Potato Bacon Soup…

jade.sammons : 21st January 2016 12:15 PM : Cooks, Meals

This soup is not only the best potato bacon soup I’ve ever had, but it’s also possibly the best soup ever…and to make it even better, its “soup-er” simple to make! (Get it?!)

Since moving over to Canada I have come accustomed to a number of Canadian-isms, including…complaining about the snow, eating a lot of bacon, and being a regular customer of Tim Hortons.

More recently, within the past 6 months or so, I was able to combine two of the above into one of the highlights of my working week.

My colleagues soon became accustomed to my “Tim’ Soup Wednesday’s” where I would head out and grab the Tim Hortons soup combo for my lunch – and on Wednesday’s they had my favourite…potato bacon soup! (yes, the two Canadian-isms were bacon and Tim Hortons, by the way!!)

However my hopes and dreams all came crashing down with a ginormous bump last week, when I went to order my Wednesday pick-me-up lunch, only to be told they don’t do potato bacon soup anymore*gasp*

I ended up having the cream of broccoli soup, which whilst being somewhat enjoyable, it certainly wasn’t the deliciously thick and creamy potato bacon goodness I had grown to love.

But then I had a brainwave…instead of mourning the loss of my beloved soup…why not just make my own!

and boy am I glad I did….and don’t tell anyone, but this version is better than the Tim Hortons version!

So I did some googling, and came across a great recipe using the slow cooker, which I have adapted slightly to suit my own tastes, and grocery shopping list, and the below recipe was born.

I honestly couldn’t recommend this soup enough – Matthew and I had it with some homemade fresh bread for dinner on Sunday evening, and I had leftovers on Monday and Tuesday this week…I would have happily eaten this for every lunch this week if it was an option!

And it really is super easy, the last step of making the roux is probably the hardest, but even that is pretty simple!

So why not give it a try, I promise you won’t regret it!

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Potato Bacon Soup Recipe

Ingredients

  • 6 slices of bacon, sliced into small pieces, no larger than 1 inch in length
  • 3 cups chicken/vegetable stock
  • 2lb potatoes, peeled and diced into 1 – 1 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • left over bacon grease, or 4 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated cheese

Method

  • Cook the bacon in a frying pan, and when cooked and crisp, remove from the pan using a slotted spoon/spatula to keep the grease behind – trust me, it’s worth it!
  • Place the cooked bacon into the slow cooker, along with the chopped onion and potatoes.
  • Mix together, then add the stock, and combine so everything is pretty much covered.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours, or high for 3-4.
    I cooked mine for just over 6 hours on low, and it was wondrous! The potatoes should be tender, and cooked through, but still hold their shape.
  • When the soup is cooked, melt the left over bacon grease (or butter, if you choose) in a small saucepan, or even the frying pan from earlier.
  • Whisk in the flour until it is combined and looks lumpy – cook this for 1 minute, making sure it doesn’t stick to the pan.
  • Add in about 1/3 of the can of evaporated milk, and whisk it with the flour mixture.
  • Continue to add in the remaining 2/3, until the mix is completely smooth and silky.
  • Heat the smooth mixture until it begins to gently bubble – it will get really thick around now!
  • Pour this mixture into the slow cooker with the potatoes/bacon mix, and stir it until it is combined.
  • Add in the cheese, and again, stir until fully combined.
  • The soup should be deliciously thick and creamy now, and, thankfully, ready to serve!
  • Add toppings if you wish – more cheese? sour cream? chives? all delicious!
  • Serve with bread, or just as it is.

 

Original recipe can be found here
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Hash Brown Breakfast Bake…

jade.sammons : 10th December 2015 12:15 PM : Cooks, Meals

Why not try this Hash Brown Breakfast Bake for the most important meal of the day?

Breakfast is meant to be the most important meal of the day, and I would tend to agree, especially on weekends!

Weekday breakfasts for Matthew and I are pretty boring – just boring, normal cereal, and Matthew always has a Tim Hortons breakfast on a Friday as a celebratory treat for making it through the week!

But weekend breakfasts can be something special.

You have probably read from some of my previous blogs, one of our favourite places Matthew and I like to go to for breakfast is Angels Diner – a 50s style diner that does amazing breakfasts, including pancakes literally the size of your face, french toast that is so rich and fluffy, or a ‘traditional’ breakfast of bacon or sausage, eggs, toast and home fries (or mini potatoes)…delicious!!

Of course an Angels breakfast isn’t one to be enjoyed every weekend, or even once a month – only for truly special occasions!

