I am excited to write about all things I am passionate about...and some, well, that I may not be passionate about. But all things are happening in this LIFE. And, I want to document and have accountablity to living life with intention. And so it goes...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Corn Chowder with Chilis

A couple of fine days this past summer, our family found ourselves shucking sweet corn, cleaning it, taking it off the cob, then bagging it up to be frozen. Don't get me wrong...it was a wonderful time of bonding. But about after the 90th quart, we were already to be done. Now you did read it right--yes, we have a TON of sweet corn. It is taking up almost 2 full shelves in our stand up freezer in the garage.

So naturally, when I saw this corn chowder recipe, I was intrigued. Not only do I love soup when the weather changes, I love it when I can find a soup that incorporates something I already have on hand. You guessed it. CORN!!!!

Besides the simplicity of this recipe, it is just plain good. All of the flavors of bacon, onion, corn, and cream together with the spicyness and bite of the peppers, is just awesome! And comforting. And, I really needed to make a double recipe of this because the kettle was clean after we got done with it.
Definitely a recipe that I will be adding to my rotation of soups throughout this cold weather season. Three out of four kiddos loved it and Steve thought it was great. Our unexpected dinner guest, Great Grandma Nikkel, thought it was good too---although she had Natalie refill her ice water a few times...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Seasons Change...

Yes, I do realize it has been a few months since I have posted. And quite honestly, I have not made ONE new PW recipe during that time...that is, until last night.
Before I let you in on the amazing recipe that was so easy to make and now we are practically left with just crumbs standing, I must tell you that I have been cooking. And I've even been cooking quite a few PW favorites---just nothing new to this blog. Simple Enchiladas, Chicken Spaghetti, Best Hamburgers, Shrimp Quesadillas, and Cinnamon Rolls are just to name a few. In fact, with the awesome Cinnamon Roll recipe, I DID try them with all whole wheat--and guess what?! They are GOOD. You must understand that changing out the flour from white to wheat is a great change-up, but the reason they are so good would be the enormous amounts of butter. Just sayin'...so don't get too crazy and think they are absolutely healthy. But, it's a step in the right direction, right!?
We are back in the swing of things with school. Which brings me to the change of seasons. Yes, of course, the obvious switch from sweltering summer heat that brings with it a very care-free lifestyle of minimal commitments, hence the lazy days of summer. I would equate that to a time of organized chaos or on some days, utter disorganization. I cherish our summers! I love our vacations we save to the last month to squeeze in every last ounce of togetherness before the school year starts. I love having almost no responsibilities of getting to bed on time, or having to wake up at 6:00 am to get kids off to school, and NO HOMEWORK or PIANO lessons to worry about.
But when the SEASON changes, I am SO ready for it. I love organization and writing in my big wall calendar, and my personal planner. I love to see what life has in store for each of us as we begin the new school year. As much as I love to NOT have a schedule, I love even MORE to have a schedule. I thrive on a schedule and so does my family.
Another SEASON CHANGE for us here is my baby going off to Kindergarten. Oh my aching heart! Bittersweet---is the only way to describe it. It has been 11 years that I have had at least some or one child at home with me. It has made for interesting moments after working some or part of the night and trying to stay awake, it has allowed me to be available for most things, it has given me a grocery shopping buddy, a cleaning buddy (HA!), laundry buddy, and cooking buddy. And now it is just me! Definitely a "season" change I am learning to live with. And while it does make my heart ache, it is so, so good to see 4 kids with their backpacks scamper out the door to the bus and puts a smile on my face to see them run home, throw their backpacks on the floor and beg for me to feed them every morsel of food I have in this house. And the sleep after working all night??? MARVELOUS!
So adjusting to seasons changing is what we have been up to. I really thought I would have all this time on my hands to try a new recipe each and every day. Well, that hasn't happened yet. But it's a good goal, right? Don't hold me to it. But the fall weather does bring out excitement to be in my kitchen.
Which FINALLY, brings me to the recipe you have all been waiting for. And it's definitely worth the wait. Streusel-topped Pumpkin Bread is easily my favorite fall treat of the season. it's about this time of year that everything pumpkin begins to sound good. Why is that? Do any of you use pumpkin throughout the year? I don't. I only use it during the fall and cold temperature months. It's like it doesn't taste the same any other time of the year. Which is exactly why this recipe is so darn good right now!
It is moist, it is the perfect amount of sweetness with the streusel on top, it is filling, and it goes perfectly with steaming bowls of your favorite soup, as a dessert, or a breakfast sweet bread. Versatile, I tell you. And two loaves later, I am left with two pieces and crumbs. It's barely even been out of my oven for 12 hours!
I will tell you that I did change up the recipe just a bit by switching out my flours to oat flour. You know, because that is just how I roll. I was nervous about the consistency, but it worked wonderfully, and packed some added fiber and protein in the bread.
Delicious! Happy fall y'all!