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Delicious Cheesy Potato Soup

Delicious Cheesy Potato Soup

 

Fall is in the air. The mornings are cool and the breeze coming in the through the bedroom window is so cool.

My favorite part of fall is the flavors that come with it. The warm comfort foods and the smell of pumpkin. Oh. And blankets. I love me a good snuggly blanket.

My first thought as I tucked my feet back under the blanket in bed  this morning was that I needed to make soup for dinner.  Finally.  It’s soup weather.

I know there are all these recipes out there for this healthy veggie soup with clear broth. But I’m here to tell you that the ONLY soup I want right now is a creamy, cheesy, bacon-filled potato soup.

This is a soup I’ve made for several years.  Pretty much started with one of those kind of days that you’re using up the remainder of the groceries in your fridge and pantry and this is what came of it.  I haven’t written down the recipe til now because, let’s be honest, I haven’t used one.

There are so many delicious potato soup recipes out there. Many variations of the same thing. Well, I seem to do that on my own. I never make it the same twice. But after everyone was asking for the recipe, I decided it was time to pay attention to detail and write it all down.

First, you must know…. this is a variety for the crockpot.  I have a big crockpot and it was too full for the lid to go back on when I was finished.  So, this will feed an army. But on the plus side, you can either have lots of leftovers, you can share, or you can freeze it for a later time when you don’t want to cook.  I love to share hot soup.  Usually accompanied with fresh-from-the-oven rolls. Because it’s comfort food at its finest.

From my kitchen to yours, enjoy!

Delicious Cheesy Potato Soup

Ingredients:

  • 20 small-medium potatoes- peeled and cubed (I used russets)
  • 1 Lg onion, chopped
  • 5 carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 6 stalks celery, diced (I used the leaves too)
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 1 lb bacon, cut in small pieces and cooked until crisp, drain, set aside
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups cold milk
  • 3+ cups shredded cheese (I used medium and sharp cheddar)
  • 1+ cup sour cream
  • additional bacon, shredded cheese and green onions for garnish

Directions:

  1. Chop, dice, and slice the potatoes, onions, carrots and celery. Throw them in your crockpot and pour chicken broth/stock over them. Set on high and let it cook.
  2. Cook and crumble bacon, set on paper towel to drain. (hide… if you don’t it will be gone before the veggies are cooked)
  3. After veggies are tender, approximately 4 hrs, you will make your thickening rue. Start by melting 1/2 cup butter (no margarine!) in a frying pan. Add salt and pepper and stir until completely melted. Add the flour. Whisk together and continually stir until combined. Add milk, continue stirring. Cook for several minutes. The longer it cooks, the less you’ll know you used flour :).
  4. Add to soup and stir until completely combined.
  5. Now add your cheese.  This is usually where I’m dumping what’s left of several bags of shredded cheese.
  6. Add sour cream and gently stir.
  7. Add bacon. (make sure to leave enough to garnish)
  8. Chop green onions.. Garnish with shredded cheese, green onions and bacon pieces.

An original recipe by Teauna of becauseican.me

http://www.becauseican.me

Much Love….

Teauna

 

Uncategorized

Homemade Oreos

homemade oreos

There is something about a chewy chocolate cookie sandwich filled with cream cheese frosting that makes me smile.

How about you?

I have used this recipe for years and shared it with many.

I prefer to use a milk chocolate cake mix, but if you prefer a darker chocolate, you can use a devil’s food cake mix or Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge is delicious as well.  I can’t say it enough… make sure you use a quality cake mix ie… Betty Crocker, Duncan Hines, etc. I have found the off-brand mixes to be grainy at times and they just never seem to mix up smoothly. So take my word for it. You’ll thank me later.

What makes these cookies so special {besides the delicious chewy chocolaty cookie goodness} is the rich cream cheese frosting. Because…frosting! Add some food coloring for a special touch or simply roll them in delicious sprinkles for a special occasion.

