chicken corn chowder

Sorry for that horrible picture – it’s all I had! I needed to post this recipe, though. It’s my favorite fall soup & is the perfect comfort food for brisk days.

The main recipe is from my mom – the only change we’ve made is to add chicken. That was Michael’s suggestion, and it’s a nice way to make the soup even more of a meal.

Now, a warning … when you’re making this soup, it seriously feels like you’re pouring everything that’s unhealthy on this planet Earth into a stock pot & heating it up. It feels that way because … that’s what you’re doing.

This is really awesome served in a bread bowl, or with a chunk of warm baguette. With most soups, this is even better reheated in the days after you make it … and it’s also good to freeze.


Chicken Corn Chowder

3/4 lb bacon
3 cans creamed corn (14.5 to 17 oz each)
3/4 lb chopped, cooked chicken (you can cook the chicken however you’d like … crockpot, grill, bake…)
1 cup chopped onion [we omit this because onion is gross]
1 quart half & half
2 cups milk (use at least 1% milkfat)
1 tsp salt (optional) [we leave this out … it’s plenty salty without it]
1/4 tsp ground pepper
3 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Thaw the bacon about halfway & then chop into small pieces, about 1/2 square. It’s easier to chop when it’s still a little frozen. Cook the back in a large dutch oven, then drain & reserve 2 tbsp of grease. Saute the onion in bacon grease until tender.  Stir in remaining ingredients, except cheese and bacon.  Heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and add bacon, chicken and cheese and simmer until cheese is thoroughly melted.


grilled pizza

We decided to give grilled pizza a try. If you haven’t done it yet, you should! Two reasons: (1) it’s delicious and (2) it’s easy.

We bought Trader Joe’s whole wheat pizza dough & formed it into a circle on a surface covered in flour and cornmeal. Michael coated the grill grates in olive oil and slid the crust on. (I promise it won’t fall through the grates. We were convinced it would.) It bubbled up & he took it off.

There were some pretty crazy bubbles!

Then we flipped it over

and added sauce and toppings.

… and more cheese. Always more cheese.

Then Michael put it back on the grill to melt the cheese and bring everything together.

Our friends do this with a pizza stone (specifically made to handle the high grill temps) and the grilling was more even. We bought a stone, too, and intend to try it out next time because our only complaint was that the grill hotspots caused uneven cooking.

But like I said … delicious and easy!

baked rigatoni with spinach & sausage

I had bought some Philadelphia Cooking Creme in savory garlic & googled for a recipe to make with it. I found this and then made pretty much the same thing, only adding ground Italian sausage to it. Critics (well, only one critic) agree that it was a good add.
I didn’t take a picture of the finished product, but it looked something like this:
and tasted something like this:
… that’s a little weird.
But you get what I mean.
Baked Rigatoni with Spinach & Sausage
1 10 oz Tub of Philadelphia Cooking Creme – Savory Garlic
10 ounce(s) of Frozen Chopped Spinach, any excess water squeezed out (I used 12 oz)
1/2 pound(s) of Rigatoni (uncooked) (I used about 12 oz)
1 pinch of Fresh Grated Nutmeg (very small pinch)
1/2 cup(s) of Fresh Grated Fontina Cheese – yum
1/4 cup(s) of Fresh Grated Parmiggiano Reggiano Cheese
1 lb ground italian sausage, cooked
1 pinch of Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Fill a large pot with water and sprinkle in a good amount of salt and bring it to a boil.
  • Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package instructions.
  • Meanwhile to make the sauce, simply add the Philadelphia Cooking Creme to a large non stick sauté pan that’s been preheating over medium heat, and add in about ½ cup of the starchy cooking water (I used some milk because I accidentally threw out the boiling water!). Whisk to combine and just cook it for about 1 minute or until the sauce is melted and it has a nice thick constancy.
  • Add the spinach to the sauce and season with a pinch of nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Cook together for about 1 minute and turn off the heat.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce, along with the ground italian sausage. Mix everything to combine and pour into a casserole dish. Sprinkle the top evenly with both cheeses and pop under the broiler for just a couple minutes or until the cheese has melted and everything is golden brown and bubbly. Serve immediately.

blueberry cobbler

{failing to get a good picture … I struggle with the lighting in our kitchen}

We had leftover blueberries & sugar cookie dough from the fruit pizza, so I googled for a cobbler recipe to use both. I found 1 recipe that called for sugar cookie dough, but didn’t call for apple pie filling (which we didn’t have) … this recipe is based off of that! I only had 2 cups of berries (instead of 4), so I scaled everything down. It was delicious straight out of the oven, served with french vanilla ice cream.

Simple Blueberry Cobbler (adapted from this recipe)


2 cups fresh blueberries

1/4 cup sugar

2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp cornstarch

2 tbsp butter

1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury sugar cookie dough

cooking spray

vanilla ice cream


Spray bread loaf pan (or one close to that size) with cooking spray. Pour in the berries.  Sprinkle the sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, and cornstarch on top of berries and mix lightly with a spoon to coat the berries.  Dot the top of the berries with pieces of the butter.

With your hands, grab a golf ball-sized portion of dough and press into a pancake. Place dough on top of berries and repeat. There is no need to cover the berries completely so you don’t have to be neat about this.

Bake in a 375-degree oven for 25-30 minutes until golden brown. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.