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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Corned Beef Hash

2-3 cups corned beef, chopped or minced
2-3 medium potatoes
1/2 cup chopped onion or to taste (use green onion if you prefer)
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/4 cup to 1/3 cup heavy cream or broth from cooking corned beef (enough to moisten)
2 tablespoons melted butter
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dash of paprika (optional)
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (optional)

Boil the potatoes with skins on in the corned beef broth until tender or bake in oven until soft
Remove from broth or oven and let stand until cool enough to handle
Skin potatoes and crumble into the minced or chopped corned beef (in a bowl)
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
Melt 1 tablespoon of butter in a skillet over low heat and saute the onions and parsley until the onions are soft
Add potato and meat mixture, seasonings, cream or broth (just enough to moisten) and salt and pepper and toss to combine well
Pour half the melted butter in a pie plate, pack in the corned beef hash mixture and drizzle the rest of the butter over the top
Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes
Remove hash from oven Serve the hash with eggs and biscuits or toast.

recipe resource here

Poultry Day ===== Scrambled Recipe

It's no joke today is Poultry Day. It is a day to celebrate chicken, turkey, and other birds that are commonly ate. Because chicken and turkey are lower in fats and cholesterol they are often a healthier meat choice. These members of the poultry family are also responsible for bringing eggs to the table. Today, I share a recipe that celebrates the egg and chicken and it matter not which came first

This recipe is known as a "Tuscan Chicken Scramble". It contains spinach, basil, tomatoes, garlic and Mozzarella cheese. Many members of my family are counting their carbs and this recipe is one that is great for them and all "carb-cutters"

1 1/2 teaspoon each of butter and vegetable oil
3 ounces chopped, cooked, seasoned chicken
1/2 cup fresh chopped spinach
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 eggs
2 tablespoons diced tomatoes
1/4 cup grated Mozzarella cheese

Heat butter and oil over low heat in a 7-8 inch egg pan
While the pan is heating, whip the eggs in a small bowl with a wire whip until blended but not frothy
When the fat is hot enough to sizzle a drop of water, add chicken, spinach, basil and garlic and sauté’ briefly, stirring or shaking the pan often (do not burn garlic)
Pour in the eggs and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally with a rubber spatula but do not over stir or allow the eggs to brown
Remove the eggs from the heat when they are “set” but still soft and moist
Add tomatoes and top with cheese and cover briefly until cheese is melted
Divide in the pan and slide onto plates for two servings or plate whole for one serving

recipe resource here

Harriet Tubman ==== Conductor of the Underground Railroad

Harriet Tubman is one of my favorite individuals in history to study. She was an escaped slave who later fought for the freedom of others. Harriet would lead hundreds of enslaved individuals to freedom through what was known as the Underground Railroad. While she was born into slavery her desire was to escape

Born as a slave in Maryland the exact date of her birth is unknown Harriet Tubman would escape to freedom in the North by 1849. Her master would have a sickness and then pass. Her brothers would head off with her at first but after a ransom was placed on their heads the brothers returned to the plantation. Harriet refused to return and would travel to Philadelphia leaving everyone she loved behind. Known as the "conductor" of the Underground Railroad she would risk her own life to lead hundreds of family members and others from where they were enslaved to freedom. The work of leading those that were enslaved to a safe house in the north began prior to the civil war. Later, Harriet would work with the Union Army.

Harriet Tubman would help the army in many different ways including being a cook, nurse and spy. Following the civil war she would continue to dedicate her life to helping former slaves and the elderly.

Molasses Sandwich Cookies

Molasses Sandwich Cookies (Adapted from Everyday Food)

For the cookies
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses

For the filling
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
3 tablespoons molasses
2 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted

To make the cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt.
In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until combined. Beat in egg, followed by molasses, until smooth and well incorporated. Add flour mixture and mix just until combined.
Using a teaspoon cookie scoop, drop the dough onto parchment-lined baking sheets. Bake until the center of the cookies are dry to the touch, about 10 to 12 minutes. Remove and let sit on the baking sheets for about 1 to 2 minutes before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the filling
In a medium bowl, beat together butter and molasses until creamy. Add in confectioners' sugar and continue mixing until smooth and spreadable. Spread the filling, about a rounded teaspoonful, on the bottoms of half of the cookies. Place the remaining cookies on top.
Makes 30 cookies.

