Food

Corn and Chicken Chowder

CORN AND CHICKEN CHOWDER

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INGREDIENTS

1 lb bacon – diced into 1/4″ slices- optional
Cooked chicken – diced into bite-sized pieces (I nuked a large package of drumsticks then removed the bones and skin and cut the meat up)
2 medium cooking onions
2 cans niblet corn
2 cans cream corn
about a cup of diced celery
1 can sliced mushrooms – optional

Butter, flour and milk for the white cream sauce base.

METHOD

1. Fry the bacon bits until transparent and remove from pan and put on paper towel to soak up the fat
2. In bacon fat in fry pan, cook the onions and celery until slightly browned
3. Add the mushrooms to the onion and celery and brown them, too.

Remove from heat and drain well. Set aside.

Make a white sauce in another big heavy pot – big enough to hold the whole soup mixture.

I am not sure if I know how to tell you how to make a white sauce because I do it by feel and have been making it for years without a recipe. But it basically goes like this:

In your big pot, melt 1 cup (1/2 #) of butter (or marg)

When it starts to sizzle, add a little bit of white flour – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in. I use a whisk.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Keep doing that until it gets very thick and looks really dry, but don’t let it burn! Stir constantly!

When it gets really thick, add a bit of milk (I used whole milk but 2% is okay) – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Keep slowly adding milk and stirring constantly until it looks like thick cream.

Then dump the cans of corn into the cream sauce, add the onion mixture and the bacon bits and the chopped chicken and mix it all together.

If it is too thick, add more milk or add water. I like it thick like gumbo

Adjust the salt and pepper and serve it up.

Extras go in the freezer for another meal later …

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I am a huge fan of cooking and freezing because I don’t want to cook a full meal for myself every night. This way I get decent, home-cooked food without a whole lot of everyday drudgery and effort.

Hope this strikes your fancy

Cheers,
Sue

A Good Day for Homemade Soup

Tonight I made the most delicious soup I have ever eaten. Thank goodness I made a big pot full (is there any other way when you’re making soup?).

It rained so much and so hard all last night and today that I was eyeing my wood pile and wondering if I had the makings for a raft for Buddy and I.

Good day to make soup …

CREAM OF VEGGIE SOUP (with bacon)

1 lb bacon cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 large onion – diced
1 small bag of baby carrots
1 head cauliflower – broken into florets
1/2 head broccoli – broken into florets
1 small bag snow peas, cut into 1″ pieces
1 can peas – not drained
1 can niblet corn – not drained
1 can peas and carrots – not drained
1/2 bunch celery, diced
about 8 big cloves garlic – sliced
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste (actually, I never taste anything until I sit down to eat it)

Cream of Veggie Soup

Cream of Veggie Soup

Fry the bacon until transparent. Remove from fat and put into large heavy soup pot.

In the bacon grease, fry the onion and garlic until browned. Add to soup pot.

Throw in everything else. You shouldn’t need to add any extra liquid because you use the liquid from all the canned veggies.

Boil it all up until everything is tender.

Remove from heat and blend it in a blender, food processor or with a mixer or immersion blender until smooth. All the liquid will get mixed in and will be creamy.

* * *

Make a white sauce in another big heavy pot – big enough to hold the whole soup mixture.

I am not sure if I know how to tell you how to make a white sauce because I do it by feel and have been making it for years without a recipe. But it basically goes like this:

In your big pot, melt 1/2 lb. butter (or marg)

When it starts to sizzle, add a little bit of white flour – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in. I use a whisk.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Add a little more flour, stir it in.

Keep doing that until it gets very thick and looks really dry, but don’t let it burn! Stir constantly!

When it gets really thick, add a bit of milk (I used whole milk but 2% is okay) – maybe a quarter cup. Stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Add a little more milk, stir it in.

Keep slowly adding milk and stirring constantly until it looks like thick cream.

Then dump the blended veggies into the cream sauce and mix it all together. Adjust the salt and pepper and serve it up.

What could be better on a cold, wet day? I ate so much my tummy hurts.

Hope you enjoy this one, too

Cheers,
Sue

Blau Kabis

I made my German cabbage recipe a couple of days ago …

Blau Kabis (Blue Cabbage)

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1 large head red cabbage, cut in 1″ chunks
2 or 3 apples, cored, peeled and quartered
1/2 lb bacon, cut in half strips
1/4 cup sugar
salt and pepper to taste

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In a large heavy pot, throw it all in and add water just until you can see it. Set on the stove and bring to a boil. Simmer for several hours.

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Drain and serve hot as a veggie with pork chops or pork roast. I got lazy and just put mine in a bowl this time and called it supper. Love this stuff. The bacon cooks as it simmers and gives a smoky flavour, the apple gives the sweetness and the cabbage is well, just cabbage, but all the gassiness (sp?) is removed by the sugar that was added.

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The German people quite often mix fruits and veggies together for a main meal. I have another recipe called Birnen, Bohnen und Speck (Pears, Beans and Bacon) that is super good, too.

