The Best Bomb-Diggity Baked Potato Soup…EVAR!!

Yesterday I had a wicked craving for some good hearty soup, so I went on google and searched for the best recipe I could find.  I found one and modified it, and my husband and kids LOVED it.  The man so much so that he didn’t add hot sauce, and in our house, that is a HUGE accomplishment.  He adds hot sauce to everything he eats. Everything.  Even plain bread.

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Bomb Diggity Baked Potato Soup

2 sticks butter (1 cup salted or unsalted)
1 cup flour (I used unbleached flour)
2 small onions or one large onion, diced as much as you want. I like mine a little chunky.
1 heaping tablespoon, or more, minced garlic (I used probably two heaping tablespoons)
1 half gallon of whole milk, plus extra
5 large potatoes, baked and cubed (I did mine at the last minute, so I boiled till soft enough,    then let them cool and then diced them. I also used about 10 regular sized red potatoes,    unskinned)
1 pack of bacon, cooked and crumbled
1 large container of sour cream (mine was 24oz, but you can just do two cups. I also            bought light sour cream, but you can use full fat)
1 bunch of green onions, sliced
Broccoli, as much as you want. I threw in a small bag I had in the freezer
Shredded cheddar cheese, as much as you want. I probably used about a cup or so
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh ground pepper to taste
cornstarch…optional

Melt your butter in a large stockpot over medium high heat, and once melted, add the onions/garlic and sautee the onions till they are clear. Add the flour and whisk it till it’s combined and thickened so you have a nice paste going on. Slowly pour in the milk and whisk till combined (don’t forget the sides of your pan!). I didn’t think I had enough milk in there, so I just poured what was left of my fat free milk and added that as well, so about 9-10 cups of milk total.

Add the rest of your ingredients, lower your heat to medium and mix well, stirring frequently to ensure the soup does not burn. Mine was almost at boiling point, but not quite. I found it a bit thinner than I wanted, I was looking for a thicker broth, so I mixed a couple tablespoons of cornstarch with water, and then added it to the soup to help thicken it up. It worked like a charm!

Serve with a hunk of buttered crusty french bread, and enjoy!

Candycorn Cupcakes and Monsters

Being that it was my daughter’s 10th birthday yesterday, and her party was last Friday, I was baking up a storm a couple days before that.  I go all out with cupcakes usually, as they’re “my thing”.  I found my inspiration for this round on Pinterest, of course!

 

 

The cupcakes were super easy, but the cake did give me some grief.  With a cake like this, and being that it is 3 layers tall, I should have kept popping it in the fridge every 10 minutes or so to harden up during “string” applications.  A few times, the frosting just fell off, and I had to put it back in the fridge.  No worries though, as a cool down was just what it needed, and cemented the frosting even more.  The above photos are mine.

I’ve been thinking about starting a cupcake business, but it seems that everyone I know would rather bake their own.  Just a little discouraging, but hopefully I will get some more clients.  In the mean time, if you know me personally, or through twitter, facebook etc, and love my cupcakes, I’d love to bake them for you for your kids’ birthday parties.  Look at how amazing that frosting looks! I’m a total perfectionist, so you can see that I’ve put a lot of work into them.  If the swirl is not perfect, I start over.  I know my kids and fiance don’t really care, but I sure do.  I want those cupcakes to look like works of art 🙂

Muffins That Make You Poop

*This was supposed to be posted TODAY, but wordpress screwed up my blog post order.  So if you’ve already read this, just ignore this post.  Or read again about poop inducing muffins!

Ok, I really couldn’t think of any other way to write that.  My witty brain must be on vacation today.  Anyway, I grew up eating these bran muffins, my mom would always make a huge batch and keep the batter in the fridge for when we wanted fresh ones. I whipped up  a batch on Sunday so we would have some for this week.  I bastardized the recipe though, and made it my own as I kind of forgot to buy some of the ingredients when we were at the commissary.  They are chock full of good fiber, even more so if you use ground flax-seed in it like I did.  And…TMI here, but they helped clear up one of my kids who was stopped up. HaHa!

Here you go!

Easy Peasy Bran Muffins

Step One:

In a med size bowl, mix together:
2 cups boiling water
3 cups of raisins (her recipe calls for 2, we liked more)
2 cups of ” ALL BRAN ” cereal

set this aside

Step Two

In a large bowl, mix:

3 cups of white or brown sugar
1 stick of softened, room temp, butter
1/2 cup vegetable oil
4 eggs
1/c cup molasses
4 cups buttermilk (if you dont have buttermilk, add 1tbs white vinegar per every one cup milk)

mix it up really well and set aside again.

Step 3

In an even bigger bowl (make sure it will fit in your fridge first), I used a huge one, mix the following ingredients:

5 1/4 cup flour, wheat or white. Doesn’t matter (I used whole wheat flour)
3tbsp baking soda
2 tsp salt
4 cups “NATURAL BRAN” (my mom says this is by the flour in the grocery section, I couldn’t find it. I looked all over, and had no luck. It is supposed to be “powdery”. But since I couldn’t find it, I used “QUAKER OAT BRAN”, in a little red box that was with the baking stuff. It is similar enough, and worked for us.  Ok…just adding one more thing, I actually didnt have either of those this time, so I used ground flax seed! Success!

mix all the dry ingredients together in your huge bowl, then add Step Two ingredients and mix well. Lastly, add Step One ingredients and mix with a mixer. You should use a mixer when you add step 2 and step one actually. Please make sure you used a big enough bowl, because this recipe yields a TON, and I mean a TON, of dough.

Now that all of your ingredients are mixed up in a bowl, put it in the fridge overnight. You don’t have to, but it helps the dough set better. In the morning, the dough will be very thick, this is normal. You’ll probably have to use a spoon to scoop it into the muffin pan like I did.

In the morning, preheat your oven to about 375 and get out your muffin pan. Line it with paper cupcake/muffin papers and fill each one about 3/4s full. Bake for about 20-25 minutes. I originally started at 350, but 20 minutes in and they were still doughy. So experiment a little and see what your oven needs. 375 did it for us.

I only do 12 at a time, and we enjoy them when they’re warm still with a bit of softened butter. Mmmm Yummy!!

This recipe actually keeps for 6 weeks in the fridge! So you can make fresh bran muffins every morning without having to worry about all the prep!

I really don’t know why the font and sizes came out all wonky, but anyway…enjoy! you could probably add some nuts and other fruit if you wanted.  Chopped up dates or cranberries instead of raisins, whatever you want really. These muffins are delicious!