Crunchy Coleslaw

Crunch mixture
1 package of Ramen noodle soup (discard spice packet)
½ cup sesame seeds
½ cup slivered almonds
½ cup honey roasted sunflower seeds

1 cup vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
¾ cup sugar
½ cup red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

½ purple cabbage, thinly sliced
½ Savoy or Napa green cabbage
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
½ cup dried cherries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Break the Ramen noodles into small pieces and place in a large bowl.  Add sesame seeds and slivered almonds  to bowl and toss to mix.  Transfer contents of bowl to a large baking sheet and bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes, until golden brown.  Remove from oven and set aside to cool. When cool mix in the honey roasted sunflower seeds.
Place ingredients for dressing in a large jar and shake well to combine.
Place cabbages, green onion, celery and dried cherries in a large serving bowl.  Toss to combine.  Just before serving, add about ¼ cup dressing and 1 cup of crunch mixture to coleslaw.  Toss well to combine.  Taste and add additional dressing, salt and pepper, if desired
recipe resource here

Flavorful Roast Beef Sandwich

Picante Roast Beef Sandwich with Garlic, Lime and Green Chile (Adapted from Robin Miller)

2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup diced onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
12 ounces sliced roast beef, cut into strips
14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
4 ounce can minced green chiles
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
salt and fresh ground black pepper
4 sandwich rolls, split

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onion - cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic - cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add roast beef - cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, green chiles, lime juice and cumin. Bring to a simmer - cook until thoroughly heated through the juices thicken slightly, about 5 minutes.
Remove from heat and stir in cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide the mixture between the rolls to serve.
Makes 4 servings.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Margaret Sanger -==== Outspoken In Good Light and Bad

Margaret Sanger, an activist and social reformer, was born on September 14, 1879 in Corning New York. At the age of 31 in 1910 Sanger moved to Greenwich Village and started magazine that promoted woman's rights including the right to birth control. However, in 1915 she was forced to flee the country for a period of time

Born to a Roman Catholic working class Irish American family she was one of 11 children. Anne, her mother had also had several miscarriages. The many pregnancies played a roll in the downturn of her health. The number of children was also more than the families incomes could handle. In addition, her father had a trade as an Irish stonemason but did not always work as he liked to drink and be with "the boys"

Sanger started a campaign to educate women about sex in 1912. She used her newspaper column titled "What Every Girl Should Know" to get the message out. Sanger also used her outlet of being a nurse to help poor immigrant neighborhoods. Many women in these neighborhoods had went thru back alley abortions and needed cared for Because of the sufferings that she found among the women she met she determinedly shared birth control information and contraceptives that were available. Meanwhile Sanger started dreaming of a "magic pill" to use to control pregnancy.

 "No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be 
a mother," Sanger said.

In 1914 Sanger would once again use her journalist skills to write a feminist publication. The Woman Rebel promoted the woman's right to birth control. It would be this publication that would land her in trouble. Breaking the law to send out information on contraception through the mail. In order to avoid jail she fled to England.

In England Sangler worked in the women's movement and did research. In October 1915 the charges against her were dropped and she returned to the United States. Returning to the states she would smuggle in contraception known as diaphragms. Once again she would continue to promote birth control. However once again she would once again find herself in trouble.

Together with her sister Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. During a raid of the Brooklyn clinic shortly after it opened both sisters and the staff were arrested. Charges included providing information on contraception and fitting women for diaphragms. Together Sanger and her sister would spend 30 days in jail for breaking the Comstock Law. Perhaps this was a good thing as while the charges were not dropped a court ruling in favor of birth control did come about.

The court ruled that doctors could prescribe contraception to their female patients for medical reasons. In 1921 Sanger established the American Birth Control League. She served as president of the organization for the next 7 years. Following her presidency Sanger started a National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control.

In 1929 the committee sought to make it legal for doctors to freely distribute birth control. They wanted to make it legal for doctors to be free to issue information about birth control. In 1936 the U.S. court of Appeals allowed for birth control devices and other materials to be imported into the country. Sanger had worked hard for the cause but she had many critics as well.

While Sanger stood up for the womens rights to birth control she seemed to have other sides as well. For example

  • she was associated with  branch of those in the scientific world known as eugenics. The eugenics wanted to limit the human species through selective mating. "She believed that women wanted their children to be free of poverty and disease, that women were natural eugenicists, and that birth control, which could limit the number of children and improve their quality of life, was the panacea to accomplish this." 
  • Sanger supported sterilization of the mentally ill and mentally impaired. 
Sanger would retire for a bit living in Tucson Arizona. Her work would call her back helping to promote birth control in countries such as Europe and Asia. In 1952 she helped establish the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952. In 1960 the "little magic pill" that Sanger had dreamed about was created and approved by the FDA. Another important reproductive right she would see come to light happened in 1965 when the Supreme Court would make birth control legal for married couples

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Dorothy Levitt ==== Woman and the Car

The early days of racing included primitive engines on basic chassis, riding over roads designed for horses, a need for drivers to deal with breakdowns that would happen. High speeds back in the day were around 20 mph which seems super slow for racing now days. In addition the world of racing was thought to be a mans sport.