The BEST OREOs ever

Ingredients:

  • 2 chocolate cake mixes (I like Betty Crocker Milk Chocolate best)
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup oil

Frosting Ingredients:

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 2 2/3 cup powdered sugar (+/-)

Directions:

  1. Mix cake mixes, eggs and oil together.  Drop by teaspoonfuls (or use cookie scoop) on cookie sheet. I like to line mine with a SILPAT but it isn’t necessary. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 8-10 minutes. DO NOT OVERBAKE! Cool completely on cooling rack.
  2. Mix frosting ingredients together.  Frost the underside of a cookie with frosting and sandwich together. Roll in a bowl of sprinkles if you want to.

http://www.becauseican.me

 

 

 

Chocolate, Cookies, Kid Friendly, Peanut Butter

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

pb choc chip cookies 3

I love a good cookie.

And after working so hard for over a month to avoid carbs, well…. it was time for a cookie!

I have to be honest. I’d prefer a plain chocolate chip cookie most days but for some reason, I wanted to try something different.

I was thinking bar cookies would be my best bet, but when I came across this recipe I decided to try it instead.

Of course I doubled it because I think it’s crazy to make a batch of cookies so small that they’re gone within hours. I’d really prefer they hang around for awhile.

These cookies are delicious! They are so chewy on the inside with just the right amount of crunch on the outside.

Now, to get back to the low carbs…

After I have one more cookie.

pb choc chip cookies 2 - Copy

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter (I used creamy but you could use crunchy as well)
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 Tbsp vanilla
  • 5 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 pkg Ghiradelli milk chocolate chips

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F
  2. Cream butter and sugars.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla and beat til fluffy.
  4. Add flour, soda and salt and mix until all ingredients are combined.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Drop on ungreased cookie sheet with cookie scoop, flatten a bit with your hand, bake approximately 13 minutes or until the edges become golden brown.

This makes 8 dz. Can half the batch for 4 dz cookies.

http://www.becauseican.me

recipe found on and adapted from The Baking Chocolatess .

Much love,

Teauna

Appetizer, Healthy, Snack, Veggies

Spicy Carrot Refrigerator Pickles

spicy refrigerator carrot pickles

Growing up, we would go visit my Grandma and Grandpa and the first thing we would do was ask if we could go down to the pump house and grab a bottle of her hot veggies. I couldn’t eat many because they would upset my stomach. But I always went for the carrots and cauliflower. Thank heavens my brother liked the green tomatoes. I’m just not a tomato eater.

I loved the crunchy texture of the carrots and that little bit of heat.

I started bottling hot veggies when my kids were little and I loved that I still had a piece of Grandma with me every time I popped open a jar.

I plan to bottle hot veggies again this year when I have a garden and can use fresh produce. There is just something about fresh-from-the-garden hot veggies.

I was searching carrot cake recipes the other day on Pinterest and this recipe popped up.

I was so excited because it looked like it could be the next best thing to Grandma’s Hot Veggies.

They don’t take long at all to put together. I got 2 quarts stuffed full and shared one.

I think they’d be an ideal treat to have with burgers instead of having chips.  Your carrots stay delicious and crisp and they have just the right amount of heat.

I also think you could probably add your cauliflower and celery sticks and they’d be delicious as well.

Spicy Refrigerator Carrot Pickles

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb bag of carrots, peeled and made into carrot sticks
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and cut into rounds
  • 3 jalapeno peppers, cut into 4ths and seeded (you could use more or less)
  • cilantro

Directions:

  1. Add water, vinegar and sugar to a sauce pot.  Cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. Mix with a whisk.
  2. Remove from heat and set aside.
  3. Peel garlic, chop into rounds and add to vinegar mixture.
  4. Cut your carrots into lengthwise pieces; cut and seed jalapenos as well.
  5. Add carrots, cilantro and jalapenos to 2 quart jars.
  6. Pour vinegar mixture into jars.
  7. Keep at room temperature until cooled; Store in refrigerator.
  • I felt like they were good a couple hours after I put them in the jars. But 24 hours later, they were delicious.
  • Original poster said these should be eaten within a week. No problem!

recipe adapted from A Dish of Daily Life

 

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

 

Salad

Teauna’s Coleslaw

Teaunas Coleslaw

It’s that time of year where we finally can see grass instead of all the snow and we can start thinking about barbeques and get-togethers.

