Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Best Baked Potato Soup Ever!

I figured it out! I have discovered the best Baked Potato Soup ever. Ever! Seriously it is restaurant quality. It is a variation on "Hard Rock Cafe Baked Potato Soup" from the CopyKat site. I will tell you up front that it is not healthy nor does it even try to be. OK, maybe I made one little substitution to make it a tiny bit healthier but when you use a half a package of bacon, including the rendered fat from the bacon, the fat content of the milk isn't your biggest problem. Enjoy!

Best Baked Potato Soup Ever
half a package of partially frozen bacon (just cut the package in half)
1 C. diced yellow onion
3 cloves of garlic
2/3 C. Flour
6 C. chicken broth (warming in another pot on the stove)
4-5 diced peeled baked potatoes 
2 C. heavy cream, whole, or 2% milk
1/4 C. chopped fresh parsley
1 1/2 Tsp. Dried basil
1 1/2 Tsp. Tabasco or other hot sauce
1 1/2 Tsp. coarse black pepper
2 C. grated cheddar cheese (1 cup is melted into the soup, 1 cup for topping)
1/4 C. Diced green onion (optional, because I never have any!)

Recommended Kitchen Equipment:
Big stock pot, whisk, wire mesh strainer, and stick blender

First, in the morning while you are getting ready for work bake your potatoes. 4-5 potatoes in the oven for 1 hour on 400 degrees should do the trick. Prick them a few times to let the steam release. You don't have to be fancy and rub them with oil and salt or anything. Just wash them, that would be a good thing. Doing this step early in the day allows the potato's starches to congeal and makes them easier to peal and chop and I think it helps them not fall apart once they are in the soup. I would say they need to be room temperature for at least an hour before chopping so plan ahead a bit. I like to do it first thing in the morning just to get it out of the way. Just leave them on the counter to cool for the rest of the day, no need to refrigerate unless you won't be making soup for more than 8 hours.

Peel and chop the potatoes. Use a nice sharp knife and chop into small cubes. Sometimes I do this at the beginning and sometimes I do this while the soup is simmering. Either way you won't be adding them til the end anyways.

Cook the bacon (my husband's favorite part!) Chop up partially frozen bacon, it is sooo much easier when it is partially frozen. Otherwise its like chopping up slimy worms, seriously. 

Strain the bacon out of the grease. I just use a big spoon and my handy wire mesh strainer. Save the bacon for topping the soup. DO NOT throw out the grease! You will need its magic next.

Cook the onion and garlic in the bacon fat til the onion is soft and translucent.

Now add the 2/3 cup flour to the bacon fat, onions, garlic and stir it up really good, it will be a bit lumpy at this point but no worries. Then add the warm chicken broth 1 cup at a time using a whisk, it will be really thick at the beginning but make sure to add 1 cup at a time and stir it til completely incorporated before adding the other cup. The broth needs to be warm or else it is really super hard to get the lumps out. Once you have added about 4 cups you should be able to add the remaining broth with no trouble. Now for the fun part!

Use your handy dandy stick blender to blend up all the onions, garlic, and any flour lumps. If you don't have a stick blender you can with GREAT CAUTION use a regular blender. BE CAREFUL because hot liquids will EXPLODE in a blender if you don't pulse with quick pulses and make sure to leave a little space to let steam out the top. I am in love with my stick blender, it is hands down one of the best $20-30 you will spend in your kitchen. Get yourself one! They. Rock. This is the one I have and its my best friend. It makes hummus, smoothies, frothy milk, salad dressing, etc. 

Add all your spices and milk, the basil and parsley will float on the top but after simmering for about 20-30 minutes it will thicken and the basil/parley will be incorporated, then you will know it is ready for the potatoes.

Add the potatoes and cheese! Stir gently to incorporate the potatoes, but you will be surprised at how well they stay together if you let your baked potatoes sit all day. Once the potatoes are heated through you are done!!

Top with your bacon and extra cheese!

Your children will love it!
(Oh, and its delicious the next day and it freezes great!)

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Fabric Dachshund Sewing Pattern

The fabric sewing pattern is also available! Its is an emailed PDF and three JPG images. This pattern also works well for hand stitching felt. Add some cute adornments to him and see just how cute he can be! Its $8 in the shop....

Silk Tie Dachshund Sewing Pattern

It's here! The sewing pattern for the Silk Tie Dachshund is here! Ever wonder what to do those old silk neckties? Well, here is your answer! Its $8 in the shop...

Monday, October 31, 2011

Pinterest SALE!!

So, apparently I've been blowing up on the ol' Pinterest!? Well in honor of the over 400 hits my etsy site has received today alone from Pinterest..I'm having a 20% off sale! Use the code PINTEREST and get yo' self 20% off! 

If you are wondering its the cute dog bed pic that is being massively repinned! Want a tutorial on how to make one? Yes, you do! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Design*Sponge, Country Living Fair, and a shop update!

Well, I have been a blogging bum. Sorry I haven't posted in so long. So, let's catch up! First bit o' exciting news is that my wreaths have been featured in the new Design*Sponge at Home book! Page   to be exact. It all started when I saw on twitter that Grace Bonney was accepting ideas, so I got bold and emailed her. Thankfully she remembered me from winning the DIY contest back in 2008, I think that helped a lot. She loved my photo, which was a total "happy accident," as I barely know how to use the SLR camera. My husband sets the settings and tells me how to change a couple things and that's all I know. It was so hard to keep the book "quiet" for 2 years! I mean...I told a few people but I couldn't broadcast it until it was in print. So, here is my page!

