21 March, 2007

Souper Carb Overload (Bathing suit season, here we come!)

Mr. Monogram is a meat and potato’s type of guy. And by meat and potatoes, I quite literally mean MEAT & POTATO’s. But sometimes I just do not feel like marinating a slab of beef (note: MM never just throws her beef or chicken on the grill or oven; it is always well marinated and prepared) and really, how many different ways can one make potatoes? At this point in our marriage I’m about 1 potato recipe shy of building a potato skyscraper for the next FoodTV challenge. Seriously. And honestly, and I’m really being honest with you and you know how I hate lying, I really do not enjoy cooking all that much anymore. *and we hear large gasps from the crowd* I know. Martha, if you are reading this, please don’t leave just yet, and allow me to explain myself.

I really used to love to cook and I LOVE reading recipes and finding new recipes and trying new things. But at this point in my life, being a SAHM with two very young little boys who are about the pickiest eaters this side of the Mississippi, I just don’t have the energy to spend hours in the kitchen prepping and dicing away. I just don’t enjoy it anymore like I used to (unless I’m entertaining and then you’ll find me in the kitchen doing everything from scratch starting two days prior). So that would explain my recent love affair with Sandra Lee (although she has no idea I’m currently having a love affair with her so it’s a bit one sided at this moment). So clearly, monogram momma is ALL ABOUT things being semi-homemade these days. I suppose if my children actually ate what I prepared or if my husband actually arrived home at the same general time each evening (coughOR EVEN CALLED TO SAY HE”D BE LATE), I would feel much different about this. Bitter, table for one, please! But the fact remains that short of the dog, who is not allowed to eat anything that doesn’t say “IAMS: Large Breed Adult Active Maturity Formula” on the bag, no one in my house really cares that I spent 2 hours preparing and making dinner and if I’m just more irritated by the time it’s all over, then why even do it?

So it really only makes sense that right now I am all about the crock pot and semi-homemade meals or anything that can be prepared in 20 min or less, compliments of Rachel or Sandra. But like I said, sometimes I just do not feel like marinating the side of a cow for Mr. Monogram, and let’s get real here (although don't misunderstand...I do love me some red meat too). Sometimes it just has to be about my needs too, right? So this is where my semi-homemade recipe came into play and it’s so delicious and sinfully easy (although honestly again, I won’t be going to confession over it), that it might appeal to a few of you out there. Now, do I think this is borderline tacky and below me? Perhaps. I’m still deciding that and will get back to you. But you know what? It’s not like I’m serving it to a dining room full of dinner guests on my fine china and sterling silverware and if it looks good and tastes good and I DID make it, after all, then maybe it isn’t so tacky after all for a Tuesday night dinner at home.

Quick Potato Soup Recipe

You Will Need
- 1 3/4 cups instant mashed potato flakes
-1 1/2 cups dry milk powder
-2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
-2 teaspoons dried minced onion
-1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1/4 teaspoon ground white pepper
-1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
-1/8 teaspoon ground turmeric
- 1 1/2 teaspoons seasoning salt
- Handful of Bleu Cheese
-Chopped up chives to taste

1. Combine potato flakes, dry milk, bouillon granules, onion, parsley, pepper, thyme, turmeric and seasoning salt in a bowl and stir to mix. Pour into a 1 quart jar to store.
2. To serve, place 1/2 cup soup mix in bowl. Stir in 1 cup boiling water until smooth. Once it’s all mixed, I also add in bleu cheese, a little mozzarella, and some chives. I also sprinkle some paprika on top when it’s all done too, just for a prettier presentation.

But I’m still not done. See, I don’t serve mine in a regular old bowl. Sure, I like my everyday china just fine, thank you, but I really prefer to serve my soup in a bread bowl. A bread bowl is my way of saying, “sure all I made for dinner was this semi-homemade soup, but I think enough of you to hollow out a whole loaf of bread to dump it in!” I mean, it makes sense, right? So anyway, you can use pretty much any type of bread loaf you like. I typically use a sourdough round from my grocer’s bakery. Using a pairing knife, I cute about a 4” diameter circle out of the top, then pull the top off. I then start pulling the insides out with my fingers, leaving about an inch or so of bread on the inner wall of the bowl. Don’t throw that bread away though! It can be frozen for making croutons or breadcrumbs in the future (heck, who am I kidding?! We usually feed ours to the ducks). Moving along, now that your bread bowl is essentially made, I spray some non-stick spray oil inside of it and rub in a little garlic as well. Pop that baby in the oven for roughly 10-15 minutes at 400 degrees until it turns golden brown, and you’ve got yourself a lovely little bread bowl with a yummy garlicky flavor that not only looks like you went to a whole lotta trouble, but it tastes like it too.