I love cooking outdoors!  It’s one of my favorite things.

Being able to keep the mess out of the house for the most part is probably my favorite part :)!

I also love being able to have a big ol’ spread of yummy foods. Salads, desserts, and fresh FRUIT!

Oh my! I seriously am getting anxious for all the cook-outs.

This is one of my most favorite salad recipes I came up with years ago.  I love coleslaw!  And I love dill, so I put the two together in a salad and voila! This is what I came up with!

Teauna's Coleslaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cabbage
  • 3 carrots (peeled)
  • 1 1/2 cups mayo
  • 1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • sprinkle of onion salt
  • 2 tblsp + dill weed

Directions:

  1. Slice cabbage really thin and shred carrots.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine all other ingredients.
  3. Pour over cabbage and carrot mixture in a large bowl until just moistened.
  4. (I had 1 cup dressing left. If you have extra, either add more cabbage or refrigerate for later use:))
  5. Chill until ready to serve.

original recipe from becauseican.me

Much Love & Happy Spring!
Teauna
Breakfast, Sourdough, Yeast Breads

Sourdough English Muffins

sourdough english muffins 1.jpg

I’m hoping you’ve had enough time to get your Sourdough starter bubbling away. I find it so fulfilling to have my starter sitting there waiting for me to use it. Everything I’ve made is absolutely delicious!

Is it weird that I look forward to feeding it?

And to top it off… everything made with sourdough is easier to digest. Did you know?

All that healthy bacteria helps with digestion and many people with gluten intolerance are even able to eat it without problems.

I think this may be more true for those recipes without yeast, as in my opinion, yeast is part of the problem for those with a gluten intolerance.

I have never made English Muffins before. I always wanted to but I think the long process and cooking them on the stovetop vs in the oven always intimidated me.

 

They are not difficult. Time consuming, yes. But they aren’t high stress. The process takes the majority of a day. That doesn’t mean that you hover over them the entire time.  I was able to clean my house, do all the dishes, and I even ran to a garage sale. So, although they take the hours, they don’t require your constant attention until it’s time to cook ’em up.

The part that you cook them on your stovetop is so crazy to me! But seriously awesome!

And it answered my question that I’ve always had about store-bought English muffins… Why are they just slightly pre-sliced? Well, simple.  They don’t look cooked thru, so you are seriously tempted to cut into every one. I resisted fairly well.  I cut into a couple and realized they were cooked just right and then I wasn’t so worried about the rest.

My family thoroughly enjoyed these Sourdough English Muffins. Not one was wasted!

Sourdough English Muffins

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 2 cups warm water
  • 1 Tbsp active dry yeast or instant yeast
  • 1 cup sourdough starter, fed or unfed
  • 7 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup dry milk
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 Tbsp salt
  • cornmeal, for coating

Directions:

  1. Combine all of the dough ingredients, except the cornmeal, in a large bowl
  2. Mix and knead by hand, electric mixer or bread machine.  You are wanting to form a smooth dough.  The dough should be soft and elastic, but not particularly sticky; add additional flour if necessary.
  3. Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover and set aside to rise for about 1 1/2 hours or until it’s noticeably puffy. For most pronounced sour flavor, cover the bowl, and immediately place in the refrigerator (without rising first). Let the dough chill for 24 hours; this will help develop its flavor
  4. Gently deflate the dough, turn it out onto a lightly floured work surface, cover it and let it sit for a few minutes to relax the gluten. Divide the dough in half. Working with one piece at a time, roll 1/2″ thick and cut into 3″ rounds. Re-roll and cut all remaining scraps. Repeat with the remaining half of the dough.
  5. Place the rounds, evenly spaced, onto cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheets. Sprinkle them with additional cornmeal and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise until light and puffy, about 45-60 minutes or so. If the dough has been refrigerated overnight, the rise time will be doubled.
  6. Carefully transfer the rounds (don’t crowd them) right-side up to a large cast iron pan that has been preheated over medium-low heat. Or you can use an electric griddle preheated to 350 degrees.
  7. Cook the muffins for about 10-12 minutes on each side. Don’t be alarmed when the edges feel soft.
  8. Remove the muffins from the griddle or pan and cool on a wire rack. Store tightly wrapped at room temperature. Refrigerate or freeze for longer storage time.

