Monday, October 31, 2011

Loaded Potato Soup

I'm kind of a sucker for potato soups. I don't know what it is about them, but there's hardly been one I didn't like. This recipe was no exception. Originally found on, I, of course, made some very minor alterations.

Serves 4.

  • 4 (6-ounce) red potatoes
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup dried, minced onions
  • 1 heaping tsp Organic Better Than Bouillon™ chicken base
  • 1¼ cups water
  • 3 T all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups skim milk, divided
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 4 bacon slices
  • ⅓ cup shredded monterey jack cheese

1. Wash potatoes. Pierce with a fork and microwave on HIGH for 12 minutes or until fork tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.

2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion; sauté 2-3 minutes. Add chicken base and water. Stir until base dissolves.

3. Combine flour and ½ cup milk; add to pan with remaining 1½ cups milk. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream, salt, and pepper.

4. Arrange bacon on a paper-towel lined microwave safe plate. Cover with a paper towel and microwave on HIGH for 4 minutes. Crumble bacon.

5. Scoop insides of potatoes into pan; discard skins. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. Top with cheese and bacon.
Loaded Potato Soup
NOTE: My husband really likes salt, so I tend to make everything a little on the salty side. This could easily have the salt reduced to ½ tsp (per the original recipe), if you might like a little less salt. I thought it was perfect, but Jeff still added a bunch of salt to his bowl!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Pattypan Squash with Pasta and Red Sauce

Here's another squash recipe that I just threw together one evening for dinner. It's very simple, and was very tasty, but I did no measuring. Sorry. I did; however, take a couple process pictures.

  • Pasta (I used whole wheat penne)
  • Pattypan squash, cut into bite-sized chunks (I used Yellow Sunburst)
  • Dried, minced onion
  • Dried, minced garlic
  • Red pasta sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Dried basil
  • Grated parmesan cheese

1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan. Cook pasta according to package instructions.

2. Sautee squash with onion and garlic in a small skillet.
3. When squash is tender, add pasta sauce, salt, pepper, and basil. Simmer for 5-10 minutes.
4. Pour sauce over drained pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
Pattypan Squash with Pasta and Red Sauce
This was a tasty dinner for one that I would definitely make again.

Potato Salad

My sister (not the co-auther of this blog, another sister) is generally the potato salad maker, but I had a lot of potatoes to use up, so I figured a potato salad would be perfect. I searched online and found this recipe, which I have modified into a tasty version of my own. Jeff, who normally doesn't care much for potato salad, surprised me by not only liking this concoction but also having multiple servings. Now that's what I call success!
Potato Salad
Yields 6 servings.

  • 1 ½ pounds potatoes, peeled
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup salad dressing (e.g. Miracle Whip®)
  • 1 Tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp dried, minced onion
  • 1 tsp Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ cup sliced celery
  • Paprika, to taste

1. Place potatoes into a large pot of salted water; bring to a boil. Cook until fork tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, cool and chop into 1 inch cubes. Place in a medium bowl.

2. Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 12 to 14 minutes. Drain water and immediately add cold water and/or ice. Peel and dice.

3. In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, salad dressing, dijon mustard, milk, vinegar, onions, Mrs. Dash, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the potatoes, and mix together with the eggs and celery. Cover and chill in the refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.

Potato Salad

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Squash Stuffed with Chard and Black Beans

This is one of the first squash recipes I tried. I found the recipe here originally, I but made a few changes to make it my own. I was surprised at how tasty this was! Unfortunately, Jeff didn't care for it too much and really only enjoyed the topping.

Serves 2

  • 1 med acorn squash, halved, seeded
  • ½ tsp plus 1 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ tsp salt, divided
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper, divided
  • ¼ cup onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 T water
  • ½ T tomato paste
  • 4 cups chopped chard leaves (about ½ large bunch chard)
  • ½ (15-oz) can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 T coarse dry Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 T grated Parmesan cheese 

1. Cut a small slice off the bottom of each squash half so it rests flat. Brush the insides with ½ tsp oil; sprinkle with ⅛ tsp each salt and pepper. Place in a microwave-safe dish. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on High until the squash is fork-tender, about 12 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, heat ½ T oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring, until starting to brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Stir in water, tomato paste and the remaining ⅛ tsp each salt and pepper. Stir in chard, cover and cook until tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in black beans; cook until heated through, 1 to 2 minutes more. Remove from the heat.

3. Preheat broiler.

4. Combine breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the remaining ½ T oil in a bowl. Fill each squash half with about 1 cup of the chard mixture. Place in a baking pan or on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with the breadcrumb mixture. Broil in the center of the oven until the breadcrumbs are browned, 1 to 2 minutes.
Squash Stuffed with Chard and Black Beans

Monday, October 17, 2011

Braided Bread with a Touch of Rye

I found this recipe on my friend's blog, Recipe Shoebox. It looked so good! I was the first to leave a comment, and I couldn't wait to try it out myself. Well, it took me over a month to finally give it a shot (and now another 4 months to blog about it), and it turned out better than I could have expected. I brought it to my family's Sunday dinner, and everyone loved it. We still tease my nephew about eating nearly an entire loaf by himself. It was that good!

