Saturday, January 28, 2012

Bacon Cheddar Potato Soup

I made a Vitamix recipe for potato soup this weekend. I think the mixer is so cool and I am happy every time I see it used on Top Chef or during Iron Chef on the Food Network.

You can also find this recipe on the Vitamix website.
I did make some changes.

I bought 4 small Yukon Gold potatoes, boiled them until tender all the way through
3 strips of pepper bacon, cooked
About 1/2 a sweet yellow onion, diced and cooked in the bacon grease
shredded cheddar cheese
2 cups of 1 milk
Italian herb paste
salt for the potato water and I added salt to the soup

Into the blender went two of the cooked potatoes, the milk, onions, salt, and Italian herb paste. Set blender to variable, 1 then turn to variable 10 and switch machine to high. Blend until everything is hot and steam comes out of the blender vents. This took me about 6 minutes when the recipe said 4 minutes. Then I cut the blender to variable 3 and put in the other 2 small potatoes and turned it off. I used the crumbled bacon as a garnish instead of tossing it in the blender as the recipe suggested. I liked the soup. I think next time I may try to leave the last potatoes even chunkier than I did but for a first try I think it was a success!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Spicy Chicken

So I've had chicken at a few places in the past week.

Buffalo Wild Wings has two limited flavors right now. I tried the Thai curry and it wasn't spicy and really only tasted like curry. To me it tasted more like Indian than Thai. It lacked sauce. It was seasoned chicken but not saucy like buffalo chicken. It was supposed to be on the spicy end of the spectrum and it wasn't spicy at all. I was disappointed.

Boston Market has added sauces to the rotisserie chicken. I bought a quarter white meat chicken combo with the mango habenero sauce. The sauce comes on the side in a plastic container so you can control the amount. It was spicy and sweet and perfect! I love this sauce. I hope other people try it out and they keep it on the menu. Love!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

New favorites

Like everyone I'm trying to eat a little healthier this year.
I have cut soda out of my diet. I've gone a week without it and I don't think I need it in my life. I will see if I can go a month without it and I'll blog if I make it.

I tried several new things recently that I have liked
I had Michelinas frozen macaroni and beef today for lunch plus I had a third of a leftover triple decker club from last night. I think if I only had this frozen meal I would have been hungry later on but I had something to go with it.

I've also been eating Pacific Rose apples. I LOVE them! I usually only eat sour Granny Smith apples but I really like these big juicy apples called Pacific Rose. They are so juicy I need to eat them with a few napkins.

For dinner tonight I tried a few new Trader Joes products. I baked the frozen falafel in my toaster oven, put it on some pita with lettuce and Trader Joes cilantro and chive yogurt (Greek Style) dip. Yum to both Trader Joes products! I know I have made falafel and yogurt sauce from scratch but my husband wasn't feeling Greek this week so I made these frozen guys for myself on a night he works late.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Years Eve

My husband was mostly recovered from his 24 hour stomach flu by New Years Eve so we went to a friends condo for a low key New Years Eve party. Yes we watched Dick Clark's Rockin' New Years Eve until the ball dropped.

I took two items to their house, Cava's crazy feta with flatbread crackers and I made some cookies. I wanted to just buy something cute that had 2012 on it at the store but I couldn't find anything. The stores were really crazy on New Years Eve anyway.

Hershey's Mint Truffle Blossom Cookies
I used this recipe but with Hershey's Mint Truffle kisses and I rolled my cookies in granulated sugar only. I also only got about 3 dozen cookies out of the dough but I usually make large cookies :)

Pork Ragu

December 29th my entire family went to my aunt and uncle's house for dinner. On December 30th my husband was next to have the stomach flu. He was stuck at home all day and sounded horrible I didn't leave the house either. I did spend 4 hours cooking Mike Isaballa's pork ragu recipe. I made a HUGE HUGE mistake in buying gnocchi from a specialty food store where I buy lots of meat and have never disliked anything until now. The gnocchi were terrible. The ragu is fabulous though! I did not find buratta cheese and instead I dropped on a bit of riccota cheese.

December 28th Dinner

The day after Christmas two more family members were struck with the stomach flu. My dad and my cousin who was staying at my parents house. We all made it to a dinner theater on the 27h to watch a performance of White Christmas though.

On December 28th my husband and I hosted a family dinner at our house. My brother called that morning to say he had caught the stomach flu (his kids had it first) and he couldn't make it. My uncle couldn't make it either because he was working. My dad came to dinner but was still trying to recover so he ate very little.

Our dinner menu
spinach artichoke dip
brie topped with macadamia nuts, brown sugar and brandy,
Standing rib roast
Roasted broccoli, carrot, and cauliflower
Mac and cheese
Tomato soup
Cheesecake with strawberry sauce

Tuesday night after the dinner theater show we started the meat. It needed to be scored, and rubbed with a mustard and peppercorn mixture.

This is Martha Stewart's rub and we tripled the amount because we had a 20 pound roast!
2 teaspoons dry mustard
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

Then I smashed black peppercorns to rub on top of the mustard mixture because the Pioneer Woman did a similar method on a beef tenderloin and it looked good!

Brie Appetizer. A Paula Deen recipe I have used several times because it's so good. I always serve it with crackers and red and green apples.

Christmas Day

My husband and I take breakfast over to my parents house on Christmas morning. We took mini bacon cheddar quiche and a braided apple pastry. This time I put the apple braid on a silpat and it came off so much better than putting it on wax or parchment paper! All of the family members made it for Christmas day. The stomach flu was lasting about 24 hours.

Our Christmas dinner is almost exactly like our Thanksgiving dinner

There were mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce and cranberry jello salad, corn casserole, rolls, asparagus, broccoli casserole, and gravy. Recipes for sweet potatoes, broccoli, and corn can be found here. Recipe for the crescent rolls can be found here.

Garden still going

These pictures are a little old. We have HUGE broccoli in the garden right now. I'm sure we'll be eating it very soon. Here are some photos of our broccoli, purple cabbage, and spinach which is growing in a large rubbermaid tub with drainage holes.

Christmas Eve

Well we had a week of holiday fun filled with stomach flu passed from one person to another. My brother's house was hit first with a few of the kids having a stomach flu. They were supposed to host Christmas Eve. We moved the dinner location to my parents house instead. My sister-in-law and two of the kids stayed home.

We threw together some keilbasa in bbq sauce (the same recipe I use for bbq meatballs) in the crockpot for an appetizer.

We made scalloped potatoes (not the same recipe I usually use, but my mother's recipe). I think I prefer Emeril's method!