Monday, October 13, 2014

a dinner worthy of a blog post and something exciting

Our dinner was shut-your-mouth good tonight.  I wasn't really going to make a good dinner; the plan was to have something easy, since tonight was a women's event at church.  But then the rain came and I got cold, so I put on my pajamas, and then I turned on The Food Network, and then...well, the rest is history.

My family is glad that I was motivated by Ina Garten. (The Barefoot Contessa.)

I love her, by the way.  She and her husband are the most adorable couple, and they've been married for almost fifty years.

Anyway, I decided to make loaded baked potato soup.  Someone asked me for a recipe, and I don't have a "formal" recipe, so I'll share what I added to make it so yummy.  (I never said it was low calorie, so keep your judgmental thoughts to yourself, please.)

I diced two and a half pounds (roughly) of potatoes with the skin on and in my Dutch oven, put enough water in them to cover the potatoes, plus about two inches.  While they are boiling, it's important to add salt at this point.  Potatoes are like pasta~they're hard to get salty enough, so if you add the salt while they're boiling, they're perfect.  I added about two tablespoons of organic sea salt.

After about twenty minutes, they were done.  Graham blew my hand mixer up a while back, so I mashed them by hand, with my potato masher.

When the soup was fairly creamy, I added in a couple tablespoons each of garden veggie cream cheese, jalapeno cream cheese and about a cup of chive and onion cream cheese.  I splashed in about three tablespoons of milk and I stirred in about a cup of sour cream.  I added a couple tablespoons of minced onion, a couple shakes of seasoned salt and a teaspoon of parsely flakes.

I put them back onto the heat to get the cheeses and the cream to melt, and let it get nice and hot, then I turned the heat back off and covered them up with the lid.

To make it even more special, I chopped up chives for garnish, and I made some turkey bacon in the microwave (on a bacon tray) to get it extra crispy.  I also made homemade croutons for the first time.  (Shut up.  I will NEVER again buy store-brand croutons.)

To make the croutons, I cut up some crusty bread, like foccacia, that I had in the fridge.  It was even kinda moldy, so I just trimmed off all the parts I could use.  I cut them into good-sized chunks and mixed them with olive oil, organic sea salt and a couple of shakes of low sodium Mrs. Dash.  I baked them at four hundred and twenty-five degrees for twelve minutes, and they turned out beautifully~golden brown and super crunchy.

Lest you die from not seeing pictures, I took some.

I told you.  To die for.  It was so good, that all my people ate it, with zero complaints.

For dessert, I made up this apple tart thing, that looks really good.  We'll see how it tastes.  I made enough of a crust to spread on a sheet pan, then covered sliced apples with brown sugar and cinnamon and baked it for an hour.

This is what rainy days do to me.  Notice nobody is over here complaining, though.  ;)

The exciting part of this post is that I was asked to be on the launch team for Kelly Minter's new Bible study coming out soon, called What Love Is.  It's a study on 1, 2, and 3 John.  I cannot wait to do this study during the Christmas break.  I can no longer do multiple things at a time, so I figured that during Christmas would be the perfect opportunity for me to do this one.  I don't like to stay idle~I always like to have a study going.  This will be a welcome break from my usual in-depth Bible study that I do with our homeschool group on Thursday.

I love Bible study.  I especially love studying whole books of the Bible in a study.  Stay tuned, and I will let you know how I like this one.  Until then, excuse all the posts you will see from me on social media.  That's part of the deal of being on the launch team for something like this.

Thanks for reading!  I've had "new" people read lately, so thanks for that!  Love to all.


  1. I love soup! I make soup and casseroles everyday of fall and winter.

  2. I do too, Ester! And same here~my kids don't always love it, though. I am trying to bring Fall weather, can you tell??? It's not working yet.


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