Food for Your Soul

Growing up in New England I had the joy of having four real seasons. I had a spring, summer, fall and a winter. But my seasons didn’t follow the calendar. I have more cold months then warm months, that just means I got to enjoy those warm good for your soul comfort foods longer.

There is something to be said about comfort foods that can bring a smile your face just by the mention of it like creamy mashed potatoes, hot chicken noodle soup, beef stew from the slow cooker, and nothing beats creamy cheesy macaroni and cheese straight from the oven. I might not have cold months any more living in the south but I do have wet, rainy days that nothing warms my family’s wet bones more then comfort food for dinner.

I grew up with the box version of the mac & cheese, as did my kids. But my husband has issues when it comes to powder cheese so I went to find the best tasting mac & cheesy. Best part is it is still really cheese even after putting in the oven.

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

Baked Macaroni & Cheese

 

Macaroni & Cheese

  • 8oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 oz gouda cheese
  • 1/2 ts paprika
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 2 c chicken stock
  • 1/3 c flour
  • 1/3 c water
  • 1 lb elbow noodles

Directions:

  1. In a large sauce pan start to heat up the chicken stock.
  2. In a measuring cup mix together the flour and water with a whisk. ( I find doing it this way take the clumps out that you sometimes gets when mixing flour and wet ingredients.)
  3. Slowly add the flour mixture to the chicken stock. Cook until slightly think.
  4. Slowly add the cheeses in the stock. Make sure to stir after each addition. This helps melt the cheese and keeps everything creamy. Add in the paprika, salt, and pepper. Stir to completely combine.
  5. Add cooked elbow noodles to the mixture. Mix everything together. Now you can eat it like this or you can transfer to a baking dish and bake for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees with a foil cover.

Hint: To make it a complete meal by mixing in bacon or ham and broccoli. Or a fresh side salad.

 

 

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Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

There is this restaurant near us that serves this loaded potato soup that everyone in the family but me loves. I swear they eat just about every time we go. I’m sorry there is just something wrong about eating a soup that has french fries. French fries needs either ketchup or honey mustard do dip it.

I wanted to make a soup that was healthier and that had a lot a veggies in it but still tasted like the soup that they love. After looking at a few dozen recipes and finding nothing that I liked. So I took pieces of recipes that I like and just combined them to make this soup and added cheese. The trick to making this soup healthier is not using flour to thicken it, you are just pureeing potatoes and that does the thickening for you. Add you can even use fat free cheese to make it even healthier, the texture of the soup does change just a little but it is still amazing.

If you put this great soup in a bread bowl you get a filling and satisfying meal, with no dishes to clean up afterwards. That is a win win!  I better you never though that eating your vegetable could taste so good.

Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

 

Potato Broccoli Cheddar Soup

  • 1 small onion
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled
  • 1 celery stalk
  • 3 potatoes, medium to large size
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 2 ts Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup of broccoli
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 c milk

Directions:

  1. Dice up carrots, onion, and celery. Place in medium pot. Cook until the onions are tanslucent.
  2. Add potatoes, 3/4 cup broccoli, and water. Cover, cooking until potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Using a hand blender smooth potatoes and broccoli. Once smooth cooke for another 10 minutes. Add the rest of the broccoli and Worcestershire sauce, cook until tender.
  4. Add milk. Slowly add cheese in, make sure to stir after each addition. Salt and pepper to taste.

**If desired serve in a toasted bread bowl topped with bacon and extra cheese.

Steak, Potatoes, & Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Just because you on are a budget does not mean you have to eat cheap. Steak, I know can be expensive especially when you have a family five. I am a meat and potato kinda girl and I love steak. So I went out to find a way to get the great piece of meat but still stay on budget, and that is how I found flank steak.

For those of you who don’t know flank steak is a tougher piece of meat that needs some tender, love, and care to make it amazing. This looks hard but it is so easy to make. It only has four ingredients and you probably have every thing on hand to begin with. I like to use what I have so I don’t have to spend more money or buy in bulk so it can be used for more then one meal, always a plus. This is a great meal to do on the grill. Your mouth will start to water after just a few minutes after it hits the grill.

This is such a huge hit with my family my kids were crying when we ran out of asparagus

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Steak, Potatoes, & Bacon Wrapped Aspargus

Steak, Potatoes, & Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

Steak, Potatoes, & Bacon Wrapped Asparagus

  • 1 lb flank steak
  • 1-2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 2 lbs asparagus
  • 4 Ts deli mustard, NOT YELLOW MUSTARD
  • 1 ts basil
  • 2 Ts lemon juice
  • 1/2 lbs bacon
  • olive oil

Directions:

  1. Take the steak and trim off the white membrane as best as you can from both sides.
  2. In a small bowl mix together the mustard, basil, and lemon. Spread mixture on both sides of the steak and let sit for at least four hours in the refrigerator.
  3. Trim at least 1/2 inch off the bottom on the asparagus. Take 4 asparagus and wrap them in bacon. Place on cookie sheet. If making a head of time place in refrigerator until ready to cook. If ready to cooky place in oven at 350 degrees and cook until bacon is done and asparagus is tender, about 15-20 minutes.
  4. Take potatoes and trim off any parts that are eyes or brown. Cut in half and place in bowl. Drizzle a little olive oil and mix until everything is coated.
  5. Take potatoes and place on pre heated grill about 10 minutes before adding the steak.
  6. Once steak is done marinating place on grill. Cook until desired pink is achieved. I like doing it for a medium which takes about 20 minutes. One end of the steak might be thinner then the rest so be careful not to over cook.
  7. Once potatoes and steak are done remove from grill. Let steak rest for about 5 minutes before cutting. This will help keep the juices in the steak and not run all over your plate. When cutting steak, cut with the grain not against.