Okay, so I have to come clean with you guys. Sometimes, even my short-cut soup recipe is still a little too time consuming (WHAT?! Don’t judge, people! I’m very busy keeping up with all the Anna Nicole Smith babydaddy drama, you know). Yes, sometimes I literally have about 15 minutes to pull something together for Mr. Monogram. So in those emergency situations, what’s a momma to do? Well, this momma pulls out her Bear Creek Creamy Potato Soup mix. So what if it’s right out of the bag? I swear to you, this is a really tasty soup that can be ready in mere minutes and with some doctoring up, your own Mr. will never know it wasn’t actually homemade at all. *wink*

P.S Of utter importance if you use the Bear Creek soup mix is to remember to throw all evidence away!

P.P.S. In light of the fact that I am sans any camera equipment until my new stuff arrives, ya'll will have to either put up with whatever stock random images I can pull from the net or some lovely computer drawn illustrations. I thought you would prefer the first choice.


sisters with style said...

Wow! Your family and my family should get togehter--our husband's would eat beef and potatoes, and our kids wouldn't eat ANTYHING we prepared! Your story is really, really familiar to me!!

Libby said...

I've your back on your Bear Creek assertion, MM, it's quality and tasty!

ps: Your banner keeps getting cooler and cooler every time I visit!

Maureen said...

I am a SAHW (M upside down= wife). I think that my hubby and yours were cut of the same cloth. Mine could have meat and potatoes every single day (ok the days he is not having pepperoni pizza--he is Italian afterall). Seein as I like to put something different on our plates each day it is a challenge to come up with something new. Love Sandra Lee and her shortcuts through the kitchen. Thanks for the clue in about the soup mix.

Southern Mom said...

The soup sounds so yummy!! Can you please share any good crockpot recipes or cookbooks? Glad you had a great birthday! Oh, I love the green background and your banner!

Monogram Momma said...

THANK YOU, LIBBY! I swear it is so good!

Southern mom: YEs! I've got loads of crockpot recipes and I've got a random website I found with a HUGE list of recipes that I will post for you.

Yes, Marueen, mine too!

hqm said...

My word...my husband would think your soup was a feast! With our schedules, we eat together only twice a week and usually he does the cooking. The other nights the girls and I fly by the seat of our pants!

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing your recipe and for all the other great posts you've had. I'm really inspired reading your blog and have you on 'My Favorite Reads' blog list!

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe and for all your great posts! I've enjoyed reading your blog for awhile now.

I apologize I haven't commented sooner but only recently created a login and blog myself.

Love your great ideas and inspiration!

Monogram Momma said...

Welcome, Emily! I'm so glad you are enjoying yourself over here and I will stop by your blog today!

Lilly said...

I hear you. BF will not consume anything that does not involve simple meats, potatos or masses of cheese (i.e. pizza), which drives me crazy, because I love to cook. I'm perusing magazines, websites and shows for new stuff to cook. But the bottom line is...he does not like it. And it drives me nuts. You can only do plain chicken and beef or potatos so many ways. I'm getting discouraged. You'd think he'd appreciate effort and creativity but no. And refuses to eat veggies or anything slightly different, because his mom didn't make him and he's too old to change (he is 26). Oy. I will have to try the soup when I'm too exhausted to cook!

Susan D said...

Have you tried Let's Dish www.letsdish.com or some of the other franchises, such as Super Suppers? They have the recipes, ingredients, etc. You prepare, then take home and freeze. Simply defrost when you are ready. All sorts of meals - chicken, pork, fish,etc. We have really enjoyed everything that I "made", plus it's a huge timesaver!

Monogram Momma said...

Yes, Susan! Those places are great. We have about 5 in the small city where I live and they are hugely popular. I blogged about them a little while ago actually!

Alyssa said...

Anything that involves bread being used as a bowl is perfect in my opinion :-)