Cream of Mushroom Soup versus Cream of Potato Soup: Substitutions

Gigi went crazy with her Cream of Mushroom Soup bonanza a few years ago and effectively destroyed my younger brother’s taste for it in any form.

While I write this, I’m actually cooking a tuna casserole in the oven using Cream of Mushroom Soup.

I am here to tell everyone that a much better soup to use instead of Cream of Mushroom Soup is Cream of Potato Soup.

Yes, ladies and gents, Cream of Potato Soup essentially accomplishes the SAME feat as Cream of Mushroom Soup but tastes much better and seems to be generally more versatile. Cream of Potato Soup isn’t quite as rich as Cream of Mushroom Soup- and that makes all the difference, in my humble little Southern opinion.

My brother recounts the time of Bapaw saying how we could “just add little Cream of Mushroom Soup to it for flavor” and how he cringed at these words. I honestly don’t blame him. In cooking, we have to be careful not to lean on a crutch for certain kinds of flavor. Really good food doesn’t always take a lot of time but often does, and we should always remember that. Half the fun of eating is in the cooking.



Posted by on May 16, 2011 in food, postaday2011


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BLT: More on Sandwiches

BLT stands for “Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato.”

To a foreign reader, this may sound mysterious, because part of the equation is left out. Most BLTs I’ve eaten in my life have been eaten on toasted bread and not just on regular bread, and also with mayonnaise.

As a child, I really liked BTs- the lettuce seemed superfluous. Why on earth would anyone eat lettuce in addition to something yummy like bacon and tomato?

But now I can see the kind of flavor that lettuce adds to the mixture, so I understand why it’s important.

Bacon sandwiches are also popular in the U.K., as I understand it, where not only can they include tomatoes and lettuce but also cucumbers, cheese, and a fried egg. Talk about a complete meal on a sandwich!

That being said, if one is using “fake” bacon, especially of the Morning Star variety, under no circumstances should you prepare it in the microwave. I have tried, several times, to cook Morning Star Bacon in the microwave to no avail. Do not believe the packaging; it lies. You must cook Morning Star Bacon in a skillet- there is no other way.

Also, BLTs include mayonnaise. This is a fact of life. But then again, perhaps a sandwich almost always includes mayonnaise, so this could go without saying.

Either way, now that tomatoes are becoming plentiful and we have spicy lettuce and Morning Star Bacon, I’ve been rolling out with the BLTs.

It also comes to mind that on the camera there are pictures of pierogies that I prepared and never put on the computer or wrote about, so that may be forthcoming in the next week. The major concern I have at the moment is thinking of making more cheese, which I may have to do for Gigi’s sake so she can see the process.

So, how does Beaux make his BLT? Pretty simple:

  • I toast bread- in this case, plain white bread.
  • Each slice eats about a half a teaspoon of mayonnaise- this varies from person to person, though. Gigi isn’t fond of mayonnaise, for instance.
  • I fry up the Morning Star Bacon. This takes about five to eight minutes on medium heat.
  • One slice of tomato for each sandwich.
  • Lettuce on top of the tomato.
  • Salt and pepper.

Though I praise the virtues of mayonnaise thees days, there was a time when I did not. Mayonnaise once tasted horrible to me every time I ate it- almost rancid. I had been sick or something, and I suppose that attacked my sense of taste for the next several months.

These days, my relationship to mayonnaise is all about figuring out how to enhance its natural flavor- so that means making tartar sauce, curry flavored mayonnaise, and so on.

Anyway, it’s BLT season- go have one.



Posted by on May 15, 2011 in food, postaday2011, sandwiches


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Cheesy Adventures, Part 3

Earle made more cheese in my absence but forgot to salt it or add olive oil.

The cheese by itself still has a creamy kind of taste to it. To think ultimately that cheese is simply just curds of milk is a strange thing, but at the same time, I do happen to like milk quite a bit.

Figuring out how to add different flavors to the cheese will be the next big step.

Also, is anyone aware of where we can obtain goat’s milk? We plan to make goat cheese as soon as possible, specifically by request from our friend Michael. Hey, I happen to love goat cheese just as much, so I totally understand where he’s coming from on that.

