Monday, August 30, 2010

Smashed Potato Soup

{Meatless Monday}

I have had this recipe for a long time.  I think I printed it out at BH&G.  And today, I was organizing my cupboard and came across it and luckily had (almost) all the ingredients.  AND it was a crock pot recipe--which was a MUST because my oven element totally burnt out the other day!!  It was really weird...flames and sparks and everything--and then when it was all cooled off, I reached down and touched it and it fell apart.  Crazy.
Thankfully, my mom and dad's house down the street is empty right now and I have been able to bake a couple of things in their oven...but other than that there's been lots of boiling and saute-ing going on around here!

This soup wasn't as good as I had hoped.  It needs something more...the next time, I think I will add in some onions and some seasoning salt. It calls for green onions at the end, but I think some regular onion cooking with the potatoes would help.  It just needed more flavor.  So I definitely suggest adding those things to the ingredient list!

Here's what you need:

3 1/2 lbs potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 cup chopped yellow and/or red pepper
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic (could use more...or maybe fresh garlic)
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
4 1/2 cups chicken broth (I used my vegetarian broth...I think it is not as salty as regular broth,
                                          so I added about 1/2 tsp. salt)
1/2 cup whipping cream, or light cream ( I used milk with a little light sour cream mixed in)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese---ooooh, some pepper jack would be super yummy too!
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions

In crock pot:
Combine potatoes, sweet pepper, garlic, ONION, pepper, and seasoning salt (1/2 tsp?) .  Pour broth over all.
Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hrs OR on high for 4-5 hrs.
Mash potatoes slightly with a potato masher.  Stir in cream, cheese, and green onions.  If desired, garnish with more green onions and cheese.
 It is very colorful and pretty and it would be a lot more flavorful with the yummy additions I suggested.
Depending on how you like your soups, you can thicken this one a little with a small amount of flour whisked with water and then added for the last 20 minutes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Spicy Cucumber Slices

{Meatless Monday}

These are fairly easy to make and my husband and I really liked them.  They are a great side dish for a yummy summer meal.  We got some cucumbers from the Farmers Market and they were fresh and crisp.  They do have a little bit of heat.  Some bites there seemed to be a little more red pepper than others ; ).  Hope you enjoy them!  This is such a better way to use up cucumbers than making pickles! ; )  I hate pickles!

3-4 medium cucumbers, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 tsp kosher salt (recipe called for 2 t. and it was a little too salty)
1/2 cup rice vinegar, seasoned or regular
1/2 cup water
3 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
2 T. minced red onion

Place cucumber slices in a colander sitting over a bowl, sprinkle with salt and stir well.  Let sit in refrigerator for about an hour.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and red pepper in a small saucepan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat a little and cook until reduced to 1/3 cup (about 10 minutes).  Remove from heat and add onion.  Let mixture cool to room temperature.

When the cucumbers are done resting, combine cooled reduction with them.  Refrigerate until well chilled.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Giveaway...on my Sister's Blog!

Hey...go check out my sister's blog for her giveaway....or actually, DON'T because then I'll have a better chance of winning! ; )  Heehee.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Having Fun...

We have just been having too much fun this summer for me to bother cooking anything new and interesting!  The only reason I've had posts for the last few weeks is because I typed them all up a month ago and scheduled them.  It's the can ask my kids...I haven't really cooked anything for weeks.  ; )

We went to St. George last week and now (HOORAY!) I head off to Education Week at BYU for the rest of this week.  I am so excited!  I look forward to this week ALL YEAR!

So I'll (try) to be back next week.  I just got a yummy looking pasta salad recipe from Our Best Bites.  I'll try to get it made before next Monday.

Have a good week...I know I will!

Monday, August 9, 2010

BBQ Quesadillas

{Meatless Monday}

I got this recipe off of Tasty Kitchen.  Have you ever checked it out??
It's the recipe site started by the Pioneer Woman where everyone can contribute their recipes.  I am starting to LOVE it.  They have a Vegetarian section under "Special Dietary Needs" and I have found some really yummy ones!

These were so quick...a MUST for summer!

Here's what you need:

8 Flour tortillas
1 cup of BBQ sauce
2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
8 whole Cremini  or button mushrooms, sliced
2 cups baby spinach

Heat pan to medium heat.  Brush tortilla with BBQ sauce and place 1/4 cup of the cheese over it.  Divide vegetables evenly over the cheese and fold in half.  Grill in pan for a few minute on each side until cheese is melted and they are lightly browned.

We all loved these.  The BBQ sauce was a wonderful tangy addition that I would not have thought to add with mushrooms and spinach.  These are definitely going in my favorites file!!  I would probably add some red onion to mine next time.  I am just loving red onion on everything lately!

Anything that takes 10 minutes and tastes this good is here to stay!

Have a wonderful week!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Mexican Salad with Cilantro dressing

This is a lot like a salad I posted a while back, but with just a few yummy variations.

My sister in law made this salad when we were all in Seattle for my brother's graduation from dental school.  I FINALLY found the dressing that she had used, but about died when I paid 5.49 for it!!  We will be making this last a long time!!

I just threw together these things:

Romain lettuce, chopped
black beans, drained
corn, drained
pepper jack cheese, grated or in small cubes--or any cheese you have!
red and/or yellow bell peppers, cut into small chunks
Chips around the edge

Litehouse CREAMY CILANTRO dressing.....oh, YUM!!!  This stuff is amazing.  I wish I could learn how to make it myself and safe a bundle on my grocery bill.  I was kind of afraid to introduce my husband to it, because I'm afraid he'll want it to become a staple in our house...but he might have to get a second job to support the habit! ; )