Tag Archives: food

Vegetable chowder and my PERFECT Fall day!

It’s finally been getting colder in my neck of the woods! I absolutely love the fall and winter weather! I love the smell of the rain and wearing hoodies and jeans everywhere! When I get to be home with nothing to do, there is nothing better than cuddling up on the couch and having some nice warm soup while watching the fire burn.

Last weekend I got to thinking; I had the nice fall weather and the smell of the rain, and I was pretty sure I could convince the hubby to get a fire burning, so there was just one thing missing to make this my perfect day…my soup! As always I was scrolling around Pinterest and found this tasty looking vegetable chowder from Lulu the Baker here. Even better, I had all the ingredients on hand!

Looks super yummy! So I got to work. I started by prepping all my ingredients to make my life a little easier.

20121120-122541.jpg Half an onion, chopped, 2 stalks of celery, chopped, 1 cup of carrots, 2 large potatoes, cubed and 4 cloves of garlic. The recipe called for a little less celery than I used, but only because they didn’t like celery as much. I happen to have no problem with extra veggies so in they went. It also called for a little less garlic than I used. Have I mentioned I love garlic?! An all natural healer, and adds tons of flavor! I usually double the amount of garlic in any recipe! And instead of chopping the carrots I grated them.

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To start the soup I melted a couple tablespoons of butter then threw in the onion, celery and carrots to soften up a bit.

20121120-122925.jpg After a few minutes of cooking I added the Garlic in and cooked it for a few more minutes.

20121120-123011.jpg Then, I added 4 cups of chicken stock and the potatoes. I then let it simmer for a while until the potatoes became soft. About 15-20 minutes.

20121120-123122.jpgOnce the potatoes became soft I added a milk and flour mix to thicken the soup up. I let it boil for a few minutes before adding in the broccoli. Then simmer again until the broccoli becomes tender.

20121120-123306.jpg Now for the cheese!!! Who doesn’t love cheese?! It makes everything better! Everything! Two cups of grated cheddar cheese and that was that. My chowder was done! It looked, smelled, and most of all, tasted amazing!! I will definitely be making this again. Thanks Lulu the Baker, for topping off my perfect fall day!!

Spaghetti squash

Every week me and the kids take a trip to story time at the local Barnes and Nobles. This gets us out of the house for a bit, and gives me a chance to hit up the farmers market around the corner afterwards. I love taking the kids to the farmers market and letting them help me pick what we should buy in hopes that they’ll eat more fruits and veggies.

This past week I came across spaghetti squash! Although I’ve seen this numerous times on Pinterest, I’ve always bit a intimidated to try it. Replace my carbs with squash? Why on earth would I want to do that? Turns out carbs are the enemy! Lol Well I decided to finally take the plunge, and for only $2, what did I have to lose? So off I went on my merry little way, ready to tackle the infamous spaghetti squash!

Of course, first thing I did was hit up Pinterest for some recipes on how to cook this bad boy! I decided I would try and make chicken Parmesan with spaghetti squash and I found the perfect recipe here at Modern Alternative Mama. I grabbed my squash and got to work.

20121115-132522.jpg The recipe stated it would be hard to cut in half and boy was she right! I think my arm was actually sore from cutting this. Pathetic, I know. It took a few minutes but I got finally got it cut.

20121115-132659.jpg Then, with the advice of a friend I took all the seeds out like a cantaloupe. Then I cooked it. I did 350 degrees for an hour on a cookie sheet. I laid it on a bed of water, which I assume helps it steam. When it was done I let it cool and took a fork to it to make the “spaghetti”. From all the pictures and recipes I have always came across, I was under the impression that it was going to be long and stringy, like spaghetti. Although it was very stringy it reminded me more of grains rather than noodles. My daughter actually thought it was rice.

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While the squash was cooking I went ahead and make my chicken Parmesan. A simple basic recipe I just threw together myself. I coated the chicken with egg and breadcrumbs, which I then fried up (So healthy, I know but hey, baby steps right?). Once the chicken pieces were cooked, I laid them on a cookie sheet topped with grated mozzarella and put them in the over for a few minutes until the cheese was melted.

20121115-134052.jpgAnd here, is the finish product!!

In the end I actually ended up liking the spaghetti squash. It had a bit of crunch and added a little bit of sweetness to the dish, but pretty much took on the flavor of the red sauce. All in all, great recipe and a great way for me to get back into my healthy eating habits!