{Recipe} Creamy Corn Chowder

We made this for dinner last night:

Creamy Corn Chowder

Creamy Corn Chowder
Recipe by Our Best Bites
2 Tbsp. butter
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. water
2 1/2 c. milk (skim or 1% work just fine and lighten it up considerably)
2 regular-sized chicken bouillon cubes, 1 Knorr chicken bouillon cube, or 2 tsp. chicken base
1/2 lb. bacon (optional)
1 small onion, minced
2 red potatoes, diced into small cubes
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 can corn, drained or about 1 1/2 C frozen fresh corn
Salt and pepper to taste
A few dashes of hot sauce (like Tabasco or Cholula)
Fry bacon until crisp. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat in a soup pot. When melted, add flour to make a roux and whisk until it comes together in a little ball. Add water and whisk until completely combined and there are no lumps. Add milk and chicken base or bouillon and bring to a simmer. Add potatoes, onions, and garlic, and simmer (but don’t boil!), stirring very frequently, for about 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add crumbled bacon and corn and heat through. Add a few drops of hot sauce and then salt to taste. The reason why I don’t have an exact measurement is that while the soup REALLY needs salt, bacon also really differs in its saltiness, so it can be super easy to make this soup waaaaay too salty. Start with about 1/4 tsp., give it a few minutes, and then add more if you need it.
Ladle into bowls and sprinkle with extra bacon and/or cheese if you want. Because, you know, if there’s anything a perfectly healthy bowl of soup (it’s only 3 Weight Watchers points!) needs, it’s some extra bacon and cheese!
Serves 6-8.

Basic Danish Dough

Here is another Danish Dough I am trying to adapt for my own taken from the Food Network.

(Adapted from Joy of Cooking)

Prep Time:
50 min
Inactive Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Level:
Serves:

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup warm milk (about 110 degrees)
  • 1/4-ounce package of active dry yeast
  • 4 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom

Directions

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a mixing bowl whisk the eggs, milk and yeast together. Let the mixture sit for 15 minutes under refrigeration. Using a pastry blender, blend the flour, salt, sugar, and cardamom together. Work the yeast mixture into the flour. Knead the dough until smooth, about 2 minutes. Form the dough into a ball and allow to rest, about 20 minutes in the refrigerator. Beat 1 1/2 cups butter until smooth. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and roll into an oblong about 3/8 inches thick. Dot 1/3 of the butter over 2/3 of the dough. Fold the undotted dough over the remaining third of the butter-dotted portion. The dough is now in 3 layers. Roll the dough out gently into an oblong, 3/8-inch thick. Repeat the folding process two more times. Cover and chill the dough for 2 hours. Roll the dough into the desired shapes. Following the rolling techniques

Danish Dough

I hope to create my own recipe over the summer for Danish Dough but for now here is one courtesy of Emeril Lagasse via Food Network.

Prep Time:
55 min
Inactive Prep Time:

Cook Time:
25 min

Level:

Serves:
12 servings

Ingredients

* 3/4 cup warm water (105 degrees F to 115 degrees F)
* 1/2 cup milk (105 degrees to 115 degrees F)
* 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1/4 ounce dry active yeast
* 1/4 cup sugar
* 1 teaspoon salt
* 4 cups flour
* 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
* 1 egg yolk
* flour for dusting, about 1/2 cup
* 2 sticks (8 ounces) cold unsalted butter
* 2 eggs beaten with 1 tablespoon of water
* 3 tablespoons sugar
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 12 tablespoons sweetened cream cheese
* 12 teaspoons raspberry jam
* 1 cup almond filling
* 1 cup crushed almonds
* 1/2 cup apricot glaze

Directions

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water, milk, vanilla and yeast together. With the mixer fitted with a dough hook, on low, beat the mixture for about 4 minutes to dissolve the yeast. Sift the sugar, salt, flour and cardamom together. Add this mixture and the egg yolk to the yeast mixture. Mix on low speed until it lightly comes together, then increase the speed to medium and beat until the mixture pulls away from the sides of the bowl, forms a ball, and climbs slightly up the dough hook. Remove the dough from the bowl and let rest in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. On a floured surface, place the butter. Lightly dust the top of the butter with flour. Using a rolling pin, lightly pound the butter until flat. Fold the butter in half and continue to pound the butter until the butter is workable. Using your hands, shape the butter into a 8-inch square. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place on a second floured surface. Roll the dough into a 16 inch square. Place the butter in the center of the dough. Fold the ends of the dough in towards the center, forming a package. Lightly press the ends into the dough, sealing the package completely. Carefully lift the package off of the surface and redust the surface with flour. Lay the package back down on the floured surface. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about a 24-inch rectangle. Fold one end of the dough into the center, then the other end, so that it resembles a letter, and forms a square. (You should have three layers of dough) Place the dough in the refrigerator and allow the dough to rest for 25 minutes. Roll out the dough a second time, forming a rectangle. Repeat the folding process from above two more times, making sure the dough rests between turns. The following directions are for two types of Danish pastries:

