Thursday, October 22, 2015

Cheeseburger Soup...And Kitchen Battles with My Sons!

Don't forget about the cook!!
There is a scene in the Steven Segal movie "Under Siege", where the ship has been captured by the bad guys and all of its staff is held hostage...with the exception of the cook (who of course was a former Navy Seal).
He manages to maneuver unseen around the ship taking out the predators one at a time. He finally comes face to face with the very scary and very bad Tommy Lee Jones and says quietly before killing him. "You forgot about the cook."

My two sons loved that movie, and especially that line, even when I started using it every time they thought they were getting away with something. An example? Finding them hiding in my youngest sons closet, playing their DS Nintendo's when they were suppose to be doing outside chores, I opened the door-just a hair-and whispered in, "you forgot about the cook." They scrambled out, "Dag Mom, how did you know we were in there?" Because I was always the cook!

But now, some 20 years later, there has been a mutiny, so to speak. Both my guys take over their kitchens when ever possible and seemingly "one-up" me every chance they get! I know that times have changed and that two-income households have made the kitchen gender neutral. Even my nephew Scott, a single Dad and awesome cook, often swaps recipes with me. So I get it. I just never expected such competition!

For instance, below is a recipe for cheeseburger soup that quickly became a favorite of the family members I invited over Saturday night. Both delicious and easy - my two main requirements:

Cheeseburger Soup!
·         6 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
·         1 small carrot, grated
·         1 small onion, chopped
·         1/2 cup chopped green pepper
·         2 tablespoons chopped seeded jalapeno pepper
·         3 cups water
·         2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons beef bouillon granules
·         2 garlic cloves, minced
·         1/8 teaspoon pepper
·         2 pounds ground beef
·         1/2 pound sliced fresh mushrooms
·         2 tablespoons butter
·         5 cups 2% milk, divided
·         6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
·         1 package (16 ounces) process cheese (Velveeta), cubed
·         Crumbled cooked bacon
1.       In a Dutch oven, bring the first nine ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-15 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
2.       Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook beef and mushrooms in butter over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain. Add to soup. Stir in 4 cups milk; heat through.
3.       In a small bowl, combine flour and remaining milk until smooth; gradually stir into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Reduce heat; stir in cheese until melted. Garnish with bacon. Makes about 3 qts.

Trevor's cheeseburger soup!
 My son Trevor had a couple of bowls and asked me for the recipe. I obliged. He has become a really good cook and loves to make soup. He made it the very next day and this text and picture (on the left) followed: "Made bread bowls". Seriously?  Where did he come up with that?  
Kyle's pulled turkey!
     And add this to the mix, a week ago, my son Kyle invited me for dinner. He was making slow cooked pulled turkey, a recipe  I invented and perfected years ago. His was better. And he added a side of broccoli-bacon cole slaw that was delicious! It was sweet, salty and savory! Now Kyle is a culinary graduate and should be able to dazzle in the kitchen. But I'm still surprised each time he puts a spin on one of my recipes. 
      So my boys have become the cooks now. Since I love hosting family dinners, I'd better step up my game. Their culinary conquests have set down a challenge. But no worries, I'll never let them forget about the cook!

     Although, I topped my family dinner with a Salted Caramel Buttercream iced chocolate cake!

Trevor, Kyle and are you on desserts???



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