Wednesday, February 24
It’s rainy and cold here in the Bay Area. I have a sneaking suspicion it’s a lot colder elsewhere, too. So how about some smoky, warm, cozy corn chowder?
This recipe is from my friend Adrianne’s mom. (Adrianne just had a baby! Welcome to the world, Baby Claire!) Adrianne is an excellent cook – every recipe or cooking advice she’s given me has always been spot on. This recipe is no exception. It’s a fairly straightforward crock pot recipe. The bacon gives it a nice salty and smoky flavor. And, despite the fact it contains half & half AND cheese, the soup is not too thick, but instead has a great consistency.Corn ChowderFrom Adrianne Campbell’s MomAuthor: Jane MaynardRecipe type: Main Dish, SoupIngredients
- 2 small onions, chopped
- 4 slices of bacon
- 2 celery stalks,chopped
- 2 potatoes, chopped (Jane note: I leave the skins on, but you can peel them if you like)
- 4 cups corn (frozen or canned)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon. salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoon butter
- 2 tablespoon flour
- 1½ cups cream or half n’ half
- 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
- Cook onions, bacon & celery, put in slow cooker. Add potatoes, corn, broth, bay leaf, salt & pepper. Cook on low for 8-10 hours. Take bay leaf out and throw away. On the stove top, melt butter, add the flour so it makes a paste. Cook until light brown. Slowly add the cream to the paste, heat until it thickens. DO NOT BOIL! Move it from the heat, add the cheese and mix until melted. Add this mixture to the slow cooker mixture. Stir well and serve.
Wednesday, September 16
Last month I was invited to participate in a conference call with BOB GREENE…yes, THAT Bob Greene, Oprah’s personal trainer and health guru. There were less than 10 bloggers on the call (Bob’s first blogger conference call, in fact), and we each got to ask him two questions directly. He was super nice and shared some great information, so thought I would finally sit down and share it with YOU!
Here are a few of Bob’s health pearls of wisdom! I’ll start with my two questions for Bob.
1) Are vitamin supplements and vitamin-fortified foods worth it? Do our bodies actually absorb them and should we be taking/eating them? Bob said that yes, supplements are a good insurance policy. He talked about how even though vitamins directly from foods are the best, so much of our food is picked early, so its nutritional content is not as high as it should be. A vitamin supplement is a good way to fill in the gaps and your body will absorb some of the nutrients. He recommends taking a multi-vitamin and a calcium supplement each day. He also thinks the vitamin-fortified foods are great and help with absorption.
2) How do you get kids to eat healthy foods? He literally said, “I know you’re all going to roll your eyes,” but just feed them healthy food. He talked about how it’s all about exposure. If they don’t know about something, they won’t want it. He also talked about the importance of the parents’ diet as an example to the kids. Okay, nothing I didn’t already know…but a good reminder nonetheless. I suppose the battle continues! 😉
A few other things he said that I liked:
- When asked what one big habit should someone change to get healthy…he said there is none. It’s all about balance, small steps, gradual change. The most successful people are the ones who take small steps every day. When you try to change too much at once, you’re setting yourself up for failure. The key is BALANCE.
- Any specific foods to aid weight loss? There are no miracle foods out there. Step 1: Eat smart…fruit in moderation, lots of veggies, lots of whole grains, foods high in calcium and fiber. Step 2: EXERCISE, including strength training
- Beans are a super food…eat them at least 2 times per week.
- Yoga – serves as an excellent strength training exercise. Again, he mentioned the importance of strength training and that the more body weight placed on a joint the better…strength training needs to challenge you in order to see change.
- Regular pasta is different than white bread…as in healthier. It’s not the same refined white flour. That said…the whole grain pasta is even better for you than regular pasta!
- Is exercising for 30 minutes twice in a day the same as working out for 1 hour at one time? Splitting your workout is okay to do. There are benefits when doing a long workout…but there are also benefits to getting two different boosts to your metabolism. Either way, you’re good…just exercise!
- Bob loves BOB jogging strollers…which is funny since it’s his name. And might I add, I also love BOB jogging strollers…one of the best investments we’ve made.
There you have it, the highlights from my hour with Bob!
Oh! And you may be wondering why there is a box of Barilla pictured…Bob is working with Barilla to promote their new Whole Grain pasta line (hence the conference call). Visit TryBarillaWholeGrain.com for more information. I bought my first box of their whole grain pasta and, as Bob promised, it was good! The texture was a bit nicer than other whole grain pastas that I’ve had and I definitely liked this penne better than other whole grain pennes I’ve tried. My way-gourmet friend Adrianne lived in Italy for a few years and says Barilla is the only dried pasta in America that she likes…if it has Adrianne’s seal of approval, you know it’s going to be good!
Thanks to Bob and Barilla!
