Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Main Dishes, Recipes, Soups | September 20, 2017 | By

It is harder than ever to get posts on this blog regularly! I am trying not to put too much pressure on myself but gee it’s been difficult lately. I have so many delicious recipes I want to bring you! Seriously, the list is looooong! But it gets tricky. As I am sitting here typing this I have one of my kids sitting on my lap coloring (which means I can’t see the keyboard, so I keep having to backspace) and my other kiddo is to my right playing with tape and banging on a calculator! Now he’s playing with the mouse and made my screen go crazy…..do I need to explain why I have a hard time photographing food? 

So let’s jump back in to things with a recipe that was a GO TO for me this Summer….Summer Squash and Corn Chowder. Growing up my mom would always make corn chowder and I never ate it. Never even tried a bite. If that was for dinner, then I would happily eat a big bowl of cereal instead. What was wrong with me!? Corn chowder is delicious! Summer Squash and Corn Chowder? Even more amazing!!

I came across this recipe while looking for ideas on how to use the 12,454,656 pieces of yellow squash that came from my garden. Okay, that’s slightly exaggerated but it always seems like so much! I needed a recipe that I hadn’t tried before and wanted to stay away from breading and frying it, which is the usual go to. This chowder saved my squashes life. Just when I didn’t think I could eat anymore, I made this!

This chowder is creamy and rich, but still tastes great on a warm Summer evening. Just because Summer is almost over doesn’t mean I will stop making this soup! Oh no! I will continue to make big batches of it to warm our bellies on chilly evenings as well! 

Summer Squash and Corn Chowder

Source: Cooking Classy

Ingredients

  • 6 slices bacon , cooked and crumbled and 1 1/2 Tbsp rendered bacon fat reserved
  • 3 medium yellow squash, chopped
  • 2/3 cup thinly sliced celery
  • 1 cup sliced green onions, divided
  • 1 tbsp. flour
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 3/4 cup milk
  • 5 cups fresh cut corn, divided
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 3/4 tsp salt, then more to taste
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a large pot over medium high heat, heat 4 tsp of reserved bacon fat. Add celery and sauté 2 minutes then add the squash and 3/4 cup of the green onions. Sauté until tender, about 6 minutes, adding in garlic and flour during last 2 minutes of sautéing. Reduce heat slightly.
  2. Add 1 1/2 cups milk, 2 cups of the corn, thyme, salt and pepper to the sautéed veggies.
  3. To a blender add remaining 3 cups of corn, remaining 1 1/4 cups milk and the cream. Process in blender until nearly smooth. Add pureed mixture to pot and stir to blend. Cook until mixture reaches a light boil.
  4. Serve warm with shredded cheese, crumbled bacon and remaining sliced green onions.
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Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Chicken, Main Dishes, Recipes | July 6, 2017 | By

I have mentioned before how much I love watching cooking shows on TV. I don’t know why, but whenever I see a new chef I don’t fully trust what they have to say until I try a recipe for myself OR until I hear them say something like “More butter is always better”. A couple months ago, I found Ayesha Curry’s cooking show and fell in love with it. She was making these Pulled Chicken Tacos and served them up in Seasoned Taco Shells! Why have I never thought to give some extra love to store bought taco shells? Well, I am glad she told me to because these are incredible! I gave the recipe a try soon after seeing that episode and we have eaten them countless times since.

These Pulled Chicken Tacos are a great weeknight meal because they don’t take long to throw together. Using a store bought rotisserie chicken cuts down on your prep time! They are also great for entertaining! Set up a taco bar with lots of delicious toppings. We like ours with Cotija cheese, red cabbage, avocado, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.

The first step is to soften some sliced onions in a pan and then add in green chiles and lots of flavorful spices like: ancho chile powder, cumin, paprika, coriander, and oregano. The first time I made these I thought they were going to be too spicy for me BUT not at all! It’s the perfect blend of flavors. They add a nice smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. After the onions, chiles, and spices have had time to mingle, it’s time to add in the tomato sauce and water. This simmers until thickened and then the shredded chicken joins the party.  

