The Baker Upstairs

1.16.2018

Baked Potato Soup

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This loaded baked potato soup is quick and easy to make, and so delicious! The perfect cozy meal for a cold night!

This loaded baked potato soup is quick and easy to make, and so delicious! The perfect cozy meal for a cold night!

After the snowpocalypse last year in Portland, I was bracing myself for another tough winter this year. So far, though, it has been incredibly mild. We've had some rainy days (although less than usual, it seems) and only one icy/snowy day so far. This last week has been beautiful, and we've had several sunny days in the mid-50s. We've been taking advantage of the great weather and spending as much time as we can playing at the park and soaking in all the sunshine we can get. My kids have decided that it's just spring already, and have been asking if they can wear shorts to school. (I don't really have the heart to tell them that we're heading into a few weeks of rainy and cold days. Sorry kiddos!) As excited as I have been to have these sunny spring-like days, though, I'm still not ready to give up my winter soups!

There really is nothing better than a warm bowl of soup on a cold night. Soup is my favorite form of comfort food, and I would gladly eat it every night of the week. This baked potato soup is one that I've been making for years now, and it's always a big hit! Everyone I have made it for has loved it, and I love that it's quick and easy to make. Cooking the potatoes beforehand in the microwave gives it that baked potato flavor and texture, but it also speeds up the cook time so the soup is ready in about thirty minutes. It's perfect for a busy night when you still want something tasty and filling for dinner!

This loaded baked potato soup is quick and easy to make, and so delicious! The perfect cozy meal for a cold night!
Baked Potato Soup

5 medium russet potatoes
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup flour
2 cups milk
4 cups chicken broth
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/3 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup sour cream

for topping:
Sour cream
Shredded cheddar cheese
Chopped green onions
Bacon pieces

Microwave potatoes until cooked through. Remove from the microwave and let sit until cool enough to handle. Remove the potato skins (they should peel off easily), then cut the potatoes into small chunks. Melt the butter in a large soup pot over medium heat. Add the flour, and whisk until combined. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk, stirring constantly to prevent lumps. Whisk in the chicken broth, and bring to a simmer. Cook until thickened and bubbling, about 10 minutes. Mix in the potato chunks. Remove from heat and whisk in the salt, pepper, cheddar cheese, green onions, and sour cream. Serve immediately. Garnish with sour cream, cheddar cheese, green onions and bacon as desired.
This loaded baked potato soup is quick and easy to make, and so delicious! The perfect cozy meal for a cold night!

For more delicious soup recipes featuring potatoes, check out some of my favorites below:



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1.11.2018

Tostada Pizza

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This cheesy tostada pizza is a delicious meatless meal that's super easy to make!

This cheesy tostada pizza is a delicious meatless meal that's super easy to make!

Hey friends! It's been a minute. I hope your new year has been wonderful so far! I've been really excited to get started on my goals for the new year, and so far (11 days in) things are going great! I mentioned before that we are hoping to buy our first home this summer, and so we are trying to save every penny that we can for a down payment. I'm also working on some healthier habits, including (gasp!) giving up my beloved Diet Coke, getting enough sleep, and meeting my exercise goal every day. My reward has been that I've been feeling great so far this year! So great, in fact, that I haven't wanted to sit down at the computer and work. :) As fun as it has been for me to spend the last few weeks re-watching old episodes of Doctor Who and going for walks at the park with my husband, it means I have totally neglected to share this tostada pizza with you, which is an absolute shame.

Since I absolutely love both easy dinner ideas and homemade pizza, this pizza is right up my alley! It's super quick to make (less than thirty minutes) and is full of flavor. My kids love it, and my husband does too! He was a little skeptical the first time I tried to feed him pizza with fresh salad on top of it, but after a few bites he was totally sold. The savory beans and cheese are the perfect contrast to the fresh lettuce and tomatoes, and the ranch/sour cream mixture on top helps to tie everything together. This is one of our favorite pizzas, and we make it often!

This cheesy tostada pizza is a delicious meatless meal that's super easy to make!
Tostada Pizza

dough for one pizza crust
1 cup refried beans
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
2 tablespoons ranch dressing
2 cups chopped iceberg lettuce
2 medium tomatoes, chopped

Preheat the oven to 500 with a baking stone or overturned cookie sheet inside. Spread the dough out to form a large circle. In a small bowl, mix the refried beans with the garlic, cumin, and chili powder. Spread the refried beans over the pizza crust in an even layer, then sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake 7-9 minutes, or until the crust is golden brown. In a small bowl, mix together the sour cream and ranch dressing. Sprinkle the lettuce and tomatoes over the top of the pizza, then drizzle with the sour cream mixture. Serve immediately.
This cheesy tostada pizza is a delicious meatless meal that's super easy to make!

For more fantastic pizza recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



12.29.2017

Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

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These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures! 

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures!

I know that technically the Christmas cookie season is over, but these cranberry orange shortbread cookies are too delicious not to share! If you can't tell, I've been on a total shortbread kick lately (see here and here). It's so easy to make, has just a few ingredients, and tastes delicious! I love that there are endless variations, and they all turn out fantastic. This particular variation has an amazing combination of flavors, with the cranberry and orange playing off each other beautifully. I also love that they are dipped in white chocolate. The smooth and creamy white chocolate complements the buttery cookies really nicely. Yum!

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures!

These cookies keep really well, so they're perfect for making ahead of time. You can also freeze half of the dough for later, if you just need a small batch. I like to roll the dough into a log, wrap it in parchment, then place it in a ziplock freezer bag. It stays fresh until I'm ready to bake, and I can have fresh cookies with basically no effort. That's always a win in my book!

These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures!
Cranberry Orange Shortbread Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
2/3 cup powdered sugar
zest of one orange
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon orange extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup white chocolate candy melts or white almond bark

In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy. Add the orange zest, vanilla and orange extract, and mix until combined. Add the flour and salt, and mix to form a thick dough. Shape the dough into a log that is approximately 2 inches in diameter. Wrap in parchment or plastic wrap, and freeze thirty minutes. Near the end of the chilling time, preheat the oven to 325 and line a baking sheet with parchment or silicone. Slice the cookie dough into 1/4 inch slices, and place 1/4 inch apart on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 18-20 minutes, or until light golden brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool completely. After the cookies have cooled, melt the candy melts according to the package directions. Dip each cookie into the candy melts and place on a parchment lined baking sheet to cool. Store in an airtight container.
These cranberry orange shortbread cookies are rich and buttery, with the perfect contrast of flavors and textures!

For more deliciously sweet shortbread recipes, check out some of my favorites below:



previously published on I Heart Naptime

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