Saturday, December 20
Time to announce the ProFlowers giveaway winners…yeah, I know, I should have done this hours ago and I’m sure you’re all sitting at your computers waiting…but I was very tired today. Hosting a party with 16 three- & four-year-olds will do that to you!
Without further ado, the two randomly-selected TWFD readers, who will each receive a $100 ProFlowers gift card, are….
Stimey, who said, “You can never have too much credit for a great florist!” (so true, stimey!)
– and –
Adrianne, who said, “jane. i think it’s my turn to win.” (guess you were right, adrianne!)
Congratulations, ladies! What a lovely holiday surprise for you both! For the rest of you…you’ll get more chances, promise! Big thanks to ProFlowers!
Monday, April 21
My friend Adrianne introduced me to Wondra. It’s a quick-dissolving flour made specifically for thickening gravies & sauces. Granted, I do like using a roux for this purpose, but I’m generally too lazy and just throw flour into my gravy. Wondra is nicer than flour because it really does dissolve quickly. Just make sure if you don’t mix it with water first that you wisk as you add it…or you will still get some lumps. ANYWAY…thanks to Adrianne for this great tip! I used it tonight when I made gravy to go with our roast…the gravy was AWESOME.
If any of you (including you, Adrianne) are Wondra aficionados, please share any tips or tricks of the trade. I’m still new with this stuff.
(Don’t forget to post your menu for the week…I’m doing two posts today, so the Weekly Menu is right below!)
Tuesday, March 4
My good friend and neighbor Adrianne has done yet another beautiful and impressive thing that I’ll never get around to doing. It’s a good thing for you I have talented friends to shake things up a bit on the blog. 🙂
Adrianne grew some grass…no worries, this grass is legit. It’s wheat grass and it’s beautiful. I mean, it is SO PRETTY! And a great idea for an Easter centerpiece. For easy-peasy instructions, click on over to Design Mom. She says it takes about 1-2 weeks for the grass to grow. Since Easter is 1-2 weeks away, it’s perfect timing for you to get your own basket of grass growing! Your Easter guests will be mightily impressed.
And since this IS a food blog, I suppose you can always grind your grass up and drink it. Um, yum? Probably not. But anything that tastes that yucky has got to be good for you, right?
Thursday, February 14
Time for your chocolate valentine! Seriously, what is Valentine’s Day without chocolate?
Adrianne made this beautiful Chocolate Ganache Tart (click for recipe from Martha Stewart) today. She even shared a few slices with us! Adrianne and I did a little taste test during the photo shoot…it’s sooooo rich and sooooo good. I’m going to be a good girl and eat ALL of my dinner tonight…don’t want to miss dessert!
Wednesday, February 13
My friend Adrianne sent me this awesome Banana Crumb Muffin recipe. Cate and I made them last night. They’re awesome. Nuf said.
Banana Crumb Muffins
From Lisa Kreft via AllRecipes.com
* 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
* 1 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 3 bananas, mashed
* 3/4 cup white sugar
* 1 egg, lightly beaten
* 1/3 cup butter, melted
* 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
* 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
* 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1 tablespoon butter
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease 10 muffin cups, or line with muffin papers.
2. In a large bowl, mix together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, beat together bananas, sugar, egg and melted butter. Stir the banana mixture into the flour mixture just until moistened. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
3. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, 2 tablespoons flour and cinnamon. Cut in 1 tablespoon butter until mixture resembles coarse cornmeal. Sprinkle topping over muffins.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 18 to 20 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into center of a muffin comes out clean.
Wednesday, November 28
I know Thanksgiving is over, but as I was eating a slice of the pumpkin cheesecake I made last week, I thought I better tell you just how good the recipe is.
My friend Adrianne sent the recipe to me and it is AWESOME. A great cheesecake and super easy to make. You don’t even have to do a waterbath when you bake it, which earns lots of extra points with me.
One quick note: make sure you don’t overcook it…I took mine out a LITTLE late and the crust was a bit overcooked in the corners. I did a little research and found that you take a cheesecake out of the oven when the center 3-inches of the cake is still jiggly. Mine was firm, so I could have taken it out earlier and had better crust. Regardless, the cheesecake was great!
Tuesday, November 6
The other night I was thinking it’s been a while since I did a “Kitchen Tips” post…then later that evening a friend stopped by to borrow some brown sugar and was excited about the piece of bread inside my brown sugar container. Tah-dah! A post!
Want soft brown sugar? Just throw a piece of bread in the container. That’s it. Simple, easy, cheap. I change it out, oh, I don’t know…hardly ever. I use white bread so no funny little grains fall into the sugar. The bread never gets moldy and the brown sugar always remains the perfect consistency. Just a little something I learned from my mama at a young age.
My friend Adrianne’s scienctist husband tried to explain why it works to us…he said the explanation really wasn’t complicated, but I think Adrianne and I only caught a couple words…like “the bread won’t go moldy” and “there’s a scientific reason it works” – good enough for us cooks. 🙂