Easy Creamy Potato Soup

I am going to be doing a series of soup recipes here on my blog.  You might ask why? — but I think there is nothing more satisfying that a hot cup of soup and some homemade bread on a cold fall or winter day.  There is no rhyme or reason the the way or sequence that I will use with these recipes and I hope you will try them and leave a comment on the blog as to whether it was a keeper or not in your house.

SOUP NUMBER ONE ~ Easy Creamy Potato Soup

This first soup was quick and easy and delicious.  I often make things based on what is on sale, or what I happen to have in the house.  I have learned over the years some bits and pieces of substitutions that work and so even though something may not “call for it” in a recipe – I am not afraid to try new things.

That said ~~  this soup was really easy to make, and delicious.  It was rich but not spicy at all.  We happen to like it that way… you may want to add additional seasonings to your if you like it spicier.
creamy potato soup ingredients

6 cups chicken broth

10 decent size potatoes (I used 3 different types – yukon gold, red and russet)
  ~ approx. 6 cups cubed

1 8oz package of cream cheese  (leave it out to warm to room temperature)

Salt and Pepper to taste

4 Slices of Bacon (cooked and crumbled for garnish)

Peel the potatoes and cut into approximately 1/2-1 inch cubes; approximately 6 cups.  I needed to add one more potato than pictured to get my 6 cups cubed.

Place the potatoes in your soup pot with 6 cups of chicken broth.  I used the 32 oz container pictured and another can to get to my 6 cups of broth.

Add salt/pepper to taste.

Cook until the potatoes are tender/done.

potatoes cooking The picture here is the potatoes in the chicken broth once they were cooked.  You will need to mash up some ~  to all of the potatoes in the pot till you get a consistency you like.  Just  take some out, mash them and add them back into the pot.  I did mine in batches.   The starch released from the mashing of the potatoes will thicken up the soup.

I actually took out some potatoes, mashed them, and then returned them directly back to the soup pot.  I did this till my soup was 90% creamy with just a small hint of some chunks of potatoes.

Note: You can take them in batches and but them in a blender, or you can use a handheld immersion blender and keep them in the pot.  In my case, I did them by hand a little at a time as I wanted to have some chunks of potatoes in my soup.

Once you are ready add the cream cheese.  You should cut the cream cheese in chunks if you didn’t leave it out to warm to room temperature (I put mine away after the picture) because it will take much longer to completely melt into the soup if it’s one large cold chunk!

Cook and stir, stir, stir. 
I had to stir for longer than I wanted because I didn’t leave the cream cheese to warm to room temperature …. I am hoping you remember and don’t have to quite stir that much.

Serve immediately (or simmer till ready, stirring regularly) and garnish with the cooked and crumbled bacon.  And yes, I forgot to take a picture of the finished soup in the dish, but I promise I’ll take them in the future.

Insulting Comments

Everyone gets them.

There  will always a time when you can take something that someone says or does as an insult.  But is it really?  Let’s be honest – there is usually at least two sides to every issue.  Not everyone commenting on your page or article has taken the time to know what was “behind” the story that was actually printed.  Not everyone will agree with everything you say or do, and not everyone will agree with how you express it.  Everyone has different reading comprehension skills,  and certainly no one might ever understand your thoughts and the meaning behind your words.

And while I agree, they should have their say, I also believe negative comments, unless sufficiently substantiated do no one any good, not the author, the commenter or the other readers. 

For example, we could each go to the Grand Canyon.  You might be thrilled with the breath taking beauty, but I might be scared I am going to fall any minute.  It’s not that the Grand Canyon is exclusively either of these things — beautiful or scary — because it certainly can be both of those and more, it’s perception.  I could write about how scary it was, and you could comment I am a liar, but really am I?  Your perception of the grand canyon doesn’t match with mine, but it doesn’t make me a liar — or any other name calling you might want to add to that in your comment because you disagree.

As a reader, or as a writer how can you truly know what the motive is in a comment we might receive?  I think the words chosen to express themselves show more about them, than they might about your article.  Based on what they say and how they say it, you can usually tell that they do not have all the facts.

However, if you aim to hurt, insult or belittle someone, you can do that fairly easily by making a comment that has no basis in fact.  Since you didn’t walk in the writers shoes through whatever experience occurred (job loss, child custody, accident, divorce, miscarriage) you can’t know what it was like for them.  To contradict them, say they are a liar, or tell them to “get over it” shows your ignorance of the situation.  You didn’t have anything to do with their experience. The experience being written about is uniquely theirs.

I’d like to think that for these types of people — they just don’t have the right way to deliver the message they wish to convey, and it comes across as crass, rude, or insulting.  Most times they have limited information about a subject and so while they think they “know it all” – they really don’t know the half of it.

One thing I do know is that when you take the time to look at the statement they wrote, you can usually determine if it was meant to be insulting, or meant for another reason. You may even need to ask a question of the person that gave it to determine their actual motive.  So unless you take the time to do that or simply ignore all the negative comments, you might think you are being insulted much more than you really are.

And such is the world of a cyber writer.

Lots of people write articles simply to be controversial and therefore get lots of comments, based on each side of the issue being explored.  There are hot topics and there are just innocent stories.  Let’s face it, we are all human.  We don’t want anyone to be critical of what we do, say or believe.  When someone says something to our face or comments on our writing, they just might not be able to express themselves efficiently enough to get their real point across.

