Soups, Costco, low cost wines and wondering

My friend Kirsten (in Denver) emailed me two soup recipes I will post here. Here is here notes about them:
I’ve attached the recipe for the Wynkoop’s Gorgonzola Ale Soup.  I’ve also attached a recipe for Baked Potato Soup which everyone seems to like and its pretty easy.  I use it when I make potato skins for appetizers and that way there isn’t much waste.
Gorgonzola Ale Soup
1 lb. red potatoes, peeled and chopped 
3 qts. water
1 med. yellow onion, peeled and chopped 
¼ c. cornstarch
½ lb. Gorgonzola cheese, processed  Pepperjack or smoked Gouda  
1 c. whipping cream
2 c. chicken stock
1-1/2 c. beer, such as Railyard Ale  
1 tsp salt or to taste
1 tsp white pepper or to taste   
½ c. reserved potato water
Croutons for garnish
Boil potatoes and onions in water until potatoes get slightly mushy, 10-15 minutes. 
Drain water and set aside.  Puree onions and potatoes in a food processor until smooth, adding reserved water as needed to make a smooth mixture.  Be careful not to splatter because the mixture will be hot.  Meanwhile, put chicken stock and beer in large stockpot on the stove and bring to a boil.  Add the cheese and stir on medium heat until cheese melts and dissolves.  Add cream and pureed potato mixture, salt and pepper and simmer about 10 minutes.  Dissolve cornstarch in about ½ cup of the reserved potato water and add to the soup.   Simmer for another 10 minutes and serve steaming hot.   Garnish with croutons.
Baked Potato Soup
4 large potatoes, baked  
 2/3 c. butter
2/3 c. flour     
1-1/2 qt. milk
4 green onions, chopped   
1 c. sour cream
5 oz shredded cheddar cheese  
 2 c. crisp, crumbled bacon,  well drained.
Salt and pepper to taste    
Cut potatoes in halves and scoop out pulp.  Chop half of the potato peels and discard the remainder.  Melt butter in medium saucepan.  Whisk in flour.  Gradually add milk, whisking constantly.  Whisk in salt and pepper.  Cook over moderate heat, whisking constantly, until thickened.  Whisk in potato pulp, onions and potato peels.  Add sour cream and bacon.  Heat thoroughly.  Add cheese a small amount at a time, whisking until melted.  Garnish with snipped chives, leftover bacon and/or cheese if desired.
Note:  Add milk if necessary for consistency, but this soup should be thick.  Also cut back on fat by substituting fat-free sour cream, fat-free cheddar cheese and skim milk
Wynkoops is a very fun brew pub is Denver’s Lowdo area, across from the train station. I have a lot of good memories from there.
Why is it everytime I get a thought out MSN kicks me out and I loose what I have just written?
Yesterday was a big shopping day with a trip to Toys R Us and Costco. We did Christmas shopping for my son and youngest nephew. Rich and I have 11 nieces and nephews between the two of us, and only one is still little (7), all the others are 12-20.
One of the things we bought for my son was a basketball hoop, also known as a baball hoop. The kid just started putting three words together last week, but he knows basketball and football (also known as huball). How did this happen? Rich does not like any team sports. I enjoyed playing basketball in gym class in school, but never anything beyond. Rich never watches sports on TV and I only watched with social events in Denver. Where did this come from? We are, of course, nurturing his love of sports the same as his love of music, number and the alphabet. How does a 2 year old, not really talking understand, know and identify numbers? The same with the alphabet – he knows and ids the letters. Is he going to be reading before he is really talking? Am I encouraging him in the most productive way? Ok enough of my motherhood doubts. He is a happy smart kid – he is doing well.
 So we went on to Costco. We bought a Turkey Fryer there. It was more expensive than at Home Depot but the pan metal is much thicker. We really enjoy the deep fried turkey, plus we have a good setup for using the fryer.
While at costco I bought some Cambrizola cheese. I first tried this when I was working at Hickory Farms (in college) and LOVED it. The price has not gone up too badly in twenty years – it is 8.99 a pound at Costco (granted you do have to buy about a pound at once) and I think it was either 7.99 or 8.99 a pound when I worked at Hickory Farms in the early 80’s. But at the time, Hickory Farms was not the place to go to get the best prices, but the cheeses you couldn’t find anywhere else.
I think we have officially become wine snobs. The Concha Y Tora Frontera Cab/Merlot (2004) is not so good to us anymore. We bought a bottle at Costco yesterday – we have been drinking expensive wines as table wines lately and we really can’t afford a few $30 bottles a week. We picked up three under $10 wines. The Concha Y Tora has lost its appeal.  Sad little change in our lives.  
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One Response to Soups, Costco, low cost wines and wondering

  1. Cherissa says:

    Mmmm I always leave here feeling hungry and with an amazing craving…… It sounds like you had a nice time shopping! I am afraid this year due to my income and other expenses I will be limited…. but its the thought that counts right? I hope you have a BEAUTIFUL day!

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