For Cinnamon Rolls:

Roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Egg wash the dough. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the egg wash. Starting at the bottom, roll the dough up lengthwise, forming a jelly-roll. Cut the pastry into 1-inch slices. Place the slices, cinnamon and sugar side on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the tops of each pastry with the egg wash and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. Brush the pastries with the glaze and serve warm.

For Pinwheel:

On a floured surface, roll the dough out 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into 12 (4-inch) squares. Brush the edges of the dough with the egg wash. Add a spoonful of the cream cheese filling to the center of the square. Place a teaspoon of the jam in the center of the cream cheese. Cut diagonally from each corner to within 3/4 inch of the center. Fold the four alternate points to the center, pressing them down lightly to hold them in place. Place the pastries on a parchment lined baking sheet and let rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Brush the tops of each pastry with the egg wash and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for 10 minutes or until browned and crisp. Brush the pastries with the glaze and serve warm.

Yield: 12 servings

For Bear Claws:

Roll the dough out to 1/4-inch thick. The longer the dough the more claws yielded. Egg wash the entire piece of dough. Spread a thin layer of almond filling horizontally down the center third of the dough. Fold the bottom third of the dough up to cover the filling. Fold the top third of the dough down, like your folding a business letter. Egg wash the dough. Sprinkle with crushed almonds. Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces, crosswise (the shorter end). Make three slashes into the sides of each piece and spread gently into a horse-shoe shape to separate the toes. Proof until dough in size about 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Bake for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F and continue to bake for 10 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Remove from the oven and brush with the apricot glaze and serve.
Food Network

Blackberry Cobbler

I don’t know about you, but I like it when my family thinks I can bake.

I made this yummy cobbler last night and they couldn’t believe it.

Blackberry Cobbler

Rinse 4 packs of berries into an 8×8 glass dish

Topping:
1 stick butter
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup oats
1 cup flower
1 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract

Bake:
350 for 35+ minutes

Serve:
Vanilla ice cream

Fizzy Bath Ball

We LOVE FIZZY BATH BALLS and have been buying them at the store, but they are kind of expensive around $2-$3 each. I thought it would be fun to make our own.

I just did a search for recipes and they look super easy. Has anyone tried these before?

We are heading to the store to buy some ingredients. Wish us luck!
What You Need:

* 2 T citric acid
* 2 T cornstarch
* 1/4 C baking soda
* 1/4 tsp fragrance oil
* 3-6 drops food color
* 3 T vegetable oil
* Mixing Bowl
* Waxed Paper
* Small Cup or Bow
Use your chemistry to make a fizzy, scented bath bomb. Make them for yourself or give them as gifts!
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 15 minutes
Here’s How:

1. Mix all dry ingredients (citric acid, cornstarch, baking soda) in the bowl.
2. In a different bowl or a small cup, mix the vegetable oil, fragrance, and coloring together.
3. Slowly incorporate the oil mixture into the dry ingredients. Mix well.
4. Place 1″ balls of the mixture on waxed paper. They will be semi-hard within 2-3 hours, but allow 24-48 for them to fully dry before storing them.
5. Store bath balls in a sealed container, away from moisture.
6. Add a few to the bath and enjoy! For gift giving, the balls may be placed in individual candy cups.

Tips:

1. Either fragrance and/or coloring is optional.
2. Suggested vegetable oils include coconut oil, avocado oil, apricot kernel oil, sweet almond oil, or olive oil, although any emollient oil is good!
3. Use small molds to make three-dimensional fizzy bath shapes.

Here is where I found the recipe:
Fizzy Bath Ball

Bird Nerd: Downy Woodpecker

Photo Credit: http://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Downy_Woodpecker/id

The Downy Woodpecker is one of my favorite visitors to our feeder. We have a male and female that come visit. My photos aren’t as great as this one. The male has read on his head to attract a female. They love to eat suet cakes. We buy ours at the grocery store or at the pet store. You can also make your own by using a mold and left over grease.

