Comfort food

When it’s cold and gloomy outside (like it’s been the past week or so)

or when someone is not feeling well (like I’ve had around here off and on for the past week or two)

it’s a good time to turn to the foods you know will not only fill you up but that will comfort you and make you feel good, too.

Big Girl has been under the weather today. So, my initial menu plan for Asian Chicken stir-fry was probably not going to be a good choice. She’s got a tummy bug and any kind of Asian food is not a good choice when you have a tummy ache.

So, enter Plan B – soup. 

Potato Soup, to be exact.

I absolutely LOVE potato soup, but don’t eat it very often since my surgery. It’s pretty much a carb-fest (which is why it is so good) and my little tummy doesn’t like a carb-fest very often. But with Big Girl’s tummy needing something soothing, I decided to make her some.

As a matter of fact, Potato Soup was my food of choice as a girl. We had a family friend that would make it for me whenever I asked and I absolutely loved it. I’ve never had a match to what she used to make. It was just the right mix of creaminess and chunks of potato. Absolutely divine.

I found a crock-pot recipe on Pinterest (I love that website!) and edited/altered to suit what I had on hand and what I knew my family would like.

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All I can say is YUM.  It is sooo good. I can’t wait to serve it to everyone tonight. (that’s black bean soup in the baby crock pot – I’m trying out a new recipe and will post when I get it mastered)

I’ll toast some bread in the same fashion my family friend used to make – she would cut bread slices into “fingers” and toast them until they were golden brown and crispy.  Then you dip those into the soup – heaven. Absolute heaven.

Topped with some cheddar cheese and a sprinkle of pepper, this is simply divine. This is the closest to Mary’s soup I’ve ever had.

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Comfort food at it’s best.

I hope you’ll give it a try sometime. (And I’ll be sharing the Black Bean Soup recipe soon, too – it’s yummy but I’m still working on consistency. Once I get that right, I’ll post the recipe)

Here’s the Potato Soup recipe:

Crock Pot Potato Soup

1 32 oz bag of Southern-style hash brown potatoes (the chunked kind, not shredded)
1 box of chicken broth
1 can cream of chicken soup
3/4 cup diced onion (I used the frozen diced ones)
1 Tbsp minced garlic (about 2 cloves if you use fresh)
Salt/Pepper
1 package Low fat cream cheese (not fat free) (should be room temp)

  • Add all ingredients (except cream cheese) to the crock pot.
  • Cook on Low for 6-8 hours. (If you are going to be home, start it on high for about 2 hrs and then drop it down to low for the remainder of the time)
  • About an hour before serving, put the cream cheese in the soup. Use an immersion blender to mix the cream cheese into the soup and to puree the potatoes.  If you don’t have an immersion blender, you could scoop out some of your soup into a blender of food processor and mix the cheese into that soup and then add it back to the crock pot and mix it all together.

Serve with shredded sharp cheddar cheese, diced cooked bacon, diced scallions (if you desire) and toasted bread “fingers.”

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Menu Plan Monday ~ 15 August

I changed things up on my blog just a little this past weekend. If you are reading this in a reader or through an email subscription, I’d love for you to click over to the actual post and let me know what you think! Playing around with a little cleaner design – I like it. How about you?

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This week we start dance classes, added to the first full week of school for the girls. Should be a busy week for us. That’s why I got my meal plan ready early in the weekend and went shopping. Hopefully, there won’t be any last-minute dashes to the store for things we forgot or stops for takeout dinners. I’m going to get us back into our routines (if it kills me!) this week for sure.

I’m breaking out the crock pots and making sure we have healthy meals in spite of our busy schedules!

Sunday, we “baked” two chickens in the crock pot while we were at church. If you’ve not tried my Crock Pot Rotisserie Chicken, I highly recommend it for busy weeknight dinners (or having dinner ready when you arrive home after church on Sunday!)

