Thursday, January 22, 2009

Potato Ham Soup

This is the epitome of comfort food soup! MMmmmmmm, it was so good. Of course, I made a few modifications, but it was really good! I got this recipe off and stole the photo from there too, so don't think that I took it- cause I would never stage mine so beautifully. :)

3 1/2 c. peeled and diced potatoes (I did like 4 1/2, cause I like potatoes!)
1/3 c. diced celery
1/3 c. finely chopped onion
3/4 c. diced cooked ham (I did more cause Joey likes 'da meat')
1/2 c. chopped carrots (my addition)
3/1/4 c. water (I did a lot more, but it was a little too much- I'd probably just cover your veggies)
2 T. chicken bouillon granules
1/2 t. salt, or to taste
1 t. black pepper
Cayenne (mmmm...bad daysh...even though it still wasn't too spicy for Joe, so I'm not in trouble)
5 T. butter
5 T. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. corn (my addition)

1. Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham, carrots and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper. *I put the boullion cubes in when I boiled everything, not afterwards*
2. In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added. Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes. *I made more of this mixture because I added more liquid and more veggies*
3. Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. *I also added the frozen corn here.* Serve immediately.

This was delish! I've never made a soup with ham in it and it turned out yummy!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Creamy Au Gratin Potatoes

I needed to make these for a family function and asked Emily to find me a recipe, so she did. There was not a single bad comment on recipe (and there were 98+ comments). I enjoyed them very much as did Joe's family. They just needed a little more salt/pepper/seasoning. So I adjusted the recipe accordingly.

4 russet potatoes, sliced (I used 6 medium sized ones)
1 onion, sliced (I didn't use a large one)
salt and pepper to taste (I used garlic salt and pepper and a little cayenne)
3 tablespoons butter
3 +tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Butter a 1 quart casserole dish.
  2. Layer 1/2 of the potatoes into bottom of the prepared casserole dish. Sprinkle with generous amounts of garlic salt, pepper and cayenne (not so generous on the cayenne or your spouse might not eat it!) Top with the onion slices, and add the remaining potatoes. Season with more salt and pepper to taste. *NOTE* I thought I used a lot of seasoning, but apparently I didn't because I seasoned them more once they were done cooking.
  3. In a medium-size saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Mix in the flour and salt, and stir constantly with a whisk for one minute. Stir in milk. Cook until mixture has thickened. (This is REALLY liquid. I thought it was weird, but it did thicken a little, especially once I added the cheese.) Stir in cheese all at once, and continue stirring until melted, about 30 to 60 seconds. Pour cheese mixture over the potatoes, and cover the dish with aluminum foil.
  4. Bake 1 1/2 hours in the preheated oven.
The thinner you slice the potatoes, the less time you have to bake them. I sliced them pretty thin and it only baked for an hour. This was really yummy-especially since I had never made anything like it before! You can go here for the recipe reviews and any other variations they might have suggested.