Corn Chowder

I don’t know how the weather has been where you live, but down here in the South, I think Mother Nature is going through a mid life crisis. One day it’s freezing, the next it feels like spring. These last few days have been pretty cold ( after I post this it will probably be a balmy 60 degrees) and on cold days and evenings, that makes me want to cook something warm and comforting. What could be better than some creamy homemade soup…..or corn chowder in this case.

I really haven’t eaten a lot of corn chowder, but for some reason I’ve had a craving for it lately. Yes, fresh summer corn would be the best, but it’s not summer and unfortunately, all of that delicious corn that I put in the freezer at the end of summer is gone. But I found that frozen corn can be tasty as well. This chowder does take some prepping, but the end result is oh so worth it. It has sweet corn with onions and garlic. There is also some chunky potatoes, carrots and smoky bacon ( anything is better with bacon right?) with a touch of a few spices and some cream to add that nice creamy texture, All of this in one bowl that tastes like a soul satisfying hug.

This chowder is great as a side dish, but also hearty enough to be the main star. So grab your spoon and a big bowl and here’s what you need to make your own.

*5 slices of bacon, chopped

*2 TBS. butter

*1 medium onion, chopped

*1 large carrots, chopped small

*2 garlic cloves, grated using a microplane or minced

*2 TBS. flour

*2 medium russet potatoes, peeled and cut into about 1/4 inch cubes; I prefer using russet potatoes because these are starchier potatoes that will help thicken the chowder.

*4 cups fresh corn cut off the cobb or frozen (defrosted)

*4 cups chicken or vegetable broth; I used Better Than Bullion

*1 tsp. dried Thyme or 1 TBS. fresh Thyme or more to taste

*1 tsp. sweet paprika or more to taste

*1 Bay leaf

*1 cup cream

*salt and cracked pepper to taste

*chives or scallions for garnish (optional)

Heat a large pot to medium high heat; add the bacon and cook until brown and crispy stirring often.

Remove the bacon pieces and set aside. Pour off the bacon fat but leave 1 TBS. in the pot; turn the heat down to medium and add in the butter. When the butter is melted add the onions, carrots and garlic. Cook until onions are softened, about 5 minutes stirring frequently.

Add the flour, cook while constantly for about 1 minute or until the flour appears mixed in.

Add the corn and the potatoes to the pot and stir together.

Pour in the stock and turn the heat up to medium high heat then add the Thyme and paprika.

Stir until the broth starts to bubble. Add the Bay leaf, cover and turn the heat to simmer. Simmer covered for about 20 minutes or until the potatoes and the carrots are tender. Discard the Bay leaf.

Take off of the heat and add in the cream. With an immersion blender, blend until some of the vegetables are smooth, but still leave a good many chunks. You can also take about 1 to 2 cups of the chowder and blend in a blender, then add it back into the pot.

Turn the heat down to medium and add in the bacon pieces. Continue warming the chowder while constantly stirring about 2 to 3 minutes.

Ladle into bowls and garnish with chives or scallions


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Breakfast Tostadas

You all know how much I love breakfast, especially on the weekends when I have more time to cook up a fabulous, but easy one.

This is no exception. If you love tostadas for dinner whether from you favorite Mexican restaurant, or you like to make them yourself (taco nights are not just for tacos) then how about tostadas for breakfast. Yes please! These are easy to make. It has corn tortillas that are crispy around the edges and covered with refried black beans, then layered with another tortilla smothered in gooey cheesy goodness and topped with crispy bacon and a sunny side up egg.

It’s good thing there’s lots of these tasty corn tortillas in a pack, because you will probably be making quite a few of these delicious tostadas. These are not only great for breakfast, but they make a satisfying dinner. Just pair it with some yellow or Mexican rice and salsa on the side. You’re welcome.

Now gather those tortillas and here’s what you need to make your own.

*corn tortillas

*refried black beans ( you can use the traditional refried beans, but I find these tastier)

*bacon 2 slices per tostada, cooked as crispy or chewy as you prefer

*shredded cheese; I used a combination of Colby Jack and Cheddar

*1 egg per tostada

*oil for cooking the eggs

*salt and pepper to taste for the eggs

*scallions (optional)

Preheat oven to 400°

Warm up the refried beans.

Spread the beans on one tortilla.

Top with another tortilla and sprinkle the cheese on the tortilla.