adapted from King Arthur Flour website

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

Uncategorized

It’s that time again…

hello spring.jpg

I have always loved flowers. I love warm weather.  To me, the new beginnings of spring is like breathing new life. Every blooming flower makes me happy and fills my soul with happiness and warmth.

I planted some spring flowers in pots in the house so that I could enjoy them while I was healing up from surgery.  They have all bloomed now so today Kenzie is going to help me plant them outside so they can continue making me happy for years to come.

They deserve to be able to be outside reaching for the sunshine.

Happy Spring everyone!!

Much love,

Teauna

Bar Cookies, Cookies, dessert

Sugar Cookie Bars

sugar cookie bars

I can remember the first time I made these sugar cookie bars and posted them on my old blog.

I’m a huge fan of sugar cookies, but I keep my recipe to myself. It’s one I just don’t share. Maybe someday I will.

Doubtful.

I prefer my sugar cookies to be soft, chewy, and flavorful without the chalky flavor that some sugar cookies have.

But… I’ll admit… if I’m not in the mood to spend a good amount of time in the kitchen but want cookies, sugar cookies just aren’t my choice. They make a mess, some recipes require chilling time, and they require being frosted.

Just being real. You’d never know that frosting cookies isn’t my most favorite thing to do.

So now when you’re in the mood for a delicious sugar cookie, you can make these in a flash and they’re delish!

and….. you’re welcome.

Sugar Cookie Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 5 cups flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease cookie sheet.
  2. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl combine flour, salt and soda and gradually add to creamed mixture.
  5. Press dough into cookie sheet with greased hands. (spray your hands with cooking spray and press dough into pan)
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes. 15 minutes was perfect for me! They will be a beautiful golden brown around the edges when done.
  7. Remove from oven and cool completely before Frosting.
Frosting Ingredient:
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2-4 Tbsp milk

Directions:

  1. Cream butter and sugar.
  2. Add vanilla and just enough milk until desired consistency is reached.
  3. Frost cookie bars.
  4. DON’T FORGET SPRINKLES!

http://www.becauseican.me

Much Love,

Teauna

Cake, Chocolate, dessert

Chocolate Dream Cake

chocolate dream cake

Do you have one of those desserts that you just think of a lot?

This one is like that for me.

It seems like when people ask me to bring a dessert somewhere, this is the one that pops in my mind.

Not only is it super simple, but it is also a real crowd pleaser!

This is the perfect recipe to whip up quick for a delicious dessert for any get-together, potluck or simply just because it is so delicious!

Chocolate Dream Cake should become a staple recipe in every home, especially in the summer months.  Because it’s cooled, it seems even more satisfying when it’s warm outside and you’re enjoying a delicious cooled dessert.

 

Chocolate Dream Cake

Ingredients:

  • 1 Chocolate Cake Mix*, prepared as directed on box
  • 1 small box instant chocolate pudding, prepared as directed on box, PIE directions.
  • 1 8 oz brick cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Mid-size container cool whip, thawed
  • Shaved chocolate (buy your favorite chocolate bar and grate the outside chocolate over the cake and eat the rest of the candy bar… you’re welcome. Or use chocolate sprinkles like these.)

