Blog Archives

Dinner Menu: Cream of Potato Cheese Soup And Blueberry Crisp

DSC_5785 [1600x1200]

Yummy JeffreyW photo

I have an abundance of potatoes that I need to use up. I’m loving my convection oven because I can bake up potatoes in about 30 minutes. So that’s using up a few. And I’m having guests over for pot roast on Sunday, which will use up a few more.

Still, I have a big bag of potatoes from my brother’s garden that I don’t want to go to waste. It’s blustery cold here, so soup sounded like a great idea. So creamy potato soup (mmm, with cheese) it is, with a complete dinner menu, to boot.

On the board:

  1. Cream of Potato Cheese Soup
  2. Orange-Walnut Spinach Salad
  3. Blueberry Crisp

Cream of Potato Cheese Soup

  • 6 large potatoes, cubed (peeling opt)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tsp crushed garlic
  • ½ tsp ea: sage, rosemary, basil
  • 4 cups milk
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp flour
  • 8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
  • salt & pepper to taste

Lg. saucepan (2 to 4 qt)

In saucepan or Dutch oven, cover potatoes with water and boil until fork tender, drain all but 2 cups water. Add onions, garlic and spices to potatoes*. In a bowl mix together  milk, flour, salt & pepper. Mix well, no lumps, add melted butter. Add to potatoes and mix well.  Bring to a low boil, stirring constantly, add cheese, reduce to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

*A great trick is to remove about ½ cup of the cooked potatoes and mash, then add back into soup, this gives you an extra creamy texture.

Orange-Walnut Spinach Salad

  • 10 oz spinach, washed
  • 2 oranges, peeled, remove white skin & cut into chunks (you can substitute equivalent canned mandarin orange slices)
  • ½ red onion, sliced in rings
  • 1 oz bleu cheese, crumbled
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • Raspberry-walnut dressing

large salad bowl

Tear spinach leaves. Layer in a large salad bowl. Top with orange chunks, onion, sprinkle blue cheese and walnuts. Add dressing & toss before serving.

Blueberry Crisp

Topping:

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)

Combine dry ingredients and cut in butter until mixture is crumbly

Filling:

  • 1 tbsp butter, melted and spread on bottom of baking dish
  • 16 oz frozen blueberries
  • 3 tbsp cornstarch
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • dash of lemon juice

8×8 baking dish, greased

Combine blueberries, sugar, lemon juice & cornstarch. Spread in buttered baking dish. Top fruit mixture with flour topping. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes, until top is golden and blueberries are bubbly.

Shopping List:

  • 6 large potatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 1 red onion
  • 4 cups milk
  • 8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 oz spinach
  • 2 oranges
  • 1 oz bleu cheese,
  • 4 oz chopped walnuts
  • Raspberry-walnut dressing
  • 1 stick + 3 tbsp butter
  • 12 oz frozen blueberries

Also: cornstarch, sugar, brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, cinnamon, sage, rosemary, basil, garlic

 



 

Breakfast Pr0n

20161121_1232371600x1200

Burritos!

20161118_1120231600x1200

Soup Repair

20161018_1107261600x1200That cauliflower soup was really bland.  Even Mrs J said it was too bland.  Bland even with sour cream and cheese.  I fix!  I fix by dumping half the remaining soup and adding 2 potatoes boiled in chicken stock.  These I blended in thoroughly with a stick blender.  Then I added crisp bacon crumbles.  This one didn’t need sour cream but I did go with the Creole seasoning again because I like that stuff.

Post needs moar kitteh!20161017_1014241600x1200Here’s Homer resting on an old picnic table.  Gabe is busy in the background picking through bird seed for the peanuts.

I say it’s an old picnic table because it is old, for a picnic table.  I made that thing in a flurry of busy about 30 years ago and it’s been sitting out in the weather since then.  I’m kind of amazed that it has held up as well as it has.  I did replace one of the seat boards when we moved it a bit closer to the house a few weeks ago.

Got Soup?

20161004_115025One of the nicest things about smoked chicken leftovers is that you can use it in some absolutely killer soups.  This one is easy:  Take a box of rice mix – this one uses Zatarain’s Long Grain and Wild Mix, add twice the water as the directions say and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat to a simmer and cover until the rice is done, stir in some chopped broccoli and continue to simmer until the veggie is tender, add a handful of diced chicken breast, stir in a generous handful of shredded cheddar, a splash of half & half, keep stirring until the cheese is fully melted.  It’s good served right away, even better if you let it rest awhile, the rice will continue to plump – reheat just before serving, careful to keep the cheese from burning on the bottom.

Sammich Pr0n – Sloppy Joe

DSC_2039(1600x1200)

Chicken Marsala

DSC_1994(1600x1200)I wanted to make this dish to try out that gallon of Marsala cooking wine I bought.  I had low expectations for it but wanted to save some money over buying the real stuff.  This met my expectations in that it isn’t nearly as good as the real wine but it does add some Marsala flavor to the dish so it wasn’t a total bust.  I took the dinner as an occasion to also try out some Mexican rice from a box mix that has been showing up at the local Kroger store:DSC_2005(1600x1200)The rice mix had some dried corn kernels that floated to the top when I poured in the water, I scooped those out and added some fresh off the cob sweet corn.  I probably should have left them in to make the trial a fair one but I have a recollection of biting down on a hard little rock of a corn kernel once.  The mix turned out pretty well – I will chop some fresh peppers into it next time, though.DSC_2004(1600x1200)There was leftover chicken and rice from the Marsala dish so I added more broccoli and turned it into a creamy cheese soup by adding the leftovers to chicken broth and blending in cheese and heavy cream.  It made an excellent lunch today.DSC03638 (1600x1200)Bonus kitteh!  This is Spots, a cute little tortie awaiting adoption at St Francis.

Chili Cheese Dog Lunch

20160625_115228(1600x1200)Some friends persuaded me to buy a few cans of Wolf brand chili for those times when I wanted a chili something something but didn’t have any leftover chili and didn’t want to take the trouble making any.  They’ve been sitting in the cupboard for a few months and today I finally opened a can:20160625_120043(1600x1200)They make good chili!  It was a tad thin when heated – the picture on the can has to be of cold chili – but it had good flavor and I wouldn’t be ashamed to serve it to a guest for lunch.

Sammich Pr0n

20160609_114447(1600x1200)

Side Dishes: Antipasto Salad

This is great with Chicken Tortellini Soup or Linguine with Peppers

Antipasto Salad

  • 4 oz can sliced black olives
  • 2 oz jar sliced green olives
  • 4 fresh mushrooms, washed & sliced
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
  • 8 oz green beans, cooked & cooled
  • 1 green pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 1 banana pepper, seeded & sliced
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • ½ cup white wine vinegar
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 tsp basil, crushed
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 oz grated parmesan or Asiago cheese

serving bowl

Mix vegetables together in serving bowl.  Blend vinegar, oil, basil & garlic then pour over vegetables and toss.  Salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with cheese.