Doin' It Halfway Since 1996

being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus

Tag Archives: Cooking

Mom’s Potato Soup

As winter settles in, sometimes I just feel like a little comfort food. And few foods are more comforting to me than Potato Soup.

With Thanksgiving a week behind me, I still have a few lingering left overs. I thought I’d put them to good use tonight to make my Mother-in-Law’s so-simple-but-not-famous “Mom’s Potato Soup.” I still have some potatoes from the 10-pound bag I got for $1.99 at Kroger. They need to be eaten. I also have a few slices of ham (not in the original recipe) and I’m tired of making sandwiches from it.

A few years back, my mother-in-law, who is phenomenal in the kitchen, lovingly spent many hours writing up and combining her blended family’s most loved recipes. Some from the earlier years, when her boys were kids and some from more recently when she remarried. She’s included recipes from just about everyone (I even made a cameo with my fresher than fresh salsa). It’s a wonderful recipe book that I’ve used many times over. Some include annual traditions and childhood book readings. Others are just recipes eaten on any ordinary day that, when prepared, take us back to fond memories of time spent together as a family.

And the recipe for her potato  soup is one I refer to very often. She says it’s her most requested recipe. And for good reason. It’s so easy to make and so delicious. If you have these staples on hand (which many of us do), try it out. You won’t be disappointed. Just a note: there are no real measurements here. Cook enough for your crowd. I’ve put the ingredients in bold, so you don’t miss one. The words in italics are my additions/variations for tonight’s pot.

Mom’s Potato Soup

Russet Potatoes, peeled and sliced (enough to fill your pot) I used seven medium sized potatoes tonight

1/2 Onion, diced

2 cloves of Garlic, pressed (more if you like)

Put the above ingredients in your pot. Fill the pot with enough water to cover the ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are just soft. The longer you cook them, the more like mush they’ll be. Pour off half the water and replace with milk and  1 tablespoon of butter. This is where I added the chopped up ham slices. You could also put in real bacon bits. Or add no meat at all; it’s just as good without it. Salt and pepper to taste. IMPORTANT: Don’t allow your soup to boil once you’ve added the milk. It will curdle.

Add 2 slices of American Cheese  to each bowl (we used shredded sharp cheddar tonight).

Couple this soup with some crusty bread from your favorite bakery and enjoy. It’s so warm and delicious and good. It’s almost as good as getting a hug from mom herself.

Smokey Sliders on Hawaiian Rolls with Baked Sweet Potato Fries

A few weeks ago, Hubs and I were given the rare opportunity of a date night combined with a free babysitter. Because Hubs likes video games, we chose Dave and Busters. It was our first time there. I thought it would be a good time since it’s supposed to be an adult version of Chuck-E-Cheese’s. For good measure, here’s a picture of how I took Hubs to school on Guitar Hero. Of course, he’d already had a few, um, adult beverages, so I can’t take all the credit. But, I can play a pretty mean Guitar Hero/Rock Band guitar.

It ended up being a little more family friendly than we anticipated (meaning we were a little irritated that we had to compete for a turn at the games with all the ankle biters in the place – we left ours at home for a reason). The food, however, more than made up for all the kids in the place.

I ordered their sliders, advertised to be served on King’s Hawaiian Rolls with their special sauce and a pickle. And since I HEART sweet potato fries, I chose them as the substitute for the regular fries. I don’t know if it was because I was overly hungry or if it was because I was relishing at the fact that I could sit at the bar because I didn’t have my kids with me or if it was because the food was that good. I don’t know. But it was fantabulous.

So fantabulous, in fact, that I found myself thinking about the sliders and fries and wanting more. But, free sitters are hard to come by (which you need to counter the cost of money you spend on all the games you play), I don’t want to drive 45 minutes to go back to Dave and Busters, and I’m totally capable to make my own version of these.

So, after grabbing up two packages of Whole Wheat King’s Hawaiian rolls at the store, I went to work making my own version. These sliders, while inspired by Dave and Busters, are a mixture of several different recipes I’ve had in the past (one from a Pampered Chef party, and one from my father-in-law’s brilliant use of Smoked Paprika).

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

For the sliders:

2 1/2 pounds ground beef or chuck

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1/4 cup paprika

Kosher Salt and Pepper to Taste

2 12-count packages Hawaiian rolls of your choice (I used Honey Wheat because it sounds healthier, but I don’t know that it really is – plus we’re making mini burgers here . . .)

Put your the ground beef in a gallon sized zipper type baggie. Add the Chopped Onion, Smoked Paprika, and salt and pepper. Zip the bag and smash all the ingredients together until well-mixed (this is great if you’re having a bad day, just don’t smash it too much or you might rip the baggie).

Press the meat mixture into a jelly-roll type pan (I used a Pampered Chef large bar pan that measures 16 X 10 inches).

For the Sweet Potato Fries:

4 Medium Sweet Potatoes

4 tbsp olive oil

Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste (I used 4 pinches of salt and 5 shakes of pepper)

Wash and peel the sweet potatoes. Cut into 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. Put the fries into a bowl. Drizzle olive oil on top of them. Add salt and pepper. Mix to coat.

Put the fries onto a baking sheet in a single layer.

Cooking:

Put the meat mixture and the prepared sweet potato fries in the oven. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Pull both out. Flip the potato fries. Put them back in the oven and bake for about 10 minutes longer. Meanwhile, drain the grease from the sliders. Cut into 24 equal-size (or as close to equal as you can get) pieces.

Lower the Oven Temperature to 300 degrees. Warm Hawaiian Rolls according to package directions. Pull out the sweet potato fries.

After warming the rolls, Pull them out.

Eating:

Cut the rolls in half, top with one of the sliders, garnish your slider as desired (I didn’t make a secret sauce, I just put a little marbled cheddar, ketchup and mustard on ours) and enjoy!

It’s a meal fit for my Hawaiian king and my three little princesses. Delicious.

They’re so delicious, in fact, I’m thinking about firing up Rock Band right now, just to take Hubs to school again.

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