March 10, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

I think I first heard the words "Cheeseburger Soup" on an episode of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. I loved watching that show and seeing all the cool places they found to feature. It really made me want to seek out and try new restaurants around me!  And cheeseburger soup?? Who can say no to that?

Real Food Cheeseburger Soup

I'm not really sure what the recipe was on the show, or even what restaurant they were talking about. But I couldn't stop thinking about cheeseburger soup. This soup recipe has become one of our favorites; I love it because it's easy to throw together and I almost always have everything on hand. Dustin loves it because it's cheesy and meaty and absolutely delicious.

Cheeseburger Soup with Tomatoes

I use three kinds of cheese in the soup for extra flavor and cheesy punch. The spices and tomatoes keep this from feeling too much like fondue. And I use ground turkey for the meat because no one can tell the difference! It's also a lean meat that keeps the soup from getting to heavy.

Recipe Cheeseburger Soup

I love serving this soup with pretzel rolls--it's like a hamburger on a pretzel bun! Cheeseburger soup is a delicious soup recipe that I love making. It's easy, filling, and a fast dinner to throw together.


Cheeseburger Soup
author: Happy Food Happy Home
Serves 2-4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
1 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 (14 ounce) can diced tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon oregano
½ teaspoon ground mustard
1 bay leaf
1/2 cup shredded Colby Jack cheese (shredded from a block, not pre-shredded!*)
1 ½ teaspoons corn starch
¼ cup (1/2 block) cream cheese
2 slices American cheese
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in the bottom of your favorite soup pot.
  2. Add the onion to the pot and cook until softened, approx 5 minutes. 
  3. Add the jalapeno and the garlic to the onions and cook for 1 minute.
  4. Add ground turkey and season with salt and pepper.  Cook until browned, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add in the chili powder and paprika, and toast with the ground turkey for 30 seconds. 
  6. Add the chicken broth, tomatoes, oregano, ground mustard, and bay leaf.  Allow soup to come to a simmer.
  7. Cut cream cheese into small chunks and stir into the soup.
  8. Meanwhile, shred the Colby Jack cheese and toss with the corn starch.
  9. Add the shredded cheese and corn starch mixture to the pot.  Stir until the cheese has melted and incorporated into the soup. 
  10. Add the American cheese slices and stir until melted. 
  11. Ladle in to bowls and serve with yummy crusty bread or pretzel crackers. 
*Because pre-shredded cheese has a non-caking agent added to it, it often doesn't melt into the soup correctly.

Cheeseburger Soup Recipe

You should definitely give cheeseburger soup a try. I bet it will become a favorite meal in your house, especially if you love soup and cheese!

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March 5, 2015

Quadruple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie Stack

Sometimes when I get home from teaching, I need a cookie. Or 5..sometimes 5 cookies. And last week was one of the 5 cookies kind of weeks. Luckily, by the time I nibbled on the batter making these cookies, I only had two instead of five. A

Double Chocolate Chip Cookie with Three Kinds of Chocolate Chips

Double chocolate chip cookies are some of my favorites, and I've been known to order them from anywhere. Subway anyone? And so I set out to recreate the soft chewy centers of my favorite double chocolate chip cookies.  But I also had to raise the bar a little a lot.

Quadruple Chocolate Chip Cookies

So for these cookies, I added three different kinds of chocolate chips--dark chocolate, semisweet chocolate, and white chocolate. The different chocolate chips add different flavors and textures through the cookies. And I added a hit of espresso powder to the batter to make the coco powder flavor really shine.

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Vanilla, butter, salt, coco powder, and three kinds of chocolate chips make these quadruple chocolate chocolate chip cookies the perfect afternoon snack after a stressful day. Add a tall, cold glass of milk, and my day was suddenly looking up. It's amazing what quadruple chocolate chocolate chip cookies can do!

Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies

Quadruple Chocolate Chocolate Chip Cookies
Author: Happy Food Happy Home
Yields approx. 20 cookies

1 ¼ sticks butter (10 tablespoons), softened 
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
½ teaspoon espresso powder
1 cup flour
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons coco powder
¾ teaspoons baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
¾ cup dark chocolate chips
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
¾ cup white chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  3. Add the egg. Mix until just combined. Scrape down sides.
  4. Mix in vanilla and espresso powder. Scrape down sides.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, coco powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add half of the dry ingredients to the stand mixer and mix until just combined. Scrape down sides.
  7. Add remaining dry ingredients and all of the chocolate chips. Mix until combined.
  8. Use a 1 ½ tablespoon cookie scoop to scoop cookies onto lined baking sheet.
  9. Bake cookies for 9-10 minutes until the edges are set but the middles are still soft. The cookies should have a few cracks running across their tops. 
  10. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.
adapted from The Pioneer Woman

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies

Sometimes cookies can make everything better. And I love those times--your problems aren't too big when cookies can fix them. Cookies are my go-to 'had a bad day' food; do you have a comfort food you make during a bad day? If you don't I would highly recommend trying these quadruple chocolate chip cookies!

March 3, 2015

Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes

Warm and Creamy Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes

Winter has hit Indiana hard these past couple of weeks.  What started out as a very mild winter has taken an abrupt turn--there's about a foot of snow on the ground right now. And all the cold snowy weather has me craving comfort foods again; right when I thought it was safe to start eating salads.