Dorothy Levitt was the lady that was determined to enter the sport of racing. Levitt was from a wealthy London family and worked at the motor manufacturer Napier as a secretary. To her the contact with the racing driver was a thrill. Levitt met Selwyn Edge an Australian driver and the director of Napier and together they would reach a goal of the first woman race car driver. However it would take training and thinking to make the event occur

A six month apprenticeship to learn driving , chauffeuring and engineering. Drivers in 1903 needed to learn how drive their car as well as how it worked. Following the apprenticeship Levitt would make a living teaching the rich to drive. Perhaps the ladies that learned under Levitt's guidance were mystified when she became the first woman to compete in a race.

April 1903 Levitt would be the first English woman to compete in a race. While it was not a victory in the race it was one that may have changed many minds. Levitt herself only desired to "do better next time" and she would :

  • In March 1905 Levitt would achieve the 'longest drive by a lady driver' by driving her car from London to Liverpool and back in 2 days time. 
  • In 1906 speed records with a flying run averaging 91 mph 
  • fastest girl on earth according to leading newspapers
  • the darling of British motor racing 

Sadly in 1910 she disappeared from the record and quit racing. In 1922 she passed away alone at the age of 40. Her records may have been beaten in years since but she had left a legacy of book about woman's right to motor. ‘The Woman and the Car: A Chatty Little Handbook for all Women who Motor or Who Want to Motor’. The book allowed women to see they too can be in the motoring world. It provided advice and pictures of her making repairs as well as other great advice. Perhaps the greatest and most important idea was that women should be treated equally in engineering based profession.

Dorothy Levitt proved that women were unsuited for driving was nonsense.

“If a woman wants to learn how to drive and to understand a motor-car, she can and will learn as quickly as a man. There are many women whose keen eyes can detect and whose deft fingers can remedy, a loose nut or a faulty electrical connection in half the time that a professional chauffeur would spend upon the work.”

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Oatmeal ==== The Energy Cookie

Oatmeal was not an ingredient found in the American diet until the early 1900s. The English have baked oatmeal cookie since around the 1800s. The cookies were similar to the "oat cakes" that soldiers would carry with them for a quick boost of energy that was often needed in battle. Thus the first oatmeal cookies were considered "health food"

The first recorded oatmeal raisin cookie recipe was wrote by Fannie Merritt Farmer in 1896. The recipe later appeared on the containers of Quaker Oats in the early 1900s. Oatmeal cookies are considered healthy because they are an excellent source of iron and fiber. There is a great variety of oats that can be used to make the cookies. In addition oatmeal cookies can be made even healthier by adding finely chopped or ground fruits or nuts.

Crispy Salted Oatmeal White Chocolate Cookies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

The original recipe didn’t have white chocolate in it, but it really works wonderfully in here. Even if you’re a dark chocolate fan. Watch out, use the good stuff and this may even convert you.

1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon table salt
14 tablespoons (1 3/4 sticks) unsalted butter, slightly softened
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
6 ounces good-quality white chocolate bar, chopped (not “white chocolate” chips; they’re almost always artificial. I am adamant about this.)
1/2 teapoon flaky sea salt (like Maldon or fleur de sel) (for sprinkling on top)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or Silpat. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, and table salt in a medium bowl.
Beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Scrape down bowl with rubber spatula, then add egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Scrape down bowl again. Add flour mixture gradually and mix until just incorporated and smooth. Gradually add oats and white chocolate and mix until well incorporated.
Divide dough into 24 equal portions, each about 2 tablespoons. Roll between palms into balls, then place on lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Using fingertips, gently press down each ball to about 3/4-inch thickness.
Sprinkle a flake or two of sea salt on each cookie
Bake until cookies are deep golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool.