Directions:

  1. Prepare chocolate cake as directed on box.
  2. Pour into greased 15×10 cookie sheet.
  3. Bake as directed and cool COMPLETELY.
  4. Prepare pudding as directed for PIE on the box. It usually takes 1/4 cup less milk to make it a thicker consistency.
  5.   Let the pudding set up.
  6.   Cream together cream cheese and powdered sugar until nice and smooth.  Add pudding and whip together until combined well.  Spread over cooled cake.
  7. Spread container of cool whip over pudding layer.
  8. I like to put chocolate bars in the freezer then use a grater to grate chocolate or vegetable peeler to make curls up the side of the chocolate bar.  But chocolate sprinkles work well too!  Just use what you’ve got 🙂
  9. Chill until ready to serve.  Refrigerate any left overs! {Yeah… that’s funny around here too! }

*use a good quality chocolate cake mix.  I like Betty Crocker’s Triple Chocolate Fudge or German Chocolate. But there are a bunch of good ones out there.

http://www.becauseican.me

Much love,

Teauna

Uncategorized

A bump in the road….

Every once in a while, in the middle of an ordinary life when you think you’re finally on top of your game, the doctor throws you a curve ball and tells you he needs to operate in 5 days.

And that you’ll be down for 6 weeks.

Ummmmmmmm. It’s finally springtime and I NEEED to do some serious yardwork.

Well, I was expecting the surgery. And honestly I was thinking of asking for it.  I had it all planned out what to say to him. Like…. “Come on. I have good insurance. Let’s do it now.” Or “I’m not leaving here until you agree to just taking it all out.” But he beat me to the punch.

But because it was necessary. NOW.

And still. I was shocked and speechless.

I have had my fair share of issues over the years but this last little while has been awful and I knew that I was eventually going to be needing surgery.

Anyhow….

I’m a week out of surgery now and I feel crappy. I really thought I’d bounce back faster than this and I’ve been seriously irritated that I really have had to spend so much time in bed feeling like crap on crackers.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

A hysterectomy….

I’m still young….. or am I?

I mean, I realize I have 2 teenagers, 1 being an adult teenager! He graduates in 2 months! What? I know that my child bearing years are over for sure.

But wow.

Okay. Well I just never had thought about it.  I’ve kinda had these parts my whole life. I mean, I was born with them. Which must mean I’m supposed to have them for life, right?

I remember that awful moment in elementary when they bring out the granny panties with an already attached big old pad and give you the “talk” about how to deal with your female reproduction parts you were born with. And the fear that’s put in place about what’s yet to come. Oh my. I still remember being so worried about the blood bath that was in my future. It all seems so dramatic and life threatening at that age.

As women, we just know that this is our life. We deal with it.

And now I don’t have to anymore. That part, I’m not complaining.

Okay… but really. I am so very glad to have it over and done with and I’m a week into the healing process. And I’m so grateful for my amazing doctor and his staff and their care they showed for me. I had a couple setbacks and am so glad I had such talented and caring people around me to make sure I was okay.10 things I learned about me

10 things I have realized thru this process:

1. I can do hard things.

2. I was blessed to carry 2 beautiful healthy babies in my womb. And so very grateful to have been able to do so.  So many women never get that chance.

3. I have an amazing support system.

4. I am hard on myself. When I’m forced to sit down and do nothing, I realize how much I actually do.

5. It kills me to watch my daughter and husband cook dinner and do the dishes and run to the store and run all the errands. They work and school all day. I’m home. That’s hardly fair.

6. I knew I was going to die to be outside in the yard so I planted tulips, hyacinths and daffodils that I bought for $1 each at Walmart in my pretty little indoor pots. They’re beautiful and all starting to bloom. So glad I thought to bring spring in the home so I could enjoy it.

7. I think my little Bella has earned her Service Dog cape. She is too smart for her own good and she has watched over me super close. She’s always walking in front of me while looking back over her shoulder making sure I’m okay. And Daizee, she is just my snugglebug. Bella has a way of making me giggle…

Bella smile

8. I don’t have a care in the world to who doesn’t love me because there are plenty of people that do.

9. My lack of appetite has helped me kick my soda pop habit.

10. I will never ever be a drug addict. Oh how I hate the way they make me feel. Pray I never have to do Benadryl thru the IV again. Not only does it burn like hell and leave your arm aching for days, but those planes bombing the hospital with flying cartoon foxes were brutal.

Thanks for being a part of my journey.

 

Much Love,

Teauna