Friday, October 28, 2011

Potato Soup

Well....the fall weather is definitely here...I have dug out our warm woolies and am changing our closets over from warm weather clothes to cold weather clothes.

Via Pinterest

CeCe & Co

Along with the warm clothes comes flannel sheets, fleece socks and slippers, hot tea, chai lattes and comfort foods...

Cozy flannel

Tazo Chai Latte

I have to admit, that when it comes to my Chai Lattes, I am a Starbucks snob....a friend of ours used to make his from scratch and he'd send us home with 'Mason' jars full of his homemade chai (oh how I miss that) ...Starbucks seems to have the closest recipe and well...I just enjoy that indulgence when I get one!  I don't drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, so this is my treat!  Now, we do buy the Chai concentrate by 'Tazo' in decaf at the grocery store and make our own at home (it's a close second, plus you can't beat the savings compared to buying them at Starbucks)...usually we use just a bit over half chai to milk for our recipe, then some extra cinnamon sprinkled on top.

This week our comfort food was POTATO SOUP!!

Country Living Magazine

I found this recipe in a Country Magazine a few years ago and it was a hit!

It is super easy to make and always hits the spot!

* 6 slices crispy bacon, crumbled into pieces
* 3 pounds (about 5 large) Russet potatoes
* 3 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1/4 pound butter (1 stick)
* 2 2/3 cups whole milk
* 1/2 tsp black pepper
* 4 scallions, thinly sliced
* 3/4 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1. Cook the bacon pieces over medium heat in a medium skillet until crisp. Transfer bacon to paper toweling to drain and set aside.
2. Peel, rinse, and cut the potatoes into thirds. Place them in a large pot with water to cover, add 2 teaspoons salt, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until the potatoes are very soft -- about 45 minutes. Drain the potatoes, discarding the water, and return them to the pot. 
3. Mash them with a potato masher until smooth. Add the sour cream and butter and stir until melted. Add the milk, pepper, and remaining salt and bring the soup back to a simmer. 
4. Divide among 8 bowls and serve the soup hot, garnished with scallions, cheese, and bacon.

We also like to make some corn muffins to serve with our soup...I pick up the 'Betty Crocker' packages in the states...they are super yummy and easy to make!

Cornbread & Muffin Mix

It snowed this morning where my Mom lives, north of didn't stay on the ground, but the first flakes have fallen!! Yikes!!

I hope you all enjoy your weekend and maybe you'll make up your own comfort meals...share them with me if you'd like!!

P.S. I have one more thing to add about Chai Lattes...the trick is to ask for NO WATER when ordering...that way it's not watered down and just the concentrate and milk are the BEST treat to go with your Chai is the CRANBERRY BLISS BAR!!!  It should hit the stores soon, they are seasonal and super yummy!!  I encourage you all to try one the next time you are there, or the pumpkin scones!

Cranberry Bliss Bars

I have found a 'Cranberry Bliss Bar' clone recipe...I am hoping to try it soon, I will let you know how it turns out!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Yummy Pumpkin Treats!!

Canadian Thanksgiving was this past weekend and we tried a new 'pumpkin' dessert this year!!

It was delicious!!   I actually found it on Pinterest (such a great website)...I did alter it slightly because I really enjoy the typical spices in Pumpkin Pie and I still wanted that 'pie' flavour.

Pumpkin Crunch Cake

Here is what I changed about the recipe...I doubled the amount of cinnamon, added 1 1/2 tsp of ground cloves and 1 tsp of nutmeg to it...I did find it a bit sweet, so I would only add 1 cup of sugar instead of the 1 1/2 cups of it next time...I DID use the 1 1/2 cups of chopped pecans (delicious) and we used 'Breyers' All Natural Vanilla ice cream (the black carton) with vanilla bean in it and sprinkled a tiny bit of cinnamon on top!  YUM!!

OK, this dessert I had never heard of until it was holiday time (can't remember if it was Thanksgiving or Christmas) at my in-laws in West Virginia...Pumpkin was fantastic!! When I first looked at the recipe, I was a bit nervous, having never made any kind of 'roll' before...but I found a video/tutorial (I swear I did, but do you think I can find it now??) and it was actually a lot simpler than I was making it out to be.

