Microwave Baked Potato Soup

BakedPotatoSoupMy kitchen cupboards and pantry are almost bare, making me feel like Mother Hubbard. But eating take out food and in restaurants can get old as well as pricey.  Plus, today it is raining buckets. Again.  We are staying in so I opened the refrigerator to stand and browse like  our teenagers have done in the past, hungry, and surveying possibilities. I found eggs, bread, juice, a half jar of elderberry jelly, and leftover baked potatoes. Last night we stopped and picked up loaded baked potatoes for a late dinner, only to find after we sat down to eat that we were more tired than hungry.  The remains sat in a ZipLoc bag on the refrigerator shelf, looking very unappetizing.

Changing roles from Mrs. Hubbard to a Chopped contestant, I opened the contents of my basket and made potato soup in the microwave (all pans packed, only a few serving dishes remain). I  took the peeling off the cold potatoes, warmed them in the microwave to soften, and mashed them.  Then I added a sprinkle of sea salt plus milk to the right consistency, and reheated in the microwave, turning out a large bowl of delicious soup loaded with bits of bacon and green onion.  We ate in coffee mugs and recharged enough to head back to packing  for movers to come on Monday.  Simple, and tasty enough to remember for the next leftovers, or to bake extras the next time I serve baked potatoes as a side. If you have no loaded bakers as leftovers, use the following recipe.

Microwave Baked Potato Soup

2 large baked potatoes, cooled

1 1/2 cups milk

salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sour cream

1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese

1/3 cup crumbled bacon

1/4 cup chopped green onion

Peel potatoes, coarsely chop into microwave safe bowl.  Microwave on high for 1-2 minutes, to soften potatoes.  Mash with fork or potato masher.  Add milk, sour cream, salt, and pepper and stir to combine.  Microwave for another 2 minutes or until hot for serving.  Ladle into mugs or bowls, and sprinkle with cheese, bacon, and green onion.

 

 

Sweet Cherry Cake

Strangely, a week after I published this post, I find that it has disappeared!  All except the title have vanished. Since we are in the middle of moving with little time for sleuthing, I need to delay my search for the photo and recipe content of the post.  In the meantime, I will do this week’s post.  This never happened to me before.  Any comments appreciated!

Mustard Seed Magic

Brown_Mustard_Seed_(Close)

Mustard seeds have become a staple in my pantry. Yellow, Brown, Black, Spicy – the seeds can be used in many ways.  I like to throw in a tablespoon or two with the olive oil when I heat the iron skillet to wilt some fresh greens.  When the seeds begin to pop, I add the greens, toss, and serve with vinegar.  The result:  a peppery flavor that is addictive!  I have coated fish and chicken with whole seeds before baking, creating a spicy crust. Of course, there are many variations of mustard as a condiment.

You can experiment with different vinegars or other liquids; adding spices (I like curry!) or adding honey or other sweeteners like molasses, sugar, or maple syrup.

Here is one delicious alternative to the ubiquitous yellow jar we usually find on the table for burgers, brats, or hot dogs. Spice up your grilling this summer!

Spicy Brown Mustard

1 cup white wine vinegar

3/4 cup brown mustard seeds

2 teaspoons sea  salt

1/2 teaspoon turmeric.

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Water, as needed

Place mustard seeds and vinegar in a small bowl or container, cover, and let soak at room temperature for 1 day. Transfer mustard seeds and liquid to jar of a blender. Add salt, turmeric, allspice, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Puree until smooth, adding 2 tablespoons of water at time to thin consistency as needed. Transfer to airtight container and store in refrigerator for 2 to 3 days before use.

 

 

Grilled Vegetable Omelet

Grilledveggieomelet

Cooking in my kitchen has been quite different in recent weeks for two reasons.  First, we had our house on the market, selling it days after listing. Second, I am on a medically prescribed restricted diet:  No tomatoes or sauces, no spices, no citrus, little or no fats, and only certain breads. We were eating more meals in restaurants, so the second  was complicated by the first. Since we needed to be out of the house often for showings, inspections, etc we still needed to eat out making menu choices more limited, and certainly more thoughtful.  This week, Joe brought in a take out meal which I had chosen resulting in leftovers – a  portion of grilled chicken breast and a larger portion of grilled vegetables. I decided to make this grilled vegetable omelet which was so good I will make it again, including grilling the veggies myself..OK, I admit, I added some chopped chicken too!

Grilled Vegetable Omelet    (serves 2).

4 large eggs.

1 Tablespoon water

1 cup or more chopped grilled vegetables (I used zucchini, broccoli, onions, and sweet red pepper).

Olive oil to coat the omelet pan (I used our vintage 8-inch curved side iron skillet)

Over moderate setting, heat a scant amount of oil in omelet pan or skillet

Add the eggs whipped with 1 Tablespoon water, and cook, lifting edges and tilting pan to allow raw egg to pour under the edge.  Continue until almost done, but still shiny, smoothing any liquid egg toward edge.  Add chopped vegetables and spread evenly over half the egg mixture.  Turn off heat.  Fold omelet in half, pressing slightly to seal edges. Egg will continue to cook.  Slide onto serving plate and garnish as desired.  I usually cut the halves and serve, but you can leave the omelet on the servng plate in order to serve yourself at table. We had this for breakfast, but it would be nice for a light lunch or supper as well.