Harvesting Potatoes – Recipe: Creamy Potato Soup

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While we were at my parents, the littles were able to have a taste of farm life when they helped Gran harvest the potatoes.

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Gran dug the potatoes, and they happily gathered them up and put them into the bucket.

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Watching them took me back in time.  I probably never realized how cool it was to plant and harvest the food that was later placed on our dinner table for us to eat.

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We often had fresh meat, eggs, milk, and vegetables for dinner.  It was an incredible treat to share that experience with my own children.

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The littles loved being farmers for the evening.

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I loved bringing the potatoes home and making fresh potato soup.

Creamy Potato Soup

Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients

1 pound of bacon, chopped into small pieces

10-12 new potatoes

1 medium sweet onion, diced

1 cup shredded carrots

1/2 cup diced celery

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup butter

4 cups chicken broth

4 cups whipping cream

Salt, to taste

Pepper, to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. Wash the potatoes to prepare them for cooking.
  3. Line a cooking pan with foil. Add the potatoes in 2-3 rows. Cover with another layer of foil, tucking the sides of the foil around the potatoes.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.
  6. Pierce the skins of the potatoes with a knife, and peal away the skins with your hands.
  7. Place the potatoes into a bowl, and dice/mash them into pieces. You can mash them as fine as you want, according to your family's preference for how large they want the pieces in the soup. Add a little salt and pepper to the potatoes, and set them aside.
  8. Heat a large soup pan/stock pot over medium high heat.
  9. Add the bacon and fry until cooked and almost crispy.
  10. Add the onion, carrots, and celery, and cook for about 5-7 minutes.
  11. Add the butter. When it melts, add the flour, and quickly whisk until smooth. Pour in the chicken stock, continuing to stir to make sure that the mixture stays smooth. Sprinkle in about 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  12. Pour in the bowl of potatoes, stirring to incorporate them into the mixture.
  13. Cook for about 5 minutes, and then pour in the whipping cream.
  14. Reduce heat to low, and season to taste. At this point, you can add more whipping cream, if you want your soup to be creamier.
  15. Remove from heat and serve with cheese, sour cream, and green onions.
http://cookingformykids.com/2013/07/09/harvesting-potatoes-recipe-creamy-potato-soup/

My Creamy Potato Soup was slightly adapted from the Disney’s Cafe Carnation Loaded Baked Potato Soup.

Recipe: My Favorite Granola

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I love granola.  I often eat it for breakfast with yogurt and fruit, pack it for a snack at work, or grab a handful when I am craving something sweet.

Back in March, during spring break, I had some extra time to test some recipes.  I knew as soon as I saw this Honey-Vanilla Granola over at Kitchen Meets Girl that I would love it.

I have made it almost weekly.  It is the perfect combination of everything that I love about granola – slightly sweet, crunchy, and delicious.

My Favorite Granola

My Favorite Granola

Ingredients

2 large egg whites

1/2 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup honey

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

Whatever mix-ins you prefer - dried fruit, nuts, chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites, brown sugar, honey, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.
  3. Add oats and stir it all together.
  4. Spread onto your lined baking sheet in an even, thin layer.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes, rotate pan, and bake for another 10-15 minutes. When the edges start to brown, it is ready.
  6. Remove pan from oven, and place it on a wire rack. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. As it cools, it will become harder, which will result in a crunchier granola.
  7. Once cool, break granola into chunks, and sprinkle in your favorite mix-ins.
http://cookingformykids.com/2013/06/24/recipe-my-favorite-granola/

Very slightly adapted from Kitchen Meets Girl’s Honey-Vanilla Granola.

When On Spring Break… Recipe: Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

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Spring break makes me want to dance and sing and play games…and cook!  Yes, I still cook for my family every night, but with busy schedules, sometimes those meals are just thrown together. I do not always necessarily enjoy or appreciate the art of cooking.

We are on spring break this week, though, and we convinced Sean to take off work so that he could join in on our family fun.

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We have had games days,

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a plant the garden day,

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and a zoo day (more on that later) so far.

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It has been my definition of family bliss.  Sometimes staycations are the best.

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Another thing that happens during spring break is my desire to start eating more fruits and vegetables, while cooking more healthy meals for the family.  This week, I am on a mission to make granola (recipe later), chop and freeze fruit for smoothies, chop and freeze vegetables for stir-fry, make granola bars, and prepare peanut butter and chocolate covered pretzels for the littles.

As I looked into my refrigerator on Monday, I decided to make a stir-fry, but I was not sure exactly what kind I wanted to make.  I remembered how Gabriel likes Brenda’s Coconut Curry Soup so much that he requested it for his birthday, and I decided that I could turn it into stir-fry form.  It was so delicious that I looked at the leftovers after dinner and told Sean that it made me want to blog about it.  As we all know, I am not a food stylist, but I did my best to put together a pretty plate of it so that I capture the memories…and remember how to make it the next time my family requests it.

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Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

Coconut Curry Stir-Fry

Ingredients

2-3 chicken breasts, cubed

1 portobello mushroom, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 red bell pepper, diced

1 small sweet onion, diced

1/3 cup chopped carrots

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 can coconut milk

1 tablespoon red curry paste

1-2 tablespoons cornstarch

1 teaspoon powdered ginger

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1 tablespoon fish sauce

1 tablespoon soy sauce

12 ounces linguini, cooked according to package directions

Instructions

  1. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to stir-fry pan.
  2. Heat pan over medium high heat.
  3. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes, until barely pink.
  4. Toss in portobello mushroom, onion, bell pepper, and carrots.
  5. Reduce heat to medium.
  6. Season with salt, and continue cooking for another 4-5 minutes. Vegetables will still be slightly crisp, and the chicken will be juicy but cooked through.
  7. Mix together the coconut milk, fish sauce, soy sauce, ginger, red curry paste, and corn starch. Pour the mixture into the stir-fry pan. Stir until the sauce thickens, which should only take 1-2 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat.
  9. Serve immediately over the linguine noodles.
http://cookingformykids.com/2013/03/14/when-on-spring-break-recipe-coconut-curry-stir-fry/

Enjoy your weekend!