Potato Soup

Potato Soup is a great complement to any cloudy, winter day. What I enjoy most about this recipe is it's very flexible. Sometimes I'll use ham or bacon, green onions or white onions, cream of chicken soup or cream of mushroom soup. I love mixing and matching -- enjoy!

6-7 large potatoes
5-6 slices country ham (or bacon)
1 medium onion
1 can cream of __ soup (I used cream of chicken this time!)
1 pint whole milk

-- Peel and cut potatoes in 1/4" sections. Boil potatoes.
-- While boiling potatoes, saute onions in butter then add ham.
-- Combine potatoes and onion mixture in a large soup pot. Add pint of milk and soup. Bring to a slow boil (careful not to scorch milk). Add seasonings to taste; I used oregano in the last pot.

You can add potato flakes to thicken the soup or more milk to thin it out. Add either to suit your preference. Skim milk may also be used.

Menu Ideas
I serve Jiffy corn muffins with my potato soup! The past few times I've made corn muffins I've baked them in the mini muffin pans so cute!

Would I eat/make this again? Yes. I love making potato soup.

Sausage and Rigatoni Fake-Bake

This recipe is from Rachael Ray's Big Orange Book [The Ultimate Collection of: All-new 30-minute meals, Vegetarian Dinners, Meals for One, Kosher Meals, Holiday Menus and much more!]. I've tried other recipes in this book and they never take me 30 minutes but they're always a lot of fun. Patrick and I picked this recipe out of the "Meals for One" section and decided to double it. I think that was a bad decision -- doubling it seemed to serve 4 so I guess Rachael Ray was expecting someone to have leftovers. I'll include the recipe as we doubled it!

Sausage and Rigatoni Fake-Bake by Rachael Ray
Serves 4

1/2 lb whole grain rigatoni
2 tbsp EVOO (extra virgin olive oil)
2 links hot Italian sausage
2 links sweet Italian sausage (we used all sweet Italian sausage)
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped or grated
2 8-oz cans tomato sauce
handful of fresh basil (I used dried basil)
4 tbsp heavy cream
1/2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (we used bagged fresh Italian cheese)

I also included 1 onion.

-Boil rigatoni in salted water and cook to al dente. Preheat broiler.
-Heat EVOO in a medium ovenproof skillet.
-Remove the sausage from the casing and add to skillet, breaking it up with a spoon as it browns ~5 minutes. Saute onion with sausage.
-Add the garlic, cook for a minute or two more, then stir in the tomato sauce and cook just to heat through. Fold the basil into the sauce and stir in the cream. Simmer the sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
-Add the drained pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with the sauce. Sprinkle the pasta with the cheese and place under the broiler, 3 to 4 minutes.


Snow Cream!

I haven't done much cooking this past week with snow on the ground. But I was able to fix one of my favorite treats which I'm only able to enjoy every few years or so when there's snow on the ground -- snow cream! Lots of people were unfamiliar with this delicate dessert, they'd say "what? you eat snow?" Snow cream is actually a bit of a family tradition. Granny called me the day of the snow and said she had stepped outside just long enough to get herself a scoop of snow for snow cream!

Snow Cream
Ingredients: Sweetened condensed milk, vanilla, snow*
*amount of snow varies. I'd say maybe about 1 1/2 cups for each person partaking in this joyous dish. Also powdery snow works best!

Combine all ingredients and enjoy! You may freeze if there's extra but it's ideal to eat it then.

When there's a snow storm coming, sweetened condensed milk is a much a part of my emergency food list as bread and peanut butter are. But if you don't have this milk and sugar will work just fine!