Monday, October 27, 2014

It's Soup Season & it's a Giveaway!!!

It's fall. Which means it's time for apple cider, miniature candies and soup. There is just one problem. Right now, my kitchen looks like this...



The boyfriend and I moved into our new house about six weeks ago. We have been painting, renovating and generally making a mess since the moment we got the keys. For this reason, I was so excited when I was contacted by Swanson Broths and asked to try out some of their new soup starters.



I got a sample of their Thai ginger broth soup starter last year (from the boyfriend who works in CPG sales) and absolutely loved it. Rather than having to add dozens of herbs and spices to create the necessary flavor for a Tom Yum soup, Swanson had taken care of it all. The Thai broth is currently out in grocery stores and totally worth a try. The new broth starters for this year are Tuscan Chicken and Louisiana Cajun.



I decided that yesterday was the day to finally make something in my new kitchen. We have been eating out just about every meal since the move and I was getting sick of it. Even with my kitchen in shambles, I was able to cook up this amazing soup for lunch. All I had to locate was a knife, cutting board and stockpot. Rather than going with one of the broth based soup starters, I chose to make a heartier potato soup and I used the traditional cream soup starter.



Out of sheer laziness and mild curiosity, I decided to use the recipe on the back of the carton. Generally I would have had everything I needed for this recipe in my house. However, since we are living in a construction zone and I haven't done a serious grocery run since August, I had to go to the grocery store. We needed everything except thyme, salt and pepper.



Even with my grocery run, this soup was done in under 90 minutes and oh my god was it amazing! It was a new sensation to have the house smelling of bacon, rather than paint. So good. Topping the soup with sour cream, cheese and more bacon made it unbelievably filling and the perfect lunch for this crisp fall day. I can't wait for my leftovers tomorrow!



Not only am I bringing you this delicious-looking recipe today, I've teamed up with Swanson Broths to bring you a "Soup-er" giveaway! (Ha! Sorry.)  Now it's your time to try out the new Swanson soup starters and get something gorgeous to serve them as well!

The first entry is just for stopping by today and finding this giveaway! Leave a comment in the usual place and let me know your favorite fall meal. You can earn additional entries by following the directions in the rafflecopter widget.  One lucky winner will receive the following...



One elegant, white soup tureen
Four white soup bowls (the same style as you see in the photos above)
Four chevron cloth napkins
One carton of each of the following Swanson products
   - Swanson Chicken broth
   - Swanson Chicken stock
   - Swanson Cream Starter traditional
   - Swanson Cream Starter, 25% Reduced Fat
   - Swanson Flavor Infused Louisiana Cajun Broth
   - Swanson Flavor Infused Tuscan Chicken Broth

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway will run from today (October 27) through November 3rd at 11:59pm. Rafflecopter will randomly choose a winner and I will contact the winner via e-mail. Swanson will ship out the goodies directly to the lucky winner! Sorry, this giveaway is only open to US residents.

Good luck everyone!

And BTW, our lunch may have looked lovely and serene. 



But pull back from the table and you see the chaos we've been living with! Yes, we're eating on a table that is meant to sit outside on our patio. And also yes, those chairs are completely splattered with paint. I can't wait until the house is finished!

Disclosure: I received a sample of these Swanson products for review purposes. The opinions are completely my own based on my experience. Swanson is also sponsoring this soup season giveaway. 

One Year Ago: Halloween Mallomars
Two Years Ago: Cheesy Polenta with Sausage
Three Years Ago: Povitica
Four Years Ago: Butternut Squash Soup

Loaded Potato Soup
Adapted from Swanson Broths

I started off planning to use the traditional cream starter. After I cooked up my bacon and saw how much grease they produced, I went with the reduced fat cream starter and cut it with some of the chicken broth. You can use vegetable broth if you want to keep the recipe vegetarian.

8 ounces thick cut, peppered bacon
3 large Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice
1 large white onion, diced
3 stalk celery, diced
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon thyme, crushed
1 carton (3 cups) cream starter, 25% reduced fat
1 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon chopped chives
1/4 cup sour cream

In a large stockpot over medium heat, saute bacon until crispy. Remove bacon from the pot and lew drain on paper towels. Pour out all but 2 tablespoons of bacon grease.

Add potato, onion, celery and salt and toss to coat in bacon grease. Cook for 5 minutes, until potatoes pick up a little bit of color. Add garlic and thyme and saute for an additional minute.

Add cream starter and chicken broth and stir until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cover pot with a lid. Maintain soup at a low boil for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove lid and add half of the cheddar cheese and half of the bacon. Stir and let simmer for 2 minutes.  Portion out heaping ladles of soup and top with cheese, bacon, sour cream and chives. Serve with a chunky piece of bread for scooping up every last drop of soup!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

CTB 2014 - Williams Sonoma - Pasta

Welcome to Fall everyone! I'd love to say that this recipe is coming from my new kitchen. Sadly, the only thing I have made in my new kitchen is oatmeal. And that was from the slow cooker! Our new house is a bit of a mess right now and dinner is the last thing on my mind at the end of the day. It's either been frozen food (prepared fresh in my oven!) or dinner out.


Looking at this recipe, I could totally throw this together at the end of a long day. It took no time at all to boil pasta and heat up the pepperoni and arugula. It would require a trip to the grocery store though. I don't know if I'm up for that right now!


I'll be sharing a more completed tour of our new house in a few weeks. Right now the house can be found under piles and piles of stuff. Not boxes, because we didn't actually put our stuff in boxes to move it. We kind of just tossed stuff in those reusable grocery bags from Wegmans and piled it up in the moving truck. Did I mention that we bought a townhouse that is less than a quarter mile from our old apartment? Such an easy move!


Hopefully soon I will be back in the kitchen. It is completely serviceable right now (I cleaned up the mess from the previous post), but there is so much more to deal with in the house! Plus, we are probably going to re-tile the floor, add a backsplash and paint the walls. A mini remodel is in the works for my mini kitchen!

Until then, maybe I'll make this pasta again. Quick and easy is the name of the game right now!

Friday, October 3, 2014

WITK Update

Hi Internet friends! You may (or may not) have been wondering what I have been up to recently. Maybe questioning why I haven't been posting a lot recently? Well... A few weeks ago I posted a long overdue summer cookie recipe and alluded to some exciting news. I'm happy to share with you now the following picture...


Ta da!!!  It's my new kitchen!  

Okay, I know it's a huge mess. Don't look at the chaos. Just know that this kitchen sits within the walls of our new house! The boyfriend and I are officially homeowners! The kitchen (and every other room in the house) needs a little bit of love and a coat of paint, but it's all ours. 

We've been spending weekends and weeknights, trying to turn someone else's house into our own. We moved in two weekends ago and I promptly went to Spain for a conference. 




Now I'm back in the country and ready to take on the house again. I'm really going to try and organize the giant mess in the kitchen this weekend. I'd really like a home cooked meal!

You'll be seeing tasty treats from the Wilde kitchen again soon!
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