Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

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{HAPPY SAINT PATRICK’S DAY}

I am Irish- like super Irish. My paternal grandma was actually born and raised in Ireland and my maternal side is just as equally sprinkled with Irishness.  I love it and am proud of my heritage.

Last year for the beloved Saint Patricks Day, I had THE worst head cold of my life. seriously. the worst. I didn’t cook a thing. I was couch ridden for like 2 days…. BUT this year I was debating between all the classics, such as my beloved late grandmothers authentic Irish Stew, or corned beef, or soda bread, or cabbage or potatoes, the list goes on and on!  But since the temperature took a dip this week here in Wisco, I opted for made this do.die.for. potato leek soup.

My mom used to make this for us when I was going up, and for some reason I didn’t really like it much until a little later on in my life. This was a little varied from the potato leek soup I grew up on, but equally delicious. Here is my recipe for a small little tribute to my wonderful, wonderful heritage. Slainte!

Ingredients:

8 potatoes (5 roughly chopped and 3 chopped into bite site pieces)
2 medium leeks
1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
3 stalks of celery, diced
3 carrots, diced
Thyme (fresh or dried)
½ – 1 cup of water
3 tbsp. of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Half the leeks lengthwise and rinse, then thinly slice. Reserve about ¼ of the leek for later. Chop your onion and potatoes and mince the garlic. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large pot. Once heated sauté the onion, leek, and garlic until softened. Add the potatoes and 4 cups of vegetable broth. Bring to a boil and let cook until the potatoes are soft (about 15 minutes).

Meanwhile, chop the rest of your potatoes and the celery and carrots. Sauté those in a separate pan with a the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil and some fresh(or dried) thyme.

Once the potatoes in the broth are cooked through and are soft, use an immersion blender (immersion is the way to go for this in my opinion) and puree/blend the broth mixture. However if need be, you could transfer the pot contents to a blender and do it that way, but be careful!). Blend until all chunks are gone and everything is blended thoroughly. This should create a creamy texture.

Now throw in your additional potato pieces, reserved sliced leeks,  the sautéed vegetables, and the additional water to the pot. I found I needed about ¾ of a cup of water, but really the water is just to get the soup to a consistency you are happy with, so this amount can vary. Just add water until it looks good 🙂

Bring it all to a boil and reduce heat. Cook for about 20-30 minutes. Make sure to stir occasionally! Season with salt and pepper and ENJOY!!

Yummmmmmm.

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This soup is very low fat and chocked full of nutrients. I’m not sure if this would work, but I got the idea to do a sweet potato version of this. Not Irish at all but also maybe put a little mexican flare like adding corn, black beans, cilantro….? Sounds good to me! I’ll let you know if I get around to it 🙂

As always, thanks for stopping by! And I hope you all had a great St. Paddy’s Day!

xoxo

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Pesto Poppers

Pesto Poppers

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Hey-YO!

Christmas is NEXT WEEK?!? WHAT? I know crazy.

So I know I’ve already told you that I’m all done shopping and wrapping gifts but for some reason this year I don’t feel super ‘Christmas-y’. I mean it’s five freaking days away! I’m hoping once I have one of my many family Christmas gatherings this weekend, I’ll feel more festive 🙂

The holidays are full of yummy food, get-togethers with friends, drinks, parties. And if you’re anything like me, your fiance will spring a commitment on you the hour before and “oh-you’re supposed to make something and bring it”……

I mean that didn’t happen or anything….

Well if you find yourself in the same situation or you have unexpected guests this holiday season (or really any time of the year!) this super fast and delicious appetizer will be your saving grace.

Not only are they great- but they seem like they’d take forever yet can be whipped up in about 10 minutes!

Behold the Pesto Popper

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Pesto Poppers

Ingredients:

  • Puff Pastry Dough
  • Mozzarella Cheese (I think the fresh would be best)
  • Pre-made pesto
  • Toothpicks

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F.

Follow puff Pastry directions to thaw accordingly. Using a lightly floured surface and a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the puff pastry. Then using a cookie or biscuit cutter(*I used a drinking glass since i didn’t have a round cutter) cut out circles. You can keep rolling out the dough to get as many circles as you can.

In the center of each place a dollop of pesto and a chunk of cheese.

Pull all sides together and secure with two toothpicks per popper (sort of making a ‘X’). Place on a baking sheet and bake 15-20 minutes, or beautifully brown.

Remove from the oven and take out the toothpicks. Serve warm or room temp, although I’m partial to warm since the cheese is still gooey 🙂

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There you have it! See? So easy and good. And everyone will ask you how to made these. I think the puff pastry makes them ‘elegant’. You could also do so many flavor combinations for these. I’m really digging the idea of a tapenade or roasted red pepper version.

If you guys make these and try different flavors- PLEASE come back and tell me how they turned out 🙂

Hope you all enjoy this, enjoy this weekend, and if you’re traveling for the holidays in the coming days, travel safe and I hope everything goes as planned.

xoxo

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Goat Cheese, Sausage, and Arugula Stuffed Peppers

Goat Cheese, Sausage, and Arugula Stuffed Peppers

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Wowza you guys. This recipe is sooooo freaking good. simple. delicious. fresh. healthy. did I already say delicious? Because it is.

It probably doesn’t hurt that I am OBSESSED with Arugula. Something about that taste just gets my every time. Spicy. Nutty. A tiny bit bitter. Loveeee it.

