Category Archives: potato

Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions


Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions

Do you ever have those moments when you are doing something and out of the blue ideas for something else just pop into your head? This has been happening to me quite often lately. When I am driving ideas for a recipe will just BANG hit me,which is awesome right? Well it would be if my ADD wasn’t so dang bad. I mean just driving is a serious challenge for me at times. I have been known to be driving somewhere that I have been to a million times before, and at some point take the wrong exit on the freeway or turn down a wrong road. It is bad enough when I am alone, but when someone is with me it is a tad bit embarrassing! SO when these ideas pop into my head I have to say the ingredient list out loud over and over to try and help me remember. Again, not so bad when you are alone but if you have passengers they really think about exiting the car once it slows down to about 30 MPH!!

This idea started out because when we went shopping the other day, Kevin picked up a couple packs of buy one get one free center cut pork loin chops. He loves pork chops but I don’t make them very often, A-because he constantly complains that the pork chops now aren’t as good as the old ones were. He loved big fatty pork chops and hasn’t seemed to accept the health news that fat is bad for you. Although the fat is pretty darn tasty!! And B- well I just haven’t been that moved by pork. My Dad wasn’t a big pork fan and neither were my kids so unfortunately Kevin was out numbered. Now that it is just the two of us he gets his way much more often. In fact I think he is getting a little spoiled. I had better make sure he doesn’t too cocky about getting his way!
Now, due to my lack of pork cooking, I was a tad clueless as to what I wanted to do with them. I can make a mean roast but my extent of chop cooking was, regretfully a throw back to the old days of smothering them in a can of pork and beans, or frying them. I know that is OK once in a while (p.s. I will be frying the other batch soon!) but I wanted to make them special

After racking my brains for a while I just put it to rest and went off to run some errands. In mid drive the light bulb went off in my head BING I knew what I wanted to do with them. The true test was to remember the plan and then run it past Kevin to see what he thought. Since the chops really were for him I wanted them to be something he would really enjoy. In other cooking he doesn’t get as much of a vote. So I was pleasantly surprised when his face lit up with a smile when I ran down my game plan. He even got into the kitchen with me to help get everything together. 
The result was one fantastic meal. The sauce for the chops was so tasty, sweet with that little bite of bourbon flavor, and the mashed potatoes with the onions and apples? YUM! Mixed with the sauce from the pork chops they were heavenly. I had made 3 chops and it is a good thing because Kevin went back for seconds, after cleaning my plate!!
Maple Bourbon Pork Chops and Whipped Potatoes with Apples and Onions
Served 2
3 1/2″ inch center cut pork loin chops 
1/4 onion, minced + 1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 strips of bacon, chopped
4 tablespoons butter, separated

1/2 cup bourbon
1/4 cup Maple Syrup (can add more if you want a sweeter sauce)
1/4 whole grain mustard 
salt and pepper

2 large Idaho potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
2 apples (I used honey crisp), peeled, cored, and chopped into chunks
1/4 cup Greek yogurt (if you want a bit of tang in the potatoes)
1/3 cup corn starch
1/3 cup warm water

Place chopped potatoes apples and onions in a large pot and add enough water to cover them. Boil until potatoes are fork tender. Drain in a colander and return the potato mixture back to the hot pot. Add 3 tablespoons of butter and whip the mixture with a hand mixer until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste. Add the Greek yogurt if desired.

Meanwhile, salt and pepper chops and set them aside. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat until the fat renders. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and set aside. 

Cook the pork chops in the skillet, about 3 to 5 minutes per side depending on the thickness of the chops  and the doneness you desire(we like our chops a bit pink in the middle now that it is safe to do so). Remove chops to a plate and tent with foil to keep warm. 

Add 1 tablespoon butter to the pan and once it has melted add the minced onion. Cook onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Return the bacon back to the pan and continue to cook another minute or so. Add the bourbon to the pan (remove pan from heat while adding then return to heat), then add the maple syrup and mustard. Mix completely and bring the sauce to a simmer. Adjust seasoning adding more syrup if desired. 

