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Friday, February 22, 2013

Bacon Vegetable Soup

There's been a little illness going around the house the last few weeks - stomach bug, head cold and body aches. When I'm sick, all I want to do is eat soup....lots and lots of soup. Last night I came home to a grumpy and sick boyfriend and decided he needed a good dose of soup to lift his spirits. I looked around the refrigerator and cupboards and came up with this soup, full of rich broth, hearty vegetables and bacon. I served it with a loaf of homemade cornbread and watched as the soup was eagerly devoured by all. This is the perfect soup for saying goodbye to winter, root vegetables, and illness, and hello to spring!

Bacon Vegetable Soup
(serves 4-6)

6 slices bacon, raw
4 slices bacon, cooked
1 C onion, chopped
2 T butter
1-2 C potato, cut into 1" pieces
1 C carrots, sliced
2 C spinach, chopped
8 C stock/broth
garlic salt & pepper to taste

Cook 4 slices of bacon in the oven set at 400 degrees until crispy. Set aside. In a large pot over medium heat, cook the raw bacon for 5 minutes, stirring to make sure it doesn't stick to the bottom. Stir in onions and butter and continue cooking for about 10 - 15 minutes, until a nice sweet aroma is being released by the onions. Stir in potatoes and carrots, the broth. Bring to a boil and then drop to a simmer and cook until veggies are tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in spinach. Chop cooked bacon and stir into the soup right before serving. Season with garlic salt and pepper.

Spicy Bacon Cheddar Cornbread
(makes 2 mini loaves)

1 C cornmeal
1/2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 C milk
1 egg
1 T bacon grease (or vegetable shortening)
1 C cheddar cheese
8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
2 T hot sauce or chopped jalapenos (we used some chunky spicy pepper relish my boyfriend made)

Put 1/2 T of bacon grease in each mini loaf pan and put in 400 degree pre-heated oven. Meanwhile, mix cornmeal, baking soda and salt together in a bowl. Add in milk and egg and stir thoroughly. Then stir in cheese, bacon and hot sauce until well combined. Pour into hot mini loaf pans and bake for 30 minutes.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Nachos w/ Horseradish

I had a craving for nachos last night so I sent my boyfriend to the store, with a short list: chips, cheddar cheese, ketchup and horseradish. What? Ketchup and horseradish? That's right. Over a decade ago I had a roommate the introduced me to this concept, when we were broke and living in the Old Port, living off of spaghetti and Parmesan cheese, and nachos with horseradish sauce. I figured today is the appropriate day to post about this, seeing as though it's Super Bowl and people all over the country are rushing about their kitchens whipping up goodies to consume during the game. This is simple, few ingredients, and you can adjust the spice of the horseradish to your liking.

Nachos w/ Horseradish

1 bag of corn tortillas (blue corn chips are especially delicious)
1 8oz bar of Vermont Cheddar (the sharper the cheese the better), shredded
1 bottle of ketchup
1 bottle of horseradish (not the type with the mayo added)

Preheat oven to 350. Place a layer of chips down in a glass baking dish, top with half the cheese. Repeat with another layer of chips and cheese. Bake about 10 to 12 minutes. To mix up the sauce, add about 1/4 cup of ketchup in a bowl and a tablespoon of horseradish. Stir and taste, add more ketchup or horseradish, to suit your liking. Spread over the top of the nachos and enjoy!!