Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Corn Chowder

A few weeks ago, I tried the corn chowder from Panera Bread while out to lunch. I don't think I've ever had corn chowder before and it was delicious. A perfect soup for summertime. I instantly wanted to create my own recipe to enjoy at home. 

Since it's already extremely hot here in FL, I waited for a rainy day to try it out. Last week Tropical Storm Colin brought some full days of rain. I knew this chowder would be the perfect comfort food for those rainy days. I made sure to have all of the ingredients on hand and chose the rainiest day to make it. The entire meal took about 45 minutes to make. While I don't LOVE spending more than 30 minutes on dinner, there was only about 20-25 minutes of hands on time with this one. The chowder was full of flavor, perfect for a cold or rainy day. Hubs likes an extra kick in his, so he added a bit of hot sauce to his. This recipe serves 6-8 people, so I brought a big container to our neighbors to enjoy as well. 

2 cans cream style corn
1 1/2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn
1/2 cup chopped bacon 
2 large potatoes (3 medium)
1 medium onion (chopped)
1 green pepper (diced)
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups half & half
1 tsp nutmeg
2 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper 
fresh parsley to garnish

1. Cook bacon in a skillet over medium high heat. Once crisp, chop. Reserve 2 tbs of the bacon drippings and 1 tbs of the chopped bacon. Set aside. 
2. Peel & chop potatoes. In a large pot, add the reserved bacon drippings, potatoes, onion and pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium high heat. 
3. Pour in chicken broth and all of the corn. Stir. 
4. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. 
5. Bring mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and cover. Let the chowder simmer for 20-25 minutes or until potatoes are cooked & tender. 
6. Once potatoes are tender, warm half & half in a small saucepan just until it bubbles. As soon as it's bubbling, remove from heat and add to chowder. Stir well. 
7. Serve with fresh parsley and the remaining bacon.  

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Box of Sunshine Gift

Something I love to do is give gifts. I love making others happy and letting those closest to me know I'm thinking about them. Recently, I had a close friend who had been on my mind day in and out. She had been going through a tough time and I wished over and over I lived closer to be able to bring her a cup of coffee and some sweet treats. And a big hug too! 

I decided that even though I wasn't close enough to hand deliver something, I could do the next best thing and send a thinking of you gift. I've seen these sweet boxes of sunshine on Pinterest and decided that would make the perfect gift. A bright and colorful gift to bring a smile to her face and let her know I was thinking of her. 

While I was out and about at Target and the grocery store, I picked up all things yellow. Everything that I could find that I thought would ship well and bring a little joy. After I did my shopping, I put everything in a box and made a printable to go with the gift. 

I packaged everything up and sent the love on it's way. Below you'll find the free printable along with the items I included in the box along with some more ideas of things you could include. Enjoy! 

Box of sunshine contents: 
Yellow (pineapple) candle
lemon wine cork
yellow EOS lip balm
Lemon & Ginger tea
Juicy Fruit
Swedish Fish

Other items that you could include in a box of sunshine: 
Peanut M&M's 
Yellow Nailpolish
Post it notes
Hand Soap
Hand Lotion
Lemonade mix 
Milk Duds
Oh Henry Bar
Mr. Goodbar 

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