Stir the cornstarch into the warm water and pour into the sauce. whisking until the sauce thickens. Remove from heat. Carefully place sauce into a blender or use and immersion blender to blend the sauce and break down the onions, garlic, and bacon. 

Place a scoop of potatoes on a plate, top with a pork chop and pour sauce over them both.


Roasted Ranch Potatoes


Do you sometimes get stumped about what to make for a side dish? I know I sure do. I always defer to potatoes or rice when that happens. But potatoes and rice can get pretty boring right? Sometimes I come up with ideas right off the top of my head, other times I head to my good old standby Pintrest!! I have a TON of things pinned so there is plenty of things to choose from. This was one of the times my creative juices were just not flowing. I fired up the computer, popped on to Pintrest, and found this dish that I had saved as one I wanted to work on.
When I say “work on” I mean I find dishes that sounds awesome to me but I want to lighten them up maybe, or use some different ingredients. This was one I wanted to lighten up. I was a bit nervous about taking out all of the “good stuff”. I thought maybe it would lose the flavor. But boy was I wrong! There is the familiar zip of Ranch dressing but a lighter version. YAY!!! A winner!

I know these aren’t the best pictures. I am trying to figure out my photo situation with it getting dark so early now. But at least you can see all the crispy and creamy goodness!!

Roasted Ranch Potatoes
Adapted from a recipe on My Gourmet Connection

  • 1-1/2 lbs baby yukon gold potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup low fat buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives,chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spray a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.

In a large bowl, toss the potatoes with the canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer on the prepared baking pan and roast until tender, 20 to 30 minutes. Lower the oven temperature to 375°F.

While the potatoes roast, whisk the buttermilk, yogurt, vinegar, thyme, and chives together in a bowl.

Spray an ovenproof casserole with nonstick spray. Add the roasted potatoes to the bowl with the buttermilk mixture and toss to coat. Transfer to the casserole, return to the oven and bake until bubbly, 10 to 15 minutes.


Italian Style Skillet Pie


The other day I was watching Symon’s Suppers on The Cooking Channel. I adore Michael Symon! I love his sense of humor, his talent, how energetic and caring he is. WOW am I gushing? Ya, I think he is pretty sexy too, but that might just be a foodie thing.
Anyway, I love watching his show. I am always finding things I want to make as soon as possible. He always seems to mix up flavors and give you little surprises here and there. When I saw this dish on his show I liked the sound of it. I had made the potato/cauliflower mash he used for the topping of the pie before and loved it.  I loved the idea of cooking in my cast iron skillet, something I have been wanting to try more and more, and I also loved that it was a “One Pot” meal so I wouldn’t have a ton of dishes to do after dinner. Also, it is a bit of a twist on Shepherds Pie, which is a favorite here.

I have been trying to lighten things up a bit where I can. In this dish I try by using turkey sausage in place of ground beef. The potato/cauliflower mashed topping already did that for me, but if you wanted to sub all cauliflower for the mix of potato and cauliflower you could and that would save more carbs for you. I just prefer the mix as we aren’t big fans of the strong cauliflower taste. I do use butter in this but you just can’t sub anything else in my mind.
It was a fun dish to make for me. I was kind of winging it a bit and when it came out so good, and got Kevin’s stamp of approval, I was a happy camper. He even took it for lunch the next day and I ate the last of it yesterday for lunch, so no waste with this meal at all! 
Italian Style Skillet Pie
Adapted from Michael Symon’s Cast-Iron Ground Beef Pie
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 package Italian style ground turkey sausage (usually come in 1 1/3 package)
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper
2 large russet potatoes, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 head cauliflower, core removed and quartered
1 cup chopped celery, plus 1/2 cup celery leaves
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning blend 
1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup of red wine
1/2 cup packed fresh flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped (some reserved for topping if wanted)
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons room temperature butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potatoes, cauliflower and a generous pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until tender, about 20 minutes.

