Thursday, September 29, 2011

A favorite in this household: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

If you love loaded baked potatoes like I do, then you'll love this recipe for Loaded Baked Potato Soup! :) It's a favorite in my household. It's starting to be soup season, aka fall! :) I have not tried a low fat version of this recipe but I cannot imagine that it would be hard to substitute low fat ingredients.

Enjoy! It's delish!

I do double this recipe (except the bacon, as the amount given is plenty for a double batch!) to feed my family of four and to have a few lunches for the week as well.

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

1 lb. bacon, diced (you can use about 1/2 lb. if that 1 lb. amount freak you out!)

1 onion, diced (I sometimes add a bit more!)

5 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cubed

3 c. chicken stock (I have used veggie stock as well)

3 T. butter

3 T. flour

1 1/2 c. milk (I'll be honest here and mention I use half and half)

3 green onions, sliced

3/4 c. shredded cheese, divided

1/2 t. black pepper (or slightly more. . .I love using cracked black pepper!)

Sour cream for garnish

1. In large pot cook bacon until crisp. Remove with a slotted spoon to drain and set aside. Drain all but 2 T. of bacon grease from the pot. Cook the onions in the remaining bacon grease for about 5 minutes, until tender.

2. Add potatoes and chicken to the onions in the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and simmer about 20 minutes, until potatoes are tender. With a slotted spoon, remove a few scoops of potatoes. Place potatoes in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside. These will act as a thickener for the soup.

3. In a small sauce pan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook for 2 minutes. Whisk in milk, bring to a boil and simmer until thickened. Slowly stir in to stock pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer. Stir in mashed potatoes.

4. Add 1/2 c. shredded cheese, 3/4 of the bacon, and 1/2 of the sliced green onions to the pot. Add pepper to taste. Stir to combine all ingredients. Cook an additional 5 minutes.

5. To serve, ladle soup into individual bowls and top with shredded cheese, bacon, green onions, and sour cream.

Bon appetit!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Popovers - Simple, yet Divine! :)

Many years ago, when I lived in Texas, my mom and I would treat ourselves once or twice a year to lunch at the lovely dining room at Neiman Marcus in Fort Worth, Texas. They would serve these delightfully delicious, GIGANTIC popovers to those dining with them. . . as an "appetizer"! It was such a nice treat! My mom discoverd this great recipe in her Culinay Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook, complete with oldschool orange, hardboard cover (original publication was 1948!). She was able to find an updated copy of this cookbook in paperback several years ago for me. . .and I swear by it for this recipe for popovers, as well Chocolate Chip Cookies, Pineapple Upsidedown Cake, and several others. Popovers are requested in my household for special occasions and when guests stay with us or join us for breakfast! This time around I made them for my son's 15th birthday weekend Sunday breakfast! I swear they are EASY to make and they will most certainly be a hit in your houshold!


1 1/2 c. sifted all purpose flour
1/2 t. salt
3 eggs
1 1/2 cup milk (I use skim)

Sift flour and salt. Beat eggs, add milk, and stir gradually into the flour and salt mixture to make a smooth batter. Beat thoroughly with egg beater/mixer. Fill greased muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake in very hot over at 450 degreses F for 15 minutes, and then reduce the oven's temperature to moderate at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Makes 12. **Serve with Strawberry butter (mix equal amounts of softened butter with your favorite strawberry jam) . . .or any other "butter" is yummy with this as well. Can also be served with honey.**

*I double this recipe for two muffin tins full. . .lots of hungry tummies to feed!*

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Last of the Z Garden Harvest. . .before the frost

So . . .here's the last of our homegrown, organic veggies from our garden: spaghetti squash, green peppers, cucumbers, a miniscule zucchini (I think these really finished producing last week or slightly before that), jalepenos, thai chilis, green beans, a few cherry tomatoes, roma tomatoes, yellow heirloom tomatoes. . .MMMMMMMMMMMM. My son gathered them before the frost that is supposedly here this evening. . .not pictured are ALOT of green tomatoes that we'll ripen in paper bags. SIGH. . .I will surely miss all of these yummy, fresh veggies. . .but I'm glad it's feeling like fall outside! :)