While the chicken warms through, those ordinary store bought taco shells are ready for their transformation. Each side of the shell gets brushed with oil and then sprinkled with a blend of salt, ancho chile powder, coriander, and cumin. They bake in the oven for 6 minutes until nice and crisp. Now it’s time to serve!

These quickly became a favorite in my family and I know they will be in yours too! This also tastes great the next day as a taco salad piled high on a bed of romaine lettuce!

Pulled Chicken Tacos with Seasoned Taco Shells

Ingredients

  • For the Chicken:
  • 2 tbls. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4oz can chopped green chiles
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • kosher salt
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 tbls. light brown sugar
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed and meat shredded
  • For the Taco Shells:
  • 2 tsps. ground cumin
  • 2 tsps. ancho chile powder
  • 1 tsp. ground coriander
  • kosher salt
  • 12 hard tacos shells
  • 3 tbls. vegetable oil
  • Toppings:
  • Limes
  • Red Cabbage
  • Cotija Cheese
  • Avocado

Instructions

  1. In a straight sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sliced onions and cook until softened. Add the garlic and green chiles and cook for 1 minute. Add the ancho chile powder, cumin, smoked paprika, coriander, oregano, and a pinch of salt. Stir to coat and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomato sauce, brown sugar, and a cup of water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add the chicken to the sauce and let simmer for about 5 minutes. You want the sauce to coat the chicken and not be too soupy. While the sauce thickens, prepare your taco shells.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a small bowl, combine ancho chile powder, cumin, coriander, and 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  4. Arrange the taco shells in a single layer on the baking sheet and brush with oil. Sprinkle on the seasoning mix. Flip over and oil and season the other side. Bake until crispy about 6 minutes. Flipping them over halfway through.
  5. Fill the tacos with the chicken mixture and top with desired toppings. Enjoy!

Notes

Source: Ayesha Curry

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Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

The weather has been beautiful lately, and that means dinner most nights is cooked out on the grill and eaten on our back porch. I just love it! I have been trying my hardest to get the hang of this whole grilling thing and I have been doing quite well, if I do say so myself. It helps when the recipe I am cooking is super simple and only requires one flip…now that I can master. These Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta are the perfect dinner for a hot Summer evening with my family.

My sister Laura made these burgers for the first time a few years ago and we have been hooked on them ever since. These burgers are a favorite for many reasons. One, they are very simple to make. Two, they grill up in no time. Three, they look beautiful. Just look at all of the colorful ingredients that go into them: Italian parsley, sun-dried tomatoes, and feta cheese. Four, and most importantly, they taste amazing!

These Turkey Burgers are perfect for a hot Summer evening because they aren’t heavy like a traditional beef burger. Now I love me some beef burgers, but this turkey burger and all its sun-dried tomato and feta cheese goodness is just what I need sometimes. They have so much flavor and pair wonderfully with a cooling Tzatziki sauce and peppery arugula.

If you are looking for a delicious burger that can lighten things up this Summer, this one is for you. Happy grilling!

Turkey Burgers with Sun-Dried Tomatoes and Feta

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Total Time: 22 minutes

Yield: 6

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds of ground turkey
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 cup drained and chopped sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 1/4 cup diced onions
  • 2 tbsp. chopped Italian parsley
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat your grill to high heat.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all of the ingredients. Be careful not to overmix. Form the mixture into 6 even patties.
  3. Reduce the grill heat to medium and lightly grease the grill. Place the burgers on the grill and cook for 6 minutes per side, closing the grill in between flipping the burgers. You may need less time depending on your grill. Just keep an eye on them so they don't over cook.
  4. Serve on a fresh bun with tzatziki sauce and baby arugula.
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Chicken N Dumplings

Main Dishes, Recipes, Slow Cooker | March 20, 2017 | By

All last week I had been hearing about this big snow storm that was headed our way. My town was supposed to get 10-16 inches, or so they said. Well once again I woke up to hardly any snow :(. I think we had maybe 4 inches. Not cool! I was ready for the big one. I went to the grocery store and hoarded toilet paper and milk, just like you are supposed to. I was even interviewed by a news crew at the store doing a story on people preparing. Which, by the way, I think is really silly. I don’t know about you, but I buy toilet paper every week, not just when it snows! With the lack of snow this Winter has given us, it was nice to have a day “stuck” inside, watching the snow fall. It wouldn’t feel like a snow day without a comforting meal going in the crockpot. That called for….Chicken N Dumplings.

