Friday, October 10, 2008

Mom, I need to be a rockstar....

Those were his exact words to me. In fact, they have been his words for the last six months. This boy has been BEGGING for a guitar for his birthday ("a REAL one mom..."). I won this guitar in the Nie Nie Day auction (thanks Oh Judy and the guys at Maroon 5!!!). No, I am not letting him carry this one around the house (for that, he gets the 30$ Target guitar, which is a good thing since I saw him hitting baseballs with it today....). But, I DID give him this one. He is obsessed with it and always asks me to hold it. He even knows how to shake his money maker while holding it. First things first.

After he opened it, he told me that he needs to find some other "big boys" and get on a stage and "sing like Rock Stars......" and then he proceeded to sing "Slow Ride" by Foghorn. You know, the one from Guitar Hero. Granted, his whole guitar exposure is from Guitar Hero (this is also where his exposure to swear words is from, ahem.....).

I think we might have a rock star on our hands.....

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

This one is for you, Pippin...

It seems like every day I think of something to write about. I have these great posts written in my head and then by the time I actually get in front of a computer, poof, they are gone. Then I give up and go to bed. Makes for a great blog. I am DETERMINED to blog more. I miss it. I need it.

I promised the Baked Potato Soup recipe and Pippin reminded me of here you go. I am also getting some Design Mom traffic (Hi Design Mom readers!!!) because she linked me and I want them to have something interesting to read.. One thing you should know about me is that I don't measure things very precisely. That is why I stink at baking. I also tend to talk out recipes instead of just listing them. So, hang in there with the explanation, the end result is worth it.

Baked Potato Soup

I got this recipe from one of my favorite people, Miss Suzi J,who refuses to have a blog or comment on one. That is probably a good thing because she is really talented and would kick all our blogging behinds....

This soup is a basic roux with lots of good things added in. Add what you want, in the amount you want. The only thing that is really fixed is the roux. So here is the basic ratio. This can be a base for ANY cream soup. I usually plan on one cup of soup per person, so if you want to feed 8, use 8 cups of milk, 8 T Butter and 8 T flour, etc....


1 T Flour
1 T Butter
1 cup liquid (usually milk, or half milk and half stock. Or use all cream....just don't use all stock or non fat milk. There needs to be some fat in it to make it creamy).

Melt the butter in a large stock pot. Add flour and stir for about 2 minutes. This will cook the flour slightly and take away the raw taste. Add the liquid one cup at a time and whisk until smooth. That is it. This will thicken after simmering for about 15 minutes.

The thing that makes this taste like a baked potato is that there are, wait for it, baked potatoes in it. If you do this step ahead of time, this is a very fast meal to throw together.

6-10 med to large baking potatoes

Bake the potatoes in the microwave or oven. When they are fully cooked and cooled enough to handle, scoop out the insides. Mash or mix up so that most of it is in bite sized pieces (but not too small, it will break down a bit). I will bake a whole bag and then scoop them and freeze them. They freeze really well. One or two bags gets us through the whole season...

Add the potatoes to the roux. If you let this simmer a long time, the starch in the potatoes will continue to thicken the soup. This is fine. You can adjust by adding more liquid later. You can control the consistency.

Shredded Cheese
8 oz Sour Cream
At this point I also add bacon or ham. If you use ham, be aware that it will be quite salty and you will not need to salt this soup. I usually buy bags of already cooked and crumbled bacon at Costco and add a bunch. I also will cook up some onions and garlic in another pan (or if you are really lazy, do it in the 'melt the butter" phase of the roux) and add that too. You can even add carrots, corn, etc, etc. The sky (and the adventurousness of you kids) is the limit.

Right before you are ready to serve the soup, add a handful of shredded cheese (I use white cheddar b/c I like the soup to stay white and not get yellow-ish, but I am crazy like that). Any hard cheese will work; cheddar, mozzarella, jack, Gouda, etc, etc. Add the sour cream at this point too. Give it a stir and you are ready to go!

I serve this with bows of bacon, sour cream and cheese on the side so you can top it any way you want. This soup gets lots of compliments. People ask for the recipe and then have a heart attack when they see it has about a half a pound each of sour cream, butter and cheese in it!! For our family of six, I usually do 8 T of butter, 8 T of flour and 8 cups of liquid w/ about 2 cups of cheese and 2 cups of crumbled bacon. I like my soup thick w/ big chunks of potato in it. This is enough too feed us and give us several lunches worth of left overs.