Sunday, March 31, 2013

Velvety Potato Soup

I was drawn to this recipe for two reasons: first, it's a lower fat version of the potato soup recipes I've found online. Second, I was given hoards of potatoes from my mother-in-law (thanks U.E!) and needed a use for them. Delicious with a nice green salad and a collection of toppings such as bacon bits, grated cheddar and green onions. 


Serves 4-6


  • 2 slices of bacon
  • 1 T butter
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 stalks of celery
  • 6 medium potatoes
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 t dried thyme
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cheddar cheese, sliced green onions, etc for garnish


In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook the bacon until cooked through and browned. Remove from pan, crumble and set aside.

Add butter to the bacon grease and melt. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the onions and celery cooking the veggies for about 7 minutes or until tender.

Add in the potatoes, stock, milk, thyme, salt and pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 30 minutes or until the potatoes are very tender.

Blend the soup using an immersion blender, food processor or stand alone blender. I pureed my first batch and enjoyed the velvety texture. Stir in the Greek yoghurt.

Ladle the soup into bowls and top with bacon bits and other desired toppings.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Baking Wannabe

Burning Baking cookies on a Sunday morning was on today's agenda and while I was motivated to get it done, I have no interest in the general process. I don't know what it is about baking versus cooking, but it would appear that most kitchen enthusiasts have a preference. Mine is definitely cooking. This should be obvious considering my reputation as a somewhat careless cook. One just doesn't get away with that when baking. 

Take today's escapade for example. I burnt the bottoms of the first two dozen cookies I baked and overheated the chocolate I was to use for dipping another batch. Instead of dipping the cookies, I placed turd-like dollops of chocolate in the centre of each one. It's difficult to really inspire confidence in my baking when the outcome resembles poop.

Despite the visible shortcomings of my cookies, they taste great and I would bet that you could manage to not burn the bottoms and keep the chocolate dipable long enough to produce something that looks like a cookie. This is my Sunday challenge to you.

Turd Cookies (Formerly named Peanut Butter Brownie Gooey Butter Cookies)

Makes two dozen

  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup cocoa
  • 1 1/4 sugar
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 250 g of cream cheese
  • 1/2 unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup peanut butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1 t vanilla extract


Preheat oven to 350F.

In a bowl combine the flour, cocoa, sugar and salt and set aside. Using a standing mixer or similar device, cream the butter and cream cheese. Add the vanilla, peanut butter and egg and mix until all combined. Slowly mix in the flour, letting it blend with the batter before adding more.

Roll the dough into spoon size balls and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for approximately 10 minutes. 

Chocolate Dipped Potato Chip Cookies

Makes a dozen

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/4 granulated sugar
  • 1/4 icing sugar
  • 1/2 cup ground potato chips
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 t vanilla
  • 10 oz dark chocolate for dipping
  • coarse sea salt for garnish


Preheat the oven to 350F and line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.

Combine the flour, potato chips and salt in a bowl. Cream both sugars with the butter using a mixer and beat in the egg yolk and vanilla. Slowly add the flour mixture to the dough. Spoon about a tablespoon's worth of dough for each cookie on the parchment-lined sheet. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden around the edges. Once the cookies have cooled, melt the chocolate on a double boiler and dip the cookies in the chocolate. As the chocolate is cooling, sprinkle the surface with a little sea salt.