baked potato soup

photo of a bowl of baked potato soup with scallions, cheese, bacon, and sour cream on top

There’s nothing fancy about this soup, and that’s part of why I love it. It’s great for cold nights when I don’t feel like doing a lot for dinner. I think that’s why my mom always made it for us too, to be honest.

6 medium potatoes (about 3 lbs russets/bakers), washed and diced with skin on
1/2 cup of butter, cut into cubes
8 oz container of sour cream (plus extra for garnish if you wish)
2 cups milk (whole preferred, 2% okay – not skim)
3 strips bacon, fried and chopped
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 tbsp ground black pepper
1 tsp salt
Water (to fill a pot large enough to hold the potatoes)
Instant potato flakes (for thickening, as needed)
Grated cheddar cheese (as garnish)

Cover potatoes with water in large pot and bring to boil. Cook until tender. Drain off almost all water. Add butter, salt, and pepper. Stir to melt butter. Add milk. Bring to just under a boil and heat the mixture through. If too thin, add small amount of potato flakes to thicken.

Stir in sour cream, bacon (and drippings) and chives. Garnish with cheddar cheese, and extra sour cream and chives, if desired.

pressure cooker lamb stew

photo of a bowl of lamb stew with barley and potatoes

2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 lbs lamb stew meat
2 lbs yellow potatoes
1 sweet onion
5-6 cups of choice of stock (I like to use half chicken, half beef if I don’t have lamb stock – beef stock alone tends to overpower the lamb and chicken stock alone doesn’t have the depth)
2/3 pint of Guinness (warning: too much makes the stew bitter so yes there is such thing as too much of a good thing. I usually open a pint can, use 2/3 in the stew, then finish the rest)
3/4 cup barley (not quick or instant)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cracked rosemary
1/4 tsp thyme

Set Instant Pot to saute. While it’s heating up, season your meat with salt and pepper. Once the pot is at temperature, add lamb and brown. Add potatoes, onions, barley, stock, Guinness, garlic powder, rosemary, thyme, and more salt and pepper if desired. Stir well.Seal pot and pressure cook on high for 1 hour.Release pressure manually. Enjoy.