Friday, February 25, 2011

Baked Potato Soup

David and I devoured this tonight!

All the great flavors of this.... a warm and yummy bowl of soup!
Sorry, Sara....I would like to say this is a healthy recipe to go along with your roasted cauliflower, but I don't think it is! :) Although David and I decided that any recipe that includes the phrase "reserve the bacon fat" is going to be a tasty one!

This is another great recipe from Iowa Girl Eats... I feel like I'm getting all my recipes on this blog these days, but they're all so good! Haven't had a bad one yet... If you're looking for a comforting and flavorful soup, give this a try!

Baked Potato Soup
4 large baking potatoes
5 slices bacon
1/2 cup butter
1 large onion, diced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
6 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese, divided
1 cup sour cream

1. Scrub and prick potatoes with a fork then bake until soft in a 400 degree oven for 1 1/2-2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool. Let cool, cut in half lengthwise and scoop out potato pulp. Set aside and discard skins.*
2. Cook bacon in a large soup pot until crisp. Remove bacon, drain, then crumble – reserving bacon fat in pot.
3. Turn the heat down to low, melt butter in bacon fat, then add onion to the pot. Saute for 4-5 minutes until soft. Stir in flour until well combined, then cook for several minutes, but do not let it brown. Slowly whisk in milk and bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add potato pulp, salt, pepper, crumbled bacon and 1 cup cheddar cheese. Stir and cook until cheese has melted, then stir in sour cream. Add extra milk, if necessary, until desired thickness is reached.
4. To serve, ladle into bowls or bread bowls and top with remaining cheddar cheese, extra crumbled bacon, sour cream or green onions!

*I microwaved the potatoes instead -- worked just fine and was a lot faster! Scrub potatoes and then prick with fork in several places. Place on paper towel. Microwave 3-5 minutes, turning over halfway through. (Add 3 minutes or so for each additional potato.) When potatoes are soft to the touch, put in aluminum foil and let stand 5 minutes. Remove, let cool a little while, then peel the skins and cube the potato pulp.

I didn't make the Corny Cornbread as a side, but I was tempted to give it a try!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Parmesan-Roasted Cauliflower

So....I'm trying my best to eat a little healthier these days, which is leading me into the pages of my Biggest Loser cookbook. :) (by the way, I'd love some healthy recipe ideas, if anyone has them!!) This is a great, easy side dish, and was actually really yummy, for all you veggie lovers!

This recipe makes one serving, so I just doubled everything, and it was perfect for the two of us.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

1 1/2 cups (6 ounces) cauliflower florets
2 teaspoons grated reduced fat Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
Salt, to taste
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

In a medium bowl, combine the cauliflower, cheese, parsley, garlic powder, and pepper. Season with salt. Toss to mix. Drizzle on the oil and toss again. Transfer the mixture to a small non-stick baking dish.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, tossing once, or until lightly browned and crisp-tender. Serve immediately.

Per serving - 104 calories, 4 g protein, 11 g carbohydrates, 6 g fat (less than 1 g saturated), 5 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 121 mg sodium

*Recipe from The Biggest Loser Cookbook, page 130

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cherry Cheese Blintzes

1 1/2 cups milk
3 eggs
2 tablesppons butter, melted
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup (8 ounces) small-curd cottage cheese
1 package (3 ounces) cream cheese, softned
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Serve with cherry pie filling, strawberries, raspberries, or whatever you would like

1. In a small mixing bowl, combine the milk, eggs, and butter. Combine the flour and salt; add to milk mixture and mix well. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.
2. Heat a lightly greased 8-inch nonstick skillet; pour 2 tablespoons batter into the center of skillet. Lift and tilt pan to evenly coat bottom. Cook until top appears dry; turn and cook 15-20 seconds longer. Remove to wire rack.
3. Repeat with remaining batter. When cool, stack crepes with waxed paper or paper towels in between. Wrap in foil; refrigerate.
4. In a blender, process cottage cheese until smooth. Transfer to a small mixing bowl; add cream cheese. Beat until smooth. Add sugar and vanilla; mix well. Spread about 1 rounded tablespoonful onto each crepe. Fold opposite sides of crepe over filling, forming a little bundle.
5. Place seam side down in a greased pan/baking sheet. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or until heated through.

The blintzes would be great for brunch or dessert. I actually made them for dinner twice. Both times I cut the recipe in half using one large egg. The first time, making half the batch filled us up. However, we must have been more hungry this time around and needed more food.

*From the Taste of Home Cookbook

Pork Patties with Mushroom Gravy

Meat Balls:
1 pound ground pork (I have always made it with ground beef)
1/4 cup soda cracker crumbs (about 10 crackers)
1 small onion
2 eggs

1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk
1/2 package dry onion soup

Mix the first four ingredients and shape into balls. Mix together gravy ingredients. Place meatballs into 2 quart casserole dish (or a 9X13 pan). Pour gravy mixture over the top. Cover. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour and 15 minutes. May be uncovered for the last 15 minutes to brown a little more.

I usually serve this with rice but pasta is good too. I actually think the leftovers taste better than when it first comes out of the oven.

*Recipe from the Butler County Sesquicentennial Cookbook

Monday, February 7, 2011

Jerry's Jalepenos Poppers

Perfect Party Appetizer! We took this to our Super Bowl party at Dave and Amy's last night. Yumm!

8-12 Jalepenos
1 container of cream cheese (8 oz)
1 cup of cheddar cheese
1 packet of Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing Mix

Mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, and ranch mix in a bowl. Cut the jalepenos in half, and take out the seeds. Fill the jalepenos with the cheese mixture, and then wrap the jalepeno with bacon. I usually use half a piece, unless it's a huge jalepeno, and I secure it with a toothpick.


*Recipe from my dad, Jerry Renes

Susan's Taco Soup

Brenda sent me this recipe from her friend Susan, what a yummy soup! It definitely had a little bit of a kick to it as well....I loved it. :)

1 can pinto beans
1 can black beans with juices (seasoned black beans, maybe?)
1 can of corn
1 envelope taco seasoning mix
1 can white hominy (I would rinse the hominy)
1 can Rotel tomatoes + chilies
1 envelope Hidden Valley Ranch Dressing mix
Tabasco (optional)
1 lb ground beef
1-2 cups water

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, include all juices.

*Recipe from Susan DePrenger, thanks!!