Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup | Making the Most

This recipe has moved to my new home!  Check it out here: http://www.makingthemostblog.com/#!Cheesy-Potato-Soup/cqkw/54e6422d0cf23137e88b9c50.

Link Part Palooza

Homemade Lemonade

ImageSo since we planted our garden Sunday instead of making homemade lemonade, we saved the lemonade for yesterday.

On Sunday evening, when I went out to purchase our vegetable seeds and two more packets of flower seeds, I went ahead and picked up 12 medium-sized lemons for this recipe.  Here’s what you need for a regular batch of homemade lemonade:

1 c. water
1 c. sugar
6 medium-sized lemons
3-4 c. cold water

Yes, I intended to keep the water measurements separate.  Here’s what you’re going to do:

homemade lemonade

  • Cut the lemons in half.  I went ahead and did this first just so I had a head start on squeezing them while my sugar-water mixture was boiling.
  • Mix 1 c. water and 1 c. sugar in a small pot and cook on medium-high heat, stirring occasionally until water has dissolved.
  • While the sugar-water mixture is boiling, squeeze the lemons using a juicer into a pitcher, being careful to separate seeds.  Thankfully, Prince Charming decided to do this, because our juicer was flopping all over the place.  (In reality, he couldn’t stand to see me struggle with it and just decided we were all better off if he did it.  lol.)
  • Add 3-4 cups of cold water to the lemon juice.  We doubled the recipe, so I used 7 cups of water as not to water it down too much.
  • Add sugar-water mixture to lemon-water.  Stir.
  • Chill until cool or serve immediately with plenty of ice.  I’d recommend against adding ice to the pitcher so it doesn’t get watered down.

My entire family loved  this recipe, so I’d have to say it was a success!  I doubled the recipe, and it’s almost all gone.  We’ll definitely be using this recipe again!  Hope you enjoy!

Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

Here’s another recipe that we had recently.  I found this one at Parents magazine.

Bean and Cheese QuesadillasIngredients:

  •  tablespoon olive oil
  •  small onion, finely chopped (we used half of a large one, because that’s what we had)
  • 1/2 small green pepper, seeded and chopped (we only had a large one, so I just used half of that)
  • 15 ounce can black beans, drained and lightly mashed
  • 1/2 cup lower sodium salsa
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • package (10-count) fajita-size flour or whole-wheat tortillas (I made two quesadillas with whole wheat tortillas and one with flour tortillas)
  • ounces reduced-fat pepper Jack cheese, shredded (we didn’t have any, so I used 4 ounces of Mexican blend cheese that we had lying around and 4 ounces of cheddar to minimize spiciness)
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves (we skipped on this, because I’m not a huge fan of cilantro in large amounts)
  • Extra salsa for serving (optional)

Instructions:

1. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and green pepper and cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans, salsa, and chili powder. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Place over medium-high heat. Place one tortilla in the skillet and cook for 1 minute. Spread 1/3 cup of the bean mixture and 1/3 cup of the cheese evenly over the tortilla. Sprinkle some of the cilantro over the top. Place another tortilla on top, and cook for 1 minute. Press gently with a spatula and turn. Cook for 1 minute or until browned.

3. Place quesadilla on a baking sheet and keep warm at 250 degrees in the oven. Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make additional quesadillas. Allow skillet to cool slightly if it becomes too hot.

4. To serve, cut each quesadilla into quarters. Serve 3 quarters to each person.

Servings Per Recipe: 6; Amount Per Serving: cal.(kcal): 312, Fat, total(g): 13, chol.(mg): 23, carb.(g): 34, fiber(g): 5, pro.(g): 16, sodium(mg): 786, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Tinkerbell and Rapunzel weren’t a big fan of this one, but Prince Charming and I enjoyed it.  Rapunzel insisted it was too spicy; however, I’m pretty sensitive to spicy, and this didn’t bother me at all.  I’d probably make it again, and I think Wendy and Cinderella might like it too.

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Loaded Baked Potato and Chicken Casserole

Let me just start out by saying this is most definitely one of my most favorite dishes…ever!  Oh my goodness I loved it.  And so did Prince Charming and Rapunzel.  I would definitely make it again.

