Archive | September, 2011

Corn chowder with shrimp.

26 Sep

Photo: Mark Thomas; Styling: Andrea Steinberg

Our first cold snap came through. For context, it was 104 on Friday and we had a high of 74 on Sunday. (Don’t be too jealous it is supposed to be back in the high nineties later this week-ek.) In honor of the fall and to give some exercise of my great love of all things Pinterest I had to make something new.

Corn chowder.

With Shrimp.

I don’t know what my deal is but I have been craving shrimp lately. Like preggo craving shrimp. No, I am not pregnant.

Even better…make it in the crock pot so it cooks all day and you just serve it up.

So here’s what you will need:

4 carrots, sliced into rounds
3 yukon gold potatoes, diced
1 yellow onion, finely diced
32 oz frozen corn
5 cups of chicken stock
6 oz half and half
2T butter
Salt and Pepper
1.5 lbs shrimp

Here’s what you do:

1. Dice everything and throw it into the crock pot.
2. Cook on high for three hours.
3. Remove six cups (or whatever fills your blender) and puree.
4. Return to crock pot.
5. Add six ounces of half and half and 2 T butter
7. Salt and pepper to taste.
6. Throw in raw, peeled, deveined shrimp
7. Place crock pot back on high for fifteen minutes.
8. Serve with warm crusty bread and a garnish of cilantro.

Easy, simple and to die for good. Just try it.


Treat your body good.

23 Sep

I grew up in a house with a mother and father that relished in exposing us to all sorts of culinary adventures.  A raw oyster was required consumption by your fourth birthday.  I kid.  Sorta.

That said, there were very apparent boundaries set around when it was an appropriate time to indulge and when it was not.  For the most part, we did not have processed junk food in our house.  Hell, my brother never has touched butter- that is another story entirely about how unfair genetics can be.  Eddie- long and lanky.  Me, not so much.  Well, thank you.

Now be very aware we ate junk.  Mallomars with Grandpa.  Cheetos with my dad.  Frito pies are Meezer’s favorite comfort food (mine too).  Sugary cereal- only at other people’s houses when we spent the night (oh how I would dream about the Fruit Loops and Lucky Charms at Kristin’s house).  On occasion.  Only a fruit or vegetable was allowed as a snack prior to a meal.  We drank water or decaf iced tea with meals.  If it came from the earth eat with gusto if it came from a store shelf eat in moderation.

The majority of these skills have served me well in life.  I am instilling them in my parents grandchildren.  But sometimes, I waiver.  Much like growing up we have very little processed food and it is meant for treats.  But sometimes, because I am the mom I may have a few (maybe more) M &M’s right before dinner.  Brownies.  Oh for the love of all things holy.  Brownies.  Breakfast!!?  Not for anyone else…but me?  That’s ok.

Certainly, there is an element of exposure.  I am the one that does all the cooking, shopping, etc in my house and I just a) know where everything is and b) don’t have anyone telling me no.  I also work from home.  There is not hunting for vending machine money or finding KitKat’s on the admin’s desk.  They are right there.  In my pantry.  And I can eat them whenever I want.

That is just an excuse.

More importantly, it is not healthy nor is it a good example for the other three T’s.

This is a behavior that has come to pass since becoming a mother and working at home.  And is probably what makes so many of us American women not our ideal weight.

I am moving forward eating wholesome food as the majority and using treats as just that, a treat.  Not something that I get three times a day.  Something that I get maybe three times a week…max.

It is 11:30.

18 Sep


And this spells trouble.

Want a treat?

15 Sep


Don’t come to my house.  Apparently we have nothing good to snack on.  I walked into the movie room tonight and Ralph was snacking on an advent calendar. 

Yes, an advent calendar. 

From two years ago.  We are nothing but quality and class around here.

Pumpkin fondue.

14 Sep

Well, it has been above ninety every day this week.  That has not prevented me from longing for a crisp chill in the air.  My dear friend Kari made this sinful pumpkin fondue for me last year at my baby shower.

I have never met a pumpkin I didn’t like.  Or a cheese for that matter.

As soon as the high is in the seventies, I am making it.  So easy.  So sinful.

  • 1 (15-inch) piece of baguette, cut into 1/2-inch slices (7 ounces total)
  • 1 (7-pound) orange pumpkin
  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 ounces)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil



Preheat oven to 450°F with rack in lower third.

Toast baguette slices in 1 layer on a baking sheet in oven until tops are crisp (bread will still be pale), about 7 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.

Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside pumpkin with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of pumpkin with 1/2 teaspoon salt.

Whisk together cream, broth, nutmeg, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.

Put a layer of toasted bread in bottom of pumpkin, then cover with about 1 cup cheese and about 1/2 cup cream mixture. Continue layering bread, cheese, and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream mixture. (You may have some bread and cheese left over.)

Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Cooks’ note: Pumpkin can be filled 2 hours before baking and chilled.

Read More

Luke slides.

12 Sep

Back to school fashionista.

6 Sep

Today is Gia’s first day of preschool.


Yesterday we decided to do the obligatory back to school shopping trip. And yes, I have created a monster. She loves clothes and shoes…and lots of them. Today she had to have a large portion of her school clothes available to wear.

Yes, the high is supposed to be near 100. No, that did not deter her from wearing a sweater.

Good times.

I remember sweating on the bus wearing a tweed skirt, tights and a sweater for the first day of school despite it being near 100 high and 100% humidity.

School days, school days.

And sanity shall resume.