Whew! The holidays have come and gone like a flash. I’ve done so much baking which I’ll be sharing with you over the next couple of weeks. First of all I’d like to wish you a happy New Year. Happy New Year! I wish 2016 brings the best of everything to you. I didn’t make resolutions. I last made resolutions for 2014, but they weren’t the typical ones. Here they are from a December 31, 2013 Facebook post:
I was going to make the usual resolutions for the new year but I decided these would be mine instead:
1) Live every day to the fullest. Once it’s gone, you can’t ever get it back and there are no guarantees for another day.
2) learn something new each day. An active mind stays active.
3) count each and every blessing. Sometimes things don’t feel like it, but are blessings in disguise.
4) laugh each and every day. It’s the best medicine.
5) give more of myself to others. Blessings are best shared.
6) dance to the music. No one else may hear it or like it, but it’s mine.
7) Love, love, love. It’s what the world needs now. There’s too much hate in the world.
8) push myself beyond my comfort zone. Try new things and take a chance or two.
9) start my blog and website.
That’s a pretty good start.
11) Grow my blog. Spread the love of food, cooking and baking with as many as I can. 12) Hit the books. Get back to my love affair with reading. 13) Work it! Be more active…walk, dance, anything. I’ve got to move it, move it! So I don’t lose it, lose it! 14) Volunteer in my community. Many hands make light work. 15) Make a memory each day.
Today my memory is this cheesy mashed potato soup. It is soooooo good! I had to share it with you right away. It’s creamy, cheesy and filled with potato-y goodness. My green-eyed Irish guy loved it. It doesn’t take long to make and it’s pretty easy but you do have to plan on making it to be sure you have bacon grease and leftover mashed potatoes on hand. I always keep a little bacon grease after I fry bacon. I scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan along with some of the grease and keep it in a small container in the fridge. Then voila! If I need a little bacon flavor, I’ve got it. It’s like a little treasure chest of bacon gold. My guy and I may or may not have had a second helping. Ok. You got me. We did. I feel so much better having gotten that off my chest. And having gotten some more of that soup in my belly. Let’s make some soup!
Cheesy Mashed Potato Soup
8 medium potatoes, cut into about 1 inch cubes
1 small onion, diced in small pieces
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbs. bacon grease
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
4 cups chicken stock or broth
1 tsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 cups prepared mashed potatoes
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar
Melt the bacon grease in a large Dutch oven on medium high heat. Add the onion and carrot. Stir and cook for 3-5 minutes until the onion is very soft. Add the garlic and basil and cook for another minute. Add the butter and stir until melted. Sprinkle in the flour. Cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in the chicken stock. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Cook for 15-20 minutes or until the potatoes are very soft but not mushy. Remove about half the potatoes to a bowl and mash them. Return them to the pot. Turn the heat down to medium low. Add the mashed potatoes, milk, cream, salt, pepper and cheese. Cook until soup is hot and cheese is melted, stirring occasionally. Ladle into bowls and enjoy!
Wishing you love, laughter and cake,