soak for 2-3 weeks.

Drain vinegar from jar into a spray bottle.
Discard peels (I put mine through the garbage disposal to helps clean and freshen)
Add essential oils to vinegar.
Add water (up to equal amounts of vinegar), if desired.
Shake before each use.