Tag Archives: bacon

Classic Potato Soup

4 Nov

I feel like all I’m posting lately are soups and desserts. But that’s pretty much all I’m cooking, so I guess that’s about right. I’m not sure how long my soup obsession will last — it’s a relatively new thing, so I’m not sure if it will stick around. And of course I’ve always been obsessed with chocolate and sweets, so that seems like a permanent thing.

At any rate, I wanted to share this one with you now because it is so tasty and warm and filling and comforting. So if the time change has got you down — and I know I’m pretty down when I get home from work and it’s already completely dark — then this is the soup for you. It’s delicious and super unhealthy and it will warm you from the inside out. And it’s definitely hearty enough to be a complete meal. Though maybe you could balance it out with a nice salad or something.

Typically I try to give you options for vegetarian/vegan alternatives, and I am usually inclined to take that route myself. And I guess here you could go with vegetable broth and facon if you so desire. But really, if I’m talking comfort food, I’m talking about real bacon. I highly recommend it.

Potato Soup

Potato Soup from The Pioneer Woman

2-3 slices bacon
1/2 onion, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
4 whole small potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon cajun spice mix
4 cups (free-range, organic, low sodium) chicken broth
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup cheddar, grated

Cook bacon in a large soup pot over medium heat until bacon is crisp and fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the pot and set it aside. Pour off most of the grease, but do not clean the pot.

Return the hot to medium-high heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Stir and cook for 2 minutes or so, then add the diced potatoes. Cook for 5 minutes, seasoning with salt, pepper, and Cajun spice.

Pour in the broth and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the potatoes are starting to get tender. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and the milk, then pour into the soup and allow the soup to cook for another 5 minutes.

Remove about 2/3 of the soup, and blend in a blender or food processor until completely smooth. Pour it back into the soup pot and stir to combine. Stir in cream. Check for spices, salt, pepper, and temperature, adjusting as needed.

Serve in bowls garnished with grated cheese and crumbled bacon.

IMG_2718

Linking Up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Inspiration Monday from Twelve O Eight
Melt In Your Mouth Monday from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows Wild
Wonderful Food Wednesday from All She Cooks
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
Full Plate Thursday from Miz Helen’s Country Cottage
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove
Foodie Friday from Simple Living & Eating

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ABC (Apple-Bacon-Cheddar) Sandwiches

16 Sep

OMG these sandwiches are so good. The BF and I have enjoyed them multiple times in the past few weeks, as we’ve tried to use up all the apples from the Apple Festival. This was actually the first apple recipe we made.

I’ve mentioned before how much I love grilled cheese. It’s a life-long love affair. Cheese is essentially a food group for me.

Cheesy & Appley

My favorite cheese sandwiches right now:

  • The BAM (Bacon, apple, mushroom + gruyere on sourdough) from Sandwhich, one of my favorite lunch spots in Chapel Hill.
  • The Orchard (apple, ham, cheddar, and rosemary on country white) from American Meltdown, my favorite grilled cheese food truck. The BF and I regularly track down the big orange truck in Durham and elsewhere around the Triangle.
  • The Guacamole Grilled Cheese I posted a couple months ago.
  • The ABC (apple, bacon, cheddar on country white), recipe below.

Served up on a super thick slice of country loaf from Bread & Butter and soaked in butter, this may not have been the most healthy dinner, but it sure was tasty. Need a grilled cheese fix? Try this out. You won’t regret it.

Here’s a recipe. I didn’t really use amounts because sandwiches are one of those things where you should just put however much you want to on the bread.

ABC... easy as 123

ABC Sandwich

2 slices of bread
thin slices of apple (Granny Smith if you like tart; Gala if you like sweet)
bacon slices
cheddar slices
butter

Slice everything up. Arrange slices of cheddar cheese on the surface of both slices of bread. Broil or toast until the cheese is melted and the bread is slightly crispy.

While the bread is toasting, fry up a couple slices of bacon in a skillet. When finished, rest bacon on a paper towel.

Melt 1/2 tablespoon butter in a pan over medium heat. Transfer a slice of cheesy bread to the pan, layer on the apple and bacon. Sandwich the other slice of cheesy bread on top. Flip the sandwich when the bread is golden brown, only a couple minutes on each side.

