Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Cheesy Potato Soup

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The first time I made this soup, I was extremely skeptical throughout the entire process. I don’t know quite what it was, but I just didn’t have confidence that it would turn out right. I was apologizing before I served it just in case.

See, people who don’t cook much think that anyone who can cook can automatically make perfect food all the time? Friends assume I would be amazing on Bake Off or Master Chef. They have no idea how hard that type of cooking and baking actually is. They also have no idea how many times my kitchen experiments fail.

This soup, though, is decidedly not a failure. It might even be a kitchen triumph. This Cheesy Potato Soup is stupid awesome. Like swoon-worthy. It’s quite rich, so only give yourself a small bowl. You’ve got to plan ahead for this because once you start eating it, you won’t want to stop. 

Cheesy Potato Soup | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Usually I try to trust my instincts in the kitchen, but they were way off base here. This soup is where it’s at, kids. You absolutely must try it.

Cheesy Potato Soup
Serves 4
Cheesy Potato Soup is rich, cheesy, and impossible to stop eating.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 8 ounces smoked streaky bacon
  2. 1/2 onion, peeled
  3. 1 stalk of celery
  4. 1 clove of garlic, peeled
  5. 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  6. 1 pound russet potatoes, peeled and diced
  7. 1-1/2 teaspoon mustard powder
  8. 1 teaspoon paprika
  9. 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  10. 1-1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  11. 1-1/2 teaspoons hot sauce
  12. 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar
  13. 1/2 cup milk
  14. 1/2 cup cream (or replace milk and cream with one cup half and half if you can get it)
  15. Salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste (I didn't need to add any extra salt, so definitely actually taste it)
  16. 1 green onion, chopped
Instructions
  1. Put a soup pt over medium heat, and scissor your bacon into it. Cook until your bacon pieces are crispy, then remove the bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. If your bacon has given up quite a lot of fat, you may want to spoon some out until you have only a couple of tablespoons left in your pot.
  2. While your bacon is cooking, roughly chop your onion and celery so that they'll fit into your food processor. Toss in the garlic clove and pulse until you have itty bitty bits of vegetables. Once your bacon is out of the pot, add about a cup of your blitzed vegetables into the hot pot. Give them a good stir and cook until they're softened, about five minutes.
  3. Sprinkle the flour over your vegetable mixture, and give it a good stir. Let it cook for a minute or two to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
  4. Next add your potatoes, mustard powder, and paprika. Stir to make sure everything is combined and your potatoes are coated in the spices.
  5. Add the chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, and hot sauce to the pot. Your potatoes will be just barely covered. Bring this up to a bubble, then lower your heat to low, put the lid on your pot with just a crack to let some of the steam escape, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until the potatoes are fork tender.
  6. Once your potatoes are soft, give them a quick mash. I like this soup with a bit of texture. The more mashing you do, the smoother it will be, obviously.
  7. Stir in the cheese, milk, and cream and let it cook while stirring for a minute or two until the cheese is melted.
  8. Remove the pot from the heat, taste for seasoning, and add some pepper and cayenne, as well as salt if you think you need it.
  9. Add your soup to the bowl, then sprinkle on some of the crispy bacon, and scissor some green onion over the top. Try not to eat the whole pot by yourself.
Adapted from Popular Pinterest Recipes
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Pork & Apple Hot Pot

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I’m sitting on my sofa, watching The Golden Girls, and thinking about how I don’t want to write a blog post. I struggle to find any space for creativity at the end of a long day. At the end of a work day I just want to throw my to do list out the window. Work out? No thank you. Make dinner? Do I have to? Write a bunch of words that no one will read? Surely it can wait until tomorrow. But then I don’t want to do it tomorrow either.

I’m just so crap at staying motivated. Tell me your secrets, friends. How do you keep up with your life? And before you suggest it, no I can’t afford a maid. 

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

This Pork & Apple Hot Pot is decidedly not a quick and easy week night dish. I mean, it’s easy, but it’s anything but quick. It’s a slow cooking autumn fantasy. Apples, onions, and bacon cook down to a soft flavorful mush that makes your pork unbelievably tender. I’m normally not a pork chop person, but man, this is tasty.

A bit of good news for you. This whole thing can be cooked in one pot. Just make sure you have something that can transfer from the stove top to the oven. A bit more good news. This will make your house smell heavenly.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day

The weekend will be here soon, friends. We can make it. And once we get there, let’s eat Pork & Apple Hot Pot.

Pork & Apple Hot Pot
Serves 6
Pork & Apple Hot Pot is a one pot all day dish that's perfect for autumn.
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
3 hr
Ingredients
  1. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 3 onions, peeled, halved, and sliced into half moons
  3. 250 grams bacon (of the streaky variety)
  4. 50 grams flour
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  6. 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  7. 4 cardamom pods, lightly crushed
  8. Salt and pepper
  9. 6 boneless pork loin chops
  10. 4 granny smith apples, peeled, cored and thinly sliced
  11. 750 ml apple juice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (170C). Heat the oil in an oven proof pot and cook the onions over medium heat for about 10 minutes until soft. Remove the onions to a separate bowl.
  2. Scissor your bacon in small pieces into the hot pt and cook until the pieces start to crisp up. Remove the bacon to the same bowl as the onions and mix them together.
  3. Put the flour, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, salt, and pepper into a zip top bag and give it a bit of a shake to combine. Add the pork chops two or three at a time and shake it all about to coat the pork in the seasoned flour. Shake off the excess flour, and sear the pork in the hot pot for a couple of minutes per side and remove to a plate. Repeat until all the pork is seared.
  4. Tip the remaining flour into the pot and give it a whisk until it soaks up the oil. Slowly add in the apple juice, whisking it with the flour after each addition to get rid of any lumps.
  5. Add half of the onion bacon mixture back to the pot, then three of your pork chops, followed by half the apples. Repeat the layers again.
  6. Pop the lid on the pan and put the whole thing in the oven to do its magic for three hours. Your pork will be tender and the apples and onions will be soft.
Adapted from Kitchen by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
Pumpkin Pancakes | How To Be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

At my job, I have earned an insanely undeserved reputation for being highly efficient and always up to date on procedures. People always seem to think I know what’s going and and what’s to be done about it. I don’t know where this delusion formed, but I can tell you, not only is it a lot of pressure, it’s mostly not true.

