Corn and Potato Chowder

Yesterday’s dinner prep was quite the fiasco. Since I had a bag of potatoes on hand, I decided that I would make corn and potato chowder with corn bread for dinner. I thought it would be perfect to curl up with a bowl of hot hearty soup since Fall seems to be in full swing. Jason was on board,as always (I don’t think he’s ever turned down a home made meal). So, I went straight to Target after work to pick up all the ingredients and headed home to get started.

And thats when this dinner went down hill.

I thought I would have an awesome recipe to share in todays post, so I was excited as I started to prep the ingredients. Washing. Chopping. Slicing. The whole shebang. I got everything into the pot and snapped this picture before pouring the CHICKEN STOCK in as well.

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Chicken stock? I’m a vegetarian! I don’t know how in the world I accidentally bought chicken instead of vegetable stock.

After a minute of standing flustered in front of the pot I got an idea. I actually chopped way to many vegetables and had to put half aside to freeze for a later meal.  It was an easy fix to swap the chicken covered veggies out for the fresh batch. Then I realized I still didn’t have vegetable stock.

Jason offered to pick some up on his way to run a few other errands, but wouldn’t be back for over an hour. I was eager to get this meal on the road so I pulled out the bouillon cubes, popped one into a cup of water, and stuck it in the microwave. It was a minute or so later when Jason pointed to the microwave and said “umm, your thing’s boiling “. I quickly pulled open the door, grabbed the cup (not realizing it had boiled over) and threw it on the counter. The thing was H-O-T. Not only did I burn my fingers, but when I threw the cup down the splash back landed on my cheek. Boiling bouillon was everywhere and I had just hit my “dinner disasters” limit for one night.

I walked to the stairs, sat down, and cried. Partly because of how frustrated I was, but mostly because of the pain in my hand and cheek. Of course Jason came to my rescue to make sure I wasn’t seriously hurt. Then he told me we could fix the dinner together. I certainly didn’t want to spend anymore time in the kitchen, but after he took me to the couch and wrapped me in his arms, I felt so much better. I’m so lucky to have such a loving boyfriend.

We decided to head out and take care of his errands, but also did a bit of dinner recon…

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Ledo Pizza.  Jason and my favorite pizza place in the area. It’s super thin and crispy, and sure hit the spot for a last minute dinner. We also picked up vegetable stock and by the time we got home I was ready to finish making the corn and potato chowder. I threw everything into a pot to simmer for about 30-45 minutes and something pretty awesome happened.

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Yes, that’s a camping spoon. All of our real spoons were being washed.

My homemade corn and potato chowder was delicious. Jason and I both agreed it was a win, it only took a few fumbles to get there. So here’s whats in the mix.

Corn and Potato  Chowder

3-4 medium red potatos

2.5 cups corn

1/2 cup carrots

1 stalk celery

1/2 sweet onion

3-4  cups vegetable stock (or broth)

1 and a 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

2-3 tbs Corn Starch (for thickening)

Salt and Pepper to taste

(makes 4-5 large bowls)

I chopped all the veggies, making sure the potatoes were cut into bite sized chunks, then threw them into the pot. Next, I added the heavy whipping cream and vegetable stock. I turned the heat to a slow simmer and made sure everything was well incorporated before putting the lid on the pot. I let everything simmer for about 30 minutes before using a baster to put a few ounces of liquid into a heat safe measuring cup. Once my liquid was in the measuring cup I slowly incorporated 1 tbs of corn starch at a time. I then poured the corn starch mixture back into the pot and reincorporated all of the liquid. I repeated this step until my chowder reached my desired consistency. Once the consistency was reached, I let everything simmer for another few minutes before turning off the oven, and letting everything cool so I could put it in the fridge for our lunches the next day.

Note: Since this recipe got off to such a rough start, all measurements are close approximations. I waited until my chowder reached my desired consistency and added a bit more corn and carrots to give it a bit more oomph. Also, if your chowder gets a bit too thick, like mine did, just add more vegetable stock. You can also add another splash of whipping cream to make it more creamy.

Now i’m off to see if I can order a few prints on Snapfish.com. I’ve got tons of photos from the past few years that I think will be fun to put into photo albums. I remember looking through tons of albums at my grandparents house growing up. It was always fun to get a glimpse into the past, especially my moms pictures from when she was a teenager.

