Creamy Potato Soup

Fall is upon us here in Chicago. I love fall for some many reason, but mostly for the food! I love a nice comfort dish, like a delicious bowl of soup, or a stew or chili. Anything I can put in a cute little bowl and enjoy on a crisp fall day.

Potato soup is one of my favorites. It’s usually the first kind I think about when I am craving soup. This potato soup is nothing short of delicious. I use half and half vs. heavy cream to keep it a little lighter. This is finished off with some sour cream which really takes this soup to the next level. You can easily adjust the flavors. Keep in mind all recipes of mine have my taste buds in mind. However, the spices can easily be adjusted.

I need to talk about these adorable soup/chili bowls I got from Amazon. I ordered them and couldn’t wait for them to arrive and couldn’t wait to use them. They are absolutely perfect for soup, chili, pasta, stew, or anything that need to go in a bowl. Check out my Amazon favorites https://www.amazon.com/shop/garlic_and_oliveoil_veins for the bowls. They are fairly inexpensive and they are oven, microwave and dishwasher save! I can’t wait to use them over and over!!

So, check out this delicious recipe!

Creamy Potato Soup

Ingredients:
4 T butter
2 T olive oil
1 1/2 cups celery, diced (about 4 stalks)
2 cups onion, diced (2 medium onions)
4 cups russet potatoes, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 -32 oz chicken stock
1 cup half and half (or heavy cream)
1/4 cup light sour cream
8 oz shredded cheese ( I used cheddar jack)
2 T grated Romano cheese
6 slices cooked bacon, chopped
3 T flour
2 t thyme
2 t rosemary
1 t crushed red pepper flakes
2 t garlic powder
2 t onion powder
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Toppings:
cheese
chopped bacon
green onions

Directions: Heat a large stockpot/ soup pot on high heat. Add in the olive oil and let heat 2 minutes. Add in the celery, onions and garlic, cook till tender and fragrant. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in the butter and let melt. Sprinkle the onion mixture with the flour and mix well. Let the flour cook about 3 minutes.

Next add in the chicken broth and mix well. Add in the potatoes and half of the thyme and rosemary. Reduce heat to medium and cover. Simmer 30 minutes until the potatoes are tender. After the 30 minutes make sure the potatoes are fork tender.

Remove pot from the stove and use an immersion blender to break up the potatoes. If you want to keep the soup a little heartier you can keep some of the potato pieces whole. I prefer a smoother finish so I make sure all the potatoes are pulsed.

Next add in the shredded cheese and half and half and mix well. Make sure that the cheese is fully melted. Season the soup with the garlic and onion powder, the rest of the thyme and rosemary, the crushed red pepper and salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Add in the chopped bacon. Let simmer on low for 10 minutes mixing a few times .

To finish the soup, add in the sour cream and Romano cheese and mix till it’s fully melted. To serve using a ladle add into a soup bowl and top with shredded cheese, chopped bacon and green onions. Enjoy!

Notes: You can adjust this to make it vegetarian. Use veggie broth and remove the bacon! It will still be delicious. I use low sodium chicken broth in this as well. Keep in mind with doing that you will need to make sure the soup is seasoned enough with salt. I prefer to add my own salt vs getting all the salt from the broth, therefore I can control the salt level.

Cheesesteak sandwich on Garlic Butter Roll

This cheesesteak sandwich is filled with tender NY strip steak, peppers, onions and mushrooms on a crispy garlic butter roll with gooey melted cheese. This is simple to make and will sure be a favorite. This sandwich can be made on a grill, flat tip or a large skillet!! It’s the perfect meal for a crowd, too! Give this spectacular sandwich a try!

Cheesesteak Sandwich on Garlic Butter Roll

Ingredients:
2 lb boneless NY strip, fat trimmed, thinly sliced
2 green peppers. sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
6oz mushrooms, sliced
2 T olive oil
1/2 T steak seasoning
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t garlic powder
1/2 t onion powder
8 slices cheese, mozzarella, provolone, white cheddar

Rolls:
4 hoagie rolls
1/2 stick butter, softened
2 t dried parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1/2 t onion powder

Directions: Preheat oven to 400. In a small bowl add soften butter, garlic cloves, parsley, salt and pepper and set aside.

Seasoning the thinly sliced beef with seasonings above. Heat a large skillet on high heat. Add in 2 T oil. Let heat 2 minutes. Add beef to one side of pan and veggies to the other. Seasoning veggies with salt and pepper. Let the beef and veggies cook to your preference. I cook the beef with a little pink inside and I cook the veggies till the peppers are soft but still have a bite.

Slice the bread rolls in half. Using a brush, brush on butter mixture over all the rolls. Toss in the oven for 7-8 minuites until rolls are crispy.

Take a spoonful of beef and veggies and cover with sliced cheese, do this 4 times. Make 4 small piles covered with cheese.

Remove the toasted buns from the oven. Using a spatula transfer the beef mixture to the roll. Continue with rest of the beef. Serve immediately!

Note: You can switch up what kind of beef you want to use. I just bought a NY strip. Use any cheese you like. I use what I had which was white cheddar. Make this dish lower carbs and turn into a bowl. Top the veggies & steak in a bowl over cauliflower rice or on it’s own. It’s a great keto option!

