Monday, August 18, 2014

Baked Potato Soup

Hi Everyone! I'm back again with a (not so exciting) new post...which you're probably asking "what's with the Baked Potato soup?" After all these weeks of absence, you would think I would come back with some exquisite, and amazing food to show off....hey, but just look at the gorgeous 'hand stitched' Italian table cloth (never used), the antique silver plated soup spoon, and the Italian napkin...all these things handed down to my daughter from her sweet M-in-law from Italy...except for the soup spoon which an entire set inherited from my Hungarian aunt (Mariska)

This is truly an amazing comforting soup...'for the soul'...just look at the crispy yummy bacon bits, and the chunky pieces of 2 boiled potatoes, which was an addition to the homemade vegetable broth that it was boiled in, and added 2 peeled leftover baked potatoes...all mixed together in the blender, heated up and added 1/2 cup sour cream at the end. You can substitute Greek yogurt instead! Creamy soups are so easy to make...all you need is a blender, food processor, or even a 'hand held immersion blender/mixer) and your creativity!

I missed so much opportunity to be posting so many different foods that I actually made in the last weeks that just flew by...not photographing anything...could also have had the chance to do a few Restaurant Reviews...(no photos)...well, could've...would've...should've...all have gone by, not focusing on it. I admit, I do regret procrastinating, and feeling 'down in the dumps' (no excuse)...can't take everything to 'heart' that we have no control over!
As you know, I'm a huge Pinterest fan...love, love, finding some awesome things on Pinterest...especially foods, fashion, home décor, and travel...my oh, my...the amazing places we could go to...just have the $$$!
Well, as you may, or may not know, but I have a board on Pinterest called #soup love where I found this most gorgeous and yummy Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup and decided that I want to make it, just did not have 6 slices of bacon...only 3~ I did not follow their recipe all the way thru...so I made it my own...next time I will follow through the step-by-step recipe. When you see a photo on Pinterest, just click on the photo and it will lead you to the 'source' and most likely you will find the recipe, or the 'link' that it came from. In this case, I did find the source; which is called...
Tasty Kitchen...you will find the step-by-step recipe for this amazing soup!
Here's the recipe and my adaptation in blue:

Fully Loaded Baked Potato Soup

Ingredients

  • 4 whole Extra Large Baked Potatoes Or 8 Regular Baked Potatoes (I used 2 med. leftover baked potatoes and 2 med. peeled, and diced potatoes boiled in 2 cups of 'homemade veg. broth)
  • 6 slices Bacon, Diced (I used 3 slices of bacon)
  • 6 Tablespoons Butter (no butter used)
  • ½ whole Onion, Chopped (1 med. onion chopped)
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Minced
  • ⅓ cups All-purpose Flour (2 Tbsp. all-purp. flour)
  • 4 cups Chicken Stock (2 cups homemade vegetable stock)
  • ½ teaspoons Sea Salt (or To Taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Ground Pepper, Or To Taste
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil (I used 3 Tbsp. olive oil)
  • 3 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese (no cheese)
  • 4 whole Scallions (Green Onions), Sliced (no scallions) used sprig of parsley
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (1/2 cup sour cream)

Preparation Instructions

Scoop the white insides out of the baked potato skins. Roughly chop the white insides and set them aside. Chop potato skins and set aside.
In a large stock pot brown the diced bacon over medium heat. Once it’s crispy, remove bacon from the pan and drain off the grease.
Add 4 tablespoons butter to the brown bits at the bottom of the stock pot. Add onion and continue to cook over medium heat until onion is caramelized. Add minced garlic and flour. Stir flour until absorbed by the butter and cooked, about 1-2 minutes.
While stirring, slowly add chicken stock to the flour mixture to prevent lumps. Bring to a simmer then turn heat to low. Add the insides of the diced baked potato. Add sea salt and pepper. Cover pot and continue to cook over low heat.
In a large saute pan add 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat and heat until all of the butter is melted. Add the chopped potato skins and fry them until crisp and heated through.
Add 1/2 of the crumbled bacon, 2 cups of cheddar cheese, 2/3 of the scallions and Greek yogurt into the pot of soup. Stir well and continue to cook over low heat until heated through and cheese is melted.
Serve soup topped with remaining bacon, cheddar cheese, scallions and crisp potato skins.
 

OK...now that this recipe is out of the way...I'd like to share with you our typical S. Florida cloudy skies...so close that you can almost touch it...followed by a super storm immediately after the clouds, lasting for about an hour and followed by sunshine, or again more storms!
A typical Sunday afternoon...4:00PM; returning from the PGA Mall w/family...going over the Southern Blvd. bridge in West Palm Beach...stopped at the red light on the bridge, when suddenly realizing the huge rain cloud hovering over our heads.
Got out of the Jeep...so did other people, to snap photos of the storm cloud!
You would think this is a 'black and white' photo...but it's not; it is actually the grey color that it was taken with color!
Ten minutes later at my destination...on the beach! The clouds look like they could just 'devour you'...a bit 'scary'!
Another 10 more minutes later; have you every seen clouds like that?...as they say..."this is South Florida"...indeed it is...a 'typical S. Florida weather'! (just an hour earlier, it was sunny, with a few scattered clouds)

Have a beautiful week, my dear friends! (readers, followers, and all!) ...xoxo

 

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Pasteles de Guayaba-(Cuban Guava Pastries)

Hi Everyone! You may be wondering, or not...where I could have been; so unlike me, to disappear for one month and not announce where, or why?...or perhaps what happened to my untimely disappearance, when I have always seemed to share my routine activities on my blog. Well, it hasn't been the best of my last month, being without my family; missing them, terribly...both my 2 children and my 4 grandchildren away on their respective vacations...and me; left behind...a first time, in 12 years!

