Friday, August 8, 2014

100 Tiny Potatoes

Every week my mom brings me a large haul from the farmer's market around the corner from her shop.

Over the past few weeks, I've accumulated more potatoes than God ever meant for one person to eat. (Also, four onions, about a hundred apples, and countless peppers, among other things.) As such, today I decided to cook some things to freeze or give away to friends and family to use some of it up, as I absolutely cannot stand to see food go to waste.

So, after a lengthy call with my mother regarding what I might do with a million small potatoes, I decided on potato soup, since it can be divided up and frozen quite easily. I am a big fan of being able to throw something together without heading to the store by using what you have on hand, so keep in mind as you read the recipe below that it can certainly be altered as you go.

Here's what I used:

An undetermined number of small potatoes of varying types (Yukon, sweet, and Idaho all included)
3 Large carrots
1 Large Vidalia onion
1 Cup 2% milk
4 Tablespoons butter
Garlic to taste (I used finely chopped from a jar, but fresh would of course work also - but I am lazy)
About half a container of vegetable cream cheese
Lots of water (amount will depend on how many potatoes you are using)
Approximately 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan and cheddar cheeses (I would have used more if I'd had more)

Start by chopping up all of your potatoes into small, bite-sized pieces. In a stock pot or dutch oven, boil enough water to cover the amount of potatoes you are using. I let the potatoes boil for about 20 minutes before I threw in my other ingredients, but you can base the amount of time you do so for on how soft or hard you'd like your potatoes to be. I wanted mine to be softer.

This is what three weeks worth of farmer's market tiny potatoes look like chopped into small bits:

And this is a potato that I thought looked like a thumb:

Moving on.

Next I finely chopped one large white onion (I didn't even cry!), and I grated three large carrots. I REALLY hate grating. I believe it is comparable to shaving corn off the husk for me. It is truly impossible not to splatter carrot bits or corn all over my beautiful, clean kitchen when doing so. Hate.

Upon determining that my potatoes were on their way to an appropriate level of softness, I poured out just a bit of the water and reserved the rest. Then I dumped in the carrots and onion. Next went the milk, the butter, and the cream cheese. After the butter and cream cheese have melted, stir everything together. Remember that this soup will thicken, so if it seems a bit watery, you are probably OK.

Once you've done all that, you can use salt and pepper to season to your taste. I used a LOT of both. Potato soup can be a bit bland if you are not heavy-handed with the seasonings. This can also be done after the soup has cooked for a bit.

When it was all said and done, my soup was on the stove simmering with the lid removed for about an hour. I then turned the gas completely off so that it would thicken a bit more. You can base how long you let it cook on the firmness of your veggies and the thickness of the soup.

The only step left is to enjoy! My batch ended up making a little less than what I was expecting, but if you make a lot, this will freeze well for quite a while. I recommend garnishing with green onions and cheddar cheese! I'm now off to figure out what to do with the overflow of apples. Please leave me a comment with any suggestions!

Happy Cooking from my Kitchen to Yours!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Back Again

Well folks, it seems that the last time I updated this little blog of mine was May 20, 2013. Something tells me that's not exactly good for my "following."

And so, at the encouragement of several close friends, I would like to make an effort to resurrect this little blog of mine (have I said that before?) and catch you all up to speed. In my defense, it's been quite a wild year. In 2013, I quit my job, got a new job, got a new car, adopted another chow who might actually be a tiger, and... bought a house. Yep, you read that right. Not shoes. Not a bag. (Well ok, maybe I bought some of those too.) But... a house. It's true. I became a first time home buyer on August 16, 2013, at the ripe old age of 26. Real life.

As I am almost at the one year mark of being in my little cottage, I have decided it is time to start recording the tales of woe and wonder (and trust me, there have been plenty) of this journey before I forget any of the moments that have made the house the home it is. And so, upon the resurrection of Tastes of Pink Champagne, I will be adding a section: NestI'll still be discussing all the great things in life that I wrote about before: personal style, cooking, books, pets, and the like. But it must be known that The Cottage now occupies a large piece of my heart.

So, welcome back, old friends. Please share me with your friends, with your grandma, or, if you find this blog to be something irritating that grates on your nerves, share me with that colleague you don't like as a secret form of torture. I'll take whatever I can get.

For now, I'm off to determine which tale to regale you with first...

*Insert evil laugh here*