And George Makes Four…

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As most of you know by now we welcomed my son, George, into the world on November 19th. It’s been a busy almost three weeks and they have flown by. I’m doing my best to enjoy every snuggle and embrace all of the love, fun, and craziness that a newborn brings into the house. This is why the blog has been a little different around here the past few weeks and will remain that way until the new year. There will mostly be guest posts for recipes and giveaways. While I know that you are all looking for recipes for the holidays, the blog already has some great ones. Since it is the holidays, I will also say, don’t stress to much about the perfect meal or treat, enjoy your loved ones and everything else will fall into place. Have fun in the kitchen and make sure it is filled with laughter. In the meantime, I’ll be here snuggling my new little guy and enjoying my family of four.

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Recently, Cooking Light sent two copies of their new cookbook, “Lighten Up, America!” to me. It was a nice little surprise waiting on my doorstep one hectic afternoon. Since this is the season of giving, I decided to give the second copy away to one lucky reader. Sorry family, it wont be showing up under the tree :) This is really a wonderful cookbook. When I go through a new cookbook I will tab each recipe I want to make, but I ran out of sticky notes on this cookbook! Almost the entire book is tabbed “Must try soon!” I’ve already made a few and have really enjoyed them and you’ve already seen two recipes posted here on the blog. The well received Monkey Bread and Roasted Carrots were delicious, easy, and no one would ever know that you “lightened” them up!

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Since I’m going to have a few giveaways this month, I figured I’d try the Rafflecopter widget below and see if that makes entering a little easier for everyone. Hopefully, it does!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The giveaway is limited to the contiguous US. All entries are subject to verification.

 Cooking Light provided me with the copy of “Lighten Up, America!” but as always the opinions expressed here are solely my own.

 

Here is another fabulous guest post by one of my blogging friends. I met Liz from Books-n-Cooks at a conference last year around this time of year. She was pregnant with her daughter and I was reminiscing about the newborn stage as I dealt with being away from my 2.5 year old for the first time. I really enjoy her blog because she makes approachable recipes for everyone. She brings the “yum” factor and always has something just a little bit different than what other blogs are bringing to the table.

Bacon Corn Bread 2

This time last year, I was 6 months pregnant. I was entering my third trimester and planning all of the things I’d do during maternity leave. I’d blog twice a week. I’d read a book a week. I might paint a room or two in my new house. Ha! Was I in for a wake up call!

Now Maeghan, she’s a smart cookie. She knows that the third trimester is no picnic and that maternity leave is not the vacation that I was clearly planning for. She’s already had a couple fabulous bloggers guest post for her and I was thrilled to be among them.

I wanted to make you something warm and cozy to tide you through the winter months. In my house, chili is a staple in the fall and winter months. I have a couple of recipes I rely on – one for quick weeknight meals and the other for a lazy Sunday, when a huge batch of chili can simmer on the stove all day. However, I’ve always gotten a little lazy with my side dishes. I usually resort to tortilla chips or rice. It was a rare occasion that I made corn bread. A few weeks ago, however, I decided to treat my husband to a new recipe featuring two of his favorite items – corn and bacon. This bread, a Bacon Corn Bread, is easy to make and super flavorful. Super bacony. It was a great side dish to accompany our weekend chili.

Maeghan, congrats on the new addition to your family! Enjoy your first weeks as a family of four!

Bacon Corn Bread 1

Bacon Corn Bread

Ingredients

  • 2½ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 Tbs. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • ½ c. (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 c. milk (I used skim)
  • 1-15 oz. can whole corn kernels, drained
  • 1-8.5 oz. can creamed corn
  • 1 lb. bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt together in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter and milk, until just combined. Add to flour mixture and stir until just combined with a wooden spoon. Fold in corn and bacon.

Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle top with cheese. Bake for 50-65 minutes, until top is golden and a skewer inserted into center comes out clean. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve warm or move to a wire rack to cool completely.

Yields 1 loaf.

Guest Post by Books-n-Cooks, originally from Simply Delicious

Turkey Chowder

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Winter days always call for something warm and cozy. There is nothing better than sitting down to a big, warm bowl of soup. If I have a moment of peace, I’ll even try and enjoy it in a nice chair so I can hold the bowl and warm my hands up that way as well. This turkey soup, or chowder, hits all of the right notes. It has become the staple in my family, even replacing chicken noodle! With classic ingredients like carrots, celery, potatoes, and cheese, how can you go wrong?

While I make this whenever we have turkey here, this a great way to use up your Thanksgiving leftovers. In my house, at least one of the turkey legs isn’t touched, and I always have a carrot, celery, and potatoes hanging around after the festivities. If you want, you could even throw in some other meat from the turkey as well. I’ve noted in the recipe where you can use either an uncooked, frozen turkey leg or a cooked, leftover turkey leg.  Serve this on its own, with some rolls or biscuits, or a nice salad and you’ve got yourself an easy winner!

Turkey Chowder

Ingredients

  • 5 cups water
  • 1 celery stalk, with top, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 medium carrot, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 1 frozen turkey leg, thawed (or leftover cooked turkey leg)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp dried basil leaves
  • 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
  • 1 lb russet potatoes, 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 10oz. pkg frozen corn
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • Chopped parsley for garnish

In a large stock pot, add water, celery, carrot, turkey leg (if using frozen, if using leftover cooked wait), salt, pepper, and basil. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 1/2 hours or until the turkey is very tender. Remove the turkey leg and place on a cutting board to cool slightly.

Add the onion, potatoes, and corn to the pot and simmer, covered, for 40 minutes. Meanwhile, when the turkey is cool enough to handle remove and discard the skin and bones. Cut the turkey meat into 1/2″ pieces. Test the vegetables in the soup to see if they are tender. Add the meat (add previously cooked, leftover turkey meat here as well) and cook for a few minutes until the meat is hot.

Place flour in a small bowl and gradually stir in milk, using a whisk to stir and remove all lumps. Pour the milk mixture into the soup, stirring constantly. Add the grated cheese and cook, stirring constantly, until the soup returns to a boil.

Cook for several minutes longer, stirring constantly, until the cheese has melted and the sou has thickened slightly. Serve hot, filling soup bowls and garnishing with parsley.

Serves 6, makes 64oz.

Adapted from McCall’s Cooking School 1984