So there has to be substitutes available for those all important lazy weekend breakfasts, and this homemade hash brown breakfast bake has been one we’ve enjoyed recently.

It’s more substantial than a bowl of cereal, or piece of toast, but not too huge and heavy that it will leave you sluggish and snoozy again.

I’ve tried both grating and chopping my potatoes  – when chopping I’ve used a version of the “one second chop and slicers” you see on home shopping channels like this – it does work quite well for a quick preparation time, but I would recommend grating for a better, crispier outcome – but both are delicious!

What do you enjoy most for breakfast?
Do you have any favourite breakfasts you have on birthdays or special occasions?

Enjoy

J
xoxo

Hash Brown Breakfast Bake Recipe

Ingredients

  • 3/4 medium sized potatoes, peeled
  • 1 small/medium sized onion, peeled and finely diced
  • ham / pre-cooked bacon, diced into small pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup cheese – i used mozzarella in the picture, but cheddar would be good too!

 

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius / 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Grate / chop peeled potatoes.
  • Using kitchen paper towel, squeeze and pat the potatoes to remove as much moisture as possible – do this in multiple, smaller batches.
  • Place the smaller batches of dried potatoes flat onto sheets of more paper towel, and microwave for 1 – 2 minutes.
  • Squeeze dry, and microwave all the potatoes.
  • In a lightly oiled frying pan over medium heat, fry the diced onion until partially softened.
  • Add in all the potato and mix together with the onion.
  • Flatten out the potato/onion mixture and fry for 5 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the bottom.
  • Flip over the potato/onion mixture (slide out onto a plate, and flip the plate back over the pan.
  • Cook this side for 5 minutes.
  • Spray a glass/ceramic cooking dish.
  • Place the potato/onion mixture into the dish.
  • Sprinkle over the ham/bacon.
  • Cook for 5 minutes in the oven.
  • Break the four eggs into the dish, one by one, letting them settle in the dips/cracks of the potato base.
  • Bake for 5 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and sprinkle over the cheese.
  • Bake for a further 3 – 5 minutes (dependent upon how runny you want your eggs!)
  • Remove from oven, serve immediately!
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Chicken and Broccoli Rice Bake…

jade.sammons : 5th November 2015 12:05 PM : Cooks, Meals

 

Don’t you find yourself eating the same meals, in rotation, over and over again?

I know we do sometimes, and it just makes me feel bored with mealtimes which results in frustration and either a meal we had less than a week ago, or us reaching for the take-out menu.

But a couple of weekends ago I decided to build a meal using ingredients we already had in the house, and after a quick internet search I adapted a recipe I found to suit our tastes, and i was really pleased with the results!

Whilst this meal probably won’t get incorporated into our ‘go-to’ rotation on a weekly basis, primarily because we don’t always have fresh chicken in the house, knowing it’s sitting here alongside some of our other favourites safe and sound as a good back-up option, which doesn’t take too much effort or preparation, is great!

There’s plenty of opportunity to change it up to your personal tastes – switching to cream of mushroom soup, or adding peppers, mushrooms or even spinach to the rice would be great too!

 

Enjoy

J
xoxo

 

Ingredients

  • 1 can of condensed cream of broccoli soup
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 cup of white rice (no need to pre-cook!)
  • 1/2 cup frozen sweetcorn
  • 1/2 head of broccoli cut into small florets
  • boneless, skinless chicken breasts
    (I used 3 medium sized pieces, but four large chicken breasts cut in half would work too!)
  • Grated cheese

 

Method

  • Heat oven to 190 degrees Celsius / 375 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Spray a a baking dish lightly with cooking spray
  • Pour soup, water, and rice into the dish and stir really well until entirely combined
  • Stir in the vegetables and distribute throughout
  • Place the chicken breasts on top of the rice
  • Cover the dish with foil, and bake until the chicken is cooked through (this took me about 1 hour as I was using full chicken breasts, but would probably be around 45minutes if using halved portions)
  • Uncover the dish, sprinkle the chicken and rice with cheese and place back in oven for 10minutes, or until the cheese is melted and gooey
  • Remove the chicken to serve
  • Stir the rice thoroughly before serving

 

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Toad in the Hole…

jade.sammons : 18th October 2015 10:36 PM : Cooks, Meals

*no toads were hurt in the making of this recipe*

For my British readers out there, toad in the hole is a well-known, firm British favourite.