Pour the olive oil into a preheated 8-inch cast-iron pan over medium-high heat. Allow the oil to heat up, and then add the turkey sausage, salt and pepper. Press the meat into the pan and cook until caramelized, about 5 minutes, and then flip and caramelize the other side.

When the sausage is caramelized, remove it from the pan and set aside. Add the celery, celery leaves and onions and cook for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the garlic and cook for an additional 1 to 2 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for another minute or two. Stir in the Italian seasoning and red pepper flakes. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and stir in the parsley. Add a red wine. Remove from the heat and set aside. Adjust seasoning if needed.

When the potatoes and cauliflower are done cooking, drain and mash well. Stir in the Parmesan and butter until thoroughly combined.

Spread the potato mixture over the beef mixture in the pan, and smooth the top to seal in the sausage mixture.

Bake until golden brown, 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool 10 minutes. Top with chopped parsley leaves if desired. 


Shared at the Lady 8 Home

Redneck Eggs Benedict

When I came up with the idea for this dish, I knew from the start I wanted to call it Redneck Eggs Benedict. Why? Well because it just brought me back to my time living in the South, although I was concerned that the word “redneck” might offend some people. However, after speaking with many of my followers on Facebook and Twitter, and reflecting on my own experiences with the use of the word. I decided to go for it. I know in my mind, and the minds of the wonderful people I met in the South, redneck is not an insult, it is a way of life really. Rednecks work hard to provide for their families, they celebrate life, and put on no airs. They are who they are, plain and simple, take it or leave it. I respect that! I enjoyed my time in the South and honestly, life was much easier when you lived by those ideals. 
I love Eggs Benedict  It is probably one of my favorite breakfast foods right up there with frittatas, quiche, and a big plate of grits with cheese, bacon, and that yummy egg yolk from and over easy egg mixed in mmmmmm. I have had the “Seattle” version of Eggs Benedict with a salmon cake in place of the muffin, and I made salmon patties the other night, so my mind started mixing the two together. Salmon patties/cakes scream Southern to me, but I knew that I couldn’t use them in an Eggs Benedict because that is just classic to the Pacific Northwest. So where do I go? My little mind started thinking and thinking of the things that would really bring back my Southern experience. 

I decided to take the things I love about the South and then Eggs Benedict and BAM smoosh them together! 
OK list it off Bobbi…
If I can’t use salmon cakes then we will do potato cakes, yes yum. 
Sausage or bacon? Well the traditional is Canadian bacon so lets use some nice thick cut smoky bacon, OK this is getting good. 
Poached egg of course, nothing can beat a perfectly poached egg! 
What to top it with? I though of gravy at first. but I adore Hollandaise sauce. Hhhmmm how do I make Hollandaise fit in with my vision of this dish? Ahhhh I have it……hot sauce!!!! 
Most of the people I knew during my time in the South loved Tabasco on their eggs. It was something I had to learn and wasn’t a real fan of at first. Now I adore hot sauce or salsa on my eggs. In fact you would be hard pressed to find an egg on my plate without some heat to go with it now. So it just seemed a perfect idea to make a Hot Sauce Hallandaise, ya? With that my Redneck Eggs Benedict was born!!

