Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup

I had posted the other day how I would love to try to make a Roasted Garlic Soup. I did make the soup, and to me it was good, to everyone else it was lacking something. My son said it needed something else in it and it tasted like the garlic sauce on a pizza (hmmm, maybe another creation idea ) , my daughter said, maybe over pasta. You really have to like garlic though. I purchased a whole thing of garlic cloves at the Sams. It looks like a long sock, full of white garlic heads of cloves.

To save the rest of the soup, I decided to amp it up a bit and make it more filling. I like the smooth soup, but I think I am a chunky kinda gal.

Here's what I did:

Roasted Garlic Potato Soup


3 heads of garlic
olive oil
sea salt

3 potatoes (diced with skin on, more vitamins)
1 onion (diced)
2  carrots (15 small ones - diced)
2 stalks of celery (diced)
3 cups of chicken broth
mashed potatoe flakes (just in case you need to thicken it)


First take a piece of foil (large enough to wrap a head of garlic in (like a bundle). Put some olive oil in the middle with a bit of sea salt. Cut 1/3 off the bottom of the whole garlic bulb. Put in cut side down in the oil and wrap up, leaving just a small opening on top (to vent)  Roast in oven for about 45 min at 350.
(I do this step and then prep the rest)

When your garlic is roasted (you can do this any time, and keep in fridge until you are ready).

Take a soup pot and put in 1/4 cup of onions in with a bit of butter to make tender, add in roasted garlic (just take the whole head and squeeze and the garlic should just pop right out.)

Add chicken broth

Take immersion blender and smooth all this down.

At this point I added the onions, celery, carrots, and diced potatoes (I left the skins on). I bring all this to a boil.

Season and serve.

(If it is not thick enough for you, you can slowly add instant mashed potatoe flakes.)

You have to like garlic to like this soup. I thought this was a wonderful thing. Just remember that if you are a garlic lover, you may want to roast a bit more to smear on some crusty bread. Definately a great meal on a cold day, hearty, filling and cheap to make.. Just not a date night meal.


Also danger warning: Your house will smell like Roasting Garlic...and make everyone hungry..

Monday, October 24, 2011

Philly Cheese-steak Pizza

Good grief this month of October has come and gone so quickly. I can't seem to keep up.

I hope this post finds everyone doing fine and keeping themselves happy. I hope also that you are enjoying the fall. I just love riding out and looking at the trees changing colors. It is okay here in GA, but in Charleston, WV where I was born and raised, it is very beautiful. My mother used to take us riding up one side of the Kanawha River and back down the other side. We would get to see all the mountains with the beautiful colors. I sure do miss my home, usually alot more that I am getting older.
So be sure to get out and enjoy it all.

We just seem to be having car problems all month. Both cars seemed like having all my money this month. But you gotta have them, but ugh!

We closed up our pool this weekend. I know we tried to go longer, but when you are hitting 46 at night. Weeee sure is chilly getting in. I was only able to go in to my waist and walk a bit. But when it gets colder it kinda leaves me stiff. I guess I would never be able to do an ice bath. Never fear though we had it up the first of April last year, and that isn't all that far away.

I actually made a good go to sandwich this week. The Philly Cheese-steak Sandwich ( I posted the actual recipe on 8/8/2011) When I made this I made two boxes of the steak-ums (my sister had a tip to use actual sliced roast beef from the deli) (I bet this would probably not shred as much or be as greasy)

With the leftover I was actually going to show you how to freeze them individually but it didn't go that way.

I had to borrow a picture, because they ate mine all up before I could find the camera.

Philly Cheese-steak Pizza


Philly cheese-steak with onions and pepper (recipe on 8/8/2011)
Thin crust pizza (ready made)
cream cheese
provolone cheese slices
shredded motzarello cheese
garlic salt and pepper


Grease pan with a bit of olive oil.
Spread cream cheese onto pizza crust, (spread how you like it, i went a bit thick, but not so much it would just melt off.)
Sprinkle just a tiny bit of garlic salt
Spread out philly mixture evenly
Break up the provone and top pizza
Sprinkle with a bit of motzarello cheese
Sprinkle again a bit of garlic salt and pepper

Bake at 400 until it is all melted. Becareful it is very hot. It tastes best if you let it cool 10 minutes or more. The cheese starts to cool off and has a very flavorful taste.

I made one of these and ended up having to make 2 more. So needless to say, they really liked it.


This week will be Halloween. I hope all your goblins stay safe and please don't eat too much candy.
Much love from my family to yours...

To-Mater from Cars

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Revisited.."Lazy Mom Lasagna"

I don’t know about you but some days get to be so hectic and I seem to have some really long ones.

This week has been a super long week. Nothing special has happened but, ugh, it sure has been long. It has finally gotten chilly here in Ga. I just love the fall. I love the chill in the night and the sunny cool days. I love bundling up in blankets and fixing hot chocolate for the kids when they come in from school. I love the early darkness that comes in the fall, it kinda quiets the house down.