Hope you try this one – it is delicious and a new way to enjoy cabbage.

Cheers,
Sue

Stuffed Zucchini Boats

I’ve been cooking again …………

Super simple and oh, sooo filling. One was more than enough for me! The rest will go into the freezer for when I get too lazy to cook.

STUFFED ZUCCHINI BOATS

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4 zucchini about 8-9 inches long (and kinda fat around)
1 lb ground beef or mild Italian sausage meat
1 medium onion – chopped fine
4 cloves garlic – minced
1 small green pepper – diced
8-10 medium mushrooms – sliced thin
1 680mL (15 oz) can tomato sauce or spaghetti sauce
Shredded mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

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Wash and slice zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut off ends. Place on foil- covered cookie sheet. Hollow out the seed part of the zucchini with a teaspoon to make a “boat”, leaving about ¼ inch all around. Chop up the pulp and set aside.

Brown meat in frying pan. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add green pepper and mushrooms. Add pulp from the zucchini. Add tomato sauce. If it’s too runny (you want it firm) add some torn-up bread (I used a hot dog bun).

Spoon mixture into zucchini boats. Top with shredded mozza.

Bake at 350°F for 25 minutes for firm zucchini or 35-40 mins for softer zucchini. You can also nuke the zucchini for a few minutes before you fill the boats.

Serve with salad or noodles.

Hope you try it.

Cheers,
Sue

Yummy Tasting Little Gems

I made these for my dinner last night …

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Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Here’s my recipe …

Ingredients

About 15-18 good-sized mushrooms (not huge but not the little button ones either)
¾ lb pork sausage meat – if you like spicy you can use Italian or Hot sausage meat
1 small-ish cooking onion – diced fine
3 garlic cloves – diced fine
2/3 of an 8-oz pkg cream cheese
1 egg yolk
2/3 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (not the stuff in the can)
Salt and Pepper to taste

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Method

Brown and crumble the sausage meat in a fry pan. (It needs to end up in small bits) Set aside to cool.

Remove stems from mushrooms and chop stems finely. Set aside.

Brown onion and garlic in the sausage drippings. Add the chopped mushroom stems partway through. Set aside to cool.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and the egg yolk. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Add the cooled sausage meat and the onion mixture.

Put in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to firm up.

Arrange the mushroom caps on a foil-lined cookie sheet.

Sprinkle salt lightly over mushroom caps.

Using a teaspoon, fill the mushroom cavity with the stuffing, pressing it into the hole. Mound it quite high on top. Place filled mushroom caps on the foil-lined cookie sheet. I sprayed the foil first with cooking spray.

Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool about 10 minutes before eating – they are really hot inside!

Serve as an appetizer or add a salad to make a whole meal – these are very filling!

They can be made ahead and even frozen – cooked or uncooked. Just thaw and pop them into the oven when you want them. I also had some filling left over, so froze that for later, too.

Man, these were sooo gooooood !!!!

Cheers,
Sue

This was Brekkie Today

I needed to do a shoot for a theme – Oranges and/or Lemons, so a few days ago I went searching for “props”.  I came home with two scrumptious cream puffs. The bakery built them special for me and I asked for a cherry on top of one of them. I hadn’t made up my mind if I wanted the cherry in the pic or not – turns out I did.

This one was breakfast today  ….

Orange Cream Puff for Brekkie

Here’s a few more (but I like the first one best)

Cherry on Top

Yummmmm …

Before The Frost

I picked the last of the tomatoes and sweet peppers today …

(… and just so you know … I intended these to be this dark.)

Last picking

Last picking

Which do you like better – portrait or landscape mode???

OOB = Out of Bounds

Out Of Bounds – one of my favourite photo manipulations to play with in PhotoShop … it can be a lot of fun and turn an average pic into something quite special. You see this technique a lot in product marketing, sometimes you just don’t recognize it. I like to use it on calendars and greeting cards, and sometimes it makes a neat portrait.

Peeling an Apple

These budgies were fun. The original photo was taken at a local pet store.

Pew! Garlic Breath!!!

A junky old truck turned into a piece of art …

Pastoral Chev

This is the first OOB I made …

A Splash of Red

Fun stuff, eh???

Hope you enjoy them!

Salad Fixin’s

Salad Fixin’s

An Apple A Day

… keeps this photographer happy :D

Red Apple

Citrus Hug

Aww … can’t you just feel the love – hahahha …Citrus Hug

Lemon

Lemon

Garlic

Garlic

Butter

Butter

Some Kind of Beans – Pinto maybe???

Beans

mmmmm … Pumpkin Pie

Pumpkins

Almost A Whole Food

Almost A whole Food

Crunch, crunch, crunch

Crunchy Celery

Sweeeeet

I love bell peppers – in any colour. This one just happens to be red.

Sweet Red Pepper

Blue or Purple???

Cabbage … I call it purple but some people call it blue …

Blue or Purple 1

Blue or Purple 2