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spicy sweet and sticky chicken thighs

This recipe offers more of a substance than chicken wings. While wings are mostly skin and fat and little meat thighs are meatier pieces. Don't worry you can still eat off the bone with your fingers.

about 2 lbs. chicken thighs and/or drumsticks, skinned
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup maple syrup or honey
1-2 Tbsp. chili sauce
2-3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 tsp. grated ginger

Place the chicken in a bowl. Add all the sauce ingredients and toss it all about to blend and coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for a couple hours, or overnight.
When ready to roast, preheat oven to 375F. Spread the chicken pieces onto a rimmed baking sheet or in a large, shallow dish.
Bake for an hour or so, turning occasionally and brushing with leftover marinade (making sure that you do this for the last time at least 15 minutes before the chicken comes out of the oven, to give it a chance to cook) until the juices run clear.

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Sloppy Joe Recipe

olive or canola oil, for cooking
1 onion, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped (optional)
1 red bell pepper seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 lb. lean ground beef, bison, turkey or chicken, or a combination
1 28 oz. (796 mL) can diced, whole, or stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup ketchup or half ketchup, half barbecue sauce
2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
1 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
A few shots of Tabasco (optional)
Salt and pepper
6 plain soft buns, cheese buns, or biscuits

Heat a drizzle of oil in a large pot set over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, celery, red pepper and garlic for about 10 minutes, until the onions are starting to turn golden. Add the meat and cook for about 5 minutes, breaking it up as you cook, until the meat is no longer pink.
Add the tomatoes, ketchup, vinegar, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco, and salt and pepper to taste and simmer for 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Split the buns or biscuits in half and ladle the sloppy Joe mixture on top. Serves 4-6.
any ground meat will work.

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Day of Fertility

Goddess of Fertility Day celebrates Aphrodite an other gods and goddesses of fertility. Many cultures in ancient times had multiple gods and goddesses. Each of the gods and goddesses represented various aspects of life. Aphrodite was a Greek goddess and a well known goddess of fertility. Thus when looking to create a family people would pray and make offerings to Aphrodite.

This is the day that many believe is a great day to conceive and others will avoid in the attempt to protect against bringing new life into the world for their own sake.

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Recognizing Supreme Sacrifices

Have you ever thought about those that have given the supreme sacrifice. Through out history there have been many to give for others. Some examples would be:

  • Soldiers who are willing to go to battle and many that have gave their lives to protect the freedom of others. They give their own lives to allow others to enjoy their way of life and to keep others safe
  • Fireman and police officers know full and well of the dangers they face each time they go on duty. There have been many that have given their lives saving and / or protecting others
  • In my own opinion the ultimate supreme sacrifice involved a cross and nails. When Jesus Christ allowed himself to be placed on the cross for simply coming to save us all from our sins so that one day we could if we accepted his love go to heaven and live with him forever. 
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Sunday, March 17, 2019

Who was Saint Patrick

St. Patrick was a 5th century Romano British Christian missionary and bishop in Ireland. Born into a wealthy family where his father was a deacon and his grandfather a priest in the Christian church. Patrick was kidnapped by Irish traders to be a slave in Gaelic Ireland. While in Ireland he would work as a shepherd for 6 years. During that time period he "found God" God directed Patrick to escape to the coast and take the ship home. After this time Patrick became a priest.

Patrick would go back to Ireland to help convert the pagan Irish to Christianity. He would spend a great many years preaching to the people of Ireland. Many tales would be told of St Patrick during this time period. Stories such as him driving snakes from Ireland when in fact there most likely never were any. Perhaps even more legends were told after his death on March 17th

During his lifetime he often used shamrocks to explain the Holy Trinity and entire kingdoms were eventually converted to Christianity after hearing the messages. He died at Saul where he had built the first Irish church.

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St Patrick's Day Corned Beef and Cabbage

Corned Beef and Cabbage is one dish that will be served by many today. March 17th is St. Patrick's Day and this dish in the United States seems to go quite well with the Holiday. While many may of dined on this dish before are we sure that we know what corned beef and cabbage is?? Perhaps it would help if we took a closer look

First of all the term to "corn" something in the culinary world simply means to preserve it in a salty brine. The term "corn" refers to coarse grains of salt for curing. Corned beef is a salt cured beef product that has replaced the traditional salt pork or bacon joint. The change occurred during the 1800s when the Irish immigrated to America. The Jewish corned beef was similar in texture to the pork that they had previously used. Shortly after the Irish Americans would serve Corned Beef and Cabbage on St. Patrick's Day However, while corned beef and cabbage remains a popular dish in much of the United States it has become a tourist type of dish in Ireland with most Irish living in Ireland not identifying the dish as native cuisine.