Recipe taken from http://www.birdnature.com/suet.html

Suet: Facts, Feeders & Recipes
Red-breasted Nuthatch

    Suet is raw beef fat from around the kidneys and loins. Suet is one of the best foods to attract nuthatches, woodpeckers, wrens, titmice, creepers, kinglets, chickadees, thrashers, cardinals and even bluebirds and unfortunately the starlings and squirrels! To discourage the starlings, purchase a suet feeder cage that is covered on all sides but the bottom. Only those birds that can hang upside down will use this feeder.

    If the temperature outside is around 70 degrees Fahrenheit and warmer, beef fat can turn rancid and melt. There are many commercial suet cakes that can be purchased and some of these are called “no melt”, “berry” and “insect” cakes.

    How to Render Suet:

    You can trim excess fat off beef cuts and store in the freezer until enough fat is achieved or you can purchase beef fat from the grocery store or your nearby butcher.

    Household Items that can be used to pour suet in:

    Nuthatch Suet Eggs!

    We use the “Jell-O Egg Jigglers” mold for some fun. These molds are given away at grocery stores during the Easter Holidays. You can also use egg cartons.

    Note:

    Suet Feeders:

    There are a variety of suet feeders that can be purchased or made. The popular commercially available suet feeder is a wire cage that holds one cake of suet. Some bird feeders have a hopper for seeds and suet cages on the sides of the hopper.

    Easy-to-Make Suet Feeder:

    We are providing you with instructions on how to make a very simple Suet Log Feeder. We use these every winter and have had great success. The birds that visit this feeder are: Common Flicker, Red-breasted Nuthatches, Carolina Wrens, Chickadees, Tufted Titmice, Downy Woodpeckers, Hairy Woodpeckers, White-breasted Nuthatches and unfortunately the starlings! Please send us email at birdnature@birdnature.com if you have built this feeder and if it was successful.

    Suet Recipes taken from http://www.birdnature.com/suet.html

    1 Pound Suet cut in small pieces
    1 Cup Yellow Cornmeal
    1 Cup Rolled Oats
    1 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    1 Cup Mixed Wild Bird Seed
    1 Cup Hulled Sunflower Seed or Chopped Pecans
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet over low flame.
    2. Stir in ingredients.
    3. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    4. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Feathered Friends
    1 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    2 Cups Cornmeal
    2 Cups Quick Cook Oats
    1 Cup Lard or Suet
    1/3 Cup Sugar
    1 Cup White Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Melt lard/suet and peanut butter together and stir.
    2. Stir the remaining ingredients.
    3. Pour the mixture into a square container about 1-1/2 inches thick.
    4. Allow it to cool, then cut it into squares and store in the freezer.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    It Must be Love
    1/2 Pound Fresh Suet
    1/3 Cup Black Oil Sunflower Seed
    2/3 Cup Mixed Wild Bird Seed
    1/8 Cup Chopped Peanuts or Chopped Pecans
    1/4 Cup Raisins
    Preparation:

    1. Follow instructions for rendering suet.
    2. While suet is cooling, stir ingredients together in a large bowl.
    3. Place the suet into the mixture and mix thoroughly.
    4. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    5. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Peanut Butter Sandwich
    1 Cup Fresh Suet
    1 Cup Peanut Butter
    3 Cups Yellow Cornmeal
    1/2 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Follow instructions for rendering suet.
    2. Over low heat, melt suet and add peanut butter. Stir until well blended.
    3. Mix ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Pour suet into the bowl mixture and mix thoroughly.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Captain Crunch!
    2 Pounds Fresh Ground Suet
    1/2 Cup Chunky Peanut Butter
    1/2 Cup Shelled Sunflower Seeds or Chopped Pecans
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Add peanut butter, stirring until melted and well blended.
    3. Stir in the sunflower seeds. Mix thoroughly.
    4. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    5. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Apple Dumplings
    3 Cups Rendered Suet
    1 Cup Whole Wheat Bread (dried & crumbled)
    1/2 Cup Shelled Sunflower Seeds
    1/4 Cup Millet
    1/2 Cup Chopped Dried Apples
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    3. Allow the suet to cool until slightly thickened.
    4. Stir suet into the bowl of mixture. Mix thoroughly.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Back to Basics
    1 Cup Suet
    1 Cup Peanut Butter
    3 Cups Cornmeal
    1/2 Cup White Flour
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in a saucepan over low heat.
    2. Add peanut butter, stirring until well blended.
    3. Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl.
    4. Allow the suet to cool until slightly thickened.
    5. Stir suet into the bowl of mixture and mix thoroughly.
    6. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    7. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Healthy Treat
    3 1/2 Cups Oatmeal
    1 Quart Water
    1 Pound Suet
    1 1/2 Ounce Jar Peanut Butter
    3 1/2 Cups Cornmeal
    3 1/2 Cups Cream of Wheat
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet in saucepan over low heat.
    2. Cook oatmeal in water for 2 minutes and remove from heat.
    3. Stir in suet and peanut butter and blend.
    4. Add cornmeal and cream of wheat.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


