We played a little, had a late breakfast, and I kept working on a few projects. (I will post photos when they are done, don't worry.) When we knew Mick was close to heading our way, the kids and I went to Chickaway (that's "Chick-fil-A," in WHM-speak) and did the drive-thru so we could have a tailgate picnic --
|Our picnic. Note WHM's hair ...|
When we were done, WHM and Mick went to get WHM a haircut and CAM and I went to Michael's and Kroger. For those of you keeping score, this is his third haircut, and this time, he didn't even cry! We think it's partly because we girls weren't there today, and partly because he's just getting more used to it. But that alone makes today a huge success.
|My handsome big boy with his new haircut. It's a blurry cell-phone snapshot, and he has a milk mustache, but you get the idea. And we don't usually do a side part, but he looks precious no matter what, don't you think?|
Today's recipe is Corn and Cheese Chowder, selected by Renee at The Reedy Family. I really wanted to make this tonight because (a) it was a great night for soup, a little dreary and chilly again, finally, after a week in the near-70s; and (b) I had some bell peppers just on the wrong side of going soft, and thought they'd be perfect in a soup but probably were past their prime for anything else. If there's anything I hate, it's wasting produce, so soup was on the agenda tonight.
Corn and Cheese Chowder
Verdict: Delicious and hearty, and the recipe makes more than enough.
Cook it Again: OH yes, this is a keeper!
Cost Factor: If you don't have the peppers or bacon, a little pricey.
This is a really easy soup. The directions say to allow 20 minutes, and that's about right. A little longer if you're sipping on a cold one and eating chips and policing pre-schoolers, so let's say 40 minutes. 20 prep, 20 cooking time.
First, we had to chop one of each of a red, yellow, and orange bell pepper, along with one large onion. We threw the onion in a medium-size dutch oven with half a stick of butter and let them clarify (or whatever it's called). Then we were supposed to add 3 slices of bacon, chopped. I didn't feel like cooking bacon tonight and hadn't remembered to take any out of the freezer, (although it wouldn't have mattered since it's easy to cut frozen bacon, but it's best in that situation if you are using more than three slices) so I just threw in a few healthy handfuls of the Kirkland bacon that I so love. Then to make it seem as though we cooked the bacon in the onions, I added about a tablespoon of our leftover bacon fat. (Healthy? What?!) We let them sizzle on up and then added the peppers. Let them all cook together for a minute or two (or five ...) and then added the kernels from five ears of corn.
|The onions. Looks like an awful lot, huh? It wasn't, by the time it all came together.|
|Once the bacon was added. I mean, onions and bacon, what more do you need?!|
|Mick is my official corn-shearer-whatever. Both he and I are |
For stuff like this I don't generally pay attention to the timing on the recipe but just go 'til it looks good, so this probably added to our cooking time. Anyway, I learned something here -- you can cover everything evenly with 1/4 cup of flour and then stir it all up so the flour coats the cooking veggies, and there's your thickening agent for the soup! No clumps of flour to whisk endlessly, no roux to make at the start -- I love, love, love this idea and can't believe I've never encountered it before. Anyway, new trick in my back pocket. I am excited!
|The mix with everything but the corn. Doesn't it just look so pretty?!|
|...and with the corn, but no liquids. I went a little nuts with the photos and wanted to use them all. :)|
|With the chicken stock. Even in this early stage, it tasted pretty good.|
*except for when we run out because Mick is out of town and I don't keep good tabs on the basement fridge, and as a consequence I have to make an emergency Costco run for milk, as happened earlier this week. Just sayin'.
|CAM is the official half-and-half measurer. That may or may not be my adult beverage in the background.|
|Going to the "2" ...|
|And, voila! A perfect two cups! Great job, CAM!|
|Once we added the half-and-half, it started to resemble a chowder, don'tcha think?|
It was delicious and there was quite a bit of soup, and if you're judging from that last photo up above, it did thicken quite a bit. (That photo doesn't include the cooking time or the addition of the cheese, both of which serve to thicken the chowdah.)
I had a full bowl, CAM and WHM each had bowls 2/3 full, and Mick had two bowls, and there is still enough left over for another full meal. If we'd had company we probably would have had more than enough, especially with bread and appetizers. In any event, it looks like we're having soup again this weekend, and I am certainly not going to complain! Yum!
|Taking his first bite. YUM!|
|Posing. Of course.|
Renee, if you're reading, thanks for a wonderful pick! We will definitely make this again and again!
|Just because WHM wanted his picture taken. Look at those eyes! My handsome little man!|