Redneck Eggs Benedict 
For the Potato Cake:
1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and grated
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup flour (add more if needed to bind cakes)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, copped
1 tablespoon fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 egg, beaten
2 green onions, greens only only chopped for garnish
For the Hot Hollandaise Sauce:
1 1/4 cup unsalted butter (2 1/2 sticks), cubed
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more
Kosher salt and black pepper
Hot sauce (I used Franks Red Hot) to taste, I used 1 tablespoon
8 slices bacon
8 poached eggs (step by step instructions from Smitten Kitchen)
Paprika for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
Rinse shredded potatoes in cold water and squeeze water out. Pat dry with paper towels. Place potatoes in a large bowl and add the onion, flour, thyme, parsley, salt, pepper, and egg. Mix well. 
Spray a large skillet with non stick cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Form patties with the potato mixture and carefully place them in the heated skillet. Press down with spatula to make sure the patty is firm. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the patty is golden brown. Carefully turn the potato cake with a wide spatula and continue to cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the cakes and place them on a baking sheet in the oven to keep warm.
Cook bacon in the same skillet just shy of crisp. Place in oven with potato cakes to keep warm.
Poach eggs, place on paper towel while you prepare the Hollandaise.
Fill blender with hot water, set aside. Melt butter over medium heat until foaming, remove from heat. Drain blender and dry very well. Put egg yolks and 2 tablespoons lemon juice in blender, cover and blend to combine. Working quickly remove insert, and with blender running, add the butter in a thin stream of droplets, discarding milk solids in the bottom of the pan. Blend until a creamy sauce forms. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and hot sauce to taste. Serve immediately.
To put the dish together, lay two potato cakes on a plate. Rip the bacon slices in half and place the halves criss crossed on potato cake (1slice of bacon per cake). Top bacon with a poached eggs, and pour Hollandaise sauce over the top. Garnish with chopped green onions and a sprinkle of paprika.

Food Star Friday – Alton Brown’s Vichyssoise

Happy Food Star Friday everyone! I am so excited about today’s post. Well, I am always excited about Food Star Friday, but today I tackled a Food Star that I not only adore, but admire for all of the knowledge he has about everything food. Jessi (Miss Picky Pants) and I used to watch every, and I mean every episode of Good Eats. We even taped them for a while (that tells you how long ago it was, we had a VHS still). They were not only educational, but so entertaining. He is somewhat of an odd bird and, having grown up in theater, I feel like I could fit right in with him. Birds of a feather and all of that you know.
I was watching an Episode of Good Eats the other day and he was highlighting leeks. I love leeks and am always trying to use them in as many dishes as I can. I love it when the nice fresh ones come into the store. Like I have said in the past, my produce guy must think I am nuts because I do happy dances all over the place when new produce comes in. I know he thinks I need to get a life, or serious medication, not sure which.

So anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Good Eats. I was watching the episode but we were on our way out of the door so I was very upset that I missed the whole show. Enter the wonder of After a bit of a search I found the episode I was looking for. It was in two parts, but it had the info I was looking for. How to make vichyssoise. Just that word used to strike fear in my little foodie heart if I thought about trying to make it. It sounds so ominous doesn’t it? OK, maybe it is just me, but I would just think there was no way I could make it, it must be difficult just listen to the name of it!
Now that I have been cooking for a while I guess I have gotten braver. I actually think it has a lot to do with the fact that I used to be afraid to try something and then mess it up. Now that I have had a few epic fails under my belt (lets just say I have an issue with baking bread *sigh*) I am more courageous about flexing my culinary muscles and jumping it to just about anything and I am so glad I did. 
As I was making this Kevin kept asking me “What is that?” a little bit later “What is the name of that?” and then later again “What are you making?”. I think he was partially throw by the name but mostly by the fact that I said we were having cold soup. When I told him that his nose wrinkled up like I was telling him to drink expired milk or something. I just told him to stop giving me the stink face and went on with making the soup. 
I will admit, this does take quite a bit of time. With prep and cooking you are probably looking at about an hour and a half or more, but it is well worth it, trust me!! I can’t wait to have a dinner party and watch my non-foodie friends make that face when they here what I am making for a starter. Then watch their faces as they taste it!  
I can’t stress enough how good this was. It was gone so fast I am surprised I was able to take a picture. Everyone was hovering over me like a bunch of vultures!!
Here is the 2nd part of the Good Eats episode on leeks. 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 leeks (about 1 1/2 inch in diameter)
Kosher Salt
14 ounces Yukon potatoes (3 or 4)
1 quart vegetable stock (I had to use chicken because I forgot the vegetable stock DUH me!!)
1 cup buttermilk
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon white pepper

Cut the root end and dark green leaves off of the leeks. Cut each one in half length wise and place in a large bowl of cold water, swish and shake them to get the dirt out of them. Take them out of the water and dry them a bit. Cut each half into 3 strips length wise and then chop them across the entire length of the strip.

