A Grandma's spin on crafts, games, recipes & lifestyle

Tag: cooking

Velvety Potato Leek Soup

What a tantalizing soup to serve with salad and a sandwich or just a crusty piece of bread!!!  Make it lunch or dinner….just MAKE it!   Blend the sweet delicate flavor of leeks with potatoes to create this creamy soup.  Velvety potato leek soup will quickly become a family favorite!

Have you cooked with leeks before?  They are a member of the onion family and look like a very large green onion.  Leeks add a mild yet sweet flavor to any dish.  You will, however, need to take time to clean them as dirt and grit get caught in the layers easily.  It is best to clean them by cutting off the end and then slice in half length-wise from root to top.  Pull the layers of the onions apart and run each under the water to clean thoroughly.

Velvety Potato Leek Soup Ingredients ~

  • 1 Stick Butter
  • 2 Medium Leeks (sliced)
  • 1 Medium Onion (diced)
  • 3 Green Onions (diced)
  • 5 Russet Potatoes (peeled & sliced or cubed)
  • 32 Ounce Chicken or Vegetable Broth
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Thyme
  • 3 Cloves Fresh Garlic (minced)
  • 2 Cups Heavy Cream
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions ~

Melt stick of butter in stock pan. Add sliced leeks, green onions, garlic and onion to pan.  Saute over medium heat until vegetables are translucent (be careful not to brown).

Add potatoes, thyme and broth and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer until potatoes are softened (about 20-25 minutes depending on thickness of potatoes).

Using a food processor or immersion blender, blend about 3/4 of the soup until it is pureed.  *You can puree the whole batch, but I prefer to leave a small portion of it a bit chunky.  If you are using a food processor, ladel portions at a time to the processor depending upon the size of your processor bowl.

Return puree to pot and add heavy cream.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over low heat until heated through.

Garnishments ~

  • crumbled bacon, bacon and more bacon!!!
  • shredded gruyere, parmesan or cheese of your choice
  • sprinkle of cayenne pepper
  • chives
  • cracked black pepper

Notes ~

You can omit the heavy cream or substitute half and half for a more low-fat version of velvety potato leek soup.  The soup will still have a creamy texture to it as the pureeing process creates a creamy a nice cream consistency.

Slice or dice the potatoes to your preference.  Whichever method you choose, you will not want them to be real thick or it will take longer for the potatoes to soften while cooking.  The picture belows shows slices, but I actually prefer dicing the potatoes.  Small chunks of potatoes give a nice texture for that 1/4 of the soup I do not puree.

Don’t let the idea of pureeing turn you away.  This soup is super easy to make and is well worth that extra step.  I love my Ninja.  Get your Ninja Mega Kitchen System Here!

  • Includes: 1500-Watt Motor Base, 72-Oz. Total Crushing Pitcher, 8 Cup Food Processor Bowl, Dough Blade, (2) 16-Oz. Nutri Ninja Cups with To-Go-Lids

As mentioned earlier, you can also use an immersion blender instead.  Check out the immersion hand blender here!

  • Hand-held immersion blender for mixing soups, sauces, smoothies, and more

Both of these gadgets have numerous benefits, you only need to decide which one works best for you!  In fact, maybe you already have one of these.  MAYBE, you have it tucked away and haven’t used it in a while.  Do me a favor, get it out and use it for this amazing recipe!

Serve this luscious soup with a leafy green salad or a side of pasta salad.  Add  some crusty bread that is great for dipping for a hearty and cozy dinner.  What’s even better is that this fun idea is coming to you right before St. Patrick’s Day.  Afterall, it is also called Irish Potato Leek soup!  Enjoy!

Happy Cooking ~

Mimi (Shelly)

 

 

Celebrate Valentine’s Day…All Year Long!

The holiday of love….a sentiment we all need much more of in our lives!  A day we go out of our way to let our loved ones know how special they are.   It doesn’t have to be monumental acts, just small intentional acts of love shown more often throughout the year.  So if it all makes us feel so good, why shouldn’t we focus on these activities more often.  Why not celebrate Valentine’s Day…all year long!

I follow a great blog, Messy Joyful Journey, and her recent post had several amazing ideas that I want to share with you as well.  (Check out Messy Joyful Journey blog here…you will love it!).

Love Note Journals ~

Oh…my…gosh!  I absolutely love this idea!  Journaling of any type is always a good thing.  In fact, I wrote earlier about Memory Journals.  Do you remember that post?  Read more about Memory Journals by clicking here!  These are journals you write to to your kids over the years.

A Love note journal is shared with your spouse or partner.  It is the writing back and forth between the two of you over the years.  You are going to love this love note journal post by Messy Joyful Journey…check it out here!  How wonderful to have a beautiful journal filled with special messages to pick up and read any time you need an extra dose of love!

Cook Together ~

Do you both love to cook?  Then why not plan more nights of cooking together?  It can be as simple or as complicated as you want, just do it together.  There are some fun cookbooks out there like this one ➡➡➡Get your own copy of Date Night Dinners right here!!!

If you don’t like to cook, then order in but create a fun setting with candles and eat in the living room!  Or order several items and do a taste test, while blindfolded!!!

Pottery Adventures ~

We ALL LOVE that scene from Ghost with Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, am I right?  (Please don’t tell me you have never seen it!!!)  So, why, if we all LOVE it have we not planned a pottery night with our loved one?  It may not be quite as romantic as that scene in the movie, but it will still be something fun and different.  Then you can head home and watch the movie together!

