Sunday, November 13, 2011

Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Yummy! I absolutely loved this and it's actually pretty easy to make. Enjoy!

Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Photo & Recipe from Mel's Kitchen

*Serves 4-6

4-5 medium russet baking potatoes
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup all-purpose flour, divided
6 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup finely diced green onions
1/3 cup light sour cream

Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Cooked, diced bacon pieces

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Pierce the potatoes all over with the tines of a fork. Place the potatoes directly on the oven rack and bake for about an hour, until tender and baked through. Remove the potatoes from the oven and let them sit for about 20 minutes, until they are cool enough to handle (or use an oven mitt if you don’t want to wait for them to cool slightly). Cut the potatoes in half and scoop out the insides of the potatoes. Place the potato chunks in a medium bowl and mash with a fork or a potato masher until the potatoes are broken into smaller chunks.

In a large 4-quart pot, melt the butter over medium heat. When melted, add 1/4 cup of the flour and whisk to combine. Cook the mixture, whisking constantly, for 2 minutes until lightly browned. In a liquid measuring cup, whisk together the milk and remaining 1/4 cup flour. Gradually whisk the mixture into the pot, and cook until thick and bubbling, about 6-8 minutes. Stir in the potato chunks and salt and pepper. Whisk in the cheddar cheese until it is completely melted. Stir in the green onions and sour cream. Serve immediately with desired toppings.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies

I've had a favorite sugar cookie recipe for a while now, but I believe that the secret ingredient in sugar cookies is the sour cream. I can almost guarantee that anything made with sour cream is delicious. It makes the cookies so moist. Who actually likes hard crunchy cookies? Not me! As I was searching on pinterest I came across these and they looked divine so I had to try them. Turns out they're just as good as they look. Now I just need to find someone to take some to. I should have halved the recipe. It makes about 4 dozen! Enjoy :)

Lofthouse Style Frosted Sugar Cookies


6 cups flour, divided
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1 c. butter, at room temperature
2 c. granulated sugar
3 eggs
2 t. vanilla extract
1 1/2 c. sour cream


1 c. butter, room temperature
1 t. vanilla extract
4 c. powdered sugar
6 T. heavy cream
Several drops food coloring
Multi-colored Sprinkles


In the bowl of a stand mixer with the flat beater attached, cream the butter and granulated sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time beating until each is incorporated. Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat at low speed until combined.

Add the dry ingredients and beat at low speed until just combined, scraping down the bowl as needed. Dough will be a bit “sticky”. Divide dough into two sections. Flatten into rectangles about 1 1/2 inches thick, then wrap with plastic wrap. Chill in the refrigerator overnight or at least two hours until firm.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or spray them with nonstick cooking spray, set aside.

Use the plastic wrap that you chilled the dough in. Dust the top of the dough and then flip and flour the other side, keeping it on the plastic wrap. With a rolling pin, roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thickness. Using a 2 1/2-inch round cookie cutter, cut out circles and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 7 minutes, until pale golden. Immediately transfer cookies to a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting, in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and vanilla. Slowly beat in the powdered sugar. Once smooth and creamy, add in heavy cream, 1 tablespoon at a time until the desired spreading consistency is achieved. If desired, add food coloring and beat until combined.

Once cookies have cooled completely, frost and add sprinkles. Allow frosting to set, then store in an air-tight container. Let cookies sit for several hours before serving to allow the flavors to develop.

Makes: 4 1/2 dozen cookies

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Chunky Avocado Salsa

Mmm! You guys are going to love this. It's SO easy to make. I have a couple suggestions for you all though. Make sure if you buy your avocados the day of, make sure they're ripe! Mine were slightly hard, but it still tastes AMAZING! Also, I don't really like the Tapatio sauce. I thought it smelt weird and tasted even weirder so I only put in a couple drops. I didn't have any of the garlic pepper and couldn't find it at Target today, but the garlic salt sure does do the trick.

Chunky Avocado Salsa

1 medium tomato

2 avocados

1 cup of sweet white corn (I get a frozen bag from Costco)

1 Bushel of green onions

1 can of black beans
, drained
Garlic Pepper (I never have this, so I leave it out)

Garlic salt w/ parsley

Tapatio Sauce

Place drained black beans and corn into a large bowl. 
Dice up the tomato and green onions and add them in the bowl.
 Season with the garlic pepper, garlic salt and tapatio sauce to taste. 
Mix everything around and then taste it to check seasoning.

 Add chopped avocado and mix it around one more time (I do the avocado last so the little diced pieces don’t get all mushy in the initial mixing process).
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