About Me

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I am a retired nurse and currently enjoying being a stay-at-home Mom and Wife.  I am the blessed mother of two and the proud grandmother of two. Cooking for me has always been a Love/Hate relationship.  I used to HATE to cook and anything to do with the kitchen yet I LOVED to eat good food.  A few years ago I got hooked on the Food Network channel.  The only thing that was wrong with that was, that I'd see all this amazing food and I can't cook like that.  My repertoire consisted of stuff like Sloppy Joe's and Hamburger Helper.  Well, one day, I had a crazy moment and decided I'd try one of the easy recipes from that Southern Queen of the kitchen, Paula Deen.  Now, to be honest, my first few forays into the unexplored territory of completely homemade recipes didn't always turn out as planned but most of them tasted pretty good.  As time went on, I got a little braver and started tweaking recipes to make them my own.  Sometimes they turned out beautifully and well, sometimes they didn't.  Sometimes I just had to shake my head and laugh...it was either that or cry (as a nurse, I can attest to the fact that laughter is the best medicine.)  Anyway, my Momma didn't raise a quitter so I keep trying and I even amaze myself sometimes when whatever I've cooked comes out amazing (like my Skillet Apple Pie).  Since my kitchen is not like the Food Network where you can have multiple "do overs" (and yours probably isn't either) I decided to share the fun on this blog.  I hope you enjoy sharing the journey with me, in the beauties that turn out, the blunders that don't and the bloopers that are just funny.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mom, PLEASE!!!!

Mom, PLEASE!!!!  Does anybody else hear those words and your heart melts?  My children have those two words down to a a science.  I hear those words and look into their sweet faces and sometimes even my hardest resolve just caves.  My oldest child, Alberto is 26, and is married to a precious young woman, who I am proud to claim as a my daughter of the heart.  My youngest, Robin is 16 and she is my social butterfly.  I think my son must have taught his little sister all the tricks for when to use that phrase.  Now, mind you, they don't use it all the time, which makes it that much more effective when they do.   So, when my daughter Robin was begging for one of her favorites for dinner last night, yeah, I made it.  It does my heart good to do  special things for my family.  Cooking their favorites is such an easy way to do that.  A few years ago, they would have much rather eaten out, which makes them requesting that I cook even more special to me.  The recipe below is my take on O'Charley's Loaded Potato Soup.  It is not just like it, but it's wonderfully rich and flavorful and it really hits the spot on a cold, winter evening.

Until next time, enjoy the beauty around you, and laugh at the blunders.  Life is so much more enjoyable that way :)



LOADED POTATO SOUP
Ingredients
  1. 1 Box Chicken Broth (1 Quart) 
  2. 3 cans of Campbells Cheddar Cheese Soup
  3. 1 Quart of Half & Half
  4. 1 Tablespoon Garlic Powder
  5. 1 teaspoon Paprika
  6. 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  7.  ¼ - ½ teaspoon of Cayenne Pepper (Season to your taste-start with ¼, if it doesn’t have enough heat for you, then add another ¼ teaspoon)
  8. 1 lb. of frozen hash browns (southern style-the kind that are cubed, no spices or peppers in it)
  9. 1 tablespoon Corn Starch mixed with ¼ cup cold milk (mix well in cup before pouring into soup)
*Suggested garnishes – shredded cheddar cheese, bacon bits, sour cream, chives 

Directions
Mix together first seven ingredients in large saucepan and combine well using whisk.  Add in frozen potatoes and cook on medium low heat until warm stirring frequently.  (Note soup is thin at this point).  When thoroughly heated through and potatoes have cooked completely (about 1 hour), then add corn starch mixture and turn up heat to medium high and stir until mixture is thickened to desired consistency.