Would you be so kind as to "like" my facebook page?

Please excuse the lack of photos in some of my older posts as I am trying to slowly go back through and add the photos that were accidentally deleted

February 20, 2013

Crockpot Potato Soup

A new challenge, friends!

The Surprise Recipe Swap hosted by Jutta at HungryLittleGirl. I was assigned to Cynthia's blog, Feeding Big and More and I chose her Crockpot Potato Soup.


























I like easy with little to no work. All you gotta do is dice up some potatoes and onions and let the crockpot do the rest. Oh, and cook bacon if you want to top your soup with bacon. But who wouldn't? Ok ok I guess you vegetarians can skip the bacon.

Thank goodness for crockpots.

 























I ended up using my new immersion blender to blend together the cream cheese with the soup, but it really makes the soup smooth so if you want some little chunks of potatoes in it, I'd recommend just adding the cream cheese to the crockpot at the end and stirring in, not in a blender or immersion blender as the soup will not be chunky.



















Crockpot Potato Soup
from Feeding Big and More

*Yields: about 4 large bowls
  • 3 lbs potatoes, diced into 1-inch squares
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 38 oz chicken stock
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bacon, green onions, sour cream, cheese for topping (optional)
Add potatoes, garlic, onion, and chicken stock to the crockpot. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours, or on low for 8 hours.

Remove soup from slow cooker. Puree in blender or food processor with cream cheese (I used an immersion blender). Pour back into crock pot to keep warm.

Serve with bacon, cheese, chives, sour cream, or whatever you'd like for toppings!

Printable Recipe

 























Check out the other recipes in the Surprise Recipe Swap! And click on the button below to sign up and play along :)


HungryLittleGirl










Peace, and bacon grease!

 



February 18, 2013

Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce + Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips with Caramel

Hey there friends.

Did you guys have a nice weekend? Mine was pretty uneventful. I like those sometimes though.

It's time for this month's Secret Recipe Club. I was assigned Danielle's blog, Hugs & CookiesXOXO, you know... the one with all the to-die-for creative treats! It was so hard to choose a recipe! But I was sold when I saw homemade salted caramel. You guys know about my love of salted caramel by now. 



 





















I did have some probs with the salted caramel sauce. But I tend to have problems lol. The sugar did melt when over heat, but when I removed it from heat like the recipe says, it got all clumpy and hard as a rock. I really thought my sauce was doomed. But I decided to just go with it and added the heavy cream and put it back over the heat to get that hardened sugar soft again. Not sure if I messed something up along the way, but I'd say don't remove it from heat. She also recommends adding the cream drop by drop... I added in a little at a time but more than a drop, stirring here and there. You can add it drop by drop if you like.

 






















Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce 
slightly adapted from Hugs & CookiesXOXO
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 and 2/3 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse sea salt   
Spread the sugar in an even layer in a large metal pot, at least 6 quarts. Set over a moderate heat and cook without stirring, until the sugar near the edge just starts to liquefy. 

Use a wooden spoon and begin stirring, encouraging the melted sugar around the edges toward the center, delicately stirring up any sugar melting on the bottom as well. The sugar will start to look pebbly as it cooks, but keep going until it is melted completely and an amber color. If you think it is cooking too fast, lower the heat and keep stirring. Be patient. Continue to cook until the sugar turns deep brown. 

Add the heavy cream, stirring in a little at a time. Once smooth, add butter and sea salt. Remove from heat and let cool. Will store in fridge up to one month.

Printable Recipe

 























And then what to do with that caramel? (besides slurp it up by the spoonful).

 























Well, one thing I did with it was use it to top some chocolate-dipped potato chips, also from Danielle's blog. Another sweet and salty win. Ever since I tried some chocolate covered potato chips from Sweeties Jumbo Chocolates, I've been hooked.















Chocolate Dipped Potato Chips with Caramel
from Hugs & CookiesXOXO 
  • thick, wavy potato chips (like Lay's)
  • melting chocolates (I used Wilton's candy melts)
  • Homemade Salted Caramel Sauce (recipe above)
  • coarse sea salt
Melt chocolate, dip potato chips in chocolate. Sprinkle with sea salt. Allow to set at room temperature or in fridge. Drizzle with caramel.

Printable Recipe 

 























This is sweet and salty heaven. So much better than I was expecting. I think I'm gonna turn that whole bag of chips into chocolate and caramel-covered chips. Nothing wrong with that. Actually, it would be wrong if I didn't.

Don't EVEN try to doubt the goodness. 


Peace, and bacon grease!



February 15, 2013

Avocado Bacon and Eggs


I am on FIRE this week with posting!! This never happens. Must be something about this week. All the love in the air, maybe?

Brenda has started The Eating the Alphabet challenge back up! The letters this month were A or B. I chose A for avocado. But is it a fruit or vegetable? Wikipedia says it's a fruit, but I've always thought of it as a vegetable. What do I know?






















