Tag 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

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories.com
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
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 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
  • 1 1/4 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:

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”600px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

“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)[/dropshadowbox]

 

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.

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.

Easy {Crock Pot} White Chili

Recipe Type: Soup
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories.com
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 8
A scrumptious alternative to traditional and tomato based chili, this mild soup is rich with veggies, chunks of chicken, and a slight kick from spices. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and tortilla chips, if desired.
Ingredients
  • 3 15-oz. cans great northern beans, pinto, or cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 c. chopped cooked chicken
  • 1 c. chopped onion
  • 1 1/2 c. chopped red, green, and/or yellow sweet pepper
  • 2 jalapeno chili peppers, stemmed and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 3 1/2 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.

A Homemade Christmas Linky Party

A Homemade Christmas Linky Party

 

Everyone loves a good party, right?  I know that I do.  I enjoy browsing other ideas and gaining new inspiration for the holidays.  Let’s share a ton of creativity today.  Please feel free to add more than one project.   =)

Joy to the World {A Snow Globe Cake}

All was calm.  A sense of hush filled the air.

At the wooden frame of a roughly hewn stable entrance, one’s eye was immediately drawn towards the manger bed.  A tiny newborn babe lay nestled in a bed of hay.  His birth fulfilled numerous prophecies of old. He represented the wonder of the ages, the guidance for those that had gone astray, the strength of the Lord, the omnipotent God, the giver of salvation and inner peace.

His name truly was:

__________________________________________

Wonderful. Counselor. The Mighty God.  The Everlasting Father. The Prince of Peace.

___________________________________________

He was the King of Kings, this infant child.  The promised Messiah.  His name was Jesus. He would live and die.  Only his death would offer salvation to all men.

[dropshadowbox align=”none” effect=”lifted-both” width=”500px” height=”” background_color=”#ffffff” border_width=”1″ border_color=”#dddddd” ]

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

                                                                                                                                                                                                        John 3:16[/dropshadowbox]

Standing over the babe, the shepherds must have recalled the wondrous words that the heavenly host had declared unto them.  Those glad tidings of great joy.  The birth of the Savior, the Lord.

Truly it was joy to the world.

A Homemade Christmas

Welcome to the last day of our “A Homemade Christmas” series.  It has been a blessing for me to be able to work with three other tremendous bloggers that I also call friends.  Every day I have been inspired by their creativity and yes, sometimes in awe of their awesome photography skills.  I hope that you all have come away from this series literally filled with new ideas, delicious recipes and simple crafts for the holidays.

Today I wanted to share with you a recipe I recently found in my latest Taste of Home edition, a Holiday Snow Globe Cake.  And just like my melting snowman, I have definitely “Heather-ized” this treat and given it my own twist.

As is evident above, my faith in Christ is very important to me.  We typically like to have some sort of cake over the Christmas season to acknowledge the birth of Christ – a birthday cake, if you will.

When I spotted the “snow globe cake”, I immediately fell in love with it.  The wheels started turning.  I wanted to share the idea with you, my readers, but I also wanted to share my faith.  What if I were to put a manger bed under the globe instead of a cute little snowman or ornament?  A nativity cake.  I loved the idea.

Being the wife of a music pastor, I tend to think in “songs”.  Joy to the World would be the perfect “birthday cake ” theme.

joy to the world snow globe cake

Do you know how difficult it is to find a nativity scene nowadays?  Hubs finally found one at our Dollar Tree that was the perfect size.  I had already picked up my glass bubble bowl at Michaels with my 40% coupon.  The globe “topper” ended up being rather inexpensive  in the end. Yay!

As I was envisioning the glass globe over the manger, I was reminded of the reason that Christ came.  It was love for mankind- the world.  I could etch the world on the globe.  Now I was super excited to begin this project.  After I picked up a glass paint pen (Michaels with another 40% off coupon), I hesitated to put it on the glass that would be near my food.  I was even planning on painting the outline of the world on the outside of the bowl, let it cure and putting parchment paper under it all around.  My food wouldn’t touch the paint.

