Loaded Potato Soup

loaded-potato-soup
This soup is the definition of comfort food.  I hope you get a chance to enjoy this delicious loaded potato soup this fall.

Ingredients:
1 lb Bacon, cut into ½ inch pieces
1 Stick (½ cup) Butter
⅔ Cup Flour
6 Large Russet Potatoes
7 Cups Whole Milk
1 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Pepper
4 Green Onions, thinly sliced
8 oz Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated
1 Cup Sour Cream
1-2 Cups Chicken Broth, to thin out if too thick

Cook bacon in a large soup pot over medium-high heat.  Cook until crisp.  Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a plate.  Keep the bacon grease in the pan.

Peel and dice the potatoes.  Microwave until soft.  Heat for 5 minutes at a time and stir.  Or they could be baked ahead of time.

Add butter to the bacon grease.  Melt over medium/high.  Once melted, whisk in the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

Slowly add in the milk one cup at a time.  Every time milk is added, let it thicken and bubble before adding another cup.  It will get nice and thick this way.  Stir in the salt and pepper.

Fold the cooked potatoes and green onions to the soup and bring to a bubble.

Turn the heat to low and stir in the cheese and sour cream.  If too thick, add some chicken broth to thin it out to your liking.

Yield: 12 or more

Slow Cooker Baked Ziti

slow-cooker-baked-ziti

Delicious, baked ziti from the slow cooker?  Yes!  It’s delicious and the pasta cooks just perfectly.

 

Ingredients:
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 lb Hot or Sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
1 Onion, chopped
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
½ teaspoon Dried Oregano
½ teaspoon Salt
½ teaspoon Pepper
8 oz Ziti
28 oz Can Crushed Tomatoes
15 oz Can Tomato Sauce
8 oz Whole-Milk Ricotta Cheese
4 oz Mozzarella Cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons Basil, sliced for garnish

Fold 2 (18 inch) pieces of aluminum foil in half lengthwise.  Line the perimeter of the slow cooker with the foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  This will prevent burning.

Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Add the sausage, break it up into pieces and cook until browned.  Add onion and cook until lightly browned.  Season with garlic, oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cook for another minute.

Reduce heat to medium-low and add the ziti.  Stir and cook until the edges of the pasta become translucent, about 4 minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce.

Pour into the prepared slow cooker.  Cover and cook on low for 3 hours.

Remove the foil from the slow cooker.  Spoon dollops of ricotta over the pasta and top with mozzarella cheese.  Cover and let the cheese melt for about 20 minutes.  Garnish with basil.

Serves: 6

Tofu Piri Piri Pita Pockets

Tofu-Piri-Piri-Pita-Pockets

Spicy, juicy, flavorful, we love these!!!

Ingredients:
Piri Piri:
16 oz Extra Firm Tofu, cut into 12 slices, place between layers of paper towels to absorb extra moisture
1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 Tablespoons Vinegar (I use half balsamic and half white, use whatever kind you like)
1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced
1/4 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 teaspoon Minced Garlic (one clove)

Extras:
3 Whole Wheat Pitas, split in half to form 2 pockets from each pita.
Shredded Lettuce or Spinach
1-2 Tablespoons Crumbled Feta Cheese
Sour Cream, for serving

In shallow dish mix together marinade and place tofu slices in dish, turning to coat.
Let marinate at room temp for 10 minutes.
Heat grill pan (I use the George Foreman Grill)
Remove tofu from marinade and reserve.
Grill 2 minutes on each side or until heated through with grill marks.
Dice up cooked tofu and return to marinade, mix to combine.
To serve:
If using feta, mix into tofu mixture.
Stuff each pocket with lettuce or spinach and tofu mixture, top with sour cream if using.
Serve immediately.

 

Yield: 3 servings, one full pita each

Cheesy Bacon Chicken Pasta

bacon-chicken-mac

 So delicious!

 

Ingredients:
12 oz Penne
6 Thick Cut Slices Bacon
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
2 lbs Chicken Breasts, cut into bite sized pieces
4 Tablespoons Butter
1/4 Cup Flour
2 Cups Whole Milk
1 Cup Chicken Broth
2 Cups Shredded Cheese, divided (1 ½ cups poured into sauce and ½ cup on top)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Salt water, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain and reserve.

While the pasta is cooking.  Heat a large skillet over medium/high heat.  Cut bacon into ½-1 inch pieces.  Cook until crisp and remove with a slotted spoon onto a paper towel lined plate.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan.

In the same skillet over medium/high heat, add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.  Add chicken, cooking until browned.

While the bacon and chicken is cooking, make the sauce by melting the butter in a medium size saucepan over medium/high heat.  Whisk in flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in broth and milk.  Bring to a bubble, reduce and simmer until thickened.  Add 1 ½ cups shredded cheese, stirring to melt.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Combine the pasta, chicken and sauce together in a 9×13 inch casserole dish.  Top with bacon then remaining cheese.  Bake until the cheese is melted and delicious, about 20 minutes.

 

Yield: 6-8 Servings

Bacon Pinto Beans

Bacon-Pinto-Beans

These Bacon Pinto Beans are delicious on their own, in a burrito, in a quesadilla, and nachos.  I’m sure they will be delicious any way you want to eat them!

Ingredients:
1 lb Pinto Beans, cooked
1 Bay Leaf
6 Slices Bacon
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 teaspoon Cumin
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
½ teaspoon Oregano
1 Tablespoon Lime Juice
¾-1 Cup Water
Salt and Pepper, to taste

 

Cook the beans with a bay leaf, drain.

In a large skillet over medium/high heat, cook the bacon until crisp.  Remove from pan and chop.  Leave the bacon fat in the pan.

Add the diced onion and cook until softened.  Add garlic and cook for about 30 seconds.

Add the bacon back to the pan along with the beans, cumin, chili powder, oregano, bay leaf, lime juice and water.  Add ½ cup water first, then add a ¼ at a time as needed.  You want some liquid in the pan so the beans don’t burn on the bottom.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Simmer over low for 5-10 minutes.

Pot Pie with Cornbread

beef-pie-cornbread-topIngredients:
2 Boxes Jiffy Cornbread Mix
2 Eggs
⅔ Cup Milk
¾ lb Ground Beef
3 Stalks Celery, chopped
1 lb Green Beans, stems removed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons Butter
2 Tablespoons Flour
2 Cups Beef Broth
1 Cups Peas
Salt & Pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Whisk together cornbread mix, eggs, and milk together in a large bowl.  Set aside.

Brown beef in a large oven-proof skillet over medium/high heat.  Add celery and green beans.  Cook until softened, about 5 minutes.

Move the veggies and meat to the sides of the pan and melt the butter in the middle.  Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.  Whisk in broth, bring to a bubble and let thicken.  Stir in peas and season with salt and pepper.

Spoon the cornbread batter onto the top of the meat and veggie mixture.  Bake until browned, about 20 minutes.

Yield: 6 Servings