Now It's Your Turn Try Your Hand at

Corned Beef

One 3-pound corned beef brisket (uncooked), in brine
16 cups cold water
2 bay leaves
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
4 whole allspice berries
2 whole cloves
1/2 large head green cabbage (about 2 pounds), cut into 8 thick wedges
8 small new potatoes (about 1 1/4 pounds), halved
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tbs chopped dill

Serving suggestion: Whole-grain mustard

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
Place the corned beef in a colander in the sink and rinse well under cold running water.
Place the corned beef in cocotte like Le Creuset or Staub, with a tight-fitting lid; add the water, bay leaves, peppercorns, allspice, and cloves. Bring to a boil, uncovered, and skim off any scum that rises to the surface. Cover and transfer pan to the oven, and braise until very tender, about 3 hours and 45 minutes.
At about 3 hours, pull out the pot, and pour some of the liquid into another large pot, add potatoes to it and bring to a boil. For the last 10 minutes of potatoes cooking, throw in the cabbage (you don’t want mushy cabbage, trust me). Once the potatoes and the cabbage are done, drain them and toss with some freshly cut dill.
Pull the brisket from the pot, slice and serve immediately with cabbage and potatoes, and mustard.
recipe resource here

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Fun Facts about Ireland and the Irish

With it being St. Patrick's day today I thought we would take a look at how the Irish dine in Ireland. The menu may surprise you. Did you know

  • In Ireland it seems many over the age of 15 enjoy a drink of alcohol. In fact in 2010 the average individual drank 11.9 liters of pure alcohol. That would be the average of 44 bottles of vodka, 470 pints or 124 bottles of wine a year. 

  • Traditional dishes include Irish Stew, Coddle and Irish Breakfast

  • As we all know (or most of us should) the Leprechaun is famous in Ireland. If you are lucky enough to catch one you are said to be able to have a wish granted. 

  • It was Italian immigrants that first brought fish and chips to Dublin during the 1880s. 
I am in hope that I have helped broaden your knowledge of Ireland and the Irish

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Giant Pandas

My sister is in love with bears. Now as an adult she collects all sorts, sizes and shapes of bears. When we were younger she loved panda bears. Today March 16th is a day that celebrates the Giant Panda Bear, one of the cutest, and most loved animals. A favorite of many children and adult alike so there is no surprise that there is a special day to honor this great friend the Panda. However, the Giant Panda Bear is an endangered species.

Over 100 zoos around the world plays host to these beloved giant panda bears. The number of these bears living in the wild has slimmed to less than 2,000. Some may consider the Giant Panda Bear but others have made them a symbol of endurance. Perhaps, that is why they are the World Wildlife Foundation symbol.

The giant black and white panda bears are native to China. They are loved world wide with some believing that they have mystical powers. The Giant pandas enjoy living in the cool, wet remote mountainous forest of China. Dining on bamboo and fruit they can spend up to 14 hours a day eating. Most of the year panda bears live a hermit life staying alone but during mating season the female will choose their male mate and then leave to raise the cubs alone The Giant Panda Bear will live around 20 years.

Have you ever been to the zoo to see the pandas?? With spring weather arriving it may be a great time to do so. Why not take some time to learn more about pandas. Another fun idea would to buy someone special or yourself a stuffed panda bear

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Loaded Potato Soup #Recipe

6 quart slow cooker
immersion blender (a regular blender will also work)
about 8 pounds of russet potatoes
one medium onion
1/4 cup minced garlic (the kind that comes in a jar)
1 quart chicken stock
16 oz cream cheese
10 slices bacon
green onions
shredded cheddar cheese
garlic powder

Preheat oven to 400°F.
Put bacon slices on a baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, or until bacon is starting to get crispy.
While the bacon is cooking, dice the onion. Add the diced onion and minced garlic to the slow cooker.
Scrub potatoes and chop into 1/2" cubes. There is no need to peel them. Use however many potatoes it takes to fill your slow cooker to 1/2" from the rim.
Chop the cooked bacon and add half of it to the slow cooker. Also add a couple of tablespoons of the bacon fat for increased flavor.
Pour in the chicken stock. Add water until the potatoes are barely covered. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper, then stir until all ingredients are well-combined.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours.
After cooking, remove 1-2 cups of the broth to produce a thicker soup.
Cut the cream cheese into 1" cubes and stir into the soup.
Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until you are left with a thick and creamy consistency, but you still have chunks of potatoes. You can do this while the cream cheese finishes melting. If you don't have an immersion blender, remove some of the soup to a blender and puree, then stir back into the pot.
Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder to taste.
Garnish with the remaining bacon, chopped green onions, and shredded cheddar cheese.

original recipe found here

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