The Opinionated Foodie: The Love (or Not) of Food and Everything That Goes with It


Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Snow Weekend Eating and Cooking

This has been the best weekend ever. The last time I was outside of my house was Thursday at 3:45. It is now Sunday afternoon. So, so lovely.

We have worn almost the same clothes since arriving home from school. I have just about finished two books, watched hours of Say Yes to the Dress, played games, watched Christmas movies, and cooked.

It has all been lots of fun.
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Our first snow-weekend meal was fondue. We were in Nashville for Thanksgiving, and we stopped by Trader Joe’s on our way out of town to mingle with the yuppies and grab some unique eats. I tried to hang like a yuppie, but all my clothes matched and I left my sunglasses in the car so I couldn’t wear them in the store. So embarrassing.

I got some kale, seaweed, and a bag of almonds as big as my head for my brother-in-law; I am sure it is a gift that will keep on giving. (Shout out there to Mark and Cousin Eddie!) I also got all sorts of weird cheeses, so peppermint pretzels that I didn’t share, and this tub of fondue which we ate with leftover Conecuh sausage and some crunchy bread. Delish!
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After we ate, I made the usual joke about how we were now fondone. Mr. Picky just rolled his eyes at me.

Tough crowd.

For dessert, we had the necessary snow cake. It was the reason for the snow, I am sure. It just melts like snow in your mouth and lasts the whole snow weekend.
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I also made a potato soup that was a recipe of a friend’s friend. To. Die. For. I didn’t have Velveeta, so I used four cups of shredded Cheddar instead, and it was still fabulous. We ate it twice, and then I threw the rest out so I could use my large pot for chili. That did not go over very well when Mr. Opinionated went looking for it. I thought I was going to be thrown out in the snow. Yikes.
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I was spared when I promised to make it again someday. Whew.

The chili was okay, but it was beanless. Beanless chili is unheard of around here, but apparently I am expected to have beans even when the road looks like a mirror because it has so much ice on it.

Again, tough crowd.
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Today I made Grandma’s chicken and dumplins. This is the food that should be made for anyone who has to get out in weather like this. I promise you that a bowl could put hair on your chest and keep you warm for a month. It made up for the beanless chili.

Next, I am going to try to make buckeyes. Depending on if we have school tomorrow or not, who knows what else is coming out of my kitchen.

One thing’s for sure, it better have beans in it if it is supposed to.

The potato soup recipe which I halved:
10 cups cubed and peeled potatoes
3 cans of chicken broth
2 cans of water
1 stick of butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 carrots, sliced
2 T chives
1 T parsley flakes
1 1/2 t both salt and pepper
1 package real bacon bits

1 cup flour
2 cups milk

1 pound Velveeta, cubed
16 oz sour cream

In a large pot, combine all of the first eleven ingredients. Cook until the potatoes are tender-about fifteen minutes. Combine the flour and milk. Add flour and milk to the soup and bring to a boil. Stir often. Remove the pot from the heat, add the Velveeta, and allow to sit with the lid on for several minutes for the cheese to melt. Add the sour cream and stir to incorporate the cheese and sour cream.



Every Meal a Memory: Taco Soup

I hope you have had this soup a million times.  I hope it is committed to your memory.  I hope you can make it with your hands closed and both eyes tied behind your back.

I hope all of that because that would mean that you get to eat this soup like we do-often but in a good way. 

Taco soup is popular around this part of the country.  It is a go-to soup for weather like we have been having lately-cool enough for a soup that warms you right up.  It is also easy and hearty.  We eat it a lot.

I love this recipe, but I must admit that it isn’t really mine.  It belongs to my momma (pronounce that slowly and with a bit of a cadence-my momm-maah).  She makes this soup every Christmas Eve for supper.  We file in her house at random times throughout the night, and she has this soup on the stove for us to dip from as we get hungry.

It’s a favorite.  Try it and make it one of yours too. 

Here goes her recipe with my adjustments:

2 pounds ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped-I didn’t have one, so I left this out.
1 envelope taco seasoning
1 envelope-quart size-of Ranch dressing mix
2 regular cans of crushed tomatoes.  I used a 28 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Do not drain.
1 can of ro-tel.  I left this out too.  Do not drain if you want it spicy.
 1 can of pinto beans-I used butter beans. Drain ‘em.
2 cans of whole kernel corn.  Do not drain.
1 T of sugar
Salt and pepper to season

 In a large soup pot, brown the ground beef, onion, and bell pepper.  Drain if you want. (I didn’t.)  Add everything else to the pot, warm a little, and then take a little taste.  Season and add a little water as needed. I added half a can of water.   Allow to simmer for at least thirty minutes; the longer, the better.  I let my roll for an hour.  Season again if you need to. 

 I like my taco soup with a large dollop of sour cream and homemade tortilla chips.  Shredded cheese also goes well on top. 

 Try it; you’ll like it.  You have my word.




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