Friday, October 30, 2009

Chicken Corn Chowder

One of my most favorite things in the world is a delicious, steamy bowl of soup on a chilly fall day. Especially if its rainy. I made this soup for my small group, and I think it turned out great. They all seemed to like it, too. It will definitely become part of my regular rotation. The best thing about this recipe? It came from Cooking Light magazine so it's pretty healthy! But, I promise you won't be able to tell..... This creamy soup has all the rich, comforting goodness of a full fat recipe, and just the right amount of spice to warm you up. Also, did I mention it is ridiculously easy? Perfect for a weeknight meal or even for company. Oh yes, this one is a keeper!!

Chicken Corn Chowder

adapted from Cooking Light

makes 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breast halves)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (about 3 ears)
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt (plus more to taste)
  • 2 cups small diced potatoes


1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and jalapeño; cook for 3 minutes or until tender and onions are translucent, stirring frequently.

2. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in milk and remaining ingredients.

3. Bring to a boil; cook until thick (about 5 minutes). Taste the soup, and tweak seasonings if desired. Enjoy!

Recipe Tips & Serving Suggestions:

  • I used shredded rotesserie chicken from my grocery store's deli to cut down on time.
  • I also used rosemary instead of the thyme, since I don't care for the taste of thyme. You can use whatever herb you like. If you enjoy cilantro, I am sure it would be great in this soup.
  • If your soup is not as thick as you would like, thicken it quickly with a cornstarch slurry by adding a few tablespoons of the soup's liquid to a couple of tablespoons of cornstarch (it doesn't have to be exact). Add the slurry to the soup and stir, and it should thicken in a couple of minutes.
  • I served this with sour cream and shredded cheddar, but if you want to really take it over the top, I bet some crumbled bacon would be amazing!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Sweet Rolls with Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

One of my very favorite things to do is to surprise my husband on Saturday mornings by sneaking out of bed early and whipping up a fabulous breakfast in bed for him.....

Okay, so, I wish I could say it was true! Or at least that it has actually happened more than once or twice in our nearly year and a half of marriage. Since we started waking up at 5am every Saturday to sell my baked goods at the Farmers Market, and also because a lot of the time my hubby wakes up before I do, all of the surprise Saturday morning breakfasts I've planned in my head have yet to happen. But my heart is in the right place! And, since the Farmers Market is over for the season, I am sure he now has at least a few secret breakfasts ahead of him.

These Pumpkin Sweet Rolls would be the perfect recipe to surprise your sweetie with on a chilly fall morning. They're super quick and easy, so you could have them all done and frosted before the delicious scent of cinnamon and nutmeg wakes up the whole house. Not only are these rolls easy, but they're delicious. Buttery cresent rolls are filled with a brown sugar, cream cheese, and pumpkin filling and sliced into sweet rolls and topped with yummy pumpkin cream cheese frosting. You could even freeze the unfrosted sweet rolls to save for later to make for an even easier breakfast treat. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture, but you can take a look at the original blog post where I got this recipe from at Picky Palate, here.

Try these this weekend for someone you love!

Pumpkin Spice Sweet Rolls

  • 2 packages/cans Pillsbury Crescent Rolls
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Libby's canned pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Unroll crescent rolls to form 4 rectangles placed side by side. Pinch seams together to form one long rectangle.

2. Place cream cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin, cinnamon and nutmeg into a mixer; beat until well combined.

3. Spread mixture over crescents leaving a 1/2 inch border around edges. Starting at long end, roll up then cut into 1 inch pieces.

4. Place around 2 9 inch cake pans that have been sprayed with cooking spray.

2. Bake for 28-30 minutes or until rolls are golden brown. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. Frost warm rolls with pumpkin cream cheese frosting recipe below.

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Frosting

4 oz softened cream cheese
1/2 Cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 Tablespoon canned pumpkin (Libby’s)

1. Mix all ingredients into a large bowl until smooth. Spread over warm rolls.

Hint: Make sure that your Cresent Roll dough is very cold before you start. When I made these rolls, I had just arrived home from the grocery store and my dough had gotten a little warm. They were very doughy and hard to cut. I would recommend chilling the rolled "log" of dough for at least 30 minutes before slicing. You can also use unflavored, plain dental floss to help you get nice, uniform slices.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Chocolate Cobbler & Thoughts on Blogging

So, it's been a while! It's funny to me as I read my last post which was over a month ago: "I haven't forgotten this blog." Well, I kind of did. Life became a whirlwind and took over, and before I knew it, blogging had taken a back seat.

As I mentioned before, I recently began selling baked goods at our local farmer's market and trying to being starting up my very own home delivery baked goods business (with hopes of one day opening a real bakery). The farmers market just ended this past Saturday, and I have enjoyed it immensely. Seeing people enjoy my baked goods was worth all of the late nights and dirty dishes.

I have really missed blogging and sharing my recipes and food with you. I thought of the blog often, but became discouraged because I felt like I had nothing post-worthy. It wasn't that I hadn't been cooking; it's just often I don't have the time to snap a picture, much less a truly good picture. And I would think, who wants to read a pictureless food blog? And another week or so would pass by with no posts. I had to come to the realization that this is MY blog. Sure, its not the best or most read, but it's mostly for me, and if people enjoy reading it, all the better. So, I'm going to continue posting. My posts may not always have a picture, but one thing you can count on: tried and true recipes with helpful instruction.

So, away we go! This recipe is a wonderful go-to dessert when you don't have a lot of time. I've made it on several occasions and it is always a crowd pleaser. Who doesn't love warm, gooey chocolate? This is reminiscent of those chocolate lava cakes you get at restaurants, just not with all the fuss. It's also a comforting, warm dessert for those cold winter nights. This is a place to use a good quality cocoa, since it's the star ingredient. I use Hershey's Special Dark, which is a high quality, yet economical choice. Try it - you won't regret it!

Chocolate Cobbler

  • 1 cup self rising flour*
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus two tablespoons cocoa, divided
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 3/4 cups hot water
  • Vanilla Ice Cream, for serving (optional)
  • cooking spray
Equipment Needed:
  • 8x8 baking pan
  • 2 medium sized bowls

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare your baking pan by spraying it with cooking spray.
3. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar and 2 tablespoons cocoa. Stir in milk and oil until smooth. 4. Pour into prepared baking pan.
5. Combine the brown sugar and remaining cocoa; sprinkle over batter.
6. Pour hot water over top (do not stir).
7. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until top of cake springs back when lightly touched. Serve warm with ice cream if desired. Makes 6-8 servings.

*You can make your own self-rising flour by combining 1 cup all purpose flour with 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder and 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Nutrition Facts: 1 serving (1 each) equals 267 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 2 mg cholesterol, 198 mg sodium, 53 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 3 g protein.