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Semi-Gourmet From the Grocery Store.

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We needed dinner. We had virtually no meat and in this house, that is dangerous business.  I was in a hurry.  I had things to do. Strolling around a fancy new Kroger Market, I ran across a few prepackaged things I could throw together and make a fabulous meal. Quick! I mean really super-de- dooper Quick!  30 minutes from walking into the kitchen to sitting down at the table!  Love that!  I normally don’t do the prepackaged meals or heavily processed foods for dinner, but in a pinch, it was a great solution.

 

I started with pre-marinated chicken breast.  The package (brand: Beeman Gourmet) was 1.5 pounds of chicken breast and labeled Cilantro Lime flavor.  I love cilantroand  lime!  It was about $5.00.  Directions on the package said bake, grill or pan fry.  I chose to bake.  It was ready in about 25 minutes and the house was smelling great.  I could have easily fed four people from this package.  It contained two large breast and two smaller pieces of white meat (think tenders).  It tasted great and was juicy and tender.  I think I need to try out the other flavors they had hanging out in that case.

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The potatoes are Green Giant Fresh Whole Baby Potatoes in the Roasted Garlic and Butter flavored.  Love these potatoes.  LOVE!  They steam in the bag and are ready in about 5-6 minutes.  Super easy.  Pop the whole bag in a microwave safe dish, turn on the microwave and pour in a bowl.  All done and tasty, too!  I have another flavor hanging out in my refrigerator I can’t wait to try now!  I will be buying more of these.  These definitely get the Mrs. Langley Stamp of Approval!

New York Garlic Toast is nothing new to us.  In fact, The Boy will choose garlic bread over just about anything else!  But, I spotted these Old World Ciabatta Rolls with Cheese.   I thought we’d try something a little different, from a company we already loved.  My oven was already heated and they took about 5-6 minutes to cook.

Green Beans, because I can guarantee The Boy will eat green beans, every time! I took a can of Italian style green beans.  Poured out the juice, put it into microwave safe bowl and added 2 T of butter and season to taste.  I added Mike Mike’s Good Stuff.  Don’t go look for it on you grocery store aisle.  This is my dad’s concoction of spices, kind of like a seasoning salt.  Maybe I need to find out THAT recipe.

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Our gourmet grocery store meal was amazing.  We all enjoyed it tremendously!  Again only 30 minutes and I was not standing slaving over a hot stove for that 30 minutes, truth was, I was looking at puppies on the internet…I have puppy fever!  Our (almost 1-year-old)puppy, Cutter, needs a wife.

Here’s his classified add: My name is Cutter.  I’m a purebred Rat Terrier.  I am pearl and white in color, quite dashing actually.  I’m a  slim and trim 15 pounds and a tall 1 foot 2 inches.  I am the owner of an 8-year-old boy and we have the run of plenty of land, house and barn.  I’m seeking a cute little brown and white girlfriend, to eventually marry and spend the rest of my life with.  If you enjoy afternoon naps, belly rubs, chasing cats, chewing through peanut butter jars, playing fetch, speed racing a little boy and harassing  mules, give me a call.  I may be the man of your dreams! 

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Mmmm Mmmm Potato Soup

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My mom tells a story that when my parents were first married, she was working with my dad’s brother and sister-in-law at their family owned flower shop. My dad called one day to ask if she could stop by the grocery store to pick up the items to make potato soup and some orange soda pop, too. My mom said she would and proceeded to tell my aunt and uncle what he had requested and they looked at her and laughed and said your new husband is sick. That is what he always asks for when he is sick! Growing up, when anyone in the household was sick you could always count on some hearty potato soup to make the day brighter.

My own family now enjoys this soup. We even eat it when we are healthy (GASP!). My husband, who is the typical “meat and taters, don’t you dare give me a salad” kind of man, has stated that anytime I want to make him Mikey’s Potato Soup, go ahead, don’t even ask. I’m so sweet, I shared my cold with my husband a few days ago. So what did I do, whipped up my man some good Potato Soup. But really, who can resist a soup with bacon? Really?!

Here’s what you’ll need:

6 large baking potatoes, peeled and cubed, (note: I used a whole 5 lb bag of russet potatoes or about 10 cups of potatoes once diced.)

Here’s how I do it:

1/2 cup onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 Tablespoon of minced garlic

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon celery salt

3/4 teaspoons pepper

  • cover all of the above ingredients with water and boil till potatoes are tender

In the meantime:

  • Fry 8 slices of bacon, save 6 Tablespoons of bacon grease
  • Crumble bacon and set aside, save a little to garnish the top of the of each bowl.

Make a white sauce:

  • in a small sauce pan combine 6 tablespoons of the bacon grease you saved and
  • 2 tablespoons flour.
  • Stir till that is nice and bubbly, then
  • add 2 cups of milk.
  • continue to stir until it simmering

Once potatoes are tender strain excess water and return to large stockpot.

Add the white sauce and crumbled bacon mash and stir, mash and stir, till you have the texture you want your soup to be…

Top with grated cheddar cheese and more crumbled bacon… VWalllaaahh!!

Enjoy with some fresh cornbread and if you are my dad, with some orange soda pop!