Pumpkin Roll

One thing that was 'stumping' me was a 'jelly roll pan'....a jelly roll pan?  Where was I going to find one of those? So I searched the net to find that I could use a cookie sheet with a lip (not the flat style) and it worked just fine!  The one tip they state at the bottom of the recipe, about having enough ' powdered sugar on the towel when rolling up the cake so it will not stick', I didn't use enough and it did stick a be generous!  For my first roll, I can say that it did pretty much turn out like the picture! Oh, and I probably added more of the spices for my taste!

Onto cookies....these cookies are nice and soft and best the day they are made..I haven't quite figured out how to store them without them going kinda softer because of the glaze they have on if you have any suggestions, please pass them along!!

Old Fashioned Soft Pumpkin Cookies

 I haven't made these yet this fall, but by looking at the ingredients, I'm sure I probably doubled the spices and possibly added some ground cloves to it too.  I dropped these by 'rounded tablespoons' like it said, but mine turned out a bit lumpier looking, like a homemade biscuit...they still tasted great, but just different shape. My only suggestion, if you double the recipe, you don't have to double the glaze. There is plenty of glaze to do the second batch with!

What delicious 'Pumpkin' treats have you made this fall??

Send them along


Thursday, October 06, 2011

Fabulous Fall

I have to apologize for my absence, it is not out of laziness, but as most of you with families know, September is a busy month...getting back into the school routine, seasons changing and just giving into the fact that summer is done.

Great inspiration for Fall decorating

Little Miss is back to school and couldn't be happier, in her SK year (senior kindergarten-like regular kindergarten for my American bloggers) and happier than a clam that all her 'besties' are in the same class too!

Fall is suppose to be cooler weather, (not cold) changing colours, (not falling off dried out, crunchy and dead) and comfort foods (we have been OK with that one-because it's been miserable). It has felt like we skipped fall and moved right into November weather....but things are looking up, this weekend is suppose to be nicer, maybe even a short sleeve shirt...we shall see how it turns out!!

A stunning Sept. sunset looking over Lake Ontario, we saw it out the bedroom window, hopped in the car and drove down there to enjoy it.

We did get a nice weekend in September and we finally had our garage sale, Little Miss after much coaxing happily went through her toys and found items for other children to enjoy...I made up 4 dozen muffins (banana chocolate chip and apple streusal), 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies, lemonade and fruit punch for her to also sell.  Hubby and I had already discussed that she could keep the profits from her items and the 'treats'.  Do you know that she did just about as well as we did????? Seriously!  People gave her extra money, let her keep change, one gentleman just gave her the money for a muffin and juice but didn't take any food!  Amazing! The muffins were gone by 9:30am (we started at 8am), cookies gone by 10:30am and the 3rd juice container was gone by noon. She was certainly pleased as 'punch' and was a good little 'upseller' too.  Hubby and I giggled to ourselves watching her interact with her 'customers'.

At first I wasn't ready for fall at ALL...we had such a HOT summer (I'm not really complaining here) and usually our September is an 'Indian Summer', with warmer days and still some humidity...I just wanted to hang onto the warmth longer...but then I started to see all the fall decor in the stores and I thought about some of the cute things I had in storage. Soon enough I was ready to get out my sweaters and jeans that I hadn't seen since April!  But Hubby and I took a short trip to New Orleans (he was going for business and I was fortunate enough to tag along) and it was in the low 100's each day with the humidity (oh 'Pinkberry' I miss you)!  Fall thoughts were put on the back burner and I was wishing our hotel had a pool! More about that trip on another post!

A little New Orleans preview...
the famous Cafe du Monde...the beignets were yummy!

As we returned home, we were quickly reminded of 'our' weather and we were greeted by 'Mum's' from my Mom, who watched Little Miss for us!

This weekend is Thanksgiving and we have plenty to be thankful for...Hubby and I will be cooking our very 1st turkey together (Mom will be on standby by phone-I hope!). We will also be preparing for Little Miss's 5th birthday party the next weekend! The Hello Kitty cookie cutter and 'official' icing colours have arrived and I have been watching all sorts of 'cookie decorating' tutorials all over blog land. Trying and educate myself and make sure I don't go fully grey putting this all together next week!!  :D


As I finish this post, I will let you know that I have some great posts coming after Little Miss's birthday party is behind us!  So please be patient and check back in soon!

Oh, and this is our cat, Bailey. He had the right idea on this cold and miserable day last week!!

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