In a large soup pot, heat 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter over medium heat. Once the butter has heated up, add your leeks. Stir them a bit to coat them in the butter and add a healthy pinch of salt, at least a teaspoon. Then turn your heat down to medium-low. You don’t want to hear the leeks sizzling or see them getting brown at all or they are sauteing, you want them to sweat and stay nice and green. Cook for 25 minutes.

Add the potatoes and stock and bring the pot to a boil. Once it boils, turn the heat down to a simmer, cover and let it cook for 45 minutes. Remove lid and blend the potatoes and leeks with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender you can blend it in batches in a food processor or a regular blender. Just be careful, it is very hot.

Once everything is blended well, add your cream to the buttermilk before you pour it into the soup. Add to the soup and blend again. (if you are using a food processor or regular blender you can do this before you return the soup to the pot).

At this point you can ladle into bowls and serve hot or chill it before serving.


This recipe was also shared on;

Amee’s Savory Dish Fit and Fabulous Fridays

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon

Roasting potatoes and veggies is one of my favorite ways to cook them, aside from grilling. The flavors gets concentrated and the outside gets crispy, just the thought of it makes my mouth water! I am so happy that I finally learned to love vegetables. I am sad it took me so long, I was missing out on so much! Of course if you throw a little bacon in there it doesn’t hurt either right? But like I say, everything in moderation so as long as you aren’t eating bacon with every meal (which I sooo could) you are doing fine. 
This night was one of those refrigerator clean out meals. Find a protein, find a side, and awaaaaay we gooooo! Those kinds of nights used to scare the bejeeezus out of me. I used to get frazzled “Oh no, no recipe? What the heck am I going to make? Aaaahhhhhh someone call Domino’s!!!” But now I embrace te challenge of coming up with something off the cuff. The other night I grabbed odds and ends out of the fridge that needed to be used up. I ended up making chicken in herbed rice pilaf with red peppers and peas and added a bit of leftover marscapone cheese at end. Who knew creamy rice pilaf would be so good? Plus WALA no leftovers!! I love it when nothing goes to waste!!

One thing I know I can never go wrong serving here is potatoes. When my father was alive he would be happy to just make a meal out of those. Whenever he wasn’t so sure about what was on the menu and if he would like it, he would ask
Dad – Are you making potatoes
Me – Yes Dad
Dad – Oh good, at least I know I will have something to eat
Me – Thanks for the vote of confidence Dad
Dad – Well hell a guinea pig needs to eat something right?
Me – Ya Dad, don’t you have a wheel to run in somewhere?
Dad – Yup you are mine, a total smart ass!
Me – Love you too Dad
I miss my Dad!!

Roasted Potatoes with Red Peppers, Garlic, and Bacon
2 pound baby Yukon gold potatoes, cut into quarters
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
8 cloves of garlic, minced
8 slices of bacon, chopped
2 shallots, chopped
Kosher salt,
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large skillet, cook chopped bacon over medium high heat until it begins to crisp. Use a slotted spoon to remove it from the skillet and set aside on a paper towel lined plate. Allow the bacon fat to cool a bit
In a large bowl, toss the potatoes, red pepper, garlic, shallots, and bacon fat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spread the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet lined with foil. Place in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, turning the mixture once halfway through. 
Remove from the oven, top with chopped bacon and parsley.

Bobbi on a Budget – Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes


SO much has been going on around my house that it seems cooking and blogging has taken a backseat, something I really hate. So you know that making a good meal (and a BUDGET meal) last night made me happy. My kitchen smelled wonderful and actually sitting down to a tasty meal was a breath of fresh air!

