Saturday, September 28, 2013

Loaded Potato Soup


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Happy Fall.  Fall is my favorite season of the year.  I love the cooler nights, bonfires, soup, apples, pumpkins, the World Series and football.  When fall comes it just seems like time slows down a bit for me. The kids are back in school and it is just Bill and I again.

This time of year we can finally start getting out more with the Corvette before we store it for the winter. Today Bill and I went to a car show in Russells Point.

Here is Bill with our top 25 trophy that we won today at the car show

I really liked this loaded potato soup but Cally was not such a fan.  It was creamy and cheesy.  I also loved the ham in the soup with the bacon on top.

Loaded Potato Soup

1 lb bacon
2 garlic cloves, shredded
8 potatoes, cubed 
4 C water
4 t chicken soup base
1/2 C butter
2 T flour
1/2 t onion powder
2 C milk
1 C diced ham
2 cans evaporated milk
8 oz sour cream
12 oz cheddar cheese
cheddar cheese, for garnishing
green onions for garnishing

Peal and cube potatoes.  Put potatoes in a large pan.  Add 4 C water and 4 t chicken soup base to the pan and boil the potatoes until tender (do not drain), set aside

Cut bacon into bite size pieces ( I use my kitchen shears) and brown in a skillet.  Remove bacon once cooked. 
Remove all but 2 T of the bacon grease from the skillet.  Heat the skillet and add the shredded garlic cloves.

Put butter in skillet and melt the butter.  Once butter is melted add the flour and onion powder and stir until it is pasty.  To the skillet add the 2 C milk and stir until paste is dissolved.  

Add the milk mixture into the potato mixture.  Now add diced ham, 2 cans of evaporated milk, sour cream and cheddar cheese.  Simmer soup for about 30 minutes until it thickens.

Serve with bacon, sliced green onions and cheddar cheese on top

This soup is being shared at the following parties:

The Weary Chef
Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Julie's Birthday Pumpkin Scones


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Happy Birthday to my blogging friend Julie.  For Julie's birthday I have made her Pumpkin Scones.  These scones would be awesome with your morning cup of coffee.  They are soft inside with a thin layer of sweet pumpkin goodness on the outside.  I also spiced up the glaze and added birthday sprinkles for Julies celebration.

For Julies celebration several other blogger friends have also made her pumpkin treats so make sure to go and visit the other blogs for some more amazing pumpkin recipes.

Julie's Birthday Pumpkin Scones

3 C flour
2/3 C white sugar
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
2 sticks butter, cold
1 egg
1 vanilla bean (scrape out the seeds and discard the outer part of the bean)
1 C heavy whipping cream
3/4 C pumpkin puree
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t nutmeg
1/8 t allspice
1/4 t ginger

5 C powdered sugar
1/2 C heavy whipping cream
1/2 C International Delight Pumpkin Pie Spice coffee creamer
1 vanilla bean (scrape out the seeds and discard the outer part of the bean)
1/4 t nutmeg
1/2 t cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees

In a bowl mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt,cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger.  Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until mixture resembles crumbs.  set aside

In a bowl combine the cream and the vanilla bean seeds and mix until the seeds are mixed throughout the cream.  Then add the egg and beat the egg by hand into the cream mixture.  Finally add the pumpkin into the cream mixture and mix it in well.

In the bowl with the dry ingredients make a well in the center and pour in the cream mixture.  Mix until combined.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll dough into a rectangle about 1/2 inches thick.  Slices your scones as you wish.  I did mine in a triangle shape (well I tried a triangle shape when they bake they took on a shape of their

Place on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 18 minutes.  Put on a cooling rack and allow to cool for 15 minutes before glazing.

Place the powdered sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.  Put the cream and creamer in a bowl and add the vanilla seeds and mix well.  Pout the cream mixture into the powdered sugar mixture and mix until well combine and a thin consistency for dipping the scones in.  If you need to add more coffee creamer to thin out the mixture.