This dish does a great job highlighting those flavors. And it has goat cheese. So, what’s not to like?

Ingredients:

3 medium bell peppers of any color, halved lengthwise, seeds and ribs removed
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 links sausage of your choice, casings removed (I used spicy italian)
1 onion, diced
4 ounces goat cheese, softened or just buy the pre-crumbled stuff
2 large handfuls of arugula (about 1½ ounces) *Rocket for all you non USA folks 🙂
Salt, pepper and/or red pepper flakes, to taste
1/4 cup  freshly grated Parmesan (or mozzarella)

Instructions:

Turn on oven to 400º. Place the prepped peppers in a baking dish and set aside.

Heat olive oil in a medium skillet set over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until it browns, crumbling with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain the sausage and return to heat. Add the onion and cook until softened. Reduce heat to low and stir in the arugula and goat cheese until the cheese has melted and the arugula is wilted. Taste and add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes.

Spoon the filling into the peppers and sprinkle each half with Parmesan. Bake for 12-15 minutes, until the peppers have softened slightly. Hit with the broiler for about a minute to get the golden cheese on top and serve!

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I tried some with and without cheese on top

So I tried baking both with cheese on top and without. Honestly, the cheese sort of helped hold everything together but it’s one million percent possible to make this without the extra cheese on top. Just as delicious, just slightly messier.

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so pretty too!

Hmmmmmmm seriously sooo delicious. This meal was so quick to make and the flavors were aaaaaammmazing. I could have eaten the pepper “stuffing” by the spoonful out of the bowl.

Ok, I did that.

Don’t judge. It was soooooo good. You could serve this as a side or meal by itself! You need to make this pronto!

Also I just wanted to share that I’ve created some social media pages dedicated to the blog, check us out on Twitter and Facebook!

Thanks!

xoxo

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Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

Sausage & Cheese Tortellini

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Hi friends! And a special shout out to all the moms on Mothers Day! ❤

This is one of those recipes that was written for the slow cooker but as I’ve stated before those don’t fit into my life that well. So I transposed this, if you will, to be made in a fraction of the time on the stovetop!

Turned out great. And it’s really a fast thing to make, especially when you can buy those pre made tortellini’s  in the store. Life savers for a busy mom. I’m  not a mom but if I appreciated how fast this one was to make, I’m sure moms do to0 🙂 And the basil added at the end gives this a real boost of fresh flavor.

Ingredients: 

  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1 20 oz package of your favorite tortellini
  • 1 lb  Italian sausage
  • 2 Cans Diced Tomatoes (I used the ones seasoned with basil, garlic & oregano)
  • 4 oz. Neufchâtel Cheese (Or cream cheese)
  • Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • Fresh Basil

Instructions: 

1. Take your Neufchâtel out of the fridge, and let it sit and soften a bit while you brown your sausage in a large pot.

2. Drain your sausage once it’s cooked and add the tortellini to your pot. Pour the tomatoes with liquid and all, and broth over the top. Add your cream cheese to the pot in chunks.

3. Give it a good stir to get everything evenly distributed, making sure the liquids are adequately covering the tortellini.

4. Cook uncovered on med-high head for a total of about 30 minutes or so or until your tortellini is cooked and your sauce has thickened a bit.

5. Pour into individual bowls and top with basil and cheese if desired.

Sooooo simple and tasty! Hope you like it as much as we did.

 

xoxo

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Cheesy Bacon Oven Potatoes with Chipotle Ranch Sauce

Cheesy Bacon Oven Potatoes

with Chipotle Ranch Sauce

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Cheesy Bacon Oven Chips

Ingredients:
2-3 russet potatoes, scrubbed well and sliced uniformly into 1/8″ rounds (I left the skin on mine but you could peel)
cooking spray
3/4 C. shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese
salt & pepper
2 T. crumbled bacon (about 2 slices) – I used real bacon
Chopped green onions or chives, for garnish

Directions:
Turn oven on to 375 degrees. Bring sliced potatoes to a boil in cold, salted water and cover for 5 minutes. Drain, and carefully (they’re hot!) transfer slices to a countertop or cutting board and pat them dry.

Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray or olive oil, and lay out potato slices so they are slightly overlapping. Sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Sprinkle evenly with shredded cheese & bacon. Bake 12-14 minutes in preheated oven until cheese is melted & bubbly. Top with your garnish of choice.  Serve with chipotle ranch sauce (recipe below).

Chipotle Ranch Dipping Sauce

Ingredients:
1 T. ranch dressing
3 T. plain greek yogurt (or sour cream)
1/4 t. chipotle chili powder
1/8 t. cayenne ( more or less depending how spicy you want to make it)
1/8 t. salt
1/4 t. garlic powder

Directions:
Mix together all ingredients in a bowl.  Refrigerate any leftovers. This makes a really tasty dip for veggies and stuff too!

This was a very quick and easy recipe to make! I saw it on Pinterest (duh) and was just craving it for some reason. I had some extra potatoes laying around (I don’t typically have white potatoes stocked) so it was fate! Boiling the potatoes first really helped them be fully cooked without cooking for so long in the oven and burning all the ingredients on top. It was kind of unhealthier than the food I typically make, but you gots ta do that sometimes 🙂

Hope you enjoy! And thanks for stopping by!

xoxo

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