This recipe was adapted from  Cook Lisa Cook’s Loaded Baked Potato and Buffalo Chicken Casserole.  Since our kids are so picky about their spicy food, I essentially just removed the “buffalo” part.  Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 8-10 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2-inch cubes  (I leave the skin on)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 TBS. freshly ground pepper
  • 2 TBS. garlic powder
  • 4 TBS. butter, melted

Topping:

  • 2 c. Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 c. crumbled bacon  (we just used one full pack of thawed Oscar Meyer bacon and cut it up into small pieces.
  • 1 c diced green onion (opt.)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 500F.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, & butter.  Add the cubed potatoes and stir to coat.
  3. Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Carefully scoop the potatoes into a the dish, leaving behind as much of the olive oil/butter mix as possible.  Bake the potatoes for 45-50 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes, until cooked through and crispy & browned on the outside.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, add the cubed chicken to the bowl with the leftover olive oil/butter and stir to coat.  Let sit in order to marinate.
  5. In a bowl,` mix together the cheese, bacon, & green onion (if desired), and top the raw chicken with the cheese mix.
  6. Once the potatoes are fully cooked, remove from the oven and lower the oven temperature to 400F.  Top the cooked potatoes with the raw marinated chicken.   Return the casserole to the oven and bake for 15 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through and the topping is bubbly (we baked for 20 minutes because the bacon was not pre-cooked).

I hope your family loves this recipe as much as we do!  For the spicy version, visit the recipe link above.
Lil\'Luna     

Crock-Pot Bacon & Cheese Potatoes

Bacon & Cheese Potatoes from Making the Most

Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 9 hours
Total time: 9 hours 10 mins
Serves: 4

 

Ingredients:
  • ¼ pound bacon, diced (we used Oscar Meyer, because it was on sale)
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced (I actually only used 1 medium yellow onion for a doubled recipe, since our family is a little picky about their onions.
  • 4 medium potatoes, thinly sliced (we used white potatoes for this recipe, because they were on sale)
  • ½ pound cheddar cheese, thinly sliced (we just used the generic brand of block cheese and sliced it in the food processor)
  • salt and pepper
  • butter (I used one tablespoon on the first layer and one on the second)
  • Green Onions (optional–we didn’t use it, because my kids would have had a cow)
 Instructions:
  1. Line crockpot with foil, leaving enough to cover the potatoes when finished.  If you’re like me though, doubling the recipe in our crockpot wouldn’t work like this.  I used one as a liner across the bottom and then cut a sheet to cover the top separately.
  2. Layer half each of the bacon, onions, potatoes and cheese in crockpot. Season to taste and dot with butter.  I used a little bit of salt and pepper and cut the butter into 6ths, dropping the chunks of butter evenly on each layer.
  3. Repeat layers of bacon, onions, potatoes and cheese. Dot with butter.
  4. Cover with remaining foil.
  5. The recipe says to cover and cook on low for 10-12 hours.  Since I didn’t wake up early enough to cook for 10-12 hours, I cooked on low for 9 hours, and it turned out just fine.

The family thoroughly enjoyed this meal, though next time I might only add half of an onion (at least one kid was picking them out).  This also isn’t the healthiest meal, but it sure was filling and it sure was good!

 Thanks to Moms with Crockpots for this recipe.

Taco Bake

Taco bake

Recently, it occurred to me that, at age 14, Cinderella needs to become responsible for helping to cook meals.  Not only will it help me, but it will also give her some responsibility while helping her learn some good recipes for the day when she is out on her own.  She was in the mood for tacos when we spoke about it, so she was all about taking over the Taco Bake recipe tonight.

Now, I can’t start this post without mentioning that I got this recipe from The Country Cook.  You can find her original post here.

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 packet taco seasoning
* water as called for on back of seasoning packet
3 large flour tortillas (8-inch size)
1/2 cup Salsa Con Queso

1 1/2-2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend
Directions:
  • Brown beef, and drain excess grease.  We used meat directly fromTaco bake before baking the butcher, which didn’t have much fat, apparently, because there wasn’t much to drain off.  This is good news for my diet.
  • Add in taco seasoning (we used McCormick’s mild, low sodium) and water, following directions on back of seasoning packet.
  • Once the taco meat is ready, turn off heat and add in 1/2 cup salsa con queso.  We used Tostitos Smooth & Cheesy Dip so that it wouldn’t be so spicy.  This worked very well for our recipe!
  • Stir until thoroughly combined.
  • Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
  • Spray an 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Layer the bottom of  the pan with a flour tortilla.  (Ours were a little bigger than what were called for, but it worked out anyway).
  • Add about 1/3 of the ground beef taco filling on the the first layer, followed by 1/3 of the shredded cheese (generic worked just fine for this recipe).
  • Continue until you are done with all the layers: another tortilla, more taco mixture, more
  • Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and edges are slightly golden brown.

This recipe went over very well at our house.  The only person who didn’t like it was Tinkerbell, and she doesn’t like anything.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did!