Chicken Corn Chowder

This is one of those “how to feed a family on not much of anything” potato soup recipes, so adjust ingredients or measurements to what you have on hand and season as you please.

Ingredients:

  • 6 to 8 med. Russet potatoes, peeled and sliced into a heavy saucepan.
  • Just enough cold water to almost cover the potatoes
  • 1/2 stick butter (put 3 T. in pan with potatoes and 1 T. into a small skillet)
  • 1 sm. can chicken (drain juice into pan of potatoes, reserve meat for later)
  • 1 env. Goya chicken or a bouillon cube
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion
  • 1/2 c. corn, drained
  • 1/4 c. crumbled cooked bacon, optional
  • 1 T. dried minced chives
  • Salt & Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1/4 c. milk or evaporated milk, if needed
  • Cheddar cheese, for garnish

Bring potatoes, water, 3 T. butter, and juice from canned chicken to boil over medium heat. Add chicken broth seasoning.

Meanwhile, saute onion in butter until they start to soften; add corn and bacon bits. Continue to saute until onion is tender.

Add onion mixture to pot of potatoes. Cook until potatoes break easily when stirred or poked with a fork. Reduce heat to low. Add reserved chicken, chives, and sour cream. Think with milk, if desired. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently heat through and serve topped with grated cheddar cheese.

VARIATIONS: replace canned chicken with a can of minced clams, add mushrooms. Use chunks of ham or sliced kielbasa instead of chicken, omit bacon. Omit meats and chicken seasoning for just potato soup, toss in leftover veggies, etc.

Is it good? Ask my grandsons. They went from “ewe, I don’t want to eat that” to “umm, this is good” real quick.

My apologies for the lack of step-by-step photos. This isn’t a cooking blog. I just post recipes now and then as someday, those boys might get nostalgic for grandma’s cooking and find this online after I’m long gone. Thanks for reading!

Strawberry Kiss Cookies

It’s a holiday tradition to bake cookies with grandma. These two rowdy little boys wanted to make strawberry cookies. That’s not on our traditional list, so we did a twist on an old favorite and used a cake mix for an easy strawberry flavored dough. They turned out okay.

Strawberry Kiss Cookies

  • 1 strawberry cake mix
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • 1/8 cup flour
  • 32 to 50 Hershey’s Kisses

Mix dry cake mix, eggs, and oil in a bowl with a wooden spoon. Stir in flour, if needed, to make a nice dough (ours seemed too moist without it). Drop by spoonfuls (we used a cookie scoop) onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake at 350 degrees until just lightly brown on edges and bottoms. Remove from oven and press an unwrapped chocolate Kiss on top of each cookie.  Our batch made 32 cookies.

NOTE: Extra kisses required if kids are in charge of unwrapping candy.

Thanks for reading!

Mad for Mittens

I’ve gone bonkers for fingerless mittens.  So far, I have purchased three pairs, chopped fingers off gloves, and taught myself basic knitting to make four pairs out of yarn.  I have experimented with thumb holes and partial thumbs and played with stitch counts to adjust the size.   Then I switched to crochet thread and picked up a hook to make this black pair. I like the copper bracelet on top. Should I make one for the other hand?

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I like the Bernat® Handicrafter® acrylic crochet thread because it is as soft as yarn but firmer, if that makes sense.   The light weight thread will make fingerless mittens ideal for mild weather wear in late spring so I bought “crisp linen” and the variegated “adrift” colors yesterday, as well as spool of Aunt Lydia’s® Iced Bamboo™ crochet thread in a color called Pink Ice.

I also searched the internet looking for patterns.  Tell you true – if you can knit or crochet two squares, you do not need a pattern to make a simple pair of fingerless gloves!

That’s all it is… a simple square of any stitch design is folded in half, then sewn up the side with about two inches left unsewn for the thumb hole.  (Most patterns say sew down one inch from the top, leave one and a half inches for the thumb opening, then sew the rest of the way down.  For my hands, I like a little more on top, say an inch and a quarter, with a two inch thumb hole.)  There is no “right” or “left” hand, both are made the same.

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So, how big do you make a square?  Well, that depends on your hands, if you want them to fit snug or loose, how heavy or stretchy the yard is, and if you plan to wear them alone or over a pair of gloves.  I have a seven inch wrist and the measurement around my knuckles is 7.5 inches, so a 7 inch squares turns out best for me.  My first pairs were made bigger and the mittens felt too loose. For the black pair, I used 6.5 inches square.   Of course, they don’t have to be squares.  The length can be varied.  I also prefer to knit in the round on double points for knitted versions to avoid sewing the sides.

Oh I have gone bonkers, completely mad for fingerless mittens.  The thought of sewing some just popped into my head.  Of course, the fabric would need a bit of stretch… fleece, jersey knits, recycled T-shirts?  Stretch denims? Oh… what about that velvet knit in my fabric bin?  They could be adorned with lace…