On those busy days, I just love the crockpot.

Today I made what I call a “Lazy Mom Lasagne” I buy the cheese stuffed frozen raviolis from Sams. They are about 3 inches round, and I like them in the bigger size. I have used the regular small square ones from the store too.

Lazy Mom Lasagna


½ bag of the frozen large raviolis from sam (two small bags of the square frozen ones of the other kinds)

1 jar of sauce

Here’s another option>

You can sautee ground beef, onions, green peppers, spinach or anything that you would like to put in between the layers of the raviolis.
Today I used cut up Meatballs that I had leftover from my meatball hero sandwiches this weekend.


Pour a bit of sauce on bottom,
then a layer of frozen raviolis,
another layer of sauce (or a layer of anything you want with the sauce)
then a layer of raviolis,
then sauce on top.

I actually do this in the morning about 9 and then turn it on about 12 on low and then turn to warm about 4 and put on a layer of motzerella cheese and it is all ready by 5:30-6:00.


If you give it a try, I guarantee you will find that it was not any effort at all. I made a salad and heated up some rolls we had laying around.

Good meals don't need to be difficult, and sometimes just a little imagination and leftovers can create a whole new meal.

Today is Thursday and on the menu I am making a "Philly Cheesesteak Pizza" with the leftovers from the Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches I did for lunch on Monday. I will post how it turns out and a another idea to have Philly Cheese-steak Sandwiches at the drop of the hat.

Enjoy the fall weather.. 'till we meet again..

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Stuffed Pepper Casserole

The beginning of fall always leaves me homesick for my family. I wish that we had been able to choose and live in WV all those years ago, but jobs were slim and we had to pick the next best thing so I have lived in GA and have for many years. I have been through a terrible time with my new hips and finally after 2 years I am now able to be walking a little more. Sadly I haven’t been home in years. I miss my WV home with my mom and family. I take most of my inspirations for my meals from what my older sister cooked and what my mom would make us when we were little. My younger sisters also love to cook and they can really cook. I guess it is just genetic. I just kind of vamp them up to make them my own way for my family. But I always duplicate the love my mom put into them. Sometimes it is just a certain taste or even a smell of something cooking that can levitate you all the way home.

Here is a nice gloomy, cold day kind of recipe.

Stuffed Green Pepper Casserole


2 green peppers (diced)

½ onions (diced)

1 small can of tomato sauce

1 can of diced tomatoes (juice and all)

½ teaspoon of garlic

½ teaspoon of Italian seasoning (any will do, or just oregano)

1 lb of ground beef (I use sirloin, but you can use turkey too)

3 cups of instant rice (made according to box. I used the brown rice)


In a pan sauté the meat when ready, drain the grease.
Add to it the onions, pepper, and garlic. Sautee until tender.
Next add the can tomatoes, tomato sauce and spices.

Mean while make the instant rice. I do it in the microwave because it is faster.

Pour in Meat mixture into the finished rice (mix well) and pour into a casserole dish.

Squirt ketchup on top (I know it is not very grand, but the taste is what I remember from growing up)

Optional is to sprinkle with a bit of mozzarella cheese.

When ready for dinner, pop it in the oven and warm up for 20 minutes at 350.

It is that stuffed green pepper taste without all the mess.


As you enjoy the cooler weather, make those comfort foods. They sure do bring you back home.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Baked Potatoes Continued***

Like I promised. Let us revisit those baked potato’s we had leftover and stashed in the fridge I made these with my leftovers.

Double Stuffed Potatoes

Baked Potatoes

½ cup of shredded cheese (actually how much you actually like)


¼ cup Sour cream (if you don’t have that you can use, a little milk, or even cream cheese)

Spices (salt, pepper, garlic powder, or even a little hot sauce)

Diced onion (if you like onion)

Minced garlic (I love garlic in everything)


Cut baked potatoes in half, and scoop insides out, leaving about ¼ of an inch inside the skin. Put innards in a bowl. If these potatoes are cold then I nuke them with the butter and soften them.

When soften, mash how you like them. I like them kind of lumpy, but you can blend them down. Then put in all the stuff. Use only half of the grated cheese in the mix, saving the rest for the top. If the mix looks too watery you can thicken it up with mash potato flakes. (Always keep handy)

Refill the potato shells, and sprinkle with cheese. 350 for about 20-25 minutes.

These are really good as a side, or as a snack. My kids rip right through them.

Note at the stage before you put them in the oven you can freeze them individually on a cookie sheet, then when frozen pop them all in a freezer bag. To use, unthaw and cook from there. It will take a bit more time.

Baked Potato Soup

Baked Potatoes



Bacon bits

¼ stick of butter

Can of evaporated milk (pour in can and refill with water and put in 1 can of water.
1 can of chicken broth. (or a cup of water with 2 chicken bouillons)

Mashed Potato flakes (if it is not thick enough)


Take a soup pot, and put in diced onions and celery with the butter. Sautee until tender.