Worse there are the people who take what you write – the wrong way, and then attack you for saying it. Remember no one is paying me to write this article, I have received no compensation, and it is 100% my thoughts and feelings expressed here. You are free to disagree.

How The Internet Actually Works

With millions of internet users, all of which browse the internet from time to time, it is important to understand how the internet actually works in conjunction with a WAN (area network). What happens when you do that simple search in Google? This illustration helps explain the process:

Ethernet to Wan to Internet - the Process

The WAN Ethernet plays an important part of any internet connection and search on your personal or business computer. Servers, ISPs, your actual machine, ethernet network … All these things come together to provide you (the typical searcher) with a quick response to your online search!

Provided by XO, A Ethernet WAN Provider

Provider – XO Communications

The Day That Changed Everything

I cannot believe that it has been eleven (11) years and 1 month today (10/11/12) since that fateful day when those airplanes hit the twin towers and they eventually crumbled.  It was a day we will always remember — it was the day things changed forever for us in America.

First, I want to say thank you to all the regular men and woman, the first responders, the fire, police and others who without thought for their own safety rushed in immediately to help others.   I also want to thank all the men and woman who put in countless hours after that disaster to help find the lost, and do whatever they could to bring back normalcy in the lives of those affected.  THANK YOU, it was heroic, it was brave, it was American.



I wish it was a dream that had never really happened.  The loss of life, the loss of security, the destruction of a landmark and the way we’ve moved forward from there to here.  I look back to that fateful day and see that as the day that changed everything.    

The changes didn’t happen overnight, and they aren’t all bad changes, but they wouldn’t have been as necessary nor as wide in scope had there been no disaster on 9-11-2001.  Some of the changes I am talking about include the Homeland Security branch to our government, the curtailing of our individual freedoms and the fact that just “talking about something” or discussing it, even if you are joking can cause you can be accused of being a terrorist. 

Since that date, we have poured our money into overseas deployments to try and curtail additional terrorist attacks.  We did it at a high cost to our own economy.  I am sure those investments saved lives.  But all the costs weren’t totally and fully apparent then.  The war on terrorism is one that is constantly changing and evolving with ever increasing costs which will never go away.  And… they have had a serious and destructive effect on our economy.  

 We lost more freedom after that event that any other in history – and daily more of those freedoms are being snatched from us “for our own good”. I understand that some of these changes really are for the good of all, and have been helpful to stop those who would harm our people, and our country — but some have just gone way too far.   Our individual freedoms have to now take the back seat for the “good of all”.  Things that weren’t even considered, talked about, or used in the past to try and find “terrorists” are now used freely without regard to any of our “basic” freedoms or rights – and done so without apology.  

One of the things I changed was my flying habits since 9-11…. it’s not because I think the plane will blow up, crash or be hijacked – it’s because of the treatment of passengers by the TSA.  I used to like to fly everywhere, anytime I had the opportunity, and took my chances with a disaster of any kind.  Now it’s something I try to avoid at all costs.  It’s just dehumanizing to have to “submit” to the whims, searches, and demands of the TSA.  If I could tell the TSA anything, it would be that I know anyone can be a terrorist but they are the exception, not the rule.

My business has changed along with millions of other small businesses who for lack of sales and disposable income in this economy have had to adapt or close their doors.  The sad part of that is Americans are losing jobs that will never be replaced.  Too many people are working for less than livable wages because they have no choice – they simply must to survive.  The gap between the haves and the have nots has indeed widened – and more people than ever in this country (especially children) go to bed hungry.

I do not mean to comment about if the changes were right, or just.  I am commenting on the state of our country – since “getting and stopping” ~ THEM ~ became the priority of the government  ~~ the lives, needs and desires of the American people had to take a back seat and I am just not sure anything will be able to stop that now.

*I was not paid or compensated in any way for this article, all opinions are 100% mine.

Your Recycling Floppies into what?

It’s been a while since I wrote about recycling floppy disks.  In that article (Recycling Floppy Disks Shouldn’t Be Annoying), I mentioned that the first and the best way is to just reformat and reuse them.  Floppy disks can last a long time and can be formatted hundreds of times.   But I also mentioned someone, in that article, who had purchased some from CCSS Inc for recycling them into a useable alternative.   And although most of the purchasers of floppy disks are really interested in using them in their older computers or camera’s – she purchased them purely to make into unique art.

Today I’d like to introduce her art to my readers and show you exactly what she’s making out of those old floppy disks.  It’s her innovative and “think out of the box” (yet still geeky) methods and techniques that take these ordinary, and often times discarded items and make them extra-ordinary.

Natasha Dzurny aka TechnoChic is one of the actual people who sell items made from floppy disks (and other old technology items) on the Esty web network.  Esty is specifically designed around homemade, custom crafted items giving the artisans a place to showcase and sell their wares.  She is a real person with a small business that actually makes useful art by recycling old floppy disks.  Not only that, but these pieces of art can be used by anyone and also serve a useful purpose.  Who could argue with that?  I sure can’t. 

Here are pictures of some of her work:

floppy disk disks art artwork

If you would like to check out her products you can here:   Natasha’s Esty Site

 **Natasha is a customer of CCSS Inc., I was not paid or reimbursed in any way for this write-up about her Esty site. All opinions contained in this piece are my 100% my own.