This recipe is easy peasy! No stress, whip it together, and enjoy. It is a recipe for 4 but if you, like me, are cooking for two most of the time now it is a great recipe to give you leftovers. The chicken is so juicy and makes wonderful sandwiches or you could throw it in a nice soup with the leftover roasted veggies.

When you break it down this recipe costs about $2.25 per serving so that is something else you can love about it!

Pin It

Chicken with Roasted Broccoli and Potatoes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound medium Yukon gold potatoes, cut in thirds lengthwise and the across
1 pound broccoli, cut into florets
1 lemon, quartered
1 whole chicken (4 to 5 pounds), patted dry
Kosher salt
Ground black pepper
Poultry seasoning
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
Place chicken on a rimmed backing sheet. Season the chicken inside and out with salt and pepper, sprinkle poultry season over the outside. Roast chicken in the oven for 25 minutes.
Meanwhile in a large bowl toss the broccoli and potatoes with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper.
Remove the chicken from the oven and scatter the potatoes, broccoli, and lemon around the  baking sheet. Sprinkle them with garlic powder and onion powder (amount depends on how strong you want the flavor, I used about a teaspoon of both). Return to the oven and roasted an additional 35 minutes turning the the vegetables after 20 minutes.. Chicken is done when the juices run clear when chicken is pierced between the breast and thigh (an instant thermometer should read 165 degrees when inserted in the thickest part of the thigh). Let chicken rest 10 minutes before carving.

Bobbi on a Budget – Chili Braised Pork with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes


WOW I am finally back! I haven’t been sick like I was in forever!! I realized I haven’t posted anything in a week. You KNOW a food blogger is sick when they don’t even want to cook! My poor family had to deal with leftovers and take out for over a week, I felt so bad.

Now that I am back I wanted to get more into my budget meals. I have been on the look out for recipes and ideas to provide for you since it was requested so much. I mean everyone loves to eat good food but not spend a fortune for it, right? It can be kind of hard to keep recipes down to $10 for a 4 person meal, but I am learning to buy things on sale and then work with them rather than chose recipes or ideas and then buying whatever I need at that time.

I had been looking through my Everyday Food magazine and found some recipes that sounded really good. When I went to the store it was wonderful to find so many of the ingredients on sale. I used asparagus in this meal because it was on sale for $1.99 a pound (Woohooooo) but you could easily use green beans or broccoli instead if your store doesn’t have asparagus on sale and you want to keep the cost down to $10.

Pin It

Chili Braised Pork with Asparagus and Mashed Potatoes
1 1/2 pounds of boneless country style pork ribs
Kosher salt
Ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated 
3 tablespoons all purpose-flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 teaspoon chili powder
2 pounds Yukon gold potatoes, cubed to 1 inch
1/2 cup sour cream
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
1 pound asparagus
Pat pork dry and season with salt and pepper. In a large straight sided skillet heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add pork and brown on both sides. Remove from skillet to a plate and reserve. Reduce the heat to medium and add 3 tablespoons of unsalted butter. Once the butter has melted add the 3 tablespoons of flour and whisk making sure to scrape the bottom of the skillet to get the brown bits up. Cook for a couple minutes to get the raw flour taste out and then whisk in the chicken stock and chili powder. Return the pork to the skillet and bring to a simmer, cover the pot and cook for 20 minutes. Uncover and cook until the pork is tender and the sauce has thickened, about 25 minutes. Season to taste.
Meanwhile in large pot bring the potatoes to a boil in salted water. Cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain potatoes and return to pot, mash until fluffy, stir in the remaining butter, sour cream, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and keep warm.
In a large skillet bring about 1 inch of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Drain the asparagus and reserve in the colander. In the same skillet heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes, just until golden brown. Return the asparagus to the skillet, toss with the garlic and olive oil and salt and pepper to taste.