Potatoes – you can either chunk them skin and all or scoop them out and save the skins for potato skins. Put them in the pot with the veggies. Break some of them up to thicken your soup.

Add the chicken broth, water, and the evaporated milk and bring to a simmer. Salt and pepper to taste.

If it is not as thick as you like you it, you can add a bit of mashed potato flakes.

When warm to your liking.. serve and sprinkle with bacon bits. Green onions are another option..


I hope everyone enjoys this wonderful fall weekend. This time of year I always miss my West Virginia Mountains. So take time and enjoy the moments..

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Baked Potatoes

Fall has officially kicked in. The nights and morning are starting to get chilly. My tummy is hungry for hot comforting food. I think it actually knows it is fall. Been getting out the Crockpot, to start my soups in. I usually try to make a pot a week. Gives me one dinner and then something to have for lunch. If I make it, I can control the calories and the salt. In the end I win, and maybe I will lose a few pounds. Maybe I said.
This week the craving has been potatoes. I always buy a 10lb bag and go from there.

So, let’s talk potatoes

Potatoes are really a great thing as a side dish or even as the main entrée. My family eats them pretty much anyway that I care to fix them.

Last Christmas Eve I threw together a buffet kind of thing. Last year I did a baked potato bar. Baked all the potatoes and then wrapped in foil keeping warm in a Crockpot. I then cut up all kinds of toppings > onions, cheese, bacon bits, and sour cream: and included three warm toppings > broccoli-cheese, chili, and pulled bq pork; in my buffet warmer. They were actually a very big hit. Very filling too.

My most favorite way is to bake them. I also find them a really frugal item in my menus. A really great baked potato can be a vessel for anything else. I like my main potato with just ahh..melted butter, salt and pepper. I am also a skin eater. I love the skin. I am sure that is why I like to bake them.

When I go to baking potatoes I do the entire bag of them. I have been known to bake all 10lbs. I wash them off and poke each one. Toss in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Pop in oven at 400 and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. At the 45 minute mark, check by poking them to see if they are tender. If they are remove right away. Don’t leave them because they can continue to cook in the oven and they become grainy.

The first meal off the potatoes is usually as a baked potato. Here are some of our favorite potato combos.

Pulled Pork BQ Potato

Pulled Pork already mixed with favorite bq sauce
Diced onions
Ranch Dressing

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh and add butter and then put on topping.

Broccoli Cheese

Broccoli (I steam it ahead of time, for a quicker way, you can buy it in a steam bag)
Ragu cheese sauce (I toss broccoli with a little first and then pour a bit on the potato)

Be sure to cut open potato and break up the flesh, then I pour a bit of cheese sauce on top with butter and work it into my flesh of my potato, then put on the topping..

Chili Cheese

Chili (I always save a batch in the freezer just for this occasion. If you don’t have any on hand,You can always use canned)
Cheese – shredded mild cheddar is my favorite (a slice of American works in the pinch)
Optional: diced onions, sour cream

Be sure to cut open potato and break up flesh. I put in the butter and mix all together then add toppings when I get to the cheese part, I stop, pop in microwave to melt the cheese and then I add the optional stuff.

Those are just our topped favorites, but just thinking quickly, you could do a taco, a sausage and peppers, meatball and sauce, or even mushroom-brown gravy. Gosh, that is all making me hungry.

Now for any leftover potatoes, they can keep in a baggie for at least a week sometimes even longer.

One of my appetizer favorites: You could make a meal also with the potato salad included with it.

Potato Skins

12 baked potatoes
Garlic powder
Sea Salt / Pepper
Bacon (brown and crumbled) (I use real bacon bits)
Shredded cheddar cheese
Sour cream

Optional: diced green onions


Cut each potato in half and scoop out the innards (put these in a bowl to the side) leaving about 1/ 4 of inch of flesh attached to the skin. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil. (I spray the foil so it doesn’t stick)

Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper and garlic powder. Sprinkle the bacon on top and then shredded cheese.

Pop in oven at 400 and cook until cheese is bubbly. Serve with sour cream and diced green onions

(If you want to freeze potato skins, so you can make a batch later. I take just the skin part before the toppings and lay them on a cookie sheet, pop in freezer and let them freeze individually and then take out and put in a freezer bag all together. To revive them take out, put on cookie sheet, put on toppings and pop in oven 350 for about 20 minutes, be sure to watch so you don’t burn the cheese.. For holiday, I cut them all in half and then freeze. Then I have a bite size potato skin.)

With the inside of the potatoes, I make other things out of them. One recipe I first want to share with you is:

Baked Potato Salad

Scooped out potato, break up into bite pieces
Celery (diced)
¼ of onion (diced)
A dash of yellow mustard
Mayonnaise (to taste)
Paprika (sprinkle on top, gives color and a bit of taste)


Mix all together and put in fridge to chill.

I will post a few more recipes for leftover baked potatoes. Be sure to look for them coming up.

Enjoy my blog and feel free to leave me a comment. Or drop off your email, so you can receive them in your email.

Take care until we talk again. Enjoy the weather.