ABC with Sweet Potato Fries

Linking up With:

Funday Monday from Still Being Molly and Lipgloss and Crayons
Block Party from Sumo’s Sweet Stuff
Made by you Monday from Skip to my Lou
Time to Sparkle from Love Grows WildInside BruCrew LifeThe Recipe Critic, and The Gunny Sack
Create It Thursday from Lamberts Lately
All Things Pretty from Sparkles and a Stove and My Fashion Forward Blog

Mini Party Quiches

20 Nov

Can you tell we like things mini? Mini things are so cute!

Last weekend my family and I threw a surprise party for my Dad’s 50th birthday. Once I got my baking assignments, I called Betsy, and we got together that morning to put together a couple dishes. We made a simple blueberry cobbler, but the mini quiches were the highlight, and we made a TON of them. Quadrupling the recipe may have been a little overboard — there were plenty leftover — but we wanted to be prepared. We made two different varieties: a bacon cheddar quiche and a spinach, tomato, and swiss quiche. Deelish!

We began by mixing up the fillings and setting them aside.

  • For the bacon cheddar: Betsy cooked up 10 slices of bacon, let them cool, and then crumbled them up. I mixed 1 8-oz block softened cream cheese, 4 T milk, 4 eggs, and 2 T dried garlic flakes into a large bowl, and beat it with an electric mixer on low until it got relatively smooth. I stirred in 2 cups grated extra sharp cheddar cheese and set the bowl aside. The bowl of cheese mush looked pretty disgusting, especially sitting next to a plate of bacon bits.
    Milk, eggs, and cheese... yum!Gross Cheese Mixture
  • For the SpinTomSwiss: I chopped up 1 1/2 hot house tomatoes and a couple handfuls of spinach and set them aside. Then I mixed 2 8-oz blocks softened cream cheese, 2 T milk, 4 eggs, and 2 T oregano into a large bowl, and beat it with an electric mixer on low until it got relatively smooth. I stirred in 1 cup grated swiss cheese and set the bowl aside. This one looked disgusting too.

Now for the tricky part. We greased some mini muffin pans and set them out. I un-popped a tin of crescent rolls, spread them on the counter, and mushed the scoring lines back together so it would be one big square instead of divided into the triangles. Betsy used a circle cookie cutter and cut round pieces of dough that I shaped into the mini muffin pan.Cutting DoughWord to the wise: Leave the dough in the fridge as long as possible before you take it out, and work quickly with the dough once you open the tin. The dough seizes up really quickly. We tried to roll out the leftover dough and cut it again, and it was REALLY hard. The dough becomes really elastic, so when we tried to spread it into the muffin tin, it just shrunk back up on itself. If you have an extra couple dollars to spend, I recommend just buying a couple extra tins of crescent rolls and tossing the old dough. We re-used a little bit of the dough, then got frustrated and threw it out. So in the end, it took about 3 tins of crescent rolls to make the base for 48 mini quiches.

Dough Cups
So once we lined all the muffin tins with dough, I filled them up.

  • Bacon Cheddar:  Sprinkle bacon in the bottom of each quiche cup. Fill each cup with about 1 tsp of the cheddar mixture. Sprinkle a couple more pieces of bacon on top. (This just makes it easier to identify what it is, which is nice visually, but also is important if you have any vegetarians in your crowd.)
    Mmm... bacon cupsBubbling Bacon Cheddar Quiches
  • SpinTomSwiss: Sprinkle tomato and spinach pieces in the bottom of each quiche cup. Fill each cup with about 1 tsp of the swiss mixture.
    Spinach and Tomato CupsBubbling Spinach Tomato & Swiss Quiches

Bake on 375 F for 10-12 minutes. The bread edges of the quiche will start to turn a golden brown, and the tops might get a little bubbly.
Golden Brown Edges

They’re so cute! The bacon cheddar is a nice golden yellow color, and the SpinTomSwiss is more of a white color.

Mini Party Quiches!

How Sue Sees It:

  • The most difficult part of this is definitely working with the dough. If you want them to look nice, like if you’re serving them at a party, then don’t worry about re-using the dough. Just buy extra, toss the leftover dough, and don’t worry about it. But if you care more about taste than looks, just cram the dough down there however you can. Even if the dough kind of sits on the bottom and doesn’t make a cup, the dough will still rise and the egg mixture will stiffen enough that it will still hold a firm muffin shape.
  • And don’t worry too much about over-filling the cups either, unless you’re going for a nice uniform look. It will still hold a muffin shape.
  • Take some time to experiment with your own flavors! The original recipe I found called for bacon and swiss, and I just modified the recipe a bit more to our crowd’s tastes. As long as you preserve the basic egg and dairy components, you can add or substitute pretty much whatever else you want in there.

Betsy & Susie