By now, you guys know I'm a breakfast girl. 

Yeah, I may be eating it at noon on a weekend "morning" but nonetheless, I love my breakfast. 







You know what else I love just as much as breakfast? Avocados. Crazy how I used to be so scared of that green stuff that now makes my life so worth living. Yeah, I live a boring life  :)

























So this right here is some of my favorite things all together in one recipe. I can satisfy my love of breakfast food, specifically BACON, and my love of avocado all at once. 

Not gonna lie, getting that egg to stay in the avocado hole can be a little frustrating. Make sure to dig a deep enough hole that the whole egg can sit in without spilling over. I didn't wanna scoop out too much avocado because I was scared there wouldn't be enough in the finished product! But next time I'd definitely scoop out some more because there was still plenty of avocado.  I also used my usual large eggs  and next time would try it with medium eggs to see if that helps it fit in the avocado better without spilling over.

 
















Avocado Bacon and Eggs
from California Avocado
  • 1 large avocado
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 eggs
Cut the avocado in half. Scoop out the avocado so the hole matches the size of your eggs to prevent spillage. Crack an egg into each half of the avocado, resting the edge of the avocado on the side of the cookie sheet to help keep the avocado steady. Top with bacon crumbs and place in the oven at 425 degrees for 15 minutes or until eggs are cooked to your likings. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Printable Recipe 






















What a fantastic blend of salty from the bacon, and creamy from the avocado, with a little runny yolk from the egg. And I liked the warm avocado, it was a nice change from the cool that I usually associate with avocado.

Probably making this again this weekend. It's that good. Would I lie to you?





  
Peace, and bacon grease!





February 14, 2013

Valentine's Marshmallow Pops


2 posts in one day? Cray cray, I know!

I just wanted to share these lil cuties with you all, it being Valentine's Day and all.


















These are so quick and easy, you still have time to make these for someone today.

There's really no recipe, just dip some marshmallows in dipping chocolate and then sprinkles. If you use white marshmallows, then use pink or red dipping chocolate. If you use pink marshmallows, use white dipping chocolate. I use the Wilton melting candies... you can find them at Michaels and sometimes Target. Or online.

I wanted to use the heart-shaped marshmallows to make them extra Valentiney, but they wouldn't really stand up. If you want them to stand up, probably use regular marshmallows, or stick the straw fully through the heart-shaped ones so that the straw can rest against the table and be a support.

























Valentine's Marshmallow Pops
from Echoes of Laughter
  • marshmallows, white or pink
  • straws or candy/lollipop sticks
  • white, red, or pink melting candy
  • Valentine sprinkles
Prepare a cookie sheet with a sheet of waxed paper. Plunge sticks into marshmallows. Place sprinkles in small, deep bowl. Melt chocolate wafers gently in microwave in a small, deep bowl. Stir with spoon until smooth. Dip marshmallows into melted wafers, then dip into sprinkles. Place on wax paper lined cookie sheet to dry.
 
 
 























PJ is my main Valentine. But you are all my Valentine's too :)

Love yall!

Peace, and bacon grease!

  

Chocolate Cherry Chunk Brownies


Happy Valentine's Day, my Valentines!
























 

Yay for new cooking challenges!

Today I'm participating in Sheryl's Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge. The two ingredients this month were CHOCOLATE and CHERRY.


















I had bookmarked this recipe ages ago, and knew this was the perfect opportunity to use it.

 

















I'd recommend putting them in the fridge to harden and set up better. I popped mine in the freezer for like 10 minutes then set it out at room temperature and it wasn't as set as I'd like it to be, as you can see from the pictures. Hopefully we'll make these again soon and I can take a better photo.

And I used milk chocolate chips instead of semi sweet because that's what I had on hand.

 


















Chocolate Cherry Chunk Brownies
from Six Sister's Stuff

Brownie layer:

  • 1 brownie mix (the 9x13 size)
  • Eggs, oil, and water called for on the back of the box

Prepare brownies and bake as directed on the box. Let cool.

Cherry-Chocolate layer:
  • 2 sticks of butter, slightly softened
  • 3 and 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
  • 6 oz maraschino cherries + juice from jar
In the bowl of a mixer, combine butter and 5 tablespoons juice from the maraschino cherries. Beat until the butter is smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar and beat until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium high and beat for about a minute and a half. Roughly chop cherries. Fold chocolate chips into the filling with the cherries. Spread over the top of cooled brownies.

Chocolate layer:

2 and 1/4 cup milk chocolate chips

3/4 cup butter


Melt chocolate chips and butter together in the microwave for 30 seconds. Stir, and repeat for 30 more seconds. Continue to do this until chocolate is smooth and melted. Spread over cherry-chocolate layer. Let set up until hardened, in fridge. 