I couldn’t do it though.  Call me a chicken, worry-wort, germaphobic.  Yes, I am all of those things- and more.  So I researched edible paint.  It was so easy.

joy to the world snow globe cake

Here’s what I did:

  • 1 tsp. sweetened condensed milk
  • 1-2 drops of food coloring (left over from my homemade finger paint)
  • toothpick (for etching/painting)

We try to steer clear of food colorings, but I enjoy having them available for crafts such as these.  That way if any is accidentally consumed, it’s no big deal, as it was intended for consumption in the first place.

joy to the world snow globe cake

I then googled different globes and maps to draw an outline of the continents.  It was a very loose outline of the world -I might add.  Please don’t critique it.  I can only do so much with a toothpick and four kids at my elbow during lunch hour.  Ha!

joy to the world snow globe cake

I was quite pleased with the edible paint.  It dries shiny and has an iridescent, pearly quality to the paint.  Perfect.

joy to the world snow globe cake

Here’s the recipe for the cake.  I did tweak this as well.  Again, I can’t help myself.

Joy to the World Cake (Snow Globe cake)

Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Heather @ Thrifty Stories
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 12
A sweet reminder for the true reason for Christmas- the birth of Christ. However, anything can be put under the snow globe- cute ornaments or even special trinkets for a birthday party, etc.
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 2/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar, divided
  • 2 Tbsp. vanilla
  • 2 cups cake flour (I just used all-purpose)
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2/3 cup coconut milk
  • _____________________________
  • Inner frosting/filling
  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 cups flaked coconut
  • ____________________________
  • Outer frosting
  • see link in post for butter cream frosting
  • ____________________________
  • Decorations
  • 8-in glass bubble bowl (about a 6-in opening)
  • a nativity manger piece (or a holiday ornament)
Instructions
  1. Line bottoms of two greased 8-in round baking pans with parchment paper; grease paper. Place egg whites in a large bowl; let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, cream butter and 1/2 cup sugar. Slowly add egg yolks, beating well. Beat in vanilla. In another bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to the creamed mixture alternately with the coconut milk, beating well after each addition.
  3. After cleaning your beaters, beat egg whites on medium speed until soft peaks form. Gradually add remaining sugar, 1 Tbsp at a time, beating on high until each addition of sugar is dissolved. Beat until stiff glossy peaks from. Gently fold into batter. Pour into prepared pans.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool in pans for 10 minutes. Invert onto cooling racks and remove paper. Cool.
  5. Melt butter and chocolate chips. Allow to cool. Add sour cream, salt and vanilla. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar until the frosting is desired consistency.
  6. Place on cake layer on a serving plate, bottom side down. Trim any rounded top with a long serrated knife to level cake. Spread fudge frosting over top to within 3/4 inches of edge; cover with a layer of coconut. Level second cake if needed. Place second cake layer over coconut, bottom side up.
  7. Spread white frosting over top and sides of cake. Sprinkle with coconut. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
  8. Just before serving, place manger on the center of the cake. Carefully invert bowl over top. Add a dollop of frosting and a sprinkle of coconut to the top of inverted bowl. This is to cover the flat bottom of the bowl. Enjoy.

joy to the world snow globe cake

The original recipe actually calls for a seedless raspberry jam for the filling, but I knew that my kids would prefer a fudgy chocolate center better. And truth be told, so would I.  It would be a similar taste to an almond joy- chocolate and coconut layered together.  Yum.  You will have some of the fudge icing leftover simply refrigerate or use for another recipe for non-coconut lovers. =)

joy to the world snow globe cake

 

joy to the world snow globe cake

I went ahead and made my vanilla butter cream frosting for the outer frosting since I wanted a white base.  So pretty sprinkled with the coconut and and dusted with sugar crystals for an added sparkle.  Love.

joy to the world snow globe cake

 

joy to the world snow globe cake

This will be the perfect cake to celebrate the birth of Christ this holiday season.  It turned out just like I had envisioned in my mind.

I wish all of you very blessed Christmas and a wonderful new year in 2013.  May the old familiar tune still remain on our lips.

joy to the world snow globe cake

Joy to the World.

And may the glad refrain ring true in our hearts as well.

joy to the world snow globe cake

The Lord is Come.

Thanks for reading.

___________________

Ever made a “Happy birthday, Jesus” cake?  Am I the only nerd about things touching my food?  You tweak all of your recipes too, don’t you?  Share.  I really want to hear.  Besides, we “germaphobics” need to stick together- so stand my me.  =)

Blessings,

P.S.  Tomorrow, for our last and final day {sniff, sniff}, we will be having a linky party for Homemade Christmas projects.  Please join us and share pictures of your projects.  We would all love to see the unbelievable creativity and genius of our readers.  Spread the word and let’s have a BIG party. =)

New to the series?  Missed any days?  Get caught up here: