Tuesday, March 1, 2016

My Loaded (Not-Baked) Potato Soup was a COMPLETE Success!

... in that, it taught me EXACTLY what I need to do RIGHT next time!

It was an experiment. I had high hopes, but no exact knowledge or experience. I got a little guidance from the folks I encountered at Trader Joe's while I was shopping for ingredients, but Not. One. Person. indicated a key step or two.

So take yesterday's "recipe" but alter it in these tiny-but-oh-so-important ways:
  1. Pre-cook the bacon elsewhere (not in the crockpot). Good and crispy, or just buy pre-cooked bacon bits (not Baco's; use REAL food, please, kids) and then add them when you add your veggies
  2. Cube the potatoes into smaller chunks. I was afraid they would shrink down or break away into non-existence after cooking, so I made the chunks too big. "Bite size" is too big, at 1/12th of a small potato.
  3. Add the broth and milk after the potatoes, but before the cheeses. Add a couple handfuls (seriously, that was how I measured it when I added it today, after the fact) of flour, as both a soup-base thickener, and ALSO to prevent the milkfats from separating out of the cheeses. Because of steps one and three here NOT being part of my original experimental recipe, I had to allow my soup to cool a lot and spoon off a rather thick layer of grease/fat/oil from the top. It never just mixed in, so I had to get rid of it AND add more milk. But also the flour. Next time, it'll be done in the right order.
  4. Use more seasonings. I can't really taste the garlic or horseradish, so I may add more tomorrow, when I first set the crock back into the heater element. It tastes good, but not necessarily like a loaded baked potato. I want it to taste better.
In other news, Stephen and I took the car in to get some recalls serviced this morning. Then we walked over to the credit union, somewhat by way of our old neighborhood, to look at apartment vacancies. In placing a call for a house that had a "For Lease" sign out front (but by way of a realtor), it was suggested to us that we also consider home ownership. In Los Angeles County. Yep. I know, right? (Oh, I forgot that maybe you weren't thinking "What? Are you CRAZY? No One can afford to BUY a house in LA! That's insane!" or something along those lines)

So when we got to the credit union, we inquired about all the things we could take care of there. One-Stop-Shopping, if you will. I love being a member of a credit union. So much better than banks. Then we walked back to the car dealership, but by way of a nice sit-down Mexican meal and a lot more wandering through desirable neighborhoods to compare apartments and houses and really let the ideas stew. We knew we had plenty of time to kill; the dealership had given us a first "completion" estimate of 5 p.m. By the time we got back to the dealership (just shy of 4 p.m.), we'd each walked 21000 steps (yes, Twenty-One Thousand!), and our feet and legs were screaming, and our backs were whining a little like petulant backup singers. The car was finished not too long after our arrival, and we returned to the credit union to sign some paperwork that wasn't ready when we left it this morning, and got home to fix yesterday's experiment.

Three Good Things:
  1. Incredibly productive day
  2. Incredible education gained, covering a lot of different issues
  3. An awareness that my cough is most definitely an allergy of some kind, as I haven't had a fit for the last 48 hours, my last one waking me (two nights ago), feeling like I'd inhaled a cat hair in my sleep. For all I know, the trigger two nights ago was me inhaling a cat hair in my sleep. We walked past a Kaiser Permanente office (where my medical insurance is set up) TWICE today, and I thought about being a walk-in patient to be seen for this cough, but then I felt like you do when you take your car in and can't duplicate the issue for the mechanic. I feel FINE right now. If I wake in the night coughing, then I will start vacuuming my bed each morning before I make it up. It's gotta be the furbabies.
  4. Got home in time to submit for some specific gigs as well as put myself on the avail list for rush calls. I gotta get back on set!
What did YOU do today? Anything Good?

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