Category Archives: Recipes

A Decent Sort of Fellow

I’ve told you before that I absolutely love potatoes and so does my man.

That makes us a good match, right? Fellow starch fans.

Russet potatoes are my absolute favorite, but I don’t mind the others. Truly I don’t. Gold, red, and white are really just as delicious.

Yes, the early 1870s was a good time in American history. Not only was the devastating Civil War over, but the russet potato was developed in Massachusetts. It would become the leading potato crop for the United States, P.E.I. and New Brunswick, Canada. It would also be a tremendous economical discovery for both countries.

I, for one, am thankful for its discovery. =)

baked potato soup

A couple weeks ago, I was given several enormous baked potatoes that were left over from our ladies Bible study. This was under the assumption that I had a good use for three and a half leftover potatoes. Did I ever! I had tried the most delicious recipe a few weeks before that required baked potatoes. Possessing those foil clad delicacies made my heart extremely happy. I may have gone humming and skipping out the door.

Upon arriving home, I made the mistake of telling Hubs that I had them and nearly lost one to his potato loving appetite. Shameful, I know. I withheld food, potatoes no less, from a hungry man. I am despicable.

He forgave me a few days later.

I made a huge pot of this wonderful, starchy goodness: Baked Potato Soup.

baked potato soup

Perhaps you’ve already made this recipe, or one similar, before, but I had not.

I was in love.

It was creamy, bursting with flavor, and deliciously filling.

I found the original recipe here.

30 Minute Baked Potato Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6
 
Creamy and hearty baked potato soup flavored with green onions, sharp cheese, bacon and sour cream. Perfect way to use up those leftover potatoes.
Ingredients
  • 12 slices of bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • ⅔ cup butter
  • ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups milk
  • 4 large baked potatoes, peeled and cubed (I've made it both ways with and without the peel)
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1¼ cups shredded cheese (I used sharp)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon in a large skillet until browned. Drain, crumble, and set aside.
  2. While bacon is browning, melt the butter in a large stock pot over medium heat. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in cubed potatoes and green onions. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently to prevent scorching.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Add bacon, cheese, sour cream, salt, and pepper. Stir constantly until the cheese melts.

I love being able to take leftovers and create an entirely new, delicious meal. Using leftover baked potatoes is not only extremely frugal but also makes prep time a snap.

The green onions make the dish, in my opinion. However, I love onions in most dishes. They bring just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the potato. Perfection at its finest.

baked potato soup

The crumbled bacon made Fuzz satisfied. The girl loves meat. If you are serving a hot breakfast, she’ll request and happily devour bacon, ham, and sausage. She’s been known to snitch the last piece of venison steak as well. A more carnivorous child you have never met.

baked potato soup

The bacon, cheese, green onions, and sour cream do truly make the dish taste like a baked potato. A liquid baked potato on a spoon. Mmmm.

Yes, one bite and all was forgiven.

baked potato soup

 

My friend, Winnie, pretty much pegged my husband with this quote:

“What I say is that, if a man really likes potatoes, he must be a pretty decent sort of fellow.”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                -A.A. Milne (Winnie-the-Pooh)

 

And that, my friends, is my hubs.

Anyone else LOVE potatoes? Have you been eating soup like it’s going out of style? What do you cook for comfort? Or for peace offerings? Share and make my day. I love to hear from you. If you’d like a simple potato soup recipe, try this one.

Thanks for reading.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies in the Dark

I am a disgraceful blogger.

raspberry orange smoothie

I let you down Monday and last Friday with my acronym series. I truly am sorry. My husband and I are transitioning into some new roles with his job {our church} and I am still sorting through my responsibilities in all of it. I’m trying to find the proper balance and schedule, so bear with me.

We are incredibly busy, but very happy and blessed. And that’s a good feeling, right?

______________________________

Anyway, last Thursday, Hubs and I had our 3T Evening {Time Together Thursday}. We had it all planned out and put the kids in bed early. The agenda for the evening was exercise and homemade smoothies. I had found a really delicious recipe that I wanted to try out. Just between you and me, I really just wanted to play with another new toy that I’d received for Christmas: my Ninja pulse blender.

The evening was totally about the smoothies and not the exercising. =)

I innocently suggested to my husband that he take the first round of exercising on our Xbox. I thought that I would make the smoothies while he began a grueling workout and then I would exercise. I was being kind. Others first was drilled into me as a kid.

He was huffing and puffing. The YourShape can be fierce. If you even try to step away, the machine will ask you where you are going. The Xbox lady is relentless, I tell you.

raspberry orange smoothie

While he was sweating and groaning, I was mixing up the best. smoothies. ever. How could anything that is this easy taste so delicious? I found the original recipe here and tweaked it just a bit.

Raspberry Orange Smoothies
Author: 
Recipe type: Smoothies
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2
 
Enjoy the tart of raspberries with the tang of orange in a delicious blend of fruity goodness in your cup.
Ingredients
  • ¾ c. orange juice
  • 1 c. frozen raspberries
  • ¼ c. yogurt
  • 1 banana (can be frozen)
  • 4 Tbsp. sugar (optional)
Instructions
  1. Measure all of the ingredients and place in blender. Mix until smooth. Serve immediately. Enjoy.

 

I was just finishing the smoothies when the power went out. Complete and utter darkness. Hubs quickly grabbed a big ol’ flashlight and went around lighting candles throughout the house. He gave me one in the kitchen so I could serve up our icy, fruity goodness into glasses.. The electricity going out could not have been timed better- in more ways than one.

raspberry orange smoothie

After giving little LED tea lights to our girls- who were freaking out over the absence of their nightlight, we settled down with our cold treats.

Scrumptious. Truly it was.

It was like sipping raspberry sherbet through a straw.  Mmmmm-mmmm.

*sigh* I think that it was my favorite 3T time thus far. No lights, no TV, no internet, no computer work, nothing. Just listening to the voice of your sweetie intermingled with the occasional sounds of slurping. Smoothies in the dark = relaxing evening.

raspberry orange smoothie

Perhaps it also had something to do with the fact that I never took my turn dueling with the vicious Xbox lady. I typically have evil thoughts of the woman as she’s pushing my body through necessary pain and contortions. The fact that it’s really just a voice on a machine never fully registers during my workout. At that point, reality slips away and she’s merely a relentless lady who is oblivious to my current affliction.  Sadly, no pain, no gain is not always a happy, motivating thought as I’m in physical agony and short of breath.

raspberry orange smoothie

 

Not so on Thursday.

My mind {and body} were at peace. I totally enjoyed sipping my frozen treat in the flickering candlelight, chatting with Hubs. Whose idea was it to exercise anyways?

Oh yeah. That would be me, I guess.

Sitting in the dark, however, made you focus more on the pure deliciousness of the blend of the smoothie in your hand. It was tart,tangy, and sweetness all wrapped up in one frosty glass. I added 3-4 Tbsp of sugar to cancel out some of the tartness of the orange and raspberry to make my sweet tooth happy. For me, it created the perfect balance for the smoothie. You may just enjoy it with the fruit, OJ and yogurt. Natural goodness, so to speak. All in all, it was a wonderful evening together.

raspberry orange smootheie

Hmmmm…I wonder if Hubs ever realized that I never had my turn sweating through YourShape.

Shhhhh. Don’t tell him, ok? Remember, I just shared this awesome recipe with you in exchange for your silence.

Enjoy. =)

So what have you been up to over the past few days? Make a commitment to exercise this year? Are you keeping up with it? Ever have a power outage work in your favor? Or we could forget about the necessary evil {a.k.a. exercising} and just talk smoothies. What fruity concoctions do you blend together? Share. I’d love to hear.

 

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup

I am putting my Christmas present to good use. I love my crock pots. Anything that cooks my meals without needing me nearby checking and stirring it often is a winner in my book.

Those of you that follow me on facebook may remember the status where I shared that we were having glazed ham with homemade mac n cheese for dinner. Later that weekend, we had ham and cheese sliders for dinner as well as ham and eggs for breakfast. We had just about had all of the ham that we could handle, so I stuck the rest of the ham in the freezer.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I remembered my split pea and ham soup crock pot recipe earlier this week and thought that it would be something different to enjoy on a cold evening. Who knows? The kids may actually appreciate something out of the ordinary in their soup bowls.

And they absolutely did.

We ate every drop of the soup in the crock pot.  We all enjoyed seconds and some requested thirds…only the pot was empty by then. *sigh*

Fuzz has already requested it for dinner again.