But for those of you who aren’t aware of this deliciously autumnal dish, you may think it is some sort of bizarre french-inspired recipe that uses slimy, green amphibians.

In fact, it is simply sausages baked in a giant Yorkshire pudding (if you want just a Yorkshire pudding recipe, why not try this one here).

But there is also an ongoing saga with my dearest Mum regarding this “simple” dish.

My mum has failed to successfully make this meal, on multiple occasions – and needless to say it is now to subject of many jokes amongst family and friends.

The first time, she had the audacity to blame the recipe…one by my Queen, the wonderful, the infamous, Mary Berry.

Rule #1

It is never Mary Berry’s fault

It actually turned out she’d missed out the eggs in the 3 ingredient recipe…no wonder it didn’t work!

Rule #2

Don’t miss out any ingredients – it will end in disaster!

 

More recently, she tried to make the recipe, and still to this day does not know why it didn’t work.
My parents, sister and her boyfriend ended up making a visit to the local chip-shop to make up for the culinary faux pas.

So, take my advice, use the below recipe, which is of course from the wonderful Queen Berry, and try not to make a mess of it like my mother!

Much Love

J
xoxo

 

Ingredients

  • Sausages
  • Vegetable/Canola Oil
  • 125g self-raising flour (or 125g plain flour and 1 tsp of baking powder)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 300ml milk

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 200 celsius / 400 fahrenheit
  • Once oven reaches temperature, pour some oil into the baking dish and place in the oven until hot
  • Place the sausages into the hot oil, and cook until slightly golden brown (for regular sausages, this is about 10minutes)
  • Make the batter by placing flour into a bowl, making a well in the centre
  • Add the eggs, and 50ml of the milk
  • Whisk into a smooth paste
  • Add the rest of the milk and whisk until smooth
  • Add the batter to the baking dish, pouring it around the sausages
  • Bake for a further 25minutes, or until the batter has risen and is golden brown
4 Comments »

Pulled BBQ Chicken…

jade.sammons : 28th June 2015 9:12 PM : Cooks, Meals

It appears my last post (Herby BBQ Potatoes) might have jinxed the start of summer a little, as it hasn’t stopped raining for over 36hours this weekend…boo!

But that doesn’t mean I’m not well and truly in the summer season in the kitchen! I have some delicious summer-style recipes coming up soon!

Now, I’ve never really made any sort of BBQ meat from scratch before…

But I was determined to do something a bit different for dinner tonight, and wanted to use some chicken we picked up when grocery shopping this morning.
Matthew had also reminded me of some Maple BBQ sauce we had bought when we visited the Maple Syrup Farm back in March (see the post about that visit here Sticky Like Syrup)

I combined two tips/cooking methods I found when searching online this afternoon (which you can find from their respective sources here and here) and added in a couple of my own make-it-up-as-I-go-along methods.

However, this delicious chicken wasn’t made on the BBQ (because of aforementioned rain!), but it was super easy, very tasty and Matthew was pretty impressed (I think!)

And the result was wonderful!

 

Enjoy

J
xoxo

 

Ingredients

  • Chicken breast (I used about 270g for Matthew and I, which gave two dinner portions, and some left over for lunch tomorrow!)
  • 1 tbsp oil, or sprays of fry-light
  • 1/3 cup water
  • BBQ sauce of your choice!

Method

  • Heat the oil, or fry-light, in a large frying pan, over a medium heat
  • Place the chicken in the pan, and leave to cook for about 5minutes, until golden brown
  • Add in the 1/3 cup of water
  • Turn the chicken onto the other side
  • Place a lid over the pan, and let it cook for 7-10 minutes (dependent upon if you’re using whole chicken breasts, or smaller pieces like I was today)
  • Make sure the chicken is cooked through, and ideally use a cooking thermometer to ensure a temperature of at least 150 degrees
    • The chicken gets cooked again shortly, so doesn’t need to be up to the full safe temperature (160 degrees) just yet, to ensure it stays moist
  • Once cooked, and white throughout, drain any remaining water from the pan
  • now the top trick bit
  • If you have one, place the chicken into a KitchenAid (or other stand mixer) with the standard paddle attachment
  • Turn the mixer on for about 30 seconds, until the chicken is shredded
  • Place the shredded chicken back into the frying pan, and add in your BBQ sauce, on a low heat
    • The quantity depends upon how much chicken you have, and how saucy you want the chicken – I used about 1/3 cup of sauce
  • Mix the sauce through the chicken over the heat for a few minutes
  • Serve with a tasty side dish…
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