Tasty Hobby

Because food matters

March Plan #1

This time of year is just about the worst time to start a food blog.  It will be a couple of months before my garden produces anything tasty or the farmers’ market has anything new to offer.  Yet, I’m supposed to find something interesting to cook each week and write about it for you, my loyal readers.  To make matters worse, I have a tendency to get in a rut.  For example, if I wear a green shirt on Monday, I often look in my closet on Tuesday and see another green shirt and think it would be a good idea.  As a general rule, it’s not a good idea to do the same thing twice, close together.

With full acknowledgement that I’m breaking two rules, here’s my plan for the week.

  1. Potato Parsnip Chowder – (see above for rule) very similar to Loaded Baked Potato Soup
  2. Salad greens with apples, nuts, bacon, and chicken
  3. Risi, Bisi, e Carote (Rice, Peas, and Carrots)
  4. Beans Rancheros – I’ve been making an effort to eat seasonally, but this recipe sounded good and I already had the ingredients except for the  tomatoes, which I bought at the store, despite the fact that they’re not in season.
Now, I just have to decide which one to write about.  I’m open to suggestions, so let me know what you think.


Loaded Baked Potato Soup

This slow-cooker recipe was featured in the latest catalog from Penzy’s Spice catalog.  When I saw cream cheese on the ingredient list, I was hooked.  I prepped the meal at lunchtime, but it took so long to chop over 3½ pounds of potatoes that I wouldn’t do it this way again.   Actually, between the potato chopping and taking care of our dog, I didn’t have time to eat lunch.

Unfortunately, this is the only meal this week that I didn’t take a picture of, but Penzy’s has a really nice picture and really it’s just potato soup.  It looks like you’d think potato soup would look like.  Despite its normal, bland appearance, this potato soup stands apart from most of the other potato soups we’ve had.

The recipe is sized for a large slow-cooker. (Adapted from Penzy’s Spice)

Mix together in the slow cooker until the stock base is dissolved.

  • 1 TB. (heaping) chicken stock base (i.e. Better than Bullion)
  • 8 Cups water
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced

 Add 3.5-4 pounds of chopped potatoes.

Cook on low for 6 hours

Remove 3-4 cups of the soup and blend until smooth

Add 8 ounces cream cheese to the blender

Return the blended soup to the slow cooker and give it a good stir.

Taste it…it will probably need salt and pepper.

The cream cheese made for a richer taste without being too thick or heavy.  We topped ours with some chopped and cooked bacon, which was very tasty.  Other suggestions are cheddar cheese, chives, or green onions.

Polenta Pizza

The crust was too soft to pick up.  Mark Bittman recommends making the crust 1/2” thick before baking.  I think mine was too thin, plus I added weight and moisture from the tomato sauce.  It might not have been finger food, but it was fantastic.