On a cold winter day after shoveling snow, there is no better way to warm yourself than with Potato Cheese Soup. I think it is my favorite winter soup.
With a tray of soup and a warm comfy throw ~ what better way to spend a Sunday afternoon watching football on the sofa.
Potato Cheese Soup
2 cups peeled, diced potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1-1/2 tsp. salt, divided
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
1/2 tsp. steak sauce
2 cups milk
8 oz.sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Optional for garnish:
1 pound fried and crumbled bacon
1 bunch spring greens,chopped
Bring potatoes, onion, celery and 1 tsp. salt to a boil. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes. In saucepan, melt butter and blend in flour, stirring constantly. Add remaining salt along with pepper, dry mustard, steak sauce and milk. Cook, stirring constantly until smooth and thickened. Add shredded cheese and stir until melted. Add cheese sauce to the potato mixture and simmer for five additional minutes.
Garnish with crumbled bacon and spring greens.
Serves 4 ~ 6
Note: I usually use sharp cheddar cheese, making the soup more orange in appearance, but this time I used Kraft Jalapeno White Cheddar, which gives the soup an extra kick and warms the belly. Sometimes I use Monterey Jack with hot peppers, or a mixture of Jack and Cheddar cheeses.
Winter is my least favorite of all the seasons, but I am also finding ways to enjoy it more and more. When I used to ski, I loved winter and it wasn't nearly long or cold enough. I think that is why I liked skiing ~ it made me love winter for the first time in my life.
But I have long ago laid up my skis since I was never very good at it, and as I was getting older, I realized I'd better give it up before I broke something major.
Now I see winter as a rest from all the outside yard work and the external care that an older home requires. It has become a "breather" for me. An okay to curl up on the couch and "chill".
I also use winter to do some of those inside projects that I can't squeeze in during the warmer months. Projects like reupholstering, making curtains, painting, and cleaning out the attic. Well, this is my current winter project that I have put off for over 10 years ~ stripping the paint off of my old doors, putting up new molding, and repainting.
This is what my doors currently look like. (Yes, I still haven't taken down my Christmas decorations.) You can imagine how many coats of paint a 60 + year old house has on it that makes the paint crack.
My house isn't large enough to have a hallway, but it has a cul de sac of sorts that consists of six doorways leading to various rooms. One doorway is open to the living room and the other five open to bedrooms, the bathroom, upstairs and a closet.
I was going to do one door at a time from start to finish, but realized if I did it that way, it was very likely I would quit halfway through. So I'm working on all six doorways and living with their unfinished state in order to stay motivated to finish the whole project.
Here is one of the doors during the stripping process that is done with a heat gun. As you can see, it is quite a messy project.
It's amazing how much that pile of paint chips weighs when it is all bagged up. It is a long and tedious process, so I only do one door a day or a couple door frames. After you get all the paint off, then it all needs sanding.
I have finished up four doorways completely with two more to go.
Today I removed the rest of the molding.
My two helpers are taking a siesta ~ their version of coping with a snowy winter day.
Wish I could show you a totally finished door, but that is a few weeks off yet. I should be working on this project right now instead of writing about it, but I promise I will show you them eventually when they are all finished with new trim, floor molding and refinished floors.
New Year's resolutions are hard to keep and to be honest, I rarely stick with
one of them long enough for it to become a habit or life style change.
But every year I try again, because to stop trying is to stop growing.
I am coming to grips with the very real fact that if I don't start taking better care
of my health and my body, it's not going to take care of me.
Getting older can be such a pain ~ literally.
So I planned out a two-week menu of healthy meals and headed to the grocery store. As I was putting the food away, I realized how beautiful the textures and colors are and couldn't help but snap a few pictures.
My body will probably go into shock eating all these beautiful fruits and vegetables, but eventually it will repay my efforts with more energy.
We take our health for granted until we don't have it anymore. Once again I'm trying to turn over a new leaf with lots of leafy vegetables, fruit, water, and exercise. So up on the menu for lunch today is a wonderful kale salad with pomegranate seeds, avocado, and hard-boiled eggs.
Even my chickens get fed fresh kale and cabbage every week.
It's pitiful that I feed them healthier than I feed myself.
Is anyone else trying to improve their eating habits this year?
I just wish it wasn't so expensive to eat healthy.
I'm a mother of one "out-of-college" daughter, inheritor of one cat,a dog and four chickens, full time medical secretary, gardener, painter of furniture, fixer-upper and handy woman around my house, passionate about decorating, lover of flea markets and yard sales, restorer of old things, but most importantly, a daughter of God. Blogging is a way to journal and share my life, passions, and journey with anyone interested enough to follow along.