I watch YouTube videos quite often, and one of the people I follow is Rachel Hollis. I came across her videos one day and have been a fan of hers ever since. Soon after I learned about her, she came out with a cookbook called “Upscale Downhome”. I just had to get it! My sister got it for me for a birthday present and I have been happily trying out many recipes. I haven’t been disappointed with one yet! One that I am totally in love with is the Chicken N Dumplings.

Since the slow cooker does all the work for this Chicken N Dumplings, it is the perfect comforting weeknight meal. The hardest thing you will have to do is pull apart a already cooked rotisserie chicken that you bought at the store. You don’t even have to sauté the vegetables first. Just throw everything in, turn it on low, set the timer for 6-8 hours, and you are good to go. Thirty minutes before serving, you drop your biscuit dough on top. The dough will puff up as it cooks, turning into the perfect vehicle to soak up all of that creamy goodness.

Another plus to making this is I get to use the chicken carcass to make homemade chicken stock! Yes!

When it’s all said and done, you won’t believe how thick and creamy this turns out. Crispy bacon on top really adds something special and chives bring some freshness.

I love recipes like this where I can toss all the ingredients in the crockpot in the morning and enjoy an amazing home cooked meal that night, with minimal effort. Thank you Rachel Hollis for this amazing recipe!

 

Chicken N Dumplings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 8 hours

Total Time: 8 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced,
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 rotisserie chicken, skinned and shredded
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 (10.5 oz) cans cream of chicken soup
  • 2 tsps. garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp, dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. paprika
  • 2 cups Bisquick baking mix
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup crispy bacon, chopped
  • 3 tbls. chives, chopped

Instructions

  1. Combine all of the ingredients except for the baking mix, milk, bacon, and chives in the bowl of your crockpot.
  2. Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, combine the baking mix and milk in a large bowl. Drop the dough by the spoonful in the crockpot. Cook until the dough is cooked all the way through. This should take about 30 minutes. Serve with bacon and chives on top.

Notes

Source: Upscale Downhome by Rachel Hollis

I recommend cooking it on low for a longer amount of time. This really allows the flavors to marry and vegetables to get tender. But if you are in a hurry, you can the cook on high method.

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Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya

Main Dishes, Recipes | December 15, 2016 | By

Well that stinks. I just sat down to edit photos from a delicious breakfast casserole I made and for some reason they were all blurry. (I have been struggling with lighting now that it gets dark so early). I wanted to get that up on the blog but I will have to postpone it. That’s okay though because that means I will have to make it again soon, which means I get to eat it again soon! I guess I am fine with that ;). I am glad I have another recipe photographed and ready to go though! Say hello to Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya.

I saw Ina Garten make this on the Food Network a couple of years ago and I was immediately intrigued. It looked absolutely delicious. I whipped up a pot of this Jambalaya that evening and I have been making it ever since. This is such a comforting and impressive dish. 

It may look like this Shrimp and Sausage Jambalaya calls for a lot of ingredients and that’s because well….it does. But don’t let that scare you! This dish needs love. Lots of love. There are meats that need to be browned in order to build flavor. The veggies need to soften and marry with the spices. The rice needs to simmer until it’s cooked and slightly sticky. The shrimp need to steam gently inside the rice. And the final seasonings need to be added at the end. But don’t run away! Don’t say you can’t do it! This Jambalaya is so flavorful and so completely worth all the effort that goes in it. I love to go in my kitchen (also known as my happy place), turn on some good music, pour a glass of wine, and cook me some Jambalaya! There is something very relaxing about it.

This is a great dish to entertain with because it makes a big ole pot. This may actually, literally, feed an army. Once my Dutch Oven is filled to the brim with colorful and flavorful Jambalaya, I pop it down in the middle of the table and everyone digs in. You can top it with fresh herbs, scallions, and more hot sauce if you like.

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