Tear the bacon in pieces and add on top of the cheese.

Place the tostadas in the oven and bake about 5 minutes.

While the tostadas are warming, place the oil in a non stick pan. Heat to medium high heat and cook the eggs until the whites are set and the edges are crispy but the yolk is still runny. Sprinkle the eggs with salt and pepper to taste.

Take the tostadas out of the oven and gently place the egg on top.

Sprinkle the scallions over the top and serve.


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Easy Fudge

Over the holidays hubby and I were craving fudge. Since it was the holidays, of course none could be found in those nice candy shops. So what was a girl to do to appease mine and my darling hubby’s (too sappy?) fudge cravings? You guys know that I do not claim to be a great baker of any kind, but I have been trying a little more of late. Although, making homemade fudge is not baking but rather a no bake decadent treat. So I did some research and found…and tweaked….an easy recipe.

I remember watching my grandmother make fudge, among so many other sweet delights. She made fudge the old fashioned way. I’m not sure exactly what she put in it other than cocoa powder and milk, but I do remember her stirring it constantly until she got it just right. Then she would drop some of the hot syrup in a glass of cold water to see if it formed a ball. She would explain to me the process, which at the time just went over my head, but I thought the little balls sinking to the bottom of the water glass was mesmerizing.

This fudge isn’t done the old fashioned way, but instead there are only a few easy steps. The result is a nonbaked creamy, delicious candy treat that will satisfy any of those sweet fudgy cravings.

Here’s what you need:

*3 cups semi sweet chocolate chips

*14oz. sweetened condensed milk

*1/4 butter; softened but not melted

*1 tsp. vanilla extract

*1/8 tsp. salt; I used kosher salt

Line an 8 inch baking dish with foil, making sure the foil sides come up over the sides of the dish. This helps to get the fudge out after it has set. Spray with no stick spray.

In a medium sauce pan, add all of the ingredients.

Heat over medium low and stir constantly

Keep stirring until the butter and the chocolate chips are melted and the mixture is smooth.

The mixture should resemble frosting.

Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish and spread evenly.

Refrigerate uncovered for at least 3 hours. or until the fudge is firm.

Remove from the baking dish and carefully peel off the foil and cut into bite size pieces.

I know these may not look as pretty and smooth as some of the others I have seen, but considering it was my first time making it, I was rather pleased with myself…..and so was hubby. Not to mention it tasted really good.

Serve and Enjoy!


Store in an air tight container in the fridge.

To Freeze: Wrap fudge in plastic wrap and store in a zip lock bag.

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One Pan Linguica and Potatoes with Eggs

It’s a new year and a new dish. Hubby and I recently received a stash of linguica (a type of Portuguese sausage). The last time we had linguica (ground linguica to be exact) we mixed it with ground beef and had some really delicious Double Cheese Linguica Burgers. Those I must say, were epic. We can’t seem find linguica where we live….believe me hubby tried very hard because he loves it…so we have to have it shipped. So for this batch, I really wanted to come up with something hearty and easy. What better way to enjoy this tasty sausage by mixing it with potatoes and topping it with eggs. This was definitely a hit for sure. The potatoes are tossed with butter, olive oil and some spices, then mixed with the unique flavors of the linguica. It’s all topped with a few sunny side up eggs. What’s even better, is that it’s all cooked in one pan so clean up is easy.

So grab a few eggs, chop up some potatoes and here’s how to make it:

*3 large potatoes; peeled and cut into bite size pieces

*1 pound of linguica; casings removed (if they have casings) and chopped into bite size pieces

*1 tsp. sweet paprika

*2 tsp. onion powder

*1 1/2 tsp. dried Thyme

*salt and pepper to taste + more for the eggs

*1 TBS butter; melted

*olive oil

*4 eggs

Pre heat oven to 425°

In the pan, toss the potatoes with paprika, onion powder, Thyme, salt, pepper, butter and olive oil.

Add in the linguica and mix together with the potatoes.

Bake for 15 minutes and stir. If the potatoes look like they are drying out, add more olive oil. Bake for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are soft on the inside and turning golden brown on the outside.

Lower the oven to 400°

Make a well in the potatoes and linguica. Crack the eggs into the wells.

Salt and pepper the eggs and continue baking for another 10 minutes are until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny.

If you prefer a less runny egg, cook longer.

Serve and Enjoy!

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