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Welcoming Fall DIY Style

Fall has arrived, except for today because it’s 70 degrees outside and feels pretty warm.

I’ve accepted the fact that summer has officially ended and the long sunny days that I love will continue to get shorter and shorter. But lets look at the bright side… I do enjoy being able to put on a scarf and sip a pumpkin spice latte. Since its been getting dark earlier I’ve made more time for cleaning the house and even did a DIY project this weekend to officially kick off decorating our home for the season!

I stopped at Michaels and picked up a few stems of faux leaves, a grapevine wreath, and a few small decorations to add after the leaves were in place. Overall, I spent around $15.00 for everything. This project was a super easy and cheap way to add bit of fall color to our door.

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Oops, I forgot to take pictures before starting. But here’s a picture from behind so you can see what the empty wreath looks like.

I cut the leave stems off of the bunch leaving about 3 inches of wire stem to secure into the wreath. I then placed the leaves in the wreath starting at the bottom working my way around, making sure the stems were all inserted in the same direction. There are a few places that need an extra stem of leaves, but overall it came out pretty darn good. The wreath is made of natural grape vine so it did shed a little bit when I was handling it. I kept the mess to a minimum by placing a drop cloth under it while I added all the decor. I secured it to the front door using a 3M hook that can easily be removed when were done with it.  I would have really liked to put it on the outside of our door, but i’m not sure if it’s weather proof and we’ve been getting a ton of rain lately.

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There you have it,  a quick and easy DIY project for Fall that doesn’t even require a hot glue gun. I’m definitely looking forward to doing more simple projects like this and even have a few in mind already.

September Recap

It’s been way to long since I’ve blogged… too long!  I feel like September was one huge time warp that went by super fast. And now that todays the first day of October, it feels like summer is really gone. No more warm days wearing shorts.  But now we have pumpkins, Halloween, and hot apple cider to look forward to. Oh, and of course I will continue to enjoy pumpkin spice lattes. I usually enjoy the mild weather that October brings, not too hot and not too cold.  But it’s also a sour reminder of how much closer the harsh chill of winter is getting.

Lets recap the past month, shall we?

A few weeks ago Jason and I went to a wedding and danced all night. Please excuse the poor quality, as you can see it’s a camera photo.

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My sister visited and we took a day trip to Lancaster, PA. It’s greatest place on earth for Shoofly pie. I should have taken a picture, but got too caught up in actually ‘eating the pie’ to even think about the camera.  I’m sure a single slice can contribute to about a weeks worth of sugar intake.

I’ve enjoyed so many Pumpkin Spice Latte’s that I figured it would be way more economical to just buy a whole container of the sauce from Starbucks.com.

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I’ve made some pretty awesome food. My sweet tooth was in full swing this month, so it was rare for us to be without fresh baked cookies, pie, or this homemade Strawberry Shortcake:) I’ll have to dig up the recipe to share, because it was basically the easiest thing to make… ever. Even the whipped cream is fresh.

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and last but not least… I discovered my love for flash sale sites. I’ve been wanting to add pops of color to our living room to make it feel a bit more ‘young’. So I started by adding these pillows (minus that multi colored green one, that ones been hanging around for awhile now), which I bought from Joss&Main.com. They’re fun and add a bit of flare to the kinda monotone room. Were planning on putting a photo collage on the back wall, and maybe well add book shelf to fill in the space.

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For those of you who aren’t familiar with this fabulous way of shopping. Flash sale sites have sales in different categories for a limited amount of time before new sales are added. The discounts are sometimes too hard to pass up, and quantities are usually limited so it’s best to act fast. My favorite sites are: Myhabit.com, JossandMain.com, and Wayfair.com. Wayfair is nice because it’s a home supply site that does flash sales in addition to the great stuff they already have available. How can it get better than that? A great sale, plus I didn’t even have to leave home to get it!

So there you have it, my September wrap up. Hopefully I wont be gone so long this month.

Q&A: Do you have any Halloween traditions or maybe a cool costume planned?

Jason and I have made it a tradition to get pumpkins during a weekend visit to his Moms in Pennsylvania. It’s always a lot of fun to visit the orchard and sip on cider while we pick out the “perfect” pumpkin.