Saturday, February 27, 2010

Baked Potato Soup

My department at work had a get together a couple of nights ago, catered by Fatz Cafe, which featured salad, rolls, chicken fingers, baked potatoes, and ice cream. Since I helped organize it, I got to take home some of the leftovers. I decided to take home 4 potatoes with the intention of making baked potato soup. My poor dutch oven has been getting lonely in the cabinet, gathering dust, so I pulled it out in its blazing red glory to whip up a batch of soup.

Since the potatoes were already baked, all I had to do was peel and mash them. Obviously if you were making this from the start, you'd have to bake potatoes (I bake mine at 375 degrees for 1 hour and 45 minutes-you get a perfect potato every time).

Once you've peeled and mashed the potatoes, set them aside.

Then, put some flour in a dutch oven and whisk in the milk. Once those are combined, turn the heat onto medium for about 10 minutes and wait until it gets thick and starts to bubble.


In the meantime, crisp up some bacon!

 Next, add in the mashed potatoes, cheese, salt, and pepper. Keep stirring it until the cheese melts.

Once the cheese is melted, take the pot off of the heat and stir in the sour cream and green onions. Then return the pot to a low burner, and let everything warm through for about 10 minutes.

Since I didn't do a really great job of mashing the potatoes, I used an immersion blender to smooth out the consistency a bit before serving.

Garnish the soup with some green onion, cheddar cheese, and bacon. Yum!

I really like this soup-- it is very filling. The only thing I would change is the kind of cheese I used-- I picked up reduced fat mild cheddar, instead of the extra sharp as the recipe called for. Next time, I'll definitely go for the stronger flavored cheese.

I was actually surprised how few ingredients there were, really, only 5 main ingredients (plus salt and pepper), and bacon for a garnish.

This recipe was from Cooking Light-- click here to view how to make Baked Potato Soup.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Quick Mediterranean Soup

Since I've stopped eating sandwiches at lunch, soup has been my food of choice. I didn't have time to cook any over the weekend, so I decided to try a recipe from the Easy Beans cookbook, Quick Mediterranean Soup. Since I don't have time during my lunch break to cook a whole pot of soup, I put all the ingredients in a crock pot this morning.


A chopped onion:

Two chopped potatoes:

A can of chick peas:

Tomato paste:

Chicken stock & spices:
Then, I set the Crock Pot to high and let it cook for 4 hours.

Before serving, I added some freeze-dried parsley (not nearly as good as fresh), several drops of hot sauce, salt, and the juice of one lemon.

I let that simmer for a few minutes before helping myself to a big bowl for lunch.

While this soup seemed a little bland at first, it started to grow on me by the time I was finished. Maybe the leftovers will have a little more cook. On a scale of 1-5, I'd give it a 2.5.

Quick Mediterranean Soup
1 can chickpeas
2 tablespoons of dried parsley
1/4 tsp. freshly ground pepper
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp. cumin
1 onion, chopped
2 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp. tomato paste
6 cups of chicken broth
8 drops of Tabasco sauce
Juice of one lemon
Salt to taste

Combine the first 10 ingredients (chick peas-stock) in a slow cooker. Cook on high for 4 hours. Remove lid, and add the lemon juice and Tabasco sauce, and season with salt to taste. Simmer a few minutes more and serve.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Rocky Road Whoppers

My mom emailed me this recipe for Rocky Road Whopper cookies a few weeks ago. These are rich with lots of chocolate, walnuts, and marshmallows. I put off trying to bake these since I'm cooking for one, and I didn't think they would freeze well with the marshmallows. Luckily, Valentine's Day is right around the corner and Will (probably) needs some snacks.

This recipe takes a bit of time to put together, but the result is very chocolate and very chewy cookie. The recipe is suppose to make 12 cookies, but I only got 11 1/2 out of the batch.

First, you melt butter and chocolate chips in a bowl set over simmering water.

While that melts, you mix up the sugar, egg, vanilla, and coffee powder. And then combine your dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, and salt.

After the chocolate and butter melts, you stir in the egg mixture, and add the flour, walnuts, and even more chocolate chips.

Next, place 1 tablespoon sized scoops of the batter on two parchment lined baking sheets (you should have 12 cookies.)

Then, flatten out each mound and top with 5 mini marshmallows.

Then (and this is the kind of tricky part), you top the marshmallows with another 1 tablespoon mound of cookie dough.

Sorry, the photo is sideways!

Then, bake for 14 minutes at 350 degrees, rotating the pans halfway through.

While a couple of my cookies faintly resembled the photo, a few of them turned out a bit... deformed...

The top of this cookie slid off.

And these two cookies decided to become Siamese twins.

And one cookie ended up topless since I didn't have enough batter (it was still tasty-- I ate this one just to be sure the batch was good).

Here's the link to the recipe for Rocky Road Whoppers.