Weeknight Dinners

Potato Bacon Soup

When it’s 7 degrees and dark outside, its hard to de-quilt and get the day going. Add two additional humans on to the morning routine, and it’s no wonder I need a cup of jet fuel to begin my winter mornings.

Jet-fuel consumed, today we were all craving creamy, comfort food. We’ve had a Swanson’s (Campbell Soup Company) Potato Soup Mix in our pantry and thought it would work perfect on this uber cold day!

Going into it, expectations were very low. Premixed soup bases can be overly salty, high in calories, or lack overall flavor.

This mix NAILED IT. Fair sodium, no msg, low 90 calories and hearty. Taste was SPOT ON!

Have you ever had creamy potato soup at a restaurant and thought, “If I could make this at home….mmmmmm.” This mix is THAT soup. Amazing.

Prep time was about 8 minutes including pulling out the dutch oven (or 10 cup large kettle), cubing the potatoes and rendering the fat off the bacon. Easy and fast. Then the soup just simmers for 30 minutes until the potatoes are soft. You can use whatever potato you have, I used russet baking potatoes since I have a whole big bag of them right now.

Ingredients:

We would make this again. It fed the 4 of us tonight, plus we have about 3, one cup servings left. Each serving is 90 calories. If you want to lighten it up, use milk instead of cream, although your consistency will not be as thick. You could also omit the milk and cream altogether. I sampled it before I added the cream, and it was delicious without it.

Enjoy! Clean bowl club tonight!
 

Snacking, Weeknight Dinners

English Muffin Pizza

Winter break is approaching. Kids are going to be wild. They’re going to be “bored” and they’re probably going to get on your nerves a bit, especially if you’re home with them the entire time – or if one gets sick, and the other doesn’t and you’re trapped. We can create all sorts of scenarios, but basically, I like to have some activities in mind so we can make simple stuff fun, just in case we get stuck inside.

Today Carter and I made English Muffin Pizza Faces. I know, totally just making “what school sent home as an activity to work on” – but I’m feeling like Mom of the year for actually unpacking his backpack, and taking out all these papers, and then doing the “homework” together.

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It’s my fault. This is 4K, 4K wasn’t a thing when I was a kid, so to me, this is all just “extra” and IF we have time for it, GREAT. If not, no big deal. Life is busy. Especially right now. But I’m A+ing all day today over here. Just dont look at my kitchen floor because we could honestly feed a 3rd world country with how dirty it is. That’s another blog post.

For safe and nut-free ingredients, we used Thomas’ English Muffins, Chef Boyardee pizza sauce and some veggies we had chopped up in the fridge for the toppings. If you don’t have pizza sauce / canned tomato, you can easily whip up a bechamel / white sauce.

Bechamel:::[Besh\ah\mel]

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups milk, heated
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Directions

  1. Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
  2. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, until the paste cooks and bubbles a bit, but don’t let it brown — about 2 minutes.
  3. Add the hot milk, continuing to stir as the sauce thickens. Bring it to a boil.
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste, lower the heat, and cook, stirring for 2 to 3 minutes more. Remove from the heat.
  5. To cool this sauce for later use, cover it with wax paper or pour a film of milk over it to prevent a skin from forming.

This recipe was adapted from Epicurious.com.

Hope you have a great week – things are nuts busy, try to savor the moments when you can. They are fleeting.