Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Snow Days


Snow days are the pits.  I truly absolutely despise winter. And snow.  It's cold and wet and yuck.  I am a total summer girl. I'd much rather be in shorts and flip-flops than trudging around in snow.  We have had several days in a row of snow, sleet, freezing rain, freezing fog, freezing cold.  The roads thaw slightly during the day and then freeze back up at night, which makes the drive the next day rather interesting. There aren't a lot of snow plows in Texas, so our towns are quite ill prepared to deal with frozen, snow covered roads.

I have managed, though, to get around and get to where I need to be.  Until Saturday.  I went to work, ran some errands, and came home.  I gathered up my purse, my groceries, my iced tea, and headed to the door to go inside. On my very last step of sidewalk before reaching the dry front porch, there was a huge patch of ice.  I stepped on the ice and started slipping.  That's when I did that little dance people do when they're trying not to fall.  The thought in my head was, I don't want to fall.  I don't want to fall.  And then the thought was, I'm going to fall.  It's almost like, during the few seconds that I was battling it, that I eventually gave up and was prepared to fall.  And I did.  Hard.  As I hit the ground, I said a word that's not very nice.  My husband heard the fall and the not nice word and came outside.  It was all rather unpleasant, and the huge knot and 8-inch bruise on the back of my leg aren't very fun either.  Ice 1, Cindy 0.

So I decided to make Jalapeno Beer Cheese Soup for dinner that night.  It's warm, comforting, and has 3 of the New Four Food Groups in it.  And it was good.  Although I could only sit on one side of my rear end to eat it.  

JALAPENO BEER CHEESE SOUP
1 lb bacon
1 onion, chopped
3-5 jalapenos, seeded and chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 T butter
1/4 C flour
One 12-ounce beer
2 C chicken stock
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
4 C heavy cream
3 C shredded Cheddar cheese

NOTE:  The chicken stock, bacon, and cheese lend a lot of saltiness to this soup.  You will want to taste it before adding any salt.  I found that I didn't need to add any at all, and I'm a salt addict.

In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon on a paper towel and crumble it.  In the same pot in the bacon grease, cook the onion and jalapeno until tender.  Add in the beer and the garlic.  Bring the beer to a boil and cook and reduce until most of the liquid has cooked out.  Add in the butter and let it melt.  Sprinkle the flour over the veggie mixture.  Stir the mixture and then add in the chicken stock.  Whisk to combine.  Let the mixture start to bubble and then add in the heavy cream and the mustard. Bring the soup to a boil.  Turn the heat off or to very low and whisk in the cheese in handfuls until it melts completely.  Stir in the cooked bacon and serve.