Though I live on a goat farm, the truth is that the goats aren’t milk goats. Sad day.



Posted by on May 14, 2011 in food


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Tartar Sauce: Make It YOUR Way

The same day that we made cheese, I discovered how to make tartar sauce- I wanted some to go with the fish that I had purchased.

Tartar sauce is, at best, ridiculously easy to make, and it was surprising to see that all I needed was…

  • mayonnaise
  • mustard
  • lemon juice
  • pickle relish

Likely, you need something like 2 Tablespoons of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of mustard, 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and 1 teaspoon of pickle relish.

You stir it all together, and there you have it- fresh tartar sauce, delicious, simple, and extremely cost-effective.

So next time you have a fish fry or a seafood party, make your own tartar sauce!

Now, on to discovering how to make the cocktail sauce!

I want to experiment with Miracle Whip instead of mayo to see how that turns out. Also, be careful with the lemon juice- too much lemon juice will tell its secret in the tartar sauce, and that takes away from what you want to make. At the same time, play around with proportions, and you can even add other ingredients to the mix to give small hints of flavors that can remain your own personal secret ingredient.



Posted by on May 13, 2011 in food, postaday2011


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Cheesy Adventures, Part 2

Well, we did it.

Through a combined effort and a little over an hour spent in town shopping for the necessary ingredients, along with improvising at the point where I thought things were becoming too complicated, my friend Earle and ended up making cheese.

Yes, I said, making cheese.

Home-made cheese.

Real cheese.

Actual cheese.

Good cheese.

Fresh cheese.

Now, the entire process of making cheese is not something I would call glorious. In fact, it was incredibly complicated, and the complication only increased as Earle and I argued about whether or not we should add the ingredients when the milk began frothing on the sides or when the thermometer said 175º exactly.

My fear was that we would end up boiling the milk or having it too hot, and things wouldn’t turn out right.

The next argument was over the use of cheese-cloth. Well, actually, that was the first argument, but that’s not the point- the point is, we couldn’t find cheesecloth at Target, so I suggested we use coffee filters. Earle said that it would never drain through coffee filters, but I proved him wrong.

The whole process revolved around heating the milk, adding buttermilk and lemon juice to curdle it all, and then draining the whey out of the curds. Then the curds have to dry for a while, and then one mixes them with salt and sets them in the fridge to ripen.

According to the video we watched, you can eat the cheese fresh as well, and yes, the fresh cheese was great.

I also added EVOO (extra-virgin olive oil) to the cheese, in addition to some pepper- and it was fantastic.

Freshly made cheese is way better than store-bought cheese, and this kind happened to be incredibly creamy and reminded me a lot of the really expensive cheeses. For all the time and effort we put into making the cheese, I have to say that it was quite worth it to have even the small amount that we made.

Pictures may be coming soon, because I have a feeling we’ll be making a great deal more cheese.



Posted by on May 12, 2011 in cheese, food, postaday2011


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Cheesy Adventures

Earle and I are going to be making cheese tonight.

I can’t give you all the secrets just yet- but soon, I’ll post a really excellent blog detailing the adventure.

Also, I’m quite tired and running on poor quality sleep for reasons I have yet to fully establish. Please pray for me.



Posted by on May 11, 2011 in food


Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissant Roll – How can you miss with this one? (via The Onyx Plate)

The Onyx Plate has stuck with me for months upon months despite all my terrible blogs and even worse photographs. She’s got gorgeous pictures up, and even better than the pictures are the recipes!

So this is today’s double-extra-super-bonus blog. I don’t think I’ve done many of those this month, and even though Gigi and I will have to figure out an alternative to the bacon, I’m sure we’ll figure something out.

Read on and make sure you subscribe to The Onyx Plate!

What are you waiting for? Carpe Diem!


I never feel like I have told you enough about the wonders of the croissant roll.  They are endlessly diverse masterpieces that can forever change the way you look at meals.  I love love love putting things in them and rolling them up for a nice bake in the oven.  The creativity never stops flowing with these! This past Saturday morning I put together this little gem of a recipe.  If you enjoy easy prep breakfast, this recipe is for you. Bacon, E … Read More

via The Onyx Plate


Posted by on May 10, 2011 in food

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