Last weekend I joined my friend Kelly McCants, of Sewing With Oilcloth fame, at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta. I cut oilcloth and laminated cotton yardage for her for 2 days it was SO fun. I loved meeting all the customers and making new friends like Suzanne and Tiffan. I also met another girl who made it into the Design*Sponge book...she's super talented. I also had someone purchase a pincushion with the intent of using it in the Willow Tree catalog to display jewelry. I don't know when it will come if anyone sees it...let me know!

some of Cindy Jaegar's cute stuff from The Cupcakery!

my daughter, Miriam, with her favorite Modern June Kitchen Chicken

I did a big shop update yesterday and there are lots of new things! Headbands, wreaths, and some cute little hand sewn animals. I hope you enjoy!

And check out a pic of one of my wreaths in a customer's home! So gorgeous! Casey used this 14 inch wreath in her sweet new baby girl's room. 

Monday, May 16, 2011

BIG ol' shop update!

Hey everyone! I just added 12 new items to the shop! Enjoy!

Also, huge humble thanks goes out to yet another sweet mention on The Nester..

Friday, May 13, 2011

And the winner is....

The random number generator has spoken and the winner of the wreath give-away IS Alexis Reddock!!

She was the 6th comment out of 35! Alexis, now you get to pick your wreath!

Thanks to everyone who entered!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wreath Give-away!

I think it would be super fun to give away a nice big 16 inch wreath to a lucky person! So, here's what you have to do...

1. Tell me in the comment section ON THE BLOG if you like traditional color wreaths (red, green, white, etc.) or if you like bold and funky colors and would you put a wreath on your front door, over your fireplace, over your headboard, or somewhere else fun in your house!
2. Go "like" the hersheyismybaby facebook page! its that easy! (if you leave a comment there it will not be included in the contest)

The winner will be announced on May 13th!

Comments on the facebook page are greatly appreciated but will not be included in the contest, this will help me know what # wins.

(The winner will be chosen by the random number generator and will receive one 16 inch wreath of their choice from my on-hand stock)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

20% off SALE!!

***Sorry! sale is over***

Hear ye! Hear ye! The shop is having a 20% off sale in honor of Valentines Day! Use the code HEART to get your 20% off groove on!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Are you ready for the most quirky, the most whimsical, and the most cute thing I think I've ever made? I know you are! So, here's a little background...I bought this "thing" for lack of a better word, cause it was crazy ugly, at Goodwill. Take a gander at its "before" look....

It had really bad "silk" flowers, lots of plastic, a REAL DEAD butterfly, and some foam inside that glass. I knew it rotated and played music box style music. That was its redeeming quality. I was also keen on the glass dome and the pedestal. I instantly saw through the ugly and saw the cuteness potential going on. I wasn't quite sure what in the world I would do with it though. But, I knew something must be done!

So, I got home and got to work (as soon as my little girls were napping of course). First, glass removal. That did not go as planned. That glass was in there GOOD. It broke, and I nearly cried. So, off it came in a thousand pieces. It was glued in there so good I had to use pliers and a chisel to get all the glass out! This is when I discovered that the butterfly was REAL and I'm gonna be honest it creeped me out. Dead insects, not cute. This is also when I discovered that....get ready....IT LIGHTS UP! Yup, it has 2 "Christmas" style lights going on in there. So, it rotates, plays music, and lights up! I realized this has too much kitch to end up classy, whimsy is the new way to got...I mean lights...are you kidding me!? Oh, and they blink. You wanna see the end result?!! Do ya?! Well here you video form of course (how else can you revel in the glory of its rotating musical light show?)


Do you love it so much you want it to come play its musical and rotating light show at your house? It can be purchased right here!

Here are some pictures...

Monday, May 31, 2010

Lots of Fun New Things!

My little 1 year old baby is walking, I'm coordinating the children's department at my new church, and I'm crafting like crazy. I'm a bit busy, but amazingly not overwhelmed. I'm taking it day by day and if I can win "Battle Nap" with my 3 year old I think everything will be OK.

I have also been having lots of fun thrifting with my friend Cindy and seeing what interesting stuff I can make out of all the odd little things I collect. First, I made a sweet little bird to live in this white birdcage I found for pennies.

Then, my sweet friend Tonya found this duck decoy that needed serious love. I hope the love has helped him, he was a very sad duck.

I also found a fiberglass/resin topiary wall plaque and dressed it up with a little felt.

A little paper mache wreath wrapped with some fabulous chunky harvest gold yarn...
(don't tell my mom, but I think harvest gold is on the way back)

I also feel the need to "rescue" old silver and pewter cups/goblets. So many possibilities! Who really drinks out of these things anyways?

Jewelry boxes, oh jewelry boxes! How I do love you! Maybe, it was the little jewelry box I had when I was a little girl that has inspired my new obsession with "prettying" them up. Dark wood and red velvet wasn't that pretty to begin with.

And lots more wreaths!! Of course, you can't forget the wool felt wreaths!

I hope you enjoy all my new little treasure! There are more to come...

Monday, March 29, 2010


So, I am not a big fan of the "hunting" look. I don't gravitate towards hunter green, burgandy, brown, etc. It's just not my style. So, I also happen to think that duck decoys as decoration are hideous. I would much rather look at a real duck thank you very much. But, I do love ducks so I decided to "cute-ify" some duck decoys. (you like that word? I made it up) Remember awhile back I made this sweet duck...

Well, I found some more decoys!!


Much better!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

This is a test!

So, I'm blogging from my iPhone! This should be interesting. I hope it works...

What I'd like to show you is a jewelry box I re-made.

I am getting excited about giving old beat up jewelry boxes a new life. This is my first wooden one. I did this one a couple months ago

But, silver ones are hard to find!!
I painted the outside, relined the inside and made a big dahlia on the top and I seriously want to keep it!

The jewelry box will be available at the "Saturday stroll" here in Richmond this Saturday, come on down and visit!

And happy FIRST birthday to my baby girl!