Creamy Ranch Coleslaw

During summer I always try and make some light salads to have with meals.  I love to make pasta salads or cucumber and tomato salads.  This one beyond simple.  It’s only a few ingredients and it comes out so creamy and full of flavor.  I will definitely being making this again! It’s a perfect side to a summer BBQ or meal!

Creamy Ranch Coleslaw

Ingredients:
14 oz Color Coleslaw Slaw
1/2 packet Ranch seasoning Mix
4 green onions, sliced (both green and white)
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 C + 1 T lite mayonnaise (More or less for flavor)
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Directions:  In a medium bowl add in the coleslaw mix and green onions.  Spoon in the mayonnaise and mix well. Drizzle with oil and season with Ranch packet.  Mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  Mix well before serving.  Enjoy.

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Filet Mignon Crostini

This is a little bit of an upscale appetizer.  Not overly fancy, but I guess people assume it’s fancy when they see the words Filet and Mignon!  This crostini is super simple to make.  You don’t have to use a filet, you can use any steak or any left over beef you have.  It’s better for a more tender piece of meat, but anything you have will do.

Think of this for your next party or even a fancy night in!

Filet Mignon Crostini

Ingredients:

Crostini:
1 baguette (about 10 oz) sliced 1/4 inch thick
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 t pepper
2 t salt

2 filet mignon steaks, (about 8 or 9 oz total)
2 t salt
2 t pepper
2 t steak seasoning (optional)
1 T olive oil
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
3 T horseradish
salt, sprinkling

Direction: Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange slices of bread on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes. Once done, let cool.

In a small bowl mix together the ricotta and horseradish.  Set aside.

Rub oil over the steaks on both sides.  Seasoning the steaks with salt, pepper and steak seasoning on both sides.  Cook steaks the way you prefer.  Grill for 4 minutes on each side depending on grill temperature and thickness of the filets.  Once finished cooking let rest. Once rested, thinly slice the filet.

To assemble the crostini, spread a layer of ricotta mixture on top of the crostini.  Add a slice of the filet on top and finish with a light sprinkle of coarse salt. (This step is optional, just helps bring out the flavors)  Serve immediately.
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https://www.yummly.com/js/widget.js?wordpress“>Shredded Beef Chimichanga

Fresh Guacamole

I love avocados, so in turn I love guacamole!  I make it whenever I have some avocados that are getting soft.  It’s very easy to put together this recipe.  I personally do not like tomatoes in my guacamole, so this has none. 🙂  There isn’t really much else to say, just take a look and give it a try for your next snack or Taco Tuesday! Cheers!

Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients:
6 ripe avocados
2 jalapeño peppers, diced (seeds removed, unless you want it spicier)
1 medium red onion, diced
1 bunch cilantro, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 t salt (more to taste)
1 t pepper
2 t cumin
1 t cayenne pepper
1 lime, juiced

Directions: Cut fully around the avocado with a knife from top to bottom.  Twist to open and remove the pit and scoop or cut out the inside of it.  Add to a medium bowl.  Smash the avocado with a fork, making sure to remove any lumps.

Add in the jalapeño.  If you want the guacamole mild then just add in the pepper. Omit the seeds and membrane from the pepper.  If you want a little more spice, add in seeds and membrane.  Adjust to your preferred spiciness.

Next add in the red onion, garlic and cilantro.  Mix well.  Add in the lime juice.  More or less to taste.  Season with salt, pepper, cumin and cayenne pepper and mix.

Let sit either at room temperature or in the refrigerator for a while to let the flavors marry. Make sure to tightly wrap bowl with plastic wrap, pushing down the plastic wrap to cover the guacamole.

Serve on tacos or as a dip. Enjoy!

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Classic Tomato Bruschetta

I’m happy the weather is finally starting to feel like spring. As the weather gets warmer I do like to try and eat a little lighter.  Light snacks, or light meals.  Lots of salads and fresh fruits and vegetables.

This classic bruschetta is a perfect example of a light and bright snack or lunch.  You can mix it up with other ingredients but this one is just a classic tomato bruschetta!

Classic Tomato Bruschetta

Ingredients:
4 medium tomatoes, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
6 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade (finely shopped)
3 T shaved parmesan
3-4 T extra virgin olive oil
2 t salt
1 t salt

Crostini:
1 baguette (about 10 oz) sliced 1/4 inch thick
3 T olive oil
2 t salt
2 t pepper

Directions: In a medium bowl add in diced tomatoes, garlic, basil and olive oil and mix well. Season with salt and pepper (more or less to taste)  Put in the refrigerator and let chill for about 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350°. Arrange slices of bread on a large baking sheet. Brush both sides with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake until golden brown about 15-20 minutes. Once done, let cool.

Remove the tomato mixture and mix in the shaved parmesan cheese.  Next add a spoonful of the tomato mixture to the top of the crostini.  Serve immediately.

Note: You can add the cheese on top of the tomato mixture.  I chose to mix in so then it doesn’t fall off.  You can also add a splash of balsamic vinegar for an extra kick in flavor.

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