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How is everyone enjoying the Polar Vortex?! Oddly enough, Kenai, Alaska has been one of the warmer locations on my weather map this week. I am so glad that we are in the Last Frontier instead of the midwest right now!
Alaskan winters are no joke, and even though we’re not in the middle of the cold snap, we are definitely well below freezing. With the colder weather there is a definite need for warming up with comfort food. This is also our Nordic Ski season. This year I have three skiers at two schools. That makes for a lot of driving back and forth to practices and meets. It also means that I have less time to prepare family meals. My goal has always been to provide food that shows my love for my family. Sometimes that means hours of preparation, but sometimes that comfort comes with just a few minutes of effort! I love the idea of warming up on a cold day, and I love being able to do it quickly and easily even more.
Today we’re talking soups and hot chocolate. Idahoan Steakhouse Soups is the perfect combination of warmth and ease. It’s like sipping a hug! This makes for an easy school night dinner, but it’s also perfect for warming up while watching outdoor sports on the weekend (I don’t know who invented winter outdoor sports!). We tried the Loaded Potato Soup. It’s full of cheese, corn, and creamy flavors, and it only requires water, which also makes it perfect for when my boys are winter camping (again, who invented these things, and why do my kids insist on participating?!). The other thing that makes it perfect for outdoor eating? Soup doesn’t actually require a spoon. Sure a spoon is dainty and polite, but when you’re in the freezing cold, you can leave your mittens on and sip Idahoan Steakhouse Soups!
For dessert after soup, or just to go alongside, we made the easiest white chocolate hot chocolate. All you need for hot chocolate is milk and chocolate. I used basic white chocolate chips (and I added some whipped cream and sprinkles for good measure!). The trick to hot chocolate is heating the milk up and then adding the chocolate chips. Burnt chocolate is one of the worst smells, and I avoid it at all costs. When the milk starts to bubble around the edges, remove it from the heat, and whisk in the chocolate. I always fill the cup 2/3 with hot chocolate and then 1/3 cold milk for my littlest kids. Burnt tongues are actually worse than the smell of burn chocolate!
As a mom of six kids, my focus is on keeping my kids happy and well fed (because for some reason, they won’t stop growing),but I also want to enjoy my meals, which means we can’t be eating chicken nuggets all the time! Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are full of flavor for the grown ups who require it, but are also very popular with the younger set. (My kids asked for seconds of their soup}. I’m not going to lie, it can be a little disheartening when your kids prefer the five minute meal to the one you spent hours preparing, but I take any appreciation that my family gives me when it comes to meal time!
I am a potato girl through and through. I could eat potatoes at every meal, and I love being able to use them for more than just a side to go with meat. Idahoan Steakhouse Soups are a way to get the potatoes you love (100% red potatoes from Idaho) without peeling, boiling or baking, and because these soups are full of the usual toppings, you don’t need to grate cheese or chop chives either! If you need a little help cleaning out the bowl, try serving your soup with some homemade bread. I don’t know if it gets any better than soup and bread on a cold night, unless of course you add in some delicious homemade hot chocolate!
White Chocolate Hot Chocolate:
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1/4 c. white chocolate chips
- whipped cream(optional)
- sprinkles (optional)
- Warm milk over low heat in a small saucepan.
- When the milk starts to bubble around the edges, remove from heat and whisk in chocolate chips.
- When the mixture is smooth, pour into a large mug. Add some cold milk to bring it to the desired temperature and top with whipped cream and sprinkles.