Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sandwiches and Corn Chowder

Dearest Jess,

I came home this weekend not sure of my plan. All I knew was I was excited to see people that I miss during the week. Excited to visit with them, and possibly (if the opportunity presented itself) make food for them. Much to my delight, all such things were accomplished.

I was lucky enough to arrive on Friday night just in time for a game of Settlers of Catan with Jason, Jim and Alex. We tried a whiskey that I think you would like called Forty Creek. It is proof that LCBO samples really help their sales!

On Saturday we went and visited with my Mom and I rediscovered my love for sandwiches. It's not that I had lost my love for them, rather I had neglected it. I find the beauty is in the layers.

Whole Grain Toast, Spinach, Fresh Squash (from my uncle's garden), Chicken, Tomatoes, Cucumber, Pepper
And then there was Sunday. On Sunday, my Dad invited us to help pick out the family Christmas Tree. We got all bundled up and hiked through a Christmas Tree Farm that was 100 acres to find (as my mom famously says) 'a tree with character!' After hauling it home we all curled up to Corn Chowder that I had made the night before.

Smoky Roasted Chicken Corn Chowder 
From Eat Shrink and be Merry, 'Chowdy Doody, Page 59
4 slices bacon, chopped
1 cup diced onions
1/2 cup each diced celery and diced red bell pepper
2 tsp minced garlic
1 1/2 tbsp minced fresh thyme, or 1 tsp dried (I used Basil)
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 can (12oz/385 ml) fat-free evaporated milk
1 can (19oz/540ml) diced tomatoes, well drained
1 can (14oz/398ml) cream-style corn
2 cups chopped roasted chicken breast 
1 tbsp hickory-flavored barbecue sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Cook chopped bacon in a large, non-stick soup pot over medium-high heat until lightly browned but not crisp. Stir in onions, celery, red pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
2. Add thyme (or basil) and flour. Mix well. Stir in broth and evaporated milk. Bring mixture to a gentle boil and stir continuously until soup thickens slightly.
3. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in remaining ingredients. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve hot.

I hope your week goes well! Thanks again for inviting me on Wednesday. I can't wait for our next date!

I love you,

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