I had planned on making this last night, so I went to the store to get all to fixin's. But, while I was in the checkout line, I received a text from Aaron saying we were going to play golf with some of our friends, the Wanck's, so I didn't get to do my original meal plan. Enter frozen pizza at 8:15. Enter "ticked off mama" ... A lot of my happiness resides in a big yummy dinner, NOT frozen pizza. Clearly, I have issues. At least they're cute.
Moving on. Yesterday I had my coffee outside as usual and was loving that there was almost a chill in the northeastern air ... 68 degrees! Perfect excuse for soup and salad. Since I didn't get to do it last night and AB is working from home today I figured lunch would be the perfect opportunity to make it!
My first dish was this delightful Smoky Corn Chowder with Shrimp I keep seeing pinned and re-pinned on Pinterest. I honestly don't think I've ever had chowder, much less made it, but the ingredients sounded delish and I had lots of fresh Farmers Market corn to use.
The recipe is adapted from Real Simple magazine.
* 2 slices bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
* 1/2 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
* 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 Tbs. smoked paprika
* 1 pinch crushed red pepper
* 3 ears fresh corn, kernels removed
* 2 cups chicken stock
* 1/2 cup half and half (or cream)
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
* basil slivers for garnish (optional)
This just served 2, so I doubled it.
Heat a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crispy. Remove bacon from the pan and set aside on a paper towel to drain. Drain all but 1Tbs. bacon fat, if you have that much in the pot.
Raise the heat to medium-high. Add the shrimp to the pot and sear on one side for 2 minutes. Flip and sear 30 more seconds. Remove shrimp from pot and set aside (At this point your kitchen should smell heavenly)
If you need to add a little oil (or bacon fat) to the pot, do so. Add the onions to the pot and sauté 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, crushed red pepper and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sauté another minute.
Add the fresh corn to the pot and toss to combine. Sauté another minute or two, careful not to burn it.
Add the stock and half & half to the pot. Stir to combine. Keep on a low simmer for 15 minutes. Taste it. Need a little salt and pepper? Add a pinch or two.
If you have an immersion blender, place it in the pot and pulse it a few times until about half of the soup becomes creamy, still leaving whole kernels as well. If you don’t have an immersion blender, ladle about a cup and a half of the soup into a blender and pulse until creamy. Pour back into the pot and stir to combine.
This soup was SO delicious! I will definitely be making it again. Served up with some Rosemary Focaccia it was quite the delicacy.
Later this afternoon I'll be making one of my all-time fav salads, another Pinterest find of course: Autumn Chopped Salad.
*6 to 8 cups chopped romaine lettuce
*2 medium pears, chopped
*1 cup dried cranberries (There is a Craisin Salad Topper that has dried cranberries and candied pecans)
*1 cup chopped pecans
*8 slices thick-cut bacon, crisp-cooked and crumbled
*4 to 6 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
*Poppy seed Salad Dressing
*Grilled Chicken (optional)
*On a large platter, combine the lettuce, pears, cranberries, pecans, bacon and feta cheese. Drizzle generously with poppy seed dressing, followed by some of the balsamic vinaigrette. (I would estimate that I used about a cup of dressing: 70 percent poppy seed dressing and 30 percent balsamic vinaigrette). I've also topped this with grilled chicken for the perfect lunch.
I've made this a bunch and every time people just rave on it. Since, I'm not making it until this afternoon I'm borrowing a pic from www.expressoandcream.com to show the final product.
Lastly, I'm posting something sweet. I would be embarrassed to call this a "recipe" because it's just compiling your favorite sweet treats in nacho form, but my kids (ahem, and myself) totally loved this. They're called
*3 of your favorite apples (we love the Honeycrisp apples).
1 tsp lemon juice
3 tbsp cream peanut butter
1/4 cup sliced almonds (I love them toasted)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (again, toasted)
1/4 cup flaked unsweetened coconut
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/4 cup white chocolate chips
First we sliced up the apples finely and tossed around in the lemon juice to prevent the yucky but practically inevitable browning.
Then melt the peanut butter until it's runny enough to drizzle over the apples. Then I let the kiddos pile on their favorites: unsweetened coconut, almonds and walnuts, the Chocolate chips and some more peanut butter. We started eating them before all the toppings were finished. Add in the fact that the kids were the head chefs and it wasn't very pretty, but here is a pic from www.manifestvegan.com so you can get the idea:
Yum. Yum. Yum.
It's all pretty Mmm Mmm Good!!!!
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