Dip each scone into the glaze and place back on the cooling rack.  I placed freezer paper under my racks to catch the dripping glaze.  Allow the glaze to crisp up and enjoy

Friday, September 20, 2013

Oktoberfest Chicken Chili


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Fall Beers was the secret ingredient for the Spiked Recipe Challenge this time.  I chose to use Yuengling Oktoberfest Beer.  When fall comes around I love to have soup and sandwiches.  I wanted to make a spicy chicken chili.  When I think of chicken chili I think of a white chili with great northern beans.  I also like to crunch up tortilla chips to put in my chicken chili instead of crackers.

Make sure to go over to This Gal Cooks and the Frugal Foodie Mama to see all the other amazing beer creations! 

Oktoberfest Chicken Chili

 1 lb chicken, cooked and shredded
2 15.5 oz cans great northern beans
1 15.25 oz can corn
1 10 oz can rotel tomatoes with lime juice and cilantro
1 4 oz can chopped chiles
4 C water
4 t chicken flavored soup base
1 12 oz Yuengling Oktoberfest Beer
2 t chili powder
1 t cinnamon
1 t oregano
1/4 t cayenne pepper
1 t cummin
2 T sugar
1/2 C whipping cream
1/2 C sour cream
1/2 block (4 oz) cream cheese
1/2 onion, chopped
5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
3 garlic cloves
olive oil for sauteing

Heat some olive oil in a large sauce pan, add chopped onion, chopped jalapenos and grated garlic cloves. Saute until tender. Add the Oktoberfest beer and continue simmering for about 5 minutes.  Add water and the soup base, continue simmering until the soup base is all melted and resembles chicken broth.  Next add the rotel tomatoes, green chilies, corn, great northern beans and chicken. Mix into the chili all the spices (chili powder, cinnamon, oregano, cayenne pepper, cummin, and sugar)  Continue to simmer the chili for 20 minutes.  Just before serving stir in the whipping cream, sour cream and cream cheese until all melted into the chili.  Serve with shredded Mexican blend cheese and crushed tortilla chips.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

White Chocolate Wonderful Bars


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This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart's No Bake Peanut Butter Rice Krispies Cookies.  Instead of using Peanut Butter I used White Chocolate Wonderful.  You can buy White Chocolate Wonderful in with the peanut butter in your favorite grocery store.  These cookies were sweet, crunch and peanut buttery.

White Chocolate Wonderful Bars

1 Cup light corn syrup
1/2 Cup white sugar
1/2 Cup light brown sugar
1 1/2 Cup white chocolate wonderful (or peanut butter)
2 teaspoon vanilla
4 Cup rice krispies

Place corn syrup and sugars in large sauce pan over medium heat and stir to combine.  Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

Stir in the white chocolate wonderful and mix until well combined.  Quickly stir in the vanilla and Rice Krispies.  Spread into a greased 9 x 13 pan.  Cool and slice into squares.

Monday, September 9, 2013

French Apple Tart


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This tart tastes just like apple pie.  I like the fluffy flaky crust that you get with the puff pastry.  The only thing I would do different next time is take the peels off of my apple slices.  Leaving the peels on does make it look pretty but it is hard to take a bite without the whole apple coming off in one bite because of the peel.  On this tart I scored around the edges of the puff pasty and this allowed the edges to puff higher than the middle.  It also kept the filling on the tart and did not run over onto my cookie sheet while baking.

Cally bought my apples from some Amish girls at a farmers market in Portsmouth Friday afternoon.  I am not sure what they are but there were really sweet and tender.  I cut up 4 apples and had way too many apples so I used my extra apples for apple cobbler.

