Saturday, January 21, 2012

3 Words People: Baked. Potato. Soup.

What comes to mind when you hear those words? Warm? Creamy? Topped with bacon?

Sometimes something sounds so perfect and delicious you just have to try it. I don't normally buy pre-made soups, but this one was way too tempting to pass up. Safeway makes several different home style soups, and I have heard good things about the quality (from my Mama), so I grabbed this without hesitation. It was everything a baked potato should be - soft floury potatoes, tangy sour cream, a hint of cheddar, and of course, mottled with (der...) chewy bacon bits.

So since I'm a home made nerd, and it's god damn freezing outside, I figured I should make some myself and see how it turns out. I googled a few recipes to get the gist and made up a recipe based on I think a baked potato should be - awesomely yummy and warming.
So here goes, I am writing this recipe as we are witnessing deliciousness in action...
  • 4 medium russet potatoes, baked, peeled, and cut into bite sized chunks
Peeled while warm
  • 5-8 bacon slices, chopped and cooked till crisp
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped fine
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 6-8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 cup aged cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2-3 green onions about 1/4 cup chopped
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped
  • S&P to taste
  • nutmeg to taste- a SMALL pinch or 2-3 swipes of a nut on the microplane
Missing from pic: flour, cream, nutmeg, parsley, s&p
  1. Saute onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil and butter till soft.
  2. Add the 2/3 cup butter and melt; add flour, cook for 2-3 minutes ( will be lumpy from onion and garlic).
  3. Add the broth. Cook while stirring until it starts to thicken, keeping heat on medium and simmer for a few minutes.
  4. GENTLY add potatoes....mine were really well baked and falling apart a bit. This is a good thing though, they will help thicken the soup. Simmer for about 10-15 minutes. The potatoes will break up a bit, adding thickness.*I added my green onions at this point-the man doesn't like raw onions, so I have to cook them*
  5. Add sour cream and grated cheese, continue on med-low till melted, do not simmer.
  6. Add BACON! and cream. Heat through-do not simmer or boil. 
  7. Add parsley, green onions (if you haven't already) a few swipes of   nutmeg, and S and P to taste.
Comfort in a bowl
It turned out great -  a bit tangy from the sour cream, the potatoes are soft but not mushy, and the bacon...well what can I say, it's bacon.

TIP#1: NEVER boil or simmer cream soups once the dairy has been added, they will separate and look gross.
TIP#2: I always add a bit of minced onion and garlic to soup recipes. They add flavour but you will never know they are there.

So that's about it, pretty simple really. This should warm us up and add a few layers of...warmth.

Do you crave soups in the winter? What is your favourite "heat me up" comfort food?

Monday, January 2, 2012


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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Izbot 3000 Action Unicorn

Photo: Jeanette McKenzie
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My feet enjoying Soundgarden

Never too old to wear Vans
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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tomatillo Salsa

Roast Tomatillos, Onions & Garlic. Puree with fresh cilantro, lime juice, s&p
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Raw Ingredients

It is art.
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Friday, August 5, 2011

The Jam that is not Pearl

So last month I was on holidays and my
super awesome boyfriend took me to see Soundgarden, and then to the Shuswap for the weekend with friends. There was bacon, boating, beer, gin slushies, karaoke, charades and Jesus swords. It truly was one of the best vacations I have ever had.

So I had been home for a few days, and was back to work on a split shift, so I had a couple of hours to kill, and what did I decide to do? Yep, make me some Bacon Jam. My dear friend Sarah the MasterBakker had made some and shared it with me so I figured I better try it out myself, since I am the bacon bitch and all....

It is very easy, tastes fucking amazing, and looks pretty in a jar. Here is the recipe and a few pics. Make it if you want and let me know how yours turned out.

1 lb good quality bacon, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup onion, chopped
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbs coffee
3 tbs pancake syrup
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
1 tsp grainy mustard

Chop bacon and cook - just till done, not too crispy.

Remove and drain off all but 2 tbs fat. Add onions & garlic, cook till soft.

Add bacon back in and all the other ingredients.

Cook about 30 minutes on low stirring occasionally, until jammy. Pretty easy. I used my ginormous cast iron pan, so the heat didn't go much past 3 the whole time.

Mine was cooked for a bit longer that I would have liked so it turned out kind of...firm and dark. I was pretty pissed at first because I was going for a soft spreadable jam, BUT I have since discovered that it is the perfect condiment on burgers and sandwiches. It has a toothsome texture that satisfies that want of something crunchy on a burger so it is a great replacement for lettuce or other crisp veggies...or in addition to :P