The Perfect Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup

The Perfect Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup
I’ve decided that 2013 is going to be the year that I finally dazzle my husband, family, and friends with my cooking abilities. I’ve become a little more adventurous in the kitchen over the past few months and it’s paid off! Prior to that I guess you could say that I’ve been .. ohh.. how do I put this? Lazy. I still have a long way to go on the path to becoming a great cook but I’m having a lot of fun getting there.. and I think Nate is enjoying himself along the way too! Soup is not exactly rocket science or hard to cook, but I do think there are a lot of people out there in search of the perfect cheddar potato soup! I know we were! Especially picky eaters who shy away from the word “onion” and those of us who have to search for recipes to cook for said onion haters. I made the perfect Cheddar Bacon Potato (onion-less) soup and I’m sharing it with you!
Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup Recipe
>Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup Recipe
Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup Recipe
Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup Recipe
Cheddar Potato Bacon Soup Recipe

What You’ll Need.

1 24 oz bag of Klondike Fingerling Medley potatoes
32 oz of vegetable broth
8 oz heavy cream
2 cups of shredded mild cheddar cheese
1/4 tsp pepper
3 pieces of cooked, crumbled pepper bacon
a dash of onion powder

Put your bacon in a cold oven and set to bake at 400 degrees for about 15-17 minutes. While your bacon is cooking – wash, peel, and cut potatoes into small pieces. Place potatoes in a large pot with the vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add a dash of onion powder. Reduce heat and cover for 15 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Blend 3/4 of the potatoes and broth mixture in a blender in small batches and return to the pot. Add in the heavy cream, cheese, crumbled bacon, and pepper. Stir and allow cheese to melt completely over low heat.

*Yes, peeling the tiny individual potatoes is truly a pain in the you know what. You can use regular potatoes if you wish, but I think the medley made the soup extra delicious! The pepper bacon that came from our grocery store’s meat deli also gave this some extra oomph. Regular bacon would do the trick – but it wouldn’t be nearly as yummy! After Nate and I realized that the price comparison is almost nothing between regular ol’ packaged bacon and our deli’s specialty bacon – there’s been no going back! And we’ve been eating way too much bacon as a result. Also, you can leave out the onion powder but it passed Nate’s taste test – meaning it adds just the right flavor without showing up on the onion hater’s radar. Miracles happen.

**I like to add chopped green onions to mine because I love onions!

Spaghetti Salad- A Summer Dish

One of my absolute favorite things to make during the hot Summer months is a little cold pasta dish that I like to call Spaghetti Salad. Actually, I like to call it that because my best friend’s mom called it that when she introduced me to it and taught me how to make it (thanks Tracy!). It’s not a particularly hard or complicated thing to make.. but for something so simple, it’s absolutely refreshing and addicting to munch on!

SO first of all, here is what you need:

A box of spaghetti (obviously?), little tomatoes or a regular big ol’ tomato (in which case I would only use half), a cucumber, a bell pepper, a can of baby corn, a can of chopped or whole black olives, and one bottle of Zesty Italian dressing. Now, of course, if you despise black olives or something you can leave them out. I believe when I first learned to make this I put chopped onion in mine, but I decided to eliminate that later due to my own personal preference!

Now, go ahead and get your spaghetti cooking on the stove and start chopping! This is the most annoying part of the whole process: chopping everything into tiny pieces.

See my handy electronic can opener to the left- hehe!

Your spaghetti will finish cooking long before you’ve finished, unless you are a chopping machine. So drain your pasta as you normally would, set it in the sink, and run cold water over it. Flip it around and make sure the cold water cools it down as much as possible. I use my little sink sprayer for this and it works well! Shake out the remaining water and let it drain while you finish.

Once you’re through cutting everything up bring your pasta over to your veggies and the big bowl you’re going to put it all in- which should have a lid that seals well! Take a handful of pasta and drop it in the bowl. Take a handful of veggies, and drop it in on top of the pasta. Then, squeeze a little bit of zesty italian dressing in on top of that. Repeat until you’re all out! I also sprinkle salt and pepper on each layer. The last few times I’ve made this I’ve ended up with about 1/4 dressing left. You can always add more later!

After you’re all done- seal the lid on tight (I accidentally half-assed the lid thing once- BIG MESS!) and shake the contents to mix everything up. Put it in the fridge to chill for a bit before eating and make sure to shake it a little before serving to mix up what has settled to the bottom. Enjoy! (I literally eat this for lunch for at least a week straight when I make it!)

Brackets & Cupcakes

Today was good and bad. Kentucky beat Florida- good. I cleaned and organized a ton of things that needed it and I can go into the week feeling like I’m ahead and not behind (like I usually am)- GOOD. We got our grocery shopping done – good. And, Kentucky was picked as a 4 seed while Florida was picked as a 2- BAD. And, what the hell? I’m not going to sit here and act like I know a lot about basketball because I don’t, but I’ve paid enough attention to know that that doesn’t make any sense at all. I think they switched them, honestly. But what do I know.

Nate printed out brackets for us and we filled them out. I’m probably going to re-do mine before Thursday because it just looks off to me. Ha. It probably looks ridiculous to anyone who knows anything about basketball. ;] BUT OH WELL, it’s just for fun.

Day 72 of 365 Days of Marriage

Nate giving me a few pointers on my bracket ;)

And as I promised- pictures of the Rainbow Cupcake Experiment that Erin (my Sis-In-Law) let me join in on. =) We weren’t really sure how these were going to turn out but they look pretty freakin’ cool if I do say so myself. We iced some of them but I didn’t get any pics of those! I like them just as well without though.

What do you think of them?! =D They’re so moist and yummy. I wish I could share them with all of you!

Smoothies & Homemade Meals

The other night when we were at the grocery store we decided to pick up some smoothie ingredients. We pretty much always have everything besides yogurt so we didn’t have to buy much else! It’s finally warm enough (sort of) that I can drink something cold and “Summery” like this without it feeling just plain wrong. I’ve found one particular blend of strawberry/banana aka “strawnana” that I like and I haven’t strayed. I’m a creature of habit so I will probably make the same recipe over and over until it no longer tastes exciting anymore.

Day 60 of 365 Days of Marriage

They were a lot more pink in person…

Today was a fantastic day. I felt great, had a good day at work, and came home to delicious home cooked meal (because I have the best Husband in the world). I couldn’t ask for anything more!!!

Homemade chicken tenders and french fries! Mmmm.

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