Scalloped Potatoes made with Ham and Leeks

Because I was craving warm and creamy deliciousness, I pulled some of my leftover Christmas ham out of the freezer and started dreaming about how to combine it with potatoes and cheese and warmth. Scalloped potatoes came to mind-maybe because we had eaten them with the ham in the first place.

A slice of Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes

So I combined leftover ham, and scalloped potatoes and threw a leek in too for added depth of flavor and a vegetable in this 'casserole'. Add in Gruyere cheese for a salty cheese hit, Colby Jack for creamy, melty, stringy cheese, and layer it all together topped with cream and chicken broth. And this comfort food ham and leek scalloped potatoes really hit the spot--the warm and creamy deliciousness spot!

Creamy Scalloped Potatoes with Ham and Leek

Though the scalloped potatoes may look a little intense--there are lots of layers--the most time consuming part is making sure everything is sliced and shredded. Assembling is super easy, cover the scalloped potatoes with foil, and put in a rather hot oven until the cream has thickened, the potatoes have softened, and the cheese has melted. In other words, until the ham and leek scalloped potatoes are ready to go in your belly!

Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes
author: Happy Food Happy Home
serves: 4

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 

1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 medium leek, diced
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 teaspoons fresh herbs--I used rosemary and sage
4 cups thinly sliced potatoes
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
3/4 cup shredded  Colby Jack cheese
1 cup diced ham
1/4 cup chicken broth

  1. Slice the potatoes as thinly as you can. I used the smallest setting on my mandolin. Place the potatoes in a large bowl and cover with water to keep them from browning.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Add the leek to the hot oil and cook until it has softened, about 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, mince the garlic and herbs.
  5. Add the minced garlic and herbs to the pan and cook for 1 minute more.
  6. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  Grease an 8x8 baking dish.
  7. Drain the water off of the potatoes.
  8. Add the leek-garlic-herb mixture, the whipping cream, and the salt to the potatoes. Toss to coat.
  9. In the greased baking dish, place 1/3 of the potatoes in an overlapping even layer. Drizzle some of the cream from the bottom of the bowl over the potatoes.
  10. Add ½ of the ham and 1/3 of the shredded cheese in an even layer on top of the potatoes.
  11. Gently pour half of the chicken broth over the layer.
  12. Add another layer of 1/3 of the potatoes. Drizzle with cream mixture.
  13. Top with remaining ham and 1/3 of the cheese.
  14. Add another layer with the remaining potatoes. Pour remaining cream on top.
  15. Gently pour the rest of the chicken broth over the layer.
  16. Top with the remaining cheese.
  17. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
  18. Bake for 45-55 minutes until the potatoes are soft and the cream has thickened.
  19. In the last 10 minutes of cooking time remove the foil to make the cheese on top brown and delicious. 
adapted from Pinch of Yum

Creamy and Delicious Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes

The Ham and Leek Scalloped Potatoes will be a perfect way to use up any leftover Easter ham you have. It is also perfect to make any time you are craving a warm and creamy dinner. My only hope is by Easter I'll be eating this because it's delicious, and not because it is still freezing outside... Is it spring in your part of the world yet? I promise to only be a little jealous! 


February 18, 2015

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn

When I was growing up popcorn was my favorite snack. Throw a bag in the microwave after school, and I was good to go until dinner! And sometimes popcorn was dinner and sometimes it was breakfast too. And don't even get me started with how much popcorn we ate in college!

Popcorn flavored with rosemary, black pepper, and butter

A while ago I stopped buying microwave popcorn, but I love making popcorn on the stove top. It tastes so much better than microwave popcorn, and it's almost as fast.

Popcorn with Rosemary and Black Pepper

And while the popcorn is popping I love melting butter and adding seasonings to flavor the popcorn. I love adding flavors and combinations to spice up popcorn. Here rosemary and black pepper combine with melted butter to add depth.

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn

Rosemary is such a great addition to popcorn and black pepper adds another hit of flavor to punch up the popcorn. Salt and butter tie it all together, and you just can't stop eating the rosemary black pepper popcorn! I love trying new flavors, and now I can't stop adding things to popcorn!

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn
Author: Happy Food Happy Home
Serves: 1-2

1 tablespoon coconut oil
¼ cup popcorn kernels

2 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon chopped rosemary
1 teaspoon black pepper

Kosher salt to taste
  1. Heat coconut oil* over medium high heat in a medium sauce pan with a lid.
  2. Heat the oil until it bubbles around a popcorn kernel dropped in.
  3. Add the popcorn to the hot oil. Toss around in the oil to coat.
  4. Toss the kernels every minute or so until the popcorn is fully popped—when the pauses between the pops are longer than 10 seconds and few kernels remain the pot. Remove from heat.
  5. Combine the butter, rosemary, and pepper in a glass measuring cup.
  6. Microwave for 20 seconds, stir, and microwave for 10 more seconds until the butter is melted.
  7. Add half the popcorn to a large bowl. 
  8. Drizzle half of the butter mixture over the popcorn. Sprinkle a pinch of kosher salt over the popcorn. Use a spoon to toss together.
  9. Add the remaining popcorn, drizzle with remaining butter, and sprinkle with more salt. Toss to combine.
  10. Eat and enjoy!!
*You can use vegetable oil in place of the coconut oil

Rosemary Black Pepper Popcorn

I still love to eat popcorn, and probably eat too much of it! But changing the flavors I add to popcorn makes it a super delicious treat!


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