Last week at Village Home Stores we held our second annual Staff Soup Cook-Off and almost immediately when we started posting photos from it to our social media we had messages coming in with requests for recipes. We had many entries this year and once again, each was different from the next! It was pretty much the best work potluck on a snowy February day EVER!
Before we get to all of the delicious recipes we have to of course give a proper shoutout to this year’s winner of the coveted “Golden Ladle” ::: drumroll ::: congratulations to MaryBeth Farber for her winning Baked Potato Soup!!! Of course she was very excited to beat last year’s winner Gregg Swanson (he looks thrilled doesn’t he).
The winning recipe was MaryBeth’s Baked Potato Soup! She also staged up her serving station with decorations and had a whole buffet of toppings for the soup. If you are looking to find a delicious winter soup to feed the masses this is your new favorite!
And now for the other incredible entries! We kinda hope that the party planning committee decides to make this annual event quarterly because we had so many different and creative soups compete this year!
What a fun time and who knew six crock-pots full of soup could feed a Village! Did you find this post because you were looking for a soup recipe? Well allow us to introduce ourselves. We are Village Home Stores and we are a small business located in downtown Geneseo, Illinois. We provide appliance sales, service, cabinetry, countertops, lighting, flooring, wall tile, and custom window treatments for the entire extended Quad Cities Region. Learn more about our store here at villagehomestores.com or stop by and see us sometime! You may even luck out and show up during a fun event like this soup cook-off!
When KitchenAid® announced their “10,000 Cupcakes One Great Cause” program to help raise support for the Susan G. Komen foundation this October we were very excited! Cupcakes, yes! Supporting breast cancer awareness, yes please! At the very mention of the word “cupcake” we knew this was a perfect occasion to call on our staff baker extraordinaire Pat. You don’t have a staff baker extraordinaire? You should seriously look into getting one (you can’t have Pat, she’s ours).
When we asked Pat to bake us her favorite cupcakes for a blog post she knew right away which ones they would be. Now that we have tried one…or two…ok fine three we can see why she loves this recipe! These Vanilla Latte Cupcakes are delicious and include some of the best frosting we have ever tasted. Here is a printable version of this cupcake_recipe.
Coffee in a cupcake? That qualifies as a valid reason to have one for breakfast right? In place of sprinkling instant coffee on top of the frosting, we embraced the opportunity to take a coffee break. We are lucky enough to have a great local coffee shop right around the corner from our store. Elizabeth Ann’s Kitchen is also home to The Local Motive Coffee Shop.
Beth was kind enough to give us some ground espresso for our sprinkling needs. If you aren’t known to be a from-scratch-baker do still file this recipe away for the future for the frosting. Pat’s mind began to run with other great ways she could put a new twist on this frosting recipe with other pudding flavors. We look forward to trying them all of course. Speaking of frosting, a coworker saw me eating my own cupcake and was not aware of the mess-free way of cupcake consumption. Just in case you are also unaware reader, we give you the one-handed-no-frosting-on-your-nose-cupcake-sandwich:
Not rocket science, but it does take the mess out of cupcake eating. Just split the cupcake at it’s center, flip and smoosh. We have shared this recipe with you now you need to “share” your own cupcake creations. This October, you can make a difference just by baking and sharing cupcakes. Join KitchenAid® to support Susan G. Komen. Snap an original photo of a cupcake and tag @KitchenAidUSA including #10000cupcakes and #donate and you will help support this great cause. Learn more about the “10,000 Cupcakes One Great Cause” program here. Be sure to also follow us on social media as well. Post your images on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter.
Last week we had the honor of hosting a bus-load of Quad City women for a demonstration upstairs in our test kitchen. They were part of a group hosted by the Geneseo Chamber of Commerce who arrived to shop and explore Geneseo throughout their visit. We wanted to share with them a recipe they could use for the upcoming holiday season. This brie bake is the perfect appetizer if you are hosting an event or even a take and bake item you could bring to a friend or family member’s home to enjoy. You will need:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll dough and cut into two squares slightly larger than brie round. Cut off corners of squares. Use excess for decorative cut-outs if desired. Cut Brie crosswise into two layers. Place bottom layer onto one section of dough placed onto cookie sheet. Spread cranberry sauce and pecans atop and cap with top Brie layer.
Place second dough layer atop your stack. Connect dough along side of Brie by pinching closed and brush dough with beaten egg. Add any decorative cut outs you would like. We liked how our stars hid the seams where we connected the dough. Be sure to slit top layer of dough in center before baking. Brush entire bake with egg. Bake 20-25 minutes until golden deep brown. Let stand 15 minutes. Serve on platter with crackers and fruit slices (pears pair perfectly with brie).We loved participating in the Chamber of Commerce bus trip and any excuse to bake up something delicious like this to share at the store is a great day! Happy Holidays!