Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

     Soup weather is here! I don't know about you, but I think soup is the perfect supper. A big pot of soup simmering on the stove makes the house smell good, and holds promises of  a warm bowl of comfort on a chilly evening. Put on your warm wooly socks and snuggle up with a steaming bowl of goodness that'll warm you up from the inside out!

     This potato soup, from Cooking Light magazine, is a lightened version of the decadent loaded baked potato soup so popular in restaurants. Creamy texture? Check. Chunks of tender potato? Check. Melty cheese? Check. Crunchy bacon? Check. The only thing this isn't loaded with is calories. Pair it up with  a nice salad and you've got yourself a hearty, satisfying meal. It's surprisingly quick and easy to make, and if you hide some you're lucky, you'll have enough left over for tomorrow's lunch. :)

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
recipe from Cooking Light magazine, Nov. 2012

4 (6oz.) red potatoes
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion (I love onion in potato soup, so I used more)
1 1/4 cups (fat free, lower sodium) chicken broth
3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups low-fat milk, divided
1/4 cup reduced fat sour cream
1/2 tsp. salt (or season to taste if salt intake is not an issue for you)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (I love pepper, so I used more)
Garnishes: cooked and crumbled bacon, cheddar cheese, thinly sliced green onions or chives

  • Pierce potatoes with a fork. Microwave at High for 13 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. Cut in half; cool slightly.
  • While potatoes are cooking, heat a large saucepan over med-high heat. Add oil to pan, swirling to coat. Add onion and saute, stirring frequently, until onions are translucent. Add broth to pan.
  • Combine flour and 1/2 cup of the milk in a small bowl, stirring until smooth. Add flour mixture to the pan with the remaining 1 1/2 cups of milk.
  • Bring soup to boil, stirring frequently. Cook 1 minute.
  • Remove soup from heat. Stir in sour cream, salt and pepper.
  • Discard potato skins if desired. Coarsely mash potatoes into soup. 
  • Top soup with grated cheese, crumbled bacon and onions or chives.
  • Makes 4 servings

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Maple Walnut Fudge

     Everybody needs a little sweetness in their life at times. With a crazy work week looking me in the face, my sweetness has been this creamy, dreamy fudge. Fall flavors are featured (maple and walnuts- seriously, those two should get married) and it's  dangerously simple to make. Each dreamy bite of fudge, smooth and toothsome as a maple-y flavored caramel and full of the crunch of walnuts, begs for another. I know it won't make my week any easier, but it will definitely be tastier!

Maple Walnut Fudge  (Printable Recipe Here)
recipe slightly adapted from All You magazine, Sept.'12 

1 cup light brown sugar
1(7.5 oz). jar Marshmallow Fluff
1 small can (5 oz.) evaporated milk
6 Tblsp. butter
1/2 tsp. salt
1 (11 oz.) pkg. White Chocolate Chips (I used Ghirardelli)
1 1/2 tsp. Maple flavoring
2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped (don't skimp on these!)

Line an 8in. square pan with nonstick foil. (Or line with regular foil, lightly greased.) Have the foil extend over the edges of the pan, so that it's easy to lift out when the fudge is ready.
In a heavy saucepan, combine brown sugar, evaporated milk, marshmallow fluff, butter and salt. Bring to boil over medium heat, whisking frequently. (Don't just let it heat on the stove while you chop your walnuts. It will scorch. Don't ask me how I know this.) Boil for five minutes, whisking constantly, then remove from heat. Add the bag of white chocolate chips and stir until melted.
Stir in maple flavor and walnuts. Pour into prepared pan and smooth the top.
Refrigerate uncovered until set, about two hours.
Lift block of fudge out by the foil edges, and cut into chunks. Serve immediately or refrigerate in an airtight container between layers of waxed paper. Will keep a week in the refrigerator. (If it doesn't get eaten first!)

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