Loaded Potato Soup


I have been under the weather for the last few days fighting a killer cold. I hate it when I am stuck in bed. I mean you can only watch so much food tv and Lifetime movies without feeling like you are going to lose your mind! I finally felt well enough to get up and cook last night and of course the one thing I wanted to make was a nice big bowl of soup.

A while back I found a recipe for the loaded potato soup they serve at the Carnation Cafe in Disney World. It sounded wonderful but called for a whole quart of heavy whipping cream!! Oh my clogged arteries!! I knew I needed to lighten it up a bit so I switched out some chicken stock for some of the whipping cream and half and half for the rest. Still not the healthiest it could be I guess, but I felt much better about eating this version. Not meaning to take anything away from the original recipe. I am sure it is amazing!

There is also another bonus to this recipe besides it being lightened up a bit. There is a fabulous, and I mean FABULOUS, giveaway going on over at Tidy Mom so Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid,Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset”. 

Pin It

Loaded Potato Soup
1 pound of bacon, chopped
1 yellow onion, diced
2 large stalks of celery, diced
2 small or 1 large carrot, diced
4 large Russet potatoes , peeled and diced small (about 1/4 inch)
4 medium red skinned potatoes, diced small
1/4 cup flour
4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
Kosher salt 
White pepper
2 cups half and half
fresh chives, chopped (optional)
Shredded cheddar cheese (optional)
Sour cream (optional)
In a 6 to 8 quart bacon, over medium heat, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve on a paper towel.
In the bacon fat cook the onions, celery, and carrots until the onions are translucent. about 5 to 7 minutes. Add potatoes and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Whisk in flour and stir constantly. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture thickens. Add chicken stock and half of the cooked bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Increase heat and bring soup to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Mash some of the potatoes for a creamier texture and add the half and half. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
Adjust the thickness by adding more stock if necessary to reach a creamy consistency. Ladle into shallow bowls and top with your choice of garnish.
Serves 6 

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower


I am always on the look out for healthy alternatives for classic dishes. When it comes to mashed potatoes I think I could eat them every night of my life. I must take after my Father with that love because that man could make a meal out of JUST mashed potatoes and be happy as a clam to do it!

I had heard, from many people, that mashed cauliflower could easily be substituted for mashed potatoes and it would be the same thing. Ummmm, after trying it with many different flavorings added, I have to say I deeply disagree (as did the whole family). I am not saying it was bad, it just wasn’t what we were looking for. We actually aren’t big cauliflower lovers here (I love it raw) but we are all open to try new recipes and to try to find the healthier alternatives. OK maybe I am always open to that and they are my captive audience. But whatever works right? That was when I thought about trying this recipe. I have a mashed potato recipe that is hands down my families favorite. My Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes are so tasty but I wanted to lighten them up.

If you are not a lover of cauliflower I really think you will be surprised by this recipe. If you are, you will love it as well. Either way it is a great way to sneak cauliflower in on your kids if they are picky eaters. You can make mashed potatoes for them and feel good about it too!

Pin It

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower, chopped
2 1/2 pounds of potatoes, peeled and chopped
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) of butter
1/4 cup milk
1/4 light or fat free sour cream
1 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt
Fresh ground black pepper
1 head of garlic
Handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. 

Peel away the outer layers of the garlic bulb skin, leaving the skins of the individual cloves intact. Using a knife, cut off 1/4 to a 1/2 inch of the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic.

Drizzle the garlic with olive oil and wrap in aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet in the oven. Roast the garlic for 30 to 35 minutes and remove from the oven. Allow to cool.

Remove garlic from the aluminum foil and squeeze each clove out of the skin and mash with a fork until a smooth paste forms.

While you are waiting for the garlic to cool place potatoes and cauliflower in a large saucepan, add enough cold water just to cover them. Bring to a boil over high heat and cook until tender, about 15 minutes, Drain well.
While the potatoes are cooking, combine the milk, garlic paste and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat. Stir the milk mixture into the potatoes until combined. Fold in the sour cream and season well with salt and pepper, top with chopped parsley and a dab of butter and serve.