Yields 2 loaves.

  • 2 Tbs. yeast
  • 1-1/4 cups warm water (110-115 degrees)
  • 1/4 cup soft butter (not melted)
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 pkg. (2.9-oz.) vanilla pudding mix NOTE: Don't use sugar free varieties of vanilla pudding mixes. (I did use an instant mix though, and it worked just fine.)
  • 3-4 cups flour (I used mostly all purpose flour mixed with some rye. This was a few months ago, but I think I used closer to a 3:1 ratio for the white to rye flours)

1. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add softened butter, salt, and dry pudding mix. Stir until dissolved. Gradually add flour to right consistency.

2. Knead dough 12 times (or 2 minutes in mixer). Divide dough into 6 equal portions and roll out into a long shape. Braid 3 together for a loaf. Place on greased cookie sheet. Let rise 2 hours (or until doubled).

3. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until light golden brown.

Braided Bread with a Touch of Rye
Braided Rye Bread

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Peppery Squash Soup

I made this squash soup a couple weeks ago. I thought it was delicious and subsequently, it was my lunch throughout the week. Maybe even longer. While I did scour the Internet for some soup recipes, I ultimately came up with this recipe on my own - pulling from a few different recipes (sources for which I can no longer remember) I had found online. I mostly threw in a little of this and a little of that, so the measurements listed below are largely guesses but should suffice as a starting off point.

Peppery Squash Soup
Peppery Squash Soup
  • 1 med Delicata squash
  • 1 med Acorn squash
  • 2 T Olive oil, separated
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 sm onion, chopped
  • 4 oz cream cheese - this is the only ingredient I actually measured
  • 4 tsp bouillon - I used a vegetable based, but chicken based would probably also be good
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 T Mrs. Dash Garlic & Herb
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper

1. Cut squash in half. Brush with 1T oil; season with salt and pepper. Cook until fork tender (roast, boil, microwave, whatevs). I'm lazy and impatient, so I chose the microwave method. Mash cooked squash with a fork.

2. In large pot, heat oil. Sautee garlic and onion. Add cream cheese. Cook and stir until cheese is completely melted. Add cooked squash to the big pot. Add the bouillon and water. Season with Mrs. Dash and cayenne pepper. Simmer for at least 20 minutes.

3. Blend soup in a blender, using an immersion blender, or in a food processor. I don't have any of those, but I do have a Magic Bullet. I used all 6 blender cups to get all the soup blended. Return to pot and simmer until hot again (or longer to let the flavors continue to meld).

Peppery Squash Soup
Peppery Squash Soup with Cheez-Its®
Especially delicious served with Cheez-It® or Goldfish® brand crackers.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Golden Nugget Muffins

It's a beautiful fall morning this morning. Only in the 40s when I took Sallie out for her morning walk. Brr... (although I still wore flip flops). I thought, "This would be a perfect morning for cocoa and muffins for breakfast." As you might remember, I have an abundance of squash, so I set about finding a muffin recipe using squash.

I found something that would work on I made a few changes, and these turned out so tasty!

  • 1 small golden nugget squash
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp allspice
  • ¼ tsp cardamom
  • (Cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cardamom could be replaced with 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice)
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 T butter, melted

1. Wash squash. Prick with a fork and microwave for 60 secs. Remove from microwave, cut in half crosswise, and remove seeds. Place both halves in a microwave safe dish, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave for 6 minutes or until fork tender. Puree squash in a food processor. This should yield probably around 1 cup of squash puree, though I didn't actually measure it.

2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line muffin tin with cupcake liner or spray with cooking spray.

3. While squash is cooking, whisk together dry ingredients (flours, baking powder, sugar, salt, spices).

4. In a heavy duty mixer (KitchenAid®), stir the milk, egg, and butter. Stir in the pureed squash. Gradually stir in the flour mixture until just moistened.

5. Spoon into prepared muffin tin, filling cups about ½ full. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remove from muffin tin and cool on a wire rack.
Golden Nugget Muffins
Enjoy with a cup of hot cocoa for a pleasant start to a cool fall day.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Gnocchi with Squash and Tomatoes

We've received a lot of different types of squash in our CSA, so look forward to some yummy squash recipes coming your way. Last night, I had some yellow squash to use up, so I threw together this quick and easy recipe.

Serves 1

  • Tri-colored gnocchi
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp minced garlic
  • salt/pepper to taste
  • 1 medium tomato, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup red pasta sauce
  • grated parmesan cheese

1. Prepare gnocchi according to package directions
2. Heat oil in small skillet; sautee squash with garlic and salt/pepper.
3. Add tomatoes.
4. Add pasta sauce.
5. Pour sauce mixture over gnocchi, sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Enjoy with a nice glass of Riesling.
Gnocchi with Squash and Tomatoes


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