This soup is very rich and hearty, filled with a number of different veggies, chicken broth, rice, and spices. The flavor is absolutely delicious. We were nearly salivating as we smelled it cooking all day long. Tantalizing, I tell you. Your taste buds are more than ready by dinner time.  =)

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

Slow Cooker Split Pea & Ham Soup
Author: 
Recipe type: Soup
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6-8
 
A rich and hearty soup that is packed with delicious veggies, spices, rice and of course, ham. However, if desired, smoked turkey sausage can be substituted for the ham. Either way, this recipe will not disappoint.
Ingredients
  • 2 c. cubed fully cooked ham
  • 1 c. dry split peas
  • 1 c. chopped onion (I used one whole small to medium-sized onion.)
  • 1 c. shredded organic carrot
  • 2 Tbsp. freshly snipped parsley ( I used dried parsley)
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 4 c. organic chicken broth (I used one 32 oz. carton, it was just a tad more than 4 cups)
  • 2 c. water
  • 1 c. quick-cooking rice (I made 1 cup of regular rice on the stove and dumped it in....using what you have is my motto!)
Instructions
  1. Combine ham, peas, onion, carrot, parsley, and pepper in slow cooker. Pour chicken broth and water over everything.
  2. Cover; cook on low-heat for 8-10 hours or on high-heat setting for 4-5 hours. Stir in rice. Cover; let stand 5 minutes or until rice is tender. Serve.

slow cooker split pea and ham soup

I cooked mine for 8 hours and it was just perfect. (The crock pot that I used is one that has  four buttons: 4 hrs. and 6 hrs [high settings] and 8 hrs. and 10 hrs. [low settings]. It is not one with a dial for low, high, and warm.) Just a little extra info for those that may be interested. I know that crock pots can sometimes cook differently.

What have you been slow cooking lately?  Soup? Dessert?  Believe it or not, I’ve never attempted a sweet dish in my beloved crock pot. That’s about to change though.  I’ll keep you posted.  Share what you enjoy cooking.  I’d love to hear.

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

 

 

Join in tomorrow as we continue with out S.O.S. journey.  Get ready to work. =)

S. O. S.  {Saturday Organization Series}

 

Easy {Crock Pot} White Chili

Brrrrr.  I don’t know about where you live, but here on the ol’ NC homestead, I’m just about frozen solid. It’s been bitter cold and windy.

In my book, however, soup is the perfect remedy to ward off a chill. This is a recipe that we have been enjoying for years now and the entire family loves it.  The other day I had Hubs drop an entire bag of chicken breasts into the crock pot for me.  Once it was cooked, I shredded/cubed all of the meat and divided it into two bowls.  I used half of it to make the Southwestern Chicken Wraps and oh my, I had forgotten how good they were. The girls loved them.

Yesterday I used the rest of the cubed chicken to make white chili.  Have you ever had it before? Deliciousness.

easy {crock pot} white chili

Again the girls gobbled it up.  I’m thrilled to have two more recipes that they will happily eat of their own accord. We mothers like that, don’t we?  Life-specifically meal times- becomes so much easier.

Here’s the recipe.

Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
 
Ingredients
  • 3 15-oz. cans great northern beans, pinto, or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2½ c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1½ c. chopped red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. dried oregano
  • 3½ c. chicken broth
  • sharp shredded cheese (optional)
  • sour cream (optional)
  • tortilla chips (optional)
Instructions
  1. Combine the drained beans, chicken, onion, sweet pepper, jalapeno peppers, garlic, cumin, salt and oregano. Stir in chicken broth.
  2. Cover; cook on low for about 8-10 hours or on high for about 4-5 hours.
  3. Serve soup into bowls. Top with cheese, sour cream and/or tortilla chips, if desired.

 

easy {crock pot} white chili

This was so incredibly simple especially since the chicken had already been cooked and cubed the day before. This stuff is good.  Really. We all wanted the leftovers for lunch today.  Tears would have been shed, but I slowly handed the last bowl to my husband. That was true love in action, I tell you. Just wait until you taste this stuff.

After serving three bowls to Hubs, Bunny, and Fuzz, I poured the last of the broth out of the pan over leftover cooked rice (from the chicken wraps).  It was actually a rather yummy and filling concoction not to mention it finished up leftovers from the fridge.  I love it when that happens.

easy {crock pot} white chili

However instead of leftover white rice, we usually enjoy white chili with a bag of tortilla chips.  We have been known to set our spoons down and simply eat our entire bowls as a dip with said chips. Then we slurp up all the broth-when no ones looking. Or listening.

Add a dollop of sour cream? *sigh*

It’s perfection.

easy {crock pot} white chili

So tell me, what do you serve on cold days?  Soup?  Wrap up in a blanket and have pizza delivered? Please share. I’d love to know. I need new recipes for this cold spell.  =)

Thanks for reading.