Thursday, February 24, 2011

Creamy Potato and Bacon soup

found this recipe, tweeked it a bit and it was tasty!

Thick and Creamy Potato Bacon Soup


•1/2 lb (1/2 package) thick cut pepper bacon, cooked until crisp and chopped

•2 – 3 tbsp. Bacon drippings

•1 large onion, chopped

•4 cloves garlic, minced

•5 lbs. russet or red potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes

•32 oz. chicken stock (approximate)

•1/2 pint heavy cream

•1/8 lb (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

•Salt and pepper to taste

Cook bacon using preferred method until crisp. (I bake thick cut bacon on a cooling rack over a sheet pan so that it remains flat). Allow to cool and chop or crumble into small pieces. Reserve several tablespoons of drippings. (add more bacon drippings if onions look dry. This will depend on the size of your pot and particular onion.)

Place a large soup pot or heavy casserole over medium heat. Add 2 tbsp. bacon drippings and cook onions, stirring frequently, until translucent. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes, stirring often.

Add potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally for a few minutes. When everything is sizzling nicely, add enough stock to just cover potatoes. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for approximately 15 to 20 minutes or until potatoes are fork-tender.

Mash potatoes roughly with a potato masher. Scoop out about half of the remaining mixture and puree in a blender (in batches!) or food processor. (Or if you’ve got an immersion blender, go for it with that.) Make sure to leave a good bit of the potatoes chunky, for texture.

Add butter and heavy cream. Stir to combine well. Taste for seasoning and add more stock if soup is too thick for your liking. When the consistency is right for you, stir in bacon and bring to just a bare simmer, stirring often.

Serve hot. Garnish with additional crumbled bacon and some chives or green onions.

*things I did differently, I put half the bacon in as I pureed half the soup, and I used milk instead of cream. I also served with grated cheese. It was yummy!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day!!

My friends and I got together tonight to decorate some Valentine cookies. We had lots of fun with lots of laughter. We did some cute little Valentine cookies for our kids then some ...more creative cookies for our husbands. It was great fun and I think they turned out pretty funny!
 The ones for the kids.....and now the ones for Darwin....
Too funny! We used royal icing to decorate the cookies and here is the recipe.....

For those of you who don't know Royal icing is great, it taste pretty much like sugar but you can add flavoring to it. It is very thin and easily piped, smooths easily and can be used for many things. Thicker royal icing can be used to make flowers and things for cakes as well. It dries hard and smooth.

You can make it with egg white but i found Meringue Powder is much easier

Royal Icing
1/4 cup Meringue Powder
1/2 cup cold water
2 1/2-4 cups sifted powdered sugar

In a mixer combine Meringue powder and water and mix till peaks form, add powdered sugar till you have your desired consitancy. Color, fill piping bags adn have fun!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The wedding cake..

Today was the day of the wedding...It did not start off well. But I will get into that in a minute... First I want to show some pictures of the wedding. This is the reception area.. The camo theme was definately there and clear.                                                                      
 The center pieves were antlers with balloons tied to them and battery operated candles covered in duct tape..oh and the table cloths, plates and napkins were all camo..
 Here is part of the cake the branch in the middle.
 The food line... yes the walls are covered in brown paper, then a deer head and a few bow and arrows make it complete.
 Now for the cake drama.. Orginally I was going to marble the fondant, I made all my fondant the day ahead and this morning when I woke up my fondant was not my friend. I don't know what happened, a combo of dry air and the coloring or something but it was just falling apart. After a few tears I devised a new plan.. I would cover the cakes in white fondant then airbrush it. It turned out pretty good. My dear friend Michelle was a life saver on this cake as she made ALL of my chocolate leaves! I'm gonna owe her a fabulous dinner and dessert for all her hard work. But I think she had fun on our 'adventure into the outdoors'
I'm glad it is done and over with and hopefully they are happy with it....if not oh well it is too late to change now!

Monday, February 7, 2011


We have had this Elder, Elder Tancayo in our ward for quite some time and he gets to go home to Hawaii tomorrow. As a send off/thank you and ward activity we had a Hawaiian Luau. His mom sent many items and he had the ward provide some as well and he did most the cooking himself. It was great, complete with whole pig roasted in a pit, poi, macaroni salad, and Salmon Lomi. I was asked to make the Salmon Lomi and the recipe has been requested quite a bit, so here goes. Also this recipe is for a mass amount adjust as needed :) His mother sent the salted Salmon so I'm not quite sure this is the same for the salmon but here goes...

Salmon Lomi
20 lbs tomatoes seeded and diced
2 1/2 bunches green onions diced
4 large white onions diced
5 cups salted salmon diced

Rinse salmon well and combine with the other ingredients. Mix well and allow to sit for 30 minutes prior to service.

Salted Salmon:
In a large baking dish spread a layer of Hawaiian Salt or Kosher salt. (Table salt will not work for this application, it needs to be a coarse salt) Rinse the salmon and pat dry. Apply another layer of Salt and be sure to have all sides covered with salt. Cover with plastic wrap and weigh down with another dish. Refrigerate for at least 24 hours and as long as 3 days. The longer the fish cures the more water is drawn out of the salmon resulting in a saltier and more heavier cured fish. Rinse well prior to use.