French Apple Tart

1 puff pastry sheet
2 apples, cored and sliced
1/4 Cup sugar
1/8 Cup flour
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

French topping
1/2 Cup flour
1/4 Cup packed brown sugar
3 Tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 415 degrees

Thaw the puff pastry for about 20 minutes.  After thawed open up the pastry and cut in half to make 2 tarts.
Place the puff pastry on a baking sheet.  Score around the edges of the puff pastry with a knife.  This will allow the pastry to puff up more around the edges of the tart.  Set aside

Mix together sugar, flour cinnamon and nutmeg.  Pour the mixture over the sliced apples and toss to cover. Pour in the lemon juice and continue to toss until all the apples are coated.

Arrange the apples inside the scored portion of the tart all the way from the top to the bottom. Repeat on the 2nd tart.

For the French topping:  mix together flour and brown sugar.  Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter until the mixture is crumbly.  I put my mixture into the microwave for 10 seconds so my crumbs were more like strudel when I put them on top of the tarts.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes

The French Apple Tart is partying at the following parties this week, click on the links below to see tha parties and all the other great entries

The Chicken Chick

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Lemon Cream Cheese Danish


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Cream cheese and lemon are one of my favorite combinations.  Add in puff pastry and it is scrumptious. This dessert was super easy to make.  I used a frozen pastry puff sheet and a can of Lemon Pie filling.  You could make this danish using any pie filing your heart desires.  Cherry and cream cheese sound like a good match too.

one of the pastries I rolled the edges and the other I left flat.  The only difference when they were done baking was the rolled edges was a little puffier than the flat edges.

Lemon Cream Cheese Danish

1 sheet Puff Pastry
1 can Lemon Pie filing ( I used half of 22oz can)
1  8 ounce cream cheese
1/2 C sugar
1 egg
1T vanilla

Preheat oven to 415 degrees

Sit frozen pastry out to thaw (about 20 minutes)

After thawed open up pastry and cut in half.  Place on a greased cookie sheet.

Mix together the cream cheese, egg, vanilla and sugar until smooth.

Take the pie filling and put a strip of filling down the center of each puff pastry.

On the outsides of the lemon filling place a strip of cream cheese filling on each side.

Bake for 15 to 18 minutes until puff pastry is golden brown.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili


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This is a 2 bowl kind of soup.  Because you can not eat just one.  Bill and I loved this soup and will have it many more times this fall and winter.  My favorite part of the soup was the bacon taste.  You can not go wrong with bacon, jalapenos and cream cheese.  We crushed up tortilla chips and put in ours like you would crackers with other soups.

We have been pretty busy this past week.  We finally finished the new Dining room.  Here is a before picture and after picture.  I have looked all over the place for a picture to show this room as our living room.  In this room we use to have a couch, love seat, desk, filing cabinet and hope chest.  We also have a family room in our lower level.  When the kids moved into their new apartments this year for school we decided we no longer needed a living room full of furniture and a family room full of furniture so we gave the living room furniture to the kids and made us a dining room.

Before we had a dining room/kitchen area.  When we moved the dining room into our old living room we moved my office into the old dining room area.  The new office area has so much more room now then before.  Now that we have moved the table, hutch, pie safe and buffet into the new room if is a lot less crowded.

The windows in this last picture made the lighting in this picture bad but thought it was a good view of the new room.

Jalapeno Popper Chicken Chili
adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice

Olive oil for sauteing
1 small onion, diced
5 jalapeno peppers, diced and seeds removed
3 cloves garlic, grated
2  12.5 oz cans of chicken
2 t chili powder
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1 14oz can rotel tomatoes with green chili's
2 C chicken broth
1 15 oz can great northern beans
1 15 oz can corn
8 oz cream cheese
1 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
Shredded cheese and tortilla chips for garnishing

In a large soup pan heat 2 T olive oil over medium heat and saute onion, jalapeno peppers and grated garlic until soft and tender.  Add chicken, chili powder, cumin, oregano, tomatoes, chicken broth, beans and corn. Bring to a simmer and cook 30 minutes.  Add cream cheese and stir until completely melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir half the bacon into the soup.  Serve with the remaining crumbled bacon, cheese and crushed tortillas.