Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Easy and Delish Potato Soup

Most folks have their own potato soup recipe.  I've used several over the years and most are good.  We were in the mood for some the other night, but I didn't want to spend time peeling a batch of potatoes.  So, the solution was to get out my crockpot and let it do all the work.

Here is my recipe, for the lazy:

1 bag of frozen hash browns (30 oz).  No need to thaw.

1 can of celery soup

2 cans of chicken broth

diced onion.  I used one small onion.

chopped celery

Salt and pepper to taste.

Here is the hard part:  whisk the celery soup and broth in the crock pot.
                                    Dump in the frozen hash browns, onion, and celery.
                                    Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Let the crock pot do it's thing on low for 5 or 6 hours. 

Top bowls of soup with cheese, bacon, or green onions if desired.

That's it. 

A hearty, comforting dinner, for the lazy and hungry.

Joining Brenda's Tweak It Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

A Sugar Free Cake

We eat sugar free or very low sugar in our house.  Luckily, there are some good options now and a little creative cooking helps.  Pillsbury has two sugar free cake mixes that I've used for more things than cake.  But, when you do actually make a cake with one, they always turn out great.  They don't cost much, and unless you tell someone it's sugar free, I promise they won't know by the taste.

So, here's the cake.

I realize many of you baking purists might not ever use a mix, but this is better than any low to sugar free item I've tried.  And cheaper.

Icing has always been a problem baking sugar free.  Most recipes use an entire bag of powdered sugar.  There is no sugar free substitute (that I know of) for powdered sugar.  I recently saw Trisha Yearwood on the Food Network making a coconut/nut icing that would normally be for a German Chocolate cake that used a cup of regular sugar, then was cooked on the stove.  I decided to try it and used a little less than a half cup of brown sugar and a little more than a cup of splenda.  It turned out great and does not taste low sugar.  I've found using all splenda doesn't taste very good and the brown sugar version is so horrible, I never, ever use it.   I don't enjoy standing at the stove constantly stirring anything, but this was my birthday cake, so I endured the stirring.  The result was really worth that trouble once a year.

Here is the original recipe from Food Network:

1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar (I used a little more than 1/2 cup splenda and a little less than 1/2 cup brown sugar)
4 egg yolks
1 stick butter
10 oz coconut  (I used less, since it's sweetened)
1 1/2 cups nuts (I used more and used pecans)
1 t vanilla

Combine in a saucepan egg yolks, milk, and sugar.  Whisk until egg yolks are fully incorporated.
Add butter, melt and bring to a simmer whisking all the time.  Continue to whisk until thickened
which is 12 to 15 minutes over low heat.  Remove from the heat and add your coconut, nuts and the vanilla.   It says to let it cool, but I found it super easy to just spread it on the cake while warm.  I didn't make a layer cake, so you probably would want it cooled before trying that.

I also want to show you this super cute little wax melter my mother gave me as a gift.

I had a spiced orange wax cube to use and it made the house smell so "fallish".    I already had a melter, but it didn't have a lid.  I had stopped using it after we got this cherub, so she wouldn't get into the wax.

(Who me?  I would NEVER get in to ANYTHING!)

I'm going to try again to join Tweak It Tuesday at Cozy Little House and get the link right this time.
Fingers crossed!