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Crockpot Loaded Potato Soup

With a hurricane looming in the Caribbean, it felt like a good night for some comfort food.  Potato soup is one of my favorite heavy soups, but I wanted something without the heavy whipping cream (a slightly lactose intolerant person lives here, and I didn’t want to overload the soup with cream cheese AND dynamite).  I was greatly pleased with this find on Hannah Holzmann’s board, which she originally pinned from her own blog, It’s What’s For Dinner.

Recipe:
Ingredients:

5 lbs russet potatoes, diced, NOT peeled
5 tablespoons TS garlic garlic1 large yellow onion, chopped
64 ounces chicken broth or stock
16 ounces cream cheese
bacon, sour cream, chives or shredded cheese for garnish

I used 3lbs (even though we were expecting 2 more for dinner, 5 just seemed like an overhaul of potatoes), 3 tablespoons of minced garlic, 32 ounces chicken broth (Great Value, sodium free), 8 ounces of cream cheese, 5 strips of bacon and the leftover Monterrey jack cheese from the Alice Springs chicken.  For the most part, I cut the recipe in half and added my own flare of onion flakes, ground pepper, and a pinch of Lowry’s seasoning salt.

I got up early this morning, chopped the potatoes into dice-sized bits, and combined with the chicken broth and seasonings in the crockpot on low.  I left it on low all day while we were at work (Murphy kept an eye on it all day, I’m sure). When we got home, I pulled out my blender.  It says to use a food processor, but all I have is a Magic Bullet, and that just wasn’t happening.  I chopped the cream cheese block in half, threw it in the blender with half of the soup:

(Yes, it’s supposed to look that yucky.  It gets better).  Once I’d blended half, I added the other half of the block and the rest of the soup, then poured it back into the crockpot for easy serving purposes.

Mike offered to fry up the bacon (thanks hubby) so I could get the table set and the fixin’s ready.
  

Verdict:
Mike’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s Opinion:
Taste: 5/5 (needed a little extra pepper)
Presentation: 5/5
Ease of preparation: 4/5
Ease of cleanup: 2/5 (that crockpot took forever to get clean again)
Availability of ingredients: 5/5

This is definitely an easy, and if you’re a smart shopper, healthy recipe for a delicious pot of potato soup.

 

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2012 in Soup

 

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Alice Springs Chicken

Outback Steakhouse is not a restaurant we visit very often; when we do go, it’s usually in a big group of people.  Every time I have dined at Outback, someone orders Alice Springs Chicken and raves about how wonderful it tastes.  When I bumped into this recipe on Kelly Jonson’s boards that she captured from The Finer Things in Life, I thought it might be worth my time in the future.  Right-o!

Recipe:
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
seasoning salt
6 slices bacon, cut in half
¼ cup regular mustard
¼ to 1/3 cup honey
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons dried onion flakes
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
2 cups shredded Colby/Jack cheese

I do not own a meat tenderizer.  Never fear!  I got a kick watching my husband teach me the “improvising” way of flattening the filets.  Wrap the filet in parchment paper (I’m sure wax would work too) and place on a wooden cutting board.  Then, very quickly and with meaning, smash another cutting board over the chicken.  Voila!  Flattened chicken breasts!

I did not change any ingredients in the recipe and I followed the steps to a T.  The bacon was a pain because I couldn’t find my screen to keep it from splattered.  I will admit, placing the chicken into the grease sent quite the sizzle through the kitchen–a little unnerving for a bacon newbie.

Before it was cooked, it looked a little sloppy and slightly resembled a wet burrito:

The final product, however, right on!  Mike was afraid he’d suffer 3rd degree burns if I asked him to check the oven more than once–the smell permeates the entire house and it smells oh-so-good!

  Served with greenbeans for some variance in color.

Verdict:
Mike’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5
Presentation: 5/5

Jen’s opinion:
Taste: 5/5 (I think I would replace the French’s regular mustard with Dijon mustard to give it a slight boost)
Presentation: 5/5 (easy to serve)
Ease of preparation: 5/5
Availability of ingredients: 5/5
Ease of cleanup: 3/5 (the grease makes washing by hand a bit of a pain–I think a dishwasher would be no problem)

This recipe is phenomenal, filling, and fun!  Highly recommended for sharing with company.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2012 in Chicken

 

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