Printable Recipe

























Check out what everyone else made in the blog hop below:



Lady Behind the Curtain Dessert Challenge



Peace, and bacon grease!



February 12, 2013

Bananas Foster



Hmm. You taste so good but you're not so pretty.


























That's ok. Not everything can be pretty. As long as the personality is good. And I'd say this bowl of ice cream and bananas foster has so much personality.

It's sweet, a little mix of hot and cold, a little boozy. 

Sounds like my personality :) 


So in honor of Mardi Gras and Fat Tuesday today, I bring you Bananas Foster.

 






















Bananas Foster
from Martha Stewart
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream (we used vanilla bean)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark or gold rum
  • 3 bananas, peeled, halved crosswise then lengthwise
In a large skillet, heat butter, brown sugar, and rum over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until smooth and bubbly, about 5 minutes.

Add bananas and cook, gently stirring until bananas are warmed through, about 2 minutes. Scoop ice cream into bowls and top with bananas and caramel sauce.

Printable Recipe 
 
 
















Look at those little rain droplets on my prop. Dang rain getting in the way of my natural light!

Food blogger problems :) 

Peace, and bacon grease!


  

February 11, 2013

SteakNPotatoesKindaGurl on Instagram!



I finally stepped into this century and got a smart phone for Christmas!

Not gonna lie, the main reason I wanted one was for Instagram. Period. 

So how about you come stalk me? :)  

steaknpotatoeskindagurl


























What are your instagram names so I can stalk you back?

And what are some of your fave apps? I'm dying to know!


Peace, and bacon grease!


Valentine’s Day Egg in the Sandwich Basket






Real love, my friends, is making a grilled cheese sandwich with a heart shaped egg in it and giving it to your loved one amidst a silly fight.

I did that. Yeah, I'm a good girlfriend.

 
















What better way to say you're sorry, or I love you, or be my Valentine than a heart-shaped breakfast?

I'm not gonna list the ingredients or instructions, because really it is just a grilled cheese sandwich (pepper jack cheese, baby) made to look all fancy with a heart-shaped cookie cutter for the egg.

 
















I'll let you go to the original source for instructions, because Carey does a mighty good job of explaining the process.

Valentine's Day is just around the corner! Show those special to you just how much you love em. You know, they say the way to a man's heart is food. 

I think this may be true for me some women too :)



















Peace, and bacon grease!


February 8, 2013

Sausage Biscuits and Gravy Casserole


Do you guys love breakfast food like I do? 



















I could eat it for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. That's how much I love me some breakfast. And I mean savory breakfast. I don't go gaga over pastries and muffins, though I do like those also. My true loves are BACON (have you seen my sign-off?), sausage, hashbrowns, you know, fatty high-caloric goodness to get my day started off right :) 

 














So could I pass up on the idea of this casserole? Nope. Sausage and biscuits and gravy and potatoes in casserole form.  

And Paula Deen's milk gravy recipe calls for bacon grease. Oh yay, a reason to make bacon :)





















Sausage Biscuits and Gravy Casserole
casserole recipe adapted from Pillsbury and The Tasty Fork, with Paula Deen's milk gravy recipe
  • 1 lb breakfast maple sausage
  • 24-oz bag frozen diced potatoes
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • can of 8 Pillsbury Grands jumbo biscuits
  • salt and pepper for seasoning
  • 1/2 cup mild cheddar jack cheese, + more for topping biscuits if desired
  • Paula Deen's Milk Gravy (recipe follows)

Brown sausage in a large skillet. Drain.

In a separate large skillet, add 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil and frozen potatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cook for 10 minutes or until desired doneness. We like our potatoes a bit crispy so it took a bit longer. 

Prepare milk gravy according to recipe below.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Grease a 13x9 inch dish and layer cooked potatoes and sausage, then cheese, and then cover with the gravy. Bake for 20 minutes or until biscuits are golden brown. Top with shredded cheese and return to oven for 5 minutes to melt cheese, if desired. 

Milk Gravy
  • 1/4 cup bacon grease
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 and 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Heat bacon grease in a cast iron skillet. Add the flour and whisk until smooth and bubbly for about 1 minute. Add the warm milk slowly and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a low simmer and stir, until thickened, about 5 minutes, adding milk as necessary to control the thickness. Season the gravy with salt and pepper.

Printable Recipe
















We topped our biscuits with cheese and cooked it for the full time. You don't have to add any on top if you don't want, since there is already some cooking along in the casserole. But if you do top your biscuits with cheese we'd recommend only cooking for the 5 minutes at the end. The cheese was a little burnt and crispy on top but it was still good! The recipe above reflects that modification.

Make this for your family and they will love you. Or send some my way and I'll love you just as much :)
 

Peace, and bacon grease!