One of the chickens was our Sunday dinner and the second one was deboned and will become chicken salad for sandwiches (in pita pockets) this week. If there is any extra, I’ll use it to make salads with chicken on them (as opposed to chicken salad – hee hee) and maybe do that for lunch one day, too. I whipped up some cole slaw for SuperMan to have with his chicken salad sandwiches at lunch, too, and he has requested a second round of a pasta salad I made last week that I’ll share the recipe for soon.

I also made a trip to my favorite meat market/butcher and stocked up on some yummies to cook this week.mealplanmonday_v2

So, here is our plan for the week:

  • Monday: grilled steaks (that were planned for Saturday but didn’t get cooked) with grilled veggies & potatoes
  • Tuesday: Slow-cooked pork loin with sticky rice
  • Wednesday: Grilled Pork Chops with cous cous & a salad
  • Thursday: BBQ sandwiches (from the leftover pork) & homemade fries
  • Friday: Asian Flank Steak with stir fry
    (that was planned for last week, but I ended up making Chicken & Dumplings instead because Little Bit wasn’t feeling well)
  • Saturday: we’ll probably eat out – either Friday or Saturday, so the meals will interchange.

I’ve also made the Amish Breakfast Casserole that I love so much, and I am thinking I’ll make some type of bread (maybe banana?) for the kids for breakfast. Hmm… Maybe I’ll make a banana-chocolate bread…. (the wheels are turnin’)

Well, that’s it from this kitchen. What’ve you got planned in yours?

Hop over to orgjunkie.com for some more great menu ideas!

Yummy for Your Tummy

I tried a new recipe today – another crock pot recipe. I’ve told you I am big (*huge*) fan of the crock pot. I mean, seriously, why wouldn’t you be when it takes a cheap cut of meat and makes something scrumptious out of it with little to no effort on your part? 

And this was definite scrumptiousness.  SuperMan said it reminded him of something his mom would’ve cooked. High praise, let me tell you, and something I have never  heard with regards to my cooking in almost 20 years of marriage.

So, this one is worth trying out.  Ok?

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I actually had both crock pots going tonight. I had the big one with a batch of tortilla soup that I had made earlier in the week and felt like it needed a little more “doctoring.” So, I added a can of enchilada sauce and put it back on to simmer for a while.  The little one had tonight’s dinner yumminess in it.

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The recipe comes from a Taste of Home Slow Cooker recipe book.  It’s called “Beef in Onion Gravy” but I think that sounds way too bland for how this tastes.

Here’s the recipe, and my modifications are noted as well. (because I hardly ever cook anything exactly like the recipe, unless I’m baking)

1 can condensed cream of mushroom soup (I used the low fat variety)
2 Tbsp Lipton Onion Soup Mix (I used the whole pack)
2 Tbsp Beef Broth (I used about 1/4 cup)
1 Tbsp quick-cooking tapioca
1 lb beef stew meat (I used 1 1/2 lbs)

  1. (I seasoned my meat using Houston House Seasoning and then browned it off in a skillet for about 10 minutes)
  2. In a 1 1/2 quart slow cooker, combine the soup, soup mix, tapioca, broth.  Let stand 15 min (I let stand while I browned the meat)
  3. Stir in the beef. (I also used about 1/4 cup water and deglazed the skillet and added that yumminess (the fond) to the crock pot)
  4. Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hrs (I cooked on high for 4 1/2 hrs)
  5. (While it was cooking I thought the gravy mixture was too gelatinous so I added about 1/2 – 3/4 cup of water and mixed it in. )
  6. I cooked some egg noodles al dente and dumped them in the pot with the beef and gravy just before serving.

We served it with a salad. 

My 8 year old said, “Mom, when I first saw this I thought it looked gross. Then, I tasted it and it’s YUM!”  She proceeded to clean her plate.

So, kid-tested and hubby-approved.

I hope you give it a try and let me know how your family liked it!