It’s county fair season! My 2 kiddos entered their rabbits this year. This was their first year to enter so I prepared them, as any momma who has two kids competing against each other would. You know the dialog… “You may not win anything”… “If your sister wins something and you don’t, I want you to be happy for her – no whining”… that kind of thing. Well, all that was for naught because they both won prizes! My daughter’s rabbit, Blueberry, won Best of Show and Champion Fur Rabbit – 2 trophies! My son’s rabbit, Ninja (love that he named a rabbit ‘Ninja’ – funny boy!), won Reserve Champion Fur Rabbit.
The funny thing is, I have no idea what qualifies as a champion rabbit. We just thought it would be fun to let the kids enter, and we lucked out, apparently, by getting good quality show rabbits. Who knew?!
The kids were so proud of their trophies and have shown them to everybody they know, of course. My daughter must have felt sorry for her brother though, since he only got one, so later she made him this:
It says “1st Most Improved Brother.” Ha! I couldn’t help but chuckle at her handmade consolation prize. Such a sweet sister!
On this busy fair day, while the kids were readying their rabbits, I threw together our favorite potato soup in the crockpot. I love potato soup but I used to hate making it simply because it’s time consuming to peel and chop the potatoes and onion, cook bacon for the toppings (gotta have bacon – see my handy tip below!), etc. I also struggled for a long time to come up with a good potato soup recipe. I don’t like it brothy (not a word but it works here). I like a creamy, rich, thick potato soup. This recipe is all that without all the usual work because it uses frozen hash brown potatoes! It’s quick and easy to get in the crockpot on a day you are feeling not-so-motivated to make supper (or in a hurry, like today) but need some good comfort food. With 5 minutes of work, this was prepped and cooking away. A few hours later, we came home to supper… ready, warm, and waiting. It was exactly what we were craving! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do. ~Erin
4 oz. Greek cream cheese, softened (This can be found next to the other cream cheeses in the grocery store. I get it at Walmart.)*
1 (10 ¾ oz.) can Campbell’s Healthy Request condensed cheddar cheese soup
1 (32 oz.) box fat-free chicken broth
½ c. fat-free half & half
½ a medium white or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 (32 ounce) bag frozen “Southern style” diced hash brown potatoes (not shredded!)
Salt & pepper
Optional toppings: shredded cheese, bacon bits, chopped green onions
Whisk softened cream cheese and cheddar soup together in your crockpot. (Or if you are lazy like me you can use your crockpot to soften the cream cheese as it warms up.)
Whisk while adding chicken broth and half & half until smooth.
Stir in the onion and 2/3 of the bag of frozen hash browns; reserve remainder for the last 30 min of cook-time.
Salt and pepper lightly.
Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 6-8 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add the remaining 1/3 of the hash browns when 30 minutes cook time is left.
Top with shredded cheese, bacon bits, and green onions if desired.
Tip: Use prepackaged real bacon bits and toss them in a small skillet for 30 seconds or so to crisp them up. You could also put them on a paper towel lined plate and pop them in the microwave for 30 seconds to crisp them. They are never crispy enough straight from the package for my liking.
Weight Watchers info.: This makes 8 one-cup servings at 5 SmartPoints per cup, not including optional toppings. I like to add ½ cup fat-free shredded cheddar for 1 SmartPoint, 1 Tablespoon real bacon bits for 1 Smartpoint, and chopped green onions.
*If you can’t find Greek cream cheese, you can substitute reduced fat cream cheese but it will increase the Weight Watchers SmartPoints to 6 per cup.