Impressing myself

The past few nights, I have had a great time cooking. It made me so happy. We had baked potato soup two nights ago. It was super yummy. It’s an adaptation of a recipe I found a long time ago on allrecipes. When I make a ham, I always save a big baggie of  bite-sized cut chunks for this soup in the freezer. If you don’t have it, you can use bacon bits. (but it’s not as good…I’m just going to tell you that now) I didn’t have sour cream this time and it was every bit as good as other times, so I don’t know if I am going to include it from now on. Might as well save some calories, right?

  • 9 baking potatoes
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups whole milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ham chunks or bacon bits
  • 10 ounces shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 1 (8 ounce) container sour cream


  1. Prick potatoes with a fork and cook in the microwave, 3 or 4 at a time, and scoop out the flesh (while the others are cooking).
  2. In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook about a minute. Whisk in milk, a little at a time, stirring constantly until thickened. Stir in potatoes, salt, pepper, 1/3 cup ham chunks/bacon bits, and most of the cheese. Cook until thoroughly heated. Stir in sour cream and heat through. Serve topped with remaining cheese.
Now, tonight, I made swiss steak which I served over basmati rice. I also made buttermilk biscuits. My youngest picked the veg to go with it so we had corn. 🙂  Here’s the swiss steak recipe:


  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds round steak, cut into small pieces
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shredded
  • 1 small can tomato sauce and 1 small can tomato juice. And I really mean small.
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar, or to taste


  1. In a shallow bowl, mix the flour, salt, and pepper. Lightly coat the round steak pieces in the flour mixture.
  2. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the onion, and carrots about 5 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat, and set aside. Mix in the round steak pieces, and cook until lightly browned.
  3. Place the vegetables and steak in a slow cooker. Mix in the tomatoes with juice, Worcestershire sauce, and brown sugar.
  4. Cover, and cook 8 to 10 hours on Low, until the round steak is very tender.

This was so good. It’s the first time I have ever made this. There’s not a lot you can do with bottom round steak. It’s cheap and tough. This was so tender, it was unreal. The boys didn’t even seem to notice the grated carrots, so…bonus!

The biscuits are a recipe that came off of an old Tupperware pastry sheet. Oldie but fantastic goodie.  We always double it because we a) love biscuits and b) like tall biscuits. I make them with white flour because every whole wheat flour recipe I have ever tried tasted gross so I just gave up.
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup crisco
3/4 cups buttermilk (actual recipe calls for reg milk, but we had buttermilk and they were the best I have ever made)
*Mix dry ingredients. Cut the crisco into the flour mixture, then add milk. Don’t stir it much – I use my hands and shape it about 1.5 inches thick.
Oven to 450. cut with a tall biscuit cutter and bake for about 10-15 minutes – depending on your oven.  Our South Texas oven was pesky.
I loved working in the kitchen, even if it wasn’t my kitchen!
I am thinking about fall all the time and enjoying morning coffee time outside. The hummingbirds seem to have left our neck of the woods, but we have so many other beautiful birds to watch to keep us occupied.  I spend too much time on Pinterest, pinning things I like and imagining what our next home will look like. Imagining that I can change out all my furniture and suddenly my dwelling would look like my favorite dog-eared page of the Pottery Barn catalog.

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. elaine
    Sep 28, 2011 @ 21:23:34

    Recipes sound wonderful. I want to try the swiss steak one.
    Love buttermilk bisquits. Real bisquits must be made with white flour!!! Only way. 🙂 My mother in law taught me how to make hers, which we all loved. She used self-rising flour (Martha White, which I cannot find). I make a batch and freeze what we don’t eat for another day.


    • Janna
      Sep 28, 2011 @ 22:26:09

      Elaine, I really think I am going to make a second batch so I can make sausage biscuits to put in the freezer. If I don’t slather them in butter and just eat them hot out of the oven first!



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