Southwest Potato & Corn Chowder

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this soup since I made it two weeks ago. I thought a potato corn chowder sounded great, and remembered  a poblano potato soup my friend Katie had posted. I didn’t have any poblanos on hand, but I did have a couple bell peppers. So I went with that, added a little bit more corn, and topped with some cilantro before serving for a Southwestern twist.

I used bacon this time around, but I’m thinking that chorizo might be a nice addition and spice it up even more – so I’m looking forward to trying that rendition next time. The tender potatoes and sweet corn, along with the colorful peppers made for a perfect marriage of flavor. And the cilantro on top was just the bright, fresh kick that it needed.

It was reminiscent of my favorite Loaded Baked Potato Soup – but much lighter in flavor without the addition of a bunch of sour cream. We all went back for seconds the first night I made it, and Andrew even went back for a third bowl. I enjoyed leftovers for lunch the majority of the rest of the week – and it was one of those things that I was very sad when it was finally gone. It’s definitely going to be making an appearance on our menu again very soon!

Source: adapted from So Tasty, So Yummy

Brazilian Black Bean & Pork Stew

We had a considerable amount of snow over the course of the past two weeks, probably the most that the Eastern Shore has seen in quite a few years. Both little ones were home with me, cooped up in the house, for a majority of those days.   Needless to say, comfort food was in order.

I’d had this recipe bookmarked to try since I bought my copy of Slow Cooker Revolution, and would add it to our weekly menu – but it just kept getting pushed back for one reason or another. I finally decided that it would make a great snow day meal, so it finally came together in my crockpot last week – and I’m kicking myself for not getting around to it sooner. I assumed that I wouldn’t really like it…I’m not the biggest kielbasa fan, and it seemed really meaty. Not that I dislike meat, quite the contrary. But, on initial inspection it just didn’t seem like my cup of tea. But, I knew all the little carnivores in this house would adore it. I was right on that count at least, but was wrong in assuming that I wouldn’t love it too!

The flavors were out of this world. Everything blended together perfectly when cooked, creating a symphony of meaty goodness in one pot. The pork and kielbasa were tender, but still retained their shape and texture. And the beans – oh my word, those beans! Absolutely perfectly cooked – nice and creamy, just the way I like them. I served over a bed of cilantro-lime rice, and topped with some sliced avocado and the Brazilian hot sauce they suggest in the book. It kind of reminded me of pico de gallo…but with the addition of green bell pepper, white wine vinegar, and extra-virgin olive oil – it definitely added more layers of complexity.

It made a large batch, so we enjoyed it for dinner one night – and I stuck the other half in the freezer for a quick meal one night when I’m not feeling like cooking. Which, I must admit – is getting more and more often as the due date for baby boy #3 approaches. It’s good to know that such a hearty and comforting meal is just a thaw out and re-heat away!

Source: adapted from Slow Cooker Revolution

Caramelized Onion & Bacon Pizza

We’ve got a big day coming up this Sunday. Not that I care as much where neither of my teams made the cut – but quite a few of my friends are Broncos fans, so we’ll be rooting for them in our house. And, of course I never need an excuse to fill up our table with football-munchie related items.

So when the folks at Musselman’s asked me to share a game day recipe with you guys that featured their delicious apple butter, I couldn’t say no. We’re big fans of apple butter in this house – just by putting it on a simple peanut butter sandwich or toast, or incorporating into a recipe, it’s always a winner. I first got hooked on the stuff after receiving a jar from the husband of one of my best friends who is from Michigan. Their family cooks a huge batch every year and then shares it amongst themselves. It’s rich, fruity, and delicious – without being overly sweet. So, to be able to find a jar of a quality apple butter on the shelf at my local grocery store is wonderful, and like I said – we use it regularly.

So, this pizza. It’s definitely not your typical pizza…but, that’s a welcome change in my book. A crispy crust with a layer of apple butter as the sauce, that’s then topped with plenty of smoky gouda and sharp white cheddar, caramelized onions, and crispy bacon. Then right before serving you top it with a bit of baby arugula for a fresh, spicy kick. It was really delicious, and different. The slightly sweet sauce and onions mingled with the smokiness of the gouda and bacon was an absolutely perfect pairing.

Jon and I both really enjoyed it, and I was kind of shocked that the boys loved it too! I figured where it wasn’t your standard pizza, they wouldn’t be interested – but their little palettes continue to surprise me everyday! If you’re looking for something new to add to your Super Bowl munchie lineup, give this pizza a try!

Musselman’s has also generously offered to host a great giveaway for our readers! A gift package featuring a jar of apple butter with a few recipe cards for some ideas to get you kick-started on what to make with your jar, and also this fabulous Wilton Armetale Grillware Pizza Tray. Which, I can vouch for – has been wonderful. My pizza stone cracked last week (my second Pampered Chef stone to crack in 1 year!) so this couldn’t have come at a more perfect time. It can go up to 1,000 degrees F, so is oven as well as grill safe! I’m looking forward to trying some grilled pizza recipes on this bad boy come spring.

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To enter, just leave a comment on this post telling me what your favorite game day snack is! Contest will run from today through Februrary 2nd at 11:59 PM. Winner will be selected by that nifty Random Number Generator and contacted that Monday morning. Big thanks to Musselman’s for hosting such a great giveaway!

Source: adapted from Fork vs. Spoon via Musselman’s

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Congratulations to Morgan who said that she loves Bbq beef short ribs, buffalo chicken dip and bacon wrapped shrimp on game day. Those are some of my favorites too!

Ham & Cheese Sliders

These sliders. They’re one of the easiest things to put together, and also one of the most delicious – two things that usually don’t go hand in hand. I first made them for Andrew’s birthday party the year before last – the Dr. Seuss party. Everyone gobbled them up, and raved about them…so I knew I was onto something very good.

We’ve been making them since. Sometimes I make homemade dinner rolls, and sometimes I pick up a package of King’s Hawaiian rolls at the store and call it a night. Then it’s just a matter of assembling the deli ham and cheese on the buns, then drizzling them in this delicious sauce…that’s hard not to site there and eat with a spoon. Bake in the oven for a few minutes to melt the cheese, and voila! I usually pair with a simple side like potato salad or sweet potato fries for an easy meal.

For lunch, dinner, or even as a munchie for game day – these sliders are always a winner that is sure to please everyone!