Sunday, September 30, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

  • Drooling!!!  This is my favorite baked potato soup recipe, EVER!  Made it for a shower last week and it was a raving hit.  And it's even better the next day!!

  • {What you need}

  • 9 baking potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup bacon bits
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream

  • Prick potatoes with a fork, cover in tin foil and bake at 400 degrees for about 1 hour, or a little longer.  Scoop out the flesh and reserve in a bowl.  While potatoes are baking, in a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potato flesh, salt, pepper, and most of the cheese.  Cook until thoroughly heated.  Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with bacon, onions and remaining cheese.

Original recipe here.

Honey Wheat Bread

I've been trying to bake all of our bread lately, to save money and all, but it's making my butt huge because it is just so tasty!!  This is the first recipe I've tried and we both just love it.  Don't start this recipe too late in the day, though, as it is a process of several rising stages.  But It is soooooooo worth it!!

  • 3 cups warm water )
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 5 cups flour
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

  • In a large bowl (I used a KitchenAid), mix warm water and yeast, then 5 cups white flour, and stir to combine. Let set for 30 minutes, or until big and bubbly.  Mix in 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1/3 cup honey, and salt. Stir in 2 cups whole wheat flour. If using a KitchenAid, gradually add in 1/2-1 cup wheat flour until it just pulls away from the edge of the bowl, but is still sticky to the touch.  Pour a little olive oil on your hands and grease up the outside of the dough and edge of the bowl so that it doesn't stick to the bowl when it is rising.  If you're not using a KitchenAid, just flour a flat surface and knead with whole wheat flour until not real sticky - just pulling away from the counter, but still sticky to touch, then place in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the surface of the dough. Cover with a dishtowel. Let rise in a warm place until doubled (I put it in the preheated oven and then immediately turned the oven off and let it rise as the oven was cooling off.  It speeds up the process a little to about 3 hours).  Punch down, and divide into 2 or 3 loaves (I did 2 so the slices would be bigger). Place in greased 9 x 5 inch loaf pans, and allow to rise until dough has topped the pans by one inch (just put it back in the cooled oven, it took about 1.5 hours).  Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 25 to 30 minutes; do not over-bake. Lightly brush the tops of loaves with 2 tablespoons melted butter or margarine when done to prevent crust from getting hard. Cool completely.  To freeze extra loaves, cut loaf into desired slices and wrap the loaf in tinfoil.  Put it in a freezer storage bag and freeze.

Inspired by this recipe.

Baked Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

We loved this dish.  So super easy, and John went gaga for it.  It is a great dish to fix on a night where you don't have much time.  Serves up great with rice!

{What you need}
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 tablespoons brown sugar
3 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat oven to 500 degrees and lightly grease a casserole dish.  In a small saute pan, saute garlic with oil until tender and fragrant.  Remove from heat and stir in brown sugar.  Place chicken breasts in a prepared baking dish and cover with sugar mixture.  Add salt and pepper as you like it.  Bake uncovered for 15-30 minutes.

Original recipe found here.

Healthy Spicy Thai Noodles

This original recipe had a lot more oil, but I found that just cutting it out significantly didn't sacrifice any flavor and made it a kajillion times healthier!  I calculated it out and it is 7 Weight Watchers PP for 1 cup, prepared this way.  Not bad for a very unique flavor in the WW world!!  

{What you need}
1 box whole wheat linguine pasta
1 Tblsp crushed red pepper (or less if you don't like it too spicy)
1/4 cup sesame oil
6 Tblsp honey
6 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded
green onions, chopped
cilantro, chopped
peanuts, chopped (adds points)
carrots, slithered 

Boil the linguine according to box directions, drain.  Heat sesame oil and crushed red pepper in a small saucepan over medium heat.  Strain out pepper and reserve oil.  To the oil, whisk in the honey and soy sauce.  Toss chicken and sauce mixture with noodles.  Serve cold or hot (I prefer cold) with green onions, cilantro, peanuts, and carrots on top.

Inspired by this recipe from LeAna of

Breakfast Pizza

This was awesome!  We have a weekly tradition of pizza at our house and it's fun to find a fun variation.  Plus we LOVE brinner, so this was perfect for our family.

{What you need}

  • 1 (8 ounce) package refrigerated crescent rolls
  • 1 cup frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
  • 1/2 cup chopped bacon, cooked
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 5 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
any other omelette-type toppings you'd like

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).  Separate crescent roll dough into 8 triangles. Place in an ungreased 12 inch pizza pan with points toward the center. Press together to form a crust. Bottom of crust should be sealed and outside edge should be slightly raised so that the beaten eggs don't run off the edges too much. Spoon bacon and any other of the toppings you chose over crust. Sprinkle with hash browns and top with cheddar cheese.  Beat together eggs, milk, salt and pepper; pour over crust. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  Bake in preheated oven until eggs are set, about 25 to 30 minutes.

Inspired by this recipe.

Fluffy Pancakes

I'm not a pancake person, but these are absolutely to DIE for.  They are a similar consistency to waffles, and I'm a major waffle girl, so this is a great compromise with John, who is not-so-much a waffle guy as a pancake guy.  Great for Saturday morning breakfast with you cute little family.

{What you need}

  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • cooking spray

  • Combine milk with vinegar in a medium bowl and set aside for 5 minutes to "sour".  Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Whisk egg and butter into "soured" milk. Pour the flour mixture into the wet ingredients and whisk until lumps are gone.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and coat with cooking spray. Pour 1/4 cupfuls of batter onto the skillet, and cook until bubbles appear on the surface. Flip with a spatula, and cook until browned on the other side.

Compliments of Kris at

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

THE single most perfect cake for the fall season!!  So utterly moist and flavorful, this is one of my new favorite recipes.  It's a major hit at showers and parties and will drive you crazy with how many people ask you to give them the recipe.

{What you need}

  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 1/4 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups canned pumpkin
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

  • 2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour 2 round pans. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.  In a large bowl combine sugar and oil. Blend in vanilla and pumpkin, then beat in eggs one at a time. Gradually beat in flour mixture.  Spread batter into prepared pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cakes comes out clean. Allow to cool completely.  Combine all frosting ingredients and frost as desired, stacking the cakes with frosting in between.

  • Inspired by this recipe and this recipe.

Best-Ever Meatloaf

  • LOVED this easy and delicious recipe.  John isn't even a fan of meatloaf, but he really liked this and said it was hands down the best meatloaf he's ever had.  

{What you need}
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can tomato soup 
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1 envelope dry onion soup and recipe mix
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • egg, beaten
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
1/2 onion, diced
4 carrots, peeled and diced

  • Thoroughly mix 1/2 cup tomato soup, beef, onion soup mix, bread crumbs and egg in a large bowl. Place the mixture into a 13x9x2-inch baking pan and firmly shape into an 8x4-inch loaf. arrange the vegetables around the loaf.  Bake at 350 degrees F for 1 hour 15 minutes or until the meatloaf and potatoes are cooked through. Combine remaining tomato soup, water, ketchup and honey in a small bowl and pour over meatloaf when there is 20 minutes left.

Inspired by this recipe.
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