Friday, October 30, 2009

Esther's Favorite Boiled Tater Tot Soup

Ok, this isn't really a recipe, but more of a method of how I make Cheddar Broccoli soup. The Tater Tots came about the last time I made the soup. I wanted the soup to have a bit more "oomph" to it and remembered I had a partial bag of Tater Tots in the freezer. I was trying to surprise Esther by making her favorite soup and when she saw the Tater Tots floating in the water she got a strange look on her face. I told her I was making Boiled Tater Tot Soup and to trust me. And now Cheddar Broccoli Soup is known as Boiled Tater Tot Soup here at the Bair Homestead, because we are just weird like that. LOL

  • 1 lb bag frozen chopped broccoli

  • Tater Tots - frozen - several large handfuls (watch ingredient list if needing to be gluten free)

  • Onion (fresh, dried minced, powder - whatever you have on hand)

  • Garlic (again - fresh, minced in a jar, powder - whatever is convenient)

  • 2 Carrots, peeled and diced

(Veggies in the pot, ready to cook)

Put all the veggies into your soup pot and add:

  • Water to cover (I used 6 cups)

  • Chicken Soup Base* (add per instruction on jar, you can also use bouillon cubes)

(This is the point where Esther looked in the soup pot and gave me a strange look!) 

Cook until veggies are softened and then mash with potato masher for chunky soup or use a blender if you want it less chunky. :o)

(Soup cooking away - can you smell the yummy goodness yet?)


  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

  • Milk, 1/2 & 1/2, cream - whatever is on hand, I add just enough to make it creamy

  • Salt and Pepper to taste

(Pile of diced cheese waiting to be added to the soup)

Heat enough to melt the cheese but don't bring to a boil or the milk will break down.

*I really do think the chicken broth makes all the difference here. It definitely adds another depth to the flavor versus using just water.

Ladle into soup bowls and enjoy the warmth and savor the creamy flavor.  Be prepared for your family to beg for seconds!

Come see what gluten free soup everyone else is making this week at The Gluten-Free Homemaker.

My First HSBA Swap - What Fun!

I joined the HSBA Swap for the first time in October.  When you join the swap you are sent a list of questions to answer then you are paired up with another homeschool mom.  During the next few weeks you e-mail back and forth to get to know one another.  After about three weeks you send a package of goodies to your partner.  Oh, what fun I had looking for goodies to send to my Swap Sister, Kris .   My youngest son even got in on the fun as he made her a potholder. 

You should really go check out Kris' blog - Weird, Unsocialized Homeschoolers - she is a wealth of information and has lots of good tutorials for a variety of projects.  And check out her drawing skills - she has a real talent!

My daughter and I had taken a quick trip to Ohio to visit family, I was exhausted by the time we pulled into our driveway.  When I went to check the mail I found a large package from Kris waiting for me - what a great welcome home!   She had given me a teaser that she had included something kind of "different" but she thought I would find it very useful.  Can you pick out which gift she was talking about? 

My goodies included 2 books that I'm really looking forward to reading - The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian and Becoming a Woman of Faith by Cynthia Heald.  The Gummie Bears met an early demise - we'll just pretend they are still in the bag.  *ahem*  Esther will be using the index cards for Spanish vocab words, she goes through a whole package for each PACE so I can always use more index cards!  Somehow, Kris seemed to know that I'm always needing paper to write my grocery list on and those pencils???  They are just for me. . . they are *PINK*!!! 

In a couple weeks I'll be switching my candle scents from Pumpkin Spice to Apple Cinnamon, the tealights came at just the right time. 

And of course, the mini screwdrivers were the "different" item she made sure to send to me.  I used to have a set years ago but they have long since been lost and I kept forgetting to pick up a new set.  Now hubby and the boys better leave mine alone, especially since they are in a purple case!  I even had a chance to use them already to replace my watch battery this afternoon.

Thank you, Kris, for making my first HSBA Swap so much fun.  I'm looking forward to putting all my gifts to good use, especially my new screwdrivers. 

I had a lot of fun doing this swap and look forward to joining again in the future.  You should join us!  Just keep watch at The Homeschool Post for the next call for sign-ups and be prepared to be blessed getting to know another homeschool mom.