Friday, January 27, 2012

Soup's On!

January in Michigan is usually colder than we are experiencing this year, however we still love to make those yummy soups.  I made one last week that came from The Pampered Chef website and tweeked it a bit.   It's called "Smoky Yukon Gold Potato Chowder"  Here's the recipe the way I made it.

1 Tbsp. salted butter
1 onion, chopped
2 tsps. garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp. paprika
2 lbs. (about 6 medium) Yukon gold Potatoes, peeled and diced
4 c. low sodum chicken stock
1 can (14.5 oz.) Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/2 c. milk ( used 1/2%) or Fat Free half and half
3 oz. sharp cheddar shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
6 Tbsp. reduced fat sour cream (optional)
1 cup cubed ham ( small dice)   This is my addition.
1. Melt butter over medium heat in soup pot.  Add onion, garlic powder and paprika and cook, uncovered 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally.  Add potatoes, cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Add stock, cook, covered 1-2 minutes or until heated through.  Remove pot from heat, cool 5 minutes.

2. Carefully ladle on-third of the potato mixtue into blender container.  Cover and blend until smooth and remove to a large bowl.  Repeat with batches of soup mixture until all is blended.  **I used an emersible blender and didn't blend it all until it was smooth.  I wanted a few pieces of beans and potatoes.

3. If you have used a blender in batches, return the soup to the pot, stir in milk.  Cook, uncovered, over medium heat 2-3 minutes or until simmering.  Stir in cheese, ham, salt, and pepper.  Cook 2-3 minutes or until cheese is melted.  Optional garnish of sour cream on each serving.

Serves 6
Nutrients per serving:  Calories 320, Total Fat 10g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 35 mg. Sodium 460mg. Carbohydrates 45 g, Fiber 6 g, Protein 15 g  Weight Watchers calculator puts this at 9 points!

I hope you try this hearty soup and know that it makes life a lot sweeter in Michigan!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Julie and Julia

It has been so LONG since I have happened!  For months a good friend and I have been planning to follow through on a standing joke....ala "Julie and Julia", the movie!  Last Monday we finally scheduled the time to cook Julia Child's recipe for Beef Bourgenion.  We shopped we read, we read, we explained our thoughts as we made our way through the very layered recipe step by step.  It takes a good hour to prep all the parts and it is cooked in layers of flavor.  You need to have a pot that can go from stovetop to oven and back again. 

We found some problems in interpreting the types of ingredients that Julia used in 1961 compared to 2012, but overall we stayed as true to the recipe as possible.  It took about 3 hours in the oven, but we had a lot of fun and laughed (mostly at ourselves) alot.   We asked ourselves if we would do it friend would ( I think), but I'm not sure I would.  I would definately take some shortcuts, but that is the type of cook that I am!

I have included a couple to photos to our delicious adventure.  If you haven't seen or rented the film, Julie and Julia with Amy Adams and Meryl Streep, its well worth the time and rental.  In keeping with the spirit of the movie, I just had to blog about it!

Life was sweet in Michigan, last Monday!