Dance Together ~

I’m not talking about the typical type of dancing you may already do together.  Learn a new type of dance…take classes together.  Sorry, but I have to reference another movie.  Have you watched Shall We Dance with Richard Gere, Jennifer Lopez, and Susan Sarandon?    In fact, there are numerous movies out there where couples learn different style of dancing…and it’s just romantic!

Speaking of dancing…when is the last time that the two of you danced in the rain????

Adventure Challenger – Couples Edition ~

Another fantastic idea shared by Carrie from Messy Joyful Journey.  You need to add some new and different excitement to your life?  Then look no further…well maybe click one more time right here➡➡➡More fun from Messy Joyful Journey…click here and scroll down a bit to read more about the Adventure Challenge!  A book full of mystery date adventures….need I say more?

Picnic Anyone? ~

Rain or shine…pack up a picnic basket, spread out that blanket and share some good food and wine!  Setting the scene is important.  Otherwise, it’s just another day!  In fact, this is a fun idea that you should definitely do more than once a year!  Put together a basket you already have or go all out on a romantic fancy one with all the fixins’!

The Perfect Picnic Basket for Two is right here!!!

Camp Together ~

Don’t get too crazy on me until you have read the whole section here!  Maybe you don’t have much (or any) camping gear.  If that is the case, then camp in your backyard.  This allows easy access to things you need!  Once again, these ideas are not supposed to break the bank.  The whole intention is to step out of your comfort zone and add some variety to your life with your mate!

You will need a tent, but you can truly get one very inexpensive.  Who knows?  You may love it and find yourselves planning more camping dates!

Tent for 2 – Easy Setup – Get yours here!!!

Maybe you have some great ideas to add?!?!  Please share them in the comments below…I would love to add them to this post!  Let’s face it, it’s 2021…the year we have all decided has GOT to be better than last!  So spread the love and celebrate Valentine’s Day…ALL YEAR LONG!

 

Caramelized Onions and Provolone Cheese Stuffed Chicken Breasts

It’s December and it’s cold outside so I ask you, “Do you still grill during the winter months?”  We do!  Brad is an avid grill master all…year…long!  I love that he enjoys grilling so much!  However, whether you grill in the cold or you prefer to cook inside when it’s cold, everyone can enjoy this wonderful recipe of caramelized onions and provolone cheese stuffed chicken breasts.

Bone In or Boneless??? ~

We used bone in chicken breasts, however, I believe the process of assembling is easier if you use the boneless chicken breasts.   Brad prefers to grill meats with bone in to enhance the flavor.  I do not disagree.  However, with the robust flavor of the caramelized onions, it will taste just as wonderful using boneless for this recipe.

Begin with preparing the onions.  To create the rich flavor needed, this process will take 30 to 45 minutes.  The full recipe for caramelized onions and provolone cheese stuffed chicken breasts is included below, but I have also included some tips.

Caramelizing Onions ~

Oh how I love the smell of onions cooking.  The wonderful aroma conjures up good memories of family gatherings and food being prepared in the kitchen.  Caramelized onions are so easy to make.  The trick is to cook them slow and on low heat.  You will be rewarded with a robust flavor that enhances the flavor of so many dishes.

Slice the onions thin and set aside.  Heat your skillet with butter or oil.  The amount of oil you will use depends upon the number of onions you are caramelizing.  The general rule is one tablespoon per one medium onion.  Once your oil is heated, add the onions and stir until they are completely coated.  Add a pinch of salt and stir every 3 to 4 minutes.  Add a couple of tablespoons of broth (chicken, beef or vegetable) or water as you are cooking to deglaze the pan and rehydrate the onions.   Continue this process for 30 to 45 minutes, depending upon the amount of browning you prefer.

Many recipes call for a small amount of sugar, however, you do not need to add sugar if you follow the method above.  They will sweeten naturally as they cook.

Preparing Chicken Breasts ~

Cut chicken breasts lengthwise almost completely through to the other side.  Season the chicken with salt, pepper, thyme and parsley flakes.  Layer inside of chicken with your choice of cheese, a layer of caramelized onions and top with another layer of cheese.

I prefer to use different cheeses for each layer, creating a an array of flavors, however, it is just as wonderful using the same type of cheese for each layer.  If you are baking the chicken, you can then secure it with toothpicks.  When grilling, Brad prefers to use cooking twine to better hold the stuffed meat together.  This is a grilling must in his book!

Use this link to order twine for cooking:  Stock up on twine for all of your cooking needs here!

Caramelized Onion Broth ~

After you have stuffed the chicken breasts and started the cooking process, place the remaining onions on the stove and add beef broth, extra parsley flakes and thyme.  Cook on low heat until thickened.  When the meat is fully cooked, use this broth to spoon over the top of the chicken.  Of course, take this opportunity to add a little extra cheese on top….both for presentation and to enhance the flavor.

Stuffed chicken breasts are a delicious and appealing recipe when looking for “that special recipe to impress.”  The addition of fragrant and delicious caramelized onions is the perfect choice for a wonderful meal.  There is no doubt that you won’t LOVE these caramelized onions and provolone cheese stuffed chicken breasts!

A Perfect Dessert Pairing ~

Looking for a great dessert recipe to compliment this amazing chicken?  Look no further….this decadent apple strudel recipe pairs wonderfully with your meal.

You can find this amazing recipe in my link here:  Get the recipe for a DELICIOUS apple strudel here!  Enjoy!

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: