Creamy Potato Leek Soup

Temps have dropped in TX, making hot teas and soups a regular menu item in my household (along with fuzzy booties and blankets). In keeping with my traditional “easy breezy” meals, I have crafted a delicious anti-oxidant filled soup perfect for a starter, side, or its own stand alone meal.

Here’s what I used:
1 box Imagine’s Creamy Potato Leek Soup
1/2 yellow onion
2 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
3 leeks (cleaned thoroughly and roughly chopped)
Salt & Pepper to taste

Warm the soup base in a large stove top pot or crockpot. Chop the garlic, leeks, and onion. Add everything together and bring to a medium boil for a few minutes, stirring frequently. Turn heat to low, and let the flavors blend together for 25-30 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve immediately or freeze for later. Salt and pepper to taste. Optional toppers could also include bacon crumbles (yum), chives, and/or cheese.

Leeks are a phenomenal source of nutrients, vitamins, and cancer fighting agents. If you’re curious about what specific nutritional benefits leeks bring to your diet, check out the following sites:
Live Well – Jillian Michaels

eHealthZine

Meatball Madness

Let’s talk about ah-meat-ah-balls (in my best Italian accent with the notorious finger smooch)! Who doesn’t love Italian food?!?!? Breads, Noodles, Sauces, Wine (hello, lover) …. all the good stuff that makes you say “yum”. Meatballs are definitely one of my favorite indulgences and can be served in a variety of dishes (bonus). Griff specifically requested spaghetti and meatballs on this cold, dreary, rainy Texas day. And when The Amazing Griff Clark asks you for meatballs, you make some amazing, bang up meatballs.

Ingredients:
3lbs lean ground beef
1/2 yellow onion (chopped)
2 garlic cloves (minced)
1/2 cup herb roasted bread crumbs
1/3 cup of milk
1 egg
1 tablespoon of low sodium garlic & herb ground spice blend (I used McCormick’s)
Salt & Pepper

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Preheat oven to 400 degrees. You’ll need three separate bowls for flavor prep and the ultimate three step combination process. Begin by adding your bread crumbs and milk in a bowl/measuring cup to start the soaking process. In a separate bowl, whisk your egg with ground spices, salt, and pepper. In another bowl, add your chopped onion and minced garlic to the meat. With your hands (time to roll up your sleeves and get in there), start mixing/kneading the meat. Once completely blended, add the soaked bread crumbs (draining any excess milk) and continue mixing with your hands. Finally, add your egg mixture (binding agent) and mix together. Next, roll into meatballs for oven lovin’. I roll medium sized, which makes about 20 meatballs.

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Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until the temperature gauge reads 165 degrees in the middle. Leaner meats cook quicker, so you’ll want to regularly check at the 20 minute mark.

As previously mentioned, meatballs can be added to a variety of dishes or eaten plain. Either way … delish! I prefer to bake them this way so I can use and/or freeze for several different dishes. Today, I added to spaghetti, just as Griff requested. And oh how he savored and devoured. Love it when any dish is G approved.

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Nom … nom … nom …

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Currently, I have the other 10 meatballs marinating in some Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce. Lord, help me (praise hands). Just another savory way to serve up this deliciousness … and that’s just one other sauce option. Mustard blends and ketchup are other additional [fantastic] options to layer on the flavor. Hope you enjoy this recipe and all the tastiness it delivers. You’ll most certainly be hostess with the mostest, should you choose to add to any dinner party menu.

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