    Back to Suet Recipes


    Zesty Berry
    4 1/2 Cups Ground Beef Suet
    3/4 Cup Finely Ground Cracker or Bread Crumbs
    1/4 Cup White Proso Millet
    1/2 Cup Hulled Sunflower Seed
    1/4 Cup Dried and Chopped Berries, Raisins or Currants
    Preparation:

    1. Melt suet over medium heat.
    2. Mix together remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
    3. Allow suet to cool until lightly thickened.
    4. Pour into bowl with other ingredients and mix well.
    5. Pour or pack into molds, feeders, or any household item.
    6. Refrigerate until hardened or freeze.


Recipe: Snickerdoodle Cupckakes

Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

Found these on Today’s Mama blog:
Snickerdoodle Cupcakes

I found this yummy recipe over at Alpineberry and they meet with rave reviews every time I make them!

3 cups cake flour

1 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp baking powder

3/4 baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 sticks butter, softened,

2 cups sugar

4 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 1/4 c buttermilk

cinnamon sugar: 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

Oven preheat to 350 degrees. Sift together dry ingredients (except for cinnamon sugar). With paddle attachment cream butter and sugar until fluffy, about 2 -3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time beating well after each addition. Add vanilla. Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk beginning and ending with flour. Fill cupcake pans 2/3 full. Sprinkle with cinnamon sgar mixture. Bake for 20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes and remove.

Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting

My favorite buttercream frostng. You can leave the cinnamon out for a regular buttercream.

1/2 cup butter, room temperature

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1/2 cup milk

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1 tsp cinnamon

With the paddle attachment cream butter until smooth and creamy for 2-3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add 3 cups sugar, milk and vanilla; mix until light and fluffy. If necessary gradually add remaining cup of sugar to reach desired consistency.

Brunsviger = The Poor Man’s Birthday Cake

For very special occasions in my family, I make Brusviger. Also known as the Poor Man’s Birthday Cake on the island of Fyn, where I was born.

For the dough:
1 cup milk, lukewarm
2 tbsp. fresh yeast
2 tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
2 egg

2 – 2 1/2 cups flour

6 2/3 tbsp. melted butter

1 tsp. cardamom

For the topping:
7 1/8 tbsp. butter (random size I know, taken from Danish recipe and converted)
7 1/8 tbsp. soft brown sugar

1 tsp. Molasses

  • Dissolve the yeast in the milk. Add sugar. Mix. Slowly add egg, salt and flour, holding back a couple spoonfuls of the flour – beat well. Add the melted butter, beat again. Add more flour as necessary, kneading until you have a glossy, slightly sticky dough, a lot like the dough for cinnamon rolls. I do all of this in my Kitchen Aid, but it can of course be done by hand just as easily. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl and leave to rise for 1½-2 hours.
  • Grease your brownie pan with butter. Deflate the dough and push it into the brownie pan – make sure you cover the entire pan – it will rise again, so it’s okay if it’s only a centimeter thick to start. Leave to rise again, ½-1 hour.
  • Bake at 375 degrees.
  • Topping: in a small saucepan melt the butter with the sugar. Let it come to the boil, then take off the heat. Dimple the now risen dough, so you’ll have lots of holes to be filled with sugar. Pour the sugar-butter mixture over the dimpled dough and put everything in the oven.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (making sure to put an empty baking sheet underneath the rack with the brownie pan!)
  • Decorate: Traditionally, we put little liquorish candies but have found Swedish Fish are a nice addition.

Key Lime Pie Secret

I made my famous Key Lime pie again last night.

Shhh…don’t tell my hubby I used Fat Free sweetened condensed milk and Fat Free whipping cream. The real secret, however is using this special Key Lime Juice.

Drool.

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