Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Vegetable Chowder

I'm trying my best to use up all of the leftovers in my fridge.  A couple potatoes, half of an onion, some green beans, and some other veggies from Thanksgiving have made the components to this soup.
I literally made this soup off the top of my head.  It was very easy and can be thrown together in no time!  Yesterday I made a turkey soup and today it's a vegetable soup...I'm really hoping my family doesn't mind soup again!  I love soup and could have it every day, especially in the winter!  Just throw some bread in the oven and dinner is good to go.  I'm sure there's a ton of vegetable chowder soup recipes floating around out there, but this is my version...enjoy!  It was VERY tasty :)

Vegetable Chowder 
INGREDIENTS: {serves 5}

  • 2 Tbsp. butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 large russet potatoes, diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 large carrots, diced
  • 1 cup broccoli florets, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup cauliflower florets, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 2 cups frozen corn, thawed
  • 4-5 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. fresh thyme
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  In a large pot, heat the butter to medium-low.  Add the onion, potato, carrot, and celery to the pot and stir; season with salt and pepper.  Let saute for about 5-10 minutes or until vegetables are becoming tender.  Add the flour, stir vegetables to coat and let cook about 1 minute.  Pour in the chicken stock and add the broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans {you want the chicken stock to come just to the top of the vegetables, so add more if it's not enough}.  Bring to a boil, then simmer about 10-15 minutes on low heat, until vegetables are nice and tender.  Add the thawed corn, the milk, and thyme.  Let simmer another few minutes on low heat then add the cheese.  Stir and season again with salt and pepper to taste.

First...saute the potatoes, onion, carrot, and celery in butter
 {don't forget to salt & pepper the veggies}

Next...stir in the flour 

Add...chicken stock and broccoli, cauliflower, and green beans

Last...the thyme, milk, and cheese {don't forget to taste for seasoning}

Thursday, November 17, 2011

My favorite Fall recipe...Pumpkin Bread

In the midst of my busy week, I got to take the time today to go on a field trip with my 3rd and 4th grade boys.  We saw A Christmas Carol.  Once we all got settled I thought, oh this will be nice to relax and sit for 2 hours...no excuses!  I can honestly say, it was REALLY nice to relax, let my guard down and watch a great play.  But the play wasn't just entertaining, it was actually beautiful.  To hear the voices singing about Christ being born to save us from Satan's power.  To hear Scrooge finally profess that he was willing to do what it took to become a changed man, and to see the redemption at the end.  To hear "God bless us".  It's a wonderful thing to hear when so many are afraid to utter those words in that they might offend someone.  It was a great day...

On to the recipe...The smell of this bread baking to me is what Fall is all about.  Being at home, spending time with family, staying inside on rainy days and baking some of this bread, then eating it right out of the oven!  I can honestly say, it's one of those things that when I eat this bread, it takes me right back to when I was a little girl.  My great-aunt and my mom baked this bread all of the time and I can remember my mom putting thick slices into the toaster for me, getting it a little crispy on the edges, then slathering it with butter.  It's comfort to me.  I know it's kinda silly, but it's true.  Such fond memories of holidays growing up and so thankful to have those special memories.

Pumpkin Bread {family recipe}

INGREDIENTS: {makes 2 loaves}

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 Cup sugar
  • 1 Cup oil
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 can {15 oz.) pumpkin puree
  • 3 Cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Cup chopped walnuts {optional...I sometimes make 1 loaf with nuts & 1 loaf without}
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Beat together the first 5 ingredients.  In a separate bowl, whisk the next 7 ingredients.  Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well.  If desired, add chopped nuts.  
Pour into 2 greased loaf pans and bake for about 1 hour.  Check for doneness at about 50 minutes...toothpick should come out clean.  You don't want to over bake.
Remove from oven, let cool in pans about 10 minutes, then pop out of pan onto a cooling rack.  Now you can take a nice big slice for yourself!  Once they are completely cooled, wrap tightly in foil.  The loaves freeze well too.  I used to freeze one and eat one, but now we eat them both too fast to freeze!  Warm slices in toaster or in microwave.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Caramel Corn...so addicting!

Warning...this caramel corn is highly addictive!!  I've been making this recipe for a while now and when I get the ingredients out to make it, I immediately start drooling.  I crunchy, chewy and everything I love in caramel corn.  It makes a big recipe so it's perfect to take on a trip, or for a birthday party, or just to munch on over a weekend.  I made it last Saturday for my daughters soccer team, then made it again Monday night for a Halloween party.  It's fun and it's sure to please everyone...if not, there's more for you!

Caramel Corn {recipe adapted slightly from Paula Deen }


  • 2-3 bags microwave popcorn, popped {I use simply salted Orville Redenbacher's Natural}
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups packed brown sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Spray a large baking pan or roaster with cooking spray.
Pop popcorn and pour into a large bowl.  I use a slotted spoon to scoop out any kernels that didn't pop.  
Over medium heat, combine butter, brown sugar, salt and corn syrup and boil for 5 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in baking soda and vanilla extract.  Stir well.  Pour over the popped popcorn and stir well to coat.  Bake in sprayed baking pan for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.  
Immediately pour into a large clean brown paper bag and shake.  Spread out on waxed paper to cool.  


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