Also, for the last 2 years, I have stopped celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and special events, that have been bringing happy memories in my life...the past entire month have been bringing up such 'bittersweet' memories for me...thinking about my past 2 year losses of loved ones I lost; including my 2 beloved cats, Prince and Mush and my son's beautiful Black Lab beloved family dog named Thai...all gone in the last 2 years! Sometimes feelings get so overwhelming when you stop to think about recent losses, and sad 'world events'...you just have to take a step-back...take a 'break' away from a 'routine' and pray in silence... for better 'tomorrow' and PEACE for our future!
For the last two weeks, I've been wanting to post my 'new found' amazing, and ridiculously easy dessert that I made, but been putting it off, thinking that I may have lost my food blogger friends...since I have not commented to all of you, since the last time I posted. I really appreciate all your friendship and I hope I did not offend you in any way! Well, after hesitating to even look into my own blog...I'm back, and starting my 4th year blogging, this month...it's either 'Do, or DIE' so; no party, no celebration...just a quiet return for more, and hopefully better year!
"Ay Que Rico"...as they say in Spanish..."Oh, How Good"...and it certainly is, this magical Guava paste, which is made from Guava fruit, that we are so fortunate to have it growing in South Florida.

To be perfectly honest, I have never made this pastry in all my years living in South Florida; always buying it in our local supermarket, fresh, and warm to savor with a 'Cafecito'...which is a Cuban espresso, or 'Café con leche' the Cuban coffee with milk...a match made in 'heaven' for coffee lovers like myself! Here, in West Palm Beach, you can also find these yummy pastries in Cuban restaurants, and Cuban bakeries...and even at a local Cuban gas station; always served warm, and oozing with the guava paste that is naturally sweet, and is so good for you...rich with Vitamin C!
Photo...courtesy of  the Internet
This is what a ripe Guava fruit looks like on a Guava tree! Although, most of the trees are found in Miami, I have not seen them in anyone's yard, other than on a Guava Farm.
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Welcome to Silver Palm

Thank you for visiting our website.  Our farm is located in the Redlands, a small farming community in Southwest Miami-Dade county. We encourage everyone that is in the area to stop by, however , we do not keep consistent hours so if our gate is open, welcome! We are located at:
23450 Sw 167 Avenue Redland, Florida 33031


Pasteles de Guayaba-Cuban Guava Pastries

source; adapted from 3 different Internet recipes

1 package of puff pastry
1 package of Guava Paste
1 egg and 1 Tbsp. cane sugar for sprinkling




Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Thaw puff pastry according to package directions.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and unfold one of the pastry sheets onto the pan.





Slice the guava paste into 1/2 inch slices, and place evenly over the pastry sheet.








Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired slices. I cut mine into 4x6 inches.
( Use a pizza cutter for easier cutting.)












With a sharp knife, cut small slashes for air vents. Beat egg in a small bowl, and brush the top of the puff pastries, and sprinkle the cane sugar over it.











Bake at 375 Degrees F. for 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool to room temperature, and serve. Refrigerate leftovers (if any) very nice reheat!








So delicious as a breakfast/brunch treat, or an afternoon snack, paired with your favorite coffee or tea, or just with an ice cold glass of your favorite milk.

Note: In my 40 yrs of living in S. Florida, this is the first time I have made this super easy and delicious Guava Pastries...my family loved it, and have requested to keep making it. Next time, I will spread cream cheese over the guava paste...yumm





Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Package of Guava Paste
  • 1 package of Cream Cheese (optional)
  • 1 Egg & Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
  2. Thaw Puff pastry according to package directions.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
  4. Slice guava into ¼ inch slices and place evenly on the pastry sheet.
  5. Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional)
  6. Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired pastry size. I cut mine in 2 inch squares.
  7. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pastries. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve.
- See more at: http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/07/easy-guava-pastries-recipe/#sthash.nKPDe7Sy.dpuf
Ingredients
  • 1 Package of Puff Pastry
  • 1 Package of Guava Paste
  • 1 package of Cream Cheese (optional)
  • 1 Egg & Cane Sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Degrees F
  2. Thaw Puff pastry according to package directions.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and unfold one of the pastry sheets and place on pan.
  4. Slice guava into ¼ inch slices and place evenly on the pastry sheet.
  5. Spread cream cheese over guava paste slices (optional)
  6. Top with second puff pastry sheet and cut into desired pastry size. I cut mine in 2 inch squares.
  7. Beat egg in a small bowl and brush over the top of the pastries. Sprinkle with cane sugar.
  8. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Cool and serve.
- See more at: http://afewshortcuts.com/2013/07/easy-guava-pastries-recipe/#sthash.nKPDe7Sy.dpuf