While I do strive to be well organised at work, in my real life, I am a master procrastinator. For example, it’s taken me a week to actually write this post. I can ignore dishes like a champ, and I’ll walk around with chipped nails for weeks. By far my greatest accomplishment in procrastination is my ability to avoid working out. Any excuse to not sweat, and I’m right on top of it. Yesterday I went to the dentist and couldn’t feel half my face for about four hours. My legs worked perfectly fine, but that didn’t stop me from sitting on the couch all night.

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

This Pizza Rustica takes a bit of time and effort up front to make. Nothing tricky, just a lot of steps. Make it on a lazy weekend, then when the week nights roll around and you don’t feel like making dinner, you can procrastinate by eating your leftover Pizza Rustica. It will be just as awesome the next day, and there won’t be any pots and pans to clean up.

Pizza Rustica is really more of a meat pie. Layers of cheese and Italian sausage and deli meats are tucked inside a flaky crust. You can definitely adjust based on what’s available at your grocery store. As long as you keep the measurements roughly the same, the flavors can be switched up as you like. It’s gonna be delicious any way you make it. And don’t worry if, like me, you’re terrible at rolling out dough. It’s got the word rustic in the name. 

Pizza Rustica | How to be Aweome on $20 a Day

Procrastinators get a bad rap. When dinner tastes this great, who cares if you made it yesterday.

Pizza Rustica
Serves 6
Pizza Rustica is an Italian inspired meat pie loaded with flavor and just as great on day two.
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Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
Prep Time
45 min
Cook Time
55 min
For the pastry
  1. 1-2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
  3. 2 egg yolks
  4. 2 tablespoons water
  5. 1 teaspon salt
  6. 1 tablespoon sugar
For the filling
  1. 4 ounces Italian sausage, casing removed
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 8 ounces ricotta
  4. 2 ounces provolone, shredded or cut into small cubes
  5. 4 ounces fresh mozarella, cut into cubes
  6. 1/4 cup grated parmesan
  7. 1/2 clove garlic, chopped
  8. 2 tablespons chopped flat-leaf parsley
  9. 2 pinches crushed red chili flakes
  10. 4 ounces proscuitto, roughly chopped
  11. 4 ounces mortadella, roughly chopped
  12. 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  13. Black pepper
  14. About 1 tablespoon dried bread crumbs
For the glaze
  1. 1 egg yolk
  2. 2 tablespoons milk
  3. Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Put the flour and butter together in a dish and stash it in the freezer for 10 minutes. Stir together the egg yolks, water, and salt, and put that in the fridge as well.
  2. Once everything is well chilled, place your butter and flour as well as the sugar into a food processor and pulse until you've got a mixture that looks like wet sand. Add the wet ingredients and process until the dough starts to come together but is still a bit loose. I sometimes have to add a bit of extra water, but just add a teaspoon at a time.
  3. Tip the mixture out onto a clean counter and press it together with your hands. Divide the dough 60/40 into two discs (you'll need more dough for the bottom than the top), wrap in plastic wrap, and store in the fridge while you get on with your filling.
  4. Preheat your oven to 400F (200C), and if you have a baking sheet that your 8-inch springform pan can rest comfortably on, pop that in the oven to heat up as well. If you don't have one, it's not the end of the world, your bottom crust will just be a little more wet.
  5. Heat your olive oil in a skillet and crumble your deskinned sausage into the pan. Cook up your sausage until it nice and brown, then transfer it to a large mixing bowl.
  6. To your sausage, add your remaining filling ingredients except for the bread crumbs. Gently mix it all together.
  7. Roll out your larger disc of dough between two layers of plastic wrap until it's big enough to cover the bottom of your 8-inch springform pan and come up the sides. It's okay if it hangs over a bit. Sprinkle the bottom of your pie with the breadcrumbs. Don't worry about measuring. Just sprinkle until you have a fine layer across the bottom. Pour in your filling and spread it evenly over the crust.
  8. Roll out your second disc between layers of plastic wrap until it is big enough to cover the top of your pie. Place it on top of your pie, then fold over any overhanging dough to seal in your filling. Press the edges down with a fork, and poke several holes in the top of your pie with your fork for ventilation.
  9. In a small dish, whisk together your glaze ingredients and use a pastry brush to brush it evenly over the top of your pie. This will give it a lovely brown shiny top.
  10. Place your pie into the oven, on the hot baking sheet if you have it. Bake for 10 minutes at this temperature, and then lower the heat to 350F (175C) and bake for another 45 minutes.
  11. Allow your pie t cool for at least 10 minutes. Loosen the edges with a knife before removing the collar and slicing into it.
  12. Store any leftovers tightly covered in the refrigerator. It will be totally awesome the next day.
Adapted from